This page last updated: 4 March 2010

::: UPU Consular and Other Official Covers :::

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Hawaiian Consular Mail

Hawaii's Department of Foreign Affairs operated the country's consular service. Examples of covers sent abroad by the Foreign Affairs Department show a printed official marking for either the Kingdom of Hawaii or the Provisional Government or the Republic of Hawaii. In January, 1897, the Republic issued special stamps for the Foreign Affairs Department (See Official Issue). Until then, regular postage stamps were used.

Hono 31Oct93 59 off NM

Postmarked October 31, 1893 and bearing the printed official corner card of the Provisional Government, this cover to New Mexico was underpaid so the recipient was forced to pay double the amount of the deficiency.

Hono 6Jan98 O4

Once the official stamps were issued, they were used on Foreign Affairs covers instead of postage stamps. This cover bears the printed corner card of the Department of Foreign Affairs during the Republic and was postmarked at Honolulu on January 6, 1898.

Scott O2 cover

Postmarked July 28, 1898 at Honolulu, this example is another cover of the Republic government.

Scott O2 cover a

After Hawaii was annexed on August 12, 1898, the Republic of Hawaii remained in place while terms of its Territorial status were debated in Washington. The Republic gave up control of external affairs but the consular duties were retained. This cover postmarked July 19, 1899, was during this period when Hawaii still operated its consular service.

Hawaiian Consular Offices Abroad

Gibraltar 26Mar96

This cover postmarked at Gibraltar on March 26, 1896 shows the consular seal of the Hawaiian Consulate at Gibraltar. I know of no comprehensive studies of handstamps used by the consular offices abroad and have learned only of handstamps from the Gibraltar office.

Foreign Consulates In Hawaii

Numerous countries maintained consulate offices in Hawaii. Covers bearing printed or handstamped legends identifying them are interesting to collect. Here are some examples:

Hono 21Jun93 58, USconsul

This cover from the United States Consulate General at Honolulu is franked with the overprinted 5 Scott No. 58 and postmarked June 21, 1893.

Hono 3May89 39,41 swed

Front and detail from the back showing the consulate office of the Kingdom of Sweden. This cover is postmarked May 3, 1889 and is franked with a 5 Scott No. 39 and a 15 Scott No. 41 for a 20 double letter rate then in effect to Sweden.

Hono 20Jan99 76 FrenchCons front
Hono 20Jan99 76 FrenchCons back

Front and back of a French consular letter to France and stamped on the back with the French consular seal.

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