This page last updated: 11 October 2006

::: Hawaiian Stamps on Foreign Mail In the Convention Period :::

Back to Convention Period.

When the Convention took effect, Hawaii had no 6 stamps. New stamps of 1, 6 and 18 values were ordered, but they did not arrive until March, 1871. During the interim, postage was paid with multiples of the 2 (Scott No. 31). Double weight covers could be paid with two 5 stamps (Scott No. 32) and a single 2 stamp.


Scott 31 covers:

Hono 23Jul70 cover

Franked with three 2 orange-red stamps (Scott No. 31), this letter was in the first mail bag sent out in the Convention Period, carried by the steamer Ajax, departing July 23, 1870. It is postmarked July 23 with type 245.02. Click here for Honolulu Postmarks. Ten covers are recorded with this postmark. The San Francisco transit mark is dated August 4. Click here for San Francisco Postal Markings.

Hono 25Aug70 cover

A double weight cover franked with six 2 stamps. This cover is postmarked August 25, 1870 at Honolulu, also with postmark type 245.02, and on the back with a San Francisco mark (Mahoney type 19) dated September 6. It was carried by the steamer Ajax, departing August 25 and arriving September 6.

Hono 24Sep70 cover

Postmarked September 24, 1870 at Honolulu, this cover shows the first recorded use of cancel type 277.12. San Francisco's transit mark is on the back, dated October 8. This cover was carried by the steamer Moses Taylor, departing September 24 and arriving October 7.

Hono 31Dec70 cover

Another Fitzsimmons cover, this one postmarked December 31, 1870 with type 277.12 on an official envelope from the Office of the Governor of Oahu. The "On His Majesty's Service" legend is covered by the stamps. This cover was carried on the American bark Comet, departing December 31 and arriving January 12, with a January 14 postmark.

Combination Scott 31 and 32:

Hono 10Feb71 cover

A double weight cover franked with two 5 stamps and one 2 stamp. This cover originated at Kawaihae, with a postmark dated February 9 (type 244.03) and is canceled with the negative "HI", type 151 and postmarked February 10, 1871 at Honolulu, type 277.12, and February 25 at San Francisco. It was carried on the American schooner Maggie Johnston (February 10 to February 24). Only this one cover is recorded with this combination.

Scott 31b covers:

Supplies of the 2 stamp, needed for domestic mail, were threatened by the sudden increase in demand so postal authorities authorized the use is a bisect 2 stamp (Scott No. 31b) with a 5 stamp (Scott No. 32) to pay the 6 rate. Only twelve bisect covers are recorded. Click here for a list of Scott No. 31b covers.

Hono 1Nov70 31b cover

This cover front addressed to China went via San Francisco to connect with the steamer service between San Francisco and China. It was carried to San Francisco on the American bark Comet, departing Honolulu November 3, 1870, arriving San Francisco November 25, in time for the departure of the China steamer Great Republic on December 1. The Honolulu postmark dated November 1 is type 277.12. The United States stamps are a pair of 2 (US Scott No. 113) and a 6 (US Scott No. 115) to pay the 10 contract rate for the San Francisco - China route.

Hono 29Nov70 cover 31b

Another bisect cover, this one postmarked November 29, 1870, type 277.12. The cover was carried to San Francisco on the steamer Moses Taylor (November 29 to December 10).


The 1 mauve (Scott No. 30a) stamp could be used in conjunction with a 5 stamp to pay the 6 rate, but only one example is recorded. The 6 (Scott No. 33) stamp was used extensively as it paid the full rate for a single letter with just one stamp. The 18 stamp (Scott No. 34) paid a triple rate. No examples of the 18 are known used until December, 1876. Two new stamps were printed in 1875, the 2 Kalakaua (Scott No. 35) and the 12 Prince Leleiohoku (Scott No. 36).

