Hiram Powers was contracted in 1859 to create two life-size marble statues to be placed in the United States Capitol. The first was of Benjamin Franklin. It was installed at the base of the east staircase in the Senate wing. The second, installed in 1863, was of Thomas Jefferson. It was placed at the foot of the east staircase in the House wing. Just as with his sculpture of Andrew Jackson, completed thirty years earlier, Powers's neoclassical style shaped his life-size portrayal of Jefferson.
The 10-cent stamp of the 1870-1871 National Issue was the third stamp issued by the United States to depict Jefferson. The stamp was primarily used in combination with other denominations to fulfill expensive rates. The 10-cent Jefferson stamp, as with all the stamps of this issue, had two variations, one with a grill, the other without. National Bank Note Company printed approximately 11,000,000 10-cent stamps of both variations.