The history of the Cape of Good Hope dates back to the 1800’s when ships traveling from Europe and England discovered this route to India and the Far East.
Ships from England and the Netherlands sailed the Atlantic Ocean, down the coast of Africa, past the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean to reach the Far East, India, and Australia, for the purpose of trading and colonization. Because of unexpected violent storms that would erupt periodically, many ships never made it to their destinations; instead, they were wrecked off the South African coast. Those that survived managed to make it to the area now known as the Cape of Good Hope where they would wait sometimes for months or years for the next ship to pick them up and take them home.
In the meantime, they made the best of their plight and carried on the usual day to day activities of surviving; planting crops, building homes, etc. When a ship would finally arrive from England or Holland, they found that many had permanently settled and had decided to stay in this new beautiful land. These early settlers were enjoying the freedoms from the taxation that had been imposed upon them in their own countries; the land was excellent for crops, had minerals (gold and diamonds), animal life and excellent weather. They saw an opportunity to develop an empire and a new way of life for themselves and their families. Many people of different countries later settled on the Cape, but the first were of English and Dutch (Boers) descent.
By 1853 the area had already developed as a way station for ships picking up water and supplies and, as the town continued to develop, mail service also became a normal function of society. Soon, their own postage stamps were printed. They were the first triangular stamps ever printed.
Because of the rich deposits of gold and diamonds in the area, eventually the English and Boers fought for dominance. The war of 1899-1902 ended with British occupation of the formerly independent Boer republics. The Boers were no match for the imperialistic English armies. To this day, however, there are two national languages: English and a form of Dutch.
The Cape of Good Hope triangle has always been unique in stamp history. Some of the rarest stamps are Cape triangles and every collector wants to own one.