Series of 1861 (august 17, 1861 to february 17, 1869)

One-cent — profile head of Franklin, looking to the right, in an ellipse as large as could be placed upon the stamp, viz 1 by 3/4 inch. The entire ground within the inclosure is formed of lathework. The outer %6 of an inch of this space is more open. The upper corner spaces contain the Arabic figure “1”, and the lower the white capital letters “U” and “S” in the left and right, respectively — all four corners having ornate surroundings. The words “U.S. postage”
are placed above and “One cent” below the bust, following the curvature of the elliptic lathework upon which they rest.

Two-cent — a full face of Andrew Jackson fills the entire tablet, which is as wide as the stamp, three-fourths of an inch, and only 1/16 less in its long diameter than the stamp, 15/16 of an inch, space being left at the top for
the words “U.S. postage” above the elliptical ground, which is cross-hatched. The word “Two” and the distorted capital “U” in black fill the left lower corner, and the word “Cents” and a distorted “S” the right. An Arabic “2” in white is placed in each upper corner inclined outward to the left and right, respectively, and resting upon small black
disks. Appropriate scroll decorations complete the upper part. The face of Jackson on this stamp is probably after the portrait by Dodge.

us postage stamps Series of 1861

Three-cent — a profile of Washington looking to the left rests upon an oblong tablet of lathework, which is scarcely separated from the rest of the stamp by a border of lighter work of the same character. The entire ground of the stamp, except touches at and near the outer corners, is of this machine design. The large Arabic figure “3” appears in the upper corners, and between them in two lines are “U.S.” and “Postage”, the latter word taking the curve of the head close below. At the bottom, also in two lines of white capitals, are the words “Three” and “Cents”, the ends of the lines tending upward. In the lower corners are the Gothic capitals “U” and “S”, of the same size as the figures; all four are white, except slight tracery near the middle of each.

Five-cent — a portrait of Jefferson rests upon a cross-hatched elliptical tablet 17/32 by 43/64 of an inch. This is surrounded by a border of lathework, principally in a tripleline design reaching the limits of the stamp and giving the general outline of a parallelogram, though the corners are rounded, and midway of each side it swells outward. A
large white Arabic figure “5” is placed in each of the upper corners, and resting on each end of the line “U.S. postage”, which rises in the middle to surmount the upper curve of the tablet. Similar white capitals form the words “Five cents” below the tablet, and the Gothic capitals “U” and “S”, slightly distorted, are placed in the lower corners.

DenominationSubjectPresentationColorArtistDate of issue
1-centFranklinProfile to rightBlueAug. 17, 1861
2-centJacksonFull faceBlackJuly 6, 1863
3-centWashingtonProfile to leftRoseHoudonAug. 17, 1861
5-centJefferson3/4 face to leftBuff and BrownStuart1861 (buff) and 1862
10-centWashington3/4 face to leftGreenStuartAug. 17, 1861
12-centWashington3/4 face to leftBlackStuartAug. 17, 1861
15-centLincoln3/4 face to rightBlackPhotographJune 17, 1866
24-centWashington3/4 face to rightLilacStuartAug. 17, 1861
30-centFranklinProfile to leftOrangeAug. 17, 1861
90-centWashington3/4 face to leftLight BlueTrimbullAug. 17, 1861
5-cent (n. & p.)WashingtonProfile to rightBlue1865
10-cent (n. & p.)FranklinProfile to rightGreen1865
25-cent (n. & p.)LincolnProfile to leftRed1865

Ten-cent — the head of Washington is upon a hatched ground whose cross lines are almost imperceptible, and is inclosed by four small white stars on each side, witli the words “U.S. postage” above and “Ten cents” below. There are five more stars at the top of the stamp. The number “10”, in Arabic figures, is placed in each upper corner, in an
appropriate inclosure of ornamental design, and the white capitals “U” and “S” are seen in the left and right lower corners, respectively.

5 and 10 cent postage stamps series of 1861

Twelve-cent — the face of Washington is placed upon a cross-hatched elliptical ground 1/2 by 5/8 inch, which is surrounded to the edge of the stamp by a very fine geometrical design with a serrated outer white line, edged with a black hairline and the trace of an ornament in the middle of each side, with a larger one at each corner, outside the lines mentioned. The number “12”, in Arabic figures, inclined as in the 2-cent stamp, is placed in each upper corner, with “U.S. postage” between, bordering the medallion line. Below, in the corners, are the white capitals “U” and “S”, with the words “Twelve cents” just below the medallion line and rising at each end above the “U” and “S.” The portrait is the same as that on the 10-cent stamp.

