HAWAIIAN POSTAGE STAMPS first were issued in 1851, when the famous
Missionary Stamps were offered at the Honolulu and
Lahaina post offices. These stamps were followed in 1853 by the
Boston Engraved Issue, printed in Boston. When
Hawaii adopted a domestic mail rate, Numeral Stamps
were issued, starting in 1859.
In 1861, Hawaii again turned to Boston printers for the
Boston Lithographed Issue. Concerned because
its stamps seemed of poor quality compared to those of other countries, Hawaii
ordered perforated royal portrait stamps, the
Bank Note Issue, from New York starting in 1864 and continuing to 1891.
The royal monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, was deposed in 1893 and a Provisional
Government was established, whereupon the Bank Note stamps then in use were
overprinted. The overprinted stamps form the
Provisional Government Issue.
After Hawaii's political situation stabilized in 1894, new stamps, the
Pictorial Issue, were put on sale. These stamps
lasted Hawaii through the remainder of the century. A set of stamps was created
for the Foreign Office in 1896 to frank official diplomatic and consular mail.
These Foreign Office stamps are Hawaii's only Official
During the Spanish American War of 1898, Hawaii opened Honolulu as a recoaling
station for United States troopships bound from San Francisco to capture and
occupy the Philippine Islands. On August 12, 1898, Hawaii was annexed to the
United States, ending a decades old debate about whether to annex. Despite
annexation, the Republic of Hawaii remained in place until formal territorial
status was created on June 14, 1900. Until that date, stamps of Hawaii were used
and Hawaii remained a member of the Universal Postal Union.
DOCUMENTARY SEALS AND STAMPS make up the
Finally, a set of PRIVATE STAMPS for use on
the Kahului Railroad running from Kahului, Maui, to various towns and sugar
plantations in Central Maui make up the Kahului Railway