Our most recent Zoom meeting of the New York Chapter USPCS took place on Tuesday, April 13. Fred Gregory was our speaker on the topic “Hawaii during the Spanish American War.”
Fred is one of the most knowledgeable individuals regarding the stamps and postal history of Hawaii and he gave us a very in-depth presentation on the role of Hawaii during the Spanish American War. He began his
talk with an overview of the political situation that led to the formation of the Republic of Hawaii and its eventual annexation to the U.S., including illustrations of the various stamps produced during this time period. He then reviewed the events leading up to the Spanish American War and the events that took place in the Philippines at that time. Fred described the various expeditions to the Philippines and the re-fueling stops at Hawaii.
He then illustrated mail sent from these soldiers to the U.S. and a number of foreign destination and the initial confusion in postal rates. He also showed examples of letters franked with Hawaiian stamps that were freely provided to soldiers for a time. Fred went on to show example of covers sent from Hawaii during the post-Annexation period and how postal rates varied at this time. Fred also discussed military mail during the Philippine insurgency and showed many examples of naval endorsements from ships stationed in Honolulu. Essentially, Fred covered most every aspect of Hawaiian postal history connected with this time period.