1870-71 2¢ Jackson
National Bank Note Printing
I or H Grill
Issued: April 1870
Quantity issued: 40,000,000 (estimate)
Printed by: National Bank Note Company
Method: Flat plate
Color: Red brown
John Q. Adams Elected In “Corrupt Bargain”
On February 9, 1825, John Quincy Adams was elected President even though he didn’t receive the majority of the electoral vote.
In the years leading up to the election of 1824, the Democratic-Republican Party had won the presidency in six consecutive presidential elections, a period sometimes referred to as the “Era of Good Feelings.” President James Monroe followed the tradition of those before him and chose not to seek a third term. His Vice-President, Daniel D. Tompkins, was unpopular and in poor health, leaving the party’s nomination wide open.
Tensions were high between Monroe’s top advisors, three of whom were running to replace him as President. They were Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, and Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford. Other candidates included Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, and Tennessee Senator and war hero Andrew Jackson. Eventually Calhoun dropped his bid for the presidency, but decided for run for Vice-President, which he won.
Each of the men running for President had strong support in certain sections of the country: Adams in the Northeast, Jackson in the South, West, and mid-Atlantic, Clay in parts of the West, and Crawford in parts of the East. With so many candidates receiving significant support, none received a majority of the votes.
In the election, which was held between October 26 – December 2, 1824, Jackson received 99 electoral votes, Adams 84, Crawford 41, and Clay 37. Although Jackson had the most votes, he did not have a clear majority, so the decision was left to the House of Representatives.
According to the 12th Amendment, the choice was among the top three candidates who had received the most votes (Jackson, Adams, and Crawford). Speaker of the House Henry Clay did not like Jackson, and exclaimed, “I cannot believe that killing 2,500 Englishmen at New Orleans qualifies for the various, difficult, and complicated duties of the Chief Magistracy.” Ideologically, Clay was more aligned with Adams, so he cast his vote for him. Adams went on to win in the House on the first ballot with thirteen votes, while Jackson received seven and Crawford four.
Jackson was shocked. He’d won the most popular and elector votes and expected to ultimately win the election. Just before the results of the House election were released, a former member of Congress anonymously printed a statement in a Philadelphia newspaper accusing Clay of striking a deal with Adams – his vote for the office of secretary of state.
A formal investigation was never made, so it’s never been confirmed whether this was actually the case. However, Adams did offer Clay the position of secretary of state after he was elected. Jackson and his supporters accused the pair of striking a “corrupt bargain.” He maintained that position for the next four years, using it as part of his campaign for the presidency in 1828, which he won by a landslide.
As commander of the Tennessee troops, Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, in 1814. He became a military hero when he won the Battle of New Orleans.
Bank Notes 1870-1888
Due to the unpopularity of the 1869 Pictorial series, the Postmaster General found it necessary to issue new stamps. Among the public’s many complaints were that the stamps were too small, unattractive, and of inferior quality. Thus, the new issues were not only larger and better quality, but they also carried new designs. Heads, in profile, of famous deceased Americans were chosen as the new subject matter.
Nicknamed the “Bank Note” stamps, this series was printed by three prominent Bank Note printing companies – the National, Continental, and American Bank Note Companies, in that order. As the contract for printing passed from company to company, so did the dies and plates. Each company printed the stamps with slight variations, and identifying them can be both challenging and complex.
Because the pictorials were to be printed for four years, but were withdrawn from sale after a year, the National Bank Note Company still had three years remaining in their contract. The stamps they printed were produced with and without grills.
In 1873, new bids were submitted and a new contract was awarded to the continental Bank Note Company. So-called “secret marks” enabled them to distinguish their plates and stamps from earlier ones.
The American Bank Note Company acquired Continental in 1879 and assumed the contract Continental had held. This firm, however, printed the stamps on a soft paper, which has different qualities than the hard paper used by the previous companies.
Color variations, in addition to secret marks and different paper types, are helpful in determining the different varieties. These classic stamps are a truly fascinating area of philately.