Home     ·     Literature

All of 1847us
Series of 1861 · Designs of the U.S. Regular Issues of 1861 - 1869
 Sheets of 200 cut into two panes of 100 stamps

   1¢ Franklin of 1861-1868               Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Joseph I. Pease · Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand · Lettering: D. M. Cooper
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1861 63-E11e n/a

    1¢ Indigo Essay - The 1¢ "August" or "Premiere Gravure" Essay (see below)

Essay Stamp
1861 63 8/17/1861 138,000,000 12 National pale to bright blue none 19½ x 25 mm
The 1¢ stamp of 1861 was issued to meet the need for drop letters, newspapers, circulars and the like, and to pay the carrier's fee
--- 63a --- --- 12 National ultramarine none 19½ x 25 mm
--- 63b --- --- 12 National dark blue none 19½ x 25 mm
--- 63c --- --- 12 National laid paper none 19½ x 25 mm
--- 63d --- --- 12 National vertical pair imperf. horiz. none 19½ x 25 mm
--- 63e --- --- 12 National printed on both sides, reverse inverted none 19½ x 25 mm
1868 85A n/a ~1000 ( 2 known) 12 National blue   Z 19½ x 25 mm
1868 86 3/9/1868 ~3,000,000 12 National double grill; split grill; very thin paper E 19½ x 25 mm
--- 86a --- --- 12 National dull blue E 19½ x 25 mm
1868 92 8/11/1868 ~7,000,000 12 National double transfer; split grill; thin paper F 19½ x 25 mm
--- 92a --- --- 12 National pale blue F 19½ x 25 mm
1875 102 7/25/1881  3195   12 National heavy ultramarine (Brookman) none 19½ x 25 mm Special Printing
   2¢ Jackson of 1863-1868                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Joseph Prosper Ourdan · Frame: Wm. D. Nichols · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols   
  Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size (mm) Usage/Rates
1863 73 7/1/1863
off cover
 256,566,000 12 National gray black to intense black
double transfers; cracked plate
Cat. # 73 2¢ listed bisects
none 20½ x 24½
In 1863 the 1¢ carrier fee was abolished. This stamp paid the 2¢ per 1/2 oz. for local or drop letters and a new third-class rate for newspapers, periodicals and a wide variety of other mail matter, at a rate of 2¢ per four ounces or fraction thereof.
--- 73f --- --- 12 National printed on both sides none 20½ x 24½
--- 73g --- --- 12 National laid paper none 20½ x 24½
1868 84 2/15/1868  <200,000 12 National black; double transfer; split grill D 20½ x 24½
1868 85B 1/17/1868  500,000 12 National black; double transfer; double grill Z 20½ x 24½
1868 87 3/7/1868  ~25,000,000 12 National gray black to intense black
double grill; grill with points up
double transfer; Cat. # 87 2¢ listed bisects
E 20½ x 24½
1868 93 3/27/1868  ~50,000,000 12 National gray black to black
double grill; thin paper; double transfer
Cat. # 93 2¢ listed bisects
F 20½ x 24½
1875 103 n/a 979  12 National jet black (Brookman) none 20½ x 24½ Special Printing
  3¢ Washington of 1861-1868                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Joseph I. Pease · Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols   
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued  Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1861 65-E15h n/a 3¢ Brown Rose Essay - The 3¢ "August" or "Premiere Gravure" Essay Essay stamp
1861 64 8/17/1861 ~ 100,000 12 National pink none 20 x 25 mm Three cents was the domestic First-Class letter rate. This stamp was the workhorse
stamp of the Series of 1861.
1861 64a 8/21/1861 --- 12 National pigeon blood pink none 20 x 25 mm
1861 64b 8/17/1861 --- 12 National rose pink none 20 x 25 mm
1861 65 8/19/1861 ~1.8 billion 12 National rose - double transfer; cracked plate none 20 x 25 mm
--- 65b --- --- 12 National laid paper none 20 x 25 mm
--- 65d --- --- 12 National vertical pair imperforate horizontal none 20 x 25 mm
--- 65e --- --- 12 National printed on both sides, reverse inverted none 20 x 25 mm
--- 65f --- --- 12 National double impression none 20 x 25 mm
1867 79 8/13/1867 ~50,000 12 National rose A 20 x 25 mm
--- 79b --- --- 12 National printed on both sides A 20 x 25 mm
