SCHLOTTFELDT, HUGO

fl 1890s from Germany


German shipping agent. The Kosmos shipping company provided the postal communications between the Falkland Islands and the outside world for the years 1880 to 1900. Schlottfeldt served as the agent of the Deutsche Dampfschiffahrts Gesellschaft (German Steamship Company) Kosmos of Hamburg in Stanley for the years after the departure of his predecessor Captain JHMC SEEMANN. By one of the clauses of the contract with the Kosmos Line, the agent was to be a trustworthy person, with a practical knowledge of the shipping business, and well acquainted with the English language. He was also required not to be involved in any other kind of mercantile pursuit.

Despite this condition of his employment, surviving correspondence written by Schlottfeldt reveals that he was an enthusiastic stamp collector, exchanging stamps with people worldwide. In the 1890s he was also permitted to sell stamps to dealers across the world for a small commission over the cost of purchasing the stamps. Other pieces of correspondence show him ordering domestic supplies from Germany. For example, by one dating from 1897, he was asking for sugar, flour, canary seed, candies and beer glasses to be sent him. Schlottfeldt and his wife, Magda, were known to have been living in No 1 (or 2) Jubilee Villas, now 38 Ross Road, by 1900. With the end of the Kosmos contract in June 1900, he was appointed German consul in the Falkland Islands. This he gave up nine months later, when he and Magda left Stanley in April 1901, and returned to Germany. The contract for carrying the overseas mail then passed into the hands of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. More detail is known about Schlottfeldt's life in Stanley than about many people living there at the end of the nineteenth century, thanks to the survival of a quantity of postcards he wrote to overseas contacts, now of considerable interest to philatelists.

Authors

Jeremy Howat