The Battle of Lake Erie Postage Stamp

Battle of Lake ErieSince Mike and I grew up on the shores of Lake Erie, we often heard of Oliver Hazard Perry. We’ve been to the Perry Monument both in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and on Presque Isle in Erie, Pennsylvania. Many of our readers have, too. The replica of the Brig Niagara is in the Erie harbor and sails the Great Lakes in the summer.

The Battle of Lake Erie was a decisive victory in the War of 1812. Commodore Perry was a key figure in that battle near Put-in-Bay, Ohio. After transferring from the badly damaged Lawrence to the Niagara, Perry hoisted his battle flag, “Dont Give Up the Ship” and won the battle on September 10, 1813.

I found a blog post by a Pennsylvania photographer with pictures of the nine tall ships that sailed into Erie harbor in early September 2013 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle. It would’ve been fun to see these!

We also think this is a very artistic stamp and were delighted to learn that the art director for the stamp was Greg Breeding, a former Cru staff member. According to the U.S. Postal Service:

 For the stamp design, the Postal Service selected William Henry Powell’s famous painting, Battle of Lake Erie. The oil-on-canvas painting, completed in 1873, was commissioned by the U.S. Congress and placed at the head of the east stairway in the Senate wing of the Capitol. It depicts Oliver Hazard Perry in the small boat he used to transfer from his ruined flagship, the Lawrence, to the Niagara.


Greg Breeding, former Cru staff member, co-founded and serves as creative director for Journey Group, He’s taught design courses in Ukraine, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic.  His first stamp for the U.S. Postal Service was The War of 1812: USS Constitution.  His second stamp, Flight into Egypt, was released for Christmas 2012 and is available for this Christmas as well. (We wrote about it here.)

“I’m interested in creating art for the public good,” Breeding says, “and honoring a person or event on a stamp highlights and celebrates what’s positive in our culture.”(The biographical information about Greg Breeding comes almost verbatim from the blog, Seasons of Grace.)