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1857
Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1857

Presidents: 1/1-3/3: Franklin Pierce · 3/4-12/31: James Buchanan
Postmasters General: 1/1-3/5: James Campbell · 3/6-12/31: Aaron V. Brown
Domestic Letter Rate under 3000 mi. per ½ oz.: Three Cents - Prepayment compulsory, stamp required
Domestic Letter Rate over 3000 mi. per ½ oz.: Ten Cents - Prepayment compulsory, stamp required
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
Rate for Drop Letters: 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.
Carrier Fee (not available in all cities): One Cent
Registry Fee: Five Cents (no return receipt to sender) - paid in cash, no stamp required

The following postage stamp varieties were first issued by the U.S. in 1857:

1¢ Franklin Type Ia imperforate (from the bottom row of Plate 4) - EDU: April 19, 1857 - est. 110,000 issued
1¢ Franklin Type Ic imperforate (Plate 4) - EDU: 5/20/1857 (off-cover) 6/6/1857 (on cover) - ~60,000 issued
1¢ Blue Franklin Type II imperforate from Plate 4 - April 1857
1¢ Franklin Type Ia perforated 15½ (from Plate 4) - EDU: Sep. 9, 1857 - est.  300,000 issued
1¢ Franklin Type Ic perforated 15½ about 150,000 issued
1¢ Franklin Type II perforated 15½ (Plate 2 EDU: 7/26/57 and Plate 4 EDU: 7/26/57)
1¢ Franklin Type III perforated 15½ (Plate 2 Position 99R2 EDU: 10/27/57 and Plate 4 EDU: 9/18/57)
1¢ Franklin Type IIIa perforated 15½ (Plate 2 Position 100R2 EDU: ? and Plate 4 EDU: 7/26/57)
1¢ Franklin Type IV perforated 15½ (from Plate 1L: EDU: July 25, 1857)
1¢ Type V perf 15½ (Plate 5 EDU: Dec. 2; Plate 7 EDU: Dec. 31; Plate 8 EDU: Nov. 17) ~50 million issued
1¢ Franklin Type VA perforated 15½ (Plate 5) - est.  200,000 issued
3¢ Washington perforated 15½ Dull Red to Claret Type I - EDU (Plate 7): Feb. 28 - about 39 million issued
3¢ Washington perforated 15½ Dull Red to Plum Type II - EDU: Sep. 14 - about  550 million issued
3¢ Washington perforated 15½ Dull Red to Claret Type IIa - EDU: July 11 - about  33 million issued
5¢ Jefferson perforated 15½ Red Brown Type I - EDU: Aug. 23 - about 270,000 issued
5¢ Jefferson perforated 15½ Bright Red Brown Type I
10¢ Washington perforated 15½ Green Type I - EDU: Sep. 21- about 600,000 issued
10¢Washington perforated 15½ Green Type II - EDU: July 27 - about 2.9 million issued
10¢ Washington perforated 15½ Green Type III - EDU: 10/6/57 - about 2.4 million issued
10¢ Washington perforated 15½ Green Type IV - EDU: 10/5/57 - about240,000 issued
12¢ Washington perforated 15½ Black (Plate 1) - EDU: July 30 - about 3 million issued

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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