Territories of the United States on stamps

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First U.S. stamp to commemorate a territory
and depict a map. Issue of 1904

Territories of the United States on stamps discusses commemorative postal issues devoted to lands that have been ceded to the nation or purchased by treaty in conjunction with both war and peace. Thirteen states have been created from colonial territories, two from independent republics, four from previous states in the Union, and an additional thirty-one from United States territories.

Many aspects of acquisition, settlement and exploration have been celebrated on postage stamps. These are represented below in issues that appeared prior to 1978 (the images of subsequent stamps remain under copyright by the United States Postal Service and may not be reproduced).

National boundaries[edit]

Treaty of Paris[edit]

From the territory ceded by Great Britain in the Treaty of Paris 1783, five states were to emerge from the Northwest Territory, two from the Southwest Territory. States under the Articles of Confederation ceded their claims to western lands, allowing Congress to administer territories until statehood; the practice was extended under the Constitution. From the Northwest Territory came Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconisn. From The Southwest Territory came Mississippi and Alabama.

A 3-cent stamp was issued on July 13, 1937, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Northwest Territory as defined by the Ordinance of 1787. The Territory consisted of lands north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River ceded by eastern states. The Ordinance established the Territory, banned slavery, and specified that land must be purchased from the Indians and offered for sale by the United States. It also made provision for temporary and permanent governments and eventual statehood of included regions based on population. The stamp shows a map of the Territory which is flanked by Manasseh Cutler who drafted the ordinance, and Rufus Putnam, superintendent of territorial settlement.[1] The 150th anniversary of establishment of the Mississippi Territory was celebrated by a 3-cent stamp on April 7, 1948. The vignette shows an outline map of the region of today’s Mississippi and Alabama. The present Mississippi is shown in a darker tone. The map is divided into three sections with dates 1798, 1804, and 1812, showing the growth of the Territory. Over the map is the original seal of the Territory on which the second double "s" of Mississippi is written as a single "s." The portrait is of Winthrop Sargent, first governor of Mississippi Territory.[2]

Ordinance of 1787
1937 issue
Mississippi Territory
1948 issue

Manifest Destiny[edit]

The first expansion beyond Treaty of Paris borders occurred with the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803 under President Thomas Jefferson, known as the architect of the Louisiana Purchase. His portrait is featured on the second stamp of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition issue.[3] This issue of 1904 also featured a 10-cent stamp with an outline of the Louisiana Purchase territory superimposed over a political map of the United States.[4] The Louisiana Purchase sesquicentennial 1953 featured James Monroe, Robert R. Livingston and François Barbé-Marbois, “signing the Louisiana Transfer, Paris 1803”.[5]

Thomas Jefferson
1904 issue
Louisiana Purchase map
1904 issue
Louisiana Purchase Treaty signing
1953 issue

A map of the 1822 Florida Territory was pictured on the statehood commemoration from its original state seal on its 100th anniversary by a 3-cent stamp on March 3, 1945. The gates of St. Augustine are pictured on the left and the State Capitol in Tallahassee on the right.[6] Texas was annexed in 1845 by Republic of Texas petition to the United States under the presidency of James K. Polk. The 100th anniversary of Texas statehood was commemorated by a 3-cent stamp on December 29, 1945. The Republic of Texas was established in 1836 in the aftermath of a rebellion against Mexican authority. Texas annexation to the U.S. was resisted by Northerners opposed to the expansion of slavery. But during the Polk Administration, Texas was annexed as a slave state. This led directly to the Mexican-American War as Mexico moved to protect its territorial claims from American expansion.[7]

Florida Territory
1945 issue
Texas independence
1936 issue
Texas statehood
1945 issue

The Mexican American war begun under President James Polk had three distinct operational phases. The Kearny Expeditions through Mexican territory to reach the Pacific, the invasion of Mexico from the north under Zachary Taylor, and the invasion of Mexico from Vera Cruz under Winfield Scott to capture Mexico City. A 3-cent stamp, “Kearny Expedition” was issued October 16, 1946, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Col. Stephen Watts Kearny expedition in New Mexico during the Mexican-American War. In Santa Fe he established American authority with himself as military governor. He commanded several expeditions through western territories, and in California he was engaged in several battles and was again military governor.[8] The 2-cent Army stamp of January 15, 1937, shows Andrew Jackson (left) and Winfield Scott a hero of the Mexican War, leading a campaign from Vera Cruz to Mexico City.[9] Following the Peace Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the Mexican Cession turned over to the U.S. territory stretching west to the Pacific Ocean.

Kearny Expedition
1946 issue
Winfield Scott (r.), the Mexican War
1937 issue

The Oregon Territory dispute was settled by the Oregon Treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain in 1846 under President Polk. The Oregon Territory was commemorated on its 100th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp on July 14, 1936. It comprised the present states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming. The stamp features a map of the Territory, including a trace of the Oregon Trail, flanked by a Native American scene and a covered wagon train.[10] A 3-cent commemorative of the 100th anniversary of the Gadsden Purchase issued December 30, 1953. The U.S. bought the Gadsden Purchase (1854) from Mexico. It amounted to 29,670 square miles which later became parts of Arizona and New Mexico.[11] With the Gadsden Purchase, the contiguous territory which would become the "lower forty-eight" contiguous states of the United States was complete.

