Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hawaiian Missionary Stamps, USA

When last week this Sunday's theme was announced, i didnt plan to participate since I didnt really have something to show..and then last night I was browsing to some of my folders with stamps, and I was thrilled to bits when I came across this one coz I thought, 'hey, this can actually fit this Sunday's theme!!'.

So, here we go, this is my contribution to the subject of "he Post, post boxes, postal vans, stamps on stamps, or similar images"

this awesome mini sheet was issued in 2002, commemorating the Hawaiian Missionary stamps. The first Hawaiian Post Office was established in December 1850. Postmaster Henry M. Whitney had stamps printed locally in three denominations. These were the first postage stamps of the Kingdom of Hawaii, issued in 1851, where four stamps of three values - 2¢, 5¢ and 13¢ - comprise the issue, all printed locally by letterpress at the Government Printing Office They came to be known as the "Missionaries" because they were primarily found on the correspondence of missionaries working in the Hawaiian Islands. Only a handful of these stamps have survived to the present day, and so they are amongst the great rarities of philately. It is said that only 28 covers with these stamps are known to exist.

the 2¢ Missionary, first issued October 1, 1851, was intended for payment of the 2¢ foreign mail rate on newspapers but also was used to pay the 2¢ ship fee on letters.

the 5¢ Missionary was first issued October 1, 1851 to pay the Hawaiian postage on foreign mail.

the 13¢ Missionary with "Hawaiian Postage" first issued October 1, 1851 was used to pay the 13¢ combined United States and Hawaiian postage for a single letter bound to an Eastern United States destination.

The other 13¢ Missionary with the "H. I. & U.S. Postage", was first issued by early April, 1852, to eliminate confusion over whether Hawaii's stamp included the United States postage of 8¢.

The most valuable of all Missionary items is a cover sent to New York City bearing the only known use of the 2-cent value on cover, as well as a 5-cent value and two 3-cent US stamps. This is known as the Dawson Cover. It was in a bundle of correspondence shoved into a factory furnace around 1870, but packed so tightly that the fire went out (though one side of the cover bears a scorch mark). The factory was abandoned; 35 years later, a workman cleaning the factory for reuse discovered the stuffed furnace, and knew enough about stamps to save the unusual covers. This cover was acquired by George H. Worthington in 1905, then bought by Alfred H. Caspary around 1917. It has changed hands several more times: in the 1995 Siegel auction it realized a price of US$1.9 million, and was last sold publicly for $2.09 million,making it one of the highest-priced of all philatelic items. The Dawson cover, shown on this Sheet  may be evidence of the validity of the 1850 Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation between the United States and Hawaii as a sovereign nation. Under Article XV.

Thanks a billion to my fairy for this awesome cover which came in sooo handy today :)

For more postal items, visit Viridian's blog...and have a great Sunday! Finally some rain here!!


  1. The story about the furnace is amazing and so is the recent price.

  2. Wow! That minisheet is beautiful - and the story is fantastic too!

  3. Great mini sheet and fascinating story of the stamps.

  4. my first comment got lost! What a story! thank you for contributing sucha 'stamp' story. Such a price for several stamps!

  5. Wow, what a story! I have seen this mini sheet before and have heard about the Dawson cover but never knew the story behind it! Thanks

  6. How interesting and what a great find, though I imagine the first person who saved the cover is not the one who made the most $$$ on it!

  7. Amiga, this is a treasure! Love the minisheet and the history. Excellent choice for this week's Sunday Stamps :D

    Btw, the Spanish Armada is through to the Davis Cup final! Hah, the more I am missing our boy :(

  8. I doubt anyone will have a better choice today. A great cover and an amazing story to go with it.

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