1909 2¢ Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition
Set of 2
Issue Date: June 1, 1909
Quantity issued: 152,887,311
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: Double line
The Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition commemorative stamp was issued perforate (#370) for the general public and imperforate (#371). This set includes both stamps.
The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was held in Seattle, Washington, in 1909 to publicize the development of the Pacific Northwest. Organizers had originally planned to hold the world’s fair in 1907 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, but rescheduled the event when they learned the Jamestown Exposition was being held that year.
Organizers urged the Post Office Department to issue commemorative stamps to promote the event, as they had done for several world’s fairs. Only one was issued. Several designs were considered, including one picturing a seal on a block of ice, but were eliminated because they failed to portray Alaska’s temperate summers in a way that would attract tourists.
In the end, officials decided to picture William Seward, who negotiated the purchase of Alaska. Seward was a statesman and New York Senator. He served as Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. During the Civil War, it was his difficult task to see that foreign nations did not give the Confederacy official recognition. He was successful in this and is recognized for the accomplishment. However, his greatest work was the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million in 1867.