5¢ blue, deep blue
Printing Method: FLAT PLATE
Number issued: 7,980,594
Watermark: Double line USPS wmk
Scott #: 330
Issued: May 3rd, 1907
$2 - $5
No postmark with gum (MH)
$32.50 - $65
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$150 - $300
There were no plans to issue the 5¢ value. However historical associations petitioned for a stamp featuring Pocahontas arguing that foreign visitors to the exposition would need a 5¢ stamp for their mail going home.
The only known first day cover, May 2nd, 1907
Known as the Booton Hall portrait. Originally owned by Peter Elwin of said hall, it was painted by an unknown artist sometime after 1616. It was based on the engraving below and now resides in the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC.
Simon Le Passe made this engraving from a live sitting of Pocahontas in 1616, whilst on her visit to England. She was portrayed as an English Gentlewoman. She holds an ostrich feather fan in her hand, to symbolize royalty. Her name is given as Matoaka all Rebecca, not Pocahontas. She is stated as being 21 years old at the time of the portrait.
#330 was issued with the following plate #'s
Imprint and number
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.