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US Stamps

Commemoratives of 1936-1937

Commemorative US stamps issued in the later part of 1936, continuing through 1937, featured celebrations of the US Armed Forces, the US Constitution, and contemporary US territories.

The five pictorial US stamps shown above (Sc. #785-89) were issued between December 1936 and May 1937 to honor the United States Army.

The designs of these stamps are as follows:

  • 01 C. - Portraits of General of the Army George Washington (1732-1799), and Major General Nathanael Green (1742-1786), along with Mt. Vernon, the estate of George Washington.
  • 02 C. - Portraits of Major General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), Lieutenant General Winfield Scott (1786-1866), along with the Hermitage, the home of Andrew Jackson.
  • 03 C. - Portraits of Major General William T. Sherman (1820-1891), General of the Army Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), and General of the Army Philip H. Sheridan (1831-1888).
  • 04 C. - Portraits of General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), Lieutenant General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863), along with Stratford Hall, the Lee Family Plantation and birthplace of Robert E. Lee.
  • 05 C. - U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

The five pictorial US stamps shown above (Sc. #790-94) were issued between December 1936 and May 1937 to honor the United States Navy.

Four of the designs of these US stamps feature portraits of famous American naval officers, with three of the stamps having the names of the vessels they commanded below each portrait, as follows:

  • 01 C. - Portraits of Captain John Paul Jones (1747-1792) - USS Bonhomme Richard and Commodore John Barry (1745-1803) - USS Lexington.
  • 02 C. - Portraits of Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) - USS United States and Captain Thomas MacDonough (1783-1825) - USS Saratoga.
  • 03 C. - Portraits of Admiral David G. Farragut (1801-1870) - USS Hartford and Commodore David D. Porter (1780-1843) - USS Powhatan.
  • 04 C. - Portraits of Rear Admiral William T. Sampson (1840-1902), Admiral of the Navy George Dewey (1837-1917), and Rear Admiral Winfield S. Schley (1839-1911).
  • 05 C. - Seal of the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland) and Midshipmen.

Northwest Territory
From: Wikimedia Commons

The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above (Sc. #795) was issued on July 13, 1937 to commemorate the Adoption of the Ordinance of 1787 and the Creation of the Northwest Territory.

The stamp shows a map of the Northwest Territory and portraits of Manasseh Cutler and Rufus Putnam.

The Ordinance of 1787, also known as the Northwest Ordinance, was an act of the Congress of the American Confederation, passed on July 13, 1787.  This was the first effort by the new American government at territorial expansion.  The ordinance created the Northwest Territory from lands between the Canadian border and the Ohio River, on the North and South, and between the Appalacian Mountains and the Mississippi River on the East and West.  This territory included what would eventually become the modern states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Manasseh Cutler (1742-1823) was an American clergyman, a chaplain during the Revolutionary War, and later, a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts.  As the leader of the Ohio Company of Associates, whose goal was to purchase lands in the proposed territory, he had a leading role in the drafting of the Ordinance of 1787.

Rufus Putnam (1728-1834) was a colonial military officer during the French and Indian War and a General in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.  He was one of the organizers of the Ohio Company of Associates, and he was instrumental in the initial settling of the Northwest Territory.

The imperforate souvenir sheet shown above (Sc. #797) was issued on August 26, 1937 for the Annual Convention of the Society of Philatelic Americans, held in Asheville, North Carolina from August 26 through August 28, 1937.  These were printed in plates of 36 souvenir sheets.

This souvenir sheet features a reproduction, in bluish green, of the 10 C. denomination stamp from the National Parks Issue of 1934.

Signing of the U.S. Constitution
Painting by Junius Brutus Stearns (1810-1885)

The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above (Sc. #798) was issued on September 17, 1937 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Signing of the U.S. Constitution.  The stamp features the famous painting by Junius Brutus Stearns (shown above), now located in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

After nearly four months of debate, the final text of the new constitution was completed.  On September 17, 1787, following a speech by Benjamin Franklin, 39 delegates at the Constitutional Convention signed and then submitted the constitution to the Congress of the Confederation for ratification.

The four US stamps shown above (Sc. #799-802) were issued to honor the four overseas territories of the United States.

In the order of appearance, from top to bottom, the designs of these US stamps are as follows:

  • Statue of King Kamehameha I, Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands.  The Hawaiian Islands were an independent kingdom and then a republic, until they officially became a territory of the United States in 1898.  The Hawaiian Islands became a state of the United States in 1959.
  • Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  The United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867 for US $7,200,000.00.  Alaska officially became a United States territory in 1912.  It became a state of the United States in 1959.
  • La Fortaleza (16th Century Spanish Fortress), San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico, along with Guam and the Philippines, were ceded to the United States by Spain in 1898, as a result of their defeat in the Spanish American War.  Today, Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States, and its people are considered United States citizens.
  • Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  The United States purchased the Virgin Islands, formerly the Danish West Indies, from Denmark in 1917 for US $25,000,000.00.  Today, the U.S. Virgin Islands are a United States territory, and the inhabitants are considered United States citizens.

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Commemoratives of 1936-1937


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above (Sc. #796) was issued on August 18, 1937 to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the Birth of Virginia Dare, the first child born in America to English parents, and of the Establishment of the Roanoke Island Settlement.

The stamp shows an artist's conception of Virginia Dare, with her parents, Aranias and Eleanor Dare.

The Roanoke Colony was a late 16th Century attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement in the New World.

The colony, made up of 115 settlers, was established in 1585 by Sir Walter Raleigh.  John White, the governor of the colony, returned to England in 1587 to procure provisions for the colony.  His return to the colony was delayed by the Anglo-Spanish War, and he was not able to return to the colony until August 1590. 

When White arrived, the colonists were gone and all the structures had been dismantled.  There were no signs of any struggle or battle there, and to this day, no evidence has ever been found, indicating what happened to the colonists at Roanoke Island.