Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Combining Stamps With History

Stamp collector and retired English and journalism teacher Betty Coxson, shown here, is looking to combine her love of stamps with one of her favorite stories from history class according to a story that appears on the website.

Betty hopes to get John Peter Zenger--a newspaperman in pre-revolutionary New York on a stamp. Zenger printed articles calling the king-appointed governor corrupt and was thrown in jail, but lawyer Andrew Hamilton came to his defense--effectively making truth a defense for libel.

Despite their contributions to our free press, she said she's never seen either man placed on a stamp. Four or five years ago, Betty wrote to the Postal Service saying that it was about time for Zenger and Hamilton to appear on a stamp. She received a polite form letter explaining the complicated process of nominating and choosing subjects and showing no interest in Zenger and Hamilton. Now she's trying again.

A letter Betty wrote about the two men appears on the website. In it she pens, "I may be one of the most dedicated patrons of the Buffalo Center Post Office as I am an indefatigable letter writer.I go through stamps as if they were still selling for 3 cents. I do remember that! I always purchase the latest issues as there is a lot of history and culture revealed in those tiny little stickers. They are colorful, attractive and endlessly varied with subjects ranging from heroes to politicians to environment to entertainers to cartoons and to curing cancer."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM