Census of Annapolis, Md., 5c Carmine Red on White, Postmaster's Provisional (Scott 2XU1)

Martin F. Revell received his postmaster’s appointment from President John Tyler on November 28, 1844 (original commission is located in the Maryland State Archives). This was the month of the 1844 election, which voted into office the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, James K. Polk. Tyler, who succeeded William Henry Harrison as President after Harrison’s unexpected death in 1841, realized he had no hope of being elected in 1844. To defeat Whig opposition and help his cause for Texas annexation, Tyler withdrew from the race and backed a third party, the Democratic- Republicans. Under pressure from Tyler’s constituents, the Democratic Party nominated Polk as its pro-annexation candidate.

In March 1845 members of the Democratic Party of Anne Arundel County sent a letter to Polk, urging him to retain Revell as postmaster (Maryland State Archives). On March 15, 1845, Polk signed Revell’s second appointment. Revell served until 1849, when the Whig Party’s candidate Zachary Taylor won the presidency and entered office.

Revell used a negative-image circular Eagle and Shield seal as a postmark on letters, struck in blue or red, usually in conjunction with a “2” or “5” cents due rate handstamp.

Letters with these markings applied after mailing were not purchased from the post office as a form of prepaid postage; therefore, they are not the true Annapolis postmaster’s provisional, but are often placed into collections as an affordable substitute.

The two recorded Annapolis provisional envelopes have red impressions of the Eagle and Shield seal, “5” and “Paid” applied in advance of sale and use. Looking at the back of each envelope, it is obvious that the red markings were heavily impressed into the paper before a letter was placed inside the envelope. The blue circular datestamp was applied after the envelope was put into the mail.

Go to the Siegel Encyclopedia for a more detailed introduction to the Annapolis Postmaster's Provisional

2 Census Records

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