Today I'd like to present Part I of a discussion regarding first day covers from another joint US stamp issue, this time with the Netherlands. In future posts, I will present additional FDCs for the issue and also present a coin (issued by the Netherlands) and a medal (issued by the US) that were struck for the anniversary.
In 1982, the US Postal Service and PostNL marked the 200th anniversary of the 1782 Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Netherlands with the issuance of three stamps (one by the US and two by the Netherlands). The US stamp had a value of 20 cents, the Netherlands stamps had values of 50 and 65 cents. The first day of issue for the stamps was April 20, 1982.
The stamps share a common core design that was created by Gert Dunbar of the Netherlands. They each feature red, white and blue diagonal strips which are representative of the colors in each nation's flag. The text included on each. as would be expected, varies and is country-specific.
Fleetwood issued four FDCs for the stamp: a standalone US cover and a Joint Issue Set of three covers (one for the US stamp, one for the two Netherlands stamps and one for the stamps of both nations.
The scene depicted on Fleetwood's standalone FDC for the US stamp is that of John Adams and the treaty negotiating team from the Netherlands. Adams began treaty discussions with the Netherlands as the US' Minister Plenipotentiary (a step below Ambassador). By the time the treaty was signed, however, Adams had been promoted to US Ambassador to the Netherlands; he became Ambassador on April 19, 1782, the treaty was signed on October 8, