Thursday, January 14, 2016

‘Postal Service to issue Richard Allen stamp’

While at the local post office Tuesday afternoon, I spotted the promotional poster on the wall announcing the upcoming issue of a stamp commemorating Richard Allen as part of the Black Heritage series. From the publicity:

Courtesy USPS
A 49¢ Forever stamp.    
Richard Allen: Preacher, activist, and civic leader Richard Allen (1760-1831) was an inspiring figure whose life and work resonate profoundly in American history. This stamp coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen’s founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the most important institutions in African-American life, as well as his election as its first bishop.

The stamp art is a portrait of Allen, a detail from an 1876 print titled “Bishops of the A.M.E. Church.” Featuring Allen in the center surrounded by ten other bishops and six historical vignettes, the print is from the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia. The noon ET February 2 First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place at the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia.

In Freemasonry, Richard Allen was a member of African Lodge No. 459, the original Prince Hall Masonic lodge in Boston, and it was he who founded a daughter lodge in Philadelphia also named African Lodge. This event ignited the process of the Boston lodge becoming a grand lodge, and the rest is history. I do not know if any of that would be significant in the eyes of the U.S. Postal Service, but I recall there was a petition several years ago to create a stamp commemorating Prince Hall himself. I don
t know the disposition of that, but I hope there is such a stamp in production.


Chris said...

There is a movement to ask the Royal Mint to issue a commemorative coin to honour the 300th anniversary of the founding of the United Grand Lodge of England. With the silly opinions that many Englishpeople have of Freemasonry, I'm not holding my breath.

W.Bro Chris Hansen

Magpie Mind said...

That would be a beautiful commemoration, but I agree it wouldn't be politically feasible. Chris, it's great to know you're still reading the Magpie all these years later.