Oregon Territory 1836
1936 issue
Gadsden Purchase
1953 issue

The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition commemorated the nation’s northwest territory on the 10th anniversary of the 1897 Klondike Gold rush and the 40th anniversary of the 1867 Alaska Purchase. Delayed from 1907 to 1909 to avoid competing with the Jamestown Exposition. Secretary of State William H. Seward is shown. He negotiated the $8 million purchase of Alaska from Russia. The popular press in 1867 referred to the purchase as "Seward's Folly," but by 1909 the importance of this acquisition was recognized.[12]

Alaska Purchase
1909 issue
Alaska Purchase
1967 Airmail issue

Insular Territories[edit]

The U.S. Postal Department issued four 3-cent stamps commemorating Insular Territories: Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands over the three months of October to December 1937. The first was to honor the Territory of Hawaii acquired in 1898. It showed the statue of King Kamehameha I, uniter of the Hawaiian Islands, at the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. The second honored Alaska which was purchased in 1867. The stamp pictured snow-covered Mount McKinley with a farm and a village to symbolize modern development in the territory.[13] Alaska and Hawaii territories were admitted as states in 1960.

Kamehameha I Statue
Hawaii Territory
Mount McKinley
Alaska Territory

The third stamp honored Puerto Rico featuring 'La Fortaleza', the Spanish Governor's Palace. Puerto Rico was ceded by Spain in an 1898 treaty ending the Spanish American War. Though some thought the stamp was limited to Puerto Rico, it was valid throughout the U.S. and its territories. The final stamp was in honor of the U. S. Virgin Islands, which was purchased from Denmark in 1917. The stamp displays a view of Charlotte Amalie, capital city of the territory.[14]

La Fortaleza
Puerto Rico
Charlotte Amalie
U.S. Virgin Islands

In the “Flags of our nation series” 2008-2012, five territorial flags were featured. The 42-cent denominations were the American Samoa Flag showing island peaks and trees, issued June 14, 2008, and the Guam Flag was illustrated with fish and tropicbird, issued September 2, 2008. Forever stamps included Northern Marianas Flag picturing a palm tree issued 2011, Puerto Rico Flag illustrated by a bird issued 2011, and Virgin Islands Flag showing a sailfish issued 2012.[15] Images of each flag can be seen at Arago online, National Postal Museum at the Smithsonian Institute on the following links: American Samoa Flag, Guam Flag, Northern Marianas Flag stamp, Puerto Rico Flag, U.S. Virgin Islands Flag.

The U.S. Postal Department also used general issue stamps with the territorial name overprinted, such as PUERTO RICO, CUBA, GUAM, PHILIPPINES or CANAL ZONE. Cuba was granted independence, Canal Zone returned to Panama.

Puerto Rico overprint
1899 issue
Cuba overprint
1899 issue
Guam overprint
1899 issue
Philippines overprint
1903 issue
Canal Zone overprint
1925 issue

Alternatively, the U.S. issued a 1932 'United States of America' stamp for 18 centavos in the Philippines, 1930 stamps for use in Guam only designated 'Guam Guard Mail, or 1952 'Ryukyus' stamp for 100 yen in Okinawa. The Philippines was granted independence, the Ryukyus were returned to Japan.

Pagsanjan Falls, PI
1932 issue
Guam guard mail GU
1930 issue
Ryukyus
1952 issue

Panama Canal has been featured on several U. S. commemorative stamps, as well as on Panama's own postage. The territory was returned to Panama.

The Panama Canal is represented by the Pedro Miguel Locks in the Panama-Pacific Exposition issue. An estimated 500 million of these 2-cent stamps were printed and issued to the public in a first release in 1913 with perforations 12, and a second in 1914 in perforations 10.[16]

The Panama Canal opening was commemorated on its 25th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp issued on August 15, 1939. The stamp shows a steamship passing through the Gaillard Cut, President Theodore Roosevelt on the left promoted the canal and General George W. Goethals on the right was chief engineer and first governor of the Panama Zone.[17]

Pedro Miguel Locks, Panama Canal
1913 issue
Galliard Cut, Panama Canal
1939 issue
Canal Zone postage
1958 issue

Filling in settlement[edit]

Eastern growth[edit]

East of the Mississippi River. Founding of the Jamestown settlement by the Virginia Company was commemorated on the 300th anniversary by 2-cent stamp in late 1907. It was the first permanent British colony in America following the 1587 failure of the Roanoke NC settlement.[18]

The founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, commemorated on its 300th anniversary in 1930, was the culmination of a process begun ten years earlier with the signing of the Mayflower Compact: an exercise in representative democracy that stands as the first major political event of American history.[19]

The 2-cent “Walloons landing at Fort Orange” New Netherlands was issued on May 1, 1924, to commemorated the 300th anniversary of settlement in New York. Walloons from the south of Belgium had been persecuted for their Protestant beliefs.[20]

Jamestown, Virginia
1907 issue
Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1930 issue
Plymouth, Massachusetts
1920 issue
Fort Orange, New York
1924 issue

Pilgrims landing and settlement at Plymouth, Massachusetts was commemorated with a 6-cent stamp marking on the 350th anniversary, November 21, 1970.[21]

William Penn was commemorated with a 3-cent stamp issued October 24, 1932 on the 250th anniversary of Penn's 1682 landing in the New World. He founded of the colony of Pennsylvania.[22]

James Oglethorpe was honored on a 3-cent stamp on February 12, 1933. It was the 200th anniversary of his landing at Savannah. Oglethorpe established the British settlement which led to the creation of the colony of Georgia.[23]

