Revenue stamps, also called fiscal stamps, have been issued around the world since the 17th century to verify the payment of taxes or fees on everything from alcohol and tobacco to playing cards and hunting licenses.
In 18th-century America, some of the first revenue stamps were produced to collect taxes on liquor. These stamps, known as Supervisors’ Seals, featured embossed rather than printed designs. Such stamps were issued in 1798. Collectively, these early embossed revenue stamps are known as the First Federal Issue.
These stamps feature a Dove holding a shield in its claws. The central design is surrounded by the denomination (Seventy Five Cents in this case) above and the name of the state (Virginia and Pennsylvania) at the bottom.
Taxation is something that has never been tremendously popular with Americans, and the new American government, in the late 18th Century, kept it to a minimum. After all, it was excessive taxation by the British government, without sufficient colonial representation in the British parliament, which triggered the American War of Independence.
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