I was at a stamp show for collectors and one of the dealers had this stamp for sale. I bought it but had no idea who Virginia Dare was. The stamp was issued in 1937 to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the birth of Virginia Dare and the settlement of
This is the actual stamp that I bought which has some yellowing to it which may be from age. After all it is 67 years old. It could also be due to the gummed adhesive on the back of the stamp bleeding through the paper.
The stamp that I purchased is unused. This stamp did not come off of an envelope because there is no cancellation marks on it. I prefer stamps that are unused because I think that the cancellation marks take away from the artistry of the stamps.
The Virginia Dare stamp is rather old. This means that for an unused stamp someone had to buy this stamp in 1937 and hold onto it for 76 years. That is a long time to store a stamp. How much did I pay for this 76 year old unused stamp? 15 cents. I would have thought that it would have been worth much more than that because of its age. Nope, it was only 15 cents. But back to the stamp, who was Virginia Dare and why is there a commemorative stamp honoring her? After researching the stamp I found that Virginia Dare is the baby who is being held by her mother Eleanor White Dare. The middle name of the mother, “White”, is her maiden name. Keep that tucked away in the back of your mind. That name White will pop up again in this blog. The man is her father, Ananias Dare. He is holding a musket rifle. As it says on the stamp above, Virginia Dare was born in 1587 on Roanoke Island in the Virginia Colony in
Virginia Dare's parents were among 117 settlers that sailed from
Sir Walter Raleigh.
I remember Sir Walter Raleigh from a very early age. Actually I remember his image on the packs of Raleigh cigarettes.
The Raleigh cigarettes had a coupon on the back of the pack enclosed under the clear cellophane wrapping.
These coupons could be saved and redeemed for prizes.
And there were also the cans of Raleigh pipe tobacco.
There were evidently also cards but I never saw any of them. I must admit that the card is very colorful picturesque (did I spell that right?).
But enough on tobacco. Leaving
on May 8, 1587 they sailed
on a Caravel ship called The Lion. England
The ship was captained by Simon Fernandez, a Portuguese pilot who was familiar with the area. They sailed from
A little digression for a moment.
Aren't we lucky to be able to sail the oceans on luxurious cruise ships instead of the small sailing ships of old. If you have never been on a cruise on one of these massive ships, then be sure to add it to your "bucket list". What is a "bucket list"? A list of things that you want to do before you "kick the bucket". And no, a long bucket list won't make you live longer, just have more fun with your allotted time.
But these colonists weren’t so lucky as our modern day travelers. Fortunately they didn’t squeeze all 117 people onto one boat but rather had a fleet of ships. How many, I don’t know but they had to carry enough food to feed all of these people plus the sailors for two months. I wonder how much food they had left when they reached
Nine days after the birth of Virginia Dare her grandfather, Governor John White, left the colony and sailed back to
The infant Virginia Dare had disappeared along with the other colonists. It is believed that they may have been attacked by hostile indians and what survivors there may have been were absorbed into the Croatoan tribe. The fate of the colonists of The Lost Colony has remained a mystery to this day.
All this and more, I learned because of my curiosity about a pale blue stamp. The commemorative stamps all have fascinating stories connected with them. And there is a wealth of information on the internet about each stamp. Pick an old commemorative stamp and research it and read its history on the internet. I am sure that it will get you interested in the commemorative stamps and the stories that they tell. Lew