1869 82 2/1?/1869 ~1000 (4 known) 12 National rose B 20 x 25 mm
1867 83 11/16/1867 ~300,000 12 National rose - double grill C 20 x 25 mm
1868 85 2/1/1868 500,000 12 National rose - double grill; split grill D 20 x 25 mm
1868 85C 2/12/1868 ~100,000 12 National rose - double grill Z 20 x 25 mm
1868 88 2/12/1868 ~80,000,000 12 National pale rose to rose red
double grill; thin paper
E 20 x 25 mm
1868 88a --- --- 12 National lake red E 20 x 25 mm
--- 88b --- --- 12 National two bisects on one cover E 20 x 25 mm
1868 94 3/21/1868 ~225,000,000 12 National Cat. # 94: Red - Cat. # 94a: Rose
double transfers; very thin paper
multiple/split grill varieties
F 20 x 25 mm
1868 94a --- 12 National F 20 x 25 mm
--- 94c --- --- 12 National vertical pair imperforate horizontal F 20 x 25 mm
--- 94d --- --- 12 National printed on both sides F 20 x 25 mm
--- 66TC n/a --- 12 National lake - trial color none 20 x 25 mm not regularly issued
--- 74TC n/a --- 12 National scarlet - trial color none 20 x 25 mm not regularly issued
1875 104 July 1883 465  12 National brown red (unique to the reissue) none 20 x 25 mm Special Printing
  5¢ Jefferson of 1861-1868                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Wm. E. Marshall · Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols  
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1861 67-E9e n/a     5¢ Brown Essay - The 5¢ "August" or "Premiere Gravure" Essay (see below) Essay Stamp
1861 67 8/19/1861 175,000 12 National buff none 20½ x 25¼mm The 5¢ stamp was most often used in multiples or in combination with other stamps on mail to foreign destinations. Solo usages exist to many foreign destinations, often to India, but also to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Bahamas, Holland, and Spain. There was no domestic 5¢ rate.
1862 67a 8/21/1861 --- 12 National brown yellow none 20½ x 25¼mm
1862 67b --- --- 12 National olive yellow none 20½ x 25¼mm
1862 75 1/2/1862 1,000,000 12 National red to dark red brown; double transfer none 20½ x 25¼mm
1863 76 2/3/1863 6,500,000 12 National pale to dark brown - double transfer none 20½ x 25¼mm
1863 76a --- --- 12 National black brown none 20½ x 25¼mm
--- 76b --- --- 12 National laid paper none 20½ x 25¼mm
1867 80 --- ~2000
(6 known)
12 National brown A 20½ x 25¼mm
1867 80a --- 12 National dark brown A 20½ x 25¼mm
1868 95 8/19/1868 ~680,000 12 National brown; 95/95a is known with double transfer; double grill; thin paper F 20½ x 25¼mm
1868 95a --- 12 National black brown F 20½ x 25¼mm
1875 105 n/a 672 12 National light yellowish brown (Brookman) none 20½ x 25¼mm Special Printing
  10¢ Washington of 1861-1868                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Wm. E. Marshall · Frame: Wm. D. Nichols · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols  
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size (mm) Usage/Rates
1861 62B 9/17/1861 500,000 12 National dark green to dark yellow green none 20½ x 24¼ Essay stamp known legitimately used
1861 68 8/20/1861 27,300,000 12 National green to deep yellow green
double transfer
none 20½ x 24¼ The 10¢ stamp paid the rate to many foreign destinations and saw use on trans-continental mail.
1861 68a n/a --- 12 National dark green; blue green none 20½ x 24¼
--- 68b --- --- 12 National vertical pair imperforate horizontal none 20½ x 24¼
1868 85D --- ~2000 (5 known) 12 National green Z 20½ x 24¼
1868 89 2/21/1868 ~1,500,000 12 National green to dark green; blue green
double grill; double transfer; thin paper
E 20½ x 24¼
1868 96 5/28/1868 ~3,800,000 12 National yellow green; dark green
double transfer; various grills; thin paper
F 20½ x 24¼
1875 106 n/a 451 12 National blue green (Brookman) none 20½ x 24¼ Special Printing
  12¢ Washington of 1861-1868                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Wm. E. Marshall · Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols  
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size (mm) Usage/Rates
1861 69-E6e n/a

