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Title: History of the Postage Stamps of the United States of America

Author: John Kerr Tiffany

Release Date: March 13, 2011 [EBook #35566]

Language: English

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Transcriber's Notes:

1. Corrections from the "Errata" page have been incorporated into this e-text.

2. Additional Transcriber's Notes for corrections, e-text format and word variations, appear at the end of this e-text.

John K. Tiffany

HISTORY OF THE
Postage Stamps
— OF THE —
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


BY JOHN K. TIFFANY,

Author of THE PHILATELICAL LIBRARY,
President of the American Philatelic Association and of the St. Louis Philatelic
Society. Honorary Member of the Philatelic Society of London.
Corresponding Member of the Societe Francaise de
Timbrologie, the Societies of Dresden,
Wurtemburg, Etc.


1887:
C. H. MEKEEL, PHILATELIC PUBLISHER,
ST. LOUIS, MO.


Copyrighted by J. K. Tiffany. 1886.
All Rights Reserved.


Contents.

Portrait of J. K. Tiffany (Frontispiece).
Preface 9
Introduction 13
ChapterI, U. S. City Dispatch Post 19
"II, Uniform Postage 23
"III, Postmaster's Stamps 26
"IV, Stamp of the N. Y. Postmaster 29
"V, Stamps of the St. Louis" 36
"VI, Stamp of the Brattleboro" 48
"VII, Stamp of the New Haven" 51
"VIII, Stamps of the Providence" 54
"IX, Stamp of the Alexandria" 60
"X, Stamps of the Baltimore" 62
"XI, Stamp of the Millbury" 65
"XII, Stamped Env. of Wash'n" 67
"XIII, Stamps of the Phila'lphia" 69
"XIV, Stamp of the Worcester" 70
"XV, Stamp of the Pittsfield" 71
"XVI, Observations 72
"XVII, The Issue of 1847 74
"XVIII, The Issue of 1851 81
"XIX, The Issue of 1857 110
"XX, The Issue of 1861 122
"XXI, The Issue of 1867-9 137
"XXII, The Issue of 1869 144
"XXIII, The Issue of 1870 158
"XXIV, Postage Due Stamps 198
"XXV, Special Delivery Stamp 204
"XXVI, Newspaper and Periodical St'ps 209
"XXVII, Official Stamps 227
"XXVIII, Official Seals 249
"XXIX, Reprints 254
Index 267
Publishers' Announcements 275

Errata.

Page 96, 3d line from top, for 25c lilac read 24 cents.

Page 102 in lines 5, 6, 7 and 8 from bottom in last column for F2 G2 H2 I2 read F4 G4 H4 I4.

Page 103 in lines 16 to 20 in second column for S2 T2 U2 V2 W2 read S3, T3, U3, V3, W3.

Page 104 5th line from bottom, omit u in "prolongued."

Page 143, 9th line from top for "follows" read "above."

Page 144, last line supply "test of" in the blank.

Page 196, 4th line from top for (") read "cochineal."

Page 196, 6th line from top, for "12 cents" read "15 cents."


[9]

Preface.

In seeking for information concerning the postage stamps of the United States, we shall turn in vain to sources which have furnished, in other countries, such accurate details in regard to the stamps issued by their postal authorities, for the stamps authorized by the United States Post Office Department are not manufactured by the government, and there is no "stamp office" to authenticate each plate, and register the number of sheets made from it, and no edict, proclamation or law informs the public of the values authorized for use, or of the designs, or other peculiarities of the stamps to be employed. The Postmaster General is authorized, in general terms of the law, to provide such stamps as he may, from time to time, judge most convenient and expedient for the collection of the postal rates fixed by other laws, and is required to have them manufactured by those who, under general provisions of other laws regulating all government work, offer to do it at the lowest price.

[10]

The proposals for such work and the contracts made with the parties successful in the competition, reserve the right to the Postmaster General to change the values, designs, etc., from time to time as he may judge expedient, and specify nothing as to these particulars, while they are very specific as to the quality of the work, and the precautions to be observed in the manufacture, to prevent pecuniary loss to the Department. A government official inspects the work in order that it may conform in quality to the contract, and the records are kept of the number of stamps of each value made and turned over to the Department, without further specifications. In a word, no record is preserved of how many stamps of any particular design, paper, water-mark, perforation or other peculiarity, are made, or of the date of the adoption of any of these things. Third Assistant Postmaster General Ireland, during his term of office, once wrote "It has always surprised me that the Department has never kept any official history of its stamps." Many of these details might be gathered no doubt from the very voluminous correspondence between the Department and the several contractors, if it were accessible, but upon investigation it appears that many interesting changes have been made upon mere verbal instructions.

We shall have therefore to rely upon quite different sources for our information. Fortunately the enterprise of collectors has probably discovered all the varieties of the stamps themselves, and only a careful study of them is necessary to their complete[11] description. The materials upon which the present work is based were gathered together mostly as accident threw them into the hands of the author, from time to time, without any attempt at systematic research or arrangement, until at the request of J. B. Moens, of Brussells, they were arranged to form a volume of his "Bibliotheque Des Timbrophiles." The annual reports of the Postmaster General have furnished some points of interest directly and many inferentially; the circulars notifying postmasters of the more important changes, a nearly complete file of which has been consulted, have been a great guide; while frequently very interesting details have been extracted from the files of contemporaneous daily papers; and the published results of the researches of such indefatigable investigators as Messrs. Bagg, Brown and Scott, in the Philatelical Press, and the articles of Cosmopolitan and Scott have been freely drawn upon. Many large collections have been kindly submitted for inspection, in particular those of Messrs Van Derlip, Sterling and Casey, and thus we are able to describe every stamp and essay from actual specimens, except in a few instances specially noted. While there may be possible omissions, the reader may feel assured of the existence of everything described.

Frequent demands for the translation of the French work have led to the present publication. But as that work was prepared to conform to the general plan of the works compiled for the series of M. Moens' Bibliotheque, it contained many[12] things, concerning the history and customs of the post office of the United States, which the American collector is supposed to know, and omitted some details concerning the part played by various collectors and dealers in finding out the particulars of the history of certain stamps and like matters, which it was thought might be interesting to our home collectors, but which the impersonal character of the French Series made it advisable to omit in the original compilation.

The entire work has been therefore largely recast in the hope of making it more acceptable to American collectors, and in several instances comments have been made upon stamps that were not mentioned in the French edition, in order to correct certain erroneous views entertained concerning them in this country, which it was supposed was sufficiently accomplished by their omission in the other series.

St. Louis, August, 1886.


[13]

Introduction.

In 1676 John Heyward, by the authority of General Court of the Colony of Massachusetts, established his postal system with its office in Boston. In 1683 the government of Penn established a postal system for the Colony of Pennsylvania. In 1700 Col. J. Hamilton organized "his postal establishment for British America" including all the English colonies, but soon after disposed of his right to the English crown. In 1710 the English Parliament established by law the first governmental postal system with the general office at New York, which continued until in 1776 the Continental Congress adopted and set in action the postal system proposed by Franklin, who was appointed the first Postmaster General. The first law of the Federal Congress continued this system in operation as sufficient for the public wants, but the postal service was not finally settled until the act of 1792.

This law (1792) liked a tariff which with unimportant changes remained in force until the adoption[14] of the system of Uniform Postage in the United States. Single, double and triple letters were charged 8, 16 and 24 cents respectively when sent to other countries, and four cents plus the internal postage when arriving from foreign countries. The internal postage between offices in the United States was 6, 8, 10, 15, 17, 20, 22 and 25 cents for distances of 30, 60, 100, 150, 200, 250, 350, or 400 miles respectively for single letters, and double, triple, etc., this for double, triple, etc., letters. A single letter was defined by the law to be a single sheet or piece of paper, a double letter, two sheets or pieces of paper, etc., etc.

The following acts of Congress may be consulted with advantage by those curious with regard to the Post Office before the introduction of stamps.

ICongress. ISession. Chap.16,   Sept.,1789
I" II" "36,   Aug.,1790
I" III" "23,   March,1791
II" I" "27,   Feb.,1792
III" I" "23, 8 May,1794
V" III" "41, 2 March,1799
XI" II" "37, 30 April,1810
XIII" III" "16, 23 Dec.,1814
XIV" I" "7, 1 Feb.,1815
XIV" I" "43, 9 April,1816
XIX" II" "61, 3 March,1825
XX" I" "61, 3 March,1827
XXVII" II" "43, 2 March,1845

The earliest letters which we have seen, consist of single sheets of paper folded and addressed upon the sheet. An envelope would have subjected them to double postage. They are penmarked with the name of the mailing office, the date occasionally, the amount of the postage paid or due, generally in[15] simple figures, sometimes with the word "cents" in full or abbreviated, added. Gradually, hand stamps were introduced. At first the name of the mailing office in a simple frame, generally circular, the month and day being still written in with a pen, and the amount of postage written as before. A further improvement appears later on in the introduction of the month and day as part of the hand stamp. The word "paid" or "due," the amount of postage in figures or with "cents," either written or hand stamped, always added. And finally all the marks are included in one hand stamp.

There was evidently no uniformity of practice, except the general requirement that the name of the mailing office, the month and day, and the amount of postage should in some form be marked on the letter. Improvements seem generally to have originated in the larger offices, but smaller offices sometimes took the lead in enterprise. An improvement once adopted does not seem always to have been adhered to; letters mailed at the same office on the same day and differently marked may be frequently found in old files. The hand stamps seem to have been obtained by the several offices for themselves, as there is no uniformity of style.

Some of these hand stamps are curious enough to warrant a brief description, and it would be difficult to lay down a rule which would distinguish some of them from the stamps we admit to our albums.

A letter mailed at Philadelphia in 1825, bears an octagonal hand stamp with a double lined frame and[16] the words "Phila. 20 Jan." in three lines, a second similar but smaller hand stamp with the word "Paid," and the figures "26" written with a pen, all in red ink. These seem to have been regularly employed for several years. Other letters from the same city mailed in 1845-6-7 and 8, bear a circular hand stamp, the name of the City and State surrounding the edge, the month and day in the center, a single line surrounding all, the amount of postage in large numerals and the words "DUE" or "PAID" in a small oval are separately hand stamped. Letters from Baltimore of the same dates bear a similar circular hand stamp with name and date, the amount of postage in large numerals in an oval, and sometimes the word "PAID" in large letters without frame. Jacksonville, Ill., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Little Rock, Ark., employed similar hand stamps at the same time.

Louisville, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Boston and New York letters of the same years have the same hand stamp with a numeral or numerals indicative of the amount of postage added at the bottom within the frame. When prepaid the word "PAID" was hand stamped below the other.

Some New York, Boston and Philadelphia letters of the same dates bear the same hand stamp with "5 cts," "10 cts," etc., in the lower margin within the frame, the word "PAID" being separately hand stamped when the letter was prepaid. Many western letters bear also the word "Steam 5" hand stamped upon them. These hand stamps remained[17] in use up to 1851 when the rates were changed and appear even upon letters bearing the adhesive stamps of the first issue.

In 1851 when the rates were changed to 3 cents ordinary postage, and 1 cent for drop letters, many of the same stamps appear with the figures changed to 1 or 3, or to 1 ct., 3 cts., and 6 cts., Boston and Petersburgh, Va., for example. A New York hand stamp of this period has New York above, month and day in the middle and "PAID" and "3 cts" in two more lines.

A Philadelphia hand stamp has name above, month and day in one line, and "3 cts" in another, in the center, and "PAID" in lower margin.

Another, the ordinary dated postmark and a second circular stamp, nearly as large, with the word "PAID" in large letters crossed by the numeral "3" nearly an inch long.

A Springfield letter has the ordinary dated postmark and a second hand stamp nearly as large with a large numeral "3" above and "PAID" below.

Cincinnati, Buffalo, Quincy, Ill., and others have the ordinary hand stamp with the name above, month and day in the center and "3 PAID" below.

Another letter has a round hand stamp fully an inch in diameter with the word "PAID" across the center crossed by a large outline "3."

Another letter was hand stamped with a large "6" in an octagon double frame and "PAID" separately hand stamped across it.[18]

The Cincinnati hand stamp also appears with "1 PAID" in the margin.

New Orleans has the ordinary hand stamp and "PAID," "1" in two lines of very large letters beneath.

St. Louis, has the ordinary hand stamp, and another with "1 ct" in large octagonal frame added.

Many letters where the word "paid" appears in the dated stamp are also separately hand stamped "PAID." Some of these letters bear also the 3 and 1 ct. adhesives of the period. Those that indicate postage to be paid differ from postage due stamps in no respect except that they are not adhesive. Those that indicate postage prepaid correspond to many other hand stamps in every thing except that they were applied after, instead of before payment; but in some countries we have examples of adhesive stamps applied in the same way. They are not beautiful but are interesting relics of the old system. A number of similar stamps with the words "Post Office" following the name of the town and "5 paid" have passed through the hands of the compiler, but having been cut from the letters the date could not be authenticated. These would appear to be very similar in character to the adhesives issued by the postmasters of some offices about the same time, and to many similar stamps used in the early days of the Southern Confederacy.


[19]

I.

United States City Dispatch Post.

Hardly had the discussion of Postal reform begun in England than the subject was taken up in the United States. The daily press was full of it. Pamphlets were distributed broadcast. In nearly every city, private companies undertook to distribute mail matter at less than the government rates. Some even carried letters from city to city. In Congress, members related the expedients resorted to for sending letters at a reduced rate. In New York, a certain A. M. Greig had established a local delivery and employed an adhesive stamp, charging but two cents when the government exacted three. Such competition greatly harassed the department. The act of 1836 had authorized the Postmaster General to establish a carrier system in such cities as he might think advisable. Apparently with the view of disposing of Greig's post, Greig was made a government officer. The following letter authorizing the postmaster at New York to make the appointment was first published by the American Journal of Philately.[20]

Post Office Department,
Contract Office, August 1st, 1842.

Sir—

By an order made on Saturday, but journalized to-day, the Postmaster General has established a letter carrier arrangement for the City of New York to be called the "United States City Despatch Post" for the conveyance of letters from one part of the city to another subject to a charge on each letter of three cents, under the 20th section of the Act of 1836, and authorizes you to employ Alex. M. Greig, nominated by you as letter carrier, other carriers are to be appointed from time to time as may be required, and you are requested to nominate for that purpose. And you are also authorized to obtain the necessary fixtures, pouches, boxes, labels, stamps, etc, at not exceeding $1,200.00 for the whole and to appoint a clerk to superintend said establishment at not exceeding $1,000 per annum. You will be pleased to report the date of commencement of this arrangement.

Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
S. R. HOBBIE,
First Ass't P. M. General.

John Lorimer Graham,
Postmaster, New York.

In another number of the same paper we have the text of the following notice concerning the same post.

UNITED STATES CITY DISPATCH POST.

Hours of delivery every day (Sundays excepted) at the principal office, upper P. O. Park and lower P. O. Merchants Exchange.[21]

Letters deposited before 8, 12, 3 and at the stations before 7, 11 and 2 will be sent out for delivery at 9, 1 and 4.

Letters to be sent free must have a free stamp attached to them, which can be purchased at the upper and lower Post Offices and at all the stations. The charge will be 36 cents per dozen, 2 dols. 50 cents per hundred. All letters intended to be sent forward to the General Post Office for the inland mails must have a free stamp attached to them. Letters not having a free stamp will be charged 3 cents on delivery.

John Lorimer Graham, P. M.

New York, June, 1843.

The stamp issued and used by this post was known in an early day and is catalogued in Kline's Manual 1862, but its true history was unknown until the publication of the above document. It is a stamp probably alone of its kind. Any one familiar with the law of 1836 will see that the Postmaster General widely exceeded the authority conferred on him as it would be construed to day in making the "arrangement" under the power to provide a carrier system. The labels and stamps mentioned in the letter quoted were probably however, not intended to include the postage stamp actually issued, as these terms are used in various documents, reports, etc., of the period to designate quite different articles, the "stamps" being invariably the hand stamps such as we have already described. But whatever may have been intended by the letter, the law did not confer any authority upon the Postmaster General to issue or authorize the issue of the stamp and[22] undertake to insist on its use. It certainly has no more character than the hand stamps already described, but is none the less interesting or worthy of preservation on this account. It was probably employed because the public had seen and appreciated the utility of the adhesive stamp, by its employment by the local or private posts, in advance of the official adoption of the system.

NEW YORK.

Issue of August, 1842.

Portrait of President Washington turned to the right on plain oval, enclosed by plain oval band bounded within and without by two colored lines and inscribed: United States City Despatch Post *Three Cents*, the lower legend separated from the upper by a star on each side; rectangular frame of two colored lines, corners filled with rayed ornaments between frame and oval.

Plate impression 18 22 mm., in black on colored paper.

3cents, blackon violet.
3" "" brown.
3" "" green.
3" "" blue glazed.

[23]

II.

Uniform Postage.

The "arrangement" put in operation in New York does not seem to have been a great success for it was not extended to other cities, and local posts continued to flourish and do the work at less than the government rates. The demand for better service and lower rates, for "reform" as it was called grew louder and louder, until the Postmaster General in his report dated November 25th, 1844, recommended to Congress a reduced uniform rate according to distance and weight. Stamps were recommended but only for use on foreign letters.

The bill which was introduced in Congress in pursuance of this recommendation provided, it is said, both for obligatory prepayment and the use of postage stamps. But there was great hesitation in adopting the English system in the United States; the conditions were considered to be so different; the distances were so great that a greater rate was necessary; the country was so new that the risk from counterfeiting was much greater; the custom[24] was not to prepay letters, and custom is stronger than law. Such and like objections were raised and the law passed without adopting prepayment by stamp, but the great principle of the reform, uniform rate by distance and weight was adopted. The only portion of the law that is of interest here is the following section of the Statutes of the United States, XXVIII Congress, II Session, XLIII Chapter, approved March 30, 1845.

"From and after the first day of July next, members of Congress and Delegates from Territories may receive letters not exceeding two ounces in weight, free of postage during the recess of Congress anything to the contrary in this act notwithstanding; and the same franking privilege which is granted by this act to the members of the two Houses of Congress, is hereby extended to the Vice President of the United States; and in lieu of the rates of postage now established by law, there shall be charged the following rates, viz: For every single letter in manuscript or paper of any kind by or upon which information shall be asked for or communicated in writing or by marks or signs, conveyed in the mail, for any distance under three hundred miles, five cents: and for any distance over three hundred miles, ten cents: and for a double letter there shall be charged double these rates: and for a treble letter treble these rates: and for a quadruple letter quadruple these rates: and every letter or parcel not exceeding half an ounce in weight shall be deemed a single letter, and every additional weight[25] of half an ounce, or additional weight of less than half an ounce, shall be charged with an additional single postage.

And all drop letters, or letters placed in any post office, not for transmission through the mail, but for delivery only, shall be charged with postage at the rate of two cents each."

The newspaper rate was one cent within one hundred miles and one and a half cents for a greater distance, for all newspapers not exceeding a certain size, and two cents for each sheet over that size, and two cents for all hand bills and circulars per sheet, and two and a half cents for all magazines and pamphlets.


[26]

III.

Postmaster's Stamps.

Notwithstanding the failure of Congress to adopt postage stamps, and to authorize the Postmaster General to issue them, and to provide an appropriation for their manufacture, public attention had been drawn to the advantages of the system, and the convenience, to the business community particularly, of mailing and receiving letters at hours when the post office or business houses were closed. The question as to whether the Postmaster General might not issue postage stamps on his own authority was raised and officially decided in the negative, although the Postmaster General himself favored their use. The postmasters in several places however undertook to meet the public demand by having stamps prepared on their own responsibility, paying the expense of manufacture themselves and selling them to the public at a sufficient advance on the postal rates, to cover the cost of engraving and printing. In some cases the matter was brought to the attention of the Postmaster General and he saw[27] no objection to the arrangement; in others the whole affair seems to have passed without any attention being paid to it by the Department. In fact it was a mere contract between the postmaster and the purchaser of his stamps, that when a letter bearing one of his stamps was mailed at his office, it should be treated as if the money were handed in with it. No postmaster recognized the stamp of any post office but his own. A letter adorned with a New York stamp mailed at the St. Louis office would have been treated as unpaid. A New York stamp was recognized only at the New York office, and a St. Louis stamp only at the St. Louis office. When a letter bearing a stamp was mailed at the office that issued the stamp, and accepted as prepaid, the contract between the postmaster and the purchaser of the stamp was fulfilled, the postmaster had to account to the government for the amount of the postage as if he had received it with the letter. The Department had nothing to do with the fact that the stamp had been actually paid for at another time or with its existence at all. Examination at several of these offices show that there was no stamp account kept in the records of the office. Such letters were treated exactly as letters were, on which the postage was either paid in money or charged in the open accounts which the postmaster chose to keep with the commercial houses. It was marked "Paid." The stamp had no significance at any other office, except as the mark or stamp indicating the amount charged, always put on letters at that[28] date, but the word "paid" was recognized by every office. The letter was entered as a paid letter on the way bill, and was treated as prepaid, not because of the stamp, but because the forwarding office treated it as prepaid.

It has been thought necessary to define the exact character of these stamps with some exactness, and at the risk of some re-iteration, because their true character seems to be little understood. They had no official sanction whatever, because no official had any authority to sanction them. It was a mere arrangement between the individual postmaster and the public for their mutual accommodation.

Such stamps were issued at New York, St. Louis, Brattleboro, New Haven, Providence, Alexandria, Baltimore, Millbury and probably other places. Although not governmental or official stamps, they are none the less interesting or valuable mementoes. They show how determined the public were to have the postage stamp, and their history shows how the Public Will compelled the government to adopt the postage stamp in spite of the supposed difficulties in the way.


[29]

IV.

Stamp of the New York Postmaster.

The stamp issued by the postmaster of New York was chronicled in the earliest American Catalogue, (Kline, 1862,) but its true character was not established until the resuscitation and republication in the communications of the author of this work to the Philatelist and Le Timbre Poste, in 1873-4, of the following articles from contemporaneous newspapers.

The Express of New York in its issue of July 1st, 1845, contains an editorial mentioning, that the Act of March 3rd, 1845, went into force on the day of publication, and a report of the meeting of the Cheap Postage Association. In its issue of July 7th, 1845, the same paper published as part of its Washington correspondence, the following:

Washington, July 2nd.

It was suggested in New York to Mr. Morris, your postmaster, that he might accommodate the public very much by selling stamped envelopes, as the law does not authorize the sale of stamps on the English plan. When he was here he laid the subject before the Postmaster[30] General, who has to-day decided that he may do this. The envelopes are to be marked with the amount of postage thereon, say 5 or 10 or more cents as the case may be, and the initials of the postmaster are to be superadded, and then the envelopes can be sold. The object is to facilitate the payment of prepaid letters. Postmasters can interchange envelopes whenever they can agree to do so among themselves.

In the issue of the next day (Express, July 8th) appeared the following editorial:

Free Stamped Envelopes. When the Bill for Cheap Postage was before Congress, it contained a clause authorizing the sale of stamps on the English system. The provision was however stricken out, leaving the public only the old method of prepaying letters during the business hours of the Post Office. A suggestion was made to our new Postmaster, Mr. Morris, that the public convenience would be very much promoted if he would sell envelopes which would pass free through his office. By this measure letters could be sent at any hour of the night to the post office and the postage paid, where the writer desires it, by enclosing it in a free envelope. The postmaster proposed to sell stamps at five cents each, but this not having been sanctioned by Congress, we should think would not be the best way, and as the public convenience demands something of the kind, we are glad to learn that he has prepared envelopes of the kind referred to, some of which we have seen. They are marked "Five Cents," and under these words is the name "R. H. Morris." For letters over one ounce they are marked according to the Post Office Rates in the same way. These envelopes will be sold by the Postmaster at six and a quarter cents each, or sixteen for a dollar of the common kind and common size. This[31] will be as cheap or cheaper than they can be bought in small quantities at the stationers. A thin envelope will contain two letters and be subject only to a single postage. Envelopes of various sizes will also be furnished and of fine quality when desired by the purchaser. The plan we hear, has also been adopted by the postmaster at Washington, D. C., and has met the approval of the Postmaster General. We think it will add to the revenue of the Department very considerably.

From the preceding extract we should infer that envelopes marked in some way "Five Cents," "R. H. Morris, P. M." had been issued and used at New York, and possibly something of the kind at Washington. The latter would be signed C. K. Gardner, P. M., but up to the present day none have been found. They must have been prepared at New York at least, since the editor of the Express claims to have seen them. They were probably made by some of the New York hand stamps noted as current at this time, leaving out the date and signed by the postmaster.

Such an arrangement was clumsy and liable to abuse and could have had but a short duration in so large an office as New York, and in the Express of the 14th of July, 1845, appears another editorial as follows:

Post Office Stamps. We would call the attention of merchants and indeed all who pay postage, to the advertisement of the postmaster, who offers to sell stamps of the value of five cents each for the prepayment of letters. This is the cost of the postage under 300 miles.[32] The stamps should be generally adopted as they will give additional facilities to business men, and save them time in making change. The postmaster will receive nothing for this trouble and his stamps beyond the profit of lost stamps. The disposition of the postmaster to make the new system popular merits the thanks of our citizens.

In another column of the same paper appears the advertisement of the postmaster referred to in the editorial.

Post Office,
New York, July 14th. 1845.

The public is respectfully informed that the undersigned has caused to be prepared stamps for the prepayment of postage, made for five cents each, which will be sold in parcels of five and upwards. To prevent counterfeits they will be sold only at this office and the branch office. The public may therefore be assured that any stamps which may be offered for sale at any place other than the two post offices are spurious and will not be considered as prepayment.

(Signed.) Robert H. Morris, P. M.

[Evening papers please copy.]

Unfortunately these articles contain no description of the stamp issued, and it will occur to those familiar with the process of engraving stamps at that date, that the production of a stamp as elaborate as the stamp known, in so short a time as elapsed between the date of the first and last of these articles, was either a remarkable piece of work, or had been commenced some time before. Possibly the stamps first issued were not those known to collectors and have never been discovered.[33]

Be this as it may, the plate contained more than a single stamp. From double copies that have passed through our hands, we have proof that it consisted of at least eight different varieties, arranged in two horizontal rows of four stamps each, differing in minute details and at different distances apart. There may have been more, but this remains to be verified. The stamp which appears to have occupied the upper left hand corner of the sheet shows in each letter the outlines of the same letters, engraved in black and a little lower down than the white ones, as if the intention had originally been to have the value appear in black on a white label. It is said that the plate is now in the possession of the consolidated Bank Note Companies (American) of New York. At any rate PROOFS were struck from it long after the stamp was out of use, in various colors.

NEW YORK POST OFFICE.

Issue of July 14, 1845.

Portrait of President Washington, faced to left in an oval, 19 mm. wide by 21 mm. high, with a back ground of colored lines, crossed at right angles and bordered by a colorless line. Solid colored label bordered by a colorless line above and below the oval, inscribed in colorless ordinary capitals, above "Post Office," below "Five Cents." Foliated ornaments in the four corners, the upper enclosing small colorless labels inscribed in small colored capitals "New," at the left "York," at the right,[34] the whole surrounded by a colored line forming a rectangle.

Engraved on copper at New York by Messrs. Rawden, Wright and Hatch.

Plate impression 20 by 28 mm., on slightly bluish paper.

5 cents black.

In most of the catalogues this stamp has been described also, as on white paper. Such specimens are shown, but they are produced by some chemical action of the gum used to fasten them to letters, or of the composition of the paper or other accidental causes. Specimens may be also found of a buff color as if steeped in coffee, another changeling produced by the action of strong gum.

Each stamp is signed A. C. M. in red ink. They are generally cancelled with a pen and blue ink, or by the word "Paid" hand stamped in red ink, or by the dating stamp.

There is another type of stamp said to have been issued by the postmaster of New York in 1849. The design is two concentric circles, the inner 13, the outer 17 mm. in diameter. In the center, "One Cent" in two lines of ordinary colored capitals, about 2 mm. high. Between the circles, above, "U. S. Mail;" below, "Prepaid" in similar letters 2 mm. high. They were printed in black on small squares of rose colored paper, and afterwards on paper varying from bright yellow to pale drab and generally glazed.

This stamp was chronicled in Kline's Manual, first edition, 1862, as a "Carrier Stamp," and has[35] since been alternately considered a governmental, or a local stamp. Upon what ground it is so confidently asserted to have been issued by the New York postmaster, and its date assigned to 1849, seems never to have been stated. It is certain however that if it were issued prior to 1851, it did not prepay any authorized government postage, and if issued after 1847, such an issue was forbidden by law unless authorized by the Postmaster General. It is hardly to be supposed that the postmaster of New York City would have openly violated the law. The inscription, "U. S. Mail," does not prove anything but probably means "prepaid to the U. S. Mail," and the stamp is probably the issue of some of the local delivery companies.


[36]

V.

Stamps of the St. Louis Postmaster.

Of all the stamps of this character, those issued by the St. Louis Postmaster have been most discussed in the Philatelical Press. The ten cents was first noticed in an article in the Stamp Collector's Magazine in November, 1863, and the five cents was mentioned in Kline's Manual, 3rd edition, 1865. Mr. L. W. Durbin first mentioned the second die of the 10 cents, Mr. Pemberton the second die of the 5 cents, and Mr. Scott is entitled to the credit of discovering the third die of each.

It is unnecessary to repeat the numerous discussions, pro and con, concerning the authenticity of these stamps, since the present author discovered, and republished in Le Timbre Poste, in May, 1873, the following articles from contemporaneous daily papers, which leave no further room for doubt concerning the two values, 5 and 10 cents.

Missouri Republican. July 17th. 1845.

"Free stamped envelopes. For the convenience of[37] those who may wish to prepay their packages at any hour of the night, Robert H. Morris, the postmaster of New York, as we learn from the Express, has prepared a variety of stamped envelopes. They are marked five cents, ten cents, &c., and under these words is the name R. H. Morris. The five cent envelopes will be sold by the postmaster at 6 cents each, or 16 for a dollar of the common kind and common size, and the others in proportion. This will be as cheap as they can be bought in small quantities at the stationers. A thin envelope will contain two letters and be subject only to a single postage. Envelopes of various sizes will also be furnished and of fine quality when desired by the purchaser. The plan has also been adopted by the postmaster at Washington and has met the approval of the Postmaster General. We think it not only a convenience to the public but that it will add to the revenue of the Department very considerably. The above arrangement would be a great convenience to many persons. Why should not the postmaster here adopt the same plan. We believe the public generally would buy them."

This article, although a mere repetition of the article of the Express, and like that mentioning envelopes of New York and Washington which no one has ever seen, contains at the end a reference which was evidently the inspiration of the St. Louis postmaster to issue his stamps, for we read in the Missouri Republican of November 5th, 1845, the following:

"Letter Stamps. Mr. Wimer, the postmaster, has prepared a set of letter stamps, or rather marks to put upon letters, indicating that the postage has been paid. In this he has copied after the plan adopted by the postmaster of New York and other cities. These stamps are[38] engraved to represent the Missouri Coat of Arms, and are five and ten cents. They are so prepared that they may be stuck upon a letter like a wafer and will prove a great convenience to merchants and all those having many letters to send post paid, as it saves all trouble of paying at the post office. They will be sold as they are sold in the East, viz: Sixteen five cent stamps and eight ten cent stamps for a dollar. We would recommend merchants and others to give them a trial."

And a few days later in the same paper of November 13th, 1845, we again read:

"Post Office Stamps. Mr. Wimer, the postmaster, requests us to say that he will furnish nine ten cent stamps and eighteen five cent stamps for one dollar, the difference being required to pay for the printing of the stamps."

The above articles contain nearly the whole history of the stamps of St. Louis. We learn the name of the postmaster who had them made, (the name, however is incorrectly spelled) their use and price, the date and object of their issue. A thorough search of all the files preserved, of the daily papers published in St. Louis from January, 1845, to December, 1848, resulted in no further discoveries concerning them.

ST. LOUIS POST OFFICE.

Issue of November 5th, 1845.

Arms of the State of Missouri. A round shield parted per pale; on the dexter side, gules (red or vertically lined ground), the grizzly bear of[39] Missouri, passant guardant, proper; on a chief engrailed azure (horizontally lined), a crescent argent; on the sinister side, argent, the arms of the United States, (the stamp is dotted or gold) the whole with a band inscribed "United we stand, divided we fall" (The buckle below on the left, in the 5 cents, should be omitted). Supporters on each side, a grizzly bear of Missouri, proper; rampant guardant, standing on a scroll inscribed "Salus Populi Suprema lex esto." Above, the value is expressed in large outline numerals, ornamented and shaded. In the corners "Saint" and "Louis" with numerous flourishes. Below the arms "Post Office" in large ordinary capitals. The whole in a rectangular frame of a thin and thick colored line.

Engraved on copper by J. M. Kershaw, at St. Louis. The plate consisted of six stamps, three of each value, and was delivered to Mr. Wymer, and is said to have been lost with other of his effects during the war. The engraver thinks he printed about 500 sheets, at three different times, upon such paper as he happened to have at hand, and that as the plate deteriorated easily, he probably retouched it slightly each time in parts, before printing. He denies positively the possibility of the figures upon the twenty cent value being his work. These are all the facts he can now vouch for, and states that many of the statements from time to time attributed to him "were the ideas of his interviewers, who tried to refresh his recollection and may have mixed him up."[40]

Plate Impression in black upon three qualities of bluish paper, 3 varieties of each value.

5 cents, black 17 by 22 mm.
10 cents, black 18 by 22 mm.

These stamps are printed on a rather thick greenish blue paper, on a thinner grey-blue paper, and on a very thin greyish paper, which agrees with the recollection of the engraver that he printed three different lots of them. A pair is also known on a coffee colored paper. They were taken from buff envelopes, and are undoubtedly discolored by the action of the paper or gum. Those on white paper have been made so by chemical action.

The varieties may be thus distinguished:

Five Cents. The dashes in the corners form a sort of triangular ornament, or branch. The letters are block capitals, shaded by a fine line. There are no lines or dashes under "Post Office."

First Variety. (a) The buckle on the garter has the point and tongue turned up to the left.

(b) There are six dashes above "Saint," and eight above "Louis," of which the top and bottom ones on each side are long strokes.

(c) One long and two short lines and a speck under "Saint," and one long and three short lines under "Louis."

(d) A long diamond in top of numeral, and a mis-shapened diamond in the bow of the numeral, with four dots above and nine below it, and a dot in the ball of the numeral.[41]

(e) The bear in the shield is on a vertically lined ground.

Second Variety. (a) The buckle has the tongue and point turned down to the right.

(b) There are eleven dashes above "Saint," and ten above "Louis," one of which cuts the frame on the right.

(c) One long and two short lines, a dot, and a horizontal stroke below "Saint," one very long, and three short lines under "Louis," two above and two below the level of the bear's ear.

(d) A triangle in the top of the numeral, and a diamond in the bow of the numeral, with four dots above and nine below the latter. No dot in the ball of the numeral. The right end of the scroll is double, and touches the frame.

(e) The bear is on a vertically lined ground.

Third Variety. (a) The buckle has the point turned down to the right.

(b) There are twelve lines above "Saint," and seventeen above "Louis."

