The Postal Service issued a 22-cent Massachusetts Statehood stamp in Boston on February 6, 1988, the anniversary of the state's ratification of the US Constitution.
The Bay State made far-reaching contributions to governing America. Elements of Massachusetts' own state constitution — its system of checks and balances, provision for a strong executive, and its bill of rights — were much-consulted models for the framing of the US Constitution and its first additions.
In addition, historians rate three delegates from Massachusetts — Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, and Rufus King — among the eleven top-rated Constitutional Convention "influentials."
The design came from a 1793 engraving of the state's first public building, the Old Statehouse. The building was the site of the Boston Massacre in March, 1770, when British soldiers fired into a mob and killed five persons, causing the removal of troops quartered in the city and fueling the campaign for independence. The Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston from the steps of the Old Statehouse.
Designed by Richard Sheaff, the stamps were engraved through the intaglio process by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and issued in panes of fifty.
Postal Bulletin (January 21, 1988)