Monday, 31 December 2012

187. Dr. Who: Spoof Royal Mail 2013 New Issue Programme Becomes Horrible Reality.

On 28 November 2011, in this blog I published a spoof "leaked" 2013 new issue programme for Royal Mail. It was intended to be outrageous and illustrate just how bad a new issue programme by that greedy postal administration could be, aiming to bleed every last penny from the devoted collector of British stamps. I never dreamed for one moment that such nonsense could ever happen - surely even Royal Mail would not issue numerous expensive items on the pretext of celebrating something as trivial and insignificant as a television programme. The spoof "leak" suggested that Royal Mail would have a"Dr Who Year" of multiple issues scattered over several months and would include a Dr Who definitive, booklets, prestige booklets and "smilers" or "business" sheets. Incredibly, this joke has become a horrible realty for stamp collectors. The prediction that Royal Mail would issue 11 stamps each depicting a different actor who plays the character has come true (really, it was a joke, I can not believe they actually intend to issue such a set - the Queen has ruled Britain for 60 years and she only qualified for 8 stamps in 2011!) In addition to the basic 11 stamps and accompanying 5 stamps in a miniature sheet (see blog no. 184 of 26 December 2012), we now know that there will be a retail booklet (see above) comprising 1 each of the stamps which depict the 1st and 11th Doctor Whos and 4 definitive-sized stamps which depict the TARDIS, Dr Who's space and time-travelling machine. So, if only in booklet and miniature sheet form, we really will be getting a Dr Who definitive!

The TARDIS definitive will also appear on 1 of the 4 panes of stamps which will be included in the Dr Who prestige booklet (price £13.77 although the total face value of stamps inside amounts to only £12.82).

Prestige booklet cover
It is not too surprising that a "Smilers" sheet will also be produced, again using the TARDIS definitives alongside illustrations of the enemies of Dr Who. I fear this is not the end of it all and that by the end of 2013, collectors of British stamps will feel thoroughly fed-up with Dr Who and fleeced by Royal Mail. Remember, there is also money to be made from special covers, first day covers, presentation packs, PHQ postcards and who knows? - perhaps we will even have Dr Who Post and Go stamps, it seems too hard to think that Royal Mail will miss the opportunity of producing Dr Who versions of its current form of money-spinner.

The most worrying thing of all is that the views of dedicated stamp collectors carry little weight here - the various Dr Who products that Royal Mail produces during 2013 will be immensely popular with the general public, such is the current popularity of Dr Who, and numerous grandparents will be scurrying around buying these products for their Dr Who-loving grandchildren as well as a worrying number of single young men who have not yet found themselves a girlfriend. Royal Mail foresee big profits in this little philatelic enterprise and I think they are right. But in co-incidently doing what a spoof blog suggested they might do, this greedy organisation may finally have broken its regular collectors' backs.

186. Jersey 2013 Issues And Botswana 2011 Issues..

I have finally tracked down the list of stamps issued by Botswana in 2011 although I have not yet found any information for the country's issues of 2012. My favourite set is the 4 stamps issued on 18 December 2011 to depict 4 excellent illustrations of wild dogs of Botswana:-

The other issues of 2011 were:- 11 March: Biodiversity, the "morning glory" flower, 4 stamps; 9 September: the Botswana national population census, 4 stamps; 25 October: malaria prevention campaign, 4 stamps and 21 November 2011: WWF the white rhinocerous, 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet (the latter was printed in inadequate quantities and a reprint was necessitated). All sets were lithograph printed by Enschede.

1 of 4 :Census" stamps.
1 of 4 "Malaria Prevention"stamps
The first stamps of Jersey's enormous new issue programme for 2013 will be 6 stamps on the theme of "Frost and nature" to be issued on 8 January:-

That set will be followed on 5 February by a set of 6 stamps and the inevitable miniature sheet (£2 face value) on the peculiar theme, "The Legacy of Queen Victoria: Edward VII". The designs depict various statues of the eldest son of Queen Victoria, each from a different site in Britain. I can not deduce why this theme was chosen for a set of stamps by Jersey but perhaps I have overlooked an explanation which the Jersey Post Office may have put out. 

