A portrait of John Adams (1735-1826) appears on the rose carmine 2-cent value of the 1938 Presidential Series. Daniel Chester French's marble bust of Adams, executed in 1889 and displayed in the U.S. Capitol's Senate Gallery, inspired the portrait. Adams, a Federalist, served two terms as vice president under George Washington and narrowly defeated his arch-rival Thomas Jefferson to become the second president of the United States. He and Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826. During his term, the capital of the U.S. was moved from Philadelphia to Washington.
This 2-cent stamp can be found in four formats: a sheet stamp (issued June 3, 1938), a vertical (endwise) coil (issued January 20, 1939), a horizontal (sidewise) coil (issued January 27, 1939), and in pane form (issued January 27, 1939). The most common solo usage of this Prexie stamp can be found on a domestic post card (January 1952-July 1958), a locally delivered letter (July 1933-March 1944) and on a third-class (unsealed) greeting card (January 1949-July 1958).