This page last updated: 10 July 2000


::: UPU United States Stamps on Mail from Hawaii :::

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During the UPU Period, United States stamps occurred naturally on covers from Hawaii in four ways. First, if someone wanted to take advantage of the United States special delivery system, it was necessary to prepay the service with a United States special delivery stamp. Second, a paquebot cover mailed aboard ship en route to Hawaii from a United States port and addressed to a destination beyond Hawaii (or back to the United States for that matter) required United States postage and Hawaii was not permitted to charge additional postage. Third, a United States paid return postal card was prepaid with United States postage and Hawaii was not permitted to charge additional postage. Fourth, soldier mail after annexation could be prepaid with United States stamps. So far as I have determined, there is no other way a United States stamp was legally sufficient to pay postage from Hawaii.

Special Delivery Mail

For someone in Hawaii to take advantage of United States special delivery mail, it was necessary to affix United States special delivery stamp, so in this case we have the only required reason for mixed frankings in the UPU Period.

Hono 9Dec94 specdev

Postmarked December 9, 1894 at Honolulu and franked with a 5 Scott No. 76 and a United States 10 orange special delivery stamp, US Scott No. E3. Special delivery service in the United States began for larger post offices on October 1, 1885 and was expanded to include all post offices the next year. The service meant a letter was to be delivered during daytime and evening hours so it would not wait for the next regular mail delivery.

Paquebot Letters Mailed En Route From the United States and Addressed To Destinations Outside Hawaii

Inb Paq 15Feb99 cover

Postmarked at Honolulu on February 16, 1899 and at San Francisco on February 28. This cover was franked with the United States 5 Trans-Mississippi Issue, US Scott No. 288, to prepay the UPU 5 rate from the United States to Hawaii and put in the mail aboard the steamer Australia en route to Honolulu from San Francisco. The cover was returned to San Francisco, also aboard the Australia, and thence to Coronado where it was postmarked March 2. Under UPU rules, Hawaii was required to forward paquebot mail to its destination without charging additional postage.

United States Paid Return Postal Cards

US pd reply

Postmarked at Honolulu on December 4, 1894 and at San Francisco on December 15, this United States 1 prepaid reply postal card required an additional penny postage, prepaid with the United States 1 Columbian Exposition stamp, US Scott No. 230. Under UPU rules, Hawaii was required to return the card without charging additional postage. By the same rule, Hawaiian paid return cards would be returned to Hawaii without additional postage.

Soldiers Mail After Annexation

Hono 9Nov98 full flag
Postmarked November 9, 1898 at Honolulu and franked with a 2 US Scott No. 279B to pay the 2 soldier rate. Under rules established by the United States military and postal authorities, American soldiers in Hawaii were entitled to the same letter postage rate applicable to domestic mail in the United States. See Soldiers Mail.

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