The tax on checks and drafts discontinued on July 1, 1883. The tax was reinstated in 1898 to help pay for the Spanish American War.
That being said in 1887(your checks date) a revenue stamp was not required. Many people were so used to the stamps that many banks continued to use facsimile imprints to give the checks a more official look.
A good source of info on the RN's is The American Society of Check Collectors. www.ascheckcollectors.org