1 1/4¢ Albert Gallatin
Prominent Americans Series
Issue Date: January 30, 1967
City: Gallatin, MO
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Color: Light green
Prominent Americans Series
The Prominent Americans Series recognizes people who played important roles in U.S. history. Officials originally planned to honor 18 individuals, but later added seven others. The Prominent Americans Series began with the 4¢ Lincoln stamp, which was issued on November 10, 1965. During the course of the series, the 6¢ Eisenhower stamp was reissued with an 8¢ denomination and the 5¢ Washington was redrawn.
A number of technological changes developed during the course of producing the series, resulting in a number of varieties due to gum, luminescence, precancels and perforations plus sheet, coil and booklet formats. Additionally, seven rate changes occurred while the Prominent Americans Series was current, giving collectors who specialize in first and last day of issue covers an abundance of collecting opportunities.
The 1 ¼¢ denomination pictures Albert Gallatin. Gallatin (1761-1849) was born in Geneva, Switzerland. His aristocratic family included physicians, statesmen, and soldiers – one of his relatives commanded a battalion at the battle of Yorktown. At the age of 19, Gallatin emigrated to the United States. Under the terms of the Articles of Confederation, he became a citizen after nine years of residency.
Gallatin taught French at Harvard University, but was drawn to public service. In 1790, he was elected to the Pennsylvania legislature. Gallatin was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1793. However, he was forced from office when opponents claimed he had not been a citizen long enough. In 1794, Gallatin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He held that office until 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson appointed him Secretary of the Treasury.
Gallatin was very effective as Secretary of the Treasury. He played a key role in the financial details of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. In this transaction with France, the U.S. gained 827,987 square miles of land. Eventually, all or parts of 15 states were created from this land, including eastern Montana. Gallatin made the Louisiana Purchase possible without raising taxes. He was also key in resolving the constitutional issues that made this unprecedented purchase quite complicated.
A remarkable statesman, Gallatin even helped to plan the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which explored the lands of the Louisiana Purchase and America’s northwest. The Lewis and Clark Expedition named the Gallatin River in Montana in his honor. Gallatin County, Montana, took its name from this river, and subsequently from this influential, yet little-known statesman.