Series of 1923-26 10¢ James Monroe
Issue Date: June 8, 1925
First City: Washington, D.C.
Quantity Issued: 129,967,000
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
James Monroe Nearly Matches
Washington’s Unanimous Election
Shown on U.S. #591, James Monroe’s presidency came to be called the “Era of Good Feeling.” The Federalist Party that opposed him was falling apart, and by the end of Monroe’s first term, it could not even nominate someone to run against him. A single elector cast a vote for John Quincy Adams. It was the only thing that prevented Monroe from joining George Washington as a unanimously elected President.
Rotary Presses Lead to Faster, Cheaper Production
Prior to 1923, the rotary press had been used in the production of coil stamps. It soon became apparent this was the fastest and most economical means of printing stamps. The rotary press could print 1000 stamps at a cost of .053 cents, compared to the conventional flat bed press cost of .08 cents. This difference of .027 cents is significant when one takes into consideration the fact that the Bureau printed millions of stamps each day.
Daily production rates jumped from 1,600,000 stamps on the flat bed press to 6,000,000 per day on the rotary press. Despite the increased production and lower costs, the Post Office Department was still skeptical. They finally decided a few stamps should be printed experimentally. At first, only the 1¢ Franklin was produced and used on a trial basis for six months.
The results were successful, proving that quality was not sacrificed for higher production. Shortly thereafter, the 2¢ Washington was produced on rotary presses as well. Eventually, new equipment was developed to improve the process, which resulted in the 1¢ through 10¢ being printed on the rotary press.
College Of William And Mary
On February 8, 1693, a royal charter officially established the College of William and Mary. Today it’s the second-oldest college in America (behind Harvard).
Virginia’s first English settlers arrived in 1607 at Jamestown. One of their early goals was to establish a school for Native Americans and the sons of colonists. Plans for such a school were first drawn up in 1618.
Funding and plans to build the school progressed for a few years, but then the school’s planner was killed and an Indian uprising broke out. The school was abandoned altogether in 1624 when the charter was revoked and Jamestown became a royal colony. Little progress would come over the next several decades.
Then in 1690, a new proposal for the college emerged. The General Assembly tasked Reverend James Blair, a representative of the Bishop of London, with traveling to England to meet with the king and queen and request a grant for a charter. Blair succeeded in his mission, and on February 8, 1693, King William III and Queen Mary II granted a royal charter. The document officially established the College of William and Mary in Virginia to “make, found, and establish a certain Place of Universal Study, a perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and the good arts and sciences…to be supported and maintained, in all time coming.”
The charter made Blair the school’s first president and funding was provided by tobacco taxes and profits from the Surveyor-General’s Office. Land for the school was purchased in December 1693 in Middle Plantation (later renamed Williamsburg). The school operated out of temporary buildings while new ones were constructed in 1794. As Williamsburg served as the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780, the school served as a law center with many lawmakers using the buildings.
While the initial goal of educating Native Americans never came to be, the College of William and Mary educated many notable Americans in its early years. This included three future presidents; Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler. Other prominent students included Henry Clay, John Marshall, and George Wythe, who would later become the nation’s first law professor.
The College of William and Mary severed ties with England during the Revolutionary War and the Divinity and Indian Schools were closed. The school closed during the Civil War because so many students enrolled in the Confederate Army. The buildings were used as a Confederate barracks and later a hospital used by both sides. The school reopened in 1865, but suffered financially and closed in 1881. The state eventually granted funds and the college reopened in 1888. Three decades later, the school was one of the first in Virginia to admit women.