Sunday, 30 December 2012

185. New stamps From Anguilla And Isle Of Man.

In recent years, a new issue from Anguilla has become something of a rare event but a new set of stamps was indeed issued by the territory on 26 November 2012. Five stamps were released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Anguilla Police Force. The designs are displayed in the photograph below being presented to a reception to launch the stamps by Deputy Commissioner Alice Proctor. The designs seem to be in the usual style of Anguillan stamps and apparently designed by the artist Roger Vigurs who has designed many Anguillan stamps in the past. I am a little surprised to read the news about this new issue because, as far as I know, Anguilla has not issued a set of stamps to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen of Anguilla, Elizabeth II. Perhaps a set is still to appear.

Another set of stamps to commemorate a significant police service anniversary is scheduled to be issued by Isle Of Man on 20 February 2013. A set of 6 stamps will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Isle Of Man Constabulary and the issue will be accompanied by a miniature sheet which commemorates the Isle Of Man Fire and Rescue Services:-

The island will issue a highly original set of 6 stamps on 6 February 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the unusual approach to the subject is a series of designs which depict memorabilia of previous coronations from the time of Queen Victoria onwards:-

A further highly interesting forthcoming issue from The Isle Of Man will be released on 11 January 2013 in the form of 6 stamps which commemorate the return of the manuscript of the Chronicles of the Kings of Man and The Isles to the island. The stamps also commemorate the loan of 6 Lewis Chessmen which are to be shown in an exhibition entitled The Forgotten Kingdom to be held at The Manx Museum during 2013. The Chronicles, which have been kept at The British Library for the past 200 years, are the earliest written accounts of events in the Isle of Man and were written by the monks of Rushen Abbey. The exhibition highlights The Kingdom of Mann which existed in medieval times and included not only the island itself but also Skye, the Inner and Outer Hebrides and Argyll. The chess pieces to be displayed at the exhibition and also depicted on the 6 stamps were found on the west coast of the island of Lewis and are thought to have been carved in Norway at the start of the 13th century. In all 78 pieces were found, some with red staining to provide a red opposition to the white pieces.

All of these Manx issues are very well designed, interesting and highly relevant in content, are  highly buyable and give the Manx Post Office an excellent start for its philatelic programme in 2013.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

184. Dr. Who: Massive New Set From Royal Mail.

William Hartnell (1963 - 66)
In a remarkable display of co-operation between 2 great British institutions, Royal Mail and the BBC have announced that a massive set of 11 1st class postage stamps and a miniature sheet containing a further 5 different stamps will be released on 26 March to celebrate a third great British institution - the television programme Dr. Who which was first broadcast on the BBC 50 years ago on 23 November 1963, the evening after the assassination of President John Kennedy of The United States, the launch of the programme being slightly delayed by news coverage of that traumatic event. The set of 11 stamps will depict each actor who has played Dr. Who - more properly known as "The Doctor" - starting with the late William Hartnell who played the role from 1963 to 1966. The designs show each actor in costume as "The Doctor" and depicting them against a background taken from the different opening sequences of the programme over the years, some of them from the 1960's and 1970's rather psychedelic in effect as can be seen from the accompanying illustrations. William Hartnell was born in 1908 and prior to establishing himself as Dr. Who had appeared on television in various comedy roles as well as in cinema. He died in April 1975, having appeared in the 10th anniversary episode of the programme in 1973 alongside the next 2 Doctors, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee.
Patrick Troughton (1966 - 69)

Patrick Troughton, born in 1920, played Dr Who from 1966 to 1969 and was able to succeed William Hartnell because the producers of the series came up with the ingenious idea that when The Doctor was at the point of death, being an alien he could regenerate into a new body and possess a new personality. This conceit has served the programme very well ever since and has enabled it to continue for 50 years with the viewing public accepting a new Doctor when the previous one wishes to give up the role. Patrick Troughton died in 1987 whilst appearing at a convention for Dr Who enthusiasts in The United States.

Jon Pertwee (1970 - 1974)
The introduction of Jon Pertwee (1919 - 1996) as the Third Doctor coincided with the introduction of colour television in The United Kingdom which is why the first 2 designs of the set are black and white and the rest are more colourful. He played the role until 1974 when he was succeeded by Tom Baker, the oldest surviving Dr Who and the actor who played the role for the longest time, until 1981.