(c) There are one long and three short lines under "Saint," and one long and two short lines and a dot under "Louis," the latter on a line between the ear and eye of the bear.

(d) A diamond in the top of the 5, and an upright diamond in the back, with eleven dots below and four dots above it.

(e) The bear is on a ground lined horizontally above and vertically below.

Mr. Pemberton thinks, from a fine clear copy he[42] had seen, that for some reason the numeral of this variety had been originally engraved as a 1. He says there is a thin line to the right of the down stroke of the 5, three small dots in a curve to the right of the diamond in the top of the 5, and two small dots, one over the other to the left of the diamond.

Fourth Variety.[A] Mr. Pemberton describes a fourth type of the Five cents which he claims is a restoration of the second variety, from which one variety of the 20 cents was made by alteration.

[A] Note.—Without examining the specimen from which Mr. Pemberton described, it is impossible to say that it may not be one of the retouches which Mr. Kershaw thinks he made.

(a) The buckle has the point turned down to the right.

(b) There are eleven dashes above "Saint," and ten above "Louis."

(c) There are four lines under "Saint," and three long and two short lines under "Louis," the last on a level with the bear's ear.

(d) A diamond in the top, and a long diamond in the back of 5, with four dots over and four dots under the latter. Coarser shading around the figure, and a curved vertical line at the back of the bow, being part of the 0 of 20 badly erased.

(e) Bear on a vertically lined ground. The two lines of the frame above Louis bulged.

Ten Cents. The words "Saint," and "Louis" are in small, colored, ordinary capitals, unshaded. There is a long flourish curved upwards over each[43] word. It seems to have been intended to have a point with a short dash on each side of it, above each of these, with a second long flourish curved upwards and then brought down round the end of the word, and continued as a flourish under them, but the details are different in the several types. The numerals are ornamented by a diamond in the middle of each down stroke, with three dots, above and below each diamond, except in type one, which has only two dots below the diamond in the 1.

The following varieties will be noticed:

First Variety. The point and right dash, between the corner flourishes on both sides, usually missing, and the upper flourish does not come distinctly round the right hand word.

3lines beneath"Post Office."
5" ""Saint."
4" ""Louis."

Second Variety. The point and right dash, between the flourishes in the right hand corner, gone, and the upper flourish, does not come round the right hand word distinctly.

3lines beneath "Post Office,"
  with a smaller stroke over each.
4lines beneath"Saint."
4" ""Louis."

Third Variety. The point between the dashes, between the flourishes on the left, missing.

3 lines beneath "Post Office,"
  with a smaller stroke over each,
  and dots between them.[44]
3 linesand 2dots beneath"Saint."
4 "  1" ""Louis."

Mr. Pemberton at one time chronicled a fourth variety of this value also, but could not afterward identify it. Indeed the impressions show great variation from the intended design in the corner flourishes, which seem to have been engraved too fine in parts.

Twenty Cents. While the author and many others do not believe the twenty cent value to be genuine, in deference to such authorities as Messrs. Scott and Pemberton, who accept the few specimens known, they are here described. In the American Journal of Philately, of January, 1870, Mr. Scott, after describing the three varieties each of the 5 and 10 cents for the first time, mentions the 20 cent value as a new discovery. Comparing the three specimens, he says: Two are exactly alike, and have evidently been altered from variety three, above described, while the third is different, having evidently been altered from variety two. At a later date he mentions a fourth specimen. Five specimens are all that have ever been chronicled, we believe.

Mr. Pemberton describes the first three more at length, in a paper in the Stamp Collector's Magazine, for January, 1871. He says he had before him 13 stamps of the 5 cent value, and 12 of the 10 cents, but he does not state how many he had of the 20 cents, but that 10 of the 25 specimens were lent[45] him from America. The American Journal, for January, 1871, however, says he had the three known specimens of the 20 cents. The theory of his article is that the twenty cents was made by erasing the numerals, and of course incidentally other surrounding parts of the varieties two and three, of the five cent value on the plate, and engraving the numerals 20, printing that value and afterwards erasing the 20 and replacing the five. It is also the theory of the article that this was done with all three varieties of the 3 cents, although the author had seen only two varieties of the 20 cents, and only one specimen of the 5 cents, which he could torture into a re-engraving. He alters the arrangement of varieties of Mr. Scott, to which we prefer to adhere, and thus describes them:

Variety One, from variety three of the five cents.

One long and one short line under "Saint." Half of each of the original top strokes and the third stroke under "Louis" being erased, but the dot left. The inner line of the frame erased from the T to L, and a smaller portion of the outer frame above erased also.

Variety Two, from variety two of the five cents. Four strokes under "Saint," but bolder and closer than the original, the vertical stroke over the left bear's paw nearly erased.

Four strokes under "Louis," but deeper and more regular, the third stroke downwards on a level with the bear's ear. L of "Louis" has been re-engraved. Bear's paw on the garter erased.[46]

The inner line of frame half erased between "Saint," and "Louis."

It remains to be added that the numerals are, in both these varieties, very badly drawn, single lined and solid, instead of open and ornamented, and are shaded by miserably drawn irregular horizontal fine lines of uneven length, totally different from the figures in the other two values.

It is both impracticable and useless to attempt to repeat here all the arguments for and against the authenticity of these specimens. It is claimed that they were found in the same file of letters with the greater part of the specimens of the other values known. That the rate they indicate was a regular rate upon heavy letters from St. Louis to New York, and that many letters so marked that do not bear stamps, were found in the same and other files; that there are no traces of erasure of the 5 by scratching, and the paper is no thinner under the numerals than elsewhere. This seems to be the substance of what can be said in their favor.

On the other hand they are not alluded to in the notices published in the Republican, above quoted, or elsewhere; the engraver is positive that he did not alter the values; says that he retained the plate until after Mr. Wyman had ceased to be postmaster, which was at least two years after the stamps were prohibited by law, and that the workmanship of the numerals could not possibly be his, and would be a disgrace to any engraver; the figures are apparently made by an unskilled hand with an[47] ordinary pen and ink; competent authorities in such matters state that it is possible to remove printing ink from paper; three of the known specimens have been photographed, two of one variety and one of another; in all the numerals differ, those of the two varieties mentioned by Mr. Scott as corresponding, vary as much as the two from different varieties of the five cents. While it is true that a portion of the inner line of the frame is gone between Saint and Louis, and that the strokes are bolder beneath these words on one variety, it is not apparent that they are nearer together, or of different shape as Mr. Pemberton thought, or that the L of "Louis" has been re-engraved. The absent lines need no comment. Lastly, the work has a blurred appearance, as if the ink had slightly run into the paper around these famous 20 numerals, and in all the photographs they are of a different color from the remaining parts of the same stamps, and the other stamps photographed with them, particularly noticeable in light photographs, while the blurred appearance is more apparent in the dark photographs. If these facts do not convince those who believe in the authenticity of these 20 cent varieties, that they, with Messrs. Scott and Pemberton, have been the victims of a clever fraud, the question will probably never be settled for them, as no new facts are likely at this date to be discovered.

The two cent value, once chronicled, is of a different design, and an admitted invention.


[48]

VI.

Stamp of the Brattleboro Postmaster.

The stamp issued by the Postmaster, of Brattleboro, Vermont, is catalogued as a local as early as Kline's Manual, 2nd edition, 1863. The first magazine to describe it was Taylor's Record, February, 1865, which states that it was issued in 1848, by F. N. Palmer, to supply a temporary lack of the current five cents and gives a fair description of it. The American Journal of Philately, in January, 1869, in an article by Dr. Petrie, gave the first correct account of it. The article gives a letter purporting to have been written by Dr. Palmer, who says it was a strictly private enterprise, neither ordered or repudiated by the Department, and did not appear in his account with the head office at Washington. "My object," he says, "in issuing it was to accommodate the people, and save myself labor in making and collecting quarterly bills, almost everything at that time being either charged or forwarded without prepayment. I was disappointed in the effect, having still to charge the[49] stamps and collect my bills. As to the number issued, I should say five or six hundred as an experiment. They were engraved by Mr. Thomas Chubbuck, then of Brattleboro, now of Springfield."

Mr. Palmer thinks the stamp was issued during his first year as postmaster, (1845).

The March number of the same journal, for the same year, mentions a specimen on a letter of 1846, postmarked with a pen, November 10th, but the stamp cancelled with the word "PAID," hand stamped in red. In the Stamp Collector's Magazine, November, 1870, Mr. L. H. Bagg, recapitulating the foregoing, states incidentally, that one reason for this accommodating spirit on the part of the postmaster, was that his salary depended on the cash receipts of his office, and hence his anxiety to have as many letters prepaid as possible, a fact which assists us in understanding why a stamp should have been issued at such a small place as Brattleboro then was. The postmarked letter shows that the use of the stamp did not do away with the necessity of marking the letter "PAID," and that it was this mark and not the stamp that was recognized by other postmasters. In his interview with Mr. Bagg, the engraver, Mr. Chubbuck, was quite confident that Mr. Palmer burned all the unsold stamps in his possession upon the appearance of the first regular United States Stamps, that the bill for engraving them was not collected until June, 1848, and that the charges were $7.50 for engraving the plate, and $1.50 for printing 500 stamps. Mr.[50] Bagg also obtained from Mr. Chubbuck a part of a sheet, eight stamps, which was afterwards purchased by Mr. Scott, who got together all the copies he could, and thus reconstructed the sheet, which was shown to have contained ten varieties, in two horizontal rows of 5 stamps each, each stamp separately engraved, the words "Eng. by Thos. Chubbuck, Bratt'o," appearing in small script under the middle stamp of the lower row, and not extending over the length of that stamp.

BRATTLEBORO POST OFFICE.

Issue of 1845 or 1846.

"F. N. P.", the initials of the postmaster, Frederick N. Palmer, in fac-simile, with flourish beneath, on a vertically lined ground, in an oblong with cut corners, bordered by a heavy colored, a colorless and a finer colored line in a band lined diagonally, (from right above, to left below) and bordered by another fine colored, a colorless and heavier colored line, forming an oblong rectangle, and inscribed above "Brattleboro, Vt.," in colored black letters, "P. and O." on left and right, in ordinary colored capitals, and "5 Cents" in outline capitals below.

Plate impression 21 by 19 mm., in color, on brownish paper.

5 cents, black.


[51]

VII.

Stamp of the New Haven Postmaster.

This stamp was discovered in an old collection by Mr. Wm. P. Brown, and described by him in his Curiosity Cabinet in May, 1871. The New Haven Palladium of May 11, 1871, has the following account of the discovery, which, though it contains some errors as to the former postal rates, and some ignorance as to the history of the stamps of the United States, is worthy of insertion here.

"A CURIOSITY."

"An old envelope post office stamp, issued at New Haven, of the denomination of 5 cents, marked 'PAID,' and subscribed by 'E. A. Mitchell, P. M.,' has lately turned up. It must have been issued over 20 years ago and is probably one of the oldest United States stamps in existence. Mr. Mitchell was postmaster of this city from 1844 to 1850. When he took office the rates were 6, 10, 12, and 25 cents for single letters, according to distance, no prepayment being required. The rates[52] were afterwards reduced to 10 and 5 cents according to distance, and subsequently to five cents, uniform for all distances, the weight not exceeding one quarter ounce, and prepayment required. At this period envelopes began to come in use, and as prepayment of postage could only be made at the office during business hours, Mr. Mitchell took the responsibility of issuing envelopes, stamped as above, with his signature on each, and selling them at the cost of envelopes and postage as an accommodation; some of the post offices refused to recognize them, and reported the fact to the Department. As however the stamps could only be used at the New Haven office, and were sent as prepaid matter, properly entered on the New Haven Post Bill, there could be no loss to the government, and the Department taking a liberal view of the subject, authorized their continuance. There is no doubt that the adoption of stamps by our government was much hastened by the issue of these prepaid envelopes, and it can truly be said that they were the first stamps issued by the United States. Mr. Mitchell is still in possession of the original plate."

From a letter of Mr. Mitchell's, printed in the American Journal of Philately in May, 1871, it further appears that Mr. Mitchell permitted parties to bring their own envelopes to be stamped. The die was a simple hand stamp engraved by F. G. Gorham, and the ink employed was that in ordinary use for hand stamps in the office, red or blue. He was postmaster from September, 1844, to 1852, and[53] thinks the stamp was issued first in 1845. Only one original stamp has so far been found.

NEW HAVEN POST OFFICE.

Issue of 1845.

Large rectangular stamp, with corners cut by quarter circles. Frame of a very heavy outside line with an interior fine line. "Post Office" in heavy block letters inclined to left, in a straight line across the top, "New Haven, Ct.," in a curved line of Roman capitals, in a second line. Large numeral "5" with "PAID" in large block capitals beneath, signature (E. A. Mitchell) written, and "P. M." in ordinary capitals forming the fifth line.

Impression 26 by 31 mm., from brass hand stamp, in color on white or colored envelopes.

5 cents, red.

The only known original is cut square. In 1871, Mr. Mitchell made a few re-impressions in red and blue ink, which he signed and distributed to collectors. The die was then deposited in the archives of the New Haven Colonial Historical Society.

Reprints.5 cents,blue impression,red signature.
 5 "red "blue"
 5 "" "black"
 5 "" "no"

All on large white paper.


[54]

VIII.

Stamps of the Providence Postmaster.

These stamps, of which the 5 cent value was catalogued as early as 1863, and the 10 cent in June, 1865, were issued by Mr. H. B. Sayles, postmaster at Providence, and engraved by a Mr. Kidden, of that city in 1846. None of the daily papers of the locality, which we have been permitted to consult, seem to have noticed the issue. The plate has however been preserved among the archives of the State of Rhode Island.

PROVIDENCE POST OFFICE.

Issue of 1846.

"Post Office," in a curved line, "Prov. R. I." in a straight line, and "Five Cents" in a curved line, all in outline colorless block capitals on a ground of fine horizontal lines, bordered by a fine colored, a broad colorless and second fine colored line, forming a horizontal oval, the space outside filled in with similar horizontal lined ground to form a rectangle, bordered by a fine colored line, the bottom and[55] right side double thickness, and ornamented with a white foliated ornament in each of the four corners, separated by a white ball on the sides, and by from two to five balls above, but none at the bottom, where there is instead a prolongation of the foliation.

Plate impression (copper), 20 by 28 mm., on yellowish white paper.

5 cents, black,
10 cents, black.

These stamps were issued gummed.

The paper of the sheet measures 85 by 88 mm. On the plate there are three stamps in each horizontal and four in each vertical row, or twelve stamps. The upper right hand corner stamp alone bears the value "Ten Cents." If for the sake of convenience the first stamp on the left of the upper row is designated as type one, the next two, etc.; the first stamp on the left of the second row as type four; the first of the third row as seven; and the first of the fourth row as ten, the following may be noticed among the many points of difference. The plate was originally ruled into spaces for the stamps by very fine lines, which seem to have been carried straight through over the spaces intended to separate the stamps, and not always to have been perfectly obliterated afterwards. On the right of the plate there is also a vertical line parallel to the right side of all the stamps in the right hand row, at the distance separating two stamps (nearly 2 mm.) as if the intention had been to add another stamp to each horizontal row.[56]

Type 1. At the upper left corner, the horizontal frame line thickened projects to the left and the vertical line projects upward. 5 balls between the foliations the middle one is an oblong rectangle, the end ones touch the ornaments. The side balls are on a line with the tops of the letters of "Prov., R. I." There is a period after Cents.

Type 2. At the upper left corner, the horizontal frame line thickened projects to the left. At the lower left corner both the horizontal and vertical lines thickened project. Both the horizontal top and bottom lines continue on the right to Type 3. 5 balls, the middle one is a square, the next on the right is the lower half of a circle, the next on left flat at top and bottom. These three are all small. The end ball on the right larger than the others. Both it and the end ball on the left are flat on top. "F" in "Five" very close to the border. Side balls above the line of the top of the letters of "Prov., R. I." A period after Cents.

Type 3. Ten cents. The horizontal top line of frame projects each way. The vertical line at the right plain above but thickened and partially obliterated below the lower right corner. The lower horizontal line projects to the left to Type 2. 5 balls, the middle one large and square, the extreme right one nearly round, the remaining three irregular and nearly equal in size. "E" of "Office" touches the oval. Side balls below the line of the top of the letters of "Prov., R. I.," and lower point of left foliation cuts into the left ball. No period after Cents.[57]

Type 4. The top horizontal line projects to the left. The bottom horizontal line projects both to the left and right. 5 balls. The middle one is a small oblong rectangle. Those next to it very small. Left side ball on a level with the top line of letters of "Prov., R. I.," but the right ball smaller and lower down. No period after Cents.

Type 5. The top horizontal line projects to the left, and part of it is thickened. It also projects to the right. The bottom horizontal line projects to the left. 5 balls. The middle one in an oblong rectangle. The "s" of Cents, resembles an 8. Side balls are above the line of the top of "Prov., R. I." No period after Cents.

Type 6. The top horizontal line projects to left. The bottom horizontal line also. The vertical left line projects to type 9. 5 balls. The middle one is a square. Shading of "E" of "Office" touches the oval. The side balls are below the tops of "Prov., R. I." No period after Cents.

Type 7. The top horizontal line projects both to left and right. The right vertical line projects above the corner. 4 balls only. The middle one is gone. They are all small. A period after Cents.

Type 8. The top horizontal and left vertical lines both project at the upper left corner. 5 balls. The middle ball is a square. The top of the "E" of "Office" touches the oval. The "s" in Cents is very small, and is followed by a period.

Type 9. The top horizontal line projects both[58] ways, and the left vertical line projects above the upper left corner. Both vertical lines are continued down to type 12. 2 balls only, the middle ones are left out. "V" in "Prov." is too large and the "F" of "Five" touches the oval. No period after Cents.

Type 10. The top horizontal and right vertical lines both project beyond the upper right corner. 5 balls. The middle one square. The lower leaf of the upper left foliation has no notch. Point after Cents.

Type 11. The top horizontal line projects to the left and both verticals project upwards. 5 balls. The middle one is square. The end balls project above top line. No period after Cents.

Type 12. Both vertical lines project up to Type 9. 5 dots. Middle one is an oblong rectangle. The next on the right projects above the frame. The one at right end is nearly round, but both those at the left are rectangular. Ball at right side large and flat. No period after Cents.

It has been stated that the engraver of the original plate re-engraved these stamps for the benefit of collectors many years ago. However this may be, there are a number of very dangerous counterfeits in existence, as well as some that are easily detected.

In the following table the lines which touch the letters or other parts are counted as well as those between them. By these differences and peculiarities the position of a given specimen on the plate can readily be determined.

[59]

The following peculiarities are noticed in Le Timbre Poste, page 5, 1871.

  TypeType TypeType TypeType TypeType TypeType TypeType
  123 456 789 101112
Width of the oval 2424 2423 2324 2424 2424 2424
Height of the oval 1818 1818 1818 1818 1818 1818
*Upper frame and oval 32 32 34 02 33 22
*O of Office, and oval above 1213 1111 1211 129 1211 1211
*V of Prov., and oval above 1514 1414 1512 1216 1614 1515
*V of Prov., and C of Cents 1314 1414 1416 1615 1513 1413
*C of Cents, and oval below 76 77 77 88 69 79
*P of Prov., & E or T of 5, 10 34 44 45 65 45 43
*I of R. I., and S of Cents 55 65 67 76 74 54
*P of Post, and P of Prov. 66 34 63 57 64 56
*E of Office, and I of R. I. 44 31 42 26 43 43

*Horizontal lines between the


[60]

IX.

Stamp of the Alexandria Postmaster.

This stamp was discovered by the present author, and was first chronicled in an article by him in Le Timbre Poste, of February, 1873. A second specimen is chronicled in Durbin's Philatelic Monthly, of August, 1879. They are both postmarked with the ordinary dated hand stamp of Alexandria, D. C., the word "PAID," and large numeral "5." The first postmark is dated July 10th, that of the second is illegible, but the letter was dated Sept. 9th, 1846.

ALEXANDRIA POST OFFICE.

Issue of 1846.

Large round stamp, 30 mm. in diameter, with border of 40 six-rayed stars. Within "Alexandria," above, and "Post Office," below, in heavy block capitals, a six-rayed star separating the words, on each side. In the centre "PAID," in smaller capitals, with the numeral "5" beneath.[61]

Impression from wood block, 30 mm. in diameter, on yellow paper.

5 cents, black.

This stamp appears to have been originally stamped upon the buff envelopes common at the time, and to have been cut out and fastened to the letter. No further information concerning it has yet been discovered. The files at Washington, of the Alexandria Gazette, the only Alexandria paper of that period, are defective from May 22nd, to October, 1845, and in part for 1847. Daniel Brien was Postmaster at Alexandria during 1845-47.


[62]

X.

Stamps of the Baltimore Postmaster.

This stamp was first chronicled in the Philatelical Journal in 1874. The copy there described was the only one known, until very recently, a second copy was described in the New York World, and subsequently that and another were mentioned in the Alexandria Gazette, of August 3rd, 1886, as having been in possession of Mr. Thomas Semmes, of Alexandria. These are described as postmarked respectively, January 15th, and 31st., 1847, with the other marks usual upon letters of the period. From 1845 to 1849, Mr. James Madison Buchannan was the postmaster at Baltimore, and is said to have issued this stamp in the fall of 1846. Further details are wanting. The stamp is a simple looking slip of paper containing the signature of the postmaster in fac-simile, in one line, and the value, "5 Cents," in a second line, bordered by a frame of single colored lines, crossed at the four angles.

Impression, 55 by 15 mm., in color upon thin bluish paper.

5 cents, black.

[63]

James M. Buchannan (handwritten signature) PAID 5 (with 5 inside circle)

Besides these adhesive stamps, Mr. Buchannan also issued a species of franked envelope. Two copies of this were found by Mr. Robt. H. Smith, in examining his old letters. They are the ordinary buff wove envelopes of the period, size 80 by 137 mm., of the old simple form with straight edged flaps. In the right upper hand corner the signature "James M. Buchannan," hand stamped, 50 mm. long, the "B," 4 mm. high. Beneath this in a second line the word "PAID," in capitals, 4 mm. high, and 16 mm. long is also hand stamped. Below this again, a large numeral "5," 11 mm. high, in an oval 20 mm. long by 7 high, is also hand stamped.

The specimen described is hand stamped with the ordinary round hand stamp of Baltimore, Md., and dated Nov. 24th, no year stated and is directed to the present owner and finder.

Impression hand stamped in blue ink on buff envelopes.

5 cents, blue.

Besides these it has been claimed that the stamp known as the "horseman," was also issued in 1860 or 1861, by the Postmaster of Baltimore. It may be described as a rough design of a horseman, galloping to the right, holding a streamer, inscribed:[64] "One Cent." On ribbons above, "Government City Dispatch." Rough frame of vertical lines with rough ornaments in the corners, bordered by a single colored line.

Impression, 23 by 17 mm., apparently lithographed in color on white paper.

  1Cent,red.
  1"black.
Variety,1 Sent"

It will appear further on, that at this date, 1860, and long prior thereto, the law prohibited postmasters from recognizing or permitting to be used any stamps not received from the Postmaster General. In a letter published in the American Journal of Philately, July 20th, 1869, W. H. H. Corell, 3rd Assistant Postmaster General, says: "The records of the Department do not contain any reference to the other stamp, Post Rider." It is supposed to have been issued by one of the numerous "City Dispatch" companies located in New York. These facts and the very rough workmanship, so unlike any of the authorized Government issues, would seem sufficient to settle the absolutely unofficial character of this stamp.


[65]

XI.

Stamp of the Millbury Postmaster.

In the collection of letters received by Col. Isaac Davis, of Worcester, Mass., now in the library of the American Antiquarian Society, were found, in 1884, two letters written and posted at Millbury, in August and December, 1846, postmarked with the ordinary dating stamp of Millbury, of the dates August 21st, and December 16th, respectively, and stamped with an adhesive stamp, cancelled with the word "PAID," in large capitals, partly on the letter and partly on the stamp. The earliest also bears a large "V," in an octagon frame, and the other a large numeral "5," in a circle. Col. Asa H. Waters, was postmaster of Millbury in 1846, having received his commission, dated January 2nd, 1836, from President Jackson, "Old Hickory," and retained the office until November, 1848, when he resigned and obtained the office for Henry Waterman, who had been his assistant. A third copy of the adhesive stamp is in the possession of Col. Waters, postmarked exactly as the[66] first described specimen, but the date is July 18th. Both Col. Waters and Mr. Waterman state that the idea of the stamp was suggested by the reception of letters bearing the New York stamp, and that the stamp was printed in Boston, from a block cut in 1846. Neither gentleman has any data by which to fix more exactly the date of its issue.

MILLBURY POST OFFICE.

Issue of 1846.

Head of Washington, face to the right, on a colorless circular disk, 16 mm. in diameter, shaded to left of the head, and part way in front by 4 diagonal lines, and bordered by a circular band, 2 mm. wide, edged outside and inside by a colored line. The band is inscribed above, "Post Office," below, "Paid 5 Cents," in colored block capitals, except "5 Cents," which is in script. There are three five-pointed stars irregularly formed on each side in the band. The outer circle is a little flat between T and O. The vertical diameter is mm. longer than the horizontal.

Impression from wood block 22 by 22 mm. in diameter, in black on smooth unsurfaced white paper.

5 cents, black.


[67]

XII.

Stamped Envelopes of the Washington Postmaster.

The Daily Union, published at Washington, Wednesday, July 23rd, 1845, and the National Intelligencer, of Friday, July 25th, 1845, contain the following advertising editorial[A]:

"Interesting to Citizens and Sojourners in Washington. Upon inquiring at the city post office, we learn that Col. Gardiner has had franked (or rather prepaid) envelopes prepared, which do away with the necessity of personal application at the delivery window when one wishes to pay postage on sending off a letter. They are for sale at the post office, at the following rates; which barely pay the cost, after deducting the sum chargeable on each for postage, viz:

18envelopes to enclose letterscharged at 5centsfor $1.00
9" ""  "  50
1" ""  "  6
9" "" 10cents  1.00
4" "" 10" bracket right 50
1" "" 5"

This plan, it will be recollected has been adopted in the northern cities to the great advantage of the public,[68] and its introduction here will save our fellow citizens many a long and hitherto, indispensable trudge, in this metropolis of magnificent distances."

The latter paper, however quotes the price of the 5 cent envelopes at 6 cents, instead of 6. These are evidently the envelopes mentioned in the article of the Express, of July 8th, quoted in the chapter on the stamps of the New York postmaster. Up to the present time none of them have been reported to have been found.

[A] The newspaper articles concerning these envelopes were found by Mr. C. F. Rothfuchs who, at the suggestion of the author, kindly searched the files of the Washington papers.


[69]

XIII.

Stamps of the Philadelphia Postmaster.

From 1845 to 1849, Dr. Geo. F. Lehman was postmaster of Philadelphia. It is asserted that he adopted for use in the post office at Philadelphia, a number of peculiar devices of his own, which appear to have been a substitute for postage stamps. They are described as bands with the names of the persons who mailed the letters upon them, which were fastened around the letters, and upon receipt at the post office, were removed by the clerks and kept as vouchers, the amount of postage due being charged to the account of the sender, and collected with the quarterly bill. There are also said to have been in use several other designs in the form of stamps, printed and sold by the post office, which when fastened upon the letter indicated that the office had received postage, and such letters were then forwarded and marked as paid.

Although several varieties of these are said to have been in use, none of them have yet been found.


[70]

XIV.

Stamps of the Worcester Postmaster.

In the National Aegis, published at Worcester, Mass., September 2nd, 1846, may be found the following item:

"Post Office Stamps. The postmaster has issued postage stamps of the denomination of five cents and ten cents. They are very convenient, and will save the trouble of making change at the post office, and will enable people to send prepaid letters at times when the office is closed. To cover the expense of engraving and printing, these stamps are sold at five per cent advance upon the regular rates of postage."

Maturin L. Fisher was postmaster at Worcester, from 1839 to 1849, and Andrew A. Williams was his chief clerk in 1846. The above item was recently found by the present author in searching old files of newspapers, for information about the various postmaster's stamps. No other Worcester paper seems to have noticed the matter, and no further information has so far rewarded the limited inquiry and search possible since the discovery. Both of the gentlemen in the office at the time are now deceased.


[71]

XV.

Stamps of the Pittsfield Postmaster.

A short notice published in one of the Springfield, Mass., papers, in the summer of 1874, asserts that in overhauling the vaults of the Berkshire Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of Pittsfield, a number of stamps were found that were issued by the Pittsfield postmaster, in 1846-7. Phineas Allen was postmaster of Pittsfield at the time. No further information concerning these stamps, has rewarded inquiry.


[72]

XVI.

Observations.

It is by no means improbable that other similar devices were in use in other towns and cities at this period, by which prepayment of postage was secured. The salaries of many of the smaller offices depended on the amount of postage collected, and the importance of all offices was estimated by the revenue collected. It was natural, therefore, as the public demand for such accommodation grew, that the postmaster should adopt a device tending to their own benefit. There are in the possession of the present author a number of hand stamps, apparently cut from letters and envelopes, inscribed such and such a "Post Office," "5 Cents Paid," which would seem to be stamps of this kind, but in the absence of further information, are not here chronicled. The wide spread use of such stamps would appear from the following caution, published in the Courier, of New York, July 18th, 1845.[73]

"The postmaster of this city has given notice that he has prepared stamps for the use of merchants, and requests them to provide themselves with these stamps to facilitate the business of the post office, and for their own convenience. It will be observed that the postmaster warns the public that any stamps offered for sale at any place other than the post office of this city are spurious. That the use of proper stamps by merchants will be a great convenience is admitted; but these stamps, thus offered, should be considered in no other light than the personal obligations of the postmaster, unauthorized as far as the public know, by any proper authority, and if issued by the postmaster of one city, may also be issued by the postmaster of any town or city in the United States; and if this practice becomes general, the amount in these stamps held by the public will be very considerable, and will evidently lead to great abuses and probably losses.

In case of the death or removal of a postmaster, we know of no legal obligation of his successor to consider these stamps of any value whatever.

Post office stamps to be of general utility, should be issued by the General Post Office at Washington, sanctioned by law, and with suitable penalties in case of forgery: they would be of great advantage to the Post Office Department, and would much facilitate business in various ways, but if issued by any or all postmasters, will in some cases be used "to raise the wind," and may raise it pretty effectually in cases of death or default, as the amount held by the public in any of the large cities would be a very considerable sum."

(Signed) CAVEAT.

This article was reprinted by numerous journals, among them the Express, of New York, July 18th, 1845.


[74]

XVII.

The Issue of 1847.

Notwithstanding these manifest dangers, noticed by the Courier and Express, the public continued to demand and use, and the postmasters to issue, as we have seen, these unauthorized stamps, without action on the part of Congress, or interference by the Department, until the beginning of 1847 when, apparently in response to the necessities of the case the following law was passed:

Statutes of the United States, XXIX Congress, Session II, Chapter LXIII, Section 1, approved March 3rd, 1847. An Act to establish certain Post Roads and for other purposes.

"And be it further enacted, that to facilitate the transportation of letters by mail, the Postmaster General be authorized to prepare postage stamps, which, when attached to any letter or packet, shall be evidence of the prepayment of the postage chargeable on such letter, which said stamps the Postmaster General may deliver to any deputy postmaster who may apply for the same, the deputy postmaster paying or becoming accountable for the amount of the stamps so received by him, and if any of said stamps shall not be used, but be returned[75] to the General Post Office, the amount so returned shall be credited to such deputy postmaster, and such deputy postmaster may sell or dispose of any stamps so received by him to any person who may wish to use the same, but it shall not be lawful for any deputy postmaster, to prepare, use, or dispose of any postage stamps not authorized by and received from the Postmaster General. And any person who shall falsely and fraudulently make, alter or forge any postage stamp with intent to defraud the Post Office Department, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and on conviction shall be subject to the same punishment as provided in the 21 Section of the Act approved March 3rd, 1825, entitled an Act," etc.

This is the first authorization of postage stamps in the United States, and it will be well to observe that the use of any stamps other than those authorized and received from the Postmaster General is strictly prohibited. The use of the stamps of the postmasters herein before treated of, must therefore have ceased from and after the 1st of July, 1847, when the law went into effect, or as soon thereafter as supplies were received from the Department. This effectually determines the character of such locals, as the so-called "Horseman," and "U. S. Mail Prepaid," before referred to.

According to the law and custom in the United States, a contract for the engraving and printing of stamps, under the authority of this Act, was made by the Postmaster General with Messrs. Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson, for four years. During this time they furnished 4,400,000, five cent stamps, and 1,050,000, ten cent stamps, of which 3,712,000[76] five cent, and 891,000 ten cent stamps are officially reported to have been distributed by the Department to deputy postmasters for sale. A portion of these, valued at $12,038.55, were however afterwards returned to the Department and exchanged for those of the subsequent issue, and credited to the deputies who returned them.

Issue of July 1st, 1847.

The issue consisted of two values only, five and ten cents.

Five Cents. Portrait of Benjamin Franklin, Continental Postmaster General, facing three quarters to the left, on an oval disk with hatched ground, 14 by 17 mm., bounded by a broad colorless line with a fine colored line outside, in a rectangular frame, also bordered by a broad colorless line with a fine colored line outside. The ground work of this frame is composed of fine horizontal colored lines, and is ornamented by foliations, and inscribed in outlined colorless capitals, "U." and "S.," in the upper corners, with "Post Office," between, following the form of the oval, large numeral "5," and "5," in the lower corners, with "Five Cents" between, following the form of the oval.

Between the lines of the outer border, exactly in the centre, are the initials of the engravers, "R. W. H. & E.," in small colored capitals.

Plate impression, 18 by 23 mm., in color, on faintly bluish paper.

5 cents, bronze.

[77]

Ten Cents. Portrait of George Washington, first President, facing three quarters to the right, on an oval disk, with hatched background, bordered by a broad colorless line, with a fine colored line outside, in a rectangular frame, bordered in the same manner. The ground of the frame and inscriptions are similar to the five cents, but changed for the value to a large "X," in each lower corner, with "Ten Cents," between. Same small initials in the lower border.

Plate impression, 18 by 23 mm., in color, on faintly bluish paper.

10 cents, black.

In the Hartford Times of August 5th, 1885, appeared a long article, entitled: "The First Postage Stamps," from which the following relating to the actual date of this issue may be here repeated.

"Thirty eight years ago to-day the first postage stamps were used in the United States. * * * On the 25th of March, 1840, John M. Niles, of Hartford, became Postmaster General and signalized his administration by many reforms. * * * It was necessary to cap all by a genuine innovation, and he performed this by suggesting the postage stamp. The suggestion was received with ridicule, and Mr. Niles soon after retired. * * * When Cave Johnson assumed the post office, on the 5th of March, 1845, he found it an Herculian task to reinstate the reform measures of Mr. Niles. * * * Among the measures of Mr. Niles that he adopted was the postage stamp idea. * * * Johnson garnished his conversation with fathering the suggestion originated six years before. * * * The matter took form as a bill. * * *[78] Approved March 3rd, 1847. The date of the issue was appointed as July 1st, but there was a delay in the contractors' work and the time ran over a month.

