M5201 / Scott 4805
War of 1812 Bicentennial
Battle of Lake Erie
This individually hand painted cachet features the USS Niagara as it patrols on Lake Erie during the War of 1812. The western sky is aglow with a golden sunset, and it makes a perfect setting for this magnificent sailing ship. I'm anxious for collectors to see this one first hand with its combination of watercolors. Beautiful.
The Niagara was constructed during 1812 and 1813 specifically to protect the American coastline on Lake Erie
from the British. On September 10, 1813, the American fleet set sail to engage the English war ships. Oliver H. Perry was in command on the flagship Lawrence. After several hours of fighting, all of the cannons on his ship were out of commission, and it could not be maneuvered.
Perry decided to transfer to the still intact Niagara, and this is what the wonderful new stamp depicts. It has the first day of issue postmark exactly 200 years after the famous battle. Once on board, Perry sailed across the British line of ships and attacked with his twenty big guns. His devastating cannon fire heavily damaged the English ships Detroit, Queen Charlotte, and Lady Prevost. In short order, the whole British fleet surrendered to the Americans.
The stamp shows Perry in mid-battle braving gunfire while crossing to the Niagara in a small boat. The watercolored
Collins cachet shows the powerful brig Niagara as it sails into United States naval history with a triumphant victory at the Battle of Lake Erie. In his report to General Harrison after the battle, Perry wrote the most famous phrase of the War of 1812: "Wehave met the enemy and they are ours." The USS Niagara, Collins #M5201 is now ready at $14.00.