1936 One-Cent Army Stamp: George Washington, Nathanael Greene, and Mount Vernon

Army and Navy Commemorative Stamp Series 1936-1937

The United States Post Office issued a series of commemorative postage stamps between December 1936 and May 1937 to honor the Army and Navy.

The Army stamps pay tribute to Generals from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and both the Union and Confederate armies in the Civil War, as well as to the United States Military Academy where many of them were trained. The Navy stamps honor a comparable group of naval heroes.

These commemorative stamps provide a great window into some of America's military history.

Facts about This Stamp

  • Date and Place Issued: December 15, 1936, in Washington, D.C.
  • Quantity issued: 105,196,150
  • Designer: William K. Schrage
  • Engravers: M. D. Fenton and Frank Pauling (vignette), Edward M. Hall (lettering)
  • Scott Catalog No. 785

One-Cent Army Stamp

The green 1¢ Army stamp features portraits of Revolutionary War Generals George Washington and Nathanael Greene and a view of Mount Vernon, Washington’s Virginia estate.

This is the first stamp in the five-stamp Army series, which also includes

The corresponding one-cent green Navy stamp, featuring Revolutionary War naval heroes John Paul Jones and John Barry, was issued on the same date as the one-cent Army stamp.

General George Washington at Trenton
General George Washington at Trenton | Source

General George Washington (1732-1799)

Washington, the first President of the United States of America, is honored on this stamp for his role as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783. Washington had developed his military skills and earned respect for his courage and leadership in the French and Indian War. When the American colonies went to war in 1775, the Second Continental Congress appointed Washington Major General and Commander in Chief of the army.

Washington’s first success in the war was forcing the British to abandon the siege of Boston. Despite numerous setbacks, his strategic leadership culminated in 1781 with the successful siege of Yorktown, Virginia, and the surrender of the British, leading to the Treaty of Paris ending the war in 1783.

Washington resigned his commission in December 1783. In 1789, he was elected President of the United States.

General Nathanael Greene
General Nathanael Greene | Source

Brigadier General Nathanael Greene (1742-1786)

Born into a pacifist Quaker family in Rhode Island, Greene developed a strong interest in military tactics and helped organize a militia in 1774. Advancing rapidly, he was promoted from private to Brigadier General in 1775 and put in command of the city of Boston after the British evacuated it in 1776.

Later in the same year, Greene was named a Major general and given command of the Continental Army troops on Long Island. In 1778, he accepted Washington’s request to serve in the difficult post of Quartermaster General at Valley Forge. In 1780, after the Continental Army had suffered several major defeats in the South, Washington chose Greene to take command of the southern army. Once Greene took over, the tide of the war in the South changed and, due largely to Greene’s strategic brilliance, the British were defeated.

Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon | Source

Mount Vernon - George Washington's Plantation Estate

George and Martha Washington’s plantation estate on the banks of the Potomac River had been in Washington’s family since 1674. George’s half-brother Lawrence Washington had named it Mount Vernon in honor of Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of the British Navy, Lawrence’s commanding officer in the War of Jenkins’ Ear.

After Lawrence died prematurely, George inherited the estate. He enlarged and improved the house and added substantial acreage to the plantation. He grew numerous crops, bred sheep, and built a distillery on the property.

The property was not maintained after Washington’s death in 1799, but in 1858 the nonprofit Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association purchased the estate and in the ensuing years restored the mansion and grounds. Mount Vernon was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and today is the most popular historic estate in America.

Visit Mount Vernon

A markerMount Vernon, Virginia -
Mt Vernon, VA, USA
[get directions]

Learn History by Collecting Stamps

So now you know some of the history behind the one-cent Army stamp of 1936.

Collecting stamps, especially commemorative issues, is a great way for both children and adults to learn history. Hundreds of commemorative postage stamps have been issued by the United States alone, and thousands of stamps that tell interesting stories have been issued worldwide.

Most of these stamps are affordable and accessible to collectors. Give stamp collecting a try. It's fun and rewarding!

© 2011 Brian Lokker

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Comments 2 comments

anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

I saw an interesting story on PBS about the artists that are chosen to create the idea for a stamp. They spend many hours selecting the right mood, colors, and message. I am not a collector, but I have many stamps saved, even back to the 2 cent stamp. My brother-in-law was a postman and he knew the value of stamp collecting.

Judging from your hubs, you must be a collector.

brianlokker profile image

brianlokker 4 years ago from Washington DC metro area Author

Hi Ann. Yes, many artists consider it an honor to be chosen to design a stamp. And many designs are quite beautiful. I've always been drawn to some of these older stamps with the engraved artwork.

I am not really an active collector. My great-uncle had a wonderful stamp collection, which he shared with my father, and my father got me started when I was a kid. I liked the glimpses of history -- people, events, etc. -- that the stamps provided. I still have the collection, including many of my great-uncle's stamps, but I haven't added to it in quite a while.

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