Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Stamps for the Philippines”
City of publication: Elmira, New York
Date of publication: 13 May 1905
Volume number: 33
Issue number: 19
|“Stamps for the Philippines.” Summary 13 May 1905 v33n19: p. 3.|
|McKinley memorialization (postage stamps, postal cards, etc.); William McKinley (death: government response).|
|Alfonso XII; Alfonso XIII; George Dewey; Benjamin Franklin; Ulysses S. Grant; Isabella II; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; William Thomas Sampson; George Washington.|
Stamps for the Philippines
FIRST REAL POSTAGE
To Be Used on July 4 Next—McKinley’s and Other American Patriots’
Photographs Will Figure on Them
The gift of a new kind of money from Uncle Sam
furnished the Filipinos with substantial grounds for a grand celebration last
4th of July. This 4th of July the Filipinos will have another cause for jubilation.
On that day they will be supplied with a new and distinctive series of postage stamps of all denominations. This will make an epoch in the history of the islands. They will be the first real Filipino postage stamps ever used.
For sentimental reasons this new issue of Philippine stamps will possess great interest for the people of the United States, although they will not be available for postage here any more than are Cuban stamps. Upon six of the denominations will appear portraits of distinguished citizens of the United States.
The four centavo, corresponding to our two cent stamp, will bear the photograph of William McKinley. This will be the first time the face of President McKinley has had a place on a postage stamp.
At the time of his death the Post Office Department had under consideration a new series of stamps and immediately there developed a strong sentiment in favor of honoring Mr. McKinley with a place on one of the denominations. This could not be done without displacing Washington, Franklin, Lincoln or Grant, provided McKinley was to have a place on a stamp of general use.
In view of the fact that Franklin’s portrait had appeared on our stamp of lowest value from the time of the issue of our first stamps, and Washington had always occupied a similar position on the stamp carrying domestic letter mail, it was decided not to disturb them. Then there was s[e]rious discussion of the proposition to issue a mo[u]rning stamp bearing the head of McKinley, but this was also abandoned.
Now McKinley’s face will appear on a postage stamp, and it will adorn the stamps used by the people liberated from the yoke of Spain during his Administration.
The new series of stamps for the Philippines will consist of the same number and denominations—expressed in centavos—as the current issue of United States stamps.
The question naturally arises: Why should Admiral Sampson be honored by a place on the stamps rather than Admiral Dewey? The explanation is simple.
The policy of the Government does not permit the placing of portraits of persons still living upon postage stamps. The scheme of the Insular Bureau contemplated representation on the series of stamps of American officers who participated in the land and sea operations which resulted in the acquisition of the Philippines, and Admiral Sampson was the only commanding officer of high grade not now living.
The placing of Franklin and Washington on the stamps of the Philippines is also a bit of sentiment. The first two postage stamps ever issued by the United States Government were the five cent face of Franklin and the ten cent face of Washington in 1847. Since that date these two faces have appeared on every series of postage stamps issued, and it is fitting that they should now be continued on the stamps of the colonies.
Postage stamps have been in use in the Philippines since 1854. They were Spanish stamps until the United States took charge in 1898, since which time the United States stamps with the word “Philippines” printed diagonally across the face of the stamp have been used.
From 1854 until 1890 the stamps bore the portraits of Queen Isabella and King Alfonso XII., followed by the face of the four-year-old King Alfonso XIII. These were known as the baby head stamps, and this design continued on all Spanish and colonial stamps until 1898, when the portrait of the young King, then 12 years of age, appeared. These stamps had just gone into circulation in the Philippines when the United States took possession of the archipelago.
When the design for the Philippine coins was under consideration a year ago the sketch submitted by a native Filipino was accepted, and in the selection and preparation of the designs for the new Philippine stamps influential Filipinos were consulted and their suggestions approved.
While the stamps will be distinctively Filipino in a way, Uncle Sam will still indicate his interest in the postal system of his ward by the use of an inscription in small letters at the top of each stamp, substantially as follows: “Government of the Philippines, U. S. A.,” and although the Spanish currency will be the basis—centavos and pesos—the English language will be applied as for example, “two centavos,” rather than “dos centavos.”