Arago: 4-cent Madison

4-cent Madison

James Madison (1751-1836), the nation's fourth president, appears on the red-violet 4-cent value of the 1938 Presidential Series. Madison is generally regarded as the 'Father of the Constitution' because he planned the system of 'checks and balances' so important to the success of the U.S. government.

Two varieties of the 4-cent Prexie were printed: a sheet stamp (issued July 1, 1938) and a vertically perforated (sidewise) coil (issued January 27, 1939).

Not widely used when first issued, the 4-cent Prexie fulfilled two times the two-cent-per-ounce rate for letters delivered locally, a rate effective July 1933 through March 1944. Over the years, however, changing postal rates required the use of 4-cent postage. A 4-cent stamp was required to pay the fee on domestic airmail postcards (in effect January 1949 through July 1958), and to pay for a domestic first-class letter (in effect August 1958 through January 8, 1963).

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