This page last updated: 10 July 2000

::: Second Period Ship Mail :::

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Handstamps of Ships on Station or Other Naval Vessels

USS Philadelphia 2Sep98

September 2, 1898

Cruiser class ship, 4,324 ton
On station at Honolulu August 3, 1898 to September 29, 1898

USS Bennington 4Nov98

November 4, 1898

U.S.S. BENNINGTON, 3RD RATE (the word "RATE" is covered by the stamp in my example)
Yorktown class patrol gunboat, 1,710 ton
On station at Honolulu to June 16, 1898 and September 27, 1898 to January 7, 1899


February 13, 1899

Capital ship, 10,288 ton
Famous for service in Cuba, the Oregon stopped at Honolulu in February, 1899

A handstamp is also recorded from the US Tugboat Iroquois, on station from January 28, 1899 to May 19, 1900. The USS Mohican was on station from June 15, 1898 to August 23, 1898, but no handstamp has been recorded. The Philadelphia had another handstamp recorded in the first soldier period during its first tour.

Hono 12Sep98 USSPhil

Mail from naval ships was accepted as soldier mail with the ship stamp. This cover is postmarked September 12, 1898.

Vanc 3Nov98

Mail from a sailor aboard USS Bennington and franked with a Hawaiian 2 brown (Scott No. 75) and two United States 2 Trans-Mississippi (US Scott No. 286) stamps. For some reason, this letter missed the Honolulu postmark and is first postmarked on November 3, 1898 at Vancouver, British Columbia. Also unusual is the fact that it was sent to Vancouver aboard the steamer Aorangi rather than directly to San Francisco and was trans-shipped to the San Francisco bound steamer at Vancouver.

Mail From Manila Bound Ships


USTS Logan

Traffic in troop ships continued heavy through 1898 but tapered off and was relatively light from February, 1899 to June, 1899 when it picked up again after a call for additional troops to battle the Philippine Insurgents. Throughout 1899 supply ships, hospital ships, horse and mule ships and other supply vessels stopped at Hawaii. The bubonic plague epidemic in Hawaii diverted ships to Hilo, if they stopped at Hawaii at all, until May and June, 1900, when they stopped at Honolulu once again. Some ships passing Honolulu during the plague epidemic slowed enough to drop a mail bag so even during the plague months, troop ship mail might be found. Compared to the volume of mail generated by passing troops in the first period, the volume of mail in the second period was much smaller.

Hosp.Corps 3Sep98

Hospital Corp insignia on cover from a corpsman aboard the hospital ship Scandia, postmarked September 3, 1898

Hono 18Nov98 columb

Postmarked November 18, 1898 and franked with a United States 2 Columbian Exposition postal envelope (US Scott No. U349). The 23rd Infantry stopped at Honolulu while en route to Manila aboard the USTS Senator.

Hono 8Sep99

Postmarked September 8, 1899 and sent by a member of the 20th U.S. Infantry en route to Manila aboard the USTS Puebla. Collect mail was taxed only the amount of postage without doubling.

Hono 25Nov99

Postmarked November 25, 1899 from a soldier with the 46th Infantry, en route to Manila aboard either the City of Sydney or Pathan.

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