Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1859

President: James Buchanan.
Postmasters General: 1/1-3/13: Aaron V. Brown · 3/14-12/31: Joseph Holt.
Admitted to the Union: Oregon on February 14, 1859.
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: 5¢ (no return receipt to sender) – paid in cash, no stamp required.

The following postage stamp varieties were first issued by the U.S. in 1859:

1¢ Franklin Type V (Plate 9 – EDU: Aug. 2, 1859).
5¢ Brown (pale to deep) Type I Jefferson – EDU: March 21 – est. 510,000 issued.
10¢ Green Washington Type V – EDU: April 29 – over 10 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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