Gray violet, blackish violet
Printing Method: Engraved
Subject: Hardships of Emigration
Number issued: 4,629,760
Watermark: Double Line USPS
Scott #: 290
Issued: June 17th, 1898
$2 - $8
No postmark with gum (MH)
$15 - $60
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$100 - $400
#290 on a Spanish-American War patriotic cover
#290 was issued with the following plate #'s
604, 617, 620
A pane of #290. Each pane had 50 stamps, there were two panes to a sheet of 100 stamps.
It was intended to print the Trans-Mississippi issue with a black vignette and a frame in color. The bi-color idea had to be abandoned because of the fact that the Spanish American War, which broke out in April, 1898, necessitated the printing of enormous quantities of revenue stamps and the facilities of the Bureau were taxed to the utmost . The time and manpower needed for the printing of stamps in two colors could not be spared and it was necessary for the Bureau to abandon the proposed bi-color stamps in favor of stamps of single colors.
For the vignette was based on an Oklahoma painting by Augustus Goodyear Heaton. The original was destroyed in a 1931 fire.
The Oregon Trail was the primary route to the west. One in ten did not survive the journey and another one in ten turned back. Disease being the number one cause of death. Swollen rivers, death by shotgun (accidental shootings, not shooting at Native Americans), starvation, and extreme weather added to the dangers. The one danger they did not need to worry about was attacks by Native Americans, these were infrequent.
Rough terrain and crossing rivers were the most dangerous parts of the journey.
Essay of vignette on India die sunk on card
Bi-color essay on India
Bi-color essay on India, die mounted on card
Large Die Proof on India
Small die proof on India
Roosevelt album proof mounted on original gray card
The Trans-Mississippi Exposition was a World’s Fair hosted in Omaha, NE from June 1 to November 1 of 1898. The purpose of the Omaha World’s Fair was to exemplify the fertility and potential of Western farming and manufacturing as a definite pathway to financial success. It attracted 2.6 million visitors.
A two-thousand foot-long lagoon designed to resemble Venetian canals hosted gondola rides as a whimsical form of transportation throughout the fair. Stately trees and lush grass plots lined artistically crafted walking paths, illuminated by electric lights. Bright white building designed in Renaissance style reflected ancient Greek and Roman influences and possessed strenuous constraints on color, scale and height. All was built out of cheap materials or designed not to last, at the end of the exposition it was all removed.
There were two great attractions during the show, the first being President McKinley's speech which attracted 100,000 people to the plaza. The other was Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, a video of which can be viewed below.