Francis Parkman (1823–1893), the subject of the Prominent Americans 3-cent stamp, established himself at the foremost historian of his time. A naturalist and an experienced European traveler, Parkman embarked on a hunting expedition to the American west in 1846. His experience living among the Sioux people initiated a lifetime of research and writing about the history of the North American continent. Parkman is best known for his seven-part epic "France and England in North America" and an earlier work titled "The Oregon Trail."
The violet 3-cent stamp was issued September 16, 1967, in Boston, Massachusetts. It was produced as a sheet stamp printed from plates of four hundred and sold in panes of one hundred stamps with gauge 10.5 x 11 perforations. It was also issued in vertical coil format on November 4, 1975, in Pendleton, Oregon. The stamp was designed by Bill Hyde based on a portrait in a biography of Parkman by H.D. Sedgwick. Edward R. Felver engraved the vignette, and Robert G. Culin engraved the lettering.
Since the stamp was extensively used for bulk mailings, three types of “Bureau” precancels were applied during the printing process on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing presses—“city and state” bars only, “national,” and “service inscribed.” This was Francis Parkman’s first appearance on a U.S. stamp.
The 3-cent Parkman stamp paid a variety of the third-class rates, including regular quantity-discount, carrier route presort, and special non-profit quantity-discount mail.