The 5-cent Garfield was the first stamp released in this Issue and the second U.S. postage stamp to honor an assassinated president within the year following his death. The 15-cent Lincoln of 1866 was the first instance. This Garfield stamp was released on April 10, 1882, a little less than seven months after Garfield’s death. His portrait appeared on a surprising number of stamps throughout the Classic and Bureau Periods despite his brief presidency (March 4–September 19, 1881). The stamp was printed in yellow brown for the 1882 Issue, and in indigo for the 1888 release.
The 5-cent Garfield stamp is one of the most distinctive regular issues that American Bank Note Company created during its time as the engraver and printer for United States postage stamps. It typically paid the U.P.U. international rate. Approximately 252,351,000 stamps of the 5-cent Garfield were printed by American Bank Note Company.