LEEWARD ISLANDS

The islands of the Leewards group had their own legislatures throughout the 1700s and the first half of the 1800s. There was a Governor for the entire group and each main island had its own Lieutenant Governor. During the post-emancipation years the respective legislatures became unrepresentative and neglectful; in 1871, the “Leeward Islands Act” established the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands The Virgin Islands and five other Lesser Antilles presidencies formed the newly established Federal Crown Colony of the Leeward Islands; it included five Presidencies under the leadership of one Governor. Separate Administrators and Commissioners were appointed for each Presidency. One Assembly passed laws for all the islands. The Federated Crown Colony began issuing its own stamps on 31 October 1890 the very day the General Stamp Act (No. 3) came into force and supersed all of the separate stamp issues of the Presidencies which were simultaneously withdrawn from sale. From 1897 to 1903, these stamps depicting Queen Victoria facing left were the only stamps officially on sale; however, the Virgin Islands restarted to issue its own stamps in 1899, which led to the other Presidencies having similar concessions made in July 1903. The first stamps of the Leewards Federation were overprinted, in 1897, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. These commemorative stamps were supposed to remain on sale for one week only, nevertheless sales were disappointing. The Leeward Islands – Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Christopher (St. Kitts, Anguilla), and the Virgin Islands all used postage stamps inscribed LEEWARD ISLANDS” between 1890 and 1956

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