Arago: 1-cent Jefferson

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1-cent Jefferson

An image of the nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), is featured on the 1-cent stamp. Jefferson studied law at the College of William and Mary and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress. At age thirty-three Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. He succeeded Benjamin Franklin as minister to France in 1785 and served as secretary of state in President Washington’s cabinet.

Breaking with the Hamilton’s Federalists, Jefferson assumed leadership of the Republicans, who opposed strong central government. In 1796 he became vice president under President John Adams and in 1800 was elected president. Jefferson’s notable successes include reducing the national debt and fighting the Barbary Coast pirates, but he is most celebrated for the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 and writing the Declaration of Independence.

The 1-cent green stamp was issued January 12, 1968, at Jeffersonville, Indiana. The 1-cent sheet stamps were printed from plates of four hundred and sold in panes of one hundred stamps with gauge 11 x 10.5 perforations. In addition, the stamp was produced as a horizontal coil. The stamp was also produced in both horizontal and vertical booklet pane formats used in combination with the 6-cent Franklin Roosevelt, the 6-cent Eisenhower, and the 8-cent Eisenhower booklet panes. To produce booklets with even-dollar values, slogan labels were substituted for some of the stamps on Jefferson panes.

The stamp was designed by Robert Geissmann, inspired by an 1800 portrait by Rembrandt Peale which hangs in the White House. The stamp was engraved by Edward R. Felver (vignette) and Kenneth C. Wiram (lettering). No other American except Washington, Franklin, and Lincoln has appeared on more U.S. postage stamps than Thomas Jefferson.

The 1-cent Jefferson stamp was generally used in multiples or in combination with other stamps to meet domestic and foreign rate postage fees.


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