John Sullivan & New Hampshire Statehood – Masonic First Day Cover – #2344 Edsel Cachet

John Sullivan & New Hampshire Statehood Masonic First Day Cover - Edsel cachetMajor General John Sullivan (1740-1795)

From 10,000 Famous Freemasons: Vol. IV:

John Sullivan served in a number of prominent roles in early American history:

      • Major General in the American Revolutionary War
      • Governor of New Hampshire 1786-90
      • First Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire 1789-90

American Revolution

John Sullivan, born on February 17, 1740, at Somersworth, New Hampshire, was a successful lawyer. He was later commissioned as major of the militia in 1772 and a year later attained the rank of colonel in 1773. The next year he attended the first Continental Congress as a delegate from New Hampshire. In June 1775 Congress named him as one of the eight original Continental brigadier generals and served throughout the siege of Boston. He was sent along with General Thomas in 1776 to relieve the American forces in Canada. Sullivan was promoted to to Major General in August of that year, but shortly afterwards he was taken as a prisoner of war during the battle of Long Island. Paroled and and exchanged, he went on to serve at Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown, and wintered at Valley Forge.

Sullivan led punitive expeditions against the Six Nations of Indians, which are known as Sullivan’s Expedition. They burned the villages and routed the Indians and and British soldiers in the Finger Lakes region of upper New York state.

Post-Revolutionary War Service

Following the war, Sullivan served in Congress in 1780-81. He then went on to serve as attorney general of New Hampshire in 1782.

Masonic Background

Sullivan received his Masonic degrees in St. John’s Lodge No. 1 in Portsmouth, NH, on March 19, 1767 and on December 28, 1768. Although he was chosen as Grand Master of New Hampshire on July 8, 1789, he had never served as master of a lodge up until that time. Sullivan was elected Master of St. John’s Lodge later that year on December 3, and was installed three weeks later. He was finally seated in the grand East on April 8, 1790, although his failing health prevented him from finishing the year as Grand Master. He resigned on September 5 and died on January 23, 1795.

The 25 cent New Hampshire Bicentennial Statehood Stamp #2344

The featured 25-cent stamp (Scott 2344) was designed by Thomas Szumoski and was issued on June 21, 1988 in honor of the bicentenary of New Hampshire statehood. The image is that of the Old Man of the Mountain.

Joshua Chamberlain & Battle of Gettysburg – Masonic First Day Cover #985, 978, 2045

Joshua Chamberlain - Masonic First Day Cover with Cochrane cachet #985, #978, #2045

Joshua Chamberlain – Masonic First Day Cover #985, #978, #2045; Cochrane cachet

Joshua Chamberlain: Remarkable Military and Civil Leader

Joshua Chamberlain was one of the most remarkable military leaders in U.S. history. He was cited for bravery multiple times during the American Civil War, awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Battle of Gettysburg, and appointed Brigadier General by Ulysses Grant. Chamberlain rose in rank to Major General and was given the honor of receiving the southern surrender at Appomattox. He was also given the final Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac in Washington, DC on May 23, 1865. Not to mention that he had been wounded six times along the way.

After the Civil War war, Chamberlain went on to serve four one-year terms as Governor of Maine and also on the faculty and as president of Bowdoin College where he had studied.

The president of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 2 July 1863, while serving with the 20th Maine Infantry, in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on the Little Round Top against repeated assaults, and carrying the advance position on the Great Round Top.  Medal of Honor citation

Private Life

Chamberlain was born in Brewer, Maine, the oldest of five children. He came from a line of military men: His great grandfathers were soldiers in the American Revolutionary War, one having been a sergeant in the battle of Yorktown. His grandfather was a colonel in the War of 1812. His father served during the Aroostook War in 1839–also called the “Pork and Beans War.” This was an undeclared confrontation between the United States and Great Britain in 1838-39 over the international boundary between British North America (Canada) and Maine. The result was a compromise with a mutually accepted border between Maine and the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec.

Joshua Chamberlain, Freemason

Brother Joshua Chamberlain was raised in United Lodge No. 8 in Brunswick, Maine, on August 28, 1862. This was just a little more than two weeks after enlisting in the Union Army–unbeknownst to his employer or family–and being appointed lieutenant colonel of the 20th Maine Regiment on August 8. He was originally offered the rank of colonel, but he refused, instead agreeing to the lesser rank of lieutenant colonel to earn his way up.

