Arago: 4-cent Simon Bolivar

4-cent Simon Bolivar

Two stamps issued on June 25, 1958, commemorated Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) as the second person to be featured in the Champions of Liberty series that honored men who fought for freedom in their homelands and offered a counterpoint to the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union. The stamp honors Bolivar with the appellation, "The Liberator." The Bolivar stamps were issued with impressive ceremony in the Postmaster General's Reception Room in the Post Office Department Building, a reflection of their importance to the federal government.

Simon Bolivar, leader in Spanish America's struggle for independence from Spain, contributed decisively to the independence of Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Historians have called him the "George Washington" of South America.

The 4-cent Bolivar stamps were perforated 10 1/2 x 11 and printed on the rotary Cottrell press from 280-subject engraved plates. Each 280-subject sheet was cut into four panes of seventy stamps for distribution to post offices. Four plates were used: 26057, 26058, 26059, and 26060.

William K. Schrage modeled the stamp using a portrait of Bolivar furnished by the Venezuelan Information service and a rough pencil sketch provided by the Post Office. The design was based on the previously issued Magsaysay commemorative, although reduced in size from the Magsaysay commemorative (US Scott 1096).

Charles A. Brooks (vignette) and John S. Edmondson and Howard F. Sharpless (lettering) of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing engraved the stamp.


Linn's World Stamp Almanac. Sidney, Ohio: Amos Press, 2000.

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