On the 5th of August, soon after the opening of the Postmaster General's office for the day, an old gentleman called to see Mr. Johnson on business. The gentleman was the Hon. Henry Shaw, a New Yorker, * * * and the father of the well known Henry Shaw, Jr., (Josh Billings). * * * Mr. Johnson came into his office accompanied by the printer of the new stamps, a few minutes after Mr. Shaw had arrived, on that August morning. Sheets of the stamps were laid before the Postmaster General, who, after receipting for them, handed them to his visitor to inspect. Mr. Shaw returned them after a hasty glance, and then drawing out his wallet, he counted fifteen cents, with which he purchased two of the stamps—the first two ever issued. The five cent stamp he kept as a curiosity, and the ten cent stamp he presented to Governor Briggs, as an appropriate gift."

Observations.

In nearly all the early catalogues and in some recent foreign ones, these stamps are catalogued upon white paper. Mr. Terrell, Third Assistant Postmaster General, in a letter published on page 111, American Stamp Mercury, 1870, states positively that this issue was never printed except upon faintly tinted bluish paper. It may be observed, generally, that the paper of all stamps of the early issues of all countries which were affixed to the blue or bluish paper in general use at the time, has a tendency to vary from the original color, sometimes becoming blue or bluish, when originally white,[79] darker or lighter blue or even whitish if originally blue. This has been variously explained, as the action of some ingredient in the paper of the letter, or of the stamp, in the gum or the ink.

It must be further observed that the color of the impression of the five cents varies greatly from the original pale red brown, called bronze. Many shades of faint red brown, red brown, faint dark brown, deep dark brown, black brown, bluish black, and almost pure black, may be found. Whether these result, as seems to be the case, from a natural change in the course of time, from something in the ink, paper or surroundings of the stamp itself, or whether it results from the use of different colored ink originally, may perhaps be impossible now to determine.

The ten cent, however, varies very little in the color of the impression. Beyond a lighter, or grayish shade, a black with a bluish cast, and the ordinary black impression, little is to be noticed.

The stamps are separated in the sheet by about 2 mm., each way. Double copies of the five cents, adhering either by the side, or by the top and bottom, are often found on old letters, and occasionally, three or four adhering specimens are encountered. The ten cents is almost invariably found in single specimens, though a few pairs, and even three used together are known.

According to a statement in the American Journal of Philately, of April, 1871, this issue was withdrawn from circulation between June 11th and[80] September 30th, 1851. The instructions of the Department to the deputy postmasters, concerning the distribution of the next issue, published in June, 1851, order that these five and ten cent stamps must not be recognized as prepaying letters after the 30th of June, 1851, and request the public to return them to the deputy postmasters, in exchange for others of the new issue. The report of the Postmaster General for the year expiring June 30th, 1851, and published in the fall of that year, further states: "Directions for the destruction of the dies and plates, employed in the manufacture of the stamps formerly used, have been given, and for counting and burning such stamps as have not been issued to postmasters or have been returned."

These facts probably explain the extreme rarity of unused stamps of this issue, and the re-engraving of the dies by the Government, when it was considered advisable to make an exhibit of all its issues of adhesive stamps at the Centennial Exhibition.

The existence therefore, of a specimen of four unused five cent stamps, adhering by the sides, and another of four unused ten cent stamps, adhering also by the sides, in the private collection of Mr. Sterling, is worthy of notice. The latter specimen, at any rate, is probably unique, and though called whitish paper by him, has nevertheless, the bluish tint, and certainly is not white paper.

Note. There are proofs however on white paper.


[81]

XVIII.

The Issue of 1851.

The Act of the XXXI Congress, Session II, Chapter XX, approved March 3rd, 1851, and entitled: "An Act to reduce and modify the Rates of Postage in the United States, and for other purposes" reads:

"Be it enacted, etc., that from and after the 30th day of June, 1851, in lieu of the rates of postage now established by law, there shall be charged the following rates, viz: For every single letter in manuscript, or paper of any kind, upon which information shall be asked for, or communicated, in writing, or by marks or signs, conveyed in the mail for any distance, between places within the United States, not exceeding 3,000 miles, when the postage upon said letter shall have been prepaid, three cents, and five cents when the postage thereon shall not have been prepaid, and for any distance exceeding 3,000 miles, double these rates; for every such single letter or paper when conveyed wholly or in part by sea, and to or from a foreign country, for any distance over 2,500 miles, twenty cents, and for any distance under 2,500 miles, ten cents, excepting however, all cases where such postages have been or shall be adjusted at different rates by postal treaty or convention[82] already concluded or hereafter to be made; and for a double letter there shall be charged double the rates above specified; and for a treble letter, treble these rates; and for a quadruple letter, quadruple these rates; and every letter or parcel not exceeding half an ounce in weight, shall be deemed a single letter, and every additional weight of half an ounce, or every additional weight of less than half an ounce, shall be charged with an additional single postage. And all drop letters, or letters placed in any post office, not for transmission, but for delivery only, shall be charged with postage at the rate of one cent each, and all letters which shall hereafter be advertised as remaining over or uncalled for in any post office shall be charged with one cent in addition to the regular postage to be accounted for as other postages now are."

The second section fixed the rates upon newspapers of all descriptions, coming from the publishers, etc., etc., which were not to be paid for by stamps, but:

"Every other newspaper circular, hand bill, engraving, pamphlet," etc., etc., "shall be charged one cent an ounce under 500 miles and one cent each additional ounce between 500 and 1500 miles," double beyond, etc., etc.

The third section provides:

"And be it further enacted, that it shall be the duty of the Postmaster General to provide and furnish to all deputy postmasters, and to all other persons applying and paying therefor, suitable postage stamps, of the denomination of three cents, and of such other denominations as he may think expedient to facilitate prepayment of postages provided for in this Act; and any person who shall forge or counterfeit any postage stamp, provided or furnished[83] under this Act, whether the same are impressed or printed on or attached to envelopes or not, or any die, plate or engraving therefor, or shall make or print, or knowingly use or sell, or have in his possession, with intent to use or sell, any such false, forged or counterfeit die, plate, engraving, or postage stamps, or who shall make or print, or otherwise procure to be made or printed, any postage stamps of the kind provided and furnished by the Postmaster General, as aforesaid, without the especial authority and direction of the Post Office Department, or who, after such postage stamps have been printed, shall, with intent to defraud the revenue of the Post Office Department, deliver any postage stamps to any person or persons other than such as shall be authorized to receive the same by an instrument of writing duly executed under the hand of the Postmaster General, and the seal of the Post Office Department, shall on conviction thereof be deemed guilty of felony, and punishable by a fine not exceeding 500 dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding five years; or by both such fine or imprisonment, and the expenses of procuring and providing all such postage stamps and letter envelopes as are provided or authorized by this Act, shall be paid, after being adjusted by the auditor of the Post Office Department, on the certificate of the Postmaster General, out of any money in the Treasury, arising from the Revenues of the Post Office Department."

The 4th section provides that postage stamps shall be defaced as the Postmaster General may direct, and the penalty for omitting so to do.

The 10th section provides for the appointment of carriers, the rate to be one or two cents prepaid, the carriers to be paid out of the receipts from this postage.[84]

The 11th section authorizes the coining of the three cent coin, probably to facilitate the payment of these rates.

The other matters mentioned in the foregoing Act are of little interest here, but the following circular contains some matters of importance:

REGULATIONS CONCERNING POSTAGE STAMPS.

Post Office Department,
June 10th, 1851.

"To facilitate the payment of postages upon letters and packages, postage stamps of the following denominations are provided and furnished by the postmaster General, pursuant to the third section of the "Act to reduce and modify the rates of Postage in the United States," and for other purposes approved March 3rd, 1851.

Viz: No. 1.Printed in black, representing the head of Washington, of the denomination of twelve cents.
No. 2.Printed in red, representing the head of Washington, in profile, of the denomination of three cents.
No. 3.Printed in blue, representing the head of Franklin, in profile, of the denomination of one cent.

These stamps will be furnished to one or more of the principal postmasters in each county, who will be required to supply the other postmasters in their vicinities, upon being paid for the amount furnished."

The remaining provisions relate to the mode of distribution, accounting, cancelling, etc., and are of no particular interest. The circular is signed "Nathan D. Hall, Postmaster General."[85]

A similar circular dated April 3rd, 1852, is almost an exact repetition of the foregoing. The stamps issued may be described more fully thus:

Issue of July 1st, 1851.

One Cent. Bust of Benjamin Franklin, first Postmaster General, in profile, facing to the right, in an oval disk 17 by 20 mm., with a ground of very fine horizontal colored lines, slightly waved, bordered by a colorless line between two fine colored lines. The colorless line is ornamented by a line of fine dots. Above is a label, bordered at the top by a similarly ornamented colorless line, between two fine colored lines, terminated at the ends by the corner ornaments of the stamp, with a ground of fine colored lines following the lines of the oval, and inscribed in outline capitals "U. S. Postage." Below the oval is a similar label, the ends terminated by a similar border, with a ground of fine colored lines, inscribed "One Cent" in outline capitals. This label is shaded by a number of vertical lines. Scroll and foliated corner ornaments extending down the sides. There is no outside line finishing the frame. The stamps are very near each other on the sheet.

Plate impression, 19 by 22 mm., color, white paper.

1 cent, shades of indigo blue.

Three Cents. Bust of Washington, first President of the United States, in profile to left, on an oval disk, with hatched ground, bordered by a fine colorless line between two fine colored lines, surrounded[86] by a frame composed of colorless lines, forming diamonds on a solid ground, the alternate diamonds filled in with diagonal colorless lines, leaving a colored chain conspicuous, with rosettes in the four angles. The space between the oval and frame filled with horizontal lines, and the corners outside the rosettes filled with ornamented triangles. Above and below all these are solid colored labels, with a small piece containing a diamond cut off at each end by a vertical colorless line, inscribed in colorless Roman capitals, above "U. S. Postage," below "Three Cents." The whole is surrounded, at a little distance, by a colored line forming a rectangle.

Plate impression 20 by 25 mm., color, white paper.

3 cents, in shades of brick and rose red.

Twelve Cents. Bust of Washington, after Stewart, facing three quarters to the left, on an oval disk 13 by 17 mm., with hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line between two colored lines. This colorless line is crossed by horizontal lines. About this is a frame like that of the 3 cents, with rosettes at the angles, but showing six and two half links in the chain on each side, instead of five and two half links as in the three cents. The outside corners are filled by small foliations. The space between the oval and frame is filled by horizontal lines. Inscription above "U. S. Postage," below "Twelve Cents" in colorless capitals, shaded outside on the back ground and following the curve of the oval. The whole is surrounded by[87] a fine colored line.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., color, white paper.

12 cents, black.

As it was considered desirable to keep the amounts collected and paid for delivery by carriers (under section 10 of the act) separate, a special stamp for the payment of such postage was soon added:

Issue of September 29th, 1851.

One Cent. Bust of Benjamin Franklin, in profile, to the left, on an oval disk, 15 by 17 mm. with hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line between two fine colored lines. Frame, labels, etc., like the three cents, but with a colorless star between curved colorless lines at the end instead of the diamonds. The inscription is in colorless Roman capitals, on the upper label "Carrier's," and "Stamp" in the lower label.

Plate impression, 19 by 24 mm., color, rose paper.

No value indicated, indigo blue.

Specimens exist in brick red, some of which show the crack in the die. These must be proofs, although a letter purporting to be from W. M. Ireland, Third Assistant Postmaster General, dated August 10th, 1869, and published in the August number of the American Journal of Philately, after describing this stamp says:

"Color, orange-brown, typographed in color on white paper. Proofs were issued printed in blue on pink paper; also in green and yellow. It was issued about September 29th, 1851, but was suppressed almost immediately,[88] owing to its great similarity to the then three cent stamp. Only about 300,000 were ever issued. It has always surprised me that the Department has never kept any official history of its stamps."

This stamp was succeeded by the

Issue of November, 17, 1851.

One Cent. Eagle poised for flight, turned to the left, resting on a branch of laurel, on an oval disk, 18 by 13 mm., the ground of clouds and rays, surrounded by a fine colored line, a colorless line, and a band of solid color inscribed in colorless Roman capitals above "U. S. P. O. Dispatch," below "Prepaid, One Cent," with ornaments of oak leaves on the left and of laurels on the right.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., color, white paper.

1 cent, blue.

A letter dated from the Post Office Department, Finance Office. July 20th, 1869, and signed W. H. H. Corell, Third Assistant Postmaster General, published in the American Journal of Philately, says:

"The blue stamp "Eagle" was used for prepaying City letters delivered by carriers. It was issued about Nov. 17th, 1851, and was withdrawn Jan. 27th, 1852. It was very little used except in Philadelphia, Pa., and Cincinnati, Ohio."

As a matter of fact however, the published reports of the Postmaster General, shows that there were issued:

4,777,552from Nov.1851,up toJune,1852.
4,370,383" June1852," ""1853.
7,103,416" "1853," ""1854.

[89]

These stamps were all engraved and printed by Messrs. Toppan, Carpenter, Cassilar and Co., of Philadelphia, under a contract with the Department.

The collector naturally desires to know what supposed peculiarities of the public demand led to the selection of these values, and not others. As already shown, the carriers were paid out of the receipts from the sale of the two carrier stamps.

The one cent was required for newspapers and other printed matter, either singly or in twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, etc., and Mr. Sterling has preserved specimens thus used, adhering, either in strips by the sides or ends, or in blocks.

The three cent stamp paid the ordinary letter rate, and two or more would be required on double, triple, etc., letters. Mr. Sterling has also preserved strips and blocks of these found so used.

The single postage to California was six cents. This was also the double letter rate, and it seems singular that a stamp of this value was not issued. Its place was supplied by two three cent stamps, the double rate to California by four three cent stamps, etc. That it was also supplied occasionally by half of the twelve cent stamp, cut diagonally from corner to corner, specimens so used on the original envelopes in the possession of the same gentleman abundantly prove. The twelve cent must, therefore, have had no function except to replace a quadruple ordinary rate, or a double California rate. For foreign letters, the postage was[90] 10 or 20 cents, when not provided for by treaty. Most of the treaties fixed the same rates, and stamps of those values would seem to have been required. The fact that prepayment was optional, may have influenced the demand for these values.

Soon after the issue of the foregoing series, the postal rates were again discussed in congress, and the law amended as follows:

XXXIII Congress, Session II, Chapter 173, Section 31, approved March 30th, 1885, entitled: "An Act further to amend the Act entitled: 'An Act to reduce, etc., approved March 3d, 1851.'"

Be it enacted, etc. That in lieu of the rates of postage now established by law, there shall be charged the following rates to wit: For every single letter in manuscript, or paper of any kind in which information shall be asked, or, communicated in writing, or by marks or signs, conveyed in the mail, for any distance between places in the United States not exceeding 3,000 miles, three cents; and for any distance exceeding 3,000 miles, ten cents. And for a double letter, there shall be charged double the rates above specified; and for a treble letter, treble these rates, and for a quadruple letter, quadruple these rates; and every letter or paper not exceeding half an ounce in weight shall be deemed a single letter; and every additional weight of half an ounce, or every additional weight of less than half an ounce, shall be charged with an additional single postage; and upon all letters passing through or in the mail of the United States, except such as are to or from a foreign country, the postages as above specified, shall be prepaid, except upon letters and papers addressed to officers of the government on official business, which shall be so marked on the envelope. And from and after the first[91] day of January, 1856, the Postmaster General may require postmasters to place postage stamps upon all prepaid letters, upon which such stamps may not have been placed by the writers.

And all drop letters, or letters placed in the post office, not for transmission through the mail, but for delivery only, shall be charged with postage at the rate of one cent each, and all letters which shall hereafter be advertised as remaining over or uncalled for in any post office, shall be charged with one cent each in addition to the regular postage, both to be accounted for as other postages now are.

Section 2. And be it further enacted, that it shall be unlawful for any postmaster or other person, to sell any postage stamp or stamped envelope for any larger sum than that indicated upon the face of such postage stamp, or for a larger sum than that charged therefor by the Post Office Department.

[Here follows the penalty for so doing.]

Section 3. And be it further enacted: That for the greater security of valuable letters posted for transmission in the mails of the United States, the Postmaster General be, and hereby is authorized to establish a uniform plan for the registration of such letters on application of parties posting the same, and to require the prepayment of the postage, as well as a registration fee of five cents, on every such letter or packet, to be accounted for by postmasters receiving the same, in such manner as the Postmaster General may direct: Provided, however, that such registration shall not be compulsory: and shall not render the Post Office Department, or its revenues liable for the loss of such letter or package, or the contents thereof.

By this Act there was established for the first time compulsory prepayment, at a uniform rate of[92] 3 and 10 cents, according as the distance was less or greater than 3,000 miles, upon letters in the United States, and the Act of the XXXIV Congress, Session III, Chapter 1, approved January 2d, 1857, entitled: "An Act to provide for the compulsory Prepayment of Postage on all transient printed matter," which provided, that such postage "shall be prepaid by stamps or otherwise, as the Postmaster General may direct," completes the legislation upon the subject, so far as it is of interest here, up to the year 1861.

Upon the approval of this Act, the following circular, dated at Washington, March 12th, 1855, was issued to postmasters:

NEW POSTAGE ACT.

INSTRUCTIONS TO POSTMASTERS.

The particular attention of Postmasters and others is invited to the annexed Act, passed at the last session of Congress. It will be observed:

1st. That from and after April 1st, 1855, the single rate of postage on a letter conveyed in the mail, for any distance in the United States, not exceeding three thousand miles, is three cents, and for any distance exceeding three thousand miles, ten cents.

2nd. That from and after April 1st, 1855, prepayment by stamps, stamped envelopes or in money is compulsory.

3rd. That from and after January 1st, 1856, all letters, between places in the United States, must be prepaid either by postage stamps or stamped envelopes.

4th. That the laws relating to the Franking Privilege are not altered.[93]

5th. That the existing rates and regulations in regard to letters to or from Canada, and all foreign countries, remain unchanged.

Unpaid letters mailed before April 1st, 1855, will be forwarded and delivered upon payment of the postage, by the person addressed. Postage stamps and stamped envelopes, of the denomination of ten cents, will be prepared and issued speedily, and the Department will use every exertion to supply all post offices with one and and three cent stamps also, as fast as they are required.

Absolute prepayment being required on all letters to places within the United States, from and after April 1st, 1855, great care should be used as well in prepaying the proper amount on letters above the weight of half an ounce, as on single letters.

Postmasters will post up conspicuously in their respective offices a notice, calling attention to the provisions of the Act requiring prepayment.

The provisions in regard to the registration of valuable letters will be carried into effect, and special instructions issued on the subject, as soon as the necessary blanks can be prepared and distributed.

(Signed) JAMES CAMPBELL,
Postmaster General.

Post Office Department, March 12, 1855.

N. B.—Copy of the Act of March 3d, 1855, on the back.

Another circular dated at Washington, Nov. 20th, 1855, also signed by the Postmaster General, after reciting certain regulations which are addressed to and concern only the postmasters themselves, contains the following:

"Section 7. The denominations of postage stamps authorized by the Department to be issued, are one, three, five, ten and twelve cents."

[94]

The one, three and twelve cents of the issue of 1851, remaining in use without apparent change, and the same contract with Messrs. Toppan, Carpenter, Cassilar & Co., of Philadelphia, remaining in force, the following were added to the series:

Issue of May 5th, 1855.

Ten Cents. Portrait of Washington, after Stewart, faced three-quarters to the left, on an oval disk with hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line between two fine colored lines, the colorless line crossed in parts by small horizontal lines, on a hatched back-ground, bordered by outlined foliations, which form small ovals in the upper corners containing a colorless "X," with "U. S. Postage" in colored capitals between them. Thirteen colorless stars on the ground above the oval. "Ten Cents" in colorless capitals in a waved line below.

Plate impression, 18 by 24 mm., in color, on white paper.

10 cents, green.

This stamp was issued to provide for the single rate to California.

Issue of January 5th, 1856.

Five Cents. Portrait of Jefferson, the third President of the United States, faced three quarters to the right, on an oval disk, 12 by 15 mm., with hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line between two fine colored lines, in a broad frame with solid ground, ornamented by colorless lines forming[95] a geometric lathe pattern. This frame is rounded at the corners, with a small projection of about 2 mm. between at the top, bottom and sides, and is surrounded at a little distance by a fine colored line following the same outline. On the back ground, without labels, above "U. S. Postage," below "Five Cents," in colorless Roman capitals.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper.

5 cents, in shades of yellow brown, red brown, and dark brown.

This stamp was issued to prepay the registration fee, but is often found in unsevered pairs upon California letters, and sometimes in triplets including the registration fee and a single postage to California.

On the 24th of April, 1856, a stamp of the value of twenty-four cents was approved.

Twenty-Four Cents. Portrait of Washington, after Stewart, faced three quarters to the right, on an oval disk, with hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line, surrounded by a solid band of color, inscribed in colorless Roman capitals, above "U. S. Postage," below "Twenty-four Cents," separated by a sort of buckle at the sides. A broad solid colored frame, ornamented by colorless lathe work is surrounded, at a little distance, by a fine colored line, and the corners are rounded, with a single swell between them above and below, and three between them at the sides.[96]

Plate impression, 18 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper.

24 cents, lilac.

Although made and approved, this stamp is said to have been withheld from issue in this imperforate condition. They were finished and gummed, and some of them seem to have gotten into circulation, as occasional specimens are to be found in collections, and one entire sheet, at least, is known to have existed.

Observations.

Every collector ought at least to be aware of the nature and character of the varieties that exist in these stamps. Although many of them are very minute, and can be distinguished only by the use of a good magnifying glass, others, once noticed, can readily be selected by the unassisted eye. Few will care, probably, to place more than the most marked varieties in their collections, still fewer will have the patience to explore the necessary piles of common "stock," in order to find these marked varieties, for the most marked are the most uncommon, or to distinguish the more minute varieties from each other.

The plates of all values printed 200 stamps each upon the sheet. Before the stamps were distributed, each sheet was cut vertically into half sheets, the place where they were to be cut being marked on the plate by a vertical colored line, and each[97] half containing ten rows of ten stamps each. Upon each side of the plate, at a little distance from the outer row of stamps, the tops of the letters being towards the stamps, and running along the sides of the 5th and 6th stamp from the top or bottom of the sheet, and part of the 4th and 7th stamp, is the maker's imprint, "Toppan, Carpenter, Cassilar & Co., BANK NOTE ENGRAVERS, Phila., New York, Boston and Cincinnati," with "No—P." in a second line. This imprint was afterwards changed by leaving out the third name.

The one cent eagle is an exception, as the imprint here appears at the top and bottom of the sheet, running along the space covered by four stamps, and the sheet is said to have contained only 100 stamps.

Upon some of the sheets, of the other values, from the first plate, there is also a vertical line from the top to bottom of the plate, probably upon each outer margin. Upon other sheets, this does not appear. Specimens of these are now difficult to obtain, as the wide borders at the sides, the top and bottom of the sheets, were usually cut off when the stamps were used.

One Cent Unperforated.

The stamps are about mm. apart between the nearest points of the tops and bottoms, and 1 mm. between the nearest points of the sides.

It should be noticed that the top and bottom labels have a fine line parallel to the solid body of[98] the inscribed labels, both at the top and bottom.

The imprint is about 1 mm. from the outer row of stamps. The central vertical line is about 1 mm. from each central row. The side vertical lines are about 3 mm. from the outside rows. These dimensions vary slightly. There is little appreciable difference in the stamps in a sheet, except in the thickness of the lines bordering or shading the ornaments. In some specimens, these lines are all fine in all parts of the stamp, in others, they are much heavier, and in others fine in parts and heavy in other parts, in many gradations. The color used seems to have been always the same, varying only in intensity, as more or less ink was left on the paper in printing. Dark, or pale specimens, with intermediate shades may therefore be found. The paper is always white, but more or less tinted with the color of the stamp from imperfect wiping of the plates.

Three Cents Unperforated.

The number of plates used in printing this value unperforated, has not been possible to determine. The distance between the stamps varies considerably in different plates. In some, they are only 7/10 mm. apart between the tops and bottoms, in others a little over 1 mm. In some they are only 9/10 mm. apart between the side lines, in other fully 1-2/10 mm. Specimens with broad, white margins (A) show the paper to have extended, sometimes 15 mm. beyond the stamps. The vertical lines are (B) 6 mm.,[99] or (C) 2, 3 and 3 mm. from the center rows. The makers imprint (D) is about 1 mm. from the outer rows, but varies slightly in different sheets.

The process of making these plates is said to have been; first to mark out on a soft plate of steel the points at which the right vertical line of each vertical row of stamps was to come, by a dot at the top and bottom of the plate. These dots were sometimes too large and too heavily put in, and may be found in some specimens (E) at or near, the upper or lower right hand corner of the stamp. The lines however were not always accurately drawn so that the dot appears (F) on the top or bottom line, at a distance to the left of the corner, or (G) above the line, or (H) below the line, or (I) entirely outside of the stamp to the right. These lines having been drawn, the next step in the process was to put in the body of the design, which had been engraved on a soft steel punch or die, and then hardened, by placing the die successively in the position to be occupied by each stamp on the plate, and "rocking" it back and forth under pressure. As this process was not as perfect as that now employed, the die was not always placed in exactly the proper position, not infrequently being too near or too far from the vertical side lines, or the die was not rocked far enough, and the edges were left imperfect.

In the design, it was evidently intended that the outside lines should be equally distant from the top and bottom labels, and the side edges of the block,[100] and that the corners should be exactly mitered. The top and bottom lines are practically always at the same distance from the labels, and one engraver maintains that they were engraved on the die. But specimens are plentiful in which (a) the top and bottom line projects beyond the side line, or (b) does not touch it, or rarely (c) is double or split, or again the side line (d) projects beyond the top or bottom line, or (e) does not touch it. Again, instead of the side line being (f) at the proper distance from the corner blocks, it is not infrequently (g) too far from one or more of them, or (h) too near one or more of them, or (i) touches one or more of them. Again, the side line is found (j) connecting with the next stamp above or below, and occasionally there is a second line (J) near this between two stamps.

In the die itself it will be noticed that the lower left block is almost always a little further to the left than the top one, in fact, that the distance from the right of the right block to the left of the left block is about of a mm. greater at the bottom than at the top of the stamp. The lower right rosette is a little too far also to the right, ordinarily at least. The blocks vary in size in the same and different stamps, as well as the diamonds in them, which are not of uniform shape or size. The labels above and below are crowded upon the rosettes. The sides of the groundwork should terminate in a straight line, formed by the bases of the little colored triangles, which touch each other. But this[101] line is often broken in appearance as parts of it are too finely cut, or the die was not rocked far enough. In some cases this seems to have been remedied by re-engraving this line, and there is a heavy line, independent of the base lines of the triangles extending, (K) from rosette to rosette, (L) from the lower rosette to the upper triangle, (M) from the lower rosette to the middle of the upper triangle, (N) from the lower rosette to the top of the upper triangle, (O) from the lower rosette to the upper block, (P) a light line extending from the lower rosette to the upper block, (Q) a heavy line extending from the middle of the lower block to the upper triangle, (R) or from the middle of the lower triangle to the upper rosette. Frequently there is a light line (S) from the side of the triangle in the corner to the adjacent block. The triangles are ordinarily shaded by horizontal parallel lines, and are formed by a single fine line on the top and vertical sides, while the curved side is double. But the following variations occur: (T) the triangle has a heavy side line, (U) a double side line, (V) a triple side line, (W) is white or nearly so, the horizontal line having disappeared.

Again it will be found that there are added lines along the whole or part of either side line, making these double, or even triple. Thus whether there is a distinct line, as described, between the rosettes, etc., or not, if the next line be called the frame line, there may be found varieties with an extra line outside the frame line, but (k) very near it, (l) farther[102] from it, (m) very heavy, the frame line being thin, (n) the frame line split into two parts from the middle up, (o) frame line split into two parts from chin up, (p) two extra side lines all the way, (q) extra line from the level of the chin to the upper rosette, (r) extra line from the level of the lips to upper rosette, (s) from the level of the lips to the centre of the rosette, (t) from the level of the nose to the top of the triangle, (u) from the level of the breast to the top of the triangle, (v) opposite the bottom rosette. If there be added to these letters the numerals 1 to express the left side, 2 the right when the variations occur along the whole side, and 1 for the top, 3 for the bottom on the left side, 2 for the top, and 4 for the bottom on the right side, when the variations occur only at the top or bottom, the following table will facilitate investigation.

[103]

On the
LEFT
at the
Top Bottom
Specimens Showing On the
RIGHT
at the
Top Bottom
A1 broad margin over 6 mm. and no line A2
B1 broad margin ver. line 6 mm. from stamp B2
C1 broad margin ver. line 2 to 3 " C2
D1 broad margin ver. line printer's imprint D2
...... dot on or near the corner E2E4
...... dot on the end line, away from corner F2F4
...... dot above end line G2G4
...... dot below end line H2H4
...... dot outside the corner I2I4
a1a3 end line projecting beyond the corner a2a4
b1b3 end line not touching the corner b2b4
 c3 end line split or double  c4
d1d3 side line projecting beyond the corner d2d4
e1e3 side line not touching the corner e2e4
f1f3 side line ordinary distance from block f2f4
g1g3 side line too far from block g2g4
h1h3 side line too close to block h2h4
i1i3 side line touching the block i2i4
j1j3 side line connecting with the next stamp j2j4
...... side line and another with the next stamp J2...
K1 heavy line from rosette to rosette K2
L1 heavy line from low. roset. to up'r triangle L2
M1 heavy line from lo. r. to mid. of up'r triangle M2
N1 heavy line from lo. r. to top of up'r triangle N2
O1 heavy line from lo. r. to up'r block O2
P1 light line from lo. r. to up'r block P2
Q1 heavy line from mid. low. block to triangle Q2
R1 heavy line from mid. low. tri. to up. roset. R2
S1S3 fine line from triangle to adjoining block S2S4
T1T3 triangle with heavy side line T2T4
U1U3 triangle with extra side line U2U4
V1V3 triangle with 2 extra side line V2V4
W1W3 triangle with white or nearly so W2W4
k1 extra line, outside frame line near it k2
l1 extra line, outside frame line far off l2
m1 heavy line, outside thin frame line m2
n1 frame line, split into 2 parts half way n2
o1 frame line, split into 2 parts way ...
p1 two extra lines, continuous ...
q1 extra line frame, lev. of chin to up'r roset. ...
r1 extra line frame, lev. of lips to up'r roset. ...
s1 extra line frame, lev. of lips center roset. ...
t1 extra line frame, lev. of nose, top of trian. ...
u1 extra line frame, lev. of breast, top of trian. ...
v1 extra line opposite the bottom rosette ...

All the variations mentioned in this table have been found. It is scarcely possible that each of them exists separately, i. e.; on specimens that are in other[104] respects normal. Many of them have been found so, but most of them only in combination. The following may be mentioned:

A, B, C, D. Specimens showing broad margins with no outer line, with outer line 6 mm. from stamp, with outer line about 3 mm. from the stamp, or with printer's imprint, have been found, both from the left and right sides of the sheet, with all the other parts normal. These would be,

A1 f1 2 3 4, A2 f1 2 3 4, B1 f1 2 3 4, B2 f1 2 3 4,
C1 f1 2 3 4, C2 f1 2 3 4, D1 f1 2 3 4, D2 f1 2 3 4.

With the vertical line about 3 mm. from the stamp, three corners only normal, the side line too near the lower right block, a dot on the upper right corner, the right line connected with the stamp below, and a fine line from each of the upper triangles to the block above, which would be C2 f1 2 3 h4 E2 j4 S2 4.

And also with the vertical line about 3 mm. from the stamp, all the corners normal, a heavy line terminating the ground between the rosettes on the right, both the triangles on the right connected with the blocks next them, and an extra vertical line in the upper right triangle, which would be C2 f1 2 3 4 K2 S2 4 U2, which will serve to show the character of the combinations in which these varieties may be found.

Varieties showing the dot, E to I, generally present other varieties also. The following combinations may be noted:

With the bottom line double, or rather split, three of the triangles have fine connecting lines, c3 c4 S2 3 4.

With the right side prolonged, and continuous with the side line of the stamp above or below, j2 or j4.

With the right side line prolonged upwards, and continuous with the lower, but not with the upper stamp and a second line 1 mm. to left from stamp to stamp, J2.[105]

With the extra line outside the frame line on right and near it, all the other parts being normal, the line of the ground work not appearing as a separate line, k2.

With an extra line outside the frame line on right and near it, a heavy line from rosette to rosette on the right, giving the appearance of three parallel lines on that side, a similar line from rosette to rosette on the left, and a fine line from the upper right triangle to block, k2 K2 1 S2.

With the same arrangement, but the heavy line on the right of ground extends to the top of the upper triangle, there is a fine line to the block, k2 K1 N2 S2.

With an extra line outside the frame line on the right but further from it. The left line touches the rosette, and is very near the upper left block. The upper triangles both have the extra vertical line, and the right triangles both have the fine line connecting them with the adjacent block, l2 h1 U1 2 S2 4.

With the right frame line split into two parts in its lower half. The upper right triangle has the extra vertical line, and the fine line to upper block, n2 U2 S2.

With the extra line outside the left frame line, and a distinct line between the left rosettes, the right line near the corner blocks, k1 K1 h2 4.

With the same peculiarities, but frame line touches the lower left corner, k1 K1 h2 i4.

With two extra lines outside the left frame line, and a heavy line between the left rosettes, so that the stamp appears to have four lines on that side. The right frame line runs from block to block, touching both triangles and rosettes. There is a dot in the lower right corner, and another to the left of it, p1 S1 i2 4 E4 F4.

With the extra line on the left very light, and a heavier one outside, and the ground does not appear to end in a line, m1.

With the extra line on the left the usual thickness, and[106] the frame line heavier. The right frame line touches all the parts on that side, l1 i2 4.

With the frame line on the left split into two parts from the level of the chin up, the inner touches the rosette, the triangle and almost touches the block. The right frame line is split into two parts in the lower half. Both the right triangles have the finer line, and the upper the extra vertical line, q1 i2 n2 U2 4 S4.

With the extra outside line from level of lips to the upper rosette. All four triangles are connected with the blocks, the upper right and lower left have the extra vertical line, r1 U1 2 3 4 S3 4.

With extra outside line from level of the lips to the level of the center of the rosette. The frame line is too near the top on the left, the upper right triangle is connected with the block, and has the extra vertical line, the lower right triangle is also connected with the block, s1 h1 S2 4 U2.

With the extra left line from the level of the nose to the top of the rosette, the upper right triangle connected with the upper block, and with extra vertical line, t1 S2 U2.

With the extra line on the left from the level of the breast to the top of the rosette, the frame line is too near the upper left corner, and an extra vertical line in all the triangles, u1 i1 U1 2 3 4.

With the extra line on the left opposite the bottom rosette only. The two upper triangles are connected with the blocks, and an extra line in the upper right one, v1 S1 2 U2.

With the left frame line heavy, and too near to the bottom block, a split runs off to left half way down. Both sides appear to have a heavy line from rosette to rosette, but the left one is irregular, all the triangles are connected with the adjoining blocks, and all except the lower right one have the extra vertical line, h3 n1 S1 2 3 4 U1 2 3 K1 2.

[107]

In the above descriptions, no mention has been made of those parts that are in their proper ordinary position.