    12¢ Black Essay - The 12¢ "August" or "Premiere Gravure" Essay (see below)

Essay Stamp
1861 69 8/30/1861 7,314,000 12 National gray black to intense black
double transfer
none 19½ x 24½ Solo usage was primarily for mail bound to England (from Jan. 1868 to Jan. 1870) and territorial use to Hawaii. It paid four times the domestic rate and was commonly used in combination with other stamps to pay a higher rate.
1868 85E 2/12/1868 ~100,000 12 National intense black; double transfer Z 19½ x 24½
1868 90 3/3/1868 ~1,000,000 12 National gray black to black to intense black; double transfer; double grill E 19½ x 24½
1868 97 5/27/1868 ~2,600,000 12 National gray black to black
double transfer; various grills; thin paper
F 19½ x 24½
1875 107 n/a 389 12 National deep black (Brookman) none 19½ x 24½ Special Printing
  15¢ Lincoln of 1866-1868                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Joseph P. Ourdan · Frame: Wm. D. Nichols · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols   
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size (mm) Usage/Rates
1866 77 4/21/1866 2,139,000 12 National black to deep black
cracked plate; double transfer
none 19¼ x 23¾ The 15¢ stamp was used to pay the rate to France and Germany. After Jan. 1, 1869, the registry fee was 15¢, and this stamp was used in combination with the 3¢ stamp paying the regular postage and registration fee.
1868 85F --- ~1000 
(2 known)
12 National black  Z 19¼ x 23¾
1868 91 5/2/1868 ~500,000 12 National gray black to black
double grill; split grill
E 19¼ x 23¾
1868 98 5/4/1868 ~2,000,000 12 National gray black to black
double transfer; double grill; thin paper
F 19¼ x 23¾
1875 108 n/a 397 12 National deep black (Brookman) none 19¼ x 23¾ Special Printing
  24¢ Red Lilac Washington                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Wm. E. Marshall · Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols  
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1861 70eTC n/a

    24¢ Dark Violet - The 24¢ "August" or "Premiere Gravure" (see below)

Trial Color Stamp
1861 70 1/7/1862 ~400,000
for all
Cat. # 70
12 National red lilac none 19½ x 24 mm The treaty rate for mail bound to England from Feb. 1849 to Jan. 1868 was 24¢
1862 70a 2/5/1862 12 National brown lilac none 19½ x 24 mm
1862 70b 9/21/1861 12 National steel blue none 19½ x 24 mm
1862 70c 8/20/1861 12 National violet on thin paper none 19½ x 24 mm
1862 70d 9/10/1861 12 National pale gray violet none 19½ x 24 mm
  24¢ Lilac (Gray) Washington                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Wm. E. Marshall · Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols  
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1862 78 --- about 9,620,000
for all
Cat. # 78
12 National lilac to dark lilac none 19½ x 24 mm The treaty rate for mail bound to England from Feb. 1849 to Jan. 1868 was 24¢
1862 78a 10/23/1862 12 National grayish lilac none 19½ x 24 mm
--- 78b --- 12 National gray none 19½ x 24 mm
--- 78c 5/1/1863 12 National blackish violet none 19½ x 24 mm
--- 78d --- 12 National printed on both sides - reverse inverted none 19½ x 24 mm
1868 99 1/5/1869 ~200,000 12 National gray lilac to full gray; double grill F 19½ x 24 mm
1875 109 n/a 346 12 National deep violet none 19½ x 24 mm Special Printing
  30¢ Franklin of 1861-1867                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Joseph I. Pease · Frame: Wm. D. Nichols · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols  
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color/Varieties Grill Design Size Usage/Rates
1861 71eTC n/a

    30¢ Red Orange Essay - The 30¢ "August" or "Premiere Gravure" (see below)

Trial Color Stamp
1861 71 8/20/1861 3,300,000 12 National orange to deep orange none 20 x 24½ mm The 30¢ stamp was used to pay the double-letter rate to France and Germany.
--- 71a --- --- 12 National printed on both sides none 20 x 24½ mm
1867 81 n/a ~2000 
(8 known)
12 National orange  A 20 x 24½ mm
1868 100 11/10/1868 ~280,000 12 National orange to deep orange
multiple and split grill
varieties are known
F 20 x 24½ mm
1875 110 n/a 346 12 National brownish orange none 20 x 24½ mm Special Printing
  90¢ Washington 1861-1867                Designer: James Macdonough · Vignette: Joseph I. Pease · Frame: Wm. D. Nichols · Lettering: Wm. D. Nichols  
Year Cat. # EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color Grill Design Size (mm) Usage/Rates
1861 72-E7h n/a

    90¢ Dull Blue Essay - The 90¢ "August" or "Premiere Gravure" Essay (see below)

Essay Stamp
1861 72 11/27/1861 ~388,700 12 National blue none 19½ x 24¼ The 90¢ stamp on cover is very rare, with only about 62 covers known. The stamp was used to pay multiple rate foreign letters, with many to China surviving. Only one domestically used 1861 90¢ cover is known.
--- 72a --- 12 National pale blue none 19½ x 24¼
--- 72b --- 12 National dark blue none 19½ x 24¼
1868 101 5/8/1869 ~30,000 12 National blue to dark blue; 
double grill; split grill
F 19½ x 24¼
1875 111 11/30/1888 317 12 National intense dark blue (Brookman) none 19½ x 24¼ Special Printing


