Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), the nation’s sixteenth president, is honored on the 4-cent stamp. Though he received the barest of formal education, Lincoln’s speeches and writings are today considered masterpieces. His steadfastness and determination in the face of national disastor won him respect worldwide. No other American except George Washington and Benjamin Franklin has appeared more often on U.S. postage stamps than Abraham Lincoln.
The 4-cent black stamp featuring Lincoln’s profile with the 'log cabin' background was the first Prominent Americans stamp. It was issued on November 17, 1965, in New York City.
The stamp was produced as a sheet stamp printed from plates of four hundred and sold in panes of one hundred stamps with gauge 11 x 10.5 perforations. The stamp was also printed in horizontal coil format and issued on May 28, 1966. Bill Hyde designed the stamp based on a Mathew Brady photograph. The background was based on a photograph of the Cooperage at the Onstott residence, New Salem, Illinois. Joseph S. Creamer, Jr., engraved the vignette, and George A. Payne engraved the lettering.
The 4-cent stamp paid the postcard rate in effect until January 1, 1968. It also paid the single piece per two-ounce third-class rate and in multiples or with other stamps to cover existing rates.