#189 – 1879 15c Webster, red orange

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U.S. #189
1879 15¢ Webster
American Bank Note Printing

Earliest Known Use: January 20, 1879
Quantity issued:
 14,405,240 (estimate)
Printed by: American Bank Note Company
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: None
Perforation: 12
Color: Red orange
 
Continental Bank Note Co. was awarded a second contract that covered the period of 1877-1881. On February 4, 1879, the American Bank Note Company took over Continental, and the contract was assumed by American. Since American acquired all the old plates used by National when the two companies consolidated, the American Bank Note stamps all bear the same secret marks. Those plates that did not previously have secret marks were not altered in any way.
 
One can, however, differentiate between the stamps printed by Continental and American by determining which type of paper was used. Both National and Continental used hard paper, which is fairly white, has a smooth surface, and is uniform in thickness. In addition, the stamp is fairly translucent when held up to a window or a bright light. Hard paper is sometimes better referred to as being a grayish or bluish white.
 
American, on the other hand, used soft paper, which is characterized by being thicker and having a coarser and uneven texture. When compared to hard paper, it is yellowish in appearance and is not as translucent.
 

Webster’s “Seventh of March” Speech

1879 Webster stamp
US #189 – 1879 American Bank Note Printing

On March 7, 1850, Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster delivered one of his most famous speeches, the “Seventh of March” speech.  It expressed his support for the Compromise of 1850 that would help avert a Civil War but proved disastrous for his Senate career.

As talks of secession began to rise, particularly in South Carolina, President Zachary Taylor responded strongly.  He said he would personally lead the Army against anyone rising in rebellion – “he would hang…with less reluctance than he had hanged deserters and spies in Mexico.”  This shocked politicians on both sides, and Henry Clay of Kentucky forged an agreement that came to be called the “Compromise of 1850.”

US #274 – The original Compromise of 1850 was drafted by Henry Clay.

The proposed compromise was as controversial as the slavery debate itself.  The bill proposed the organization of Utah and New Mexico, leaving the decision on whether to be a slave or free territories to the citizens of those regions.  The bill would also make California a free state and prohibit slave auctions in the District of Columbia.

Additionally, the bill would introduce a new fugitive slave law.  This ordered runaway slaves found anywhere in the United States be returned to their owners if a board of commissioners declared them fugitives.  The bill would allow authorities to arrest Blacks and return them to slave territory, whether they were slaves or not.  President Zachary Taylor refused to take a side on the issue, while Vice President Fillmore urged him to pass the bill.

1890 Webster stamp
US #226 – 1890 American Bank Note Printing

Debate over the compromise raged.  On March 7, 1850, Webster addressed the Senate in a three-and-a-half-hour speech in support of the compromise.  He hoped his words might unite his fellow Senators.  He argued that it was pointless to fight about continuing slavery where it was already instituted.  He also said they shouldn’t need to discuss extending slavery to the dry lands in the southwest, where plantations wouldn’t survive.

1898 Webster stamp
US #283 – 1898 Type I Webster in the Universal Postal Union Colors

Webster’s speech was quickly sent to newspapers around the country via telegraph.  Across most of the nation his speech was well-received.  But back home in New England he was widely criticized and accused of cutting a deal with Southern leaders to support the bill in exchange for their support in his presidential campaign.  Webster had lost the support of his state and resigned from the Senate that July.  This was shortly after President Taylor had died.

1903 Webster stamp
US #307 – from the Series of 1902-03

Fillmore quickly assumed the presidency and accepted the resignations of Taylor’s entire Cabinet.  Fillmore immediately replaced them with men he expected to support the compromise and focused all his energy into getting it passed.  He made Webster his secretary of State.  However, the task would not be easy, as Clay introduced a modified version of the bill and the pro- and anti-slavery forces in Congress battled over every line.  Worn down by the constant fighting, Clay left the capital and Stephen Douglas came in as his replacement.

1932 Webster stamp
US #725 was issued for Webster’s 150th birthday in 1932.

Douglas broke the Compromise down into five smaller bills, getting each passed one by one.  As a result, Texas received $10 million for settling its border dispute with New Mexico, California was admitted as a free state, New Mexico and Utah became territories, slave trading was made illegal in Washington, DC, and the Fugitive Slave Law passed with little quarrel in the Senate or House. Fillmore saw the passage of all five bills as a great triumph in inter-party cooperation, keeping America united.  Although the agreement delayed the Civil War for a decade, it highlighted a deep divide.

