First issued in 1853, the Boston Engraved Stamp was in use again in 1861. The first postmaster of Hawaii, H.M. Whitney, resigned from his post in June 1856, and a month passed before a new postmaster was appointed. This was an uncertain time for the postal service of the Sandwich Islands, which was still not well established. The portrait of the deceased ruler continued to be used for economic reasons.
Why some Hawaii stamps were
created just for stamp collectors...
There was a great demand for Hawaii stamps from collectors in the United States. Hawaii’s connection to the U.S. was quite strong, and it was evident to many people that Hawaii would eventually become a U.S. state. This made the stamps popular in the U.S. But the small number of Hawaii stamps issued for postal purposes could not possibly supply demand. Postal authorities created “official imitations” and reproductions, thereby collecting a sizable profit on stamps that would never frank mail.