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Colony of Swellendam

I have this small  format wrapper addressed to "Mijn heer de heer Stokhestroom Secretaris at Colonie Zwellendham" dated in manuscript as 1803, probably Batavian period or late First British occupation. The Colony of Zwellendham has me puzzled, is this some form of protest referring to the 1795 revolt? This is the only cover I have seen addressed this way. 

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Interesting but probably just an odd reference to Swellendam as a part of the greater colony.

I found the followings on Wikipedia. It refers to Anders Stokkenstroom, the father of Andries, the man who became a British Baronet for his services to the Crown in SA. It puts Stokkenstroom senior in Swellendam in 1803 working under both British and the Batavian rule. (See last paragraph.)

"In September 1781 Anders Stockenström sailed from Texel as a quarter-gunner aboard a VOC ship, 't Zeepaard. Scurvy broke out in the fleet when it reached the Equator, and when it reached Table Bay in December 1782, 1,202 of the 2,753 passengers and crew had died, and 915 were ill. Four of the most heavily armed ships, including 't Zeepaard, sailed for Batavia, after four weeks, to assist in defence of the city against an expected British attack. It is not known whether Anders sailed with the fleet, but two years later he was working as an assistant in the goods office in Cape Town, where he remained for some years. He also served on a vessel carrying slaves for the VOC from Madagascar to the Cape, and was afterwards, until 1795 with the British occupation of the Cape, bookkeeper to the fleet. In March 1796 General J H Craig appointed Anders secretary to Landdrost A A Faure, of Swellendam.

Following the takeover of the Cape by the Batavian Republic (1803), Anders was appointed landdrost of Graaff-Reinet by both Governor Jan Willem Janssens and Commissioner-General Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist. The latter swore him in on 14 February 1804, at which time Graaff-Reinet had been without a permanent landdrost since 1801."

I have a nice cover to Landdrost Faure of Swellendam from roundabout the time of the 1795 revolt. I will dig it out and post it.

Thanks Steve. You probably right. just an odd reference or the way we would say today "settlement". I would love to see your  Landdrost Faure cover, when you get a chance.

Here is my Landdrost Faure cover with a real photo postcard of the Swellendam Drostdy in the 1940s or 50s.

Regarding your query, my cover is interesting in as much as its address states 'Landdrost der Colonie Swellendam'. This sugests that your address of 'Colonie Swellendam' is an abbreviation.

Swellendam is an example of too little too late. As the Boers expanded into the south-eastern Cape in search of farmland they left the rule of the VOC far behind them. In order to rein in their departed burghers the VOC created a magisterial district (Drostdy) 72 miles east of Cape Town at Swellendam in 1743. At this time, however, the leading Boer trekkers were already some 200 miles beyond Swellendam. The town became known as the 'Gateway to the Frontier' as all Boers trekking east from the Cape passed through it. Because all the good farmland surrounding Swellendam had been taken up years before none stayed. With no settlement the town experienced no growth. By 1777, when the frontier of the Dutch Colony was some 500 miles away in the Eastern Cape and butting up against the land of the Xhosa, Swellendam still had only four houses. Border conflict would force a reluctant and impoverished VOC colonial administration to create a new Drostdy at Graaff Reinet in 1786.

Magistrate Faure had to flee Swellendam when it declared itself an independent republic in 1795. The local Cape Dutch had lost faith in the VOC which was technically bankrupt and no longer capable of efficient government. The fact is that the VOC had been cutting costs and colonial expenses for many years. It would be liquidated in 1800.

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Thanks Steve. Lots to digest, but your copy actually solves my question as it says "... der Collonie Swellendam" in the last two lines. Lovely cover, if you want to part with it one day let me know ...  

I am thinking of starting a sales and or auction site on the SAPC ie. I want to sell my excess material. This will be open to other members also. As my main interest is in history and postmarks of which there are very few of those, if any, that I can afford from the VOC era, I will want to sell this cover and other pre-postmark ones at some point. Let me see how much I paid for it and I will get back to you by email.