Stamps and Postal History of the German Marshall Islands
4– Pre-German Mail
by Dirk H.R. Spennemann



Prior to the establishment of the German postal service on 29 March 1889 letter would be given to ship's captains who would post them at a given destination. Much of the shipping went to Sydney and to Honolulu. In Honolulu the letters would be franked with Hawaiian stamps and sent on. Covers exists with Honolulu forwarders cancels on them. Most mail from Micronesia via Honolulu was sent by the missionaries of the Boston Missions, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

The cover shown above originated at Ponape and was brought to Honolulu on the Morning Star for onwards delivery in Ohio. The Morning Star arrived from Ponape on February 5, 1878, was postmarked at Honolulu on February 7, for the February 9 sailing of the steamer St. Paul.[1]

The cover above was mailed from the mission station at Ponape, and arrived at Honolulu on May 17 by the Haw. schooner Gen'l Siegel. It was then carried to San Francisco on the steamer Australia, leaving Honolulu on June 1, 1886. The cover demonstrates the use of Hawaiian postal stationery on mail originating at the Micronesian mission stations.[2]

The missionary vessel Morning Star made annual voyages between Honolulu and Micronesia. Other vessels provided further service at irregular, demand-driven intervals. The cover shown contains a letter from Kusaie dated October 24, 1886. It is postmarked April 6, 1887 at Honolulu.[3]


Bibliographic citation for this document

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002). Postage Stamps used in the German Marshall Islands. Pre-German Mail
URL: http:/

Dirk H.R. Spennemann, Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, P.O.Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia.

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