Arago: Siege of Paris Mail

Siege of Paris Mail

Depeche-Balloon Newspaper with Paris Star 35 cancel


This copy of the “Dépêche-Ballon” newspaper (No. 19) originated from the Ministère des Finances office in Paris on December 31, 1870, (seventh collection) and was prepaid 20 centimes for the French internal letter rate to Cambes, “Par Ballon Monté.” These newspapers reported the daily events of the Siege and provided a blank space for correspondence. Based on the date and time of collection, it is most likely that this letter was carried out of Paris by the balloon Newton.

The Newton carried 310 kilograms of mail, and the flight was conducted in heavy rain and fog. The balloon landed in a German-occupied region, and the aeronauts and mail bags were smuggled into unoccupied France with the help of local citizens.

The letter's cancel represents a Paris Star 35, and it is addressed to Madame Lydia Roumeguere.


Paris/Ministère des Finances (collection) 31 December 1870

Cambes (arrival) 12 January 1871

December 31, 1870
Cancel: Paris / 7E/34 / Dec / 70 / Ministre des Finances Address: Madame / Lydia Roumegiere / Cambes / (Gironde) "PAR BALLON MONTE.” printed inscription 20c Ceres (Sc 58) tied by Paris Star (Etoile) No. 35 cancel
paper; ink
27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8.5 in.)
Museum ID:
FRANCE (republic)


  • Depeche Balloon Newspaper
  • Depeche-Balloon Newspaper with Paris Star 35 cancel
Additional Records

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