3¢ Vermont Statehood
Issue Date: March 4, 1941
City: Montpelier, VT
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10.5
Color: Light violet
The only U.S. commemorative stamp issued in 1941, U.S. #903 commemorates the 150th anniversary of Vermont’s statehood. Pictured on the stamp is the state capitol located in Montpelier. The capitol was built in 1857.
Vermont’s Road to Statehood
Vermont served mainly as a hunting ground for the tribes of the Algonquian Indians before white settlement. France’s Samuel de Champlain was the first European to explore the Vermont area. He reached Lake Champlain, which bears his name, in 1609. Champlain claimed all of Vermont for France. In 1666, the French built a fort on Isle La Motte in Lake Champlain. The English built a fort at Chimney Point, west of today’s Middlebury, in 1690. However, the first permanent settlement was Fort Dummer, near today’s Brattleboro, built by colonists from Massachusetts in 1724. This fort was needed to protect western Massachusetts from attacks by the French and Indians. Vermont was a battleground during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). The war resulted in England’s control of Vermont and most of North America.
The royal governors of New Hampshire and New York both made land grants to settlers in the Vermont area. Unfortunately, their claims often overlapped. In 1764, England ruled that the claims made by New York were legitimate, and ordered settlers with New Hampshire grants either to pay New York or else leave. This resulted in the formation of the Green Mountain Boys, a military force organized to protect land claims granted by New Hampshire. The Green Mountain Boys drove the New York settlers from Vermont.
During the Revolutionary War, the land disputes involving Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire remained unresolved. On January 15, 1777, Vermont settlers declared the area an independent republic named New Connecticut. In July, Vermont adopted its first constitution and took its present name, which is taken from the French vert mont, or “green mountain.” In 1783, George Washington wrote that he believed it would take force to end Vermont’s independence. However, no efforts were ever made to do so.
In 1790, Vermont paid New York $30,000 to resolve its land claims. New Hampshire relinquished its claims in Vermont. As a result, Vermont joined the Union on March 4, 1791. Vermont was the first state admitted to the Union after the 13 original colonies.
FDR – The Stamp-Collecting President
President Franklin Roosevelt was instrumental in the design and issuance of U.S. #903. Introduced to stamp collecting at a young age by his mother, Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned to his collection throughout his life to relax and unwind.
Elected President four times, Roosevelt served in the nation’s highest office longer than any other chief executive – 12 years. During those 12 years, Roosevelt shared his love of stamps with the nation, personally approving each of more than 200 stamp designs. He suggested topics, rejected others, and even designed some himself. It was his aim to use stamps not just to send mail but also to educate Americans about our history. And as he reluctantly entered America into World War II, he saw these stamps as an outlet to raise spirits and bring hope.