Arago: Exhibits

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Forming the Nation: Pioneering Women

5c Virginia Dare single

The Virginia Dare stamp was issued August 18, 1937.

While the early First Ladies embodied the enduring spirit of a new nation, legends developed that honored other women who helped form America. These legends represent glorified views of the challenges settlers faced in the New World. The following stamps honor the strength and fortitude shared by America’s pioneering women.

One such female, Virginia Dare (1587-?), is honored for being the first child born of English parents in the New World. She was born in 1587 on the settlement of Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina. Nothing else is known of her life, or of the rest of the settlement’s members. When English sailors returned to the site, the “Lost Colony” had vanished.

The United States postage stamp honoring Virginia Dare idealizes the hardships colonists faced on the frontier. The strength and fortitude of these pioneering women are a tribute to the American spirit.