Greg Breeding (Art Director / Designer)
Henry David Thoreau, Forever 49c
2017, 23 May
U.S. Postal Service
With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Serviceģ celebrates writer, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (1817Ė1862) on the bicentennial of his birth. Renowned for his book Walden, a complex and eloquent exploration of nature and society, Thoreau encouraged readers to reconsider both their own lives and the world around them. With his personal example of simple living, his criticism of materialism, and the timeless questions he raises about the place of the individual in society and humanity's role in the natural world, Thoreau continues to inspire new generations to assert their independence, reinterpret his legacy, and ask challenging questions of their own.
On the left side of the stamp is a close view of Thoreauís face, an oil-on-panel painting based on a famous 1856 daguerreotype by Benjamin Maxham. On the right side of the stamp, roughly level with Thoreauís eyes, is his own signature of his last name. Below the signature is a branch of sumac leaves. Sumac grew next to the door of Thoreauís cabin at Walden Pond, and Thoreau mentions in his writings that he saw sumac sprouting among clear-cut stumps in the area.