The timing of his entry into Freemasonry was not unusual. By the time of the American Civil War, U.S. freemasonry tripled its membership from 66,000 to 200,000 members in over 5000 lodges nationwide. This surge in membership helps explain, at least in part, the many stories of Masonic fraternization during the American Civil War, which include accounts of Masonic soldiers and sailors rescuing enemy combatants who identified themselves as members of the fraternity. Masonic incidents are also recorded involving Freemasons burying their own with Masonic formalities during battle, as well as aid and special treatment given to Masonic POWs.

The Cover and Stamps

Featured in this First Day Cover are three U.S. postage stamps: The 1949 #985 Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) 3-cent stamp, the #978 Gettysburg Address 3-cent stamp, and the #2045 Medal of Honor 20-cent stamp for which this First Day Cover was issued and that appropriated featured Joshua Chamberlain in the Cochrane cachet.


Gen. John ‘Blackjack’ Pershing & Babe Ruth Masonic First Day Cover (Stamp #2046)

Scott #2046 Masonic First Day Cover; General John Blackjack Pershing and Babe Ruth in uniformJohn “Blackjack” Pershing and the Babe

In this unique cachet, Blackjack Pershing poses with Babe Ruth decked out in his National Guard uniform.

From the Edsel cachet: A little known part of Ruth’s life off the baseball diamond included a stint in the National Guard. An alert photographer grabbed this shot which received little, if any, public notice. Pershing was a member of Lincoln Lodge No. 19 Nebraska, RAM Lincoln Chapter No. 6, Knight Templar Mt. Moriah Commandery No. 4 32-degree AASR Wheeling, W. VA, 33-degree Washington, D.C. Sesostris Shrine Temple, Lincoln, Nebraska and New York Court No. 30 Royal Order of Jesters. (more…)

Captain Harvey Dunn – “R&R WWI Style” – Illustrator of WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154

Scott #2154 Harvey Dunn “R&R World War I Style” Masonic First Day Cover; Edsel cachet

Harvey Dunn’s “R&R World War I Style” Featured in Masonic First Day Cover

Harvey Dunn–Freemason and World War I correspondent-artist and illustrator of the 1985 22-cent commemorative stamp–is the featured artist in the Edsel cachet of this Masonic First Day Cover. Featured here is Dunn’s, “R&R WWI Style.”

Captain Harvey Dunn – “Machine Gunner” – Illustrator of WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154

Scott #2154 Harvey Dunn “Machine Gunner” Masonic First Day Cover; Edsel cachet

Harvey Dunn’s “American Machine Gunner” Featured in Masonic First Day Cover

Harvey Dunn–Freemason and World War I correspondent-artist and illustrator of the 1985 22-cent commemorative stamp–is the featured artist in the Edsel cachet of this Masonic First Day Cover. Featured here is Dunn’s sketch, “American Machine Gunner.”

Captain Harvey Dunn – “Sentry” – Illustrator of WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154

Scott # 2154 Harvey Dunn “Sentry” First Day Cover; Edsel cachet

Harvey Dunn’s “Sentry” Featured in Masonic First Day Cover

Harvey Dunn–Freemason and World War I correspondent-artist and illustrator of the 1985 22-cent commemorative stamp–is the featured artist in the Edsel cachet of this Masonic First Day Cover. Featured here is Dunn’s oil painting, “Sentry.” Painted in 1918, it now resides with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.


Captain Harvey Dunn – “Victory March” – Illustrator of WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154

Harvey Dunn "Victory March" Masonic First Day Cover; Edsel cachetHarvey Dunn’s “Victory March” Featured in First Day Cover

Harvey Dunn–World War I correspondent-artist and illustrator of the 1985 22-cent commemorative stamp–is the featured artist in the Edsel cachet of this Masonic First Day Cover.

From the cover:

The weapons, the uniforms and the scenery change from one war to the next, but the faces remain the same. Despair, pain, shock, fatigue, etch their undeniable stamp on the faces of victor and vanquished alike. Harvey Dunn’s pictures will live forever because they reflect the souls of the men who bear the brunt of war. Dunn’s Masonic membership was in a Lodge in Tenafly, New Jersey.