Roger Williams led a group of followers to Providence, Rhode Island. The settlement was commemorated with a 3-cent stamp on the 300th anniversary, May 4, 1936. The statue depicted stands near the State House. The state seal of Rhode Island is at lower left.[24]

Pilgrims Landing, Massachusetts
1970 issue
William Penn, Pennsylvania
1932 issue
James Edward Oglethorpe, Georgia
1933 issue
Roger Williams, Rhode Island
1936 issue

The Connecticut Charter of 1662's 300th anniversary was commemorated by a 3-cent stamp on April 26, 1935. The charter was granted by Charles II and hidden from the agents of James II under this tree considered sacred by the Indians of the area.[25]

New York City founding was celebrated on the 300th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp on November 20, 1953. The foreground design is of New Amsterdam, with a Dutch ship at anchorage, the background shows the New York City skyline.[26]

New Sweden colony of Swedes and Finns near Wilmington, Delaware, was commemorated on the 300th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp issued June 27, 1938. Sweden an expansionist power in the 1600s included Finland and much of Scandinavia.[27]

Charter Oak, Connecticut
1935 issue
New Amsterdam, New York City
1949 issue
New Sweden, Delaware
1938 issue

The settlement of Annapolis, Maryland was commemorated with a 3-cent stamp issued March 23, 1949 on its 300th anniversary. It shows a map of the Annapolis area showing the water route from the Chesapeake Bay to the Severn River with the masted ship and long boat carrying Puritans ashore to the original settlement and natural resources.[28]

The Province of Carolina and its Carolina Charter reaching from Virginia on the north to Florida on the south coast to coast was commemorated on its 300th anniversary on a 5-cent stamp issued April 6, 1963. The Charter linked the colonies to the human rights of the Magna Carta.[29]

Charlestown (Charleston) South Carolina settlement was commemorated on its 300th anniversary with a 6-cent stamp, on September 12, 1970. The city was named after King Charles II of England, as the first colonial city in South Carolina.[30]

Annapolis, Maryland
1949 issue
Carolina Charter, Carolinas
1963 issue
Charlestown, South Carolina
1970 issue

Vermont celebrated its 1777 independence as the Vermont Republic with a 2-cent stamp on August 3, 1927. Not one of the original thirteen states, it became the fourteenth. The vignette depicts a Green Mountain Boy from the Battle of Bennington dressed in buckskin with a rifle.[31]

New Hampshire's founding was commemorated by a 3-cent stamp issued on June 21, 1955 celebrating the 150th anniversary of European discovery of “The Old Man of the Mountains” rock formation. The landmark setting is taken from Franconia Notch, NH, with the state motto, “Live free or die” below.[32]

Kentucky’s first settlement 200th anniversary was commemorated with a 10-cent stamp on June 15, 1974. Fort Harrod was the first permanent settlement founded by James Harrod. The scene depicts two settler's wagons approaching the fort.[33]

Vermont independence
1927 issue
"Old Man of the Mountain", NH
1955 issue
Fort Harrod, KY
1974 issue

Settlement of the Northwest Territory under the Ordinance of 1787 was celebrated on its 150th anniversary by a 3-cent stamp on July 15, 1938. The first permanent place was Marietta, Ohio. The Territory included Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota. The stamp features "March Westward of the Nation', which stands in Marietta.[34]

The 3-cent Indiana territory sesquicentennial commemorative postage stamp was issued on July 4, 1950. It features a portrait of William Henry Harrison, the first governor of Indiana Territory and later the 9th President of the US. Indiana’s first Capitol building is pictured to the right.[35]

The St. Augustine settlement was commemorated with a 5-cent stamp on the 400th anniversary issued August 28, 1965. It was the first continuous permanent European settlement in the new world. The stamp illustrates a Spanish explorer with Spain's royal banner in the background.[36]

Marietta, Ohio
1938 issue
Indiana Territory
1950 issue
St. Augustine, Florida
1965 issue

Western growth[edit]

West of the Mississippi River. Antebellum United States saw further organization of territories.

Kansas Territory was commemorated on its 100th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp on May 31, 1954. The foreground depicts a field of wheat with a set of farm buildings. A wagon train of pioneers in light silhouette looms above. The stamp was issued in sheets of fifty, with 110,000,000 stamps authorized.[37]

Nebraska Territory was commemorated on its 100th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp issued on May 7, 1954. The stamp is illustrated by "The Sower," a statue atop the Nebraska Capitol. Mitchell Pass is shown with Scotts Bluff dominating the right side.[38]

Iowa Territory was commemorated on August 24, 1938 with a 3-cent stamp. It came from earlier parts of the Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin territories. The Iowa Territory included later Iowa, parts of Minnesota, and the Dakotas. Iowa achieved statehood in 1846. The Old Capitol in Iowa City, the territorial capital is shown.[39]

Kansas Territory
1954 issue
Nebraska Territory
1954 issue
Iowa Territory
1938 issue

Fort Snelling, Minnesota was commemorated on its 150th anniversary with a 6-cent stamp on October 17, 1970. The fort was instrumental in opening the Northwest.[40]

The emigration of Swedish pioneers to the American Midwest including the Wisconsin Territory was commemorated on the 100th anniversary by a 5-cent stamp on June 4, 1948. A Swedish pioneer is pictured with a covered wagon moving westward, framed by twelve stars, which represent the twelve midwestern states settled by Swedes, importantly Minnesota and Wisconsin.[41]

