Arago: Washington Bicentennial Issue

Washington Bicentennial Issue

As the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth approached, demand mounted for an issue of large, colorful, pictorial stamps showing various events and objects from Washington's life. Bowed by the Great Depression, the U.S. Post Office Department instead issued twelve small, monochromatic stamps in denominations of .5-cent, 1-cent, 1.5-cent, and 2- through 10-cents. Each stamp showed a portrait of Washington, which ranged from early manhood to old age. Paintings by Charles Willson Peale (five), Gilbert Stuart (two) and John Trumbull (two); a bust by Jean Antoine Houdon; and drawings by Charles B. J. Saint Memin and W. Williams inspired the issues.