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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