Regular Issue of 1898
Six Cent - James Garfield
#282P2a Small Die Proof (right) was a small die proof produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for display by the Post Office Department at the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915, in San Francisco, California.
This stamp is part of the first issue produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Prior stamps were produced by private firms under contract to the government.
James A. Garfield moved from an intensely religious youth to more secular and political concerns in the 1850s as a young adult. He was elected to the Ohio senate in 1859 and at the beginning of the Civil War helped to recruit the 42nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He fought at Shiloh and Chickamauga, rose to the rank of major general, and was named chief of staff of the Army of the Cumberland.
Garfield was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1862 and for 17 years was a member of the Ways and Means Committee. The Ohio legislature elected Garfield to the U.S. Senate in 1880, succeeding John Sherman. Garfield was Sherman's campaign manager for the Republican presidential nomination.
In the general election, Garfield won in the electoral college by 214-155, although he only had a 7,500-vote lead in the popular vote. On July 2, 1881, trip from the Washington, D.C. Charles J. Guitaeu, a disappointed office-seeker, shot the president, who lived for 11 weeks in increasing pain and failing strength. He had only been in office for a few months.
In January, 1898, the color of the 1-cent stamp was changed to green and in March, 1898, that of the 5-cents to dark blue in order to conform to the colors assigned these values by the Universal Postal Union. These changes necessitated changing the colors of the 10c and 15c denominations in order to avoid confusion.
The unwatermarked first printings were produced in a dull brown. The second printings followed on watermarked paper in a similar dull color. The U.P.U. printings upgraded this color to quite pretty shades of lake and claret in December 1898.
During the second printing an unknown quantity of stamps were printed on paper watermarked “USIR” (U.S. Internal Revenue) instead of “USPS.” Only about half of these stamps could ever be identified because of the “I” or “R” watermark, the “U” and “S” being identical. This error is extremely rare in used condition but it's deffinately something to keep an eye out for!
Scott's: 256, 271, 271a, 282, Guam 6, Phil. 221
- Other Stamps of 1898 -
# 285-293 Trans-Mississippi Exposition Series of 1898
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