1907 5¢ Pocahontas
Issue Date: May 3, 1907
Quantity issued: 7,980,594
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: Double line USPS
Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in America and was founded on May 14, 1607. It was there that the first representative government of the American continent was established. The cultivation of tobacco was begun there. Jamestown is also remembered for buying the first Negro slaves to be introduced into the 13 colonies.
The 1907 Jamestown commemorative stamp set honors the 300th anniversary of the settlement’s founding, which was a historic chapter in our nation’s development. Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, two prominent figures in the event, are also honored in the set.
Plans for the series changed a few times, from a set of 10 stamps commemorating several key people in the founding of Jamestown to only two stamps, which would not include Pocahontas. The daughter of the Indian Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas is the heroine of one of the best- known traditions connected with American history. When John Smith was sentenced to death, he was but seconds away from having his brains crushed with heavy clubs. Pocahontas ran to his aid and begged and pleaded with her father not to kill him. Smith was spared his life.
Historical societies petitioned for her inclusion, and she was ultimately pictured on the 5¢ denomination. The decision was wise, as the 5¢ stamp paid the international rate for foreign visitors wishing to send letters home, and was needed to make a complete series.
John Smith is pictured on the 1¢ Jamestown commemorative stamp. Smith is the best known of the early settlers of Virginia. As a youngster, he was an indifferent student and eventually chose to follow the call of the sea. At the young age of 26, he began trying to colonize Jamestown. While on an expedition in Virginia, he and his men were attacked by Indians. Smith was tried and sentenced to die, but was supposedly saved by Pocahontas. While many of the events in Smith’s life have been debated, he’s credited with making an accurate map of the northeastern coast from Penobscot, Maine, to Cape Cod. And it was Smith who called the area “New England.”