Haiti Philatelic & Revenue Website

Haiti's Revenue Paper (Hand Stamped)

Prior to Haiti's declaring its independence from France on January 1, 1804, we know that several of the pre-Independence tax laws enacted by the French were still being applied post-1804. In Haiti's first tax law of 1807, reference is made to at least three French laws (two in 1791; one in 1795) that had bearing on Haiti's revenue system from circa 1804 to circa 1817.

When consulting Haiti's revenue laws (see
References), these laws generally, but not always, are divided into two sections; namely, one describing the tax canceling device to be used, followed by tariffs that show the amount of tax to be charged for a particular transaction. It should be noted that with certain transactions there was a droit fixe (fixed tax); and with those documents that cited  a specific value, a droit proportionnel tax was assessed based on amount indicated in the document.

During the period from 1804 until approximately 1936, there were four distinct types of  stamps devised which usually were applied by hand to create a tax document (in some cases printed). Towards the early part of the 20th century, there appeared an imprinted type tax paper. This paper consisted and consists of an indicium with a tax denomination applied to the upper  left corner of a folio. Used mostly by notaries, the latter selects the denomination required by law for the type of transaction to be executed by said.

A history of Haiti's revenue paper and a more detailed description may be found in my article
Haiti's Handstamped Revenue Paper (1811-1936), with Additional remarks on Its Printed Fiscal Paper.


Revenue Adhesives

References & Bibliography

Below are the four distinct types of handstamps to be found on revenue paper:

The escalin type does not show Haiti in the legend. It may have been used prior to 1804 and was definitely in use until circa 1817.
I have but one example of a document with this hand stamp, dated 1811. In that year, the gourde and its divisions was accepted as legal tender. Observed in this denomination only.

This wreath type design appeared circa 1817 and continued in use until circa 1859. Oddly, Haiti in 1859 was an Empire, and we find that hand stamps with legends that read République and Empire were in use.
Two varieties of this hand stamp are known and consist of different spellings for Haiti: HAITI and HAYTI, both of which were acceptable spellings at that time.
Denominations observed: 6, 12, 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 and 500 centimes.

From 1847 until 1859, Haiti was officially an empire, the second in its history to that time (exclusive of Henri Christophe's northern empire).
While no divisions of the gourde are indicated in the hand stamp shown at left, the hand stamp assesses a tax of 100 centimes or 1 gourde. This hand stamp was likely fashioned  from metal, while its predecessors seem to have been created from wood.
Observed in  following denominations: 12, 25, 30, 50, 100, 300, and 500 centimes.

The circular design show to the left was used from circa 1859 until approximately 1936, when handstamped paper was replaced by revenue adhesives and imprinted revenue paper.
The denominations are expressed either in piastres (as shown here) or in gourdes.
This circular hand stamp is the only one to show the designer's name, a Herr Stern, in nearly all denominations.  Several varieties of this design are known.
Denominations observed: 5, 10, 20, 35, 50, centimes de gourde; 2,4, 5, and 10 gourdes;  4 and 10 piastres.