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First Day of Issue
May 11, 2007
March 2012
Jamestown, VA 23081

The Settlement of Jamestown stamp marks the 400th anniversary of the first English settlement in America in Jamestown, Virginia.  The stamp features a painting of the 3 ships -the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, all under  the direction of Captain Christopher Newport.  The 3-sided stamp       depicts the 3 ships that brought the colonists to the banks of the James River.  The stamp is shaped like a triangle, as was the fort raised by the Jamestown   settlers shortly after their arrival in 1607.   It was December 1606 when Newport set sail from London for Virginia.  It was an unusually lengthy trip of 144 days sailing across the  Atlantic Ocean from England by way of the Canary Islands.  A group of 104 English men and boys began this  settlement on the banks of Virginia’s James River, sponsored by the Virginia Company of London, whose      stockholders hoped to make a profit from the resources of the New World.  It soon became apparent why the Native Indians did not    occupy the site.  Jamestown Island is a swampy area and furthermore it was isolated from most potential hunting game such as deer and bears.  The settlers quickly hunted and killed off all the large and smaller game that was to be found on the tiny peninsula.  The low, marshy area was infested with mosquitoes and other airborne pests and the brackish water of the James River was not good for drinking.  Consequently, many suffered from saltwater poisoning which led to infection, fevers and dysentery.  As a result of these conditions, most of the early settlers died of disease and starvation.  The community suffered terrible hardships in its early years but managed to endure, earning the distinction of being America’s first permanent English   colony in what is now the United States.   The cachets features Captain Christopher Newport as Admiral of Virginia and founder of Jamestown.  As Admiral of Virginia, Newport chose the sight for Jamestown, led the initial  exploration for King James, and negotiated peacefully with Chief Powhatan’s Indian tribes.  He repeatedly rescued the colonists from famine with four resupply voyages.  On his final voyage to   Jamestown, Christopher Newport would bring the key to Jamestown and Virginia Colony’s permanency in a man named John Rolfe.  Rolfe arrived with a heavy heart due to the death of his wife and young son in a previous shipwreck.  John Rolfe would successfully cultivate and export his new, sweeter strains of tobacco.  His ideas and work with tobacco resulted in the cash crop which brought about Virginia       colony’s economic success.  Prior to the voyage to the New World, Christopher Newport sailed with Sir Francis Drake in the attack on the Spanish fleet at Cadiz and participated in England’s defeat of the   Spanish Armada.  During the war with Spain, Newport seized fortunes of Spanish and Portuguese treasure with fierce sea battles in the West Indies, while working as a privateer for Queen Elizabeth I.  Newport led more attacks on Spanish shipping and settlements than any other    English privateer.  After leading his men aboard an enemy ship off the coast of Cuba, his right arm was “strooken off”, and Newport was   referred to thereafter as “Christopher Newport of the one hand.”

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