These varieties are the leading ones, and are probably more than enough to show the combinations. Less conspicuous ones are numberless. Owing to the scarcity of adhering specimens, and the uncertainty as to how many plates were actually employed, no attempt has been made to reconstruct any plate. It is perhaps necessary to repeat that the collection of any, except perhaps the more marked varieties, is not advocated.

The color of these stamps varies wonderfully, every shade from pale to dark, with yellowish vermilion, pink, red, and carmine may be found. Some are undoubtedly changelings from accidental causes, particularly those that run from brown and black brown, to an almost jet black, which were at one time much sought after.

Unperforated Five Cents.

The stamps are about 1 mm. apart each way on the sheet. All have the projection at the top and bottom. Double and triple adhering specimens may be found, but are rare. The imprint is on the sides, 1 mm. from the stamps. No specimens have been found with vertical lines.

The color is generally dark, either a chestnut brown, or with a stronger reddish cast.

[108]

Unperforated Ten Cents.

The stamps are 2 mm. apart each way on the sheet. The imprint is at about 1 mm. from the side rows. The few specimens with the vertical lines examined, show it at 3 mm. from the stamps. The color is a yellow-green, of which dark and light impressions may readily be found. A block of four used, adhering 2 and 2, is possessed by Mr. Sterling.

Unperforated Twelve Cents.

The stamps are 1 mm. apart each way on the sheet. The vertical line 2 mm. from the stamps. No specimens with the imprint have come under the notice of the author. The color is very uniform, slightly greyish-black. Adhering specimens are rare. A pair adhering by the sides, used, and a block of four unused, are in Mr. Sterlings' collection, and the curious specimens divided diagonally, on the original letters, in the same collection, have already been mentioned.

Unperforated Twenty-Four Cents.

The imprint is at the side, 1 mm. from the stamp. The stamps are 2 mm. apart. The rarity of specimens has prevented further examination. The color of the specimens seen is lilac, with the reddish cast.[109]

One Cent "Carrier," (Franklin.)

This stamp was never issued perforated. The imprint is 4 mm. from the side rows, and the stamps are about 1 mm. apart.

One Cent "Carrier," (Eagle.)

This stamp was never issued perforated, and any specimens so catalogued will be found to be the reprints. The printer's imprint is at the bottom or top of the four centre rows in the sheet. As the Department is accustomed to call the half sheets issued "sheets," it is often difficult to know which is meant. It has been stated that there are only 100 stamps on the plate. The imprint is 4 mm. from the stamps, and the places where the stamps are to be cut apart are indicated by single lines ruled horizontally and vertically.


[110]

XIX.

The Issue of 1857.

Without any change in the law, and, so far as is known, without any announcement of the improvement, on the 24th of February, 1857, the three cent value of the type of 1851 was issued perforated, and the other values of the series speedily followed with the perforation, and so remained without addition until the middle of 1860.

Issue of 1857.

Same values, types and colors as the prior issue, perforated with 15 holes in the space of two millimetres.

Plate impression, in color, on white paper, perforated 15.

1cent, shadesof indigo blue.
3" ""red.
5" ""brown.
0" ""green.
12" ""black.

The report of the Postmaster General, dated December 1st, 1860, states that:

[111]

"Larger denominations of postage stamps have been adopted and introduced, especially intended for the purpose of affording requisite facilities to prepay the postage on letters to foreign countries, and of removing all excuse heretofore existing for paying such postages in money. The new denominations are twenty-four cents, thirty cents and ninety cents. The two latter have been introduced since July 1st, last," i. e. since the commencement of the new fiscal year.

Issue of June 15th, 1860.

Twenty-Four Cents. The stamp described on page 95 as prepared imperforated in 1856, but not regularly issued in that condition, was now issued perforated.

Plate impression, 18 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 15.

24 cents, lilac.

Issue of August 12th, 1860.

Thirty Cents. Head of Benjamin Franklin, in profile to the left, similar to that on, the Carrier's Stamp of September, 1851, on an oval disk with hatched back-ground bounded by a colorless line ornamented by a single fine colored line. A colored back-ground fills out the rectangle and is ornamented by a shield of the United States in each of the four corners, the bottom of the shields pointed towards the center, and the ground just behind them ornamented by colorless rays, with a foliated ornament on each side of them. Between the ornaments in colorless capitals, on the solid ground, above, in two lines, "U. S." and "Postage," below "30," on[112] the left side "Thirty," and on the right side "Cents."

Plate impression, 20 by 24 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 15.

30 cents, orange.

Issue of August 13th, 1860.

Ninety Cents. Bust of Washington, in General's uniform, after Trumbal, faced three quarters to the left, on closely hatched ground, appearing nearly solid, square below, arched above, bordered by a colorless line. Solid arched label above, inscribed in colorless capitals, "U. S. Postage"; below, solid straight label, inscribed in the same letters "Ninety Cents." The ends of the upper label are curved inwards, those of the lower label outwards, and the colorless line borders the ends and remaining side of each. Outside a double colored line borders all, forming foliated ornaments, etc. There is an added colored line at the top and bottom, and fine lines shading the ornaments.

Plate impression, 18 by 24 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 15.

90 cents, deep indigo blue.

The twenty-four cents was required to prepay the single rate of postage on letters to England, and the thirty cents to prepay the single rate on letters to Germany. The ninety cents does not seem to have been required for any single rate. The contract with the Bank Note Engravers, Toppan, Carpenter and Co., expired on the 10th of June, 1861, and all the stamps made by them were withdrawn[113] from circulation, and ceased to be available for postage, between August 1st, 1861, and January 1st 1862, as will appear from the circulars quoted, relating to the issue of 1861. They have been reprinted, differently perforated, and sold to collectors by the department. (See chapter on reprints.)

Observations.

The one, three, five, ten and twelve cent values were first made by perforating sheets from the original plates, and later, certain changes were made that require to be noticed.

One Cent, Perforated.

The first perforated sheets being from the same plates as the unperforated, the same observations apply to them. It is to be noticed that these had the fine colored line outside the labels at the top and bottom. Owing to the nearness of the stamps on the sheets the perforation generally cut into the stamps, either at the top or bottom, and cut these lines, but the remains will be found on the points left between the holes. Careful search will secure specimens in which both these lines are intact, though they are somewhat rare. The vertical lines, printer's imprint, etc., are of course in the same positions, and the same varieties of finer or coarser lines may be found. The color varies in the same degree. The paper is apparently the same, with the same tinting, from the imperfectly wiped plates.

In later specimens, however, the attempt was[114] made to keep the perforations from impinging on the printed portion. This was done by removing the larger portion of the fine colored lines outside the labels, and with them, portions of the upper and lower ornaments. In many cases, they appear to have been wiped off, and the ends are smudged. In others, they are clear and distinct. A great many varieties result, as a greater or less portion of the lines or ornaments were removed. Some of them are curious enough, in stamps that have always been supposed to present no varieties. The fact being pointed out, it is hardly worth while to attempt to distinguish them.

The vertical lines and printer's imprints are in the same positions. The stamps are still so near together that evenly perforated specimens, i. e.; specimens in which the perforation does not cut some portion of the stamp, are not easily found.

Two marked varieties may be noticed. In one, the outer fine line is removed above the top label, while that under the bottom is left intact. In the other, this outer line is removed below the bottom label, while it remains intact above the top label. Both these variations are exceedingly uncommon and appear to belong to the bottom and top rows of the sheet respectively, though this has not been verified. The same observations may be repeated as to variations in the thickness of lines, the color of the paper and the impression.

Oddities. Specimen showing two rows of perforations at the top and bottom. Specimen without the outer lines to labels, unperforated.[115]

Three Cents Perforated.

The first perforated sheets of the three cents were from the same plate as the last unperforated sheets, and consequently have the rectangular outside frame lines, not only at the sides, but at the top and bottom as well. As the stamps measure 25 mm. vertically and are only 1 mm. apart, and the horizontal rows of perforation are about 25 mm. from center to center of the holes vertically, the perforations generally cut into the stamp and partially obliterate these lines. As the stamps are only 1 mm. apart at the sides, and are 19 mm. wide, and the vertical rows of perforations are 20 mm. from center to center of the holes horizontally and the holes are nearly 1 mm. in diameter, the side perforations also usually cut into some part of the stamp. It is therefore quite difficult to find good specimens of this variety, and to distinguish some of the minor varieties, as the corners are generally imperfect. Specimens were found showing the sheet cut along the colored vertical line, and (X) perforated between this line and the stamp, from either half of the sheet. New plates were however, soon constructed. In one of these, No. 24, the side lines are drawn on the plate from the top to the bottom, and are about 19 mm. apart. The fine outer lines at the top and bottom are entirely omitted. The maker's imprint, "Toppan, Carpenter & Co., Bank Note Engravers, Phila., New York, Boston and Cincinnati," 1 mm. from the outer rows, is 68 mm. long. "No. 24 P,"[116] is 4 mm. from the outer rows. The vertical center line is 1 mm. from the stamp. The sheet measures 418 mm. from side to side, and 252 mm. from top to bottom of the printed part. The paper is 447 by 283 mm. The vertical rows of stamps are 1 mm. apart, and the vertical rows of perforations nearly 21 mm. apart horizontally from center to center of the holes. The last two rows at the sides are a little further apart. The horizontal rows of holes are 25 mm. apart vertically. Most of the differences in the stamps on this sheet arise from the fact that the central portion is not always placed in the same position in regard to the vertical lines. A few of the stamps show dots in or near the corners.

In some the lines are too near some of the corners, in some too far off, and in others they touch and even cut into the blocks. Some few show double or partly double lines.

The whole sheet from plate 24, above mentioned, does not contain all the varieties round, nor are they arranged just in the same order that they appear in portions of other sheets examined.

All the varieties possible, considering merely the position of the corners and side lines, would be 246. So that each stamp on a sheet might be different in this respect without showing them all.

In sheet 24 however, only 32 exist. There are therefore, a number of each variety, as follows, by the table previously given:

[117]

hhhh1 hiif1 ifih2 fihh5
hhhf2 hifh1 ifif13 fiih8
hhih16 hfif3 fhhh2 fiii2
hhif20 ihih14 fhhi1 fiif9
hihh2 ihif32 fhhf2 fihh2
hihi2 iiih7 fhih3 fihi3
hiih20 iiii12 fhif5 ffhf1
hiii5 iiif1 fhff1 ffif2

The 11th stamp in the first horizontal row, the 11th and 12th in the second row, the 13th in the 4th row, and the 17th to 20th in the 10th row show an extra line to the left of the left bottom rosette, V1.

In the 18th vertical row the left line actually cuts through the left block in four specimens which are marked as if it merely touched in the foregoing list.

The 14th and 15th stamps in the top row show the dot.

The 13th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th stamps in the upper row show the right vertical line not only too far, g2 g4, as marked, but very far from the corner block.

The 9th stamp in the upper row has the double left line.

The center stamps of this sheet are all of the varieties marked hiih in the list, on the right half of the sheet, and hhih or hhif, on the left half.

None of the more prominent varieties are to be found on this sheet unless the 9th stamp in the upper row may be considered as such. Loose specimens from other plates show the vertical line only 7/8 mm. from the stamps. Some of these are[118] otherwise like those mentioned before, and hfhg, gfff and ffhf from the left side, and hfhh, fhfg, fgfg and ifig have also been noted. The above are all cut at or near the vertical line. Some of the same varieties exist perforated along this line, and higg and fihh exist also so perforated. In loose specimens have also been found, igig, ihih, ifif, hhhf, hhhi, hhfh, hhff, hhif, hfhh, hfif, hfig, hgig, hgif, hifi, hiih, gfgh, gfgf, gfff, ghgh, gigi, ffff, fffh, ffhg, fgfg, fghf, fghg, fgig, fhfh, figh, varieties not on sheet from plate 24.

Passing now from these varieties dependent upon the nearness of the lines and corner blocks the following more interesting variations may be found:

With the upper left corners too far from the blocks, the others being ordinary; there is an extra line outside the frame line and close to it, at the right, g1 f2 3 4 k2.

With the upper left corner too far from the block, the lower left corner too near to the block, an extra line outside the frame line and close to it, g1 f2 h3 f4 k2.

With the upper left corner too far from the block, the others ordinary, the frame line light, the extra line heavier. Numerous specimens showing the frame line broken, those with it perfect are much rarer, g1 f2 3 4 m2.

With the upper right corner very near the block, all the others ordinary but the right frame line runs only half way down, and into the ground work. The extra line outside is the real side line, beginning[119] too far from the upper right corner, and running down to the right position at the bottom (Y). Both the triangles on the right have the fine line connecting them with the adjacent blocks, and also the extra vertical line, f1 i2 t3 4 Y2 S2 4 U2 4.

With the side line on the right starting at the usual distance from the block, and running off to the right, and ending half way down, at nearly twice the distance from the body of the stamps at which it started. A second line starts at the proper distance from the stamp, and inside the other at about the level of the lower point of the upper triangle, and runs off to the right, down to the level of the lower rosette. A third line starts at the proper distance from the stamp, inside this at about the middle of the stamp, and runs down straight, (Z) g1 f2 i3 f4 S1 2 3 Z2.

With the right line split about way down, into two or three parts, i1 f2 3 g4 n2.

With an extra line on both sides, f1 2 g3 f4 k1 k2.

With an extra line outside the left frame line, but far from it (almost the same distance as the frame line is from the blocks), f1 f2 h3 g4 l1.

With the frame line thin, often broken, and the extra line heavy and further off. The outer line is really the one drawn on the plate, and the inner line probably put in afterwards. A number of differing specimens. Also one in which there is no side line on the left except a very thin line from the level of the chin down, and another from the middle of the lower triangle down, apparently an impression[120] from a worn plate, the left margin is wide, the perforation cutting into the next stamp, m1 in varieties.

With the left frame line split into two parts from the level of the chin up, n1.

These variations, and a few others easily recognized, not found in the imperforate stamps add to the table:

LEFT.
Top Bottom
  RIGHT.
Top Bottom
X1 perforated along center line X2
... extra line inside half way Y2
... side line starts thrice Z2
   extra lineopposite lower of stamp   w4
   """ "   x4
   "cen. of roset. to cen. of stamp  y4
   "lower block to upper"  z4

The color of all these stamps varies like the unperforated greatly, and the same remarks concerning it might be here repeated.

Perforated Five Cents.

The stamps are 2 mm. apart between the sides and 1 between the tops and bottoms; the imprint etc., as before. In these sheets the perforations generally cut into the stamp. They were printed in many varying shades of several colors; dark brown, dark black-brown, yellow brown, red brown, and almost rose.

The second plate was slightly altered. The little projection or salie at the top and bottom was partially or wholly removed, forming the following variations:

[121]

5 centsperforated,  projection at topandbottom.
"" ""  "
"" no"" or"

The color is very variable, numerous shades of dark black-brown, dark chestnut-brown, brown, and yellow-brown may be found.

Perforated Ten Cents.

The stamps were apparently, a little further apart in some sheets than in others, and the color presents only shades of the yellow-green. A specimen is shown perforated in two rows at the sides.

Perforated Twelve Cents.

There seems to have been no change in this value. An oddity is shown, showing two extra lines at the right.

Twenty-Four, Thirty and Ninety Cents.

The plates for these values having been prepared with a view to perforating, the stamps are arranged about 1 mm. apart between the sides, and 1 mm. apart between the tops and bottoms. There is very little difference to be noted in the color beyond a dark and lighter shade of the orange of the thirty cents, and of the dark blue of the ninety cents. There are however, two shades of the lilac of the twenty-four cents, a red and a blue cast.


[122]

XX.

The Issue of 1861.

The reason for the introduction of this issue is not to be found in any change in the law. The report of the Postmaster General, dated on December 2d, 1861, states that:

"The contract for the manufacture of postage stamps having expired on the 10th of June, 1861, a new one was entered into with the National Bank Note Company of New York, upon terms very advantageous to the Department, from which there will result an annual saving of more than thirty per cent, in the cost of the stamps. In order to prevent the fraudulent use of the large quantity of stamps remaining unaccounted for, in the hands of postmasters in the disloyal States, it was deemed advisable to change the design and the color of those manufactured under the new contract, and also to modify the design of the stamp upon the stamped envelope, and to substitute as soon as possible the new for the old issues. It was the design of the Department that the distribution of the new stamps and envelopes should commence on the first of August, but, from unavoidable delays, that of the latter did not take place until the 15th of that month. * * * Those of the old issue have been exchanged and superseded. The old stamps[123] on hand, and such as were received by exchange, at the larger offices, have been to a great extent counted and destroyed, and those at the smaller offices returned to the Department."

The Act of the 27th Congress, Statute II, Chapter 37, Section 14, approved March 3d, 1861, had so qualified the Act of 1851:

"As to require the ten cent rate of postage to be prepaid on letters in the mail, from any point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains to any State or Territory on the Pacific, and from any State or Territory on the Pacific to any point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. And all drop letters shall be prepaid by postage stamps."

Other sections also introduced minor changes in the rates on printed matter, which it is not important to notice.

The denomination of the stamps of the new issue therefore remained at first the same.

The circular letter from the Department to the several postmasters, informing them of the change is as follows:

Post Office Department.

Finance Office ... 1861.

Postmaster,

Sir: You will receive herewith a supply of postage stamps which you will observe are of a new style, differing both in design and color, from those hitherto used, and having the letters U. S. in the lower corners of each stamp, and its respective denomination indicated by figures as well as letters. You will immediately give public notice through the newspapers and otherwise,[124] that you are prepared to exchange stamps of the new style for an equivalent amount of the old issue, during a period of six days from the date of the notice, and that the latter will not thereafter be received in payment of postage on letters sent from your office.

You will satisfy yourself by personal inspection that stamps offered in exchange have not been used through the mails or otherwise; and if in any case you have good grounds for suspecting that stamps presented to you for exchange, were sent from any of the disloyal states, you will not receive them without due investigation.

Immediately after the expiration of the above period of six days, you will return to the Third Assistant Postmaster General all stamps of the old style in your possession, including such as you may obtain by exchange, placing them in a secure package, which must be carefully registered in the manner prescribed by Chapter 39, of the Regulations of this Department.

Be careful also to write legibly the name of your office as well as that of your county and state. A strict compliance with the foregoing instructions is absolutely necessary, that you may not fail to obtain credit for the amount of stamps returned.

Instead of sending stamps to the Department you can if convenient, exchange them for new ones at some city post office, where large supplies are to be found. It being impossible to supply all offices with new stamps at once, you will deliver letters received from Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Maryland and Pennsylvania, prepayed by stamps of the old issue, until September 10th, those from other loyal states east of the Rocky Mountains until the first of October, and those from the states of California and Oregon and from the Territories of New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, until the first of November, 1861.[125]

Your Obedient Servant,
A. N. ZEVELY,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

A second issue of this circular merely extended the dates September 10th, October 1st and November 1st, 1861 to November 1st, December 1st, 1861, and January 1st, 1862, respectively.

Issue of August 14th, 1861.

The portraits upon the 8 types or values of this issue seem to be copied from the same pictures as were those on the corresponding denominations of the preceeding issue. The same values are represented, that is:

One Cent. Portrait of Benjamin Franklin, in profile to the right, on an oval disk with engine turned ground of interlaced colored lines on a solid colored ground, framed round with interlaced colorless lines of engine turned work on solid colored ground, bordered by a colorless line with exterior fine colored line. "U. S. Postage" in colorless ordinary capitals in a curved line following the oval above, "One Cent" in the same letters and reversed curve below. Corners of quarter circles and two foliated ornaments. "1" and "1" in the upper and "U." and "S." in the lower corners, in ornamental colorless numerals and letters, on a vertically lined ground.

Plate impression, 20 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1 Cent, pale and dark blue.

[126]

Three Cents. Head of Washington, in profile to left, upon engine turned ground with sinuous frame of interlaced engine turned colorless lines upon a solid colored ground, bordered by a colorless line, with exterior fine colored line following the curves of the ground. Above, "U. S." in a straight line with "Postage" below it in an arched line, and large numeral "3" on each side. Below the head "Three," in reversed curve with "Cents" in double curve below and "U." and "S." at the sides all in colorless capitals and numerals on the engine turned frame and ground, the corner numerals and letters ornamented. Corners and sides filled out with foliated ornaments.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

3 cents, shades of rose.

Five Cents. Head of Jefferson, faced three quarters to the left on an oval disk with rectangular hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line with fine colored exterior line. Broad frame of engine turned colorless lines on a solid ground, with rounded corners, and curved outwards at top, bottom and sides, bordered by a colorless line and a fine colored line. Large "5" in upper corners, and "U. S. Postage" in a double curve above the oval, "Five Cents" in a curved line following the oval below, "U." in lower left, and "S." in lower right corner, all in colorless letters upon the engine turned work of frame. The corners are filled out with foliated ornaments.[127]

Plate impression, 20 by 25 mm., in color, upon white paper, perforated 12.

5 cents, ochre, shades of brown.

Ten Cents. Head of Washington, faced three quarters to left, on a rectangularly hatched ground, bordered by four bands, forming a sort of oval. The bands are bordered all around by a colorless and exterior fine colored line. The upper band is inscribed "U. S. Postage," on the solid ground, and the ends of the bands are rounded; the lower band is inscribed "Ten Cents" on the solid ground, and the ends of the band are curved inwards; the side bands are of irregular shape, with the ends rounded and bear four stars each, on a horizontally lined ground. The rest of the stamp is composed of colorless foliated ornaments, between colored lines upon the solid ground, forming irregular ovals in the corners, with a band between the upper ones, bearing five stars, "10" and "10" in the upper, "U." and "S." in the lower corners, on horizontally lined ground, letters, numerals and stars all colorless in colored outlines.

Plate impression, 20 by 24 mm, in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

10 cents, green, yellow-green.

Twelve Cents. Head of Washington, similar to the ten cents, on an oval disk, with rectangularly hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line and exterior fine colored line. Broad frame of engine[128] turned colorless lines on a solid ground, with rounded corners and waved edges, bordered by a colorless line, and a fine colored line. The corners are filled out with loops on colored ground. "12" and "12" set diagonally in the upper corners, "U. S. Postage" following the curve of the oval above, "Twelve Cents" in double curve line below, and "U." and "S." in the lower corners. The letters and numerals are colorless, with colored outlines on the engine turned work of frame.

Plate impression, 19 by 24 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

12 cents, black.

Twenty-Four Cents. Small portrait of Washington, faced three quarters to the right, on a rectangularly hatched ground, surrounded by a fancy lozenge-shaped frame of engine turned colorless lines on solid colored ground, bordered by a colorless line and exterior fine colored line. The upper corners are filled out with foliated ornaments, containing the numerals "24" and "24," set diagonally with 3 colorless stars between. The lower corners each contain a large colored star between foliated ornaments. "U." on the left and "S." on the right star; "U. S. Postage" above and "Twenty-four Cents" below the head, near and following the outer curve of frame. The letters, numerals and ornaments are all colorless, but with colored outlines.

Plate impression, 19 by 24 mm., in color, on[129] white paper, perforated 12.

24 cents, lilac.

Thirty Cents. Head of Benjamin Franklin, in profile to left, on a circular disk with diagonally hatched ground, 16 mm. in diameter, bordered by a colorless line and exterior fine colored line. A colorless line between two fine colored lines, at about 2 mm. from the circle, with foliated ends, forms a label above and below, the upper inscribed "U. S. Postage," the lower "Thirty Cents," on lined ground, in colorless letters outlined with color. Foliated ornaments without color, but colored outlines form irregular spaces in the corners, with "30" and "30" in the upper, "U." and "S." in the lower ones, in colorless letters outlined and heavily shaded in color on a lined ground.

Plate impression, 20 by 24 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

30 cents, orange.

Ninety Cents. Head of Washington, in General's costume, after Trumbal's portrait, faced three quarters to the left, on an oval disk, 13 by 17 mm., with rectangularly hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line and exterior colored line, surrounded by a band forming a point above and below, and bordered outside by a second colorless line and an exterior colored line, and crossed by fine colored lines. "90" and "90" on this band above, "Ninety Cents" below in colorless letters with colored outlines.[130] Waved band with similar borders crossing the former above, and inscribed "U. S. Postage" in the same letters. The lower corners are filled with foliated ornaments upon which are "U." and "S." in similar letters.

Plate impression, 19 by 24 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

90 cents, indigo blue.

It will be noticed that the original contract under which these stamps were first manufactured by the National Bank Note Co., expired in 1865. On its expiration a new contract was made with the same company for a term of four years longer.

To preserve the history of the postal legislation of the United States which effects the use of stamps, the provisions of the Act of the XXXVII Congress, Session III, Chapter 71, approved March 3d, 1863, must be noted here, although they did not result in any change in the stamps in use, except the addition of two new values:

Sec. 3. No mail matter shall be delivered until postage is paid.
Sec. 13. The Postmaster General is authorized to establish branch offices for the sale of stamps, etc.
Sec. 17. Postage must be prepaid at the time of mailing on domestic letters, transient printed matter and all other things not herein provided for.
Sec. 18. Daily, weekly, etc., publications must be prepaid quarterly in advance by the receiver.
Sec. 23. Drop letters will be charged 2 cents, to be prepaid by postage stamps, but no carrier's fee.
Sec. 32. The registration fee to be fixed by the Postmaster General, but not to exceed in any case 20 cents.

[131]

In accordance with these last provisions however, there were issued two additional values.

The report of the Postmaster General for the year 1863, states that a two cent stamp had been prepared and issued, principally to prepay the postage on drop letters, and the report for 1878, fixes the date of issue at of the 1st of July, 1863.

Issue of July 1st, 1863.

(As additional to the series of 1861.)

Two Cents. Very large head of Andrew Jackson, on an oval disk with rectangularly hatched ground, bordered by a fine colorless line with an exterior colored line; on a band above, similarly bordered, and with parallel lined ground, "U. S. Postage" in colorless capitals outlined and shaded; on short bands, similarly constructed, below on the left "Two," on the right "Cents." Foliated ornaments in the four corners, forming small solid circles, bearing the numeral "2" in the upper, and colorless ovals bearing "U." on the left, and "S." on the right, in irregular shaped colored letters.

Plate impression, 20 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

2 cents, black.

The Postmaster General having fixed the registration fee at 15 cents, a stamp of that denomination was issued.

[132]

Issue of April 1st, 1866.

Fifteen Cents. Bust of Abraham Lincoln, on an oval disk 13 by 18 mm. with rectangularly hatched ground, bordered by a broad colorless line, between two fine colored lines, and ornamented by short horizontal colored lines. On the sides, Roman fasces, without the ax, on each side. Above on a scroll, bordered by a colorless line between two fine colored lines, curved up and back to form small ovals, and ending at the top in foliations and inscribed on the band "U. S. Postage" in colorless capitals, in the ovals "15" in colorless numerals; below, a curved band following the outline of the oval, similarly bordered, and inscribed in similar letters "Fifteen Cents"; foliated ornaments forming colored ovals in the corners, with "U." in the left, "S." in the right, in colorless capitals.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

15 cents, black.

Issued originally for registered letters, this stamp also served the next year, principally to prepay the postage on letters to Belgium, Prussia, Holland, Switzerland and the German Postal Union.

The entire series of 1861-63-66 was reprinted in 1874.

It may also be noticed, that the act of the XXXIX Congress, Session I, Chapter 281, approved July 27, 1866, authorized the use in all post offices of weights of the denomination of grams, 15 grams to equal[133] one half ounce, and the postal laws to be applied accordingly.

Also the Act of the XL Congress, Session I, Chapter 246, Section 10 and 11, approved July 29th, 1868, provided penalties for re-using stamps that had once paid postage, and authorized the sale of stamps at a discount of five per cent to persons to sell again as agents.

Observations.

The plates of this issue having been prepared with a view of perforating, the stamps are placed sufficiently far apart to allow a perforation, without ordinarily cutting into the stamps. Occasionally eccentricities may be found, which are the result of accident. The sheets, as in the previous issue, consist of 200 stamps, the central point is indicated by three lines at the top and at the bottom, and the sheets are cut apart on this line and distributed in half sheets of 100, or ten stamps in ten rows. The printer's imprint is generally to be found at the center of the top and bottom of each half sheet, at about 4 mm. from the printed stamps, and consists of a small colored label with a dotted edge, inscribed "National Bank Note Co." preceded by "New York," and followed by "City" in colored capitals. The plate number also appears near this.

The One Cent varies in color from a pale blue to a dark blue, generally of the shade known as ultramarine. The paper is ordinarily white with a[134] yellowish cast, but there are specimens which appear surfaced with the same ink as the stamp, which is probably an accident from imperfect wiping of the plates, and others the paper of which has a pale pink cast, both on the front and back.

The Two Cents varies from grey to black, with occasional specimens partially tinted with the ink, probably from the same cause as in the one cent.

Variety. Doubly perforated at the sides.

The Three Cents varies from a very faint rose to a deep rose, with occasional specimens tinted as in the other values, probably from the same cause.

Variety. Doubly perforated at sides.
""top and bottom.

There are also a few specimens known of a scarlet tint. They resemble the ordinary stamps of this value in all other particulars, and it does not appear to be settled whether they were ever used or not. Proofs, both perforated and unperforated, exist in this shade, and the better opinion would seem to be that all of this shade are proofs. It is claimed, however, that a sheet, or part of a sheet unused, was picked up at the New York Post Office by a collector.

Strips of ten stamps adhering, forming a vertical row from the sheet, and showing a double perforation along the sides are also exhibited.

Unperforated specimens have been catalogued.

The Five Cents was originally issued in a pale yellow brown or ochre, but was changed in September to a darker brown, with a reddish cast, there is[135] also a brown with a yellowish cast, another with a blackish cast and a chestnut brown. It would appear that the latter is the true color composed of red, yellow and black, and that the others result from some improper mixing of these colors, by which one or the other predominates.

Variety. Doubly perforated at the sides.

A "yellowish brown," meaning the brown with a yellowish cast, has been chronicled unperforated.

The Ten Cents is light and dark green. The lighter shade is generally called a yellow-green, but the two shades differ only in intensity.

The Twelve and Fifteen Cents also vary from grey to deep black.

The Twenty-Four Cents is violet, and pale or dark lilac.

The Thirty Cents is of two shades of orange, and an orange-brown.

The Ninety Cents is faint deep blue and indigo blue.

The number of the several values of these stamps issued, without the grille is approximated as follows: it being not quite certain whether a few with the grille were not issued prior to the dates to which the enumeration is made.

[136]

1cent 91,256,650
2cents 254,265,050
3cents 1,847,559,100
5cents 8,258,460
10cents 28,872,780
12cents 7,639,525
15cents 2,139,300
24cents 10,238,650
30cents 3,208,980
90cents 337,770

[137]

XXI.

The Issue of 1867-9.

The Act of the XXXIX Congress, Session I, Chapter 114, Section 7, approved June 12th, 1866, entitled an Act to amend the Postal Laws, had provided among other things.

"Sec. 7. And be it further enacted: that whenever it shall become expedient in the opinion of the Postmaster General to substitute a different kind of postage stamps for those now in use, he shall be, and is hereby authorized to modify the existing contracts for the manufacture of postage stamps, so as to allow the contractors a sum sufficient to cover the increased expenses, if any, of manufacturing stamps so substituted."

The Report for the Postmaster General for the year ending June 30th, 1867, states that experiments had been made in printing postage stamps on an embossed paper, which appeared to offer a fair guarantee against fraud; that the tissues of the paper were broken by the process, so that the ink of the cancelling stamps penetrated the stamps in such a manner as to render cleaning impossible; that the adhesiveness of the stamps was also increased,[138] to say nothing of other advantages, which recommend the invention. Some of these curious experiments will be noticed in the chapter on Essays. The plan adopted was, however, to emboss the stamp, after it was printed, with a series of small square points, arranged in the form of a rectangle, much in the same way that checks are sometimes treated to prevent alteration. This breaks the tissues of the paper. The French collectors call this a grille, or grating, which it resembles. There were several varieties used on this issue, and they were applied to the stamps then current, without other change in the design, paper, color or gum.

Issue of 1867 to 1869.

The first variety was a grille covering the entire stamp, adopted May 8th, 1867, and applied only to the

3 cents, rose, perforated 12, grilled all over.

If this is examined with a glass on the face of the stamp, there appear to be rows of slightly raised squares, separated by depressed straight lines, with a still more raised cross, formed by diagonal lines running from corner to corner of the square. If the back is examined, the straight lines appear raised, the crosses depressed. In all specimens examined, the embossing is very flat.

The second variety does not cover the entire stamp, but shows a rectangle, measuring 13 by 16 mm., composed of 16 rows of 20 small squares each. It was adopted August 8th, 1867, and was[139] applied only to the

3 cents, rose, perforated 12, large grille.

Copies with this grille may be found in which one side row or the other shows only half squares instead of whole ones, also with some of the top or bottom rows missing, wholly or partly.

Var.12 by16mm., 15by 20rows, 3c.,perf. 12.
 12 "15 " 15by 18" 3c"

The appearance of this grille, examined on the face, is just the reverse of the preceding, as the straight lines are raised and the crosses depressed.

The third variety was a still smaller rectangle, about 11 by 14 mm., composed of 14 rows of 17 small squares or parts of squares. The date is January 8th, 1868. Numerous variations may be found. It was applied only to the

1cent, blue,perforated 12,medium grille.
2" black" 12"
3" rose" 12"
10" green" 12"
12" black" 12"
15" black" 12"
Var.11 by 14 mm., 15 by 18rows, 3c,rose, perf. 12.
 11 by 14 mm., 14 by 17" 3c""
   14 by 17" 3c""
   14 by 16" 1cblue"
   14 by 16" 3crose"
   14 by 16" 10cgreen"
   14 by 16" 12cblack"
   14 by 16" 2c""
   14 by 16" 3crose"
 11 by 13 mm., 14 by 16" 3c""
   14 by 16" 3c""
 10 by 14 mm., 14 by 16" 3c""
   13 by 16" 3c""
   13 by 16" 10cgreen"

[140]

Oddity. With 2 grilles touching on the same stamp. 3 cents, rose, perforated 12.

Note. It is not uncommon to find parts of two grilles on the same stamp at a distance from each other, part of a grille being at the top and part at the bottom, or part of a grille on each side. The oddity noted presents two grilles touching by the top and bottom, one a little farther to the left than the other, making a strip of squares from the top to the bottom of the stamp.

This medium grille if examined on the face is quite different from the foregoing large grille. It appears to be composed of raised lines between the squares and depressed crosses in them. A glass transforms these lines into rows of diamonds. On the reverse it appears as if composed of depressed lines, between the squares, and raised crosses in them.

Note. The other values so far as known, have not been found with this grille. Up to May, 1868, only the values from 1 to 12 cents had been noted by the stamp papers as having been found with any grille. The 24 and 30 cents are chronicled with a grille in the November, 1868, but the 90 cents was not so noticed until much later, February, 1869[141], (see American Journal of Philately).

The fourth and most common grille is a square of 9 by 14 mm., composed of 12 rows of 16 squares each. The date of its adoption is not known. It was applied to the whole series.

