US Stamps

1907 5¢ Jamestown Exposition stamp honors Pocahontas

Jul 3, 2024, 8 AM
The United States 1907 5¢ Pocahontas stamp (Scott 330) is a good buy in very fine grade and unused, hinged condition at around $125.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Pocahontas (1596-1617) is one of the most interesting personalities in American colonial history. She was also the first American Indian and the third woman (after Queen Isabella of Castile and Leon and Martha Washington) to be commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp.

She was the daughter of Chief Powhatan of the Powhatan tribe. Pocahontas was a nickname meaning “playful child.” Among her people, real names were not divulged to strangers lest it give them power over them. Her real name is thought to have been Matoaka.

Pocahontas lived among the colonists in Jamestown, Va., and served them as an interpreter and go-between with her father, Chief Powhatan. She allegedly saved the life of Capt. John Smith.

Pocahontas converted to Christianity, taking the Christian name Rebecca. In 1614, she married a colonist, John Rolfe. She gave birth to a son, Thomas Rolfe, in 1615.

The Rolfes and 11 other Powhatans sailed to England in 1616, where she became more widely known.

In March 1617, the Rolfes boarded a ship to return to Virginia, but Rebecca fell sick and was taken ashore, where she died at the age of 21. Her son, Thomas, survived, and today there are estimated to be more than 100,000 of her direct descendants living in North America.

The 5¢ blue Pocahontas stamp is the high denomination of the three-stamp Jamestown Exposition issue (Scott 328-330). The stamps were issued at Hampton Roads, Va., on April 26, 1907, the first day of the exposition.

The engraved stamps were printed on paper watermarked double-line “USPS” and perforated gauge 12.

The Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps and Covers values the 5¢ Pocahontas stamp in very fine grade at $150 in unused, hinged condition and $375 in mint, never-hinged condition. A used example is valued at $30.

The stamp is a good buy in very fine grade and unused, hinged condition at around $125. Examples in lesser grades sell for much less.

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