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Gallery » Danzig Report 112 - July, August, Septembet 2001 » The “Free City” of Danzig 1807-1814 by Giles du Boulay

 

Letters for Bordeaux, a main trading centre with Danzig and other places, were forwarded either via Hamburg and Amsterdam or via Wesel and Maseyck. The many extant letters from Danzig to the wine and spirits merchants Schroder & Schyler typically bear forwarding agents’ endorsements andloi route markings such as “HAMBOURG”, “D’HOLLANDE” or ‘MASEYCK”. With the first expansion of the French empire up to the Rhine the “MASEYCK” mark was replaced by “PAR WESEL” (1797/8) although a new two-line mark ‘PRUSSE PAR MAASEYCK” can be found from 1804. From 1806, as Prussian territory fell to Napoleon. routes were changed although some marks continued in use, For a short time, in February 1807, letters for Bordeaux were forwarded via Copenhagen and Hamburg taking about a month to arrive These letters bear the red three line mark “DANNEMARC par Hambourg.4 B.G.D. hie” (4 Ran 4, B.G.D. Bureau Grand-Ducal). During the occupation period 1807-1814 letters to Bordeaux from Danzig are fairly scarce, but new marks are found such as the two-line, black “PRLJSSE PAR NEUSS”, the two-line, black “PRUSSE PHAMBOURG” and “HESSE” (in red), It is possible also that letters sent from Danzig to Bordeaux during this period might be found with the route markings “HAUTE SAXE” (in red) and the three- line, black “ALLEMAGNE PAR STRASBOIJRG”. A private letter is recorded as having been sent from Danzig to Bayonne in France on 16.6.1809 via Magdeburg bearing various marks including “NEUKIRCHEN(PAR)” (in red). During the occupation period some postal fees increased due to trade restrictions and the shortages, and consequent high prices of, most commodities.

Letter from Paul Schnaase & Sohn, Danzig
to Herren Schröder & Schyler & Comp in Bordeaux
sent 19 July 1808 — endorsed as having arrived 14 August 1808.
The mark HESSE (in rod) indicates a routing out of Prussia via the Kingdom of Westphalia and thc Grand Duchy of Hcsse-Darmstadt crossing the Rhine at Deutz to Köln,
through the French occupied Austrian Netherlands thence on to Paris and Bordeaux.

On the front: marked “11” in black in the top left corner;
Il/I (the “11” above (he “I” in red) at top right;
rate marks “7” in red with “38” in black superimposed.
On the back: “9” (black), “19” (red), “1022” black, “47” (red).

During the period of French occupation of German territory, commercial and private mail from Danzig generally continued to be forwarded by the existing postal routes and stations, The postage from Danzig to the French border was prepaid in Prussian gutegroschen or silhergroschcn (rather than Danzig Groschen). The “7” in red on the above example, is probably equivalent to the “1W7” (franco Wesel 7 silbergroschen) seen on Danzig to Bordeaux letters from earlier periods. It is not entirely

 

Danzig Report Vol. 1 - Nr. 112 - July - August - September - 2001, Page 5.


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