Sale 1216 — The Ambassador J. William Middendorf II Collection
Sale Date — Tuesday, 25 February, 2020
Category — Hawaii: Stampless Covers and Missionary Issues
FINE AND RARE EARLY MISSIONARY LETTER FROM ELISHA LOOMIS IN HAWAII, TO HIS BROTHER IN RUSHVILLE, NEW YORK.
In his letter Loomis acknowledges receiving a letter from his brother sent Dec. 3, 1821. He notes that the Reverend Bingham for the last two months has been preaching in the Hawaiian language, that a second edition of 2,000 copies of “our Spelling Book” is being printed, and regrets not having the time to learn the language himself. In January 1822 the missionaries’ first publication, a 16-page spelling and reading pamphlet, was printed in an edition of 500 copies. Over the next few years the printing office, with the help of native apprentices, issued a number of pamphlets, primers and scripture tracts, in addition to a translation of the Bible which was finally completed by May 10, 1839.
Ex Ishikawa, Honolulu Advertiser and Golden
VERY FINE. A RARE AND ATTRACTIVE COVER FROM HAWAII TO THE UNITED STATES WITH MAZATLAN, MEXICO, FORWARDER’S MARKING AND VERA CRUZ DATESTAMP.
This and another letter we offered in our sale of the Golden collection (Sale 1008, lot 22) were carried on the schooner Morse, which sailed from Honolulu on Dec. 1, 1839. It carried the mail to Mazatlan via Monterey. After reaching Vera Cruz, both letters were carried to New Orleans, where they entered the U.S. mail as ship letters.
This letter contains some interesting comments about local events: “There is a great change in the times here -- some things for the worse, some for the better -- the native population are dying off very fast -- nothing like before -- the American Missionaries are fast having their influence. The Catholic Priests will doubtless soon supplant them...”, followed by further remarks about the appeal of the Catholic Church to native Hawaiians.
Gregory census eastbound no. 13. Ex Golden
ONE OF TWELVE RECORDED UNUSED EXAMPLES OF THE HAWAIIAN 1851 5-CENT MISSIONARY, OF WHICH ONLY TEN ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS
This is a respectable example of this rare Missionary, of which there are only twelve unused copies recorded (two of which are in the Tapling collection at the British Library). Our census of Hawaii No. 2 is available at our website at http://www.siegelauctions.com/census/hawaii/scott/2 .
Census no. 2-I-UNC-18. Ex Burrus, Ostheimer III, Honolulu Advertiser and “Laila”. With 1995 P.F. certificate. Scott value for an unused example with minor repair
ONE OF SIX RECORDED COVERS WITH MIXED FRANKING OF HAWAIIAN MISSIONARY AND UNITED STATES STAMPS, OF WHICH THIS IS THE ONLY COMBINATION INVOLVING THE 13-CENT “HAWAIIAN POSTAGE” STAMP. THIS IS THE LAST HAWAIIAN MISSIONARY COVER TO BE DISCOVERED--IT WAS FOUND IN A STEAMER TRUNK OF PAPERS WITH THE 3-CENT 1851 STAMPS PASTED OVER THE 13-CENT MISSIONARY.
This cover is 3-II-COV-144 in our census of Hawaiian Missionary stamps at http://www.siegelauctions.com/census/hawaii/scott/3 and No. 10 (13c Scott 3) in the Gregory census. There are 29 Hawaiian Missionary covers recorded in our census, which we believe to be a complete list of genuine covers. One of the covers we list has a small fragment of a 13c stamp, leaving 28 collectible covers. Of these 28, four are permanently held by the National Postal Museum, and a fifth is in the Reichspost Museum, leaving 23 Hawaiian Missionary covers available to collectors. Of the 23 available, only six have combination frankings with United States stamps, including the famous 2c cover. Only the cover offered here has the 13c “Hawaiian Postage” issue used with United States stamps. It is also one of seven genuine 13c “Hawaiian Postage” covers (with complete stamps) available to collectors. Two additional 13c “Hawaiian Postage” covers are in the National Postal Museum, and the tenth recorded cover has most of the stamp torn away, thus making it a study item rather than a collectible example. The Gregory book lists an eleventh Scott 3 cover that requires further study.
This cover was carried from Honolulu to San Francisco on the brigantine Prince de Joinville, departing on March 23 and arriving on April 10, 1854. It was carried from San Francisco to Panama on the steamship John L. Stephens, departing on April 15. It probably made the April 17 sailing of the Illinois from Aspinwall, which arrived at New York on April 25.
The sender, George D. Gower, was born in Farmington, Maine, in 1826 and for a number of years operated a lumber business. He served as Customs Collector of Lahaina from 1851 to 1854. The enclosed letter from Gower to Thomas Croswell & Son in Farmington included a payment draft for $1,000. It also mentions the birth of a daughter. Susan Charlotte was born in Lahaina on March 20, 1854, two days before this letter was written.
March 1854 is a relatively late use of the 13c “Hawaiian Postage” Missionary, but 13c is the correct composite rate, and the practice of affixing United States postage over Hawaiian postage is evidenced by several other covers from the same period. It is possible that Gower, as Customs Collector, had a supply of the three-year old Missionary stamps on hand. The short-lived practice of applying United States stamps (6c postage) over the 13c Hawaiian stamp was likely intended to avoid confusion over whether or not U.S. postage had been prepaid. The postmaster in Honolulu affixed the U.S. stamps to cover up the Hawaiian postage, and the letter was postmarked in San Francisco without applying a “Ship” or rate mark. The 2c ship fee was credited to San Francisco in the regular accounting. Fred Gregory records eight paste-over frankings with the 1853 Kamehameha III Issue and this one Missionary cover.
Census no. 3-II-COV-144. Ex Hackmey and Gross. With 1999 P.F. certificate.
FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED MULTIPLE OF THE 1852 13-CENT “H.I. & U.S. POSTAGE” STAMP, ONE OF TWO KNOWN MULTIPLES OF THE ENTIRE MISSIONARY ISSUE AND THE ONLY MULTIPLE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS.
This pair was part of Henry J. Crocker’s plating study of the Missionaries, which also included the 13c “Hawaiian Postage” strip on cover, which was subsequently in the Honolulu Advertiser collection and is now part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. (Siegel Sale 769, lot 29). Together they represent the only known multiples of the Missionaries.
Little is known of the origin of this pair, though it is possible that it emanated from the Dawson find and was removed from a damaged cover. The two positions show an interesting skewed alignment of the framelines. Type II (the right stamp) has the characteristic missing period after the “U” of “U.S.”
Our census of Hawaii No. 4, available at our website at http://www.siegelauctions.com/census/hawaii/scott/4 , contains 35 used stamps off cover or on piece plus nine covers.
Census nos. 4-I-CAN-167 and 4-II-CAN-168. Ex Henry J. Crocker, Frank C. Atherton (acquired in 1930), Honolulu Academy of Arts and Honolulu Advertiser. With 1995 P.F. certificate.
The Scott Catalogue notes that “values are for examples with minor damage that has been skillfully repaired.” These stamps do not have any paper additions or repainting. The Scott value quoted here is for two singles.