Nebraska Territory settlement was expedited by the construction of Fort Kearny, Nebraska. Its 100th birthday commemoration was issued on September 22, 1948. The vignette shows Fort Kearny, with a pioneer group sculpture pictured above from the state's Capitol.[42]

Fort Snelling, Minnesota
1970 issue
Swedish pioneer, Wisconsin Territory
1948 issue
Ft. Kearny, Nebraska territory
1948 issue

The 6-cent Cherokee Strip, Oklahoma Territory, commemorative stamp was issued on October 15, 1968, on the 75th anniversary of the dramatic land rush into the northern part of the state. More than 100,000 homesteaders participated on run from the Kansas border on September 16, 1893. Forty thousand homesteads of 160 acres awaited successful claimants.[43]

The centennial of Oklahoma Territory settlement by Native Americans of the Five Civilized Tribes was commemorated with a stamp issued on October 13, 1948 showing reproductions of the Five Great Seals of the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma. Native Americans of the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma - Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee and Seminole - celebrated the centennial of their forced move of the Trail of Tears, an ordeal lasting from 1838 to 1848. The Centennial and stamp were meant to honor "their remarkable progress and achievements." From 1848-1948, the members of the five tribes in the Union of the Five Tribes made a 'March of Progress' in arts, letters, government and professional fields that contributed to the attainment of Statehood. Oklahoma was the home of almost one-half of the entire Indian population of the nation.[44]

Minnesota Territory was commemorated on its 100th annivsary with a 3-cent stamp on March 3, 1949. The vignette features a westward-bound pioneer and a Red River ox cart. The Red River ox cart was a two-wheeled cart used by fur traders and pioneers, made entirely of wood was often constructed with buffalo sinew due to nail shortages. The Red River Ox Cart Trail extended from fur trading posts at St. Joseph in the Red River Valley to St. Paul, Minnesota.[45]

Five Civilized Nations, Oklahoma Terr.
1948 issue
Cherokee Strip, Oklahoma
1968 issue
Minnesota Territory
1949 issue

The Oregon Territory stamp was issued August 14, 1948, on the Oregon Territory Centennial. The vignette shows a wagon on the Oregon Trail. Pictured is John McLoughlin, one of the most influential figures of the Pacific Northwest's fur trade and settlement periods, the 'Father of Oregon.' Also shown is Jason Lee who is credited with prominent leadership in a provisional government in the Oregon Country.[46]

Following U.S. acquisition of the Utah Territory in the Mexican-American War, Mormons led by Brigham Young began settlement with his famous remark, "This is the place." The stamp shows settlers entering the valley of Great Salt Lake.[47]

Washington Territory is commemorated on a 3-cent stamp issued on March 2, 1953. The stamp shows an early pioneer family overlooking a territorial scene including an expanse of water with mountain ranges rising in the distance. A centennial seal pictures a covered wagon drawn by oxen with a Native American seated in the foreground.[48]

Oregon Territory 1848
1948 issue
Utah territory
1947 issue
Washington Territory
1953 issue

The Spanish expedition of discovery of San Francisco Bay was depicted on the fourth and final denomination of the Panama-Pacific Exposition Issue, produced with both gauge 12 perforations (1913) and gauge 10 perforations (1915). The 10-cent stamp paid the domestic registered mail fee, and was commonly used to meet large weight and foreign destination rates. About 17 million were printed.[49]

San Diego, California settlement was commemorated with a 6-cent stamp on its 200th anniversary, July 16, 1969. Governor Gaspar de Portola, accompanied by Father Junipero Serra, began colonization. The vignette shows the belfry of the mission at Carmel.[50]

Alta California first civil settlement in 1777 was commemorated on the 200th anniversary in 1977. San Jose was California’s first civic settlement founded by Mexican colonists naming the community, “El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe”. The town supported the military with agricultural production. The native Olhone culture was disrupted by disease, missionaries and farming.[51]

San Francisco, California
1913 issue
San Diego, California
1969 issue
Alta California 1777
1977 issue

The California Territory population exploded with the California Gold Rush. A 3-cent stamp issued on January 24, 1948 commemorated the centennial of the discovery of gold in California. The stamp pictures Sutter's Mill where the discovery started “the rush of Argonauts”. Although only a few made large fortunes, thousands who came stayed and contributed to California's rapid development as a territory.[52]

The first permanent white settlement of Nevada was commemorated on its 100th anniversary on a 3-cent stamp issued on July 14, 1951. The stamp depicts a log cabin, mountain range, and a pioneer scene.[53]

The Silver Centennial commemorative was issued through the Virginia City, Nevada, post office on June 8, 1959. The 4-cent stamp's vignetee depicts Henry Comstock at the Mount Davidson site of the rich silver deposit discovered by Patrick McLaughlin and Peter O'Riley. The stamp was designed by Robert L. Miller and W.K. Schrage, printed by the rotary process, electric-eye perforated, and issued in panes of fifty stamps each. It had an initial printing of 120 million stamps.[54]

California gold rush
1948 issue
First Nevada settlement
1951 issue
Nevada silver rush
1959 issue

Statehood[edit]

Thirteen from colonial territory[edit]

The first thirteen states were formed from British North American colonial territory. Their foundation as states was celebrated at the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution in a series of thirteen stamps, which were issued in the chronological order of ratification between July 4, 1987 and May 29, 1990. The first three stamps—for Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey—appeared in 1987.[55] Nine stamps were issued during 1988 and 1989, with five state commemoratives issued the same day of their ratification: for Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia and New York.[56] Rhode Island’s commemorative was issued on May 29, 1990. The thirteen states ratified the Constitution in half the time it had taken to ratify the Articles of Confederations.

