U.S. # 4805
2013 46¢ Battle of Lake Erie
War of 1812 Bicentennial
Control of Lake Erie had been a point of contention since the outbreak of the War of 1812. Although the British had the upper hand, the U.S. developed a plan to take the lake and turn the tide of the war.
“The Hero of Lake Erie,” Oliver Hazard Perry had spent much of 1813 preparing for battle. But when the British ships began their advance on the morning of September 10, he was discouraged to find the wind working against him. While his gunboats were able to inflict major damage on the approaching British ships, they could not stop the constant bombardment on Perry’s flagship, the Lawrence. Perry was forced to abandon ship, then rowed half a mile through heavy gunfire to take command of the Niagara.
During this time, two of the British ships collided and became unmanageable. The smaller British vessels dispersed and expected the Americans to retreat. But Perry pushed on. With the wind now in his favor, Perry led his ships through the British line to victory. He insisted on receiving the British surrender aboard the Lawrence so they could see the terrible price his men had paid. After the battle, Perry wrote, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”
America’s success at Lake Erie was a major turning point. Independence and lasting peace were soon to come, thanks in large part to “The Hero of Lake Erie.”
The stamp’s design was based on an 1873 oil painting by William Henry Powell titled, Battle of Lake Erie. The original painting was commissioned by the U.S. Congress for display in the east stairway of the Senate Wing in the Capitol building. The painting shows Oliver Perry in the small boat he used to move from his destroyed flagship to the Niagara. The back of the stamp pane pictures an engraving of Perry created by William G. Jackman.
Value: 46¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: September 10, 2013
First Day City: Put-in-Bay, Ohio – at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 120 in 6 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 26,000,000 stamps
This stamp is the second in a series that commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Other stamps in the series include:
#4703 – 2012 USS Constitution
#4921 – 2014 Fort McHenry
#4952 – 2015 Battle of New Orleans
This issue wasn’t the first time Oliver Perry appeared on U.S. postage. He was first featured on U.S. #144 as part of the 1870-71 Bank Note Printing. His portrait graced several stamps through 1895.