1925 Lexington-Concord Issue
5¢ The Minuteman
First Day of Issue: April 4, 1925
First City: Washington, D.C.; Concord, MA; Concord Junction, MA; Boston, MA; Cambridge, MA; Lexington, MA
Quantity Issued: 5,348,800
Printing Method: Flat Plate
Color: Dark blue
The Lexington-Concord Issue of 1925 was the first set of U.S. postage stamps to honor the War of Independence. These stamps commemorate the patriots who gave their lives – and the ideals of freedom and independence they died for.
The earliest plans for the Lexington-Concord Issue included stamp designs featuring the Minuteman statues in both towns. While the Lexington statue honored local hero Captain John Parker, the Concord statue stood as a symbol of the universal American farmer, “ready to defend liberty on a moment’s notice.”
In the end, the Concord statue was selected for this 5¢ stamp. On either side of the statue are tablets with lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1836 poem, Concord Hymn. At the time of its issue, this was the wordiest U.S. stamp and was the first to include lines of poetry.
Daniel Chester French created the sculpture for the 100th anniversary of the battles. The statue was French’s first commission and established his career as a leading sculptor of public monuments.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord
The battles that took place at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, were the first military encounters between Great Britain and the 13 colonies of British North America.
One reason for the battles was the secret order given to British Army forces to find and destroy military supplies held by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Colonial Patriots received word of the impending theft and moved most of their supplies.
The first shots of the battle rang through the air as the sun rose over Lexington. The Colonial militia was outnumbered by more than 300 and fell back. In the meantime, the British forces moved on to Concord to search for supplies. As the British reached Concord’s North Bridge, about 500 militiamen met them. This time the British were outnumbered and defeated, then forced to retreat. In all, 49 Patriot lives were lost versus 73 British.