Images are not available from USPS stamps since 1978. Click on the appropriate links for an image held at the Smithsonian Institute's online "Arago: people, postage & the post", National Postal Museum.

States from eastern states[edit]

Four states are created from colonial territory belonging to preexisting eastern states, Kentucky in 1792 from Virginia, Tennessee in 1796 of the 1790 Southwest Territory from North Carolina, and Maine in 1820 from Massachusetts, and West Virginia in 1863 from Virginia.

The 150th anniversary of Kentucky's admission to the Union was commemorated with a 3-cent stamp on June 1, 1942. The scene from a State Capitol mural depicts Daniel Boone with companions overlooking the Kentucky River and the site on the opposite shore where Frankfort is now located.[57] The 150th anniversary of Tennessee statehood was commemorated by a 3-cent stamp on June 1, 1946. The Tennessee State Capitol is in the center, flanked by portraits of Andrew Jackson, the first U. S. President from Tennessee (left) and John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee (right).[58]

Kentucky statehood, 1792
1942 issue
Tennessee statehood, 1796
1946 issue

Maine statehood is commemorated on the 6-cent stamp picturing the Lighthouse at Two Lights, Maine, issued July 9, 1970.[59] West Virginia commemorated statehood 100th anniversary with a 5-cent stamp on June 20, 1963. The foreground is a map outline of the state, the background features the state capitol.[60]

Maine statehood, 1820
1970 issue
West Virginia statehood, 1863
1963 issue

Eastern states from territories[edit]

Vermont’s 150th anniversary of statehood was celebrated with a 3-cent stamp on March 4, 1941. The vignette pictures the State Capitol at Montpelier. After a brief period of independence, Vermont became the 14th state to enter the Union.[61]

Ohio commemorated its 150th anniversary on a 3-cent stamp issued March 2, 1953. The central design features the state seal imposed on a map outline of the state. Sixteen stars in the left and right borders represent states admitted previously; a seventeenth star in the top center represents Ohio, and a buckeye leaf appears in the lower left.[62]

Vermont statehood, 1791
1941 issue
Ohio statehood, 1803
1953 issue

Indiana statehood was commemorated at its 150th anniversary with a 5-cent stamp on April 16, 1966. The design is based on that used for the Sesquicentennial observance, featuring the first capitol building, a map outline and a cluster of 19 stars symbolizing the states in the Union at Indiana’s admission.[63]

Mississippi statehood’s 150th anniversary was celebrated with a 5-cent stamp on December 11, 1967. Andrew Bucci’s design features an image of the state flower, the magnolia.[64]

Illinois statehood was celebrated on its 150th anniversary with a 6-cent stamp on February 12, 1968. It features a scene of a farm house and outbuildings on rolling plains under a cloudy sky.[65]

Indiana statehood, 1816
1966 issue
Mississippi statehood, 1817
1967 issue
Illinois statehood, 1818
1968 issue

Alabama’s statehood 150th anniversary was celebrated with a 6-cent stamp on August 2, 1969 at Huntsville, the first temporary seat of government. The state flower, the camellia, and the state bird, the yellowhammer, are featured. [66]

Michigan celebrated the 100th anniversary of its campaign for statehood on November 1, 1935, although it was admitted to the Union on January 26, 1837. The 3-cent stamp features the Michigan state seal flanked by a forest scene and an urban industrial scene.[67]

Alabama, 1819
1969 issue
Michigan statehood, 1835
1935 issue

Florida celebrated its 100th anniversary of statehood by a 3-cent stamp on March 3, 1945. The center of the stamp features the original state seal. The gates of St. Augustine are pictured on the left and the State Capitol in Tallahassee on the right.[68]

Wisconsin’s statehood 100th anniversary was commemorated by a 3-cent stamp on May 29, 1948. The foreground features a scroll with a map outline of the state, the background design shows the State Capitol. The population of 150,000 exceeded the minimum of 60,000 required by the Ordinance of 1787 for the Northwest Territory.[69]

Florida statehood, 1845
1945 issue
Wisconsin statehood, 1848
1948 issue

Western states from territories[edit]

Louisiana'a 150th anniversary of statehood was celebrated with a 4-cent stamp issued on April 30, 1962. The central design features a steam riverboat seen through a foreground of a riverbank tree with Spanish moss. Norman Todhunter designed the stamp.[70]

Missouri statehood’s 150th anniversary was commemorated with an 8-cent stamp on May 8, 1971. The vignette shows a Native American offering a pipe to settlers in a camp with a wagon train cresting a ridge in the background.[71]

Arkansas observed its 100th anniversary of statehood ending its territorial status in 1936, commemorated by a 3-cent stamp issued on June 15. The central vignette features the Old State House in Little Rock. It is flanked by Arkansas Post, the first European settlement in Arkansas by the French, and the first Arkansas State Capitol.[72]

Louisiana statehood, 1802
1962 issue
Missouri statehood, 1821
1945 issue
Arkansas statehood, 1836
1936 issue

Texas commemorated its 100th anniversary of statehood in 1945, celebrated by a 3-cent stamp issued on December 29. The state was annexed in 1845 pursuant to a Republic of Texas petition to the United States, under the presidency of James K. Polk.[73]

