Arago: 5-dollar Marshall

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5-dollar Marshall

John Marshall (1755–1835) appears on the 5-dollar denomination of the Second Bureau Issue. Marshall, an American statesman and jurist, was the fourth chief justice of the United States. He had previously served in a variety of political offices, including in the U.S. House of Representatives and as secretary of state in the Adams cabinet and very briefly in the Jefferson cabinet.

President John Adams appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court understanding that Marshall would perpetuate his federalist opinions long after he left the presidency. Marshall served for thirty-four years, the longest serving chief justice in Supreme Court history, playing a significant role in the development of the American political system. His decisions went a long way toward establishing the Supreme Court as the final authority on the meaning of the Constitution. They established the Supreme Court's right to exercise judicial review and to strike down laws that violated the Constitution. Marshall is credited with raising the judiciary to its full potential as an independent and powerful branch of government. He is also credited with shaping the balance of power between the federal government and the states.

The 5-dollar dark green stamp was issued June 5, 1903, as a sheet stamp printed from plates of two hundred and sold in panes of one hundred stamps with gauge 12 perforations. The stamp, designed by R. Ostrander Smith from a painting by William James Hubard, was engraved by George F. C. Smillie (portrait), Robert F. Ponickau and Marcus W. Baldwin (frame), and Lyman F. Ellis (lettering and numerals).

The 5-dollar Marshall stamp was frequently used to pay intra-Post Office Department funds transfers. The stamp also franked large foreign letter rate parcels. In 1917 the 5-dollar Marshall stamp was reprinted in light green with the then-used gauge 10 perforations. These stamps met a sudden demand for high value postage to mail machine parts to Russia by parcel post as well as valuable shipments of Liberty Bonds during World War I.


Additional Records
  • Overview
  • $5 John Marshall single
  • $5 John Marshall block of four
  • $5 John Marshall block of four
  • $5 John Marshall imprint and plate number strip of three
  • $5 John Marshall top plate block of six
  • $5 Marshall block of four
  • $5 Marshall block of six
  • $5 John Marshall Panama-Pacific small die proof
  • $5 John Marshall plate proof
  • $5 John Marshall small die proof
  • $5 Marshall specimen single
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