1863 10¢ Davis
When the Civil War erupted, the U.S. demonetized (made worthless) its postage stamps and issued new ones to prevent the South from using U.S. stockpiles. The Confederate Post Office was organized in February 1861 and took over postal operations on June 1, 1861. Some Confederate post offices used the old system of paying cash for postage, others used their own provisional issues.
Unlike the North, the South lacked the means to produce fine engraved stamps from steel plates. They relied on less desirable methods of lithography and typography to produce their stamps – until they lured John Archer away from the American Bank Note Company.
Archer moved from New York to Richmond and produced the 10¢ Jefferson Davis. The profile looked similar to Abraham Lincoln, and Mrs. Davis allegedly did not like the portrayal of her husband. She wanted the printing to be stopped. In reality, a copper plate was used in the printing process and it did not last long.
The word “TEN” on this stamp was replaced by the numeral “10” in later recuts of the plate.