The first U.S. stamp to show a detailed map is the high
value of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition set. It shows a map of the
United States with the Louisiana Territory shaded. The map is based on
a U.S. Land Office Map.
On April 30, 1803 the United States and France signed a
treaty of purchase for the Louisiana Territory (820,000 square miles),
extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. It
included all or portions of the following states: Louisiana, Arkansas,
Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, North
Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. The price was $15 million; 3
cents an acre.
In 1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark undertake an
expedition across the northern portion of the purchase. Further
information on the Lewis and Clark Expedition can be found at:
The stamp was issued in
1904 to commemorate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. Other
stamps in the set show pictures of people involved in the purchase,
Robert Livingston, minister to France; Thomas Jefferson, President;
James Monroe, special ambassador to France; and William McKinley,
President, approved the Exposition.
In 1926 a set of three identical stamps was issued, showing a map of
the United States with topographical features.
Charles Lindberg became the first person to make a non-stop solo
flight across the Atlantic Ocean. His single engine plane named "The
Spirit of St. Louis" left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York on
May 20, 1927, and arrived at Le Bourget airport, Paris. The map shows
the east coast of the United States and the West Coast of Europe, with
a line showing Lindbergh's great circle route. The location of Paris
is incorrect. It is much nearer the coast.
Graf Zeppelin began trans-Atlantic air service in 1927. Her sister
ship, the Hindenburg, burned and crashed in 1932. In 1930 a set of
three stamps was issued for use on mail carried on the first
Europe-Pan American round-trip flight of the Graf Zeppelin in May. The
middle-value stamp shows the Graf Zeppelin against a map of the
Atlantic Ocean with North and South America on one side and Europe and
Africa on the other