Trivia

Hard

The First Woman To Appear On A U.S. Postage Stamp Was?

Harriet Tubman
Susan B. Anthony
Martha Washington
Queen Isabella
Queen Isabella I and Christopher Columbus side by side on an 1893 U.S. postage stamp.
United States Postal Service/Wikimedia

Answer: Queen Isabella

One would assume that the first U.S. postage stamp that bore a woman’s face would bear the face of an American woman. Over the years, there have been many such stamps, like those commemorating Susan B. Anthony (women’s rights advocate), Harriet Tubman (abolitionist and political activist), Pocahontas (first Native American woman to be honored on a U.S. stamp), Amelia Earhart (aviator), and Clara Barton (American Red Cross founder).

The first U.S. postage stamp with a woman’s face on it, however, wasn’t commemorating a woman specifically, but linking that woman with a man: Christopher Columbus. In 1893, a stamp was issued commemorating Columbus’ voyage to the New World and alongside his portrait was a portrait of his patron—Queen Isabella of Spain, who made his journey possible.

It wouldn’t be until 1902 that a woman would be featured by herself on a piece of U.S. postage. That year, the post office released a stamp commemorating Martha Washington, the first “First Lady” of the United States.

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