Sale 1045 — The Steven C. Walske Collection of Hawaiian Postal History

Sale Date — Tuesday, 25 June, 2013

Category — Pre-Postal Period

Cat./Est. Value
Sale 1045, Lot 1, Pre-Postal PeriodHAWAII, "Care of Thos. O. Larkin Esq., U.S. Consul, who will please forward, if Mr. Davis should have left the coast." Sender's manuscript instructions at top of folded letter datelined "Honolulu Oct. 12th 1844", addressed to "Mr. William H. Davis, Barque Don Quixote, San Francisco California", also with sender's instructions "Pr. Capt. Bonnet, French Ship Lion" at lower left, docketing indicates this was written by R. G. Davis, part of contents reads "I only send you a few lines, doubting if this happens to find you on the coast. I have wrote some 5 or 6 letters without receiving any answers from you... I can say nothing further at present, as I do not know if it is your intention to come down in the Bark this season", other contents note "I have heard you have got more hydes on the coast this year than any supercargo", vertical file folds


This letter from R. G. Davis in Hawaii was carried on the French Man-of-War Lion, which departed Honolulu on October 13, 1844. The Lion, under the command of Captain Bonnet, arrived at Sausalito in 1844 and carried a cargo of cattle to the Society and Marquesas islands for breeding purposes. Thomas Larkin was the U.S. Consul at Monterey (Alta California) from 1844 to 1846. His office was a collection point for letters from Hawaii. According to the Gregory book (Vol. I, p. 140), Larkin used a handstamp to indicate his role in forwarding a letter. Four are known; the earliest two are from a May 1844 sailing (one is addressed to R. G. Davis). The other two are from 1846 (one to Davis and another to his uncle, Nathan Spear). Larkin did not apply his handstamp to this letter, possibly because the sender's instructions identified his involvement.

The addressee, William Heath Davis, was born in Hawaii and in 1838 went to work for his uncle, Nathan Spear, in San Francisco. He served aboard the Don Quixote in 1842-43 and worked as an agent for Paty, McKinley & Co. in San Francisco in 1843-45 (see;query=;style=oac4;doc.view=entire_text ).

In 1846 Davis purchased the brig Euphemia with his new partner, Hiram Grimes, becoming a major San Francisco merchant in his own right.

Ex J. David Baker and Irwin Vogel.

E. 2,000-3,000
Sale 1045, Lot 2, Pre-Postal PeriodHAWAII, "Lahaina Dec. 23, 1848". Dateline on folded letter addressed to Stephen H. Lathrop in Oswego N.Y., bold strike of "San Francisco Cal. Nov. 1" (1849) circular datestamp, red manuscript "Ship 42" rate (40 postage plus 2 ship fee), includes Bill of Exchange for $500 for supplies for the ship Brighton, probably carried on the Privateer, which departed Honolulu Sep. 26, 1849, and arrived in San Francisco Oct. 29, small stain at top, still Very Fine, a rare early Hawaiian ship letter sent via San Francisco post office and rated 42, ex Pearce and Jessup, Gregory book Fig. 9-6

E. 750-1,000
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Sale 1045, Lot 3, Pre-Postal PeriodHAWAII, Forwarded by Starkey Janion & Co., Honolulu Oahu. Clear strike of red oval handstamp on buff cover to Stephen H. Lathrop in Oswego N.Y., well-struck "San Francisco Cal. Oct. 1" (1849) circular datestamp, red manuscript "Ship 42" rate (40c postage plus 2c ship fee), with original four-page letter datelined "August 10th 1849" from American consul Joel Turrill (Lathrop, his Oswego attorney, had taken custody of the Hawaiian resident's daughter for her schooling), no flap but embossed seal with eagle of American Consulate still intact, minor edgewear, Very Fine, a rare example of this forwarder's marking, only eight are recorded in the Gregory book (Vol. III, p. 74), carried on the Caroline, which departed Honolulu Aug. 18, 1849, and arrived San Francisco Sep. 23 (via Lahaina), then by PMSC Oregon and USMSC Ohio via Panama, ex Honolulu Advertiser, with 1996 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
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Sale 1045, Lot 4, Pre-Postal PeriodHAWAII, Boston Mass. to Honolulu. Folded letter datelined "New Bedford 4 MO 12 1850" (April 12, 1850) and addressed to "Messrs Makee, Anton & Co., Honolulu, care Messr. Cross, Hobson & Co, San Francisco", manuscript "C.H.&Co." forwarder's marking on back, red "Boston Mass. Apr. 13" circular datestamp with matching "40" handstamp for transcontinental rate, endorsed "pr. Empire City" at lower left and carried on that USMSC steamship from New York to Chagres (departed April 15, arrived April 24), then carried by the PMSC California, which departed Panama May 1 and arrived in San Francisco May 23, light file folds, Very Fine

E. 750-1,000
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Sale 1045, Lot 5, Pre-Postal PeriodHAWAII, "Honolulu 8 May 1850". Dateline on folded letter to London, England, inside with directive "By Balmoral via California", the Balmoral departed Honolulu May 17 and arrived in San Francisco June 2, written in the hand of R. C. Wyllie (Hawaii's Minister of Foreign Relations under Kamehameha III), this is a triplicate of a letter (one sent via California, other via Hong Kong), back with "Rec'd & forwd. by Your Obdt. Servt. pr. San Francisco 17/6/50. Robert Smith & Co.", cover endorsed by forwarder "by first steamer Columbus" (San Francisco Jun. 18 to Panama Jul. 6--during brief period when letters at San Francisco could be directed to ships other than PMSC vessels), manuscript "59" American Packet rate and "56" debit crossed out, "3/1" due (3sh1p, including discriminatory packet charge of 16c), small tears along reinforced file fold, Very Fine use to England from Wyllie as Hawaii's foreign minister, ex Pearce, Gregory Fig. 9-10

E. 750-1,000
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