VERY FINE. A PHENOMENAL USE OF SIX ONE-CENT 1851 ISSUE STAMPS ON A COVER TO HAWAII. BELIEVED TO BE A UNIQUE FRANKING, AND QUITE LIKELY THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF A UNITED STATES ADHESIVE STAMP TO OR FROM HAWAII.
The ship Pocahontas, a whaling vessel built at Wareham, Massachusetts, in 1821, was lost in 1857. There are several pieces of information we can use to narrow down the year of use of this cover. The United States stamps on this cover paid the 6c rate for distances over 3,000 miles. The rate was in effect from July 1851 thru April 1855. Hawaiian postage would have been paid in cash. Makee Anthon & Co. was a prominent forwarder who would hold mail for arriving ships, but the business was dissolved in 1852. That would narrow the period of use to 1851 or 1852. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is in possession of Captain Diaz's log books, from a voyage to the North Pacific from 1850-1853. According to the Dennis Woods abstracts, an exhaustive collection of voyage abstracts of Yankee whalers compiled from the newspaper The Whalemen’s Shipping List and Merchants’ Transcript (1843-1917), the Pocahontas was at Honolulu October 1851, which is positive proof that this August cover was mailed in 1851, within the first two months of the 1851 Issue's release.
Ex Haas and "Tito". With 1973 P.F. certificate