Today in Postal History


Hawaii to Germany
March 7, 1894

Hawaii was first visited by Europeans when Captain James Cook arrived in 1778.
He named them the Sandwich Islands after the fourth Earl of Sandwich.

Hawaiian independence as a kingdom was recognized by Britain, USA, and France in 1843.
Foreign missionaries and immigrants soon flooded the Islands.
The non-native population forced adoption of a liberal constitution by the Queen in 1887.
The continued agitation of this group led to an overthrow of the Queen in 1893.
The US marines assisted in deposing the Queen.
Locally they declared the islands an American Protectorate.

The revolutionaries thought they had an understanding
that US annexation would occur immediately.
However, President Cleveland refused to ratify annexation.
At the heart of the argument was the opposition of sugar-producing states to the action.

The result led to the formation of the Republic of Hawaii
while annexation was delayed until August 12, 1898.
Hawaii remained a US Territory until statehood was achieved on August 21, 1959.

The Provisional Government issued stamps by overprinting stamps of the Kingdom.
The first stamps were overprinted in red while a second series was overprinted in black.
This registered cover was franked with stamps from the first series.
There is a 1 green, a 2 dull violet, a 5 ultramarine,
and a 12 black (Scott 55, 57, 58, and 62).
The 2 and the 12 are on stamps reprinted from
the Kingdom plates but in different colors.
All of the stamps portray members of the royal family.

Registration requested by the sender was accomplished by
the addition of a large outline R with the word REGISTERED
in the vertical leg and HAWAII P.O. in the round side.
A serial number 11514 was handstamped below the large R.

The stamps were cancelled with three target handstamps and a single Honolulu CDS.

In addition, the sender requested A. R. (Aviso de Reception - acknowledgment of receipt)
service leading to the bold A. R. handstamp in the lower left corner.

The cover was destined for Hildesheim about 30 km south southeast of Hannover.
The cover's first stop was in the San Francisco to receive
a large Registry division handstamp on March 15.
The cover proceeded to New York City where it was received on March 21.
This is noted by the bold D in a circle stamp on the back.
Next it went to the Registry Division on March 22.
It now received a preprinted New York City Registry label.
The ink used for the target killers in Hawaii was of
such a quality that it bled through the registry label.
The cover then proceeded to Hildesheim
where it was handstamped on its arrival April 1.

I believe the script notation on the front adjacent to the
A. R. is a notation concerning the execution of the A. R.

I'm not sure what the purple crayon marks on the rear indicate.
Help, anyone?

All in all quite an awesome cover which would grace any Hawaii collection.


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