USPS Jamestown Stamp

Commemorative stamp issued by the United States Postal Service.

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Settlement of Jamestown


This souvenir stamp commemorates the 400th anniversary of the settlement of

Jamestown, VA, by English colonists in 1607. Under the command of Captain Christopher Newport, the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery left docks near London Dec. 20, 1606, and arrived in Virginia, April 26, 1607.

Captain Newport’s expedition, which included Captain John Smith, was charged with establishing a colony in the
New World. England had failed in previous attempts to build lasting settlements in the Americas, most notably on Roanoke Island, now part of North Carolina. Nevertheless, expectations were high that this new effort would succeed.

On
May 13, 1607
, expedition leaders selected a settlement site more than 30 miles up the James River from the Chesapeake Bay. The location, a marshy peninsula that became an island at high tide, offered good moorings. Connected to the mainland by only a narrow strip of land, the site seemed easily defensible. It was also far enough upriver, the men hoped, to be beyond notice of Spanish warships patrolling the Atlantic coast.

On May 14, all of the men went ashore, cleared a patch of ground, and set up tents behind a simple brushwood fence. Later, they built a more substantial structure: “The fifteenth day of June,” wrote colonist George Percy, “we had built and finished our Fort which was triangle wise, having three Bulwarkes at every corner like a half Moon, and four or five pieces of artillerie mounted in them.” They also planted their first grain crop and began replacing their tents with small houses.

In the early days of the settlement, the weather was fair, the countryside lovely and the hunting excellent. But as the seasons changed and relations with the Powhatan Indians worsened, conditions deteriorated. Disease, famine, polluted river water and skirmishes with the Indians took a terrible toll. More than a hundred men and boys had come ashore in May 1607, but by January 1608, fewer than 40 were left to meet “the first supply” of new settlers. The new arrivals would, in turn, face hardships of their own, and yet they, and the many colonists who followed, persisted. Through the efforts of leaders like Captain Smith and entrepreneurs like John Rolfe, and with the timely help from some of the local Indians — including Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan empire — Jamestown endured.

The town grew beyond the confines of the fort, and more settlements were established in the region.
Jamestown became the first capital of Virginia, and on July 30, 1619, the first legislative assembly in English-speaking America was convened there. Fire destroyed the Virginia Statehouse in 1698 and the next year the seat of government was moved to Williamsburg. Richmond has been the capital of Virginia since 1780.

Over the years, the fort at
Jamestown was lost to history. In 1994, archaeologists with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities set out to find it. By the end of 1996, they had uncovered enough evidence, including traces of two walls, to prove they had located the remains of the fort. As part of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project, archaeologists continue to excavate the site, unearthing artifacts that may tell us more about the lives of the people who founded and maintained the first permanent English settlement of the Americas.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1907~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1907


President:
Theodore Roosevelt 

Postmasters General: Jan. 1- Jan. 14: George B. Cortelyou  ·  Jan. 15 - Dec. 31: George von L. Meyer
Admitted to the Union: Oklahoma on November 16, 1907

Domestic Letter Rate: 2¢ per oz. ·  Postcard Rate: 1¢  ·  Registry Fee: 8¢  ·  Foreign Rate:

 
The Jamestown Exposition Issue 
 
Flat Plate - 200 Subject Plates - Perf 12 - Double-line Watermark
Scott 328 - 1c Jamestown - Captain John Smith Scott 329 - 2c The Founding of Jamestown Scott 330 - 5c Jamestown - Pocahontas
First Day: April 26, 1907
77,728,794 issued

First Day: April 26, 1907
149,497,994 issued

First Day: May 3, 1907
7,980,594 issued

 

The Jamestown  Exposition Stamps of 1907

As with the Columbian, Trans-Mississippi, Pan-American, and Louisiana Purchase stamps that preceded them and as with many of the "commemorative" sets issued in the following decades, the Jamestown stamps were issued to promote an exposition - the Jamestown Exposition of 1907 at what is now the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia. For once, the date of commemoration actually represented an event, the 300th anniversary of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607.

To get around the law prohibiting the use of advertisements on U.S. postage stamps, a disclaimer of sorts - "Commemorative Series, 1907" - was placed on each stamp, rather than the name of the Exposition itself. And as with the earlier "commemorative" stamps, this gave rise to a variety of "JAMESTOWN CELEBRATION" and "EXPOSITION STATION" cancellations promoting and providing souvenirs for the event. Many of the cancellations and covers bearing these cancellations are very collectible today.

This Exposition was not nearly as successful commercially as the ones celebrated by the earlier commemoratives and sales of the stamps lagged far behind predicted volume. 

The design size was so large in comparison to the actual size of the stamp that well-centered copies of these issues bring substantial premiums, sometimes many multiples of catalog.

There is a slight discrepancy between the issue dates listed by various authors. Johl and the USPOD list the date as Thursday April 25, 1907 and Scott lists it as Friday April 26, 1907, the opening day of the exposition. Since the earliest known covers are from April 26, we are listing this as the date of issue.

The 1¢ Captain John Smith 

Captain John Smith was an English adventurer and soldier, and led the expedition that founded the Jamestown, Virginia settlement. of the Virginia Settlement is quite interesting. 

This stamp is exceptionally difficult to find well-centered.

The 2¢ The Founding of Jamestown 

Although all of the stamps in this series are inscribed "Founding of Jamestown, 1607" this is the stamp that actually depicts the event itself. The April 26 issue date actually commemorates the 300th anniversary of Captain Smith's landing in Virginia. The settlement in Jamestown occurred nearly a month later, on May 24, 1607.

The 5¢ Pocahontas 

Originally overlooked, the addition of Pocahontas to the set adds a romantic touch not seen in previous U.S. issues. The painting from which the engraving was made portrays a much more austere woman. To his credit, C.A. Huston, the designer of the stamp, softened the features somewhat, creating in the opinion of the author, the most mysteriously beautiful woman to have ever been portrayed on a U.S. stamp.

As with the one cent stamp, this stamp is exceptionally difficult to find well-centered. Although the five cent stamp was delivered to post offices on May 3, the earliest known use is May 9, 1907. Perhaps an earlier cover will show up someday.