1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue
Marquette on the Mississippi
2¢ - Dark yellow green, yellow green or green
Scott #285 - 1898
No postmark with gum (MH): $1-$2
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $10-$25
Issued: 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)
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Watermark: 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¢).
Flag Cancel (primarily used on post cards)
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.
Varieties to Look For
The Essay's and Proofs
The Grand Court at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition