2014 49¢ War of 1812: Fort McHenry Imperforate
War of 1812
This stamp is the third in the War of 1812 series. It was issued as part of the 200th anniversary celebrations of The Star-Spangled Banner.
On September 12, 1814, the British launched a two-part attack to take the city of Baltimore. Then the third-largest city in the United States, and a suspected American privateer base, it was an enticing target for the British during the War of 1812.
When their initial land attack failed to break through American lines, the British unleashed a naval assault on Fort McHenry the next morning. Garrison commander Major George Armistead’s small force of 1,000 men quickly returned fire, but the enemy fleet moved out of range.
Armistead’s men stayed at their posts despite a barrage of over 1,500 shells. For over 24 hours, the British bombarded the fort. But, in the early morning hours of September 14th, the American flag still proudly flew over Fort McHenry. The Royal Navy, low on ammunition after its unsuccessful day-long attack, finally withdrew.
Amazingly, the fort suffered only four men killed and 24 wounded. In a letter to Secretary of War James Monroe, Major Armistead credited the victory to his men’s stout Yankee resistance: “Were I to name any individual who signalized themselves, it would be doing injustice to the others. Suffice it to say, that every officer and soldier under my command did their duty to my entire satisfaction.”
The artwork for the stamp was created by Greg Harlin, who specializes in historical paintings. The image shows American soldiers manning a cannon inside Fort McHenry. The “rockets’ red glare” made famous by Francis Scott Key can be seen over the walls of the fort.
49¢ Fort McHenry, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: September 13, 2014, the 200th anniversary of the battle
City: Baltimore, MD, inside Fort McHenry
Printed By: CCL Label Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure printing in sheets of 100 with five panes of 20 per sheet
Scarce Modern Imperforates
The modern imperforate stamps are one of the hottest stories around. In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service released some issues as press sheets. The sheets with die cut perforations were issued in limited quantities.
To the surprise of many collectors, officials then issued a small number of press sheets without perforations. The uncut sheets were only available in Kansas City, Missouri, yet most sold out immediately. In an instant, the imperforate stamp sheets became modern rarities. For example, only 75,000 Baseball All-Star se-tenant sheets were issued compared to 118,000 Bugs Bunny sheets with the 10th stamp imperforate.
In a controversial move, the editors of Scott Catalogue announced they would not list or give numbers to these stamps because they did not fit Scott guidelines. This decision was strongly debated since the imperforate stamps are valid for postage. They eventually decided to give the stamps minor numbers and have continued issuing imperforates in the years since.
Because they were issued in such limited quantities, these scarce modern imperforates can be difficult to find. Luckily Mystic purchased a small number of each imperforate stamp issued so you can add these modern rarities to your collection. Be one of the lucky few – order today.