Fifteen-cent — the portrait of Lincoln appears upon a cross-hatched elliptical ground 9/16 by 3/4 of an inch. On each side of this are fasces, and above are the words “U.S. postage” in white capitals upon a tablet curled at each end and encircling the number “15”, in Arabic figures, in each upper corner; the figures lean outward to the right and left and backward. At the bottom are the words “Fifteen cents” in similar letters to those above and on a like ground, except that the latter terminates abruptly at the ends when reaching the fasces. The letters “U.S.” in the lower corners are in bold-faced white capitals, the letters leaning to correspond with the numerals in the upper corners.

Twenty-four-cent — the portrait is the smallest in the series and is enclosed by very fine lathework Vs of an inch wide, the general outline of which is irregularly hexagonal. On each outer side, above the middle line, are four small five-pointed stars, enlarged in size from the lowest one up. At the top are three more stars, the smallest one in the middle. To the right and left of these, in the corners, and within an elliptical space, are the white-faced and shaded Arabic numerals “24”, inclined slightly to the left and right. In each lower corner is a large fivepointed star, completing the 13; upon the left of these is the letter “U”, and upon the right “S”, tending inward at the top. Curledleafed ornaments above and at the side of these stars complete the principal features of the stamp. The portrait ground is cross lined vertically and horizontally.

Thirty-cent — the portrait is enclosed in a circle 21/32 of an inch in diameter. The background of this space is obliqueh cross lined at right angles. The inscriptions “I . S. Postage” above and “Thirty cents” below the circle follow it closely; the number “30” leans outward in the upper corners, and the white capital letters “U” and “S” in the lower left and right hand corners, respectively, incline inward. Around the sides are scroll-work ornamentations.

Ninety-cent — the portrait stands upon a background similar to that of the 5-, 12-, and 15-cent stamps. The border, about 3/32 of an inch wide, is crossed with rays. The outer line of this border rises at the top to a Gothic apex. The denomination numerals “90” appear at each side of the tablet, on its border, one-fourth of an inch from its highest point. Across the top of the stamp, upon an independent pennant tablet, whose ends fall about the border, are the words “U. S. Postage” in white, shaded capitals. The words “Ninety” and “Cents” are upon the left and right lower quarters of the border, which rests upon branches of oak and laurel tied with a small ribbon. The extreme lower corners are filled with the letters “U” and “S” in the left and right, respectively.

The 5-, 10-, and 25-cent newspaper and periodical stamps are alike in general style, 2 by 3 3/4 inches in dimension, the denominations being repeated in Arabic and Roman numerals, in the upper corners Arabic and midway of the sides Roman. The numbers “10” and “5”, five-eighths of an inch high, are white-faced, while those at the side are the color of the stamp. On the 25-cent stamp the side figures are also Arabic. The numerals in the upper corners of the 10- and 25-cent stamps are inclined outward; those on the 5-cent are perpendicular.

25 cent US postage stamp series of 1861

The letters “U” and “S” appear near the top in horizontal line, and, immediately beneath, the w r ord “Postage” in a line curved downward at each end. Next below this, in the middle of the stamp and surrounded by a border of lathework, are the several profile medallion portraits in a misty style of engraving. The Washington medallion is circular, 1% inches in diameter. The Franklin is an ellipse lVic by l”/io inches, while the Lincoln is a parallelogram with clipped corners % by 1% inches. Below the tablets are the words representing the denominations, and “Newspapers and Periodicals”, in three lines. After this, reference is made as follows: “Sec. 38, act of Congress approved March 3, 1863.” Below the border line proper — the heavy white line — at the bottom, in very small type, are the words “National Bank Note Company, New York.”

The section (38) of the law referred to is found on page 707 of the Sixteenth Statutes. “* * * 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 agents in charge thereof, and not received from nor designed for delivery at any post office.”

The stamps were intended, therefore, to be purchased by publishers, that they might mail their publications where payment in money could not be made and the postage could not be collected at destination. The issue of these stamps began in the September quarter of 1865, and was terminated about February 1, 1869.