Tom Baker (1974 - 81)
Peter Davison became the youngest actor to play the role when he became the Fifth Doctor in an episode broadcast on 4 January 1982. He was already well known among the British television-viewing public for a role he had played in another BBC television series, the then very popular, "All Creatures Great And Small".
Pater Davison (1982 - 1984).
Peter Davison was succeeded by Colin Baker in  March 1984 but by then the programme had fallen out of favour with important officials at the BBC and especially Michael Grade, the Head of Broadcasting, who loathed the programme. In consequence it suffered from receiving a very low production budget and production standards became so poor that Grade was able to take Dr. Who off the television for 18 months. Grade was not impressed with the new series and only allowed it to continue in production on the condition that another new leading actor be chosen. Thus Colin Baker's period as The Doctor was relatively short - until 1986.
Colin Baker (1984 - 86)
Sylvester McCoy became the first Scotsman to play The Doctor in 1987 and was the incumbent when the series celebrated its silver jubilee in 1988. But budgets remained too low for the sort of production standards that were necessary for science fiction productions of the early 1990's and the BBC finally cancelled Dr. Who in 1989.
Sylvester McCoy (1987 - 1996)
Despite its absence from television screens, Dr Who retained a loyal band of followers and eventually an attempt was made to restore it to television schedules when the BBC allowed a television movie to be made in The United States and this introduced the Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann:-
Paul McGann (1996)
While this was popular in Great Britain, it was not a success in The United States and a subsequent series was not made and so Paul McGann became the only actor to play the role in the series for just one episode (unless he appears in a celebratory 50th anniversary special programme in November this year). Eventually the generation who had watched Dr. Who as children grew up and some became writers and television executives themselves and their remarkable abilities coupled with their love for the television series put them in a position to reintroduce Dr Who to a new generation of television viewers. Thus, in 2005, Dr Who returned to British television screens with an actor, Christopher Eccleston, playing the Ninth Doctor:-
Christopher Eccleston (2005)
He played the role for just one season and was succeeded by David Tennant, the second Scotsman to play the character, and he established both himself and the programme once more as being immensely popular with the British public as well as with viewers further afield. David Tennant, in the role of Hamlet, has already appeared on a British stamp - the !st value of the set of 6 issued on 12 April 2011 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Royal Shakespeare Company.
David Tennant (2006 - 2010)
Matt Smith became the 11th Doctor in 2010 and will therefore be The Doctor at the time of the 50th anniversary which will precisely be 23 November 2013 (expect lots of special commemorative postmarks and covers to be produced for that date; no doubt, as I write, cover-producing companies are pursuing actors associated with the programme to sign them up to autograph covers to be bought by a clamouring public). Royal Mail, as well as the BBC, clearly plan to use this popular anniversary as an enormous opportunity - the Royal Mail website now has a section in which anyone wanting to buy all the products they will produce during the year can register with them and receive early news of what I expect will be numerous items. Plans seem to be going along the lines of my spoof Royal Mail new issue programme in a blog of November 2011 in which I predicted that Royal Mail would have a "Dr. Who Year" which is precisely what they seem to be doing. For Dr. Who philatelists this could all turn out to be rather expensive (shades of the 2012 Olympics stamps?)
Matt Smith
What will be the biggest ever British commemorative set (a total of 16 stamps) is completed by the miniature sheet with 5 different designs - 4 featuring The Doctor's enemies - some marvelous monsters in the form of a Dalek, an Ood, the Weeping Angels and a Cyberman. The 5th stamp depicts the Tardis, Dr. Who's machine which travels through time and space and which is the means by which he is able to travel to the various places on earth and in space where he and his companions experience their adventures which have entertained the British public for a half-century and have established the character as a modern-day British icon.

One final thought, a little bit of time travel you might say, in 1963, when Doctor Who's adventures started, the British Post Office issued just 12 commemorative stamps during the whole of the year (4 less than will be issued in this single set). The total face value was 9 shillings and 1 and a half pennies - about 40 and a half pence; the total cost of the Dr. Who set and sheet will be £9.70p. O dear! - what would William Hartnell's First Doctor have to say about that?