Captain Harvey Dunn – Illustrator of WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154 FDC

Scott #2154 Masonic First Day Cover; Edsel cachet

Captured World War I Front Line Action as Artist-Correspondent

Capt. Harvey Thomas Dunn (1884 – 1952) was a pioneering artist and war correspondent who documented WWI from the front line trenches. He was one of only eight artists who the U.S. Army commissioned to chronicle the war by serving in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Europe. They were all provided the rank of captain.

Provided Art Work for WWI Commemorative Stamp

Dunn’s illustration, “The Battle of Marne,” was selected for (more…)

Gen. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold – Masonic First Day Cover – WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154 FDC

Scott #2154 Masonic First Day Cover

General Henry “Hap” Arnold – Pioneer Airman & Freemason

Gen. Hap Arnold was a true pioneer airman, having been taught the fine points of flying by the Wright Brothers. His amazing military career spanned from West Point graduating class of 1907 to commanding the Army  Air Force during World War II as a five-star general and becoming know as the ‘father of modern day U.S. Air Force.’

Instructed by the Wright Brothers

After West Point, Arnold served at Governor’s Island in New York before transferring to the Signal Corps in 1911. It was during this time in Dayton, Ohio, that he took instruction from the Wright Brothers for two months in operating the  Wright Biplane–just eight years after the Wright Brothers’ historic first flight in 1903. With this, Hap Arnold became one of the first earliest military aviators.

Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold seated in biplane 1912

From Student to Instructor to ‘Father’ of Modern Day U.S. Air Force

Following his instruction from the Wright Brothers, Arnold became an instructor in aviation in College  Park, Maryland. He transferred to Georgia in 1912 where he set the altitude record by reaching a height of 6,540 feet. He continued to rise through the ranks. In 1938, Hap Arnold became Major General and Chief of the Air Corps, then in 1941 rose to Chief, Army Air Force and became a three-star general. He later directed all aviation activities in the war against Germany and Japan, with 2.5 million troops and 75,000 aircraft under his command. Gen. Arnold retired in 1946, having received numerous recognitions during his career, including three Distinguished Service Crosses, Distinguished Flyer Cross, and Air Medals. He also wrote an autobiography, Global Mission (Military Classics Series).

General  Henry Hap Arnold and General George Marshall during Potsdam Conference

Gen. George C. Marshall, U. S. Army Chief of Staff, and Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold, Commanding General, U. S. Army Air Forces, arrive at the residence of Prime Minister Winston Churchill for a dinner given by the British Prime Minister for President Truman and Soviet leader Josef Stalin during the Potsdam Conference.

Freemason Henry “Hap” Arnold

Bro. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold was raised on November 3, 1927, in Union Lodge  No. 7 in Junction City, Kansas. He received 33 degree A.A.S.R. on October 19, 1945.

Masonic Lodges Named After Gen. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold

Several lodges have been named after Gen. Arnold, including:

Gen. Henry H. Arnold Lodge No. 791 at Edwards Air Force Base in Rosamond, California

Hap Arnold Lodge No. 457 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Please let me know if I’m missing any lodges!

Gen. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold Postage Stamp #2191

The U.S. Postal Service issued a 65-cent stamp honoring General Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold #2191 on November 5, 1988. This stamp was part of the Great American Series. The first day issue dedication ceremony was held in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. Why Gladwyne? It happened to be in conjunction with a U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York football game.

Recommended Reading:

Flyboys (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition) TJGR7

More Blackjack: World War I Masonic First Day Cover #2154

Scott #2154 Masonic First Day Cover

Blackjack Revisited

Here is another Gen. John ‘Blackjack’ Pershing Masonic First Day Cover with a cachet describing in detail Pershing’s Masonic background:

– Member Lincoln Lodge No. 19, Lincoln, Nebraska

– Entered Apprentice on December 1, 1888

– Fellow Craft & Master Mason on December 22, 1888

– Orders of Knighthood conferred at Mt. Moriah Commandery No. 4

– Member of West Virginia Consistory No. 1, Wheeling, West Virginia

– Life Member of Sesosiris Temple, Lincoln, Nebraska

– Recveived 33rd Degree in Washington, DC in 1930

Recommended Reading

Here’s some good reading on Gen. Blackjack Pershing:

Pershing: Commander of the Great War (The Generals)

A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

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