American Revolution Sesquicentennial
In 1925, the U.S. celebrated the 150th anniversary of its independence with a stamp series known as the American Revolution Sesquicentennial.
U.S. #617 pictures General George Washington leading colonial forces at Cambridge Common on July 2, 1775. This was two-and-a-half months after the battles at Lexington and Concord. A driving factor for this scene’s inclusion in the set was due to the famed “Washington Elm.” According to legend, Washington stood under the elm tree as he took command of the Continental Army. Over the years, the tree was badly damaged and was accidentally knocked over during repair attempts in 1923.
The Battle of White Plains was a Revolutionary War battle fought on October 28, 1776. This stamp design is entitled “Hamilton’s Battery” in honor of Alexander Hamilton, an outstanding artillery commander, and his men. Hamilton later served as the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury
Although U.S. #644 is called the “Burgoyne Campaign,” it commemorates several different events. In fact, General John Burgoyne isn’t the central character in the stamp and it wasn’t originally intended to honor him, as he was a British general fighting against America. The stamp pictures Burgoyne (left of center) handing his sword to General Horatio Gates of the Continental Army. The stamp image is based on John Trumbull’s 1821 painting “Surrender of General Burgoyne.”
According to legend, Mary “Molly” Ludwig was the wife of an infantry sergeant. During the battle, she carried pitchers of water to the wounded soldiers, causing her to be nicknamed “Molly Pitcher.” When her husband was wounded during the conflict, Molly took his place at the canon and fought during the balance of the battle.
U.S. #689 commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prussian-born General Baron Frederick Wilhelm von Steuben, whose exceptional services to the Colonial Army greatly improved their militarily techniques during the Revolutionary War.
Benjamin Franklin recruited this Polish-born nobleman for the American cause when they met in Paris. Pulaski is considered the “father of the American cavalry.” He earned this title through his daring service as a brigadier general both in battle, and as the principal organizer of the American cavalry system. Referring to “Pulaski’s Legion,” a British officer said they were “the best damned cavalry the rebels ever had.” Pulaski served with great distinction under General Washington at the battle of Brandywine in September 1777. He was fatally wounded during the siege of Savannah in 1797.
The Battle of Yorktown was the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. At Yorktown, French and American forces worked together to crush the British army under General Charles Cornwallis. This stamp pictures General George Washington and his French allies, Lieutenant General Jean Rochambeau and Admiral François De Grasse.
In 1783, General George Washington issued a proclamation of peace from his headquarters at the Hasbrouck House in Newburgh, New York. This stamp commemorates the 150th anniversary of that proclamation which officially marked the end of hostilities of the Revolutionary War.
On April 18, 1873, General George Washington issued a Proclamation of Peace ending the Revolutionary War. This stamp celebrates the 150th anniversary of that proclamation and was the first issued under President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. An avid collector, Roosevelt selected the design for the stamp himself!