Sale 1230 — U.S. and Hawaii Stamps and Postal History
Sale Date — Tuesday-Friday, 15-18 December, 2020
Category — Hawaii: Kamehameha Issues
FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE MIXED-FRANKING COVER WITH THE 1857 5-CENT KAMEHAMEHA III ISSUE AND UNITED STATES 12-CENT 1851 ISSUE. ONLY A FEW ARE KNOWN WITH THE "OVERLAND" HANDSTAMP, WHICH WAS APPLIED IN SAN FRANCISCO TO INDICATE THE TRANSCONTINENTAL ROUTE.
This cover was carried on the American whaler Architect, which cleared Honolulu on November 17, 1859, and arrived in San Francisco on December 11. It was then carried by the Butterfield overland stage route to St. Louis (via Los Angeles and El Paso).
As explained by Richard C. Frajola and Michael Perlman in their important article on the California “Overland” mail directive markings (available at http://www.rfrajola.com/overland/overland.htm), there were two different, successive meanings of this handstamp. The first, when applied prior to January 23, 1860, was that the letter was received too late for the mail steamer departure from San Francisco, and that it would be sent by the Butterfield overland mail instead. After January 23, when the default for mail transportation was changed to the overland mail route, the “Overland” marking meant that the letter was received too late for the stagecoach departure from San Francisco, and that it would be sent by next overland mail instead. In San Francisco, two different versions of the "Overland" straightline were used. In the case of this cover, dated at San Francisco on December 12, 1859, the meaning of the “Overland” is “received too late for steamer.” The Perlman-Frajola census records 14 “Overland” marked covers from Hawaii.
Ex Knapp, Tows, Admiral Harris, Krug, Rust, Pietsch and Gross. Signed Ashbrook. Illustrated in Gregory book (page II-72)