Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1864

President: Abraham Lincoln.
Postmasters General: Jan 1 – Sep 23: Montgomery Blair · Sep 24 – Dec 31: William Dennison.
Admitted to the Union: Nevada on October 31, 1864.
Domestic Letter Rate: 3¢ per ½ oz. · Registry Fee: 20¢ – paid in cash, stamp not required.
Rate for Drop Letters per ½ oz: Two Cents.
Rate for Newspapers and Circulars up to 4 oz.: Two Cents.

Important Events in U.S. Postal History – 1864:

The Act of May 17, 1864 authorized Post Offices to Issue Money Orders in amounts of up to $30. This service was implemented over time, only 141 Post Offices had provided the Money Order Business, “MOB”, by November of that year, according to Evans.

The first permanent mobile railway post office, or “RPO”, was established with the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.

The mail was first categorized in three separate classes: “letter postage”, “newspapers and magazines” and “miscellaneous mail” which covered just about everything else. These were the predecessors of what we call today, First Class Mail, Second Class Mail, etc.

See also: Designs of the 1861-1868 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.