Flag Counter

Sunday, 23 December 2012

183. Gibbons Stamp Monthly Launches Vicious Attack On CASCO.

I was surprised to open the pages of the January 2013 Gibbons Stamp Monthly, a frequently dull but anodyne publication, to find an article printed inside which had a few rather vicious things to say about the CASCO Philatelic Agency. Under the title "Tristan Da Cunha: A Change of Agents Heralds a New Era for Philately", the article is mainly centred around how important a role the author of the piece, Peter Jennings, played in convincing the Tristan Da Cunha Post Office to change its philatelic agents. He highlights how a number of territories have changed the agency they employ from the Crown Agents/CASCO to Pobjoy Mint Ltd starting with the Falkland Islands in 2004 up to 2012 when Tristan Da Cunha and British Virgin Islands followed suit.

The author pinpoints the takeover of the Crown Agents Stamp Bureau by Harry Allen in 2007 as a root of the agency's problems and quotes himself from the time of the take-over, "Will the take-over of the Crown Agents Stamp Bureau - for that in reality is what it is - benefit stamp collectors?" and then goes on to answer his own question, "The answer is an emphatic no! Collectors have only to look through the Tristan da Cunha pages of the latest Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth Stamp Catalogue and see some of the irrelevant and poorly designed and produced stamp issues that would, if they have not done so already,  had a negative impact on the number of stamp collectors buying new issues"(it seems the editor should have done a little more work reviewing the grammar in that sentence). He goes on, "Also, little was done to promote the stamps as they were released, and opportunities to get press coverage were lost". This represents a stinging attack on CASCO and suggests that the agency is not up to the job of producing and marketing stamps in this modern era. It is certainly true that their customers seem to have fallen out with them as they now list only a dozen client territories on their website whereas there was a time when the Crown Agents could number their client postal administrations in scores. Personally, while I think it is true that some of the client territories have had a number of sets of stamps produced on their behalf whose subject matter has no real relevance to them, I do think it is quite unfair to say that CASCO stamps have been "poorly designed and produced"; the stamps always seem to be very well printed and frequently very well designed, often in the past by designers which the Pobjoy Mint's stamp producers, Creative Direction  (Worldwide) Ltd. themselves now seem to employ.

Peter Jennings tells us that "the appointment of Pobjoy Mint did not just happen and here for the first time is the inside story of the role I played in helping to bring it about". He goes on to detail how a representative of the Tristan Da Cunha government sought out his opinion about changing Tristan's philatelic agents and how he passed on a written proposal to the representative which included the statement "In my view matters got worse once CASCO took over the account from The Crown Agents Stamps Bureau - the number of stamps issued increased and some of the stamps had little or nothing to do with Tristan da Cunha, which in turn puts stamp collectors off collecting new issues released by the Territory. Neither the Crown Agents Stamp Bureau nor CASCO appeared to put much effort into promoting the stamps of Tristan da Cunha". Strong stuff. I can not recall Gibbons Stamp Monthly being so critical of a philatelic agency before, and I can think of one or two bigger sinners whose stamps continue to be catalogued by the Gibbons Catalogue editor. 
  One of the suggestions in Jennings' proposals is that the annual face value of Tristan stamps should "not exceed £35, excluding miniature sheets". That seems rather a large amount of money to me. The cost of all stamps (under the direction of CASCO) issued by Tristan in 2007 was £18.20p, in 2008 the total was £23.05p, in 2009 the total was £21.20p, in 2010 the total was £17.90 plus £9.72 for the new definitive series (year total £27.62p), in 2011 the total was £24.65p and in 2012, the total face value has been £24.35. If Tristan Da Cunha follow Jennings' advice, collectors will find themselves spending £10 more per year (plus the cost of miniature sheets which he does not include in his £35 total) on their Tristan purchases. Well done, Mr. Jennings. It seems that from a collector's point of view, CASCO are not such a bad thing after all. Jennings informs us that Pobjoy Mint are planning 6 stamp issues for Tristan next year and in truth the face values revealed seem to be similar to those produced by CASCO. I have praised Pobjoy Mint in the past for their excellent approach to stamp issues so I am sure that the change of philatelic agency for Tristan will be atraumatic for interested stamp collectors.
  It is worth seeking out the January 2012 edition of Gibbons Stamp Monthly to read this unusually aggressive article and to see an item by Peter Jennings, one of the magazine's regular contributors, which, for once, does not include at least one photograph of himself.
  Another territory whose philatelic outlook seems to have changed in the direction of severely limiting new issue output is Dominica which, as far as I am aware, has not issued any commemoratives in 2012. As it is almost Christmas, I depict its most recent commemorative issue which was released on 1 November 2011 - 3 stamps for use on Christmas mail:-

