Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Postal Service – The Formalisation Phase

The initial chapter on the Post Office dealt with the establishment of a postal service in Port Elizabeth following its inception in Cape Town and extension to Uitenhage and, by implication, to Algoa Bay before 1828 whereas this blog deals with the postal service from the appointment of the hamlet’s second Postmaster, George Ubsdell in 1828 until the resignation of the Postmistress, Mrs Biggar, the third Postmaster after William Dunn and Ubsdell.

 Main picture: The first dedicated Post Office in Port Elizabeth in the building with the picket fence 

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Postal Service – Humble Beginnings

Before the advent of the internet, the telephone and the telegraph, the state of the art method of communication was the Postal Service. The speed of this service was a function of the speed of the ship, the horse and the cart. History is replete with examples of orders issued being overtaken by events. Take the example of commands from England. They could take five months to reach the Cape. 

Main picture: A Post Cart crossing the drift at the bottom of Van Staden’s Pass

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Its Inhabitants in 1822

Port Elizabeth is fortunate in having somebody who prepared a list of its inhabitants at the inception of the town itself. Without a functioning civil authority, nothing is recorded, let alone a population register.  

This blog lists Port Elizabeth’s inhabitants in 1822 together with a biographical sketch of some of them. 

Main picture: Port Elizabeth in 1823

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