20

November

2009

0

Seven score and six years ago…

by Smithsonian Digital Library

November-Blog-Gettysburg-Address-Commemorative-StampContinuing the Gettysburg address theme from yesterday, here is a post from the National Postal Museum Library

November 19th marks the 146th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. In 1948, the U.S. Post Office issued a 3-cent commemorative stamp on the occasion of the 85th anniversary.

The image of a contemplative Lincoln appearing on the stamp was inspired by the statue of Lincoln standing, created by Daniel Chester French  located at the State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska. The inscription, “THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE, SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH” is a direct quotation from the address. The stamp was designed by Charles R. Chickering.

The National Postal Museum Library maintains a file of the correspondence, photographs, and other materials surrounding the creation of this and many other stamps, collectively called the “Stamp Design Files”. Materials from both the Museum and the Library’s Stamp Design Files were digitized for the online exhibition “From Postmaster to President: Celebrating Lincoln’s 200th Birthday Through Stamps & Postal History. The Stamp Design Files are open to researchers by appointment.—Beverly Coward and Cassie Mancer 

Sources Consulted:

Stamp Design Files, Scott 978

No Author, “Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Commemorative Stamp”, The Bureau Specialist, Vol. 20, [1949] pg. 282

No Author, “Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday is Celebrated by National Gallery of Art” [January 16, 2009] 

Stamberg, Susan, “Hands of an Artist: Daniel French’s Lincoln Memorial” [February 24, 2009]

Daniel Chester French also designed the seated
sculpture of Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in
Washington D.C.

Image used by permission of the National Postal Museum Collections Department

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