Thursday, 20 December 2012

182. Dominion Of British West Florida.

For Christmas, something a little lighter which conveniently fits in quite nicely with blog no. 180. Ambling around the internet as I sometimes do, I discovered an amusing little site with Commonwealth stamps relevance which is produced by the supporters of "The Dominion Of British West Florida". The site introduces itself by telling us that "The Dominion of British West Florida is a small Dominion Realm, a former enclave of the British Empire, lying between the Gulf of Mexico on the south and 32.28 degrees north (lands north of the 31st parallel are reserved for the native peoples), and between the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers on the east and the Mississippi River on the west." The text goes on to say that "We do not seek to restore 'British Sovereignty', rather we seek to restore the Native Sovereignty of our People under God and the Crown. We proclaim the necessity of religion, the wisdom of tradition and the authority of the family, and the advantages of legitimate monarchy...Our goal of Dominion Status within the Commonwealth of nations would make West Florida a Sovereign Nation within the Territory of the United States, on par with the Indian Tribal Nations...The Government of British West Florida is striving for Dominion Status as a Commonwealth Realm, on par with Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis and The Bahamas." The text strikes a note that might appeal to Tory politicians in Britain when it next says, "We advocate the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union and the restoration of close political and economic links between Commonwealth realms." It states that "British West Florida rejects any attempts to reduce the Royal Prerogative, holding fast to the British tradition of a Strong Monarch and Free Subjects, with each expecting the Rights, Duties, and Privileges of the other." Phew! Still, the authors of this piece have seen that the production of postage stamps for this unrecognised Dominion could be beneficial particularly as a year set from 2007, when the first issues were made, is being sold for the not inconsiderable sum of $75US. The British West Florida site acknowledges that the stamps have no postal validity, even calling them "Cinderellas", so there is no attempt to pass them off as genuine postage stamps. I suppose that they would be fun to buy if they were cheaper in price. The first issue is depicted at the head of the blog and features a local beach scene with a portrait of the Queen inset at the upper right corner and was released in May 2007. Subsequently, further stamps depicting scenes in the "Dominion" were produced during 2007 and up until June 2008:-

A Christmas stamp was issued for 2007:-

and the January 2008 stamp depicted an attractive waterfall scene:-

I do not expect that British West Florida will be joining The Commonwealth in the near future but I suppose these stamps are harmless fun as long as people know what they are spending their money on. The same is equally true of many of the collectable labels which actually find their way into modern stamp catalogues because they have a theoretical postal validity; I have highlighted many such items during 2012 and no doubt there will be many more in 2013.

181. British Postal Museum Post And Go.

The first of a new series of Post And Go stamps were released by Royal Mail on 3 December 2012. They are only obtainable from Hytech machines situated at the British Postal Museum and Archive in London. The machines are situated in the foyer of the Search Room at Freeling House. The first items are available in two designs - the standard Machin Post and Go design as depicted above and the Christmas robin design, shown below. The usual 6 values are available in each design. The stamps are distinguished by the additional inscription "The B.P.M.A." which is different from the inscription which has been illustrated by some other sources including recent editions of some British philatelic magazines.

One recent British issue which appears to have received poor publicity is yet another Diamond Jubilee item - a booklet of 6 1st class "Jubilee definitives" as shown below. On the inside front cover is a quotation from the Queen, "I shall always work to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples". I think this issue, released on 1 October 2012,  may well have been missed by a number of collectors and I have the feeling that this is "the one to get".

On 16 October 2012, India issued 4 stamps and a miniature sheet which contained one each of the stamps on the subject of "Endemic species of Indian Biodiversity Hotspots". They are interesting and attractive but the title of the issue is interesting in its own right - we seem to have travelled a long way from a simple "wildlife of India" issue.

