Plymouth landing

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, a stamp honoring the 400th anniversary of a journey that has echoed throughout U.S. history, will arrive in Post Offices on Thursday, Sept. 17.

On Dec. 16, 1620, 102 English passengers — referred to as Puritan Separatists — boarded the Mayflower in Plymouth, England, to take what became a perilous, stormy voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to America, the New World.

After almost 10 grueling weeks at sea, the Mayflower finally anchored in what is known today as Plymouth, MA.

Passengers, who would become known to us as Pilgrims, established a settlement, Plymouth Colony.

Unprepared for the harsh conditions and racked by disease, the Pilgrims might not have survived their first year without the help and advice of Native Americans called the Wampanoag, which means People of the First Light.

More than 40,000 Wampanoag were living in the New England area at the time.

With the Wampanoag, the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the fall of 1621.

The Pilgrims and the Wampanoag ultimately forged an alliance that maintained relative peace for more than 50 years.

Greg Harlin illustrated the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor stamp, which will be available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and

He used a combination of watercolor, gouache and acrylics, with some digital refining to convey a scene of desolate beauty at the end of the Pilgrims’ harrowing journey to an unfamiliar world.

The stamp was designed by Greg Breeding, a USPS art director.

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