Portugual and her Colonies

Background Information

Here is the background information on Portugal and all the stamp issueing entities (colonies, autonimous regions, &c.) under her aegis.  For an understanding of their relation to each other, as well as maps, you can check out the outline.

Republic (kingdom until 1910), the economy is largely agricultural, with mining of mineral ores.  In the past, Portugal possessed a vast colonial empire.

An island group in the Atlantic Ocean, divided into three districts.  These are: Angra (the islands of Graciosa, São Jorge, Treceira); Horta (Corvo, Faial, Flores, Pico); and Ponta Delagada (Santa Maria, São Miguel).  From 1892 to 1905 they issues their own sstamps.  Today the Açores are considered an integral part of Portugal.

An administrative district of the  Açores consisting of Graciosa, São Jorge and Treceira.  Portuguese stamps until 1868, followed by issues for the Azores.  Later, in 1892-1905, the district's own issues (although the contemporary Açores commemoratives and postage-due  stamps were valid in the district.

An administrative district of the  Açores consisting of Corvo, Faial, Flores and Pico.  Portuguese stamps until 1868, followed by issues for the Azores.  Later, in 1892-1905, the district's own issues (although the contemporary Açores commemoratives and postage-due  stamps were valid in the district.

Ponta Delagada
An administrative district of the  Açores consisting of Santa Maria and São Miguel.  Portuguese stamps until 1868, followed by issues for the Azores.  Later, in 1892-1905, the district's own issues (although the contemporary Açores commemoratives and postage-due  stamps were valid in the district.

An archipelago near the north-western coast of Africa, which formed an administrative district of Portugal under the name Funchal and, since 1976, has been autonomous.

An administrative district of Portugual and major city of Madeira, off the north-western coast of Africa.  Funchal issued its own stamps in 1892.  Prior to this, Madeira stamps were in circulation.  Since 1910, Funchal has belonged to the postal territory of Portugal,

Portuguese Africa was the designation for Angola, Cape Verde Islands, Moçambique, Portuguese Guindea and the islands of São Tomé and Principe.  The first stamps for this territory appeared in 1898 on the 400th anniversary of its discovery by Vasco da Gama.  In 1918 a 1 c war tax poastage stamp was created for use as above except for Moçambique.

Cabo Verde
An island group in the Atlantic, west of Cape Verde.  A poor agricultrual region.  From 1951 the islands were regarded as an overseas province of Portugal, to which they had belonged since 1495.  The became an independent republic by proclamation on 5 July 1975.  

Portuguese Guinea
A neglected agricultural region.  The remainder of Portuguese rule in Upper Guinea, established in the 15th century, declared a colony in 1978.  From 1951 it became an overseas provice of Portugal, and was the first Portuguese possession to decalre its independence, on 24 Sept. 1973, as Guinea-Bissau.

São Tomé E Principe
Islanda of volcanic origin.  Protuguese from 1484; a province from 1522; and from 1951 an overseas province of Portugal.  On 12 July 1975 the islands were proclaimed an independent democratic republic.

A developing agricultrual country with mineral mining.  Portuguese from the 15th century, officially a colony from 1885; from 1951 an overseas province of Portugal. Angola was declared an indepenent people's republic on 11 November 1975 in Luanda.

Portuguese Congo
North of Angola, the territory between the Rivers Ladje and Congo and the separate district Dabdina.  The congo Conference in Berlin (1884-5), where Belgium laid claim to the delta of t he River Congo, thwarted Portuguese plans to seize the mouth of this giant river.

A backward agricultural country.  It was Portuguese from the 16th century, but only in 1891 were its borders established, and it became a colony in 1907.  In 1919, Kionga district was joined to it.  Until 1941 the regions of Macica and Sofala were adminsitred by the private Moçambique Company.  From 1951 Moçambique was considered an overseas province of Portugal.  It became and independent people's republic on 15 June 1975.

Lorenço Marquez
A district of the Portuguese colony of Moçambique near Delago Bay.  From 1895 definitives were issued.  After 1920, Moçambique stamps were in use.

A district of the Portuguese provice of Moçambique.  The district had its own tamps in 1895-1920. Prior to this the stamps of Lorenço Marquez were valid and, earlier still, until 1895, Moçambique stamps.

Moçambique Co.
The private Moçambique Co. was established in 1891; for 50 years it adminitered the concession territory of Manica and  Sofala in Moçambique.  Its activities ended in 1941.

A part of Moçambique at one time administered by the Zambezi company.  It consisted of the territory of Tete and  Quelimane.

Moçambique district formerly administrered by the Zambezi Company as part of Zambezia.  Today part of the Manica-Sofala district.

Moçambique district, once administered by the Zambezia company.  today this teritory is called Zambezia.

Nyassa Co.

the territory of northern Moçambique, leased to the private Nyassa Company ini 1897.  the concession ended on 27 October 1929, and Portugal took over the administration of Nyassa.

The southernmost part of German East Africa on the shores of the Indian Ocean, occupied by the Portuguese form Moçambique in 1916 and then awarded to the later under the Treaty of Versailles.

Portuguese India
Three small territories on the coast of India, occupied by the Portuguese from the 16th century.  (1) Diu island and the mainland territory of Gogola and Simlor.  (2) Damão with the territory of Dadra and Naga-Aveli.  (3) Gôa with th islands of Angedova, São Jorge and Morceges.  On 18-19 Deember 1961 Indian trooops occupied thes area and incorported it into India.


One-time overseas territory of Portugal on the easter part of the island of Timor in the Lesser Sunda Islands and on its norther shore (Ocussi Ambeno enclave).  It belonged to the Portuguese from 1586 to 1975.  On 28 November 1975 East timor People's Democratic Republic was proclaimed, but the Indonesian army immediatly occupied the whole territory.  Now indepentant country of Timor-Leste

Portuguese trading port on the chinese coast dependent on transit trade under Chinese influence.  The Chinese territory of Aomin was leased to Portugal in 1557 and turned into a Portuguese colony in 1887.  From 1951 it held the status of overseas trritory of Prtugal, and was given broad autonomy on 17 February 1976.  Handed over to the People's  Republic of China in 1999.

Outline and Maps

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