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
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