Read Webster’s speech.

 

 

   

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U.S. #189
1879 15¢ Webster
American Bank Note Printing

Earliest Known Use: January 20, 1879
Quantity issued:
 14,405,240 (estimate)
Printed by: American Bank Note Company
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: None
Perforation: 12
Color: Red orange
 
Continental Bank Note Co. was awarded a second contract that covered the period of 1877-1881. On February 4, 1879, the American Bank Note Company took over Continental, and the contract was assumed by American. Since American acquired all the old plates used by National when the two companies consolidated, the American Bank Note stamps all bear the same secret marks. Those plates that did not previously have secret marks were not altered in any way.
 
One can, however, differentiate between the stamps printed by Continental and American by determining which type of paper was used. Both National and Continental used hard paper, which is fairly white, has a smooth surface, and is uniform in thickness. In addition, the stamp is fairly translucent when held up to a window or a bright light. Hard paper is sometimes better referred to as being a grayish or bluish white.
 
American, on the other hand, used soft paper, which is characterized by being thicker and having a coarser and uneven texture. When compared to hard paper, it is yellowish in appearance and is not as translucent.
 

Webster’s “Seventh of March” Speech

1879 Webster stamp
US #189 – 1879 American Bank Note Printing

On March 7, 1850, Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster delivered one of his most famous speeches, the “Seventh of March” speech.  It expressed his support for the Compromise of 1850 that would help avert a Civil War but proved disastrous for his Senate career.

As talks of secession began to rise, particularly in South Carolina, President Zachary Taylor responded strongly.  He said he would personally lead the Army against anyone rising in rebellion – “he would hang…with less reluctance than he had hanged deserters and spies in Mexico.”  This shocked politicians on both sides, and Henry Clay of Kentucky forged an agreement that came to be called the “Compromise of 1850.”

US #274 – The original Compromise of 1850 was drafted by Henry Clay.

The proposed compromise was as controversial as the slavery debate itself.  The bill proposed the organization of Utah and New Mexico, leaving the decision on whether to be a slave or free territories to the citizens of those regions.  The bill would also make California a free state and prohibit slave auctions in the District of Columbia.

Additionally, the bill would introduce a new fugitive slave law.  This ordered runaway slaves found anywhere in the United States be returned to their owners if a board of commissioners declared them fugitives.  The bill would allow authorities to arrest Blacks and return them to slave territory, whether they were slaves or not.  President Zachary Taylor refused to take a side on the issue, while Vice President Fillmore urged him to pass the bill.

1890 Webster stamp
US #226 – 1890 American Bank Note Printing

Debate over the compromise raged.  On March 7, 1850, Webster addressed the Senate in a three-and-a-half-hour speech in support of the compromise.  He hoped his words might unite his fellow Senators.  He argued that it was pointless to fight about continuing slavery where it was already instituted.  He also said they shouldn’t need to discuss extending slavery to the dry lands in the southwest, where plantations wouldn’t survive.

1898 Webster stamp
US #283 – 1898 Type I Webster in the Universal Postal Union Colors

Webster’s speech was quickly sent to newspapers around the country via telegraph.  Across most of the nation his speech was well-received.  But back home in New England he was widely criticized and accused of cutting a deal with Southern leaders to support the bill in exchange for their support in his presidential campaign.  Webster had lost the support of his state and resigned from the Senate that July.  This was shortly after President Taylor had died.

1903 Webster stamp
US #307 – from the Series of 1902-03

Fillmore quickly assumed the presidency and accepted the resignations of Taylor’s entire Cabinet.  Fillmore immediately replaced them with men he expected to support the compromise and focused all his energy into getting it passed.  He made Webster his secretary of State.  However, the task would not be easy, as Clay introduced a modified version of the bill and the pro- and anti-slavery forces in Congress battled over every line.  Worn down by the constant fighting, Clay left the capital and Stephen Douglas came in as his replacement.

1932 Webster stamp
US #725 was issued for Webster’s 150th birthday in 1932.

Douglas broke the Compromise down into five smaller bills, getting each passed one by one.  As a result, Texas received $10 million for settling its border dispute with New Mexico, California was admitted as a free state, New Mexico and Utah became territories, slave trading was made illegal in Washington, DC, and the Fugitive Slave Law passed with little quarrel in the Senate or House. Fillmore saw the passage of all five bills as a great triumph in inter-party cooperation, keeping America united.  Although the agreement delayed the Civil War for a decade, it highlighted a deep divide.

Read Webster’s speech.