The postmasters in Hawaii frequently reissued stamps for philatelic purposes as this stamp illustrates. Under Kamehameha IV’s reign, the whaling industry flourished. The islands’ ports of call were busy and prosperous, but the king, also known as Alexander Liholiho, had a darker side. He did not succumb to the tenacious efforts of the Protestant missionaries, as many of the other members of the monarchy did. He believed they were becoming too influential in Hawaiian life. He drank and gambled heavily and his moods were unpredictable. He had five wives, one of which was his half sister, causing much dismay among the missionaries.
Although the three Kamehameha IV stamps (H27-29) appear to be similar in design, their differences can easily be discerned by the varieties of paper used.