This page last updated: 24 February 2005

::: UPU Hawaiian Postal Stationery in Foreign Mail :::

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Postal stationery stamped with values of 1, 2, 4, 5 and 10 were put in use in Hawaii in 1884. See Postal Stationery. Addtional printings of the 1 and 2 values followed in later years. All values have been noted used in the foreign mail, but not all types of envelopes have been found. In 1893, all values except the 4 were overprinted and the 5 and 10 values are recorded so far in the foreign mail.

1884 Issue

To date, I have recorded used in the foreign mail the 4, 5 and 10 values issued in 1884. Envelopes of the 1 and 2 values were printed in 1884 but I have not yet found them in the foreign mail. Later printings of the 1 and 2 values are recorded in the foreign mail.

4 UPSS 7

Hono 27Aug88 39,43 UPSS 7 China

Postmarked August 27, 1888, and carried by the steamer Arabic to Hong Kong via Yokohama.

Hono 31May88 UPSS8

Postmarked May 31, 1888 and sent to San Francisco a penny underpaid.

Hono 23Aug90 UPSS8

Postmarked August 22, 1890 at Wailuku, Maui and August 23 at Honolulu. The CANCELLED mark is attributed to the Kahului Railroad so this cover is thought to have been carried from Wailuku to the port at Kahului on the train. See Kahului Railway Issue.

5 Size 5 Envelope, UPSS 8

Hono 31Jul87 UPSS8
Postmarked at Lahaina on July 30, 1887 with Lahaina type 281.013 and the next day at Honolulu. This cover is from Rolando Kuehn. For a fascinating story about Kuehn, see "The Bones of Rolando Kuehn", The American Philatelist, Vol. 107, No. 3 [1106], p. 222-236, March, 1993, by Bill Welch. Kuehn became notorious for his philatelic activities on the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua after living in Hawaii and serving as the Board of Health officer in Lahaina in the early to mid-1880's.

5 Size 6 Envelope, UPSS 9

Hono 21Apr93 UPSS9 waiohinu

Postmarked April 13, 1893 at Waiohinu, Hawaii with Waiohinu type 259.13 and at Honolulu on April 21.

5 Size 6 Envelope with Wells Fargo Frank, UPSS 9a(1)

Hono 1Aug87 WF UPSS 9a 1, 39

Postmarked at Honolulu on August 1, 1887 and sent to Bremen, Germany. Franked with an additional 5 stamp, Scott No. 39, to pay the 10 rate to Germany, then in effect.

10 Size 6 Envelope, UPSS 10

Hono 1Dec89 UPSS front
Hono 1Dec89 UPSS back

Front and back of a cover originating at Koloa, Kauai and postmarked there on November 30, 1889 with Koloa type 282.012 and at Honolulu December 1. This cover went direct to Yokohama on the steamer Rio de Janeiro.

10 Size 10 Envelope, UPSS 11

UPSS 11 20Oct85

Used legal size covers are uncommon. This cover postmarked at Honolulu on October 20, 1885, is the earliest recorded use of UPSS 11.

1885 Issue of the 1 Size 6 Envelope

Envelopes from the 1885 printing have two shades, one light (UPSS 2) and the other dark (UPSS 2a). I note the dark shade used in the foreign mail.


Hono 16Mar86 42,43.UPSS2

Postmarked as a late letter on March 16, 1886 and franked with two 1 green Scott No. 42 stamps and three 2 carmine red Scott No. 43 stamps to make up a 9 of a 10 rate. Honolulu charged a 5 fee for late letters. This letter could have been a double weight letter costing 10 with the late fee paid in cash, or it could be a single weight letter with the late fee prepaid. Ordinarily, the late fee was paid in cash. When (or if) the 1 underpayment of the letter rate was paid is unclear.

January 1889 Issue of the 2 Pale Pink Size 6 Envelope

This printing of the 2 envelope was the rare pale pink. Normally they are found used in domestic mail.



This badly damaged remnant is a significant piece of postal history for a couple of reasons. It is an example of the rare pale pink envelope used in the foreign mail (stamps are missing to fill out the 5 rate) and it represents the EKU for this dead letter marking. It bears a Castle & Cooke merchant mark dated December 18, 1890 and a partial Honolulu postmark. It was sent to Redding, California and marks on the front and back show it was advertised there and unclaimed so it was returned to Honolulu's dead letter office where it was marked on April 25, 1891. The pointing hand shows it ultimately was returned to Castle & Cooke.

June 1889 Issue of the 1 Size 6 Envelope

The 1 envelopes issued in March, 1889 differed from those issued in January of the same year in that the later printed envelopes show a flaw in the ornament at the bottom of the design. Envelopes without the flaw are UPSS 3 and none are known used in the foreign mail (or at all for that matter). Envelopes with the flawed design are UPSS 3a.


Hono 20Sep91 31a,37,UPSS3a

Originating at Hamakuapoko, Maui and postmarked there on September 16, 1891 with Hamakuapoko type 281.01 and at Honolulu on September 20. This cover is also franked with a pair of 1 blue Scott No. 37 stamps and the 2 vermilion Scott No. 31.

Overprinted Issues of the Provisional Government

Overprinted envelopes of the 1, 2, 5 and 10 values were placed on sale in Hawaii on August 29, 1893. I have noted the 5 and 10 values of both size envelopes used in foreign mail.

Overprinted 5 Size 5 Envelope, UPSS 18

Hono 6Apr95 UPSS

Originating at Pukoo, Molokai and postmarked there April 4, 1895 with Pukoo type 281.01, and at Honolulu on April 6, this UPSS 18 envelope was sent to Norman, Oklahoma.

Overprinted Size 6 5 Envelope, UPSS 19

Hono 12Dec95 UPSS19

Postmarked December 12, 1895 and sent by someone at Kawaiaho Seminary to Ohio.

Overprinted Size 6 10 Envelope, UPSS 20

Hono 6May 94 UPSS20

Postmarked at Kilauea, Kauai on May 4, 1894 with Kilauea type 281.01 and on May 6 at Honolulu, this UPSS 20 envelope paid a double weight letter to France.

Overprinted 10 Size 10 Envelope, UPSS 21

Hono 11Oct93 UPSS21

Postmarked at Honolulu on October 11, 1893, this example is the EKU for UPSS 21.

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