US series of 1851

These stamps are obsolete and worthless for postage. A reasonable time after hostilities began in 1861 was given for the exchange of stamps in the hands of the public and for the replacement of post office stocks. Their acceptance in the prepayment of postage was ordered discontinued in the several States and Territories, effective November 1 and
December 1, 1861, and January 1, 1862, depending on the distance from Washington.

One-cent — profile bust of Franklin looking to the right, the words “U. S. postage” following an outside-border line in the medallion at the top, and “One cent” at the bottom in white capitals and on curved panels; on the corners and partly surrounding the two panels are convolute scroll-work ornaments, nearly meeting in points on the sides. Color, indigo blue. These were the first stamps in perforated sheets, and they were so issued as early as the 24th of February, 1857.

united states postage stamps series of 1851

Three-cent — profile of Washington, after Houdon, facing left. Surrounding the ellipse is a tessellated frame, terminating in each of the four corners with a fine lathework rosette. At the top and bottom of the stamp are straight panels with a small part cut off at each end, the top bearing the words “U. S. postage” and the bottom “Three cents” in white capitals. In each of the four excised panel ends forming the extreme corners of the stamp is a small white diamond figure. A fine white line forms an outer rectangular border. Color, brick red.

Five-cent — portrait of Jefferson, after a painting by Stuart, three-quarters face, looking to the right and upon a ground slightly lighter than the general cast of the stamp. The lathework border nearly follows the rectangular outer lines of the stamp. It extends inward about 3/16 of an inch wide, curving inward at the middle of the four sides, at the top and bottom touching the medallion and at the sides passing under it, thus leaving small spaces of a different figure at the four points outside the ellipse. This border follows the curved lines at the corners. It has slight projections on the outer side, equidistant from the corners. The words “U. S. postage” are in the middle of
the border at the top, and “Five cents” at the bottom in white capitals follows the slightly curved line of the border. Color, brown.

Ten-cent — portrait of Washington, after the painting by Stuart, three-quarters face, looking to the left. Around the upper por tion of the medallion, on a solid ground, are 13 five-pointed stars, above which, in a white panel following the general line of the medallion, are the words, in small stencil capitals, “U. S. postage”, and at the bottom, in white capitals and following a double reverse curve, are the words “Ten cents.” In each of the upper corners is the Roman number “X” in the nearly circular spaces left by the foliate and scroll ornamentations which appear there as well as,
to a larger extent, in the trigonal spaces in the lower corners of the stamp. Color, dark green.

Denomination Subject Presentation Color Date of issue
1-cent Franklin Right Blue July 1, 1851
3-cent Washington Left Red July 1, 1851
5-cent Jefferson Right Brown Jan. 1, 1856
10-cent Washington Left Green May 10, 1855
12-cent Washington Left Black July 1, 1851
24-cent Washington Right Lilac June 14, 1860
30-cent Franklin Left Orange July 30, 1860
90-cent Washington Left Blue Sept. 5, 1860
1-cent cerrier`s stamp Franklin Left Blue Oct. 6, 1851
1-cent Eagle Left Blue Nov. 17, 1851

Twelve-cent — portrait of Washington, the same as on the 10-cent stamp. Above the medallion and conforming to its curve are the words “U. S. postage” in white shaded capitals, and below, similarly inscribed, are the words “Twelve cents.” The medallion lies upon a rectangular, straight-line engraved background, whose corners which ap-
pear outside the ellipse are ornamented by scroll-work rosettes, and between this background and the outer border of the stamp there is a finely tessellated space. Color, black.

Twenty-four-cent — portrait of Washington after the same original as the 10- and 12-cent. but reduced to about two-thirds the size and facing three-quarters to the right. Double lines inclose the medallion, with a space
sufficient between them to place at the top in white capitals the words “U. S. postage” and upon the lower half the words “Twentyfour cents.” These two inscriptions are separated on each side by rectangular ornaments
with a white border and a white spot in the middle. Outside of this is intricate lathework extending to the outer limit of the stamp, which has rounded corners and curved outer lines. Color, very dark lilac.

Thirty-cent — profile bust of Franklin looking to the left, slightly smaller, but evidently a reproduction, reversed, of that on the 1-cent stamp. At the top, following the elliptical lines of the medallion, is the word “postage” in white capitals, and immediately above, reaching nearly to the border of the stamp, the letters “U. S.”, and at the bottom “30” in Arabic numerals. On the left of the medallion is the word “Thirty” reading up, and on the right the word “Cents” reading down. In each corner is a shield with radiant lines extending from it into the corners, and bits
of scroll work on each of the sides of the shield, the point of the shield being directed inward toward the center of the stamp. The irregular outer border terminates at each corner in two white spear points. Color, orange.

Xinety-cent — portrait of Washington in general’s uniform, after the painting by Trumbull, three-quarters face. The tablet upon which this portrait appears is oblong, with an arched top. differing in this respect from any other stamp in the series. The ground is a deep, solid color and the picture occupies about one-half the opening. The words “U. S. postage”, in white capitals, on a tablet following the arched line, appear at the top, and at the bottom, on a straight panel with rounded ends, are the words “Ninety cents.” Outside the portrait inclosure, in the middle of each side, the frame appears to roll back, and there are some slight ornaments. Color, deep indigo blue.

One-cent carrier stamp — profile bust of Franklin, much like that on the 30-cent stamp, and looking to the left. At the top, on a straight line, in white capitals, is the word “Carriers”, terminating at each end with a five-pointed star in heavy parentheses, and at the bottom in a straight line of white capitals, the word “Stamp”, terminating also at each end with a white five-pointed star in heavy white parentheses. The corners of a straight rectangular figure, engraved in horizontal lines, appear from under the medallion and are marked by scroll-work rosettes. The remainder of the space inside the border lines of the stamp is in fine tessellated work. The value of the stamp is not stated, though t represented 1 cent. Color, indigo blue on rose-colored paper.

One-cent carrier`s stamp — picture of an eagle upon the branch of a tree, poised as for flight, looking to the left. The central portion of the ground is dark, shaded into white near the circumference. Within a dark border described by double lines there is a space left at the top for the words “U. S. P. 0. despatch” in white capitals, and at the bottom “Pre-paid. One cent”, the tablets on which these words appear not quite meeting on the left and right, leaving spaces
of lighter color. Leaves of oak appear in the left-hand corners and of laurel in the right, clinging to the inscription surrounding the medallion, but leaving in the extreme corners a white ground. The longest diameter of the ellipse is horizontal. Color, light indigo blue.