March 14, 2015

1479, 1486 UNITED STATES (Virginia) - Virginia map

Posted on 07.03.2015 and 14.03.2015
Bordered by Maryland and Washington, D.C. to the north and east; by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, by North Carolina and  Tennessee to the south, Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as a former dominion of the English Crown, and "Mother of Presidents" due to the many U.S. presidents having been born there. Its geography and climate are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. Many of Virginia's rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, including the Potomac, Rappahannock, York, and James, which create three peninsulas in the bay. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the Appalachian Mountains with the highest points in the state, the tallest being Mount Rogers at 1,746 m.

Forests cover 65% of the state, primarily with deciduous, broad leaf trees. The largest areas of wilderness are along the Atlantic coast and in the western mountains. The Atlantic coast regions are host to flora commonly associated with the South Atlantic pine forests and lower Southeast Coastal Plain maritime flora. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; and Virginia Beach is the most populous city. Its economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley; federal agencies in Northern Virginia, including the headquarters of the Department of Defense and CIA; and military facilities in Hampton Roads. Virginia's economy changed from primarily agricultural to industrial during the 1960s and 1970s, and in 2002 computer chips became the state's leading export.

The first people are estimated to have arrived in Virginia over 12,000 years ago. By 5,000 years ago more permanent settlements emerged, and farming began by 900 AD, in 1500 the Algonquian peoples founding towns. The other major language groups in the area were the Siouan and the Iroquoians. Several European expeditions explored the Chesapeake Bay during the 16th century, and in 1583, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted Walter Raleigh a charter to plant a colony north of Spanish Florida. In 1584, Raleigh sent an expedition to the Atlantic coast of North America. The name "Virginia" may have been suggested then by Raleigh or Elizabeth. The London Company financed the first permanent English settlement in the "New World", Jamestown, founded in 1607.

Many colonists died during the Starving Time in 1609 and the Anglo-Powhatan Wars, but however, European demand for tobacco fueled the arrival of more settlers. African workers were first imported to Jamestown in 1619, but slavery first appears in Virginia statutes in 1661. Middle Plantation saw the founding of The College of William & Mary in 1693 and was renamed Williamsburg as it became the colonial capital in 1699. In 1776, the Convention declared Virginia's independence from the British Empire. During the  American Revolutionary War, the capital was moved to Richmond. In 1781, the combined action of Continental and French land and naval forces trapped the British army on the Virginia Peninsula and defeated it. His surrender led to peace negotiations in Paris and secured the independence of the colonies.

In 1790, both Virginia and Maryland ceded territory to form the new District of Columbia, though the Virginian area was retroceded in 1846. By 1860, almost half a million people, roughly 31% of the total population of Virginia, were enslaved. Virginia joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which Richmond was made the Confederate capital and Virginia's northwestern counties seceded to form the state of West Virginia. During the war, more battles were fought in Virginia than anywhere else. Virginian  James Albert Bonsack invented the tobacco cigarette rolling machine in 1880 leading to new industrial scale production centered around Richmond. Newport News Shipbuilding was responsible for building six major WWI-era battleships for the U.S. Navy from 1907-1923. The Cold War led to the expansion of national defense government programs housed in offices in Northern Virginia.

The flag of Virginia, first adopted in 1861, at the beginning of the American Civil War, consists of the obverse of the official seal against a blue background. The great seal consists of two metallic discs, with an ornamental border. On the obverse is Virtus with a spear in the right hand and a parazonium in the left one; her left foot is on the form of Tyranny, represented by a prostrate body of a man, a broken chain in his left hand, and a scourge in his right. Above is the word "Virginia," and below is the motto, Sic Semper Tyrannis. On the reverse is a group consisting of Libertas, holding a wand and pileus in her right hand; on her right is Aeternitas, with a globe and phoenix in the right hand; on the left of Libertas is Ceres, with a cornucopia in her left hand; over this device is the word "Perseverando." The state bird is Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), and the state flower Dogwood.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1479
About the first stamp, depicting the president Abraham Lincoln, I wrote here. The second stamp, dedicated to Janis Joplin (1943-1970), is part of the series Music Icons, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 1486
About the first stamp, featuring a portrait of George Washington, I wrote here. About the second, issued to celebrate the Year of the Horse, I wrote here.

Virginia - Wikipedia
Flag and seal of Virginia - Wikipedia

Sender 1479: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 21.09.2014
Sender 1486: Arnold
Sent from Houston (Texas / United States), on 02.06.2014 

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