I have previously mentioned the Malaysia coinage issue which was released on 16 July 2012. It is very well printed and now that I have received my set, I illustrate 2 of the designs of the set of eight which are all 60 sen values:-

I have also now obtained my specimen of the Malaysia Diamond Jubilee miniature sheet which was issued on 13 September 2012 and I also illustrate that highly collectable issue:-

Also obtained in the last couple of days has been my order of the personalisable Canada Picture Postage 12 stamps which I have also previously mentioned and which were issued on 5 November 2012. I illustrate 2 of the designs:- 

Back to India, which has issued another miniature sheet of interest - an item released on 12 October 2012 to commemorate "Philately Day". The stamp design does not actually give the precise date of Philately Day but presumably it coincided with the date of issue of the miniature sheet:-

Yet more items produced by Stamperija with the name of Mozambique printed on them, this time the theme is "Anniversaries II", some of them obscure and none of them of direct relevance in subject matter to Mozambique. The date of issue is given as 30 June 2012 and among the 60 stamps and 10 miniature sheets are items related to the artist Gustav Klimt:-

and the aviator, Harriet Quimby:-

So by June, Mozambique had "issued" 464 stamps and 86 miniature sheets during 2012! Finally, a new definitive set has been announced for Ascension Island to be released on 15 January 2013. It features aircraft and is designed by Robin Carter and lithograph printed by BDT International Security Printers:-

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

180:- Bye-ways of Empire - The Floridas and Georgia.

John Moultrie
I was very interested in a short auction report which appears in the January 2013 edition of the excellent  Stamp Magazine, the most lively of the currently published British philatelic magazines which are on sale at newsagents in Britain. The report mentioned a recent sale by Kelleher Auctions of a letter sent from one of the British colonies in north America to another, 11 years before the American unilateral declaration of independence and subsequent rebellion against Britain. The letter listed the items in the estate of the late Chief Justice of East Florida, James Moultrie, a document humdrum and everyday in one respect, but given interest by the application of a British tax handstamp. It was the need to pay taxes, which the American colonists felt no obligation to do, that made these tax stamps the very symbol of the cause for revolution. Stamps indeed can be said to have started a war. 
The letter was sent in 1765 from Savannah in the colony of Georgia which had been established by Britain in 1732 to John Moultrie, the Governor of the British colony of East Florida which had been established in 1763. The reverse of the cover bore an extremely rare SAVANNA straight-line handstamp with a Bishop mark of AP 25. The item realised £45,541 in the auction, ten times its estimate. Doubtlessly this reflected the rarity of the Savannah postmark but the whole letter seems to be a remarkably interesting item.  I find it particularly interesting in that it recalls a distant time when the British colonies still existed in north America and it brings to our attention the little known British colony of East Florida along with its sister colony of West Florida.

Inventory of Moultrie's estate and tax stamp applied to it.
After the defeat of the French and their allies in the Seven Years War, the British took possession of Spanish Florida and French Louisiana east of the Mississippi (except New Orleans). It did not seem possible to administer this large amount on new territory as a single entity so the British established the two new colonies of East Florida, with its capital at the old Spanish town of St. Augustine, and West Florida, with its capital at Pensacola; the colonies being separated by the Apalachicola river. Many English Americans and Scottish-Irish Americans moved to these colonies after the end of the Seven Years War and an assembly was established there as part of the colonies' government. The territories were strongly loyal to Britain and when the rebels in the other American colonies summoned delegates to the First Continental Congress in 1774, the Floridans refused to attend. Florida retained its loyalty during the rebellion against Great Britain but the Spanish entered the war on the side of the rebels and captured Pensacola in 1781 and were awarded Florida after the defeat of the British in 1783 by the Treaty of Paris. Thus these little known early British colonies came to an end but the recently auctioned letter is a wonderful example of their ephemeral postal history and testament to their one-time existence.

General James Oglethorpe
As regards Georgia, the colony's charter had been granted to General James Oglethorpe on 21 April 1732 by King George II. Oglethorpe (shown above on a US stamp of 1933) saw it as being a haven for resettled debtors and "the worthy poor" and he established strict laws for the colony including a ban on alcohol. He was against slavery and thought that it was far better to have numerous farms on which several people found employment rather than to have large plantations. He also foresaw that his "sturdy farmers" would defend the southern part of England's colonies against the Spanish in Florida. The colony's charter forbade slavery.
  Oglethorpe arrived with the first settlers at Yamacraw Bluff - what became Savannah - on 12 February 1733 (as depicted on a pre-stamped postcard issued by the United States Post Office in 1983) and established a camp there with the help of Chief Tomochichi. The first settlers numbered 116 persons. Having been ruled by the trustees of the founding company, Georgia became a crown colony on 7 January 1755. Slavery was permitted from 1749 and by the time of the rebellion of the Thirteen Colonies, Georgia had taken on the characteristics of the other territories.