 1 cent,blue, perforated12, small grille.
 2 "black "12"
 3 "rose "12"
 5 "brown "12"
 10 "green "12"
 12 "black "12"
 15 "black "12"
Nov. 1868,24 "lilac "12"
"30 "orange "12"
Feb. 1869,90 "blue "12"
Varieties.9 by 14 mm., 12 by 16rows, 1c.,perf. 12.
 "" "3c  "
 " 12 by 17" 30c "

Observations.

The colors are generally stronger than in those without the grille. The majority of the specimens of these stamps appear to have the surface of the paper tinted slightly with the color of the stamps, possibly from some imperfection in cleaning the plates. A few values have been noted on pure white paper.

1cent, blue,small grille, perforated12.
2" black" "12
10" green" "12

[142]

The 3 cents, rose, small grille, unperforated, has been noted, and

2cents, black,grille, variety4 bracket left unperforated
3" rose" "4 at the
5" brown" "4 sides.

The re-impressions of these designs did not have the grille.

The five cents was in use up to September, 1870.

Some specimens examined seem to indicate that all these varieties of grille are occasionally to be found reversed, i. e. they present the appearance on the face that is usually to be seen on the back, and vice versa.

Of these stamps with the grille, there were, issued approximately the following numbers:

1cent 9,638,600
2cents 46,440,000
3" 231,773,300
5" 1,006,400
10" 3,076,070
12" 2,087,575
15" 868,080
24" 167,453
30" 214,000
90" 26,870

During the currency of these stamps, a new contract was entered into with the same company. A special despatch to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, dated Oct. 3rd, 1868 states:

[143]

"Postmaster General Randall to-day accepted the proposal of the National Bank Note Company, of New York, for furnishing stamps for four years at 25 cents per 1000. This includes everything required for preparing the stamps for immediate use, gumming, perforation printing and preparing receipts. The contractors are also required to furnish new designs, at least four of which must be printed in combination colors."

The number of the several values of these stamps issued, with the grille is approximated as above, it being not quite certain whether a few without the grille were not in stock at the dates from which the enumeration is made.


[144]

XXII.

The Issue of 1869.

The New York Evening Post of October 6th, 1868, also contains a notice of

"The New Contract For Postage Stamps.

In June last, Postmaster General Randall, advertised for proposals for furnishing the Government with postage stamps for a term of years. The Committee of experts appointed for the purpose, decided in favor of the National Bank Note Company, and on Saturday last, the Postmaster General awarded the contract to that Company for a term of four years. We have been shown proofs of the new stamps, and they reflect credit upon the artistic taste of the Company."

Some of these proofs are then described.

"One of the characteristics of the stamps manufactured by this Company is that the ink used prevents persons washing, and using the stamps a second time. The fiber in the centre of the stamp is broken completely, and they adhere better, while the ink of cancellation sinks into the paper. The engraving on these stamps are remarkable copies of historical pictures, and bear the test of microscopical examination."

[145]

These are probably the only words of approbation to be found in the daily press among the host of comments upon these stamps, which by the terms of the contract were to be ready on the first of February, 1869. Messrs. Butler & Carpenter, of Philadelphia, had claimed to be entitled to the award on the ground that they had submitted a better bid than the National Bank Note Co., which resulted in delay and the appointment of the commission above mentioned.

However, in March, 1869, the greater part if not all the values were printed and ready for issue, but were distributed to the public only as the stock of the old issue was exhausted. About the end of April they began to appear, and even in September only the 1, 2, 3 and 6 cents were to be obtained in the larger post offices. Already the public demanded that they should be replaced, and this was done in April, 1870. As late as March, 1870, the 90 cents of the previous issue was on sale in some of the offices.

This unfortunate issue was generally received with approval by the Philatelic press. It is certainly well engraved, and forms an interesting and handsome series for the most part, and is an adornment to the collectors' album. But it is hardly so well suited to the practical requirements of a postage stamp. It was announced that the series was intended in some sort, to portray the history of the Post Office in the United States, beginning with Franklin, the Continental postmaster, and the post[146] rider of the early days, followed by the locomotive of a later day, and the Ocean Steamer carrying the mails which had become so important a branch of the postal service, the most important scenes in the early history of the country, its triumphant arms, and Washington its first and Lincoln its last President. But hardly had it been issued before its doom was sealed.

In August the New York Tribune says:

"The greater part of the stamps sold at the Post Office in this city are worthless, and have not sufficient gum to make them stick to letters. One can be amused, or become indignant, in watching people who buy stamps, demanding a little mucilage from the clerk, in order to fasten the stamp on their envelopes. It appears that the invention of embossing which is continued in this emission, while it spoils the stamps, does not increase their adhesive properties as was pretended."

Other papers pronounced the stamp too small. The comic papers exhibited caricatures in which the people were looking for their stamps in their pocket books with powerful microscopes.

The Evening Telegram says:

"The new United States postage stamps have a very un-American look."

The Evening Mail says:

"Our old postage stamps were really neat and pleasing in appearance. They were National and American, as they ought to have been. The head of Washington was venerable, and our three cent stamps were as perfect as they well could be. So also the one cent stamp with the head of Franklin was equally appropriate. There was[147] a fitness of congruity in putting the head of the old, thrifty economist, on the one cent stamp. Our youth were reminded of the wise saws and sayings of "Poor Richard" and it taught them that if they learned to save the cents, the dollars were more likely to take care of themselves. But now think of the miserable, confused looking thing, with its wretched printing, that the Post Office has given us for the present three cent stamp. It is neither historical, national, beautiful, nor anything but a paltry evidence of the fact, that some engraver has got paid or will get paid for a job that ought never to have been done. Can our authorities not let well enough alone?

Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, all have railroad engines such as ours. What is there in a big chimney on a railroad carriage to indicate the nationality of our postal system. Aye, but there are words, "United States Postage" on the stamp. Just so. We remember to have seen a boy's drawing on a sheet of paper, the words "this is a church" underneath, and certainly the artistic performance needed the index, but not more so than the new stamp requires a similar proclamation to tell the world what it means. And then again look at the printing of the word "Postage." Can our engravers do nothing better than that? We hope that the contractors have been paid for their work. If so, then let the post office folks give us back again our old head of Washington, and save us from looking at the contemptible thing that we are now getting in its stead."

Another paper says:

"The present miserable experiments in blue, with a meaningless legend, are to be recalled and something new in red is to be substituted. The old heads of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Franklin and Lincoln are to be restored. It is about time that some definite form[148] and design of postage stamp should be adopted, so that people may know to a certainty what mucilaged square of paper will carry a letter to its designation, and what not."

The New York Herald says:

"The old style of three cent postage stamps had thereon a face of Washington, out of compliment to a good man. It now has a railway scene to represent how Congressmen make money. The two cent stamp represents a man on horseback. This represents Booth's death ride into Maryland. The one cent stamp should represent a cow with the favorite son of the Covington postmaster fast to her tail. This out of compliment to Grant."

An Eastern paper says:

"The Government introduced the present nondescript things called postage stamps, for the purpose of frightening counterfeiters."

And later the Herald says:

"Another attempt is to be made to give us decent postage stamps. We suppose it will fail, as so many have hitherto. Our postal authorities try too much. If they will only take the Italian or French stamp, and put Washington's head in place of Victor Emanuel's, or Napoleon's, they cannot fail; but they will try some improvements and spoil all."

The post office department announced the issue in the following circular:

Post Office Department.

Finance Office, March 1st, 1869.

Sir:

At an early day, in the regular course of business, the Department will issue to Postmasters stamps[149] of new designs. [See description annexed.] In the proposed issue the six cent stamp is substituted for the five cents. You are required to exhaust all of the present style on hand, before supplying the public with the new; and in no case will you be allowed to make exchanges for individuals, or to return stamps to the Department to be exchanged. The stamps now in use are not to be disregarded, but must be recognized in all cases equally with the new ones.

Special attention is called to the fact that sheets of all denominations below 15 cents contain 150 stamps. The 15 cents and all higher denominations, contain 100 stamps on each sheet. This must be borne in mind to prevent mistakes in counting, as in the present issue each denomination has but 100 stamps to the sheet. Special requests for the new style of stamps will be disregarded until the stock of the present issue in possession of the Department is exhausted. Due notice will be given of the date of issue of any new design of stamped envelopes, therefor all inquiries respecting them will be disregarded.

[Signed.] A. N. ZEVELY,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

The description upon the other side requires to be supplemented for collectors, but is incorporated in those following.

Issue of March 19th, 1869.

Composed of ten values each of a different type.

One Cent. Head of Franklin, in profile, looking to the left, on a circular disk horizontally lined, surrounded by a broad circle ornamented with colorless pearls, bordered by a band of rayed lines between fine white lines, with exterior fine colored line, and divided into three labels by ornaments[150] at the sides and bottom. "U. S. Postage" at the top; large numeral "1" in a small oval (sic) with a border of colorless loops between the words "One Cent" at the bottom. Color, Roman ochre. Corners plain without color.

Plate impression, circular, 20 by 20 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12, grilled and without grille.

1 cent, Roman ochre.

Two Cents. Post horse and rider facing to the left, trees, fence, etc., in background, surrounded by ornamental scroll work, "United States" in small colored capitals on the ground above, a curtain inscribed "Postage" in colorless capitals at the top. "Two Cents" at the bottom on a ribbon with large numeral "2" between the words, both in outline shaded. Color, light bronze.

Plate impression, 20 by 19 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12, grilled and without grille.

2 cents, yellow-brown, light and dark chestnut-brown.

Three Cents. Locomotive heading to the right, surrounded by ornamental scroll work, "United States" in colored block capitals on a curved band, "Postage" in colorless capitals in a tablet beneath, at top. "Three Cents" in outline shaded block capitals, in two scrolls at the bottom, with numeral "3" in a shield (sic) between the words. Color, Imperial ultramarine blue.

There is no shield as stated in the official description.

[151]

Plate impression, 20 by 19 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12, grilled and without grille.

3 cents blue.

Six Cents. Head of Washington, three quarters face looking to the right, on a ground of vertical and horizontal lines, bordered by a solid broad colored line, ornamented by 68 pearls. Spandrels checkered and bordered by colorless lines. Frame square, composed of vertically lined squares in the upper corners, with narrower horizontally lined label between, with a broad colored border, ornamented by pearls and exterior colorless and colored line above. The colored labels are narrower than the upper squares at the sides, and are bordered by colorless pearls and an interior white line, an exterior colorless and fine colored line. Horizontally lined label across the entire bottom, widened at the ends to correspond with the upper squares, with exterior colorless and colored line. "U. S." in upper left and right corners of frame respectively. The word "Postage" in upper bar of frame, "Six Cents" in lower, the numeral "6" between the words, and "United States" on each side. Color, ultramarine.

Plate impression, 20 by 20 mm., square, in color, on white paper, perforated 12, grilled and possibly without grille.

6 cents blue.

Ten Cents. Shield of the United States on which is resting an eagle with outspread wings, looking to the left. "United States" in small colored[152] capitals with "Postage" in large outline capitals, shaded in a second line beneath, in the upper section of the shield, numeral "10" in lower. The words "Ten Cents" in scroll at the bottom in outline shaded capitals. The whole design surrounded by thirteen stars arranged in a semicircle, (sic) color, orange. The background is rayed behind the eagle and the semicircle of stars are upon this only, the background behind the shield is of clouds, there is no frame.

Plate impression, 19 by 18 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12 and grilled, possibly also without grille.

10 cents orange.

Twelve Cents. Ocean Steam ship, headed to left in horizontal oval, surrounded by ornamented scroll work. In a double tablet with arched top on horizontally lined ground, and colored capitals in a curved line, "United States" and "Postage" in outline capitals on a solid ground. On three scrolls in outline capitals and numerals shaded, "Twelve Cents" at the bottom, with numeral "12" between the words. Color, malori green.

Plate impression, 20 by 19 mm., in color, on white paper, slightly surfaced green, perforated 12 and grilled, possibly also without grille.

12 cents, green.

[153]

Fifteen Cents. Microscopic reproduction of the large picture, in the Capitol at Washington, of the "Landing of Columbus," in an oblong rectangle 20 by 10 mm., with rounded upper corners, surrounded at a little distance by a single colored line. Ornamental and scroll work at top and bottom on a ground ruled horizontally inside and vertically outside of the scrolls, the whole surrounded by a colorless and fine colored line. On a colorless tablet, in Gothic capitals, "U. S."; in a curved line of outline capitals on the ground, "Postage" at top. Fifteen Cents at bottom, with numerals "15" underneath in outline colorless capitals, on the ground. Colors: picture, Prussian blue, scroll and ornamental work pale Indian red.

Plate impression, 21 by 21 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12, grilled and not grilled. The paper is more or less surfaced with blue.

15 cents blue and brown.

Note. There are two varieties of this stamp, depending on the type, and an error, the latter was however never circulated. The line of the frame, above the picture, is curved up on the left hand, beginning under the O, and on the right hand beginning under the G, in what is called the O. G. curve, till the two meet in a point. In the ordinary variety there are two fine lines within the space left for the picture, which along the whole top, including the curved corners and this central double curve, are united in a heavy line and at about a millimeter from the center line on each side, curve[154] down, as well as up, to a point, forming a diamond. On the sides and bottom within this line, there is a shading of fine diagonal lines. When the picture is exactly in position, which is rare, the colored line surrounding it falls between these fine lines, and on the heavy curved line, just touching the lower part of the diamond.

In the rarer variety, the two fine lines, the broad top line, and the bottom of the diamond are all omitted, the entire space is either empty or shows one, two or three horizontal lines across the top of the space, and three or four across the bottom, with a row of short horizontal lines at the sides. When the picture is in proper place there is an almost blank space at the top, and apparently a white line surrounding the picture. When it is misplaced the colored lines described can be seen and there appear to have been several varieties, as there were more or less of them.

The error is not as is sometimes supposed an error of printing, but in the plate. Two plates, one for each color, had to be used. Originally, there were 150 stamps as in the smaller values, (See circular of March 1st, 1869 above cited) but upon the plate for printing the picture, it is said one picture was reversed, and the error once discovered, the plate was cut down to print only 100 stamps as stated in the circular. It is probable that no copies with the error were ever circulated.

Twenty-Four Cents. Microscopic reproduction of the large picture at the Capitol, of the "Signing[155] of the Declaration of Independence" forming an oblong rectangle 20 by 10 mm., with all four corners cut off diagonally, surrounded by a fine colored line at a little distance. Ornamental scroll work at top and bottom on a lined ground. A line of pearls on a colored line, between a colorless and colored line, forms the frame for the picture. In block capitals "U." and "S." surrounded by ovals at upper left and right corners respectively, the word "Postage" between the two, in a curved line of outline capitals, shaded on the background. "Twenty-four Cents" in scrolls at bottom, with numeral "24" beneath in outline letters shaded. Colors: the picture, purple lake, scroll and ornamental work, light malori green. Just beneath the picture in small colored numerals, "1776."

Plate impression, 21 by 22 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12, grilled and not grilled.

24 cents, purple and green.

Note. There is the same error of this stamp "reversed picture" stated to be from the same cause, a defect in the plate as for the 15 cents, and the same remarks apply.

Thirty Cents. Eagle facing to left, with outspread wings, resting on shield with flags grouped on either side. The words "United States Postage" in upper section of shield. The numeral "30" in lower. The words "Thirty Cents" across the bottom, with three stars arranged in a semi-circle at top of the design. Colors: Eagle and Shield, carmine, flags blue. Except for the change of numerals and[156] words of value, the omission of the scroll, and the substitution of the two flags on each side for the clouds, the design, though not the drawing of this stamp is identical with the ten cents. "Thirty cents" is however in block letters, the T Y C E in outline, the rest shaded.

Plate impression, 21 by 22 mm., in color, on white paper, slightly tinted with pink, perforated 12, grilled and not grilled.

30 cents, carmine and blue.

Error. There is also an error of this stamp in which the flags are reversed. It is also stated to be an error on the plate, but may be only an error in printing.

Ninety Cents. Portrait of Lincoln in an oval, looking to the right, surrounded by ornamental scroll work, numerals "90" at each of the upper corners, set diagonally in outline, and shaded on vertically lined ground. On a label with rayed ground, edged by a colorless and colored line, in outline capitals shaded, "U. S. Postage" at top of oval. "Ninety" and "Cents" on scrolls at the lower left and right corners of oval respectively, set diagonally and in colored capitals. In outline Gothic capitals "U." and "S." at the lower left and right corners of the stamp respectively. Colors: portrait black, surrounding ornamental and scroll work, carmine. It may be well to add that the portrait is three quarters face, on a square hatched ground, and a single colored line in same color surrounds the oval at a little distance. The space left in the[157] frame for the picture is bordered by fine short horizontal lines, which show when the picture is not properly placed.

Plate impression, 21 by 21 mm. square, in two colors, on white paper, slightly surfaced pink, perforated 12, grilled and not grilled.

90 cents, black and carmine.

The grille in this series is a square 9 by 9 mm. composed of 11 rows of 12 smaller squares each, apparently separated by raised lines crossing each other at right angles, each little square divided by depressed diagonals also, as if produced by forcing a series of pyramids set close together, but not touching, into the face of the stamp. Seen from the reverse, the dividing lines are depressed and the squares stand up like pyramids, with ragged edges showing the broken fibre of the paper.

The numbers of the several values of this issue is approximated as follows:

1cent, 24,988,100
2cents, 114,058,000
3cents 530,346,800
6cents, 6,363,700
10cents, 5,770,130
12cents, 4,088,875
15cents, 2,360,740
24cents, 414,325
30cents 513,180
90cents, 77,650

[158]

XXIII.

The Issue of 1870.

In the report of the Postmaster General for the year ending the 30th of June, 1870, under date of Nov. 15th, 1870, he says:

The adhesive postage stamps adopted by my predecessor in 1869, having failed to give satisfaction to the public, on account of their small size, their unshapely form, the inappropriations of their designs, the difficulty of cancelling them effectually, and the inferior quality of gum used in their manufacture, I found it necessary in April last, to issue new stamps of larger size, superior quality of gum and new designs. As the contract then in force contained a provision that the stamps should be changed, and new designs and plates furnished at the pleasure of the Postmaster General, without additional cost to the department, I decided to substitute an entire new series, one-third larger in size, and to adopt for designs the heads, in profile, of distinguished deceased Americans. This style was deemed the most eligible, because it not only afforded the best opportunity for the exercise of the highest grade of artistic skill in composition and execution, but also appeared to be the most difficult to counterfeit. The designs were selected from marble busts of acknowledged excellence, as follows:[159] One cent, Franklin, after Rubricht; two cents, Jackson, after Powers; three cents, Washington, after Houdon; six cents, Lincoln, after Volk; ten cents, Jefferson, after Powers' statue; twelve cents, Clay, after Hart; fifteen cents, Webster, after Clevenger; twenty-four cents, Scott, after Coffee; thirty cents, Hamilton, after Cerrachi; ninety cents, Commodore O. H. Perry, profile bust, after Walcott's statue. The stamps were completed and issues of them began in April last. The superior gum with which they are coated is not the least of the advantages derived from the change.

Upon the conclusion of the postal treaty with the North German Confederation, fixing the single letter rate by direct steamers at seven cents, to take effect the 1st of July last, a stamp of that denomination was adopted, and the profile bust of the late Edwin M. Stanton selected for the design. This has been completed in a satisfactory manner, but owing to the temporary discontinuance of the direct mail steamship service to North Germany, it has not yet been issued to postmasters.

It may not be uninteresting to remark that the following stamps were adapted among other uses, to the payment of the rates under postal treaties as follows;

6 cents, England, Dec. 3d, 1869; Sandwich Islands, May 5th, 1870; British Columbia, July 15th, 1870; Germany, March 31st, 1871.
7 cents, Germany, April 7th, 1870; Denmark, Dec. 1st 1871.
10 cent, Italy, Feb. 8th, 1870; Belgium, March 1st, 1870; Switzerland, April 13, 1870; Salvador, Oct. 5th, 1870.
12 cents, British Honduras, August 11th. 1869; New Zealand, Oct. 5th, 1870.
15 cents, Brazil, May 9th, 1870.

[160]

The series being ready for issue, was announced to the various Postmasters in the following:

CIRCULAR TO POSTMASTERS.

Post Office Department,
Office of Third Assistant Postmaster General,

April 9th, 1870.

New Series of Postage Stamps.

At an early date in the regular course of business, the Department will issue to Postmasters, postage stamps of a new design. [See description annexed.]

You are required to exhaust all of the present style on hand before supplying the public with the new; and in no case will you be allowed to make exchanges for individuals or to return stamps to the Department to be exchanged.

The stamps now in use are not to be disregarded, but must be recognized in all cases equally with the new ones. The stamps known as the series of 1861, of which a few are supposed to be yet outstanding, are also to be recognized. Those issued prior to the commencement of the war of the Rebellion were long since declared to be valueless.

Special attention is called to the fact that each sheet, of all denominations of the new series, contains but 100 stamps. This must be borne in mind to prevent mistakes in counting, as in the present issue some of the denominations have 150 stamps to the sheet.

Special requests for the new style of stamps will be disregarded until the stock of the present issue, in possession of the Department, is exhausted. [ * * * * relating to envelopes to be issued to conform * * * * ]

[Signed] Wm. H. Terrell,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

[161]

[The "description annexed" is on the other side and is merely a list of values, the bust from which the portrait was copied, the color, etc., exactly following that in the extract from the Postmaster General's report above.] The exact date of issue is fixed by the Postmaster General's report, as May, 1870.

Issue of May, 1870.

Composed of ten values as follows:

One Cent. Bust of Benj. Franklin, in profile to the left, after Rubricht, on an oval disk, lined horizontally and obliquely, bordered by a broad colorless line and exterior colored fine line. Outside of this a series of colorless curved lines, bordered by fine colored lines, and foliated at the corners on a ground of parallel vertical colored lines, completes the rectangle. There is no enclosing colored line at top or bottom. Short horizontal colored lines form the shadows of the oval and ornaments. The upper corners are formed by a line curved round from the oval and terminating in a large ball, a second line curving round from this and continued along the top, ending in two foliations with a small leaf-shaped dash beyond. There is a large ball at the intersection of these lines in the corner of the stamp. A slightly curved line continues down from the corner, forming the sides. The lower corner being formed by a curved line starting in a dot, curving upward and round, and terminating inside the side lines in a large foliation with three balls above it. The bottom is formed of[162] a waved line. These are all distinct and plain colorless lines between fine colored lines, and about the width of the line surrounding the oval.

The ornaments in the corners have shadows beneath, and on the inner edges, and the side lines have shadows on the outer edges, formed of short horizontal lines. The oval has heavy shadows similarly formed. The vertical lines of the background are fine, and of even width throughout. Above the oval, a thin colorless line, bordered by a fine colored line, within and without, parallel with the oval, but curved round at the ends to meet it, forms a label inscribed in outline capitals, "U. S. Postage," shaded without on a rectangularly hatched ground. Below the oval a large outline pearled numeral "1" shaded without, divides the lower border line, and a similar line parallel to the border line, but terminated at each end by a ball, forms a label inscribed in outline capitals "One Cent" shaded outside on a rectangularly hatched ground. Above this label are three small white pearls on each side of the numeral.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1 cent, imperial ultramarine.

Two Cents. Bust of Andrew Jackson, in profile to the left, after Powers, on an oval disk lined horizontally and doubly obliquely, bordered by a broad white line and fine exterior colored line, the whole super-imposed on a shield, with ground of vertical colored lines, and bordered by a very fine colored[163] exterior line. The shield is curved in at the top, corners diagonal, sides curved in and then out, bottom rounded and rests on a background of horizontal colored lines. There are no exterior lines on the sides. Below the oval, a large outline numeral "2" divides a colorless ribbon bordered by fine colored lines, and inscribed "Two Cents" in outline colored capitals shaded outside, on a background of short vertical colored lines. Above the oval, a band bordered by a colorless line edged by fine colored lines, extends nearly to the outer edge of the stamp, and is inscribed, "U. S. Postage" in outline colorless capitals, shaded outside on a rectangularly hatched ground. The shadows of the shield are made by short vertical lines, those of the oval by short horizontal lines. The shield is ornamented by fine laurel leaves on each side, just above the lower label.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

2 cents, velvet brown.

Three Cents. Bust of Geo. Washington, after Houdon, in profile to left, on oval disk with horizontally lined ground, and occasional diagonal latticed hatchings, bordered by a broad colorless line with exterior fine colored line, resting on a shield with vertically lined ground, on a background of horizontal lines, with a border line on the right side but none on the left. Above the oval, a band bordered by a colorless line, with a ball on each end and three little foliations above on each side, all[164] edged by a fine colored line inscribed "U. S. Postage," in outline capitals, shaded outside on a horizontally lined ground. Below the oval a large numeral "3," shaded outside, divides a ribbon bordered by a colored line, and inscribed in similar capitals, "Three Cents" on a ground of short vertical lines. The shadows of the oval are made by short colored horizontal lines, and those of the shield by vertical lines.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

3 cents, malori green.

Six Cents. Bust of Abraham Lincoln, in profile to the left, after Volk, on an oval disk lined horizontally and doubly lined obliquely, bordered by a colorless line. On a depressed panel, lined horizontally, the sides projected, darker than the frame of fine vertical lines which surrounds it, completes the rectangle. There is no terminal line at the sides. Above the oval a yoke-shaped label, bordered by a colorless line, edged by fine colored lines, inscribed "U. S. Postage" in outline colorless capitals, shaded outside on a ground of horizontal lines. Below the oval is a ribbon bordered by fine colored lines, inscribed in the same letters, "Six Cents" divided by a large outline numeral "6," on a ground of short colored vertical lines. A distinct line borders the depressed panel all the way around, being heaviest on the left side. The shadows of the oval and depressed panel are made by vertical colored lines, and those of the upper and lower labels are made by horizontal[165] colored lines.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

6 cents, cochineal red.

Ten Cents. Bust of Thomas Jefferson, in profile to left, after Powers, on an oval disk, lined horizontally, and obliquely from right to left, bordered by a colorless line with exterior colored line, on a shield bordered by a fine colored line, vertically lined, on a rectangular background, which is lined horizontally. Above the oval a label formed by a colorless line edged by a colored exterior line, curved round from the oval line at the ends, and then parallel with it, having a small ball ornament at each end, is inscribed "U. S. Postage" in outline capitals, shaded outside, on a ground of vertical lines, except at the ends, where the lines are horizontal. Below the oval, on a ribbon bordered by colored lines, in the same letters "Ten Cents," on a ground of short vertical lines, the words separated by large outline numerals "10." Shadows of the oval in short horizontal lines crossed by lines parallel to the oval. Shadows of the lower ribbon in vertical lines.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

10 cents, chocolate.

Twelve Cents. Bust of Henry Clay, after Hart, in profile to the left, on an oval disk, closely lined horizontally, and bordered by a colorless line between two fine colored lines, surrounded by labels[166] bordered without by a second colorless line, between fine colored lines, but curved inwards, crossed and the sides united in a vertical line at the sides of the stamp, the whole arranged in a double tablet formed by vertical lines, terminated by an outside colored line at top and bottom. The outer edges representing a chamfer are horizontally lined. A little distance from the edge, a series of diagonal lines between two parallel lines, represent a beveled edge, making the parts within appear higher. The upper label is inscribed "U. S. Postage," in outline capitals, doubly shaded outside, on a ground of horizontal lines. The lower label is inscribed, "Twelve Cents," in outline block capitals, doubly shaded on a ground of horizontal lines. Large outline numerals "12," doubly shaded, divide the lower band and separate the words.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

12 cents, neutral tint.

Fifteen Cents. Bust of Daniel Webster, in profile to the left, after Clevenger, on an oval disk, very closely lined horizontally and obliquely, bordered by a colorless line, on a vertically lined background, with no terminal line at the top or bottom. There is a triangular depression represented in each of the four corners by horizontally lined ground and shade lines, and mitered at the angles. Above the oval and following its outline, is a label indicated by a colorless line between fine colored lines,[167] square at the ends with a ball beyond, inscribed on a horizontally lined ground in colorless capitals, outlined by colored lines and shaded without, "U. S. Postage." Below the oval is a similarly formed label with pointed ends, inscribed in the same letters on horizontally lined ground, "Fifteen Cents," divided by large pearled numerals "15."

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

15 cents, orange.

Twenty-Four Cents. Bust of Winfield Scott, in profile to the left, after Coffee, on an oval disk closely lined horizontally, and bordered by a colorless line with exterior colored line, on a rectangular background of horizontal lines. Above and following the line of the oval are thirteen five pointed stars, two at each end plain, and one letter of the inscription "U. S. Postage" in colored block capitals in each of the others. Above these and parallel to the oval is a colorless line between colored lines, divided and curving into two balls below, but curving into a single ball above and shaded by another colored line. Above these in each corner on a solid ground of color, bordered by a similar arrangement of lines, etc., in colorless block numerals "24." Below the oval is a label inscribed "Twenty Four," with another beneath it inscribed "Cents," both indicated by a colorless line between colored lines, with a horizontally lined background. The letters are colorless block capitals. In the[168] lower left corner are flags and cannon, and in the right three muskets stacked.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

24 cents, pure purple.

Thirty Cents. Bust of Alexander Hamilton, in profile to the left, after Cerrachi, on an oval disk horizontally and obliquely lined, bordered by a colorless line with outer colored line, on a shield shaped panel vertically lined, the edges beveled and obliquely lined, resting on a background of horizontal lines. The upper corners of the panel project beyond the rest at top and sides, the sides project beyond the curved bottom, the shadows of the oval on the shield are indicated by short horizontal lines; those of the shield by vertical lines. Across the curved top of the shield is a colorless line bordered by outside colored lines. Across the top of the shield in a double curve of outline capitals, shaded outside, "U. S. Postage." Below the oval, a small shield, outlined by a colorless line between colored lines, bears the outlined numerals "30," shaded outside on ground of horizontal lines, dividing a ribbon outlined by colored lines, inscribed "Thirty Cents," in colored spurred capitals, on a ground of vertical lines.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

30 cents, black.

[169]

Ninety Cents. Bust of Com. O. H. Perry, in profile to left, after Wolcutt, on an oval disk bordered by a colorless line with exterior colored line. The upper half of this line is covered by a cable, rove at each end to a ring, that supports the lower label. Above the oval a label with hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line, with exterior colored line following the oval, the ends curved outward and inward in a sort of foliation, is inscribed "U. S. Postage" in outline capitals, shaded outside. A five pointed star in each corner. Below the oval, the lower label, square at the ends, with hatched ground, bordered by a colorless line and outer colored line, is inscribed "Ninety Cents," in outline block capitals, shaded outside. There is a heavy shadow beneath the label, an anchor in each lower corner. The whole is on a vertically lined panel chamfered at the top, bottom and sides.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

90 cents, carmine.

Issue of July 1870.

Seven Cents. Bust of Secretary Edwin M. Stanton, in profile to left, on an oval disk, closely lined horizontally, bordered by a colorless line. Above and below, a label bordered by a colorless line following the outline of the oval, but curved round and terminated inside by a ball at each end. The whole on a panel, vertically lined, with rounded corners, and large ball on a rectangular background of horizontal[170] lines. The labels are inscribed in outline capitals, shaded outside on a hatched ground, the upper, "U. S. Postage," the lower, "Seven Cents," divided by a large outline numeral "7," doubly shaded outside.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

7 cents, vermilion.

All these values were first issued with a grille, of which there are several sizes, but on many, if not most, even of unused specimens it is so indistinct that it is impossible to distinguish the outlines, measure the size, or count the squares. Some very perfect unused specimens have been examined however, and on the face it appears to be composed of horizontal rows of depressed diamonds, divided by alternate rows of smaller raised diamonds, with deep-depressed lines along the sides of the latter. On the reverse, the appearance is of rows of squares divided by depressed lines, with little raised crosses in each square. By these specimens it has also been determined, that there were at least two distinct sizes of grille.

The first measures 10 by 12 mm., composed of 13 by 15 rows of squares. Perfect specimens of the 1, 2, 3, 7 and 10 cent so grilled, have been found, and satisfactory specimens of the 6, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents.

The other variety measures 8 by 10 mm., and is composed of 10 by 13 rows of squares. Perfect specimens of the 1, 2, 3 and 7 cents so grilled[171] have been found, but no satisfactory specimens of any other value.

Specimens with only a few distinct squares, are comparatively common.

The difficulty of arriving at accurate measurement, is increased when the specimens examined have been used, but apparently the larger of the above grilles was gradually cut down row by row to the smaller, as specimens of the 1, 2 and 3 cents, the most used values, are found undoubtedly grilled.

10 by12mm., or13by 17rows.
10  "12" "13" 15"
9  "11" "12" 15"
9  "11" "11" 14"
8 "10" "11" 13"

These all now bear a deep yellow or brown gum. The colors are very uniform.

As stated by the passage quoted above, there are 100 stamps, or ten rows of ten stamps in the so called sheet, or properly half sheet, there being 200 on the plate. The imprint was either "Engraved and printed by the," in one line, "National Bank Note Co., New York," in a second line in colorless capitals, on a solid ground, with pearled edges and outer fine colored line, or the second line above without pearls on colored ground, bordered by a double colored line. The author cannot state whether all the values bore both imprints, having only seen the 1, 2 and 3 cents with the first, and the 30 and 90 with the second, the latter without the grille. These imprints are placed 2 mm. from[172] the stamps, above and below the 5th and 6th rows on each half sheet, the plate number being between the 8th and 9th rows. The line on which the sheets are divided is indicated by three lines forming a sort of arrow head, at the top and bottom of the sheet. The center rows of stamps are 2 mm. apart, and there are no perforations between them. The vertical rows of perforation are 22 mm. apart horizontally. The horizontal rows 27 mm. apart vertically, but the upper and lower rows are sometimes 28 and sometimes 29 mm. apart. If a sheet is selected, where the vertical rows are so far from the center line as to cut into the stamps, and the horizontal rows too high or too low, and a stamp from the top or bottom of the row next to the center cut line is selected, and the perforations carefully cut off, specimens can be made that have a much larger margin than the ordinary perforated stamps, and might easily pass as unperforated. This may not account for all the unperforated specimens, some of which may be the result of accident, but all the values of this series and the following may be so made unperforated, and have been so catalogued.

The number of these stamps issued with grille, is estimated as follows:

1cent, 95,127,100.
2cents, 208,375,550.
3" 962,467,790.
6" 21,600,900.
7" 2,070,800.
10cents 8,509,280.
12" 2,857,975.
15" 4,299,220.
24" 637,450.
30" 711,430.
90" 165,180.

[173]

Issue without Grille (1873?)

The use of the grille was finally abandoned altogether. The first notice of this change appeared in the stamp papers of February, 1873. They were made by the same company, and are in all respects the same, except the embossing.

1cent, imperial ultramarine,perforated 12.
2cents, velvet brown" "
3" milori green" "
6" cochineal" "
7" vermilion" "
10" chocolate" "
12" purple" "
15" orange" "
24" pure purple" "
30" black" "
90" carmine" "

The colors do not vary materially from those of the grilled series, but there are two quite distinct shades of the twelve cents, a blackish purple and a brownish tint.

[174]

Issue of 1873.

