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Congo Free State

Postal Card with Definitive Design of 1889

Belgian trading posts were established on Lake Tanganyika and in the Congo Basin in the years leading up to the proclamation of the Independent State of the Congo at Boma on July 1, 1885. This "independent state" remained under the personal control of Leopold II until November 15, 1908 when the accumulated debts arising from the costs of administering and developing the state forced him to relinquish control to the Belgian state. This period is dramatically documented in Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness and in Adam Hochschild's authoritative analysis, King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa.

Postal Card
Postal Card with Definitive Design of 1889 with pre-printed commercial message.

The inscription on the card indicates that it is valid for use inland and in bordering countries from Libreville (Gabon) to Mossamedes (Namibe in modern Angola).

Congo Free State 1890


Rossiter, Stuart and John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald and Co., 1986.

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