5¢ James Monroe
Issue Date: December 2, 1954
City: Fredericksburg, VA
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Deep blue
The image of James Monroe on U.S. #1038 is taken from a Rembrandt Peale painting that hangs in the James Monroe Law Office and museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
James Monroe – America’s 5th President
James Monroe fought in the Continental Army, receiving recognition for his exceptional service at the Battle of Trenton. Following his time in the military, he practiced law and then began an extensive political career that included the positions of Governor of Virginia, U.S. Secretary of War, U.S. Secretary of State, and President of the United States.
Monroe’s two terms as President are referred to as “The Era of Good Feelings.” His kind and honest demeanor made him popular with the voters, and his dedication to uniting and protecting America led to his nearly unanimous re-election. With an administration highlighted by the Missouri Compromise and the Monroe Doctrine, James Monroe led America into a new era of unity and freedom from foreign disturbances.
The Liberty Series
Issued to replace the 1938 Presidential series, this patriotic set of stamps honors guardians of freedom throughout U.S. history. Eighteenth century America is represented by Revolutionary War heroes and statesmen such as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Henry, Jay, and Revere.
Leaders of the 19th century including Monroe, Lincoln, Lee, Harrison, and Susan B. Anthony make an appearance. The 20th century is represented by Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and General Pershing.
The Liberty Series also features famous locations important to America’s democratic history, such as Bunker Hill, Independence Hall, and the Alamo.
“Wet” versus “Dry” Printing
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing began an experiment in 1954. In previous “wet” printings, the paper had a moisture content of 15 to 35 percent. In the experimental “dry” printings, the paper had a moisture content of 5 to 10 percent. This process required stiffer, thicker paper, special inks, and greater pressure to force the paper through the plates.
Stamps produced by dry printing can be distinguished by whiter paper and higher surface sheen. The stamps feel thicker and the designs are more pronounced than on wet printings. So the dry printing experiment was a success, and all U.S. postage stamps have been printed by this method since the late 1950s.