French India stamps

P=have O=don’t have it

French India is a general name for the former French possessions in India.

The French were early rivals of the British for empire in India. For many reasons, probably centering on British control of the seas, the French lost out and were permitted, by various treaties, to retain only tiny settlements.

The Indian postal service maintained offices in these possessions independently of the French post offices.

Pondicherry was the capital of the French possessions and occupied an area of 113 square miles. It had been lost by the French during the Napoleonic wars but was handed back to them in 1816 and stayed French until it was returned to India after independence.

Chandernagore was a really tiny (3 sq. miles) enclave some 20 miles north of Calcutta. It was owned by the French between 1816 and 1950 when a referendum returned it to India.

Karikal was a small French settlement on the S.E. coast in the Tanjore district.

Other Settlements included Mahe and Yenam. In addition there were lodges (loges) located at Machilipatnam, Kozhikode and Surat, but they were merely nominal remnants of French factories. &

Scott: #C18P

(Thanks to Lou for the scan)

Issued: 6.6.1954

10th Anniversary, Liberation of France

#718 Inside #C18: France #718P