Series of 1902-03 4¢ Grant
Issue Date: February 10, 1903
Quantity issued: 346,666,374 (estimate)
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: Double line
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is pictured on the 4¢ Series of 1902-03 stamp. Grant led the Union Army to victory during the Civil War. Grant’s victories in the south during the Mississippi campaign, and his defeat of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia led to the fall of the Confederacy in 1865.
Three years later, Grant was elected President, the youngest man in history to do so at the time. A hard working administrator with a strong foreign policy, Grant was able to separate himself from scandals that plagued his administration.
On older issues, General Grant was pictured on the five-cent stamp while President Lincoln was on the four-cent. However, in the new issues this was reversed, so that Lincoln would be on the more widely circulated stamp. The 4¢ Grant stamp didn’t pay any specific rate. It was primarily used in multiples to pay the 8¢ Registry Fee or 12¢ for a domestic first-class letter with Special Delivery.
In a single print run, 10,000 imperforate 4¢ Grant stamps were provided to a Detroit Post Office. The stamps were used by the Schermack Company, a stamp vending machine company. About 50 examples survive, along with four on cover, and are desirable U.S. stamp rarities.
Series of 1902-03
In 1902, the Postmaster General commissioned an entirely new series of general issues. Until this time, the current regular issues had been in use since 1890 with relatively few changes.
The ornate new designs, however, were not the only addition to the 1902 series. The 13-cent denomination was added, and two new faces were introduced – Benjamin Harrison and Admiral David Farragut. For the first time in postal history, an American woman was honored.
A slight change was also made in the format. Each stamp in this series bears the inscription, “Series 1902.” This caused some concern abroad, as many European philatelists wondered whether the U.S. was planning on issuing new stamps each year. Many of the stamps, however, did not even reach post offices until 1903, and the next general issues were not produced until 1908.