Today in Postal History

Hawaii to Madeira

May 24, 1893

This cover was posted in Honolulu on Oahu during the early days of the Hawaiian Republic.

On January 17, 1893, a Committee of Safety took possession of the government building,
issued a proclamation declaring a monarchy to be abrogated, and
established a provisional government, to exist "until terms of union with the
United States of America shall have been negotiated and agreed upon".

This was, in effect, a successful revolution by a group with close ties
to the missionary families and business and agricultural interests
who were interested in transferring the islands to American rule.

The Provisional Government provided stamps by overprinting stamps of the Kingdom of Hawaii in red with
This particular stamp (Scott 59) was an overprint of the 5 cent ultramarine of 1882 (Scott 39).

The stamp was cancelled with a duplex CDS and oval barred killer.

The letter's destination was Funchal in the Madeira island group off the northwest coast of Africa.
The islands were Portuguese possessions.

Funchal, a city and adminstrative district, had only recently (1892) begun to issue its own stamps.
Hawaii seems to have appealed to Madeirans as I have seen other covers between the two remote locations.
Perhaps the similar latitudes and island existence appealed to seafarers from Madeira.

The routing was through Lisbon where it arrived and was given a transit mark dated June 17.

The cover's arrival in Funchal was marked by CDS on June 22.

To have accomplished such a rapid transit suggests
that the cover went via steamer to the United States,
via railroad across the United States, and
then across the Atlantic via steamer to Lisbon and thence to Madeira.


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