Friday, February 18, 2011

Finally A $5 Ocean Passage Ticket Usage -- Hawaiian Line

This is a continuation of a series of blogs about Ocean Passage Tickets.

Finally an ocean passage ticket illustrating the $5 tax on tickets costing more than $60 has surfaced. Serendipitously, I spotted this one on eBay in December 2010 just a few weeks after inquiring via this blog about possible usage examples for the $3 and $5 rates. We've previously blogged about several $1 tickets, but until now, no $3 or $5 tickets had been reported.

Hawaiian Line Ocean Passage Ticket
San Francisco to Honolulu
July 21, 1899

The Hawaiian Line ticket above covered cabin passage for W. S. Dole and wife (Walter Sanford Dole and Miriam Dreier Dole) from San Francisco to Honolulu via the Irmgard, a barkentine mostly used to transport sugar cane and supplies between the Hawaiian Islands and San Francisco. A typical trip to the Islands from San Francisco took 10 or 11 days, so presumably they arrived in Honolulu around the end of July 1899. The ticket cost $80 and was taxed $5, the proper rate for any ticket costing in excess of $60.

Left @ 1892 Cornell University
Right @ 1918 US Army

Walter S. Dole was a nephew of Sanford Dole, the first President of the Republic of Hawaii and subsequently the first Governor when Hawaii became a US Territory in 1900. Another uncle, James Dole, who actually was a few years younger than Walter is the credited with planting the first pineapples and starting the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901.

Walter was born July 30, 1868 at Koloa and spent his childhood on the Islands. He graduated from Cornell University in 1892 with a degree in civil engineering. According to a notice in the May 1899 Cornell Alumni News he then was living in Chicago on Greenwood Ave. He married Miriam Dreier of Chicago on Christmas Day 1897. They apparently continued to reside in Chicago after marrying as their first son, Carl, was born there in October 1898. Although not mentioned on the ticket, it is possible that Carl, who then would have been 9 months old accompanied them on this voyage. Presumably, they were moving to the Islands as the February 1900 Cornell Alumni News indicated Walter was the superintendent of a sugar plantation in Hawaii.

But by 1902 Walter and Miriam were in California where they lived thereafter, except for a short period in Tucson Arizona in the early 1920s. Perhaps the death of Carl in 1900, at age 2, had something to do with their return to the States. They would have four more children. Walter died August 15, 1945 in Los Angeles and Miriam died March 12, 1947.

Williams, Dimond & Co., the agents for the Hawaiian Line, and from whom this ticket was purchased were highly involved in the Hawaiian sugar trade with nine ships, the Irmgard being one of the smallest, in operation in 1900. At this time they also maintained a branch office in New York City and according to Lloyd's 1901 Register of Shipping, the firm's San Francisco based ships also served Atlantic Coast ports and Cuba. In the early 1900's Williams, Dimond brokered the transplantation of many Puerto Ricans to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations.

The firm continues in business today as a ship chandler at Pier 15 in San Francisco. Williams Dimond also serves as a ship broker and liner agent with offices in other major US port cities. A History of Williams, Dimond Co. Since 1862 by Michael Nerney was published in 1988.

This Hawaiian Line ticket is just the eighth ocean passage ticket from the Spanish American War tax period to be reported and the first illustrating the $5 tax rate. We're still looking for a usage of the $3 Commerce stamp, appropriate for tickets costing more than $30 to $60.

Anyone having knowledge of other taxed ocean passage tickets is invited to report them, with scans if possible, to

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