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Lot 35

13c blue, "H.I. & U.S. Postage," 1852, large margins all around, showing trace of "kiss print" of upper letters, fresh and bright appearance, tied to folded letter by crisp red "Honolulu / US Postage Paid  / Jul / 24" c.d.s., black "PAID" handstamp alongside, postmarked with ideal San Francisco c.d.s. (1 Sep) in black, adjacent circular "8" in black from San Francisco, from Maria Whitney Pogue, with extensive letter datelined at Lahainaluna, to Miss Fidelia Fiske in "Ooromiah" (Oroomiah), Persia, endorsed in manuscript at lower left "care of H. Hill Esq., 33 Pemberton Sq., Boston Mass", an astounding and sound entire, the finer of two recorded Missionary covers to Persia, and the unique example with only a Hawaiian franking, a rarity of the utmost quality, with 1995 Philatelic Foundation certificate; ex Champion, Lichtenstein, Ostheimer III, Honolulu Advertiser.
The first issues of Hawaii are known as the Missionary stamps. Printed by letterpress at the Government Printing Office, the first three stamps made available on 1 October, 1851 in Honolulu and Lahaina. The design and production was overseen by Henry Whitney,  Honolulu’s first postmaster, and brother of the sender of the letter offered here.  An exceptional overview of the production and history of the Hawaiian Missionary stamps by Fred Gregory may be found at Post Office in Paradise (www.hawaiianstamps.com)
The 13c adhesive paid the Hawaiian and United States postage, as well as the 2c ship’s fee. The crossed-out endorsement “care of H. Hill…”, indicates that once received in Boston, the cover was conveyed to Oroomiah privately. Both the sender, Maria Whitney Pogue, and recipient, Fidelia Fiske, are well-known. Pogue was born on 19 October, 1820, at Waimea, Kauai, and her passing in May, 1900, was recorded by the Aloha Aina newspaper, noting “This morning Mrs. Maria Whitney Pogue, the first haole [non-native] girl to be born in the Hawaiian archipelago, died after a long illness. She was eighty years old. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Whitney, missionaries who arrived first with other missionaries for the islands.” Her brother, Henry Martyn Whitney, served as Hawaii’s first Postmaster, and was a prominent figure in both Hawaiian publishing and politics.  Like her correspondent Fiske, Whitney would be educated in the United States at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, among the most prominent institutions at the time for educating women missionaries. While Whitney would return to Hawaii to continue the missionary work of her family, Fiske, while maintaining a life-long connection to Mount Holyoke, would find her calling further afield. Fiske is remembered today for her extensive work among the Nestorian (Christian Assyrian) community of present-day Umria, Iran. The Assyrian Church, desiring encourage the education of girls in the region, called upon Fiske to lead this project, which she did, as a teacher and principal at the Urmia Seminary, later renamed in her honour. 
Extensive collections of Fiske’s correspondence are today held in several institutional collections. Of note, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum holds in its collection Fiske’s document box, which they note “was likely used in her travels, and contained letters and writing materials.”
An exceptional piece of Hawaiian history.