July 29, 2017

1935-1939, 2670, 3115 SAINT MARTIN - The map of the island and the flags of Saint Martin (France) and of Sint Maartin (Netherlands)

1935 The map of Saint Martin Island (1)

Posted on 04.10.2015, 30.07.2016, 29.07.2017
Located in the northeast Caribbean, between Anguilla and Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin is the smallest inhabited sea island divided between two nations, respectively between France (60%) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (40%). The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the northern French part comprises the Collectivité de Saint-Martin and is an overseas collectivity of France.

1936 The map of Saint Martin Island (2)

The main cities are Philipsburg (Dutch side) and Marigot (French side). The Dutch side is more heavily populated, and the largest settlement on the entire island is Lower Prince's Quarter. The highest hilltop is the Pic Paradis (424m) in the center of a hill chain on the French side, but both sides are hilly with large mountain peaks. This forms a valley where many houses are located. There are no rivers on the island, but many dry guts. It has a tropical monsoon climate with a dry season from January to April and a rainy season from August to December.

1937 The map of Saint Martin Island (3)

Ancient relics date the island's first settlers, probably Ciboney Indians (a subgroup of Arawaks), back to 3,500 years ago. Their lives were turned upside-down with the descent of the Carib Indians, a warrior nation which killed the Arawak men and enslaved the women. In 1493 Christopher Columbus glimpsed the island and named it Isla de San Martín after Saint Martin of Tours because it was November 11, St. Martin Day, but Spain made the settlement of the island a low priority.

2670 The map of Saint Martin Island (4)

Instead, the French and Dutch coveted the island. While the French wanted to colonize the islands between Trinidad and Bermuda, the Dutch found San Martín a convenient halfway point between their colonies in New Amsterdam (present day New York) and Brazil. The Dutch, French and British founded settlements on the island. In 1633 Spanish forces captured Saint Martin from the Dutch, but in 1648 they deserted the island. Preferring to avoid an war, the French and Dutch signed in the same year the Treaty of Concordia, which divided the island in two, as it is now.

3115 The map of Saint Martin Island (5)

With the cultivation of cotton, tobacco, and sugar, mass numbers of slaves were imported to work on the plantations, until the slave population became larger than that of the land owners. After abolition of slavery in the first half of the 19th century, plantation culture declined and the island's economy suffered. In 1939, Saint Martin received a major boost when it was declared a duty-free port. The Dutch began focusing on tourism in the 1950s. The French needed another twenty years to start developing their tourism industry.

1938 Saint Martin - The border monument which celebrates
the peaceful coexistence of the French and Dutch on St. Martin (1)

Currently, tourism provides the backbone of the economy for both sides of the island. St. Martin's Dutch side is known for its festive nightlife, beaches, jewellery, drinks made with native rum-based guavaberry liquors, and casinos. The island's French side is known for its nude beaches, clothes, shopping (including outdoor markets), and French and Indian Caribbean cuisine. Because the island is located along the intertropical convergence zone, it is occasionally threatened by tropical storm activity in the late summer and early fall.

1938 Saint Martin - The border monument which celebrates
the peaceful coexistence of the French and Dutch on St. Martin (2)

The culture of Saint Martin is a blend of its African, French, British, and Dutch heritage. Although each side's culture is influenced by their respective administering countries, they share enough similar heritage and traditions that it can be difficult to tell where Saint-Martin ends and Sint Maarten begins. Nowadays, the number of Creoles has been surpassed by the number of immigrants, and the island's population is truly a melting pot of people from 70 or more different countries.

About the stamps
On the postcards 1935, 1936, and 2670 are stamps belonging to the series Birds, about which I wrote here. On the postcards 1935, 1936, 1937, and 2670 are stamps which are part of a series of 10 definitives about which I wrote here. On the postcards 1937, 1938, and 1939 are stamps which belong to the definitive series Marianne de la jeunesse, about which I wrote here. On the postcard 2670 are also a stamp of the series Tourism - Local Views, issued on November 11, 2011, and a stamp of the series Local Costumes, issued on November 19, 2014, about which I wrote here.


On the postcard 1938 is a stamp issued on June 5, 2015, to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Central Civil Service, based in Nantes.

The first stamp on the postcard 3115 is one of the 13 stamps of the series of definitive stamps issued on March 1, 2017. The last is part of the souvenir sheet Insects, designed by Isabelle Simler and issued on May 22, 2017

References
Saint Martin - Wikipedia

Sender 1935-1939, 2670, 3115: Denise
1935, 1936, 1937: Sent from Philipsburg (Sint Maarten / Netherlands), on 25.08.2015
1935, 1937 - Photo: Cyril Exbrayat 
1938: Sent from Marigot (Saint Martin / France), on 29.08.2015
1938 - Photo: Kim van Loo
1939: Sent from Marigot (Saint Martin / France), on 22.08.2015 
1939 - Photo: Andre Exbrayat
2670: Sent from Philipsburg (Sint Maarten / Netherlands), on 19.07.2016
3115: Sent from Quartier-d'Orleans (Saint Martin / France), on 06.07.2017

No comments:

Post a Comment