Welcome to Rainer's
Introduction and Historical Background
The birth and development of the private postal services in
Everyone writing a letter is communicating something that requires the addressee to receive it as soon as possible. The speed in the delivery of mail has always been related with how easy or difficult is to transport it and the means used for this purpose. European conquerors found various roads already built by natives, each in different condition, but all suitable for the traveler.
The introduction of the pack mule brought up the need to extend, improve and build new roads to facilitate communications between the conquered towns and the European continent. The development of the roads was achieved with the work done by natives who were forced to destroy the forest and open trails, without receiving any remuneration, resulting in people forced into slavery and the destruction of villages and cultures.
Later on, the “Borbon Law” for the construction of roads granted privileges in exchange of the construction of different public works required by the Viceroyalty.
In the Republic of Colombia and since the year 1823, the opening of roads and the construction of bridges and infrastructure, as well as the development of the first sections of the railroads, involved the concession of enormous waste lands and the granting of huge amounts of money given by the state to the concessionaries.
The purpose of such development was to improve the trails and roads used
by the mule drivers with their droves, which was the only way of
communication between the coast and the interior of the country in
addition to the
The end of the XIX century marks the beginning of private carrier mail.
Starting with the Constitutional Law of 27 April 1859, regulating the Postal Services, the following was established: Article 2º; ”The mail service shall not be a monopoly of the Confederation; therefore the states and companies or individuals may take part in it, even in the same routes established by the Central Government.” Thanks to this Law, the postal services of the Sovereign States were created, as well as the urban postal service of various cities and the mail transportation contracts by individuals. However some companies have operated without official or legal contracts.
The first recorded service was the weekly mail service of
The Cucuta Chamber of Commerce was founded around the year 1890 and it organized an extraordinary mail service named Correo del Comercio (Business mail), a service operating between 1890 and 1915.
The so called Mail of Mora, the third mail service registered in the XIX
century, remains a total mystery; only mint stamps and one used stamp are
known. Apparently it transported mail around the year 1882 between
At the end of the XIX century a strong attempt of railroad development
started between the coffee grower regions trying to find a way to connect
Nevertheless, at the beginning of the XX Century there were only 645
kilometers of railroad tracks. The XX Century begins with the arrival of
the first automobile to
With the growth of the Department of Public Works between the years 1911
and 1916, the construction of the Northwest road begins, starting in
Ubate, continuing through Chiquinquira, Guepsa,
The project for
Law 175 of 1938 authorized the paving of national roads. During the year
1939 the following sections were set to be paved: 73 Km. in Boyaca, 50 Km.
Numerous transportation companies were created during this period. A truly obvious, inexpensive and efficient service was the transport of mail.
This and the insufficient distribution / red of the National Postal Services were the main reasons behind the creation of so many companies offering mail service starting in the 20’s. The boom of the mail service was such a success that the National Government, through Decree 192 of February 2, 1926, decided to regulate the contracts for the private postal service.
At the beginning, these companies were able to charge a surcharge for the postal service by using their own stamps. This permission was in effect until September 16, 1933, date in which a decree was pronounced prohibiting the issuance of stamps or vignettes for the postage of mail transported by private postal service companies starting on October of 1933.
Starting on the above mentioned date the surcharge was raised through a caption placed on dated handstamps which read: “Surcharge for the amount of $… “; these cancellations also had to include the name or firm name of the corresponding company and the place where it was sent from.
The private postal companies were eventually replaced by the national postal service. Many of the private companies offered their services until the 60’s. This website try to show and explain what is known and has survived of this private postal service.
Like all philatelic material of
We hope this work will encourage others to research this interesting topic of the Colombian postal history and maybe some day new findings will emerge, complementing our knowledge.
Written by Carlos Valenzuela Acosta.
I am thankful to have been granted the permission to publish this introduction here.