"The presidency is more than a popularity contest." Al Gore
Stamps that depicted George Washington and Ben Franklin were favored in the 1800's. Five decades later, in 1856 the US Postmaster General released the 1st Thomas Jefferson stamp to ride off that popularity wave. However, unlike previously issued stamps, this Jefferson stamp was used primarily on mail to foreign destinations like France. But why was Thomas Jefferson chosen over John Adams or James Madison as the "breakaway" stamp? One can only guess.