Martha Washington – First Woman depicted on the U.S. Postage Stamp

February 11th, 2015

Did you know who was the first female appeared on a USA postage stamp? has prepared a special article unveiling this interesting philately fact.

Since the first United States postage stamps were issued in 1847, men's portraits had always been depicted on the stamps. That changed in 1902 when Martha Washington became the first woman to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

She was selected from a list of prominent females submitted to Third Assistant Postmaster General Edwin C. Madden. Martha Washington, wife of George Washington, was the only person depicted on a stamp of the series with a first and last name.

The stamp features a portrait of Martha Washington painted by Gilbert Stuart. R. Ostrander Smith completed the stamp design by including her dates of birth and death, her name, and other artwork.

The 1902 Martha Washington stamp was released on Dec. 6, 1902.

Although Queen Isabella appeared in the first commemorative stamps issued in 1893, the first stamp specifically to honor a woman was the eight-cent Martha Washington stamp issued in 1902. The many stamps issued in honor of women since then are listed below.