Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Chicago Bank Cover

As noted elsewhere, solo uses of the American Indian stamp are not often found since its 14¢ face value did not match any of the most common postage rates. There were, however, a few ways that the stamp could be used by itself, and the registered cover pictured here is one such example.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from bank in Chicago, Illinois
Reverse of cover
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from bank in Chicago, Illinois (reverse)

This toned but attractive cover was sent by Harris Trust and Savings Bank of Chicago, Illinois, to Farmers Bank of Sullivan County in Blountville, Tennessee, with postmarks on the reverse indicating that it was mailed on August 28, 1924. The 14¢ stamp neatly pays the postage for a two-ounce piece of registered mail: 2¢ per ounce for postage, and 10¢ for the registration fee.1 At the time this envelope was mailed, there was no charge for the return receipt requested on the front of the cover.

Beginning in April 1925, the registration fee increased to 15¢, and at the same time, a 3¢ charge was introduced for a return receipt. In other words, although mailing a two-ounce registered cover was probably the easiest way to need exactly 14¢ postage while the American Indian stamp was current, that rate was only possible for just under two years after the stamp was issued.

On the back of the cover are two wax seals of Harris Trust and Savings Bank, which has a history dating back to the 1880s and still does business today as BMO Harris Bank.2 3 4 In contrast, references to Farmers Bank of Sullivan County are few and far between, and it might be presumed that it was one of the many banks that failed during the Great Depression.



  1. Beecher, Henry W., and Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz. U.S. Domestic Postal Rates, 1872–2011. 3rd ed. Bellefonte, Pennsylvania: American Philatelic Society, 2011.
  2. Harris Trust & Savings Bank. Encyclopedia of Chicago. Accessed 14 Aug. 2018.
  3. Institution History for BMO Harris Bank National Association. Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Accessed 14 Aug. 2018.
  4. About Us. BMO Harris Bank. Accessed 14 Aug. 2018.

Published 2018-08-14 Last updated 2024-06-11