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Louisiana Purchase

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.

SCN 327

       In 1926 a set of three identical stamps was issued, showing a map of the United States with topographical features. 


     In 1927 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.


     The 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

SCN C14 (facsimilie)