Iowa statehood’s 100th anniversary was commemorated by a 3-cent stamp on August 3, 1946. The stamp shows the Iowa state flag superimposed on an outline map of the state, and stalks of corn flank the design.[74]

California statehood’s 100th anniversary was celebrated with a 3-cent stamp issued on September 9, 1950. The vignette shows a miner panning gold, and a pioneer couple walking alongside an oxen drawn covered wagon. The left vertical panel shows a citrus tree and the ship bring news of California’s statehood.[75]

Texas statehood, 1845
1945 issue
Iowa statehood, 1846
1946 issue
California statehood, 1850
1950 issue

Minnesota statehood’s 100th anniversary was celebrated with a 3-cent stamp on May 11, 1958. The vignette highlights the state’s lakes, islands and low rolling hills. The foreground features a pine branch.[76]

Oregon’s statehood was commemorated with a 4-cent stamp on February 14, 1959. The central design is an unhorsed covered wagon, with Mount Hood in the right background, sloping westward to the Pacific Ocean. A star on the left symbolizes statehood.[77]

Kansas statehood 100th anniversary was commemorated by a 4-cent stamp on May 10, 1961. The design features a sunflower in the foreground with a pioneer couple and a stockade fort in the background.[78]

Minnesota statehood, 1858
1958 issue
Oregon statehood, 1859
1959 issue
Kansas statehood, 1861
1961 issue

Nevada celebrated its statehood 100th anniversary with a 5-cent stamp on July 22, 1964. The scene depicts Carson City, a major tourist attraction.[79]

Nebraska celebrated its 100th statehood anniversary with a 5-cent stamp on July 29, 1967. The stamp features a Hereford cow imposed on a background of an ear of yellow corn.[80]

Colorado celebrated its statehood 75th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp on August 1, 1951. The central design is of Colorado’s capitol building flanked in the background with Mount of the Holy Cross and the state seal. In the foreground appear the state flower, the columbine, and mounted cowboy.[81]

Nevada statehood, 1864
1964 issue
Nebraska statehood, 1867
1967 issue
Colorado statehood, 1876
1951 issue

Four states celebrated their 50th anniversary of statehood ending territorial status with a 3-cent stamp on November 2, 1939. They were North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington state. The stamp shows a map of the northwestern United States with the four subject states in outline.[82]

Idaho commemorated statehood 50th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp on July 3, 1940. The stamp shows the State Capitol building.[83]

Wyoming commemorated statehood’s 50th anniversary with a 3-cent stamp on July 10, 1940. The stamp design shows the state seal, the central figure is a woman before a banner, “Equal Rights”, flanked by men symbolizing live stock and grain, mines and oil.[84]

4- state statehood, 1889
ND, SD, MT, WA
1939 issue
Idaho statehood, 1890
1940 issue
Wyoming statehood, 1890
1940 issue

Oklahoma’s statehood 50th anniversary was commemorated with a 3-cent stamp on June 14, 1957. The foreground is an arrow piercing the atomic orbital symbol, imposed on a map outline of the state, with the slogan, “arrows to atoms".[85]

New Mexico statehood 50th anniversary was celebrated with a 4-cent stamp on January 6, 1962. The stamp features a northwestern New Mexican mesa named “Shiprock”.[86]

Arizona celebrated statehood 50th anniversary with a 4-cent stamp on February 14, 1962. The foreground features the state flower of the giant saguaro cactus, the background is a moonlit desert scene.[87]

Oklahoma, 1907
1962 issue
New Mexico, 1912
1962 issue
Arizona, 1912
1962 issue

Alaska statehood was celebrated with a 7-cent airmail stamp on January 3, 1959. The stamp shows the state flag’s star constellations of the Big Dipper and North Star superimposed on a map outline of the state. The background is of wooded hills and snow capped mountains.[88]

Hawaii statehood was celebrated with a 7-cent airmail stamp on August 29, 1959, the date of the presidential proclamation of Hawaii’s admission to the Union. The stamp pictures a Hawaiian warrior and a five pointed star for statehood imposed on the background of a topical relief map of the islands.[89]

Alaska, 1959
1959 issue
Hawaii, 1959
1959 issue

One modern stamp issued by USPS completes the commemoration of the fifty states, Utah stamp, 1996 issue, a 32-cent stamp on January 4, 1996 commemorated Utah statehood 100th anniversary. The stamp depicts the iconic Delicate Arch geological formation framing the La Sal Mountains.[90]

Explorers[edit]

Early Explorers include Christopher Columbus and Leif Erikson.

Christopher Columbus was honored in the first U.S. commemorative stamps in the Columbian Exposition issue of 1893. On his return to Spain, Columbus reported his discoveries to the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, who made the Americas widely known in Europe.[91]

Leif Ericson the 1000s Norse explorer was honored with a 6-cent stamp on October 9, 1968 — Leif Erikson Day. The stamp was inspired by the statue by American Stirling Calder in Reykjavic, Iceland.[92]

Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the Spanish explorer of the Panama Canal region, is honored in the Panama-Pacific Exposition issue. Balboa called the western ocean 'Mar del Sur'. The 1-cent stamp paid the post card rate. Patrons also commonly combined it with other denominations to fulfill large weight and foreign destination rates. Over 330 million 1-cent stamps were printed.[93]

Christopher Columbus, Caribbean
1893 issue
Leif Ericson, Vineland
1968 issue
Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Panama Isthmus
1913 issue

Early French explorers include Antoine Cadillac, Jacques Marquette and Jean Nicolet.

Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac was honored with a 3-cent stamp on July 24, 1951, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of his landing at Detroit in 1701. Cadillac founded the city of Detroit. The stamp's background design depicts Detroit's skyline as it appeared in 1951 and the foreground shows Cadillac’s landing at Detroit in 1701. His namesake is the Cadillac motor vehicle company.[94]

Jacques Marquette was honored on the one-cent stamp of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition Issue. The vignette shows him on the Mississippi, though when he crossed Lake Superior in spring 1674 his wintering cabin was on the site which would become Chicago.[95]

Explorer Jean Nicolet’s landing at Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1634 was celebrated on its 300th anniversary by a violet 3-cent stamp issued on July 7, 1934. The vignette is taken from a painting by Edward W. Deming depicting Nicolet's landing at Green Bay, with numerous Indians present.[96]

Jacques Marquette, Mississippi River
1898 issue
Jean Nicolet, Wisconsin
1934 issue

Early English explorers include John Smith and Philip Carteret.

Captain John Smith—who promoted the Jamestown settlement, explored the Chesapeake region and as its governor, is credited with its success—was honored on the 1-cent stamp of the Jamestown Exposition issue. The Simon de Passe engraving of John Smith (1580-1631) inspired the image on the stamp.[97]

Philip Carteret was honored on New Jersey’s 300th anniversary 5-cent stamp on June 15, 1964, which shows Carteret landing at Elizabethtown (Elizabeth), the state’s oldest city. The scene is superimposed over an outline map of New Jersey.[98]

John Smith, Virginia
1907 issue
Philip Carteret, New Jersey
1964 issue

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado found the Pacific Southwest exploring for Spain. On the 400th anniversary a 3-cent stamp was issued May 29, 1935. The California Pacific International Exposition is shown with Point Loma and San Diego Bay in the background.[99]

Coronado’s expeditions of exploration through the southwestern states in search of riches were celebrated on a 3-cent stamp issued September 7, 1940, on the 400th anniversary. He extended northeast as far as Kansas learning about the Indians and the regional topography.[100]

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, California
1935 issue

Early American explorers of the west include Daniel Boone.

Daniel Boone, Virginia, Kentucky
1968 issue

Daniel Boone was honored with a 6-cent stamp in the American Folklore Series, issued on September 26, 1968 at Frankfort, Kentucky, where he was buried. He was a famous frontiersman in the development of Virginia, Kentucky and the trans-Appalachian west. A wall of roughly-hews boards display the tools of Boone's trade—a Pennsylvania rifle, a powder horn, and a knife. The pipe tomahawk represents that the Shawnees had adopted Boone. His name and birth date was carved on the wall.[101]

Later American explorers include Lewis and Clark, John C. Fremont and John Wesley Powell.

Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark commanded the Corps of Discovery to map the Pacific Northwest. They were honored with a 3-cent stamp July 24, 1954 on the 150th anniversary. The 1803 Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States Lewis and Clark, described and sketched its flora and fauna and described the native inhabitants they encountered before returning to St. Louis in 1806.[102]

Captain John C. Fremont was honored on the 5-cent stamp of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition Issue. He was pictured in a vignette placing the United States flag on a peak in the Rocky Mountains at the age of thirty in 1843. Founder of the Republican Party and presidential candidate in 1856, he was a Union general and Senator from California. A California Gold Rush millionaire, he lost most of his fortune in bad business investments.[103]

John Wesley Powell, the noted geologist who explored the Colorado River, was honored on a 6-cent stamp issued August 1, 1969. Powell led an 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers, a 1,000-mile, four-months' journey. He is now regarded as the father of the US Geological Survey, the Reclamation Service of the Interior Department, and the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution.[104]

Lewis and Clark
1954 issue
John C. Fremont, Rockies
1898 issue
John Wesley Powell, Green and Colorado Rivers
1968 issue
  • The Lewis and Clark expedition was celebrated on May 14, 2004, the 200th anniversary of its outset depicting the two on a hilltop outlook. Two companion 37-cent stamps showed portraits of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. A special 32-page booklet accompanied the issue in eleven cities along the route taken by the Corps of Discovery. An image of the stamp can be found on Arago online at the link in the footnote.[105]
Richard E. Byrd, Antarctica
1933 issue

Late American explorers included Richard Byrd. The United States maintains research facilities in Antarctica without making territorial claims there, along with other international bases there.

