The Louisiana Purchase Expedition Issue marked the first appearance of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States (1817-1825), on a US postage stamp. At Jefferson's direction, Monroe helped negotiate the purchase from Napoleon, a mission for which he has received very little recognition. His portrait in this set of stamps helped honor his significant contribution to the nation's expansion.
Patrons used the 3-cent stamp with other denominations to fulfill large weight and destination rates. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced a total of these 4,542,600 stamps.