The five- and ten-cent stamps of 1847 were the first adhesive postage stamps
authorized for issue by the U.S. Post Office Department, in response to a law
passed on March 3, 1847. The law took effect on July 1, 1847 and made illegal
the use of postage stamps not authorized by the Postmaster General. Although
the first stamps were supposed to be made available to the public by July 1, only
the New York City Post Office received any stamps by that day, followed a day
later by Boston on July 2nd.