U.S. # 4790
2013 46¢ West Virginia Statehood
West Virginia was the only state to secede from the Confederacy during the Civil War. Upon separating from Virginia, it became the one state in the Union to have its sovereignty established by presidential proclamation.
The discord among Virginians was apparent long before the Civil War. Residents in the state’s mountainous western region were largely German, Protestant Scotch-Irish, and pioneers who had migrated from the north. The rugged landscape made slavery unprofitable. In the east and south, old Virginia families relied heavily upon the institution to sustain their plantations. Representation in the state government was slanted toward them to the disfavor of the westerners. When Virginia seceded from the Union, loyalists in the west set up a rival government that was granted U.S. statehood on June 20, 1863.
Once called the “Child of the Storm” because of its Civil War origin, West Virginia became known for rich mineral resources. The discovery of a vast supply of black coal during the late 1800s bolstered its economy and helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. But it is the untamed natural beauty of the “Mountain State” that draws visitors, inspires natives, and led John Denver to immortalize West Virginia as “almost heaven” in his song “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
Designed by Greg Breeding, the West Virginia statehood stamp reproduces a 2008 photograph by Roger Spencer of the sunrise in the Monongahela National Forest.
Value: 46¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: June 20, 2013 – date of admission to the Union in 1863
First Day City: Charleston, WV – state capital
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Method: Photogravure printing in sheets of 20 in 10 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11
Quantity Printed: 30,000,000 stamps
Though not a specified series, the U.S.P.S. has been issuing stamps commemorating the admission of individual states to the Union since 1935 (U.S. #775 honoring Michigan). During that time, West Virginia was also honored in 1963 with a stamp (U.S. #1232) honoring the 100th anniversary of statehood.