ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE EIGHT AVAILABLE COVERS BEARING A SINGLE 5-CENT HAWAIIAN MISSIONARY STAMP AND THE EARLIER OF TWO RECORDED MISSIONARY COVERS BEARING A FORWARDER'S HANDSTAMPED MARKING. THIS IS ALSO THE EARLIEST OF THE THREE RECORDED MISSIONARY COVERS ADDRESSED TO SAN FRANCISCO (ONE OF WHICH IS IN A MUSEUM COLLECTION).
Ten 5c Missionary covers are recorded in our census (http://www.siegelauctions.com/dynamic/census/HI2/HI2.pdf ) and the Gregory census. Included in this total are the Dawson 2c/5c cover and the 5c cover acquired by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in the Honolulu Advertiser sale, leaving eight 5c covers for collectors. Of the 28 recorded intact Missionary covers, only two were handstamped by forwarders: the Porter & Ogden cover offered here (ex Honolulu Advertiser) and the G. D. Gilman cover offered in the Steven C. Walske collection (Sale 1045, lot 13).
This letter was carried on the Zoe, which departed Honolulu on September 11, 1852, and arrived in San Francisco on October 2. This is one of the few Missionary covers correctly endorsed with the ship's name, "Per 'Zoe'", reflecting the sender's familiarity with sailing schedules. In this brief letter from Porter & Ogden, they acknowledge the favor of Dupuy & Foulkes in forwarding two letters addressed to them and offer to reciprocate. The "Ship 6" marking indicates the correct postage due for a ship letter addressed to the port of entry.
Porter & Ogden was an English firm of importing and commission merchants. Their Honolulu office was a two-story building, which was the birth place of Honolulu's first English newspaper, The Sandwich Islands Gazette, in 1836. On August 11, 1854, two years after this letter was mailed, Porter shot himself at his residence over difficulties with a Hawaiian woman. Following Porter's death the business was continued in the name of Frederick Ogden.
Ex Henry J. Crocker, Frank C. Atherton, The Honolulu Academy of Arts and Honolulu Advertiser. Illustrated in Henry J. Crocker's Hawaiian Numerals.
Siegel Census No. 2-II-COV-72. Gregory Census No. 5c-1 (Figure 15-53). With 1995 Philatelic Foundation certificate.