On January 20 1903 the last 50 sheets of the 1 cent Coat of Arms were delivered from "St.Thomas Kassekommission" to the St.Thomas Post Office and new 1 cent stamps could not be expected until late February. It has previously been thought that it was
25 sheets (2500 stamps) (see document below of January 16) - but I have recovered another document dated January 17 which confirms that it was in fact 50 sheets (5000 stamps) of 1 cent originating from the stock of St. Croix and delivered via the Kassekommissionen
to the St. Thomas Post Office (See document below). For years consensus has been - that there were 25 sheets and it made sense to conclude that there was a rapid depletion in the 1 cent stock 21 days later around February 10.
Now I show that there was double the amount available of 1 cent stamps (5000 stamps) so I will argue that it is likely that the St. Thomas Post Office was NOT depleted of 5000 1 cent stamps 3 weeks later on February 10. Also taking
into account that there were many covers and postcards sent in that period using bisected 4 cents and double 2 cents postal cards .The 1 cent stamps were sold out untill March 1 - when new 1 cent stamps would arrive from Denmark. I have recovered yet
another document (see document below) showing that there was in fact a delivery of 500 sheets of 1 cent stamps from "Finansministeriet" in Denmark to the Kassekommissionen on February 28 1903. This correlates very well with the previous statement
that the 1 cent stamp depletion ended on March 1 on St. Thomas.
Correspondingly the period when the bisected 4 cents were needed due to 1 cent stamp depletion at Christiansted was February 11 to March 5 and at Frederiksted February 17 to March
6. If St. Croix had not delivered 50 sheets of 1 cent stamps to St. Thomas their stocks would likely not have been depleted and we would not have had all these interesting covers with bisected 4 cents coming out of the St. Croix Post Offices.
A big thank you to whoever shipped those 50 sheets.
This table shows the dates when the post offices allowed the use of bisected 4 cents stamps. Furthermore it shows when each post office was sold out of the 1 cent
Post Office Bisected 4 cents stamp usage 1 cent stamp depletion
St. Thomas 20 January - 23 May 1903 (?) February - 1 March
St. Jan 20 February - 23 May 1903(?) None reported
Christiansted 11 February - 4 June 1903 11 February - 5 March
11 February - 4 June 1903 17 February - 6 March
The bisects were used
from January 20 - June 4 1903. The great majority of thousands of covers mailed are readily identifiable as philatelic - but normal commercial covers also were saved though they can be hard to identify. Please also see PHILATELIC