The 1-dollar stamp features Patrick Henry (1736-1799) with a “simple picture frame effect,” which is common to many of the Liberty Series portrait stamps. A portrait by American artist Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887) inspired the image of Henry.
The stamp was released on October 7, 1955, at Joplin, Missouri. Though Patrick Henry was born, reared, and died in Virginia and served as governor of that state for three terms, the Post Office Department issued the stamp at a major stamp convention in Joplin. In explaining the choice, the speaker said, "What he did was done for all America, and therefore belongs to all America.”
A prominent figure during era of the American Revolution, Patrick Henry is remembered, in part, for his stirring oratory. He has inspired Americans for over 250 hundred years with his historic challenge, “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” In addition to this most famous quote, he wrote profusely on the notion of freedom throughout his life. For instance, he wrote, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”
The stamp was designed by Charles R. Chickering and Victor McCloskey, Jr., of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It was engraved Arthur W. Dintaman, Charles A. Brooks, and John S. Edmondson of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.