A VERY FINE COVER WITH THE HAWAIIAN 1857 "5" ON 13-CENT KAMEHAMEHA III PROVISIONAL STAMP USED IN COMBINATION WITH THE 12-CENT 1851 ISSUE. ONE OF TEN SUCH COMBINATIONS RECORDED BY GREGORY.
The 5c provisional surcharge was necessary due to a shortage of 5c stamps just after the transition from Postmaster Whitney to Jackson. Most were made by Jackson's clerk, Alvah Clark, around the start of 1857. New supplies of the 5c stamp (Scott No. 8) were received at the end of June 1857.
Five of the eighteen 5c provisional covers recorded by Gregory (Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870, Volume III, Appendix II-F) were carried on this trip of the Vaquero, which stopped at Honolulu on its way from Australia and carried two bags of mail when it cleared Honolulu on June 27, 1857. She returned to safe harbor with a broken mast and left again on June 29 with additional mail, arriving in San Francisco on July 16 (Gregory, Vol. II, pp. 54-55). The mail from the Vaquero, including this cover, was carried on the PMSS Co.'s John L. Stephens, departing San Francisco on July 20 and arriving at Panama City on August 3. It was then carried by the famous steamship Central America, departing from Aspinwall on August 3 and arriving at New York on August 12.
A biography of the addressee, Deacon Obahiah Mead, is provided in the genealogical work, One Life at a Time: A New World Family Narrative, 1630-1960, by R. Thomas Collins (a Google search will locate the information).
Ex Krug, Rust, Pietsch and Twigg-Smith. With 2007 P.F. certificate