War of 1812’s Battle of Lake Erie Commemorated on Forever Stamp

Iconic Battle Took Place 200 Years Ago Today

September 10, 2013 

Release No. 13-069 

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War of 1812: Battle of Erie stamp
A high-resolution image of the stamp is available for media use only by emailing mark.r.saunders@usps.gov.

PUT-IN-BAY, OH — Two hundred years ago, the phrase, “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” was penned by U.S. Navy Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry in a report notifying General William Henry Harrison that the British had been defeated at the historic Battle of Lake Erie.

To commemorate this resounding triumph of the War of 1812 the U.S. Postal Service dedicated the War of 1812: Battle of Lake Erie Forever stamp today. The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony took place at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial on South Bass Island in Lake Erie near the location of the battle.

Available in sheets of 20, customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724) or at local Post Offices. The USS Constitution Forever stamp, issued last August, was the first in the War of 1812 Forever stamp series. Details on additional stamps in the series will be announced at a later date.

For the stamp art, the Postal Service selected William Henry Powell’s famous painting, Battle of Lake Erie. The oil-on-canvas painting, completed in 1873, was commissioned by the U.S. Congress and placed at the head of the east stairway in the Senate wing of the Capitol in Washington, DC. It depicts Perry in the small boat he used to transfer from his ruined flagship, the Lawrence, to the Niagara. A 19th-century engraving of Perry by William G. Jackman (after John Wesley Jarvis) is shown on the reverse of the stamp pane. Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, VA, served as art director and designer for the stamp.

“By portraying achievers and achievement, ideas and ideals, the Postal Service’s commemorative stamp program honors America’s history, heritage and heroes to bring both historical and contemporary subjects to life,” said U.S. Postal Service Eastern Area Vice President Joshua Colin in dedicating the stamp. “This morning, we continue that proud tradition, as we commemorate the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie, one of our country’s most important naval campaigns.”

In addition to contributing the battle cry ‘Don’t Give Up the Ship,’ to the national lexicon, the battle produced the ‘Hero of Lake Erie,’ Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry. Perry’s courage and gallantry earned him a place in history as one of the country’s greatest naval heroes. His decisive victory over the Royal Navy at Lake Erie prevented the British from penetrating further along the Great Lakes.

Joining Colin in dedicating the stamp were Northwest Ohio representative for Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ann Longsworth Orr; National Park Service Midwest Regional Director Michael Reynolds; U.S. Navy (Ret.) Capt. /Naval Sea Cadet Corps Executive Director Captain James Monahan; Put-In-Bay Mayor Ruth Scarpelli; and WPIB and WPCR Radio President and General Manager Greg Pfeiffer.

Triumphant Victory
The War of 1812, sometimes referred to by U.S. historians as “the forgotten conflict,” was a two-and-a-half-year confrontation with Great Britain that brought the United States to the verge of bankruptcy and disunion.

After boarding and taking command of the Niagara, Perry attacked and demolished the British ships Detroit and Queen Charlotte. He then penned one of the most memorable phrases of the war in a report to General William Henry Harrison:  “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”

Perry’s triumph gave the U.S. control of Lake Erie and allowed the army to recover ground lost early in the war. The British and their allies abandoned outposts on the Detroit frontier and retreated up the Thames River deeper into Upper Canada. General Harrison pursued them and won the Battle of the Thames Oct. 5, 1813, less than a month after Perry’s remarkable victory.

Many of this year’s other stamps may be viewed on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, via Twitter at @USPSstamps or at beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview.

First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Battle of Lake Erie Stamp
Special Cancellations
2200 Orange Ave, Rm. 206
Cleveland, OH 44101-9005

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, the price is 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by Nov. 10, 2013.

First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shopor by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO  64121-9014

Philatelic Products
There are 10 philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

  • 579106, Press Sheet with Die Cuts, $55.20 (print quantity of 2,500).
  • 579108, Press Sheet without Die Cuts, $55.20 (print quantity of 2,500).
  • 579110, Keepsake (Pane & Digital Color Postmark Set), $10.95.
  • 579116, First-Day Cover, 90-cents
  • 579118, First-Day Cover (Full Pane), $11.70.
  • 579119, First-Day Cancelled (Full Pane), $11.70.
  • 579121, Digital Color Postmark, $1.61.
  • 579130, Ceremony Program, $6.95.
  • 579131, Stamp Deck Card, 95-cents.
  • 579132, Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Postmark, $1.96.


For an outstanding selection of stamps and related collectible products, visit the official Postal Service Store on eBay at ebay.com/stamps.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.


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