In accordance with the provisions of the general law, before the expiration of the contract with the National Bank Note Company, the Postmaster General advertised in the daily papers, in December, 1872, that he would receive bids for furnishing the Department with postage stamps from the 1st of May, 1873, to the 1st of May, 1877. This contract, as well as the subsequent one which terminated the 1st of July, 1881, was awarded to the Continental Bank Note Company, of New York. The dies and plates, by the terms of the contract with the National Bank Note Company, were the property of the Government, and were turned over to the new contractors, who continued to print the stamps from the same plates, until they were worn out, and theoretically in the same colors. As new plates were required from time to time, they were made from the original dies, but bore the imprint of the new contractor, which resembles the first one described as used by the National Company, but reads "Printed by the" in the first line, "Continental Bank Note Co., New York," in the second line. This imprint probably, was not put upon one of the values above 15 cents. In fact the 30 and 90 cents sent out just before, and for some years after the expiration of the second contract awarded to this Company, bore the second named imprint of the National Bank Note Company.

Specimens are found which show the heavier border lines and shadows of the different parts of the[175] design, the fine lines of the background, of the tablets, and sometimes of the shields, being invisible to the eye, though more or less of them can generally be traced with a glass. These collectors have designated as "plain frames," as they appear to be without color. They are, really, defective impressions either from worn plates, when the plates made by the National Bank Note Company, were giving out in 1873, or from the poor results of the process of printing adopted, as is claimed by the Postmaster General.

But similar varieties have certainly appeared, and for like causes, at other times. Collectors of curiosities will find:

1cent plainframe, perforated12.
2cents "" ""
3" "" ""
6" "" ""
10" "" ""

The stamps from the plates with the imprint of this Company, now bear on the back a white gum, and not the brownish, used by the National Bank Note Company, which will help to distinguish impressions made by them from the old plates. The colors, however, are not identical, and will further serve to distinguish them. There may be exceptions, but ordinarily the One Cent is a pure indigo, without the red or ultramarine cast, of those printed previously, whether lighter or deeper impressions are chosen.

The Two Cents has also lost its reddish tone,[176] and is a dull brown, with a tendency to blackish-brown, whether lighter or deeper in shade.

The Three Cents is of a duller and generally a pale shade.

The Six Cents is much lighter and is a washy pink.

The Seven Cents is a more yellowish vermilion.

The Ten Cents approaches very nearly to the original shade of the two cents, but is a little more of a blackish brown, very unlike the delicate original shade. The oval and face lines are dark and heavy.

The Fifteen Cents is a much paler orange.

The higher values, Twenty-Four, Thirty and Ninety Cents, have a thinner tone than the deep rich color of the former Company's work.

In the meantime, the following changes were announced in a circular to postmasters:

Post Office Department,
Office of the Third Assistant Postmaster General,
Division of Stamps, Stamped Envelopes & Postal Cards.

Washington, D. C., June 21st, 1875.

The Department is prepared to commence the issue of postage stamps of the denomination of five (5) cents to meet the new letter rate of postage, under the treaty of Berne, to the following countries, viz:

[Here follow the names of all countries that had then joined the Postal Union, to which five cents was the rate.]

The new five cent stamp is designed from a bust of Gen. Zackary Taylor in full face, and printed in dark[177] blue color. The changes in foreign postages will render unnecessary the further use of the 7, 12 and 24 cent stamps and stamped envelopes, and they will accordingly be discontinued.

In order to avoid the liability to mistake caused by the near similarity in color between the two cent and ten cent stamp, the former will in future be printed in vermilion, the color of the discontinued seven cent stamp.

[Here follows directions to use up the stock of the discontinued stamps and envelopes, whenever they can be utilized.]

[Signed.] E. W. BARBER,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

Issue of July 1st, 1875.

Two Cents. Same design, and from the same die and plate as the previous brown impression, the color only changed.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

2 cents, vermilion.

Issue of October 5th, 1875.

One of the New York daily papers in April, 1882, speaking of the new five cent stamp (Garfield) about to be issued, says: The history of the current five cent stamp with Taylor's portrait is as follows:

The rates for international postage had been decided upon as 5 cents, the United States series of postage stamps had not such a value. Mr. Jewell, the Postmaster General at the time, suggested to President Grant[178] the propriety of having his portrait on the new stamp of the required value. Gen. Grant did not agree with his Cabinet officer. Finally, he suggested that if Mr. Jewell would insist upon consulting his wishes, he (Gen. Grant) would be well pleased if the portrait of old Zack Taylor, with whom he served in the Mexican war, could be used on the new stamp. Instead of instructing the then contractors to prepare a portrait of Gen. Taylor, which would be in harmony with the other stamps of the series, Mr. Jewell found in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a portrait of Taylor, which had been used on the old tobacco strip series. This portrait was transmogrified into the five cent stamp. It was badly engraved and of wretched color.

Issue of October 5th, 1875.

Five Cents. Bust of General Zachary Taylor, full face, on an oval disk lined horizontally and obliquely, the horizontal lines growing closer and closer towards the top, surrounded by a colorless line with outer colored line, and resting on a shield, vertically lined, and bordered by an exterior colored line, all on a background of colored horizontal lines, the shadows of short horizontal lines. Above the oval is a label, bordered by a colorless line between fine colored lines, and curved round and divided at the ends, the outer part terminating in a ball, horizontally lined and inscribed "U. S. Postage," in outline capitals shaded without. Below the oval is a ribbon, bordered by a colored line, and inscribed "Five Cents," the words divided by a large numeral "5", all in outline capitals, shaded without on a ground of short vertical lines.[179]

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

5 cents, dark blue.

The stamp is identical with the two and ten cent values, with the value changed, and the portrait of Taylor from the six ounce tobacco stamp of the "series of 1871," placed in the medallion.

Both the two cent vermilion and the five cent blue, bear the imprint "Printed by the Continental Bank Note Company," which also prepared the tobacco stamp in question.

These two stamps have been chronicled as having been issued grilled. The error crept into the French edition of this work likewise, but they were at least never so issued for circulation.

All the values as issued by this company have likewise been chronicled as unperforated. If they are not accounted for as indicated under the remarks made on page 172, they are the result of accident.

In many cases indistinct dots can be seen where the perforating machine failed to do its work. Such specimens are curious but do not require more than mention.

Before the second contract with the Continental Bank Note Co. expired, it was consolidated with the American Bank Note Co. under, the name of the American Bank Note Company, and new plates began to appear with the imprint of this company, in large colored block capitals, shaded by a colored line parallel to the letters and an outside row of[180] lighter horizontal lines.

The one, two, three, five and ten are found with this imprint, without material change. The seven, twelve and twenty-four cent having long been retired are not to be looked for with this imprint, and the fifteen, thirty and ninety cents at this time were still printed from the plates, with the imprint of the Continental Bank Note Co.

The gum has the white shade and the colors are the same as used by that company.

The one cent of the dull indigo blue.

The two cents has a misty look.

The three cents inclines to a blue-green.

The five cents has heavier lines and is a darker blue.

The ten cents returns to the light appearance of the original of 1870 but is of the yellow-brown shade.

Issue of April 10th, 1882.

With the letting of the contract for another term in June, 1881, the American Bank Note Company again secured the contract.

Soon after the death of President Garfield, it was proposed that his portrait should be placed on the five cent stamp used for foreign postage, and the stamp printed in mourning, as was said to have been done with the fifteen cent stamp, then used for foreign postage, after the death of President Lincoln. The stamp with the head of Taylor, it was said had been hurriedly gotten up, and did not correspond with the rest of the series. By[181] direction of Postmaster General James, the American Bank Note Co. therefore prepared the new stamp, after a photograph of President Garfield. Mrs. Garfield was consulted, and proofs in various colors were, it is said, submitted to her. Instead of black, she finally selected a vandyke brown. The first proofs were in black, and at the request of Mrs. Garfield it is stated, the Postmaster General sent one of them, mounted on card and placed in a frame of silver, surrounded by a second frame of gold, on a background of purple velvet, and protected by a glass in an ebony frame, to Her Majesty, the Queen of England.

From the correspondence columns of the daily papers, we learn that the Department received the first invoice of these stamps at Washington, the 7th of February, 1882, and that it was expected to begin the issue the 1st of March, following. Mr. Durbin obtained some copies which he used on St. Valentines day. But the stamps were not distributed from the offices until the 10th of April, 1882 and were then sold only as the supply of the old ones was exhausted. This is the date officially given by the report of Postmaster General for the year, and the same date is also given by the New York papers. The description given by the Postmaster General it is not necessary to repeat.

Issue of April 10th, 1882.

Five Cents. Portrait in profile to the left, of President Garfield, in an oval disk 16 by 20 mm.,[182] lined horizontally and obliquely, and bordered by a line of colorless pearls on a broad colored band, resting on a shield lined horizontally, and bordered by a colored line, very heavy on the right side and at the bottom, and an exterior fine colorless line at the bottom and sides, all on a back ground of horizontal lines bordered at the sides by a terminal line of color. The shield is square at the top, of the width of the stamp, with perpendicular sides not quite so far apart, the corners being slanted back, and is pointed at the bottom which is formed of two diagonal lines. A large solid six pointed star, bordered by a colorless line and exterior colored line covers the lower point of the shield and a part of the pearled border, and bears a large colorless numeral "5." On each side of this a ribbon indicated by a colored line, inscribed on left "Five," on right "Cents," in outline capitals, on a ground of short vertical lines. On the background of the stamp, beneath all, "U. S. Postage" in colored block letters, shaded on the left and top by colorless lines.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

5 cents, dark chocolate.

Issue of November, 1882.

Without any notice to the postmasters or the public, new plates were made by the American Bank Note Company, and slight changes were made in the engraving. These began to appear in[183] November, 1882, and may be found in the one three, six and ten cent values.

One Cent. The vertical lines of the background are thickened in the upper half and so nearly touch, that the ground now appears solid and in fact from the running of the ink, sometimes really is solid. The curved ornamental lines in the upper corners and the balls are now shaded with one or more interior colored lines, instead of being plain. The exterior shading of horizontal lines is omitted here, at the ends of the upper labels, and also outside of the side lines, and is very faint under the lower ornaments and label.

(a) The first impressions of this altered plate are in an ashey blue and, the upper ornaments are rendered indistinct by the interior lines. There is a whitish space, like a reflection beneath the bust.

(b) Later impressions in 1886, show the upper ornaments more distinctly white, and shaded outside again by lines parallel to their curves. A heavy shadow now appears under the bust, the ground being almost solid where it falls. The color by daylight is again slightly of the ultramarine cast, but differing only slightly from the ashey hue by gaslight.

(c) Later impressions in 1887, show the return to the heavy upper ornaments, but their exterior shading remains as in (b). The ground work of the oval is uniform and there is no light or dark shadow under the bust. The ultramarine is of a more pronounced cast by daylight.[184]

Two Cents. There seems to have been no change beyond that already mentioned, as the design was soon changed.

Three Cents. The altered die beside the other appears quite different, but a close examination is necessary to determine the differences at first. Once detected, they are very apparent. The lines of ground of the oval are heavier. The cross lines can still be seen with the glass, and the part behind the head is now crossed by vertical lines also. The shadows of the upper ornaments are now solid, and the horizontal lines cannot be detected. The shadows of the oval are also solid, and about half as broad as in the other die. The horizontal lines can be seen by the glass, but are very light. This is the most conspicuous difference. The vertical shadow lines under the lower label are omitted. The shield in the old die has a ground of horizontal lines on the right side, with an outside vertical border line, and two fine vertical lines on the horizontal lines form the shadow of the shield. The altered die has the three vertical lines, but the horizontal lines are omitted to the point where the bottom line begins. The color is a blue-green, not yellow-green as before.

Six Cents. The ground work of the oval, is practically solid or mottled, that of the panel nearly so. The border line cannot be distinguished from the ground, while in the original issue, not only is the border line distinct, but in the "sallie" the fine vertical shadow lines can be counted inside, and on[185] the right side three, very close together, and four lines besides these between the panel and the edge, counting the outside line. In the new, none of these shadows exist, and there are only three lines between the panel and the edge, including the outside line. In the old, on the right side, there are fourteen lines in the frame above and below the projection. In the new there are thirteen above, and eleven below. The color is a brick red, neither the cochineal or pink previously used.

Ten Cents. The frame lines have all been strengthened as well as those of the background, so that the entire stamp is more uniform in engraving and color, but has entirely lost its light look. The edges no longer fade away, but stand out sharp from the paper. It is apparent to the eye that the space between the oval and the shield, is reduced one-third its width. There are only four vertical lines between the line of the shield and the line of the oval at their nearest point on the left, or six lines in all; in the originals, there were five lines, or seven in all. Beneath the ribbon containing the value in the old stamps, the horizontal lines of the background are scarcely visible, the vertical shade lines being conspicuous. In the new the horizontal lines are strong and clear.

(a) The earliest impressions are in muddy yellow brown, quite uniform all over the stamp.
(b) Later impressions, in 1886, are in a clearer shade of yellow-brown, and the light on the face has been increased, much improving the effect.
(c) An odd purple-brown shade appeared in 1886.
(d) A dark black-brown shade is now, 1887, in use.

[186]

The Issue of October, 1883.

The Act of the 47th Congress, Session II, Chapter 92, approved March 3d, 1883, provided that:

"Upon all matter of the 1st class [as defined by chapter 180 of the laws of Congress, approved March 3d, 1879, entitled: An Act, etc.] postage shall be charged on and after the first day of October, A. D. 1883, at the rate of two cents for each half ounce or fraction thereof, and all acts so far as they fix a different rate of postage than herein provided upon said first class matter, are to that extent hereby repealed."

The report of the Third Assistant Postmaster General under date of November 8th, 1883, says:

"Soon after the passage of the Act of March 3d, 1883, preparations were begun to carry the new law into effect. The change left the 3 cent denomination of postage stamps of little utility, it no longer representing the single rate of postage on any class of matter, and it was determined to discontinue its issue. As the public would have undoubtedly regarded with disfavor, the dropping of Washington from portraits, forming the distinguishing feature in the series of postage stamps, it was decided to replace the old 2 cent stamp by a new one bearing the profile of the first president, thus restoring it to its old place on the stamp in most general use. It was also decided to issue a new stamp of the value of four cents, a denomination not previously in use, and designed to cover two rates of letter postage. The portrait of Jackson, formerly on the 2 cent stamp, was[187] transferred to this new (four cent) stamp. The following is a brief description of the new stamp:

Two Cent Stamp.

An oblong shield, slightly shouldered on the upper square, the lower lines terminating in a point. Within this shield is an oval containing a profile bust of George Washington engraved in line, surrounded by a ribbon ending with small scrolls bearing the legend "United States Postage," in white letters. From each end of the scrolls a chain of pearls completes the outlines of the oval. A prominent white-faced figure "2" laps over the lower centre point of the oval and shield, dividing the words "Two Cents." The whole is enclosed in a dark upright square to give relief to the device. The stamp is printed in dark red.

Four Cent Stamp.

Over an oval containing a bust of Andrew Jackson in profile, is a ribbon with the legend "United States Postage," in white letters. A string of pearls forms round the lower half of the oval and unites the two ends of the ribbon. At the lower part of the oval, on either side, appears the figure "4," and under that the words "Four Cents," with a star on each side, all engraved in white faced letters. The whole device is inclosed in an upright oblong tablet. The stamp is printed in green.

It is worthy of notice that these are the first postage stamps ever bearing the words "United States Postage" in full, the name of the country being abbreviated to "U. S." on all other stamps * * * Postmasters were notified by circular of the coming change of postage, and intrusted to make their requisitions for 3 cent stamps and envelopes sufficient only for carefully estimated needs to the 1st October. * * * The issue[188] of the new 2 cent and 4 cent stamped envelopes was commenced on the 1st September, and of the 2 and 4 cent adhesive stamps on the 15th September; and they were so generally distributed by the 1st October that the change of postage was attended with but little inconvenience for want of the necessary stamps."

The circular issued to postmasters read as follows:

Post Office Department,
Office of Third Assistant Postmaster General.

Washington, D. C., July 18th, 1883.

On and after the first day of October, 1883, the rate of postage on domestic mail matter of the first class, will be reduced from three cents per half ounce, or fraction thereof, as provided by Act of Congress, approved March 3d, 1883.

The department has adopted a new design for the two cent stamp.

The head of Washington, in profile from Houdon's bust, placed on a plain tablet. Above the oval, surrounding the head, are the words "United States Postage," and underneath the tablet are the words "Two Cents." The stamp will be printed in metallic red. The engraved stamp on the 2 cent envelope will also bear the head of Washington.

A four cent denomination of postage stamps and stamped envelopes, to cover double postage under the new rate, will also be issued.

The design embraces the head of Jackson, similar to that on the present 2 cent stamp and envelope. No change will be made in the postage due stamps.

The same 3 cent stamps and stamped envelopes of the present design, will continue to be valid after the 1st of October, and must be accepted in payment of postage whenever offered in appropriate amounts.

The drop letter rate of postage will remain the same as now.

A. D. HAZEN,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

[189]

Issue of September 15th, 1883.

Two Cents. Bust of General Washington, in profile to the left, after Houdon, on an oval disk, lined horizontally and doubly diagonally, bordered by a colorless line, surrounded by a solid colored band, ornamented in the lower two-thirds with a row of white pearls, the upper third broadened into a label, edged outside by a colorless line, with outside colored line, the ends curved round into a hook, the whole resting on a shield shaped tablet, corresponding to that of the last three cents, horizontally lined and edged by a colored line, very heavy on the right and bottom, with an outside colorless line, the whole on a rectangular background of horizontal lines, very close together below, and farther apart above. There are no shadows except a few vertical lines beneath the projecting part of the top parts of the shield.

The label above the oval is inscribed "United States Postage," in full colorless capitals, on the solid ground. A large colorless numeral outlined in color and doubly shaded outside, obscures the point of the shield and the pearled and colorless border of the oval, dividing the words "Two Cents" in full colorless capitals on the background, so shaded as to be on a solid colored ground.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

2 cents, metallic red.

Four Cents. Bust of Andrew Jackson, in profile[190] to left, after Powers, in an oval disk, horizontally lined, very closely at the top, and doubly diagonally bordered by a colorless line, twice as wide as that in the last two cents, surrounded by a solid colored band, ornamented with pearls below, and broadened above into a label, bordered above and at the ends by a colorless line, and inscribed "United States Postage," just as in the two cents, the whole resting on a rectangular tablet, with horizontally lined ground, crossed by vertical lines below the oval, and bordered by a vertical colorless line on the right and above the oval on the left, with mitered or bevelled edge, represented by five colored lines parallel with the top, bottom and sides, the right, upper third of the left, and bottom bevel crossed by short colored lines at right angles. On the ground below the oval, which is nearly solid color, in colorless capitals, "Four Cents," between colored five pointed stars. Large colorless numeral "4" on each side, above the stars and end letters of the value.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, slightly surfaced with green, perforated 12.

4 cents, blue green.

The arrangement of the plates, printer's imprint, plate number, etc., is the same as before, for both of the new stamps.

The report of 1883 also proposed that the 3 and 6 cent stamps should be called in, redeemed and destroyed. Nothing seems to have been done about it however, until Frank Hatton, Postmaster[191] General, issued an order, dated December 1st, 1884, that the three and six cents of all issues with the exceptions following, should be exchanged by postmasters for other values.

"Especial care must be taken not to redeem postage stamps issued prior to 1861, as such stamps were long since declared obsolete and valueless for postage. No six cent stamps were issued prior to 1861. The three cent issued before that time bears the head of Washington, and is printed in red. In a straight line at the top are the words "U. S. Postage," and at the bottom, the words "Three Cents." The figure 3 does not appear on the stamps, as it does upon all subsequent issues of that denomination. Stamps answering to this description, must in all cases be refused."

On the 14th of January, 1885, Postmaster General Frank Hatton, by order No. 75, appointed a committee of three to proceed among other things to the stamp manufactory at New York, and effectually cancel all the plates, except one working plate of each denomination, of the issues of 1847, of 1851, including the two carrier stamps, of 1861, of 1865 newspaper and periodicals, of 1869, of the 3, 5, Taylor, 7, 12 and 24 cents of 1870, 3 and 9 cent newspaper and periodical of 1874, and of all the Department stamps.

"One plate of each kind and denomination of postage stamp reserved as above, and the dies and rolls from which they have been produced, together with all the cancelled plates, to be inventoried, waxed and carefully boxed and sealed, and placed in the vault of the stamp manufactory, in the custody and under the control of the agent."

[192]

The committee were also to cancel any worn out and unserviceable plates of the current series, and to count and destroy the official stamps remaining in the vaults of the American Bank Note Company, of all denominations and Departments, numbering 17,024,588, of the 3 and 9 cent newspaper and periodical stamps of 1874, numbering 324,990, and of the 7, 12, and 24 cent stamps of the 1870 issue, numbering 1,414,300, a grand total of 18,763,878 stamps. On the 24th of February, the committee reported that they had carried out the order.

A. D. Hazen, Third Assistant Postmaster General, who recommended this holocaust, says:

"I have excepted from this recommendation the 3 cent stamps of the current series, of which there are 135,800 in the vault, for the reason that though their general issue has been discontinued, occasional calls are made for them by some of the larger offices."

The reports show further that from January 1st, to June 30, 1886, 1,094,200 three cent stamps were actually issued. During the same period, 201,600 six cent stamps were also issued, while 645,950 thirty cent stamps, and only 29,620 ninety cent stamps were issued. As a matter of fact therefore these values, though retired from general issue, are more in demand than the two higher values retained, nearly 2 to 1, as between the 3 and 30 cents, 50 to 1 as between the 3 and 90 cents, or 9 to 1 as between the 6 and 90 cents, and that too when the general public is unaware that these values can be obtained at all.[193]

Contract for 1885-89.

The contract for the manufacture of adhesive stamps between the Department and the American Bank Note Company, expiring on the 30th of June, 1885, sealed proposals were invited by public advertisement of March 30th, 1885, for a new contract for four years from July 1st, 1885. The important features of the new contract to be noticed here, are first, that a definite standard of paper to be used for printing the stamps, made by an improved formula, was for the first time required, all other contracts having provided that the paper should be equal to a sample only; and second, that all ordinary postage stamps should be printed wholly by machinery run by steam power. "The two previous contracts, 1877 to 1881, and 1881 to 1885, expressly stipulated that the printing should be done on hand roller presses, the use of steam presses under the contract immediately preceeding the same, 1873 to 1877, which was silent as to the mode of printing, having resulted in extremely unsatisfactory work."

The act of the 48th Congress, Session II, Chapter 342, approved March 30th, 1885, provides:

"That upon all matter of the first class, as defined by chapter 180 of the laws of Congress, approved March 3d, 1879, entitled: An Act, etc., and by that act declared subject to postage at the rate of three cents for each half ounce or fraction thereof, and reduced by act of March 3d, 1883, to two cents for each ounce or fraction thereof, postage shall be charged, on and after the first[194] day of July, 1885, at the rate of two cents for each ounce or fraction thereof; and drop letters shall be mailed at the rate of two cents per ounce or fraction thereof, including delivery at letter carrier offices, and one cent for each ounce or fraction thereof where free delivery by carriers is not established."

It was claimed that the improvements in machinery had produced steam presses that could produce better word than the hand presses, at less cost. Bids were taken for stamps printed entirely by hand, partly by hand and partly by steam, entirely by steam; the last two with or without an option reserved to the Postmaster General, to require the work to be done by hand roller presses. The Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Franklin Bank Note Co., and the American Bank Note Co., were the only bidders. The latter again secured the contract to print the ordinary stamps, by steam power entirely, and the newspaper, postage due and special delivery stamps by hand roller presses. For the latter of these they are paid $18 per 1000, for the postage due $8.49 per 1000, and for the steam printed stamps $6.99 per thousand. For these latter the Government paid $9.19 under the previous contract up to 1885, $9.98 up to 1881, and $14.99 up to 1877.

The following is the number of stamps of the issue of 1870 as it is called without the grille.

[195]

1cent,old plate,blue,1,748,378,900
1"altered ""1,872,063,600
2cents,old "brown176,830,300
2"" "vermilion661,829,150
2"new "red-brown4,370,788,300
3"old " 4,986,505,600
3"altered " 629,537,100
5"Jackson  80,390,500
5"Garfield  14,454,640
6"old plate 76,726,850
6"altered " 8,013,300
7"  3,349,100
10"old " 79,126,690
10"altered " 81,307,910
12"  3,272,125
15"  16,136,380
24"  716,975
30"  6,134,410
90"  436,150

The paper provided for in this contract is the soft porous paper, which according to Mr. Sterling was introduced in 1883. It is not stiff and hard like the previous paper, and seems to have been adopted about the time of the change in the dies, the fall 1882. All the values employed since are to be found on it. It may be noted that the fifteen and thirty cents on this paper are with the imprint of the American Company. The fifteen is again a deep orange and the thirty a full black.

Issue of 1883, Etc.

Same colors, values and designs, soft porous paper, perforated 12.

1cent, ultramarine blue.
2cents, red-brown.
3cents, green.
4" darkgreen.
5" "brown.
6" cochineal.
10" brown.
15" orange.
30" black.
90" carmine.

[196]

Issue of June 15th, 1887.

The following circular explains itself:

Post Office Department,
Office of the Postmaster General.

Washington, D. C., May 23d, 1887.

On or about the 15th of June, 1887, the Department will begin the issue of a new design of the ordinary one cent postage stamp, of which the following is a description: The center of the stamp consists of a profile bust of Benjamin Franklin (after-the original by Caracci), looking to the left, in an oval disk, with shaded background, the lower portion of the oval being bordered with pearls and the upper portion with a curved frame, containing in small white letters, the words, "United States Postage." The whole is engraved in line upon a shield shaped tablet, with a truncated pyramidal base, bearing on it the words "one" and "cent," on either side of the figure "1." The color of the stamp is ultramarine blue, and its general appearance is somewhat similar to that of the stamp now in use.

Before ordering supplies of the new stamps, postmasters will be expected to exhaust their stock of the old, which will continue to be valid. Under no circumstances are the old stamps to be sent to the Department for redemption or exchange.

WILLIAM T. VILAS,
Postmaster General.

H. R. HARRIS,
Third Assist. P. M. General.

[197]

Issue of June 15th, 1887.

One Cent. Head of Benjamin Franklin, in profile to the left, after Carraci, on an oval disk lined horizontally and doubly diagonally, the upper third bordered by a label, the lower two thirds by a broad solid colored line, ornamented with colorless pearls increasing in size from top to bottom, with a colorless line outside this, shaded by another heavy colored line. The label is of solid color, between two colorless lines, the upper one curved round the ends, forming a hook and edged outside by a fine colored line, and is inscribed in white capitals similar to the two cents last described, "United States Postage." The whole is on a horizontally lined shield shaped tablet, the top similar to that of the two cents, but with a small point in the centre of the top and the diagonals shorter. The bottom is curved at the corners, then curved back up and round, and spreads out into the lower part of a "truncated pyramid." It is edged with a heavy colored line on the right and bottom, with a heavy colored line on the left and top. On the truncated base is a large pearled outlined colorless numeral "1," dividing the border of the oval and the words "One Cent," in outline colorless capitals. The rectangle is filled out with horizontal lines at the sides of the shield and vertical line at the top.

Plate impression, 20 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1 cent, ultramarine blue.


[198]

XXIV.

Postage Due Stamps.

From the adoption of compulsory prepayment up to 1879, various regulations had been made from time to time regarding insufficiently paid letters, in order to relieve the Dead Letter Office as far as possible, and yet enforce the prepayment of all mail matter. Nevertheless mistakes continued to be made and the practice of forwarding all letters upon which one full rate was paid, and collecting the balance of the receiver had finally been adopted, the amount to be collected being written or stamped upon the letter. From this practice abuses arose, and by the Act of the XLV Congress, Section III, Chapter 180, Section 26, approved March 3d, 1879, it was enacted:

"That all mail matter of the first class upon which one full rate of postage has been prepaid shall be forwarded to its destination charged with the unpaid rate, to be collected on delivery, but postmasters before delivering the same, or any article of mail matter upon which prepayment in full has not been made, shall affix, or cause to be affixed, and cancelled as ordinary stamps are cancelled,[199] one or more stamps equivalent in value to the amount of postage due on such article of mail matter, which stamps shall be of such special design as the Postmaster General shall prescribe, and which shall in no case be sold by any postmaster or received by him in prepayment of postage," etc.

Sec. 27. "That any postmaster or other person engaged in the postal service who shall collect and fail to account for the postage due upon any article of mail matter which he may deliver without having previously affixed and cancelled such stamp as herein before provided shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of fifty dollars."

Shortly after the passage of this Act the following circular was addressed to all postmasters:

Form No. 3288.
SPECIAL STAMP FOR POSTAGE DUE.

Post Office Department,
Office of the Third Assistant Postmaster General,
Division of Stamps, Stamped Envelopes and Postal Cards.

Washington, D. C., May 5th 1879.

By Sections 26 and 27 of the Act of Congress, making appropriations for the service of the Post Office Department for the year ending June 30th, 1880, and for other purposes "approved March 3d, 1879, it is made the duty of postmasters to affix to all mail matter that has arrived at destination without full payment of postage, and before delivery of the same, an amount of stamps equal to the postage due, the stamps to be of such special design as the Postmaster General may direct."

To avoid any confusion in the accounts of Postmasters with the Auditor, and on account of the length of the time necessary to prepare for the change contemplated[200] by the above sections in the mode of collecting and accounting for short paid postage, it has been decided to have the same go into practical operation on the 1st of July next.

The Department however, will begin issuing sometime during the present month, in anticipation of the wants of postmasters, special stamps for the collection of postage due of the denomination of 1, 2, 3 and 5 cents, and of the following general description:

A large figure, representing the denomination is placed in the center of the stamp, and is surrounded by an oval of very delicate lathe work. On the upper border of this oval, the words "Postage Due" are printed in white letters; in the lower border is the denomination, in letters of the same kind; on either side of the oval are the letters "U. S." in a small white shield. Around the oval is a form of complex character, described upon an oblong tablet. The general design is the same for all the stamps, the only difference being in the figures and lettering for the several denominations. The color is the same, a reddish brown.

These stamps are intended, exclusively for the collection of postage due on matter arriving at destination through the mails, and are to be used in combination, wherever required to cover unusual amounts of postage. They are to be cancelled in the customary way after being attached to mail matter, are never to be sold or received by Postmasters for prepayment of postage. Postmasters must distinctly understand, that these stamps are not to be used until July 1st, 1879.

A supply of these will be sent at first to all post offices in advance of requisitions from postmasters, and charged to their account; but afterwards they must be ordered on blank forms (No. 3285) to be furnished by the First Assistant Postmaster General. With the first supply of stamps, however, blank requisitions for future[201] use will be enclosed.

The stamps will be accounted for to the auditor the same as other stamps, and will enter into the monthly reports of stamps, etc., received, sold and on hand, required by the regulations, to be made by postmasters at Presidential offices, to the Third Assistant Postmaster General.

On the next page of this circular will be found the sections of the new postal law and regulations relating to the above described stamps, which are published in advance for the information and guidance of postmasters. The distinguishing numbers of the sections cannot now be given, but the instructions are here printed in the same order in which they will appear in the forthcoming volume of the new postal regulations.

A. D. HAZEN,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

Issue of May 9th, 1879.

For use from and after July 1st, 1879.

Large colorless numeral, 10 mm. high, representing the value, ornamented and shaded, on an oval disk, 17 by 13 mm., with colored ground ornamented by colorless geometric lathe work, bordered by a solid colored band between two heavy colorless lines and an exterior fine colored line, interrupted by small white shields on the sides bearing "U." on the left, "S." on the right, in fancy colored capitals. The band is inscribed in white capitals, above, "Postage Due," below with the value in full letters, the whole on a tablet with vertically lined ground, with an irregular outline colorless line bordered by an extensive fine colored line, and a double[202] rectangular frame, the interior formed by parallel, diagonal curved lines, and the exterior by vertical short lines at top and bottom, horizontal ones at sides, indicating a bevel.

Plate impression, 20 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1cent, reddish brown.
2cents,"
3""
5""

The report of the Postmaster General dated December, 1879, states:

"Under a provision in the act of Congress, approved March 3d 1879, authorizing a change in the mode of collecting postage due, on matter arriving at destination through the mails, the Department began issuing on the 9th of May, special stamps, called postage due stamps, of the denominations of 1, 2, 3 and 5 cents, and subsequently of the additional denominations of 10, 30, and 50 cents. Before the first of July, every office in the country was provided with a supply of these stamps, and the new system of collecting short paid postage is now fairly in operation."

Issue of August, 1879.

Stamps of the same design, but there being two figures, the numerals are smaller.

Plate impression, in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

10cents, reddish brown.
30""
50""

[203]

The number of these stamps issued from May, 1879, to June 30th, 1885, was:

1cent,25,328,525
2cents, 30,534,425
3" 31,146,230
5" 5,029,435
10" 6,105,175
30" 169,078
50" 93,490

Observations.

There are two quite distinct shades of the red-brown in which these stamps are printed, the earlier issues being of a brown that shows hardly a trace of red, while those printed under the 1885 contract are of the shade of the current two cent postage stamp.


[204]

XXV.

Special Delivery Stamp.

The history of the introduction and usage of these stamps is contained in the following extracts from two circulars, both dated at Post Office Department, Office of the Postmaster General, Washington, D. C., August 11th, 1885, and signed by William F. Vilas, Postmaster General. The first directed to postmasters reads as follows:

"Sir:—On the first of October, 1885, you are directed to establish at your office, a system for special delivery of letters, in accordance with sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Act making appropriation for the postal service for the current fiscal year (XLVIII Congress, Session II, Chapter 342, approved March 3d, 1885,) which are as follows:

Section 3. That a special stamp of the face valuation of 10 cents may be provided and issued, whenever deemed advisable or expedient, in such form and bearing such device as may meet the approval of the Postmaster General, which when attached to a letter, in addition to the lawful postage thereon, the delivery of which is to be at a free delivery office, or at any city, town or village containing a population of 4,000 or over,[205] according to the Federal census, shall be regarded as entitling such letter to immediate delivery within the carrier limit of any free delivery office which may be designated by the Postmaster General as a special delivery office, or within one mile of the post office at any other office coming within, the provisions of this section which may in like manner be designated as a special delivery office.

Section 4 provides for immediate delivery between the hours of 7 a. m. and midnight.

Section 5 provides for the employment of special messengers and,

Section 6 the mode of paying them. The rest of this circular gives the details of the service which it is not necessary to repeat here.

The second circular after reciting the provisions of Section 3, of the Act of March 3d, 1885, and that it has been decided to introduce the system on the first day of October, at all the post offices permitted by the law; contains a description of the stamp prepared to carry out the law, which with some additions is as follows:

Special Delivery Stamp.

Issue of October 1st, 1885.

A line engraving on steel, oblong in form; dimensions 13/16 by 1-7/16 inches, color dark blue. Design: on the left in an arched panel, 10 by 15 mm., a mail messenger boy on a run, faced to the right on a hatched back-ground, and surrounded above by the words "United States," in curved line of colorless capitals. On the right an oblong[206] tablet, ornamented with a wreath of oak on the left, and laurel on the right, surrounding the words, "Secures—Immediate—Delivery—At a special—Delivery—Office," in six lines of white capitals on a solid ground. The ground of the tablet above is composed of light vertical lines with colorless border. Across the top of the tablet, but above it, is the legend, "Special—Postal delivery," and at the bottom the words, "Ten Cents," separated by a shield bearing the numeral "10." The entire ground of the stamp is composed of fine vertical lines except the edges, which are so contrived as to appear bevelled.

