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The 2c Battle of White Plains stamp

2c Alexander Hamilton Battery

The 2c “Battle of White Plains” stamp featuring Alexander Hamilton’s Battery.

Issued in October 1926, this red two-cent stamp was not created to honor the original event, but apparently to drum up support for the celebration honoring the 150th anniversary of the Battle of White Plains. A fine point to be sure, but the Post Office was unhappy about the expense of the stamp, so it was made in a smaller size to save money.

The image, which was taken from a painting by E.L. Ward titled “Alexander Hamilton’s Battery,” depicts a four-man Continental gun crew with cannon and ammunition from Captain Alexander Hamilton’s New York Colony Artillery Company. I have cross-referenced E.L. Ward, and the title of the painting, because I wanted to show readers the original, but I can find nothing more about it. Perhaps the name of the painter is wrong and/or the title of the painting is incorrect. If someone knows more about this stamp and the painting, please send me a note so I can correct this information.

The White Plains Battle Flag

The White Plains Battle Flag

Two flags are depicted at the bottom of the stamp. The Stars and Stripes is shown gathered into a swag, which was a common and traditional method of display in that time, but is now considered poor flag etiquette—in that the flag is supposed to fly unfettered and free. [U.S. Flag Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8(d)].

The other flag shown is the White Plains battle flag, carried by some of the American fighters on October 28, 1776 at the battle of White Plains, NY where George Washington’s Army opposed British General William Howe in what was considered the 4th and final battle for New York.

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