In 1837 a totally new design was created for the official seal of the United States Post Office Department (USPOD). It incorporated the now-familiar icon of the post rider and his mailbags on a speeding horse, an image which may have originated on a printed circular that Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin sent to post offices around the country.
The new Department seal inspired the design for the 1869 2-cent stamp. It was the first U.S. stamp to bear an image other than a prominent American. Christian Rost, who had joined the National Bank Note Company in 1868, engraved the post rider vignette. In 1869 a single 2-cent stamp on a cover would have been used for drop letters where no carrier delivery was available and for unsealed circulars. The National Bank Note Company printed a total of 57,387,500 of the 2-cent stamps.