Scott No. 33 and 35 covers are relatively numerous in this Period. Scott No. 31 and 32 covers are scarce. However, a combined total of only twenty covers with 1 Scott No. 30a (three covers), 12 Scott No. 36 (ten covers) or 18 Scott No. 34 (twelve covers) is recorded in this Period (two covers bearing both the 12 and 18 stamps are included in the totals for each stamp). Click here for an inventory of covers with 1, 12 and 18 stamps. Color changes in the 1 (Scott No. 30b), 6 (Scott No. 33a) and 18 (no separate Scott number) stamps happened during this Period, but of those changes only the 6 bluish green stamp (Scott No. 33a) is recorded on cover in this Period. The 1 stamp was changed from mauve to violet, the 6 changed from yellowish-green to bluish-green and back to yellowish-green and the 18 stamps was changed from a "burgundy" shade to a "claret" shade. See National Bank Note Company Stamps.

Combination Scott 30a and 32 cover:

Hono 2Feb76 cover

One would think a combination of the 1 mauve stamp (Scott No. 30a) with the 5 stamp would have been a good way to use up supplies of the 5 stamp. Instead, the 5 stamp was withdrawn from sale altogether after March, 1871, but it remained valid for postage. Although postal patrons could combine the 1 and 5 stamps, apparently few did as only one cover with this combination is recorded. This cover originated at Hilo, postmarked January 19, 1876 (type 242.13) on the back, and was postmarked at Honolulu on February 2, 1876, type 233.24. It was carried to San Francisco on the steamer Mikado, departing February 4 and postmarked at San Francisco February 14, the day after the steamer arrived. It was delivered in Boston on February 21. Charlotte Dana, the daughter of author Richard Henry Dana, married Francis Coan, son of Rev. Titus Coan of Hilo.

Scott No. 33 covers:

Once the new stamps arrived, the 6 yellow-green stamp (Scott No. 33) became the dominant stamp found on foreign mail.

Hono 7Aug72 cover

Canceled July 29, 1872, at Lanai with the manuscript Lanai P. O. cancel and postmarked July 31 at Lahaina (type 242.13) on the back and August 7 at Honolulu, type 277.12. Other than the rare Lanai cancel, this cover represents a typical double rate cover paid with two 6 stamps. This cover, addressed in the handwriting of Walter Murray Gibson (while he was still Lanai postmaster), was carried to San Francisco on the Hawaiian bark Queen Emma, departing August 7 and arriving September 3.

Scott 35 covers:

Hono 12May79 cover

Postmarked May 12, 1879 at Honolulu, type 221.02 (purple) - the faint strike is just above the "FOR" of "FORWARDED." This cover bears a full strip of five plus one of the 2 brown Kalakaua (Scott No. 35) printed in 1875. It is the largest recorded multiple from the 50 subject plate printings, showing perforations at both ends of the strip. The cover originated in Makawao, Maui, as seen by the Makawao postmark (type 243.02) dated May 9. The FORWARDED marking was applied in Ohio.

Hono 20May75 cover

Postmarked May 20, 1875, with type 233.24, this cover shows a typical single rate paid with three 2 stamps. This strip of Scott No. 35 is from the first printing of February, 1875.

Combination Scott 33 and 35 cover:

Hono 19Apr81 cover

Postmarked April 19, 1881, with type 235.32, this cover used a combination of three 2 stamps and one 6 stamp to pay a double rate.

Scott No. 36 cover:

Hono 4Jun81 cover

Hawaii issued the 12 stamp (Scott No. 36) in 1875. It was used to pay a double rate letter to the United States or to pay the 12 rate to Australasia under Conventions signed with New South Wales and New Zealand. This double weight cover to Ohio is postmarked June 4, 1881, with type 235.32.

Combination Scott No. 34 and No. 36 cover:

Hono Winnepeg cover

This quintuple rate cover to Winnepeg, Canada, bears the 12 stamp (Scott No. 36) and the earliest known use of the 18 stamp (Scott No. 34) and is also franked with three 5 United States stamps (US Scott No. 153) to pay a quintuple rate (3 x 5), in effect from February, 1875, between the United States and Canada. It is postmarked December 4, 1876, at Honolulu with postmark type 222.02 on the back, December 13 at San Francisco and December 26 at Winnipeg. The steamer City of New York carried it to San Francisco, departing December 5 and arriving December 12.

Back to Convention Period.

Copyright © 1999 - 2006 POST OFFICE IN PARADISE. All rights reserved.