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1855
Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1855

10¢ Washington Type I - EDU: Nov. 11, 1855 - about 500,000 issued

10¢ Washington Type II - EDU: May 12, 1855 - about 2.3 million issued

10¢ Washington Type III - EDU: May 19, 1855 - about  2 million issued

10¢ Washington Type IV - EDU: July 10, 1855 - about  200,000 issued

President: Franklin Pierce · Postmaster General: James Campbell

From July 1, 1851 - March 31, 1855 the following rates applied:

Domestic Letter Rate under 3000 mi. per ½ oz.: Prepaid: Three cents  · Not Prepaid: Five cents
Domestic Letter Rate over 3000 mi. per ½ oz.: Prepaid: Six cents · Not Prepaid: Ten cents
Foreign Letter Rate under 2500 mi. per ½ oz.: Ten cents - except where otherwise adjusted by treaty
Foreign Letter Rate over 2500 mi. per ½ oz.: Twenty cents - except where otherwise adjusted by treaty
Drop Letter Rate: One Cent - prepayment not required - no weight restrictions
Rate for Newspapers and Circulars up to 3 oz.: One cent, with one cent for each additional oz.

From April 1, 1855 the following new rates applied:

Domestic Letter Rate under 3000 mi. per ½ oz.: Three cents - Prepayment compulsory, but stamp not necessary
Domestic Letter Rate over 3000 mi. per ½ oz.: Ten cents - Prepayment compulsory, stamp not necessary
Foreign Letter Rate under 2500 mi. per ½ oz.: Ten cents - except where otherwise adjusted by treaty
Foreign Letter Rate over 2500 mi. per ½ oz.: Twenty cents- except where otherwise adjusted by treaty
Drop Letter Rate: One cent - prepayment not required - no weight restrictions
Rate for Newspapers and Circulars up to 3 oz.: One cent, with one cent for each additional oz.
The Registry Service Began on July 1, 1855 - Registry Fee: 5¢ (no return receipt to sender)
Payment could be made in coin, no stamp was necessary.

see also: Designs of the 1851-1860 Regular Issues

Commemoratives: The first Commemorative stamps were not issued until 1893
Special Delivery: The first Special Delivery stamps were not issued until 1885
Postage Dues: The first Postage Due Stamps were not issued until 1879

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