Plate impression, 21 by 27 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

10 cents, dark blue.

"They are to be sold by Postmasters to any required amount, and to any person who may apply for them, but they can be used only for the purpose of securing the immediate delivery of letters."

About a year ago, after the system was inaugurated at carrier offices there was a further change in the law, and the system was further extended as is shown by the following extracts from three circulars, all dated August 10th, 1886, from the office of the Postmaster General, Washington, D. C., signed by William F. Vilas, Postmaster General. The first is addressed to Postmasters at carrier offices, the second to all other postmasters, and the third to the public. The following from the first circular:[207]

"By the Act of August 4th, 1886, Congress has authorized the extention of the special delivery system to all post offices and to all mailable matter. The Act is as follows, namely:

'That every article of mailable matter upon which the special stamp, provided for by Section 3 of the act entitled: an Act, etc., shall be duly affixed, shall be entitled to immediate delivery according to said act, within the carrier limit of any free delivery office, and within one mile of any other post office which the Postmaster General shall at any time designate as a special delivery office.'"

From the second circular only this is of interest:

"No change will be made in the general style of the special delivery stamp now in use. The following is its description: (same as in the original circular). The words 'Secures immediate delivery at a special delivery office,' will however, be changed to read: 'Secures immediate delivery at any post office.' But as stamps with the former words are now in the hands of the postmasters and the public, their use will continue until the present supply shall be exhausted."

From the third circular only this is to be noticed:

"The attention of the public is invited to the fact that under a recent Act of Congress the special delivery system heretofore in effect in cities and towns having a population of 4,000 and upwards, has been extended to all post offices in the United States, to take effect on and after October 1st, 1886. The privileges of this system have also been extended to all classes of mail matter."

The remainder of these circulars are devoted to directions to postmasters at the two classes of offices, and to the public.

[208]

These stamps are printed in sheets of 100, and distributed in half sheets of 50, the center of the sheets being marked as usual by an arrow head. There are consequently 10 stamps in a row, and 10 rows in the whole sheet. The makers imprint appears four times on the sheet, above and below the center row of each half sheet, and the plate number is also four times repeated on the sheet.

3,699,560 special delivery stamps were issued up to June 30th, 1886.


[209]

XXVI.

Newspaper and Periodical Stamps.

Issue of 1865.

The newspaper stamps issued by the United States Post Office Department do not correspond in their usage very nearly to the stamps denominated newspaper stamps in other countries. The series under review had a very limited and peculiar use. While the dissemination of learning and information had always been fostered in every way by the Acts of Congress, and the distribution of newspapers and periodicals had always been undertaken by the post office at rates that did not pay for the expense of the service, in the intention of encouraging these publications, the Department always found a great rival in the express companies, which, having conformed their rules to the exigencies of business, were enabled to deliver newspapers and periodicals from the trains to the agents and dealers always hours, sometimes days before those sent by the mails reached their destination,[210] as these were sent to the post office and there assorted, some to be delivered locally and others to be made up again into the new mail for further transportation, while those sent by the express companies being transferred at the depot, often finished their journey before the mails could be made up and started.

This service assisted the express companies in those violations of the postal laws which each year the Postmaster General called to the attention of Congress, and Congress endeavored to reach by new laws. The government got the expensive service, the express companies the paying business partly because of their more liberal rates, but particularly because of their more expeditious service.

The attempt was therefore made to so frame the law that the post office might successfully compete for the carriage of newspapers. The Act of the XXXVII Congress, III Session, Chapter 71, Section 38, approved the 3rd of March, 1863, reads:

"And be it further enacted that the Postmaster General may, from time to time, provide by order the rates and terms upon which route agents may receive and deliver, at the mail car or steamer, packages of newspapers and periodicals, delivered to them for that purpose by the publishers or any news agent in charge thereof, and not received from or designed for delivery at any post office."

Under this act for some time payment was made in money, but the report of the Postmaster General dated November 15th, 1865, states:

[211]

"New stamps have been adopted of the denominations of 5, 10, and 25 cents for prepaying postage on packages of newspapers forwarded by publishers or news dealers under the authority of law, whereby a revenue will be secured, hitherto lost to the Department."

In the report of the Postmaster General for 1878, the date of this issue is stated to have been April 1st, 1865. In the accounts of the number of stamps issued in each quarter it appears, however, that the first issue was in the quarter between June 30th and September 30th, 1865.

The stamps were of very large dimensions, and the figures conspicuous. A package adorned with the requisite number was mailed on the train and it could easily be seen that it was duly stamped. The stamps were ordinarily if not always, cancelled by smearing them with ink, with a brush, and not with hand stamps, and the packages were thrown out of the cars to the agents waiting at each station to receive them, and were often torn open by the agent at the depot and distributed to his customers there. Thus the delay that sending them to the post office for distribution would have caused, was avoided.

Issue of April 1st, 1865.

Five Cents. Large bust of Washington in profile, faced to the right, indicated by colorless curved lines, on a round medallion of straight horizontal lines, 28 mm. in diameter, surrounded by a circular band of curved interlaced colorless lines, all on a colored ground, a smaller circular disk, 11[212] mm. in diameter, interrupting this band on each side displays a large "V," in color on a horizontally lined ground. Above on a solid ground of color, but ornamented by interlaced colorless lines in colorless letters, "U. S." and "Postage," in a second curved line; below the head on a solid curved label covering a portion of the circular band in large colorless capitals, "Five Cents"; below this again, the ground is ornamented by several colorless lines upon which appear in colored capitals, "Newspapers," a colored label with "and"; in colorless capitals "Periodicals"; below this again, in two lines of colorless capitals on the colored ground, "Sec. 18, Act of Congress approved—March 3d, 1863." In each upper corner is a large colorless numeral "5." About all is a frame of 3 colorless lines, ornamented at the corners. The words "National Bank Note Company, New York," in small colorless capitals appear between the lower colorless lines. The colored ground extends between the stamps which were perforated.

Plate impression, 55 by 98 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

5 cents, dark blue.

Note. 20,140 of this value were issued.

Ten Cents. Similar design, but with the profile of Franklin in an oval, the side letters "X," the label "Ten Cents," the upper numerals "10," set at an angle.

Plate impression, 55 by 98 mm., in color, on[213] white paper, perforated 12.

10 cents, green.

Note. 215,600 of this value were issued.

Twenty-Five Cents. Similar design, but with the profile of Lincoln, faced to the left, in a rectangle with corners cut off, "25" in figures instead of numerals at the side, on the label "Twenty Five Cents," the upper numerals "25" set at an angle.

Plate impression, 55 by 98 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

25 cents, vermilion.

Note. 31,488 of this value were issued.

In 1868-9 there were issued 35,420 more of the five cent value, but these were improved by having the broad colored border removed till only a fine colored line remained outside the colorless frame.

Plate impression, 51 by 95 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

5 cents, dark blue, white border.

The Postmaster General's Report for 1869 states that the use of these stamps ceased about the 1st of February, 1869. They were used principally at Chicago, Ill., and Milwaukee, Wis. Reprints were made of all of them except the 5 cents with white border, with the other early issues in 1874.

There was a very wide margin of some 65 mm. at the top and bottom of the sheet, the manufacturers imprint appearing at the top and bottom in colored letters on a small white label let into the colored ground. It is not known how many stamps[214] formed a sheet.

Newspaper and Periodical Stamps.

Issue of 1874.

Notwithstanding the very liberal provisions of all the laws regarding postage on printed matter, and particularly those of this Act of March 3rd, 1863, we find the Postmaster General in his report of November 15th, 1869, complaining that the Department was largely defrauded of its revenues by abuses rendered possible by the provisions of that Act, and suggesting that:

"For this mischief there is but one adequate remedy, and that is to require prepayment on all printed matter. A due regard to the convenience of the publishers of newspapers would require that postage on newspapers should be charged according to the weight of packages, and that such packages should when suspected, be liable to be opened and searched, and penalties provided if they were found to contain improper matter."

Nothing seems to have resulted from his recommendations, however. The inconveniences of the system led to calling the attention of Congress to the matter again in the Report of the Postmaster General, in 1873. He says:

"In my report for 1869, I had the honor to suggest a plan for the prepayment of postage on newspapers and other matter of the second class by weight of packages rather than by the present system, which requires the manipulation of each particular paper, and allows the payment of postage at either the mailing office, or the office of delivery. A careful revision of the subject confirms[215] me in the opinion, that the postage on all such matter should be collected in advance at the mailing office. * * * No stamps are used for the payment of such postage; and the Department is compelled to accept in full satisfaction whatever sums of money postmasters choose to charge against themselves. So execrably bad is this system, that postal officers of high standing have estimated that not more than one-third of the postage properly chargeable on newspapers is accounted for and paid over. Furthermore, disputes are continually arising, as to whether the sheets they transmit, come within the meaning of the term newspapers. * * * I respectfully submit the following plan for the prepayment of postage on newspapers of the second class, and urge its adoption. Let all publishers, their business managers or agents, be required at the beginning of every quarter, to state under oath the number of papers of a certain name, they will send by mail during the quarter, and pay the postage thereon in advance. On the other hand, postmasters to make return of all newspapers, with particulars, mailed to regular subscribers. No stamps would be required. Every paper answering to the description would be forwarded. No manipulation of each paper would be required, and the saving to publishers in time and labor, would, it is thought, be greater than the amount paid for postage, while the saving to the Department, would justify a reduction of 40 per cent in the rates, on this class of matter. Periodicals to come under the same law."

The result of the deliberations upon this suggestion, was the passage by Congress of the following law:

XLIII Congress, Statute 1, Chapter 456, approved June 23rd, 1874, "Section 5. That on and after the first day of January, 1875, all newspapers and periodical publications[216] mailed from a known office of publication or news agency and addressed to regular subscribers or news agents shall be charged the following rates:

On newspapers and periodical publications issued weekly and more frequently than once a week, two cents for each pound or fraction thereof, and on those issued less frequently than once a week three cents for each pound or fraction thereof, provided that nothing in this Act shall be held to change or amend Section 99 of the Act entitled: An Act to revise, consolidate and amend the statutes relating to the Post Office Department, approved June 8th, 1872.

Sec. 6. That on and after the first day of January, 1875, upon the receipt of such newspapers and periodical publications at the office of mailing, they shall be weighed in bulk, and postage paid thereon by a special adhesive stamp; to be devised and furnished by the Postmaster General, which shall be affixed to such matter or to the sack containing the same; or upon a memorandum of such mailing, or otherwise as the Postmaster General may from time to time provide by regulation, etc., etc."

The report of the Postmaster General also states Nov. 14th 1874, that being confined to these three modes of collecting this postage,

"It was deemed best to recommend the adoption of the system of prepayment by postage stamps 'affixed to a memorandum of mailing' or in other words, to a stub in a book retained by the postmaster at the mailing office; a receipt, showing the weight of matter and the amount paid, being given by the postmaster to the person mailing the same; the stamps affixed to the stub, to be cancelled by a cutting punch, thus preventing their reuse. * * * The Postmaster General having approved the recommendations, a series of stamps have been devised[217] of twenty four denominations, by means of which any sum which is a multiple of either the two or three cent rate, from two cents to seventy-two dollars, can be made by the use of not more than five stamps."

In the report dated November 15th, 1875, we find the following observations and descriptions of this issue which will further explain the mode of using them, which seems to be little understood, except by publishers and post office officials.

"On the first day of January 1875, the new law, requiring prepayment of postage by stamps, on all newspapers and periodicals sent from a known office of publication, to regular subscribers through the mails, went into operation. The system inaugurated to carry the law into effect, was approved in October, 1874 and has been found by experience to be admirably adapted to the purposes for which it was devised. No complaints of abuses on the part of publishers or postmasters, have been received at this office during the nine months, that have elapsed since the law went into effect. Indeed, it has worked so well in all its details, and has given such general satisfaction, that the idea of returning to the old system, or materially modifying the new one, ought not to be entertained.

Previous to the time when this law began to operate, no stamps were required for the payment of postage on newspapers sent to regular subscribers, as the postage was collected in money quarterly, at the office of delivery. Last year there were 35,000 post offices at which newspaper postage was collected, while under the present true system of the absolute prepayment of all postage, the whole amount is collected at about 3,400 offices, the latter representing the number of places in the United States at which newspapers and periodicals are mailed.

The papers for subscribers living outside of the county[218] in which they are published, are made up in bulk at the publication office, carried to the post office and there weighed. The postage is computed on the whole issue, the proper amount in stamps handed to the postmaster, who gives the publisher a receipt as evidence of payment, and on the stubs of the receipt book he affixes and cancels the stamps which correspond in value, with the sum mentioned in the receipt. Thus one transaction is all that is required in paying the postage upon a single issue of any regular publication. The stubs with their cancelled stamps, are kept in the post office as vouchers for the postage paid. In no case are the stamps affixed to the papers or packages that pass through the mails.

These stamps are twenty-four in number and were prepared by the Continental Bank Note Company, of New York, from designs selected in October, 1874." Elsewhere it is stated that the distribution to postmasters began December 11th, 1874. "The denominations are as follows, viz: 2 cents, 3 cents, 4 cents, 6 cents, 8 cents, 9 cents, 10 cents, 12 cents, 24 cents, 36 cents, 48 cents, 60 cents, 72 cents, 84 cents, 96 cents, $1.92 cents, $3, $6, $9, $12, $24, $36, $48 and $60. These denominations were found to be necessary, in order that payment might be made on any given quantity from one pound to one ton, at both the two and three cent rate, with the use of not to exceed five stamps in any transaction.

No description of these stamps having been given in any official form. I may be pardoned for presenting herewith a detailed description of them, in order that it may be printed, and be permanently preserved in the records of the department."

Two Cents to Ten Cents, inclusive, emblematical figure of America, looking to the right and modeled after Crawford's statue surmounting the dome of the capitol. The left hand rests on a shield,[219] and holds a wreath; the right rests on a sword. The head is adorned with a head dress consisting of a coronet of stars, surmounted by an eagle's head and plumes. The background is horizontally lined and in parts diagonally also. The vignette stands in an arched frame, composed of vertical lines; and on either side of this frame, and at the top are slabs containing the inscriptions (the upper in colored letters on horizontally lined ground, the others in colorless block capitals, the sides upon vertically lined ground), "Newspapers" and "Periodicals" (at the sides), "U. S. Postage" (at top). At the bottom are shaded outline block letters, representing the value, which is also indicated by large outlined figures shaded on the face, in the upper corners, on foliated scrolls. The lower corners are ornamented with shields. The color of these stamps is black.

Twelve Cents to Ninety-Six Cents, inclusive. Vignette of Astraea or Justice, in niche, bordered by a colorless line curved at the top, holding in her right hand the balance, and resting with her left on a shield bearing the United States coat of arms. The figure is full robed, mailed and girdled as to the upper part and helmeted. Surmounting the helmet is an eagle with out-stretched wings on a background horizontally and diagonally lined. Figures representing values in shaded numerals on shields, in the upper corners; values also in sunken letters below, on solid labels bordered by a colorless and colored line, richly ornamented. Inscriptions, "Newspapers,"[220] "Periodicals," on side and at top in shaded outlined capitals on vertically lined ground. Color, pink.

One Dollar and Ninety-Two Cents. Vignette of Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture, in curved niche, bordered by a colorless line and a vertically lined frame. She holds in her left hand an ear of corn, her right holding a wreath, rests against the hip. The figure faced to the front and is clad in full flowing robes. "U. S. Postage" at the top, other inscriptions, "Newspapers," "Periodicals," in italic capitals shaded on the face and outside, on obelisks at either side, resting on the lower slab, which is in solid color, containing value, "One dollar and ninety-two cents," in two lines of white capitals. Value also in figures, "$1-92/100" in upper corners. Color, deep brown.

Three Dollars. Goddess of Victory in curved niche, full-robed, girdled with sword to the left, and mantle thrown over shoulders. The right hand is stretched forward, holding a wreath; the left rests on a shield. Outline figures of value, "$3" on octagons in upper corners, value below in letters on either side of a large outline figure "3" on a shield. Inscriptions, "Newspapers," "Periodicals," in colorless capitals, in solid labels on either side, and "U. S. Postage" on lined ground above. The niche and labels are all edged with colorless lines. The background is vertically lined. Color, vermilion.

Six Dollars. Clio, the Muse of History in curved[221] niche, bordered by colorless line, on horizontally lined ground, full robed the toga thrown over the left shoulder. In her right hand she holds a stylus, in the left a tablet. Outline colorless figures of value, "$6" in upper corners, surrounded by curved ornaments. Inscriptions, "Newspapers," "Periodicals," in white shaded letters on the sides, and above "U. S. Postage" in dark letters, value, "Six Dollars" in outline colorless letters in label, on vertically lined ground. Color, light blue.

Nine Dollars. Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom, full robed, in curved niche, bordered by a colorless line with horizontally and diagonally lined ground. The left hand is placed across her breast, holding a portion of her toga; the right is grasping a spear. Figures of value "$9" in upper corners, in foliated ornaments. Inscriptions, "Newspapers," "Periodicals," on sides in outline colorless and shaded italics, and above in small colored letters, on the lined ground, "U. S. Postage." Value, "Nine Dollars," also in letters shaded on the face, below on scroll. Beneath is a large "9" in curved foliated ornaments. Color, orange.

Twelve Dollars. Vesta, Goddess of the Fireside, full robed in curved niche, with horizontally lined ground, and bordered by a colorless line. The left hand lifts her drapery; the right holds a burning lamp. Figures of value, "$12" in upper corners on tablets. Value, "Twelve Dollars" also in colorless letters on beaded frame beneath. Inscriptions, "Newspapers," "Periodicals," on solid (sic), italic[222] letters on sides, and "U. S. Postage" in small white letters above. Frame of vertical lines. Color, rich green.

Twenty-Four Dollars. Goddess of Peace in curved niche, bordered by a colorless line, and on horizontally lined ground, a half naked figure leaning against a broken column. She holds in her right hand an olive branch, while her left grasps three arrows. The value, "Twenty-four Dollars" is in colorless letters beneath, on a solid tablet; also in figures "$24" in ornamented curves in upper corners. Inscriptions, "U. S. Postage" in white shaded letters above, and "Newspapers," "Periodicals" on the sides between which latter and each upper corner is a six-pointed star. The back ground is vertically lined. The ornaments bordered by a colorless line. Color, purplish shade.

Thirty-Six Dollars. Figure representing Commerce, in full garments, in curved niche, bordered by a colorless line with hatched background. She holds in her left hand the caduceus, the winged rod of Mercury, in her right a miniature ship. Figures of value, "$36" in the upper corners and "Thirty-six Dollars" in ornamented capitals below, in two lines. Inscriptions, "Newspapers," "Periodicals," also in ornamented capitals on sides and "U. S. Postage" in colorless capitals above. The frame is vertically lined. Color, dull red.

Forty-Eight Dollars. Hebe, the Goddess of Youth, partly draped in curved niche with colorless border and horizontally lined ground. The right[223] hand holds a cup, which she is offering to the eagle around whose neck is thrown her left arm. Shaded figures of value, "$48" on shields in the upper corners, the word "Postage" between in colorless capitals on solid label. The value, "Forty-eight Dollars" also in colorless letters below on solid ground, in curved ornaments. The letters "U." and "S." in colorless circles between the corners and side inscriptions, "Newspapers," "Periodicals," the latter being in colorless letters on solid curved labels. Frame vertically lined. Color, light brown.

Sixty Dollars. Vignette of an Indian Maiden, standing in a rectangular frame. She is robed from her waist downward. Her right arm is extended, while her left hangs by her side. The background is a landscape. Trees and vines to the left, and wigwams to the right in the distance, bordered by a colorless line between fine colored lines. Figures of value, "$60" on shields in the upper corners. Value, "Sixty Dollars" also in white letters on solid tablets below. Inscriptions, "Newspapers," "Periodicals," in white on solid labels on the sides. "U. S." in colorless capitals on the ground, and "Postage" on a band in colored letters above. Ground vertically lined. Color, rich purple.

Post Office Department,
Office of the Third Assistant Postmaster General,
Division of Postage Stamps, Stamped Env. & Post Cards.

Washington D. C., April 25, 1879.

The attention of Postmasters is hereby called to the[224] fact, that on and after the first of May proximo, under the act of March 3d, 1879, matter of the second class, commonly known as newspaper and periodical matter, will be entitled to pass through the mail, at a uniform rate of 2 cents per pound. Care will be taken not to collect payment on such matter, at more than that rate. The same general regulations concerning the collection of newspaper postage, as have been heretofore promulgated will remain in force, and the same books and blanks together with the newspaper and periodical stamps, that are now outstanding will continue to be used. In future, however, the issue of the three and nine cents denominations of newspaper and periodical stamps, will be discontinued. * * * *

A. D. HAZEN,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

Act of the XLV Congress, Session III, Chapter 180, approved March 3rd, 1879, Sections 10 and 14 merely change the classification to a uniform one at the rate of two cents per pound.

The Act of the XLVIII Congress, Session II, Chapter 342, approved March 3rd, 1885, provides as stated in Order No. 109 of the Postmaster General, dated April 24th, 1885, "That all publications of the second class, * * * shall on and after July 1st, 1885, be entitled to transmission through the mails at one cent a pound or fraction thereof. * * * To provide for wants that may arise from this change in the rate of second class postage, the Department has decided to issue a newspaper and periodical stamp of the denomination of one cent, the design and color of which will be the same as those of the present series of newspaper and periodical[225] stamps of the denomination of from 2 to 10 cents. Stamps of this new denomination will be ready for issue by the 1st of June, after which all postmasters needing them will make requisition for suitable supplies."

Newspaper and Periodical Stamps.

Series of 1875-1885.

Plate impression, 24 by 35 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

June 1st, 1885,1 cent,black.  
Jan. 1st, 1875,3 cents," to April 25th, 1879.
9" " " ""
2" "  
4" "  
6" "  
8" "  
10" "  
12" carmine, 
24" "  
36" "  
48" "  
60" "  
72" "  
84" "  
96" "  
1dollar92 "deep brown  
3dollars   vermilion 
6"   light blue 
9"   orange 
12"   rich green 
24"   purplish slate 
36"   dull red 
48"   light brown 
60"   rich purple 

[226]

These stamps were not reprinted in 1874, but samples ungummed and surcharged "specimen" were sold to collectors.

Observations.

A slight change in the regulations now prohibits postmasters from selling these stamps even to publishers, but the money is received and the requisite amount in stamps placed upon the stubs and cancelled. The amount sold and the amount used in an office should now correspond. The stubs are sent periodically to Washington with the accounts, compared and destroyed. Used specimens and even unused specimens are likely to grow rare in collections.


[227]

XXVII.

Official Stamps.

A thorough understanding of the use of these stamps will best be obtained by a brief review of the system it for a time supplanted, which was briefly designated as the "Franking Privilege." As early as the 1st Session of the Second Congress the necessity and propriety of providing for the carriage of official correspondence and the correspondence of Government officers and Members of Congress upon public business was recognized, and Chapter 7, Section 19, approved February 1st, 1792, of the Acts of that Sessions provided:

"That the following letters and packets and no others shall be received and conveyed by post, free of postage under such restrictions as are hereinafter provided, that is to say: all letters and packages to or from the President or Vice-President of the United States, and all letters and packages not exceeding 2 ounces in weight, to or from any member of the Senate or House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate, or Clerk of the House of Representatives, during their actual attendance in any session of Congress, and twenty days after such session, all letters to and from the Secretary of the Treasury and[228] his assistant; Comptroller, Register and Auditor of the Treasury, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, the Committee for settling accounts between the United States and individual States, the Postmaster General and his assistant. Provided that no person shall frank or enclose any letter or packet other than his own, but any public letter or packet from the department of the Treasury may be franked by the Secretary of the Treasury, or the assistant Secretary, or by the Comptroller, Register, Auditor or Treasurer, and that each person before named shall deliver to the post office, every letter or packet enclosed to him, which may be directed to any other person, noting the place from whence it comes by post, and the usual postage shall be charged thereon."

By various acts of Congress this privilege was gradually extended to various persons in the employ of the Government until, in 1869, the Postmaster General stated in his report that fully 31,933 persons were authorized by the laws to enjoy this privilege.

As early as 1836, Congress appropriated the sum of $700,000 to pay the post office department for this carriage of official correspondence. The abuses became enormous. Signatures with hand stamps were even recognized. All sorts of favors were extended by persons having the privilege, to their friends. In 1869 the annual expense to the department of this free matter was estimated at $5,000,000. To remedy this abuse, which had the effect of preventing a proper reduction of postal rates to the general public, as the expenses of the Department, including the expense of carrying official matter so-called, greatly exceeded its annual[229] revenue, there was but one remedy—the passage of an act abolishing the franking privilege and providing by appropriation for carrying the necessary government dispatches. The Act of the XLII Congress, Session III, Chapter 82, approved the 27th of January, 1873, accordingly provided

"That the franking privilege be hereby abolished from and after the first day of July, Anno Domini 1873, and that henceforth all official correspondence of whatever nature, and other mailable matter sent from or addressed to any officer of the government or person now authorized to frank such matter, shall be chargeable with the same rates of postage as may be lawfully imposed upon like matter sent by, or addressed to other persons. Provided that no compensation or allowance shall be now or hereafter made to Senators or Members and Delegates of the House of Representatives on account of postage."

The Act of the XLII Congress, Session III, Chapter 228, approved March 3, 1873, after appropriating so much as should be necessary of a certain sum for the purchase of postage stamps for each department, continues.

"That the Postmaster General shall cause to be prepared a special stamp or stamped envelope to be used only for official mail matter for each of the executive departments, and said stamp and stamped envelope shall be supplied by proper officer of said departments to all persons under its direction requiring the same for official use, and all appropriations for postage heretofore made shall no longer be available for said purpose, and all said stamps and stamped envelopes shall be sold or furnished to said several departments or clerks only at[230] the price for which stamps and stamped envelopes of like value are sold at the several post offices."

In the report of the Postmaster General for the year ending June 30, 1873, it is stated that

"The several Acts for the repeal of the franking privilege became operative on the first of July last. The results of the first quarter of the current year are highly satisfactory and more fully verified the predictions of the friends of the repeal. * * * Section 4 of the Act of March 3rd, 1873, making it the duty of the Postmaster General to provide official stamps and stamped envelopes for the several Executive Departments, has been strictly complied with. The stamps and envelopes furnished have been executed in the highest style of art and will compare favorably with those of any other country. From July 1st to September 30th of the current year the following varieties, numbers and values were issued:

To whom issued.D'minat'n. Number.Value.
The Executive Dep't5 5,150200.00
The State Dep't14 60,49520,749.70
The Treasury Dep't11 7,842,500407,000.00
The War Dep't11 446,50017,689.00
The Navy Dep't11 247,23012,239.00
The Post Office Dep't10 10,054,660354,535.00
The Interior Dep't10 1,058,47559,171.00
The Dep't of Justice10 65,4003,900.00
The Dep't of Agriculture,9 275,00020,730.00
Making a total of 9120,055,410 896,213.70

The stamps for the Departments other than the Post Office do not differ materially from those for sale to the public except that each Department has its own distinctive color and legend. The colors are: For the Executive, carmine; State Department, green; Treasury,[231] velvet-brown; War, cochineal red; Navy, blue; Post Office, black; Interior, vermilion; Department of Justice, purple; and Department of Agriculture, straw color.

In the stamps for the Post Office Department the medallion head gives place to a numeral representing the value with the words "Post Office Department" above and the denomination expressed in words below. All the official stamps correspond in denomination with those issued for the public, except in the case of the State Department, for which four of higher value were made for dispatch bags. These four are of the denominations of $2, $5, $10, and $20, respectively, are of large size and printed in two colors, and bear a profile bust of the late Secretary Seward."

Elsewhere the Postmaster General states that the stamps were ready the 24th of May, for use the 1st of July, 1873. The following circular was accordingly issued to postmasters:

Official Postage Stamps and Stamped Envelopes.
[Circular to postmasters.]

Post Office Department,
Office of the Third Assistant Postmaster General,
Division of Postage Stamps, Stamped Env. & Post Cards.

Washington, D. C., May 15th, 1873.

"The Franking Privilege having been abolished, to take effect on the first day of July, 1873, the Postmaster General is required by law to provide postage stamps or stamped envelopes of special design for each of the several Executive Departments of the Government for the prepayment of postage on official matter passing through the mails.

Description.

In place of the heads on the regular stamps, the official stamps adopted for the Post Office Department have[232] conspicuous figures (numerals) to represent the denomination, with the word "Official" above, and the word "Stamp" below.

These printed in black, and resting on an oval shaped background, render the stamps especially distinctive, and leave no good excuse for confounding them with the other stamps. To further distinguish them, the name of the Department is printed across the top in lieu of the words "U. S. Postage." There is also a slight difference in the ornamentation of the border.

In design, the official stamps for the other Departments do not differ materially from those issued for sale to the public, the profile busts are retained but each stamp has at the top the name of the particular Department for which it is provided. Other changes appearing in the border need not be specified.

The stamps for each Department have their own distinctive color, as follows: For the Executive, carmine; State Department, green; Treasury Department, velvet-brown; War Department, cochineal red; Navy Department, blue; Interior Department, vermilion; Department of Justice, purple; Department of Agriculture, straw; and for the Post Office Department, black.

The official stamps will correspond in denomination with the regular stamps except that for the State Department there will be four additional denominations, viz: two, five, ten and twenty dollars respectively. These additional stamps are designed from a profile bust of the late Hon. William H. Seward, and are of double size and printed in two colors.

Official Stamps for Postmasters.

Postmasters at all offices will be furnished with the official stamps of this Department in suitable denominations and amounts as far as they can be supplied. The Department will exercise its own discretion in filling requisitions, and will send only in such denominations[233] and amounts, as the needs of an office may seem to require. The less important offices, say those at which the money order system has not been established, will need only three cent stamps, but comparatively few offices will require stamps above the denomination of six cents. The higher denominations will be supplied to a few of the larger offices only. Postmasters will combine stamps of the most convenient denominations at hand to meet emergencies for which they may have no single stamp exactly filling the rate required."

* * * * *

EDWARD W. BARBER,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

Issue of July 1st, 1873.

The several denominations for all the departments have certain characteristics that are common to all stamps of that value, which may as well be stated once for all, to avoid repetition.

With the exception of those of the post office department, the head is the same as that on the ordinary stamp of the same value then current.

The value is expressed in numerals and words beneath the oval in the same numerals, letters and scrolls as on the ordinary stamps of the same value, except that in those for the Post Office Department the numerals in the 1, 12 and 30 cents and the letters in all are a trifle smaller.

The One Cent has the head of Franklin in an oval as described, the large "1" dividing "One Cent" on a band bordered by heavy white lines as described, but the ornament across the ends is omitted except in that for the Executive and Agriculture,[234] and is lessened in that for the Interior.

The Two Cents has the head of Jackson as described, the large numeral "2" dividing "Two Cents" upon a scroll with white border as described, the ends of the scroll are, however, differently arranged to accommodate parts of the design.

The Three Cents has the head of Washington as described, the large "3" dividing the words "Three Cents" upon a scroll as described.

The Six Cents has the head of Lincoln, the large "6" dividing the words "Six Cents" upon a scroll with colorless borders as described.

The Seven Cents has the head of Stanton, the large "7" dividing the words "Seven Cents" upon a label following the oval and bordered by the white line between two colored lines and ending in a curve and ball as described.

The Ten Cents has the head of Jefferson, the large "10" dividing the words "Ten Cents" upon a colorless bordered scroll as described.

The Twelve Cents has the head of Clay, the large numerals "2" dividing the words "Twelve Cents" in block letters following the oval bounded by the white line between two colored lines and curved back as described.

The Fifteen Cents has the head of Webster, the large numerals "15" dividing the words "Fifteen Cents" upon a label bordered as described.

The Twenty-Four Cents has the head of Scott, no numerals below, the words "Twenty-four" and "Cents" upon two labels and in block letters as[235] described. In that for the Department of Agriculture the upper label is changed into a scroll with large ends curved backwards, then forwards and then downwards.

The Thirty Cents has the head of Hamilton, the large numerals "30" on the shield dividing the words "Thirty Cents" in colored letters on the scroll as described.

The Ninety Cents has the head of Perry, the large numerals "90" dividing the words "Ninety Cents" in block letters on a label bordered as described, but the ends have a small curve inward in those for the Post Office Department, are square in those for the Interior and Navy Departments, are curved inwards in that for the War Department, are terminated by curves forming a point in that for the Department of Justice, and are square with a projecting small half circle in those for the Treasury and State Departments.

Executive.

The oval containing the bust, the scroll or label and numeral are all placed upon a back-ground of vertical parallel lines so disposed as to produce the stripes of the shield or flag. Above and following the oval a solid colored label inscribed in colorless capitals, "Executive," and bounded by a white and exterior colored line terminating in a foliated ornament against the oval; foliated ornaments in the corners forming small white circles enclosing "U." and "S." on rectangularly hatched disks.

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm. in color, on white[236] paper, perforated 12.

1cent carmine,6,800 issued.
2cents "9,100 "
3" "23,500 "
6" "5,500 "
10" "5,150 "

Department of State.

The oval containing the bust, the scroll or label and numeral are all placed upon a ground of parallel vertical lines. At the top these are crossed by horizontal lines at about 1 mm. from the edge over a space of equal width, so as to form a darker band and thus form a double frame half way down where the darker frame terminates on each side in a round ball, except in the 12 cents, which has the dark frame all the way round. In the values with scrolls "U." on the left, "S." on the right above the ends of the scrolls in large white letters shaded outside. In the values with labels the same letters in the corners below the ends of the labels, also colorless, except in the 15 cents, in which they are crossed by parallel horizontal lines. Above the ovals "Dep't of State," in similar capitals, large at the sides and gradually decreasing towards the center. Above these a fine curved colorless line between colored lines, the lower heavily shaded; beneath the letters a white ornament terminating on each side in a fleur de lis, and shaded by colored lines.

Plate impression 19 by 25 mm., in color, on[237] white paper, perforated 12.

1cent green, 31,800issued.
2cents green, 41,800"
3" 109,200"
6" 82,100"
7" 37,800"
10" 64,900"
12" 20,800"
15" 22,800"
24" 13,800"
30" 20,100"
90" 6,043"

To these are added the four higher values of larger size. These have a large profile head of Wm. H. Seward, facing to the left, on a hatched ground forming an oval disk, with a ground of fine parallel lines all printed in black. The lines are arranged to form a panelled triangle in the upper corners, the lines being horizontal and light in the borders and thickened to form the darker panels which contain a foliated ornament. On a broad colorless, curved label, with rounded ends, "Department of" in outline Roman capitals shaded at top by curved parallel colored lines, a series of curved parallel colored lines filling the lower part of the label. Beneath this, in outlined pearled capitals, following the label and shaded outside, "State." At the sides bunches of rods tied above and below with crossed bands with "U. S. A." in colorless letters below each. Across the bottom a hatched label with colorless borders inscribed in colorless letters shaded outside with the value.[238]

Plate impression 25 by 39 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

Twodollars, blackandgreen, 3,508issued.
Five" " " 363"
Ten" " " 363"
Twenty" " " 363"

Treasury Department.

