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