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::: CANCELS - Pen :::

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ms pen cancel 9Sep67

A Scott No. 31a cover dated (on the back) on September 9, 1876 and canceled with a pen mark thought to be the initials of a local postmaster on the island of Hawaii.

ms pen cancel Kealia 5May68

Docketing on the back of this double weight cover franked with a pair of 2 Scott No. 31a stamps shows it originated at Kealia, Kauai and was mailed on May 5, 1868. The stamps were canceled by pen with a manuscript double crossroads.

Davey lumped all of the manuscript pen marks under one reference number (Section 16, Pen Cancels and Town Marks, number 801), together with manuscript postmarks. Shaffer hardly touched them. Manuscript town postmarks are addressed in these pages under the name of the town in Town Postmarks. Examples of other manuscript crosses, X's, scratches and blotches are shown here. Identifying all manuscript marks would probably end in frustration. Most local postmasters lacked canceling devices for many years and some never had them. Their only means for canceling stamps was marking them with ink using a pen. In only a few instances can we identify a particular mark with a specific location or postmaster.

Finding a suitable reference system for the manuscript marks is a challenge. Perhaps the inability to find a suitable description is the reason Davey seems to have given up on them. Here the manuscript mark references begin with pen followed by initials, cross, X, lines or other. Crayon markings are included with pen markings. Perhaps a better reference system will occur to someone and it can be adopted.

Pen Initials


CHD by Dickey

circa 1880

Davey unlisted

Usage: circa 1880
These initials were those of C. H. Dickey, the postmaster of Haiku on Maui and the person who introduced the telephone to Hawaii.

Pen Crosses

pencross(double cross)

CA Bishop pen 3Sep60

September 3, 1860

Davey 801

Usage: September 3, 1860
The cover is docketed by Rev. Sereno Bishop as being from C. A. Bishop. There were a number of Bishops in Hawaii then, but I have yet to find the one whose initials were C. A. other than Sereno's five year old son.

pencross(double cross)

Kealia pen 5May68

May 5, 1868

Davey 801

Usage: Kealia, Kauai, May 5, 1868.

pencross(double cross)

Pogue pen 22May71

May 22, 1871

Davey 801

Usage: Honolulu, 1871.
The cover is docketed by Rev. S. E. Bishop as being from J. F. Pogue, who at that time was in Honolulu as Secretary of the Hawaiian Board of Missions.


2-230 Hono ms crosshatch

Davey 801
Shaffer 2-230

Usage: Honolulu, April 3, 1867 to December 10, 1867.
This cancel was used on outgoing foreign letters.


crayon cross on 75 yellow


crayon cross on 81 red


crayon cross on 81


Davey 801

Usage: Thought to be associated with mail carried by the Kahului Railroad.

Pen X's


X on 30a

Davey 801

Usage: Unknown origin; noted on Scott No. 30a


X on 31a

X on 33

X on 75

Davey 801

Usage: Various styles from unknown origins, 1860's to 1890's.


MS cross Wailuku

Wailuku, October 25, 1875

Davey 801

Usage: Noted on a cover docketed October 25, 1875 on a cover from W. P. Alexander at Wailuku, Maui.

Pen Lines

penlines(short parallel)

parallel lines on 27

Davey 801

Usage: Hilo, early 1860's
The stamp is Scott No. 27 on cover to Hattie Coan at Punahou. Her family lived in Hilo. The two parallel line marks were common.

penlines(long parallel)

Waimea pen 16Apr70

April 16, 1870
Waimea, Hawaii

Davey 801

Usage: Waimea, Hawaii, 1870.
These lines are unique to postmaster Rev. Lorenzo Lyons.

penlines(straight parallel)

crayon lines on 74 black

Davey 801

Usage: Origin unknown perhaps the Kahului Railroad. The mark looks like a modern day postal clerk's decimation cancel.

Pen Other



Davey 801

Usage: Maui, early 1860's.
Noted on a cover postmarked at Lahaina.


snake on 32

Davey 801

Usage: Origin unknown; noted on Scott No. 32.

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