1¢ - Dark green or green
Printing Method: FLAT PLATE
Subject: Captain John Smith
Number issued: 77,728,794
Watermark: Double line USPS wmk
Scott #: 328
Issued: April 26th, 1907
50¢ - 75¢
No postmark with gum (MH)
$3 - $6
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$5 - $12
A half pane of 50 of #328, there were two panes of 100 to a sheet of 200
One of only ten recorded covers of #328, April 26th, 1907
Simon Le Passe made this engraving from a live sitting of Captain Smith in 1616, whilst on his visit to England. The real John Smith was a short, bearded, brown-haired man and the relationship between him and Pocahontas was most likely just one of friendship. He was 37 years old at the time of the portrait, later 19th Century depictions of Smith were romanticized (top image)
#328 was issued with the following plate #'s
Imprint and number
A contemporary forgery of #328
The purpose of the Exposition, like previous Expo's was to bring interest to the local economy. In this case Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was a private venture put together by local businessmen and supported by the local cities. At a late stage Congress loaned $1M to the expo. Despite issuing stock certificates money was always short. April 1907 was the opening date and yet most of the buildings were either incomplete or had no exhibits well into May 1907.The pier for travellers arriving by boat was not completed until September 1907, six weeks before the Expo closed in November 1907. There was a road and rail link which were built for the Expo but ended well short of the Expo and visitors had to take a very long walk, discouraging anyone wanting to visit again. That walk earned the Exposition the nickname of the "Imposition'.
In order to get support from the nearby towns of Hampton Roads it was built on Sewell's Point, a location that was about equal distance from each town and thus would not favor any town. Unfortunately Sewell's point was nothing but fields with no infrastructure, one of the biggest expenses was bringing sewage and water to the site. The organisers built a giant water tank which the visitors emptied every day and filled up overnight.
It was forecast there would be 6 million visitors, but only 2.8 million came and only half of those were paying visitors. A month after the Expo closed the Expo company went bust owing the Federal Government the $1M loan, which the bankruptcy did not clear. For the next year they tried to persuade the Federal Government to build a Naval base on the site. Only succeeding when WWI came along.
Today most of the building can still be found on the Naval base, although only eight are in their original location.
There was heavy involvement from the Military, with a Navy flotilla doing a sail past and the Army having a parade of West Point Cadets in from of President Roosevelt.
The pier which was completed only six weeks before the close, by this time visitor figures were so low every day open made a loss. The photograph gives a hint of how popular the Expo was in October.
Despite the underwhelming success of the Expo, it did yield one great success. The black community funded, designed and built the Negro Building. Every exhibit was created by black artists and craftsmen. It featured dioramas depicting how the black community had grown in stature and how it had contributed towards the success of the country. The diorama shown shows slaves landing in Virginia.