Richard E. Byrd's Byrd Antarctic Expedition II was commemorated on a 3-cent stamp the same size and shape as Special Delivery on September 22, 1933. Intended for the collectors' market alone, the 'philatelic mail' with this stamp was carried by the expedition and postmarked at the Little America post office, the expedition's base camp.[106]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “Ordinance of 1787 Sesquicentennial Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  2. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “Mississippi Territory Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  3. ^ Haimann, Alexander T., “2-cent Jefferson”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  4. ^ Haimann, Alexander T., “10-cent Map of Louisiana Purchase”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  5. ^ “150th Anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  6. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “Centenary of Florida Statehood”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 10, 2014.
  7. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “100th Anniversary of Texas Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
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  9. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “2-cent Jackson & Scott”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  10. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “Oregon Territory Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 13, 2014.
  11. ^ "Gadsden Purchase", Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. viewed March 7, 2014.
  12. ^ Brody, Roger S., “Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Trotter, Gordon. 3-cent Hawaii Issue, “3-cent Alaska Issue”. Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Viewed March 4, 2014.
  14. ^ Trotter, Gordon. “3-cent Puerto Rico Issue”, and “3-cent Virgin Islands Issue”. Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Viewed March 4, 2014.
  15. ^ Flags of our nation series 2008-2012", Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  16. ^ Haimann, Alexander T., “2-cent Panama Canal”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 26, 2014.
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  28. ^ “Annapolis Tercentenary Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 14, 2014.
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  30. ^ “South Carolina Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 17, 2014.
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  32. ^ “New Hampshire Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 12, 2014.
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  34. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “Northwest Territory Sesquicentennial”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 14, 2014.
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  37. ^ ”Kansas Territory Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 24, 2014.
  38. ^ “Nebraska Territory Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 11, 2014.
  39. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “Iowa Territory Centennial Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 12, 2014.
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  42. ^ Rod, Steven J., “Fort Kearny issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 10, 2014.
  43. ^ “Cherokee Strip Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 17, 2014.
  44. ^ “Indian centennial issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 10, 2014.
  45. ^ Rod, Steven J., ”Minnesota Territory Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 24, 2014.
  46. ^ Rod, Steven J., “Oregon Territory Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  47. ^ “Utah Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 10, 2014.
  48. ^ “Washington Territory Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 11, 2014.
  49. ^ Haimann, Alexander T., “10-cent Discovery of San Francisco Bay”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 26, 2014.
  50. ^ “200th Anniversary California Settlement Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 17, 2014.
  51. ^ D’Avino, Doug. “Alta California Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed May 21, 2014.
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  58. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “150th Anniversary of Tennessee Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
  59. ^ “150th Anniversary Maine Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 7, 2014.
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  63. ^ “150th Anniversary Indiana Statehood” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 11, 2014.
  64. ^ “150th Anniversary Mississippi Statehood” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 11, 2014.
  65. ^ “150th Anniversary Illinois Statehood Issue” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 11, 2014.
  66. ^ “150th Anniversary Alabama Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 13, 2014.
  67. ^ Trotter, Gordan. “Michigan Centenary Issue” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 8, 2014.
  68. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “Centenary of Florida Statehood”, Arago: people, postage & the post. National Postal Museum. Online, viewed March 10, 2014.
  69. ^ “100th Anniversary of Wisconsin Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online. National Postal Museum, viewed April 9, 2014.
  70. ^ “150th Anniversary of Louisiana Statehood”, Arago: people, postage & the post online. National Postal Museum, viewed April 11, 2014.
  71. ^ “150th Anniversary of Missouri Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online. National Postal Museum, viewed April 11, 2014.
  72. ^ Trotter, Gordan. “Arkansas Centennial Issue” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 8, 2014.
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  74. ^ Trotter, Gordan. “100th Anniversary of Iowa Statehood Issue” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 9, 2014.
  75. ^ “California Statehood Issue” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 9, 2014.
  76. ^ “100th Anniversary of Minnesota Statehood” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 11, 2014.
  77. ^ “100th Anniversary Oregon Statehood”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 13, 2014.
  78. ^ “100th Anniversary Kansas Statehood”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 14, 2014.
  79. ^ “100th Anniversary Nevada Statehood”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 13, 2014.
  80. ^ “100th Anniversary Nebraska Statehood” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 11, 2014.
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  82. ^ Trotter, Gordan. “50th Anniversary of Statehood Issue” at Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum. Viewed April 8, 2014.
  83. ^ “50th Anniversary of Idaho Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online. National Postal Museum, viewed April 11, 2014.
  84. ^ “50th Anniversary of Wyoming Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online. National Postal Museum, viewed April 11, 2014.
  85. ^ “50th Anniversary of Oklahoma Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 14, 2014.
  86. ^ “50th Anniversary of New Mexico Statehood”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 13, 2014.
  87. ^ “50th Anniversary of Arizona Statehood”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 13, 2014.
  88. ^ “Alaska Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 14, 2014.
  89. ^ “Hawaii Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 14, 2014.
  90. ^ “Utah Statehood Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post online, National Postal Museum, viewed April 14, 2014.
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  92. ^ “Leif Erikson Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 16, 2014.
  93. ^ Haimann, Alexander T., “1-cent Balboa”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online. Viewed March 26, 2014.
  94. ^ Lovell, Jeffrie H.,”Landing of Cadillac Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 22, 2014.
  95. ^ Haimann, Alexander T., ”1-cent Marquette on the Mississippi, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 22, 2014.
  96. ^ Trotter, Gordon T.,”Wisconsin Tercentenary Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 22, 2014.
  97. ^ Haimann, Alexander T.,”1-cent Smith”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 22, 2014.
  98. ^ “New Jersey Tercentanary Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 15, 2014.
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  100. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., “400th Anniversary of the Coronado Expedition Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 14, 2014.
  101. ^ “1968 American Folklore Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 16, 2014.
  102. ^ Piazza, Daniel,”Lewis & Clark Expedition Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 22, 2014.
  103. ^ Brody, Roger S., and Alexander T. Haimann,”5-cent Fremont on the Rocky Mountains”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 22, 2014.
  104. ^ “Leif Erikson Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 16, 2014.
  105. ^ ”Bicentennial Lewis & Clark Expedition Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed April 28, 2014. An image of the stamp can be seen at Arago online, 37c Lewis and Clark on Hill stamp.
  106. ^ Lawson, Mary H.,”Byrd Antarctic Issue”, Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 22, 2014.

Bibliography[edit]

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