Hawaii Postal History and the Grinnells
(additional comment Richard Frajola, August 4, 2006)
The recent addition to the cover census, #A2, may provide a key to understanding the postal history of the Missionaries. This cover bears a fragment of a stamp that was evidently picked off at San Francisco upon arrival. The sender is the same person who addressed cover #A1 which also bears fragments. We now have record of three covers with fragments of missionary stamps that were used between January and March, 1852 (#A1, #A2, and #135).
This new addition shows that the removal of the stamps was not done by a philatelic vandal but was rather a part of the system employed at San Francisco. I know of additional examples of this treatment of foreign stamps upon arrival at San Francisco, but none this early.
This may help account for the fact that there are few recorded usages of stamps prior to April 1852.
Richard Frajola (August 2, 2006)