Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1855

10¢ Washington of 1855 Proof 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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