A Guide to the Grills

The Grills on the U.S. 1867-1868 Issues
Grill Size (mm) Cat. # numbers with this Grill No. of Points Points Up/Down
A all of stamp 79, 80, 81 --- Up/vertical ridges
B 18 x 15 82 22 x 18 Up/vertical ridges
C 13 x 16 83 16-17 x 18-21 Up/vertical ridges
D 12 x 14 84, 85 15 x 17-18 Down/vertical ridges
E 11 x 13 86,87,88,89,90,91 14 x 15-17 Down/vertical ridges
Z 11 x 14 85A, 85B, 85C, 85D, 85E, 85F 13-14 x 17-18 Down/horizontal ridges
F 9 x 13 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101 11-12 x 15-17 Down/vertical ridges

Quantity issued: Estimates are based on available information, primarily from Brookman, "The United States Postage Stamps of the 19th Century- Volume I", and "Linn's U.S. Stamp Facts 19th Century", published by Linn's Stamp News. These numbers are simply estimates based on the best information available and are subject to revision. Please report any updates or corrections via email. The design dimensions are from Luff unless otherwise noted.

Bisects on the 2¢ Jackson of the 1861 Series:

Cat. # 73a - Diagonal half used with another full 2¢ stamp to pay the 3¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 73b - Diagonal half used alone to pay the 1¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 73c - Horizontal half used with another full 2¢ stamp to pay the 3¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 73d - Vertical half used with another full 2¢ stamp to pay the 3¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 73e - Vertical half used alone to pay the 1¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 87a - Diagonal half used alone to pay the 1¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 87b - Vertical half used alone to pay the 1¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 93a - Vertical half used with another full 2¢ stamp to pay the 3¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 93b - Diagonal half used with another full 2¢ stamp to pay the 3¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 93c - Horizontal half used alone to pay the 1¢ rate (on cover)
Cat. # 93d - Diagonal half used alone to pay the 1¢ rate (on cover)


24¢ colors: Of all the issues of the 1861 Series, the 24¢ stamp may prove the most difficult to determine the exact Cat. # number since all stamps of the two major listings, Cat. # 70 and Cat. # 78, are variations of the lilac and violet color themes, with the possible exception of the "steel blue". Even that stamp is thought by some to be merely a color "changeling" of the violet stamp. According to Brookman, there was only one issue of the 24¢ 1861 stamp, with all of the printings made from a single plate, Plate 6. To be sure, the ink was modified over the years this stamp was produced, but the reasoning for a separate listing for Cat. # 70 and Cat. # 78 is somewhat muddled.

The stamps illustrated are 70P4, whose color is listed as red lilac, and 78P4, whose color is listed as lilac. These stamps are in the possession of the author and the illustrations are fairly accurate representations of the color of the actual stamps. Note that the 78P4 illustrated appears grayer than the actual stamp. The actual proof does have a fair amount of purplish (lilac) undertone.

Premieres Gravures: Although the Premieres Gravures, sometimes written as Premiere Gravures, are now considered essays they are included here for completeness. Note that on the 1¢, 3¢, 5¢, 10¢, 12¢ and 90¢ stamps there are small design differences. On the 24¢ and 30¢ stamps there is no design difference, the only way to distinguish these from the ordinary issued stamp is by color. Fortunately the red orange of the 30¢ and the black violet of the 24¢ are very distinctive, making these trial colors relatively easy to distinguish from the regularly issued stamps.

Special Printings:
The following information applies to all of the 1861 re-issues. The Special Printings were issued to showcase a complete set of the U.S. issues for the first World's Fair officially held in the U.S., at the Centennial International Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia and also to provide stamps for collectors and others to satisfy numerous requests. Reissued stamps were valid for postage. The 1861 reissues can be distinguished from the ordinary issue by their extremely white paper, absolutely white gum and very deep clear color (Brookman).

Bibliography and suggested additional reading:
The Postage Stamps of the 19th Century, Volume 2, by Lester Brookman (1966)
The 2011 Cat. # Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers, Cat. # Publishing Co. 2010
The United States 1¢ Franklin 1861-1867, by Don L. Evans (1997)
The Harry F. Allen Collection of Black Jacks - A Study of the Stamp and Its Use, by Maryette B. Lane (1969)
The PAID Markings on the 3¢ U.S. Stamp 1861, by George W. Linn (1955)
United States Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1847 to GPU-UPU, by Charles J. Starnes
History of Letter Post Communication between the United States and Europe, by George E. Hargest
The U.S. Issue of 1869 Preceded by Some Additional Notes on "The Premieres Gravures of 1861", by S. Ashbrook (1943-44)

Design dimensions:
The Postage Stamps of the United States, John Luff  (1902 and 1937)

Colors:
The Encyclopedia of the Colors of United States Postage Stamps - Volume 1: Issues of 1847-1868, by Roy H. White (1981)

Websites of interest to the 1861 collector:
The Collectors Club Philatelist at www.collectorsclub.org.
The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues at www.uspcs.org
Siegel Powersearch at Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, Inc.



1847 us.com © 2011 All rights reserved.