A new design for the five cent stamp was adopted in 1882 following the assassination of President James A. Garfield. Prior to that, the plates for the one, three, six and ten cent stamp were deepened to allow for stronger impressions and easier wiping of the plates.38 The stamps from this group would have been included in all printings except the one in 1879, which preceded the release of these stamps.
The following information applies to this series:
|205P4||Five cents||Yellow Brown|
|207P4||Three cents||Blue Green|
On March 3, 1883, Congress approved a reduction in the letter rate, stipulating that it would now be two cents for the first half ounce with each half ounce thereafter being charged the same rate. In October, 1883, the USPOD directed that Washington’s portrait be used on the two cent stamp and instructed that Andrew Jackson be used on a new four cent stamp which would meet the double rate requirement. These Scott 210 and 211, respectively39 .
These stamps would have had card proofs prepared for the last four printings. Determination of printing is made by measurement of the card stock used.
|210P4||Two cents||Red Brown|
In 1887, a new design was issued for the one cent stamp. Additionally, the USPOD decreed new colors for the two cent, four cent, five cent, thirty cent and ninety cent stamps. 40
The one cent is extremely rare as a card proof and is the key to a collection. It is sometimes offered as a card proof but is in reality a hybrid, being an India proof mounted on card. 41
The following listing provides the basic information about this series:
|217P4||Thirty cents||Orange Brown|
In 1889, the USPOD put out for bid the new contract with more stringent requirements, specifying the colors to be used for each denomination and requesting large size stamps, as were currently being used, and a new smaller size, which ultimately would be adopted. After a failure by the original contract winner to meet requirements, a second request for bids was made and would ultimately be awarded the ABNC as their price was substantially under that of the only other bidder. At the end of the day, the USPOD decided to go with the smaller size stamps as that offered further savings. 42
The following information is germane to this issue:
|222P4||Four cents||Dark Brown|
|224P4||Six cents||Brown Red|
38 Luff, 109-110; Brookman, Vol. III, p. 17
39 Luff, p. 112; Brookman, Vol. III, pp. 5, 11
40 Luff, p. 114
41 Snee, p. 759