1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 9-, and 10-cent— Allegorical figure of Freedom, looking to the right, and modeled after Crawford’s statue upon the dome of the Capitol.
The left-hand rests on a shield and holds a wreath; the right grasps a sword. The head is adorned with a coronet of stars, surmounted by an eagle’s head. The vignette stands in an arched frame, and at the top and sides are panels containing inscriptions: At the top, “U.S. postage”; at the bottom, words of denomination, also represented by Arabic figures in the upper corners; on the left side, reading upward, the word “Newspapers”, and on the right, reading downward, the word “Periodicals.” The lower corners are filled by shields. The color of these stamps is black.
12-, 24-, 36; 48-, 60-, 72-, 84-, and 96-cent.— Vignette of Astraa, or Justice, in niche 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 outstretched wings. Figures representing values on shields in upper corners; values also in sunken letters below, richly ornamented. Inscriptions on sides and at the top in shaded capitals on lined ground. Color, pink.
One-dollar-and-ninety-two-cent. — Vignette of Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture, in the curved niche. She holds in her left hand an ear of corn; her right, holding a wreath, rests against the hip. The figure faces to the front and is clad in full, flowing robes. “U.S. postage” at the top; other inscriptions in italic letters on obelisks at either side, resting on lower slab containing the value in white capitals. Value also in figures in upper corners. Color, deep brown.
Three-dollar. — Goddess of Victory, in the curved niche, full-robed, girded, with the sword to the left, and mantle threw over shoulders. The right hand is stretched forward, holding a wreath: the left rests on a shield. Figures of value in upper corners; a value below in letters on either side of a large figure “3.” Inscriptions in solid labels on either side and on the lined ground above. Color, Vermilion.
Six-dollar. — Clio, the Muse of History, in the curved niche, full robed, the toga thrown over the left shoulder. In her right hand she holds a stylus; in the left a tablet. Figures of value in upper corners, surrounded by curved ornaments. Inscriptions in white shaded letters on the side, and above in dark letters on lined ground. Color, light blue.
Nine-dollar. — Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom, full robed, in the curved niche. The left hand is placed across her breast, holding a portion of her toga: the right is grasping a spear. Figures of value in upper corners.
Inscriptions on sides in shaded italics, and above in small letters on lined ground. Value also in letters below on scroll. Beneath is a large “9” in curved ornaments. Color, orange.
Twelve-dollar. — Vesta, the Goddess of the Fireside, full robed, in the curved niche. The left-hand lift her drapery; the right holds a burning lamp. Figures of value in upper corners on tablets; value also in letters on the beaded frame beneath. Inscriptions in solid italic letters on sides and in small white letters above. Color, rich green.
Twenty-four-dollar. — Goddess of Peace, in curved niche — a partly robed figure, leaning against a broken column. She holds in her left hand an olive branch, while the right grasps three arrows. The value is in words beneath on a solid tablet; also in figures in ornamented curves in upper corners. Inscriptions in white shaded letters above and on sides, between which letters and each upper corner is a large six-pointed star. Color, purplish slate.
Thirty-six-dollar. — The figure representing Commerce, in full garments, in a curved niche. She holds in her left hand the caduceus, the winged rod of Mercury: in her right, a miniature ship. Figures of value in upper corners and in ornamented capitals below. Inscriptions, also in ornamented capitals, on sides and above. Color, dull red.
Forty-eight-dollar. — Hebe, the Goddess of Youth, partly draped, in the curved niche. The right-hand holds a cup, which she is offering to the eagle, around whose neck is thrown her left arm. Figures of value on shields in upper corners, the word “Postage” between value also in letters below in curved ornaments. The letters “U” and “S” in circles between lower corners and side inscriptions, the latter being in curved labels. Color, light brown.
Sixty-dollar. — 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. Figures of value on shields in upper corners; value also in white letters on solid tablet below. Inscriptions in white on shaded labels on sides; at the top, “U. S. postage” in white and purple. Color, rich purple.
The dimensions of all the above-described stamps are 16/16 by 1 and 3/8 inches.
These stamps were prepared by the Continental Bank Note Co. (then existing in New York, N.Y.) from designs selected in October 1874. The act approved June 24, 1874 (sec. 6, p. 233, 18th Stats.), had prescribed the weighing in bulk of newspapers and periodicals presented by publishers and newsagents for mailing and the payment of postage in advance by an “adhesive stamp” to be devised by the Postmaster General, the stamp to be affixed to the matter, “to the a 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.” He decided to attach the stamp to a memorandum. The law went into effect on January 1, 1875.
Another section, 5, page 232 of the Eighteenth Statutes, fixed the rate of postage at
2 cents a pound upon weekly or more frequent publication and at 3 cents a pound for those issued less frequently. To meet the postage requirements, stamps in the 2- and 3-cent denominations were provided. This was the advent of prepayment of postage upon the printed matter in this manner. The stamps were sent to postmasters on the 11th of December, 1874, and at that time there were 35,000 post offices at which newspapers were received and 3,400 only at which they were mailed and prepaid under this law.
Under the law of March 3, 1879, page 359 of the Twentieth Statutes, the 3-cents-a-pound rate was repealed, and with it, the 3- and 9-cent stamp issues were discontinued.
An act approved March 3, 1885 (p. 387 of the 23d Stats.), reduced the rate of postage on this second-class matter to 1 cent a pound when sent by publishers or newsagents, and this gave rise to the 1-cent denomination of
these stamps July 1, 1885, and the revival of the 3-cent denomination. The 9-cent was not, however, brought out again.
Published by Jr. Paperly