Marquette on the Mississippi
2¢ - Dark yellow green, yellow green or green
Scott #285 - 1898

Used: $1
No postmark with gum (MH): $1-$2
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $10-$25


Introduced on June 17th, 1890. Earliest documented use,
a first day cover from June 17th 1898

Interesting Note: Marquette did not discover the Mississippi, the
French fur trader Joliet discovered the upper portion and De Soto
discovered the lower portion. The design was supposed to state
'Marquette Discovers the Mississippi' until the error was discovered.

Plate Size: Sheets of 100 subjects (2 panes of 50)

285 sheet Scotts - US Postage Stamps
full pane of #285

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving

Double lined USPS watermark.

Quantity Issued:
65,000,000, a common stamp

What you should look for


By far most the commonest cancel is the flag cancel, because the date
stamp is the left side of the cancel most stamps will just see the waves
of the flag. The registered cancel is scarce as this would have been used
as a supplementary stamp to the registered rate (8¢).

This stamp was used mainly for post cards which were now in their height of
their popularity. Shown below are examples of a single town cancel and a
cork cancel, both of which are less common.

285 Flag Cancel Scotts - US Postage Stamps

Flag Cancel (primarily used on post cards)

 Postcard Trans-Mississippi Exposition 1898 Scotts - US Postage Stamps

A Trans-Mississippi Exposition postcard
Unlike the Columbian Exposition postcards these are scarce.
Unused copies sell for $75. Cards bearing a Trans-Tississippi issue are

286 Cork Cancel 1898 Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Cork Cancel example (a late use for this)

286 Cork Cancel 1898 Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Killer Cancel

286 Cork Cancel 1898 Scotts - US Postage Stamps
Large Town Cancel

The Inspiration for the Design

The central design is taken from a painting by William Lamprech, the scene
shows Father Jacques Marquette, a French Jesuit priest, preaching from his
canoe, a group of first nation americans (probably Shawnee nation)
The painting now resides in the Raynor Library at Marquette University,
Wisconsin, where it has been ever since the time of the design.


"Father Marquette and the Indians" by William Lamprech

Father Marquette

Father Jacques Marquette
He was to die later on in the expedition.

The Essay's and Proofs

285 - E4 Essay Scotts - US Postage Stamps

#285 E4
Essay on india
die sunk on card

285-e5 United States Postage Stamps Essay

Large die essay on india
die sunk on card
The bi-color design had to be dropped as the bi-color printing process
was taxed to the max printing revenue stamps for the Spanish-American
war that had broken out

285-E5 Essay United States Postage Stamps

Small die essay on india
die sunk on card

285 essay E9

Die sunk on card

#285 P2
Roosevelt Album Proof
Mounted on Gray Card

trans-mississippi expostion - omaha nebraska - night scene

The Grand Court at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition