1926 Hamilton’s Battery
2¢ Battle of White Plains
First Day of Issue: October 18, 1926
First City: New York, NY
Quantity Issued: 107,398
U.S. #630 commemorates the Battle of White Plains, a Revolutionary War battle fought on October 28, 1776. The design is entitled “Hamilton’s Battery” in honor of Alexander Hamilton, an outstanding artillery commander, and his men. Hamilton later served as the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.
First U.S. Souvenir Sheet
A souvenir sheet is a sheet of stamps issued to commemorate an event and carries an inscription or artwork on its border. The number of stamps on a sheet ranges from one to twenty-five or more. In the U.S., these sheets are primarily printed in conjunction with major philatelic exhibitions.
The White Plains sheet was issued for sale at the International Philatelic Exhibition held in New York from October 16-23, 1926. An inscription in the margin read, “INTERNATIONAL PHILATELIC EXHIBITION, OCT. 16-23, 1926, N.Y., U.S.A.” The sheet contained 25 of the 2¢ stamps issued to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of White Plains.
Only 107,398 White Plains sheets were printed to commemorate the International Philatelic Exhibition in 1926 – about half of 1% the normal quantity for 1920s commemoratives. In the years since, many sheets have been broken up, further reducing the supply. This sheet can only become more difficult to buy as the years pass.
Battle of White Plains
Following a string of British victories, George Washington’s Continental Army was forced to evacuate New York City and lower Manhattan. British forces and Hessian mercenaries serving under General William Howe followed as Washington moved his troops north.
The two armies met at the Battle of White Plains on October 28, 1776. After a day of stiff resistance, Washington’s troops were forced to retreat north. Alexander Hamilton positioned his canon strategically and held a large Hessian contingent at bay to allow an orderly retreat. A second German unit outflanked Washington’s men, trapping them between Howe and the Hessians. However, Howe didn’t advance and lost the opportunity to destroy Washington’s army.
As night fell, a powerful storm moved through the region. Howe ordered his troops to set up camp and artillery batteries. After two days of soaking rain and inactivity, Washington’s men slipped away during the night.