VERY FINE. THIS IS ONE OF TWO RECORDED HARNDEN'S EXPRESS COVERS TO ZANZIBAR.
Richard P. Waters, of Salem, Massachusetts, was the first United States Consul to the Omani-controlled island of Zanzibar, serving from 1837 to 1845. The development of U.S. and Oman relations is attributable to the personal relationship that developed in Zanzibar between Waters and Said bin Sultan, the sultan of Oman.
This cover to Consul Waters was carried by Harnden's Express to Boston, where it made a Cunard sailing to Liverpool. Harnden was contract mail carrier for the U.S. Post Office Department at this time.
VERY FINE. A RARE USE FROM HAWAII TO BOSTON, SENT VIA CHINA AND ENGLAND RATHER THAN VIA SAN FRANCISCO OR MEXICO. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE WITH A CONTEMPORARY REFERENCE TO THE DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN CALIFORNIA.
According to Fred Gregory's unpublished manuscript, letters from Hawaii were sometimes sent to the United States on ships traveling to Asia, and from there to England and across the Atlantic to the East Coast. This route via China and England was a shorter distance than the sailing route around Cape Horn. The British P & O Line started running service to China in September 1845, further decreasing transit times. The letter offered here was likely carried to China on the American schooner Indiana, which cleared Honolulu on July 25, 1848.
News of the gold discovered at John Sutter's sawmill on February 24, 1848, spread slowly. It was Mormon Elder Sam Brannan, a shrewd San Francisco businessman, who set off the rush for gold on May 12, 1848, when he was heard shouting in public, "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!", after having spent weeks quietly buying up large quantities of any merchandise miners would need.
Ex Ishikawa and Honolulu Advertiser. With 1996 P.F. certificate.