$2 Columbus in Chains stamp


Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

Of the sixteen stamps in the Columbian Exposition Issue, nine portray historical scenes in Spain and three portray scenes on the Atlantic Ocean. The issue's 2-cent and 2-dollar stamps depict events in the New World.

The 2-dollar stamp depicts Columbus as a prisoner in San Domingo on the island of Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic and Haiti). Adm. Don Francisco de Bobadilla had charged him with administrative misconduct. De Bobadilla returned Columbus to Spain to stand trial, where he was acquitted.

The stamp could have paid expensive heavyweight foreign destination rates. Stamp collectors and dealers who saw the opportunity to create speculative, collectible covers also used it to drastically overpay the usually low domestic rates. American Bank Note Company printed a total 45,550 stamps of the 2-dollar issue.
Alexander T. Haimann, National Postal Museum
May 16, 2006

Scott Catalogue USA: 242

Museum ID: 1980.2493.1639

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  • Title: $2 Columbus in Chains stamp
  • Date Created: 1893
  • Subject Keywords: Columbus, stamp
  • Medium: paper; ink (brown red) / engraving


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