The oval containing the portraits, the scrolls or labels and large numerals are placed on a background of vertical parallel lines arranged to form a drapery with fringes, cords and tassels, and a panel similar to the State Department stamps. At the top a label indicated by a colorless line curved up at the ends and terminating above in foliated ornaments, is inscribed "Treasury" in the same letters as the other official stamps with "U. S." beneath the left end and "Dept." beneath the right end.

Plate impression 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1cent velvet-brown, 2,900,000issued.
2cents "2,484,500 "
3" "11,250,000 "
6" "4,105,000 "
7" "220,000 "
10" "1,291,500 "
12" "783,000 "
15" "663,000 "
24" "100,000 "
30" "456,500 "
90" "312,500 "

[239]

The shades of these stamps vary somewhat in depth, some specimens having a spotted appearance as if the ink did not work well.

War Department.

The oval containing the bust, the scrolls or labels and numerals are placed on a back ground of parallel vertical lines above and below, horizontal on the sides. In the upper corners "U." on the left, "S." on the right. A curved solid label bordered by a cord, cuts off the upper corners and is inscribed on the left "War" on right "Dept." in the usual capitals. The lines of the sides are arranged to show the stripes of the flag. A shield on each side above the scrolls or beneath the labels.

Plate impression 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1cent cochineal red,3,301,230 issued.
2cents "1,867,160 "
3" "5,393,137 "
6" "3,584,813 "
7" "55,728 "
10" "342,152 "
12" "792,070 "
15" "284,960 "
24" "201,025 "
30" "336,641 "
90" "48,172 "

The shades of these stamps vary somewhat in intensity, some being much lighter and some darker than ordinary.[240]

Navy Department.

The ovals containing the busts, the labels or scrolls and large numerals are placed on a ground of vertical parallel lines. A large, six-pointed star in each upper corner, and a smaller one on each side. A cable runs round the sides and top. The words "Navy" on the left and "Dept." on the right in the usual capitals across the upper corners and a losenge with "U." on the left and "S." on the right shaded in the lower corners and placed diagonally above the scrolls or below the labels.

Plate impression 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1cent, ultramarine-blue,106,800 issued.
2cents "201,300 "
3" "580,700 "
6" "234,800 "
7" "16,000 "
10" "55,210 "
12" "61,300 "
15" "37,500 "
24" "26,000 "
30" "29,600 "
90" "11,270 "

Post Office Department.

The oval as before stated contains a large numeral of value instead of the head with the word "Official" above and "Stamp" below, on a plain colorless ground. Same labels or scrolls and numerals rather smaller below as in the stamps of other departments, with small circular disks bearing "U." and "S." on the left and right above the[241] scrolls or under the labels. In the 1, 6, 10, 30 and 90 cents these small disks are shaded by vertical lines, in the other values by diagonal lines, and the letters are filled with horizontal lines. Around the top of the oval a solid colored label bordered by colorless lines and inscribed "Post Office Department." There is a small circle with four horizontal lines, and shaded outside in each upper corner, all on a ground of parallel vertical lines.

Plate impression 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1cent black,1,114,250 issued.
2cents "894,600 "
3" "6,479,700 "
6" "3,306,800 "
10" "182,450 "
12" "298,780 "
15" "109,285 "
24" "87,625 "
30" "133,255 "
90" "65,200 "

Two complete series of these stamps may be found, the one on white paper, the other having the surface tinted with the ink of the stamp, also intermediate or partly tinted specimens, showing that the tinting probably results from imperfect wiping of the plates.

Department of the Interior.

The ovals containing the heads, the scrolls, labels[242] and large numerals are placed on a ground of vertically ruled lines, crossed in parts to form heavy shadows and showing stripes at the sides, small shields above the ends of the scrolls and below the ends of the labels, bearing the "U." and "S." lined and shaded. A large, six-pointed star in the upper corners. A broad, colorless band doubly curved and following in part the outline of the oval above, inscribed in lined and shaded Roman capitals, "Dept. of the Interior."

Plate impression 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1cent vermilion,394,800 issued.
2cents "1,414,400 "
3" "5,255,300 "
6" "1,722,500 "
10" "284,550 "
12" "359,850 "
15" "257,100 "
24" "134,125 "
30" "138,300 "
90" "64,377 "

Department of Justice.

The ovals containing the heads, bands, scrolls and large numerals are placed on a ground of vertically ruled lines. Six pointed stars with the letters "U." and "S." above the ends of the scrolls or under the ends of the labels. Diagonally in small capitals in the upper left corner, "Dept." in the right "of" and in larger capitals following the line of the oval, "Justice" all in outline Roman[243] capitals heavily shaded, on the ground without bands. The oval, stars, scrolls, etc., are also heavily shaded.

Plate impression 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1cent, purple,25,000 issued.
2cents, "26,900 "
3" "182,000 "
6" "84,000 "
10" "20,500 "
12" "26,800 "
15" "12,800 "
24" "12,800 "
30" "8,600 "
90" "3,200 "

The color varies very slightly in intensity.

Department of Agriculture.

The ovals containing the heads, bands scrolls and large numerals are placed upon a ground of vertically ruled lines, showing stripes at the sides. A solid label curved with the oval above bounded by a colorless line and rounded at the ends, is inscribed "Agriculture" in outlined capitals. In small similar capitals in the upper left corner, "Dept. of" in two lines. In the upper right corner in monogram, "U. S."

Plate impression, 19 by 25 mm., in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

1cent, straw,95,415 issued.
2cents "230,150 "
3" "435,050 "
6" "120,000 "
10" "95,265 "
12" "51,265 "
15" "54,050 "
24" "60,265 "
30" "82,265 "

[244]

By the appropriation acts each year from the Act of the 22 June, 1874, a certain amount was annually appropriated to each Department for the purchase from the Post Office Department of such of these official stamps as were necessary for the use of the Department and its subordinate officers. By the 9th Section of the Act of the XLIVth Congress, Session I, Chapter 287, approved the 15th of August, 1876, it was enacted.

"That the Secretaries respectively of the Departments of State, Treasury, War, Navy and Interior and the Attorney General are authorized to make requisition upon the Postmaster General for the necessary amount of postage stamps for the use of their Departments not exceeding the amount stated in the estimates submitted to Congress, and upon presentation of proper vouchers therefore at the Treasury, the amount thereof shall be credited to the appropriation for the Post Office Department for the same fiscal year."

This was the beginning of an entire change in the method of crediting the Post Office Department for work done in carrying official correspondence.

By the Act of XLIVth Congress, Session II, Chapter 103, approved March 30, 1877, the law was modified in the following terms:

[245]

"Sec. 5. That it shall be lawful to transmit through the mail, free of postage any letters, packages or other matter relating exclusively to the business of the Government of the United States: Provided that every such letter or package to entitle it to pass free shall bear over the words "Official Business" an endorsement, showing also the name of the Department, and if from a bureau or office, the names of the Department and bureau or office, as the case may be, whence transmitted. And if any person shall make use of any such official envelope to avoid the payment of postage on his private letter, package or other matter in the mail, the person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of three hundred dollars, to be prosecuted in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Sec. 6. That for the purpose of carrying this act into effect it shall be the duty of each of the Executive Departments of the United States to provide for itself and its subordinate officers the necessary envelopes, and in addition to the endorsement designating the Department in which they are to be used, the penalty for the unlawful use shall be stated thereon.

Sec. 7. That Senators, Representatives and Delegates in Congress, the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives may send and receive through the mail all public documents printed by order of Congress, and the name of each Senator, Representative, Delegate, Secretary of the Senate, and Clerk of the House, shall be written thereon with the proper designation of the office he holds, and the provisions of this section shall apply to each of the persons mentioned therein until the first day of December following the expiration of their terms of office."

By this act the use of official stamps upon mail matter from the Departments, bureaus and offices was practically abolished, but official stamps continued to be used by postmasters and other subordinate[246] officers in their mail matter to the Departments or each other on official business.

By the 29th Section of the Act of the XLVth Congress, Chapter 180, approved March 3d, 1879, it was enacted that,—

"The provisions of the 5th and 6th Sections of the Act entitled, An Act Establishing Post Routes and for other purposes, approved March 3d, 1877, for the transmission of official mail matter, be and they are hereby extended to all officers of the United States Government, and made applicable to all official mail matter transmitted between any of the officers of the United States, or between any such officer and either of the Executive Departments or officers of the Government, the envelopes of such matter in all cases to bear appropriate endorsements containing the proper designation of the office from which the same is transmitted, with a statement of the penalty for their misuse. And the provisions of said 5th and 6th Sections are hereby likewise extended and made applicable to all official mail matter sent from the Smithsonian Institution. Provided, that this Act shall not extend or apply to pension agents, or other officers who receive a fixed allowance for their services, including expenses for postage."

In his report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, D. M. Key, Postmaster General, had already stated that,—

"The amount of matter sent through the mails free is very large, adding greatly to our expenditures and giving us no revenue. The Franking Privilege has been restored to the members and chief officers of Congress, so as to allow them to send free almost anything which they were ever allowed to transmit through the mails free, except letters. Tons upon tons of books, documents,[247] seeds, shrubs and the like are placed in our mails free of cost, on this score. The official letters of the Executive Departments of the general Government, their documents, etc., go free through the mails."

The operation of the act of 1879, however, greatly increased the amount of free matter, and decreased the use of official stamps. The Post Office Department discontinued their use entirely. In a circular dated, Washington, D. C., April 22nd, 1879, and signed by A. D. Hazen, third assistant Postmaster General, it is stated that:

"The Department will begin the issue on May 1st next, of envelopes for official business which will secure the free transmission through the mails of all official matter and which are intended to supercede the Post Office envelopes now in use, as well as official postage stamps and official stamped envelopes. Accordingly the issue of official stamps and official stamped envelopes will be discontinued on and after the date named. * * * The stock of post office envelopes now in the hands of postmasters will continue until exhausted to be used as heretofore by the attachment of official postage stamps. So also official stamped envelopes now in the hands of postmasters at Presidential offices will be used as heretofore until exhausted."

This circular, of course, applies only to stamps, etc., of the Post Office Department. The other Departments continued to use them for certain purposes, though none were issued to the Executive Department. The report of the Postmaster General for the year ending June 30th, 1885, says:

"The use of official stamps and stamped envelopes was wholly discontinued by this Department and substantially[248] so by the other Departments on the 30th of June, 1879, under the Act authorizing the use of official penalty envelopes."

By the Act of the XLVIIIth Congress, Session I, Chapter 234, Section 3, approved July 5, 1884, the provisions of the Act of 1879, were substantially re-enacted with the addition that any Department or officer authorized to use the penalty envelopes, might enclose them to any person from whom an answer was requested, and might register any letter required by law, or the regulations to be registered free, and might receive any letter partly paid free, and added that:

"Section 3915 of the Revised Statutes of the United States so far as the same relates to stamps and stamped envelopes for official purposes is hereby repealed."

To this the report of the Postmaster General for 1885, adds:

"The use of official postage stamps and stamped envelopes having ceased on the 30th of June, 1884, and the same having been declared invalid for postages by the Act of July 5th, 1884, the stock remaining in the hands of the stamp and envelope contractors was destroyed in February last, under the supervision of the committee appointed by the Postmaster General."

From the report of this committee it appears that they destroyed in all, 17,024,588 official stamps, and 1,739,290 of ordinary and newspaper stamps that had ceased to be of use. Also that about 2 per cent of all the stamps manufactured annually, are destroyed, a single imperfect specimen on the "sheet" of 100 causing the rejection of at least fifty or half the sheet.


[249]

XXVIII.

Official Seals.

The Post Office Department of the United States, besides the stamps for the collection of postage, has employed from time to time for special usages certain seals which, as they are adhesive and in the form of postage stamps and officially used, are here described, although they are of no postal value and not properly stamps, but are all employed to indicate that the packages which bear them are properly secured and have not been tampered with in transit.

Registered Package Seal.

This is a large rectangular seal 71 by 39 mm., in the form of an adhesive stamp duly gummed and perforated. After the letters or parcels of registered letters were duly placed in the large registered package envelopes employed for the purpose, one of these seals was firmly secured over the tongue of the envelope and duly stamped with the date of mailing. It is simply an additional guarantee to the receiving office that the package[250] has not been opened since it was sealed at the sending office. A circular announcing its issue and directing its use was issued from the office of the Third Assistant Postmaster General at Washington, dated February 14, 1872. A second circular from the same office dated 1875, without stating the month or day, announces the adoption of a differently constructed envelope and the abandonment of the use of the registered seal.

Issue of February 14, 1872.

Large, oblong, rectangular seals, having in the middle a circular disk with ground of fine concentric circles, so broken as to present the appearance of white rays, bounded by two heavier, but still fine colored lines, separated by a colorless line, and and a broad colorless band with exterior colored line, inscribed in plain block, colored capitals, above "Stamp Here," below, "Date" and "Place of Mailing" separated by a small maltese cross on each side. On each side of this is a ground of horizontal lines bordered by a heavy colored line with ornamental triangles of solid color, with colorless geometric lines forming the corners. Outside all a single colored line. On the ground in three lines of colored capitals, on each side are the inscriptions: on the left, reading from the bottom to the top, "Post Office," "Department"; on the right, reading from the top to the bottom, "United States," "of America"; in the upper corner triangles "U. S." in monogram; in the lower, "P. O. D." in white capitals. Across the middle of the whole[251] stamp in large block capitals 8 mm. high and shaded by horizontal lines is the word "Registered."

Plate impression, 71 by 39 mm., printed in color, on white paper, perforated 12.

No value, green.

A second seal employed for a time by the United States Postage Stamp Agency upon the packages of stamps sent out to postmasters, was equally an additional guarantee against opening or tampering with the package.

Issue of (end) 1875.

A large rectangle bearing in the center the monogram, "U. S." in large colorless capitals in an oval of geometric colored lines, surrounded by a ground of interlaced colorless geometric lines on color. A frame of fifteen colored parallel lines crossing in the angles. A clover leaf of geometric work, also in the corners. On the frame above in large colorless capitals, "U. S. Postage Stamp Agency," all in brown. A black surcharge of eight lines reads: "Postmasters Receiving this Package—Will Please—Note Its Condition—If showing signs of having been tam—pered with, report the same and return—this package to 3d Asst. P. M. General, at—Washington, D. C. This Package—Should be opened at the end. E. W. Barber, 3d Asst. P. M. G." Lithographed in color on white paper, but not perforated, 102 by 52 mm.

No value, brown and black.

This was afterwards changed by merely changing the signature to "A. D. Hazen, 3d Asst. P. M. G."[252] and the surcharge to vermilion.

Lithographed in color on white paper and not perforated.

No value, brown and vermilion.

[The latter are still in use. Dec., '86].

A third seal was employed by the Dead Letter Office at Washington, and afterwards by other offices, to reseal letters opened at that office or broken in the mails. It was placed upon the flap of the envelope of letters opened at the Dead Letter Office, in order to ascertain the name of the sender, or on letters opened by the wrong persons through mistake, or upon the torn places of other packages.

Issue of (beginning of) 1877.

A large rectangle with small head of Liberty, full face in an oval 11 by 8 mm. in the center. Above in curved line of colored block letters, "Post Office Department," below in double curve of Old English colored letters, "United States of America." On each side of the oval a solid label bearing in large colorless letters on left, "Officially," on right "Sealed." In the corners "U. S." in monogram. The frame is a broad band 3 mm. wide, vertically lined forming a rectangle with rounded corners, double lined outside and inside and shaded. The ground is covered with the words "Post Obitum" repeated in whole or part 180 times, in horizontal lines. On the frame below "National Bank Note Company New York" in small colored letters.

[253]

Plate impression, in color, on white paper, 43 by 27 mm., perforated 12.

No value, brown.

Issue of 1879.

The foregoing stamp was replaced in 1879, by another of the same design, but the words "Post Obitum" in the ground are replaced by a pattern of interlaced circles. The same name on the frame.

Plate impression, in color, on white paper, 43 by 27 mm., perforated 12.

No value, brown.


[254]

XXIX.

Reprints.

There seems to have been no special law authorizing the Postmaster General to issue reprints of the stamps of the United States, or as the authorities choose to call them, "Specimen Postage Stamps." On the other hand his general authority under the law is sufficient to make any re-issue for postal purposes of any of the issues of the Department legal, for none of them except the official stamps have ever been made invalid for postal purposes by any authority but his own, and this authority he undoubtedly has also. It has always seemed expedient to the Department to issue certain specimens of the stamps and envelopes in circulation, or to be circulated, from time to time, in the proper, as well as in trial colors. It has been said that it being considered expedient to exhibit at the Centennial Exhibition a complete series of all the various issues authorized from time to time, by the Department, as a part of its history, and unused specimens not being easily[255] obtained, the old dies and plates were taken from their places of storage in order to print the necessary specimens, and that the Department having been solicited to furnish collectors with specimens of its old issues, took this opportunity to provide itself to satisfy these demands. It was, however, a mistaken kindness and unused originals were not unattainable. So that for exhibition purposes even reprinting was not necessary. Besides as the reprints or specimens of all except the current series, are in some respects or other unlike the originals, they were really only so many tolerably accurate pictures of what had been.

When the Department was ready to furnish collectors with these doubtful boons the following official circular was issued:

Specimen Postage Stamps.

Post Office Department,
Office of Third Assistant Postmaster General,
Div. of Postage Stamps, St'ped Envelopes & Postal Cards.

Washington, D. C., March 27, 1875.

The Department is prepared to furnish upon application, at face value, specimens of adhesive postage stamps issued under its auspices as follows:

Ordinary Stamps for Use of the Public.

1. Issue of 1847. Denominations, 5 and 10 cents. Value of set, 15 cents.

2. Issue of 1851. Denominations, 1, 3, 5, 10, 12, 24, 30 and 90 cents; also two separate designs of 1 cent carrier stamps. Value of set, $1.77.

3. Issue of 1861. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $1.92.

4. Issue of 1869. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 12, 15, 24,[256] 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $1.93.

5. Issue of 1870 (current series). Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $2.

Official Stamps.

1. Executive. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10 cents. Value of set, 22 cents.

2. Department of State. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents, and $2, $5, $10 and $20. Value of Set, $39.

3. Treasury Department. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $2.

4. War Department. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $2.

5. Navy Department. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $2.

6. Post Office Department. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $1.93.

7. Department of the Interior. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $1.93.

8. Department of Justice. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 12, 15, 24, 30 and 90 cents. Value of set, $1.93.

9. Department of Agriculture. Denominations, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 12, 15, 24 and 30 cents. Value of set, $1.03.

Newspaper and Periodical Stamps.

1. Issue of 1865. Denominations, 5, 10 and 25 cents. Value of set, 40 cents.

2. Issue of 1874. Denominations, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96 cents, $1.92, $3, $6, $9, $12, $24, $36, $48 and $60. Value of set, $204.66.

The 1847 and 1851 stamps are obsolete, and no longer receivable for postage. The subsequent issues of ordinary stamps are still valid. The newspaper and periodical stamps of 1865 are also uncurrent; those of the issue of 1874 can be used only by publishers and news agents for matter mailed in bulk under the Act of June[257] 23rd, 1874. The official stamps cannot be used except for the official business of the particular Department for which it is provided.

All the specimens furnished will be ungummed, and the official stamps will have printed across the face the word "Specimen" in small type. It will be useless to apply for gummed stamps or for official stamps with the word "Specimen" omitted.

The stamps will be sold by sets, and application must not be made for less than one full set of any issue except the State Department official stamps and newspaper and periodical stamps of the issue of 1874. The regular set of the former will embrace all the denominations from 1 cent to 90 cents inclusive, valued at $2; and any or all of the other denominations ($2, $5, $10 and $20) will be added or sold separately from the regular set as desired.

The newspaper and periodical stamps will be sold in quantities of not less than two dollars worth in each case, of any denomination or denominations that may be ordered.

Under no circumstances will stamps be sold for less than their face value.

Payment must invariably be made in advance in current funds of the United States. Mutilated currency, internal revenue and postage stamps, bank checks and drafts, will not be accepted, but will in all cases be returned to the sender.

To insure greater certainty in the transmission, it is strongly urged that remittances be made either by money order or registered letter. Applicants will also include a sufficient amount for return postage and registry fee, it being desirable to send stamps by registered letter. Losses in the mails or by any mode of transmission must be at the risk of the purchaser.

pointer Applications must be addressed to "The Third[258] Assistant Postmaster General, Washington, D. C."

Specimens of stamped envelopes will not be furnished in any case.

E. W. BARBER,
Third Assistant Postmaster General.

Here is truly a pretty kettle of fish. The proceedings do not seem to have been reported by the Department, and there seems to have been no account rendered of this peculiar transaction of the Stamp Office. Doubtless the amounts received for these specimens and the number of them sold are blended in the accounts of the number of stamps sold and no loss accrued to the service. The public are not, however, informed of the extent of the transactions, and judging from the difficulty of finding these specimens in collections, the business was not large.

There was no law preventing any one from purchasing either the newspaper or periodical stamps from the Post office, and at the time there was probably no regulation of the Department which prevented postmasters from selling them to all desirous of purchasing. Certainly some were sold to dealers and collectors. Hence the privilege of purchasing the current newspaper and periodical stamps without gum for the same price that actual and complete copies could be obtained, particularly in view of the fact that the purchaser, unless a publisher or agent, could not use them when so purchased, even if he were willing to gum them himself, was probably not largely taken advantage of. The specimens when found can hardly be[259] called reprints and cannot be distinguished from the ordinary stamps that have by some accident lost their gum. There is reason to believe that some of them have been adorned with this appendage by private parties, so that the presence of gum is no guarantee of genuineness. As, however, they are only partly finished stamps of the regular issue, no great harm is done if a specimen is treasured in a collection.

With the newspaper stamps of the 1865 issue the facts are different. While they are from the same plates apparently, they can generally be detected by the color. As the five cents with white border does not appear in the list of reprints or "specimens" the series was not, after all, complete, and the possessor of this stamp may feel confident of possessing an original. The companion five cents with colored border is exactly of the same color, varying only in different specimens of either variety in depths of color. The blue of the reprints is of a different shade, more intense and perhaps the difference can best be expressed by saying there is a bloom about it that there is not about the originals. When the two are placed side by side the homely expression that the "new is worn off" of the originals will serve to express the difference, though in point of fact they never had the brightness of the reprints. The same remarks apply to the old and new ten cent values. The color of the 25 cents, is, however, very badly imitated, the originals have a yellowish-red cast,[260] the reprint is a dull common red. A very good idea of it might be had by comparing what are called salmon brick and pressed brick together. Unfortunately some unscrupulous parties have "experimented" with the reprints and thus rendered some specimens rather harder to distinguish, but so far as the observation of the writer goes, comparison with originals will always satisfactorily expose the difference.

The extreme anxiety of the Department that the revenue of the service should not suffer by the use of a private party of an official stamp for which he had paid the department full value, led as the advertisement states to the placing of the word "specimen" in small type across the face, and thereby saved the collector any trouble in identifying "specimens" from originals, though as the stamps were current the omission of the gum only reduced them to partly finished stamps, and not to the category of reprints or counterfeits.

Of the "ordinary stamps for the use of the public," the 5th or 1870 issue was then current, and why ungummed stamps which the circular says were never the less available for postage, should have been sold when the Department had a large supply of finished originals at command, is a mystery to all but official minds.

The 4th or 1869 series presents greater difficulties to the collector who desires to have only genuine originals. Made by the same company that produced the originals, and only a short time[261] afterwards, the processes of printing, ink and paper making had not materially changed, but the reprints show signs of more careful workmanship. Notwithstanding the circular some of them at least were sent out by the department gummed. But strange to say as noticed by Mr. Coster (A. J. P. 1875 page 6) the gum of the originals "varied from decidedly brownish to almost white" and "on the 1861-69 issues of the reprints (as also on the eagles) simple gum arabic seems to have been used, the color being perfectly white. Furthermore, if the stamps are bent at all, the gum cracks, which is in no case true of the originals." Mr. Coster further says, "the originals all had the grille and the reprints have not." Unfortunately, Mr. Coster was not aware that the four higher values at least, with the brownish gum and without the grille, and undoubtedly original, existed in collections before the reprints were made, and have since been officially stated to have been so issued, and other values also in that condition are known, which have every appearance of being originals. Unfortunately also, it is not very difficult to remove the gum, imitate the grille or not and regum the stamp with brownish gum. Such experiments have been made with fair success by members of that fraternity who exist by the trade in bogus antiquities and counterfeit evidences of value, who sometimes do these little things merely to experience the delight they feel in deceiving the so-called experts, especially when as in this case a[262] known reprint is almost unsalable, but if it can be made to pass as an original its value is increased several hundred fold and its salable qualities many times more. Fortunately there are not a large number of the reprints to encounter and grilled specimens are in all probability original. The 3d or 1861 issue was also made by the same company that did the reprinting. The originals were issued first without the grille and afterwards with it, both had the brownish gum. The reprints have the same perforation and, notwithstanding the circular, were issued both without the gum and with the white stiff gum noticed above. Originals without the grille are rarely on tinted or surfaced paper, though sometimes smurched in parts from careless wiping of the plates. Originals with the grille are generally on lightly tinted or surfaced paper and the colors are usually stronger than the earlier ones. The reprints were without the grille, but the colors are rather those of the grilled originals, the paper is however whiter, the printing more carefully worked, and there is the new look about them noticed when speaking of the reprints of the newspaper series of 1865. Sheets of the one cent reprinted show the printer's imprint on the sides and of the pattern of that on the 1869 issue. All the originals of this value probably had the imprint of the other pattern, and at the top or bottom. The reprints are therefore, probably from new plates.

A few reprints with a forged grille have come[263] under the observation of the writer, but as the grille was the small grille imitated from that on the 1869 issue it was easily detected.

The 2nd or 1851 issue, as it is called in the circular, actually consisted of two series, the imperforate and perforate. Imperforate reprints were not furnished. The originals were perforated 15 to the mm. or 17 to the 7/8 of an inch. The reprints were perforated 12 to the mm. or 13 to the 7/8 of an inch. This is the perforation of the 1870 series and of most of the U. S. stamps.

This is an absolute test then for perforated specimens. Attempts are, however, made to palm off trimmed reprints as imperforate specimens. The originals are on a yellowish paper and with brown gum. The reprints on a very white paper originally but easily manipulated to yellowish. The reprint of the one cent is from a new plate, the stamps have the outside fine labels of the original imperforate series, but are set farther apart on the plate so that even the larger perforation used does not cut into the stamp. The blue is too bright. The reprinted three cents has the outer top and bottom lines of the original imperforate stamp. The stamps do not seem to have been set quite far enough apart on the plate, as most specimens are somewhat marred by the large perforation. The color is however a vermilion and not the brick-red, pink or carmine of the originals. The reprinted five cents is from plate No. 2 without the top and bottom projection, and[264] the stamps being too near together are marred by the large perforation. The color is a decided yellow brown, unlike any of the shades of the original. It would probably be impossible to remove the perforation so as to make this stamp pass for an imperforate specimen and then it would lack the projection of the original.

The ten and twelve cents are harder to distinguish, the green is too green, the black too black. The twenty-four, thirty and ninety cents were not issued imperforate (except the very rare instances of the 24 cents) and are not likely to deceive any one, their colors, however, are the more brilliant new colors and not the old dull colors of the originals.

The reprinted "Eagle" Carrier's stamp was first sent out perforated 12, the original was, of course, imperforate, and the stamps upon the sheet were separated by colored lines. The perforations of the reprints made sad havoc with these. Later the reprints were sent out imperforate. Such originals as the present writer has seen are on a yellowish tinted paper arising probably from the gum or age, the reprints are on a paper blued on the printed side by the ink of the stamp and with a blue cast at the back.

The reprinted "Franklin" Carrier's stamp is on too deep a pink paper and the dark blue ink is not deep and dull enough.

Finally the only safe test of any of these stamps is comparison with undoubted originals, in every[265] case of doubt.

The first or 1847 reprints are not from the original plates nor even from the original dies, but from newly engraved dies, and hence are absolutely worthless as representing the originals. They are not reprints, but official imitations. In speaking of this issue it was stated that the Department had ordered all remainders to be burnt and the plates and dies destroyed. Supposing this to have been done reprinting was impossible. To take the place of the originals, new dies were made.

The imitations are both wider and shorter than the originals. The foliated ornaments are too conspicuous in both. The small letters, R. W. H. and E. in the margins, though clear in the originals are too small, and particularly in the five cents almost illegible, being too light, and apparently the engraver did not know whether to make an R or an H, an M or a W, an H or an N, an E or an F. These are the general and common differences.

The Five Cents. The hair on the right of the head (left of the stamp) is in heavy dark masses in the original, but is too light, open and airy in the imitation. The mouth prolonged in the original beyond the dot on the right, ends with it in the imitation, in which there is a second dot to the right of the first. The eyes are clear and distinct in the original, with perhaps too much white in the right one, they are weak undecided eyes in the imitation. The shirt front in the original is terminated by a[266] diagonal line which reaches the oval above the top of the F of "Five" in the original, but is more nearly horizontal in the imitation, reaching the oval nearly on a line with the top of the 5.

The Ten Cents. In the hair on the right of the stamp there is a small, white circle with a dark center in the imitation which does not appear in the original. The lips are larger and the mouth longer in the original than the imitation, but in the latter the lower lip is indicated throughout by vertical lines, in the original there are three vertical lines, the rest indicated by points. In the original the white cravat is separated from the inner colored line marking the oval by a fine white line with a colored line above it; in the imitation the line of the oval terminates the cravat. The lines of the face are all too stiff and ridged and the execution does not compare in delicacy and boldness of touch with the original.


[267]

Index.


[273]
[274]
[275]

THE
Philatelic Catalogue

Of Postage Stamps, Stamped Envelopes
and Postal Cards.


By Major Edw. B. Evans, R. A.


This work is fully illustrated with engravings, also gives full description of all stamps, particulars as to printing, perforation, paper, watermarks, colors, as well as market price. Also valuable notes by the author on subjects pertaining to the stamps.

The following is the plan of the work:

Each part is divided into sections.

Each section is divided into groups, the groups of Part 1, Section 1 are now ready and are as follows:

The price of each group is 10c; a new one will be published every month.

The work is limited to 500 copies and when completed will be the greatest philatelic work ever published.

Subscriptions received $1.00 per 10 parts, until the number 500 is reached subscribers will receive the first numbers.

C. H. MEKEEL, Philatelic Publisher,
Room 71, Turner Building. ST. LOUIS, MO.


[276]

THE
Improved Stamp Album.

With a rational plan for the arrangement of a collection of stamps. Copyrighted.

This is a blank album manufactured expressly for the purpose.

Good paper is used; size of pages 8 by 11 inches; a neat border surrounds each page and an ornamental band at top for the reception of the name of the country. Neatly printed names are provided on adhesive paper.

Guards or stubs are bound between the pages, so that when filled it will not bulge, it is equally well adapted for postal cards, stamps or envelopes.

One thousand lithographed stamp mounts are furnished with each album. The stamp mounts are on a new plan, a neat black border surrounds the stamp, and the mounts are provided in different sizes for the various stamps.

No. 1. Album 168 pp., bound in cloth, good paper, with names and 1000 mounts; $2.00

No. 2. Album 328 pp., same as above but border printed on only one side of the page; $3.00

No. 3. Album 500 pp., same style as the No. 3, better paper, printed on one side of page; $5.00

No. 4. Album 500 pp., handsomely bound in leather, superior paper, printed on one side of page; $7.50

No. 5. Portfolio, with 200 sheets fine card-board, printed on one side with names and mounts; $5.00

The album has given satisfaction wherever it has been sold.

C. H. MEKEEL, Philatelic Publisher,
Room 71, Turner B'l'g, — ST. LOUIS, MO.


[277]

THE
Philatelic Journal of America.

A large monthly magazine published in interest of stamp collecting.

Contributed to, by the leading philatelic writers of the day, including, Major Edw. B. Evans, R. A., James M. Chute, John K. Tiffany, Edw. B. Hanes, Lieut. J. M. T. Partello, Joseph J. Casey, E. B. Sterling, Wm. E. Stone, and many others.

The latest information regarding newly issued stamps and discoveries may always be found.

Reports of the proceedings of the leading American philatelic societies.

Answers to questions, and open letters on current topics, are important departments.

The Philatelic Catalogue, by Major Edw. B. Evans, is being published in monthly installments.

SUBSCRIPTION.


Sent post free, 50 cents per annum, to United States, Canada and Mexico; 75 cents per annum to all countries in the Universal Postal Union.

$1. per annum to Natal, Cape of Good Hope, Transvaal and Australian Colonies.

Payment must be made in advance. Subscription can commence at any time. Back numbers of current volume, 10 cents each.

UNBOUND COPIES, VOLS.
I AND II.

Volume I. March, 1885—February, 1886. 12 numbers, 250p., $3.

Volume II. March, 1886—February, 1887. 12 numbers, 350p., $1.

C. H. MEKEEL, Philatelic Publisher,
Room 71, Turner Building, — ST. LOUIS, MO.


[278]

C. H. Mekeel,
Philatelic Publisher
—AND—
POSTAGE STAMP DEALER,

Solicits business relations with all philatelists. Rarities are always on hand for the advanced collector. Rare stamps bought for cash or taken in exchange.

New issues and novelties always on hand. A fine stock of desirable stamps at very reasonable prices. Selections of stamps on approval sent to responsible parties. Agents wanted for the sale of stamps on liberal commission.

Foreign correspondence and exchange solicited.

A large wholesale stock for sale by 10, 100 or 1000 at lowest prices. Mexican, South and Central American stamps is a specialty in wholesale trade. Hundreds of thousands of these stamps imported yearly.

Cash paid for U. S. Department stamps, Newspaper and Periodical stamps, Old U. S. Envelopes, Confederate and U. S. Locals.

Large or old collections wanted for cash. Send for U. S. Exchange list.

Inquiries should contain stamp for reply.

C. H. MEKEEL,
Room 71, Turner Building, — ST. LOUIS, MO.

Transcriber's Notes:

3. Obvious punctuation errors have been corrected without comment.

4. Inconsistent quote marks in cited materials have been retained. Mismatched quotes have been repaired.

5. Inconsistent abbreviations, punctuation, character spacing, etc., have been made uniform, as have all Post Office Department dispatch headers.

6. Inconsistent variations of millimeter fractions, i. e. 1/2 (with forward slash) and 1-2 (stacked 1 over 2), etc. have been made consistent.

7. In the data table on page 103 and in the "INDEX", all ditto marks have been replaced with full words.

8. Right justified page numbers in the "INDEX" have been replaced by a left justified semi-colon ";" immediately followed by the referenced page numbers.

9. SPELLING CORRECTIONS: (#) shows number of times word was correctly spelled in the text.

10. PRINTER AND TYPOGRAPHY CORRECTIONS: Words with missing and misprinted letters, inconsistent hyphenation, punctuation and spacing have been corrected without comment. Additional corrections;

11. WORD VARIATIONS:

12. On the Publisher's Announcement pages beginning on page 275, stacked page numbers repesent blank leading pages. In the original work the Headers were printed in various decorative fonts not replicated in this e-text.






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