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Collins FDC Catalog


O3602 / Scott 3694B

Hawaiian Missionary Stamps

The Missionaries

Cover Announcement 

The MissionariesThere are a few fabulous stamps in United States postal history which are the glamour issues that virtually every coilector knows about. The inverted Jenny Airmail. The Zeppelins. The Trans-Mississippi set. The Pan-American Inverts. And the four Hawaiian Missionaries. It is with great pleasure that I now offer my four individually hand painted First Day Covers which pay tribute to the first four stamps issued by the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1851-52.

The first Hawaiian post office was officially opened in December of 1850. Postrnaster Henry M. Whitney had stamps printed locally in three denominations. Philatelists now call these extremely rare stamps "Hawaiian Missionaries" because virtually all of them were used on the mail of Christian Missionaries serving in the Islands. The 2c variety paid the postage rate for newspapers sent to the mainland. The 5c rate paid for mail sent locally within the Islands. The 13c stamps paid the rate to send a letter to the United States. The breakdown of the rate is interesting and pertinent for collectors. From the thirteen-cent cost, five cents paid Hawaiian postage, the ship's fee was two cents, and six cents paid the United States transcontinental postage cost. This unusual rate structure means that the two thirteen-cent stamps were viewed as both Hawaiian and United States postage stamps.

The souvenir sheet paying tribute to these "Hawaiian Missionaries" was issued in New York City on October 24, 2002, and that is the First Day postmark that ties each stamp to the cover. 

The first two cachets feature four individuals who were central figures at the time when the first missionaries arrived in Hawaii. For the 5c stamp, I chose to depict

the prim and proper Hiram and Sybil Bingham. They were the very first Christian missionaries to arrive in the Islands in 1820. Surrounding them are tall coconut palms and a native dancer bidding them welcome. One can only imagine their thoughts about this tropical paradise and the indigenous natives found there.

This is a set you will love having in your collection - the Collins cachets for the historic and legendary "Hawaiian Missionaries."

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