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Sale 79: The George J. Kramer Collection of Western Trails and Routes

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Lots 3400-3403

Lot 3400    

1850 (Oct. 17) "Ship Cincinnati, Lahaina Maui, Sandwich Islands" to Mansfield Center, Conn., datelined blue folded letter addressed to Orwell S. Chuffee, Mansfield Center Conn., in care of the Ship Betsey Williams, Stonington, carried as endorsed by the American Whale Ship Betsy Williams from Lahaina Oct. 28th to Stonington arriving Apr. 6th, entered mails with "Stonington Con., Apr 7" cds and matching "Ship" straightline and manuscript "7" rating for 5¢ inland plus 2¢ ship fee, letter started earlier datelined "At Sea Oct the 9 1850" with some interesting whaling content "…we have been to the Arctic Ocean to get whales and got 17…" and "…They are called Bowheads or Polar Whales…As quick as they are struck they will go down and run about a mile and then come up and lay still, but when thou do run you have to ty your heads on. I have struck 8 and saved 7. The first one I struck run under the ice and then we had to cut the line…", left flap with drawing of whale spraying water captioned "Polar Whale"; some wear and stains, Fine.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

Before there was an official American Route, all mail, and then certain mail, between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans was given to the Captain of a ship which was bound around Cape Horn for one coast or the other.

Complete Images.

Realized: $2,300

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Lot 3401    

1851 (Apr. 19) Honolulu, Hawaii to New York N.Y., blue folded letter datelined "Sandwich Islands, Honolulu Apl 19th/51" to G.W. Pomeroy with clear strike of "Honolulu, Hawaiian Is. / April 19, 1851." two-line postmark and magenta "Paid 40" prepaid rating, carried by American Schooner General Fanning from Honolulu Apr. 19th to San Francisco arriving May 22nd, red "San Francisco, Cal. May 31" cds and matching "Paid" and "40" rating handstamps, then by PMSS Tennessee from San Francisco May 31st to Panama arriving Jun. 19th, overland to Chagres and then by US Mail S.S. Empire City Jun. 26th to New York arriving Jul. 6th; some edge wear, Very Fine, Gregory Census No. 24.
Estimate    $7,500 - 10,000.


San Francisco put "40" or "80" rate markings on letters where United States postage was prepaid in Hawaii, omitting the ship fee. San Francisco continued this practice until May 1st 1852.

Realized: $6,000

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Lot 3402    

1851 (May 8) Honolulu, Hawaii to Portsmouth N.H., gray folded letter datelined "Oahu - May 1st 1851" addressed to Mrs. Harriet Pierrepont, bold strike of "Honolulu, Hawaiian Is. / May 8, 1851." two-line postmark, carried by American Schooner Velasco from Honolulu May 8th to San Francisco arriving Jun. 3rd, "San Francisco, Cal. 14 Jun" cds and red crayon "42" rating for 40¢ west coast rate plus 2¢ ship fee, then by PMSS California from San Francisco Jun. 14th to Panama arriving Jul. 1st, overland to Chagres and then by US Mail S.S. Crescent City Jul. 10th to New York arriving Jul. 20th, Very Fine, Gregory Census No. 28, ex-Rust.
Estimate    $10,000 - 15,000.

Illustrated and Described in Gregory's Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870, p. 227, fig. 14-6.

Realized: $9,000

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Lot 3403    

1856 (Mar. 7) Honolulu, Hawaii to San Francisco, Cal., vivid red "Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, Mar 7" cds (HON HI28 II) and bearing uncancelled Hawaii 1851, 5¢ blue (2), Type I, large to huge margins on three sides, a bit irregular at upper left and frameline just touched at right, short separation tear at upper left corner, free of any repair and very slightly creased by a vertical fold on California Penny Post Company, 5¢ black on buff entire (34LUI3A) with printed address "To Agent of the Penny-Post Co., San Francisco, Cal., Box 5150., Please Deliver To, Messrs. Noble & Haskel, Davis St., near California.", additionally franked with United States 1851 3¢ dull red (11), bright early 1856 shade, mostly large margins, tied by "San Francisco Cal. 21 Mar." cds, matching "Ship 6" clamshell-style circular due handstamp, Very Fine, ex-Richard Saffin, Advertiser; with 1995 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $200,000 - 300,000.


Reference: Illustrated in Letters of Gold, Jesse L. Coburn, pg. 63
Illustrated and described in Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870, pg. II 99-101, fig. 16-84.

This cover was carried by American Bark "Yankee" from Honolulu Mar. 5th 1856 to San Francisco arriving Mar. 20th. The 5¢ Missionary stamp correctly prepays the 5¢ Hawaiian postage for a single rate letter. The U.S. 3¢ stamp short paid the 6¢ ship letter rate delivered within port of entry, and no credit was given as the 6¢ due rating handstamp was struck. The California Penny Post Company 5¢ entire represents the correct fee for delivery from the post office to the addressees, Noble & Haskel. The Honolulu post office considered the U.S. portion of postage unpaid, as it was marked with the "Hawaiian-Islands" datestamp, not "U.S. Postage Paid."

The California Penny Post Company was started by J. B. Goodwin as a city delivery post in June 1855 and, by the beginning of 1856, faced increasing pressure from a hostile San Francisco postmaster. Service ceased after approximately one year in business. This envelope was a return envelope purchased from the Penny Post by the San Francisco firm of Noble & Haskel. They would have enclosed this in a business mailing, along with their letter, and sent it to a correspondent. Instead of mailing the reply from somewhere in the West where the pre-affixed 3¢ postage would have been sufficient, the sender mailed it from Hawaii. The box number facilitated the holding of mail at the post office until the Penny Post Co. picked up letters for delivery to the addressees. There is a pencil note on back, "Found in California Penny Post files", indicating that this may have been retained by Goodwin as evidence in his fight against the post office.

The use of a Hawaiian Missionary stamp on this March 1856 cover occurs late in the Missionary issue's life, but appropriately at a time when 5¢ stamps were in great demand and short supply in the Islands. The April, 1855 rate change in the United States effectively increased the composite rate from 13¢ to 17¢ and created an increased demand for Hawaiian 5¢ stamps that could be used in combination with U. S. 12¢ stamps. By the beginning of 1857, the shortage of 5¢ stamps had reached the critical point, and supplies of 13¢ Kamehameha III stamps were provisionally surcharged "5" cents. In the context of the new demands and shortages created by the April 1855 rate change, the use of a 5¢ Missionary stamp in March 1856 is understandable.

Of the 32 Missionary covers in Gregory's census, only six are mixed frankings with United States stamps, including one defective example and another with a repaired stamp. In the context of worldwide mixed-franking covers, the coincidence of two nations' postage stamps and local-post franking is, to our knowledge, unique in this
classic period.

Complete Images.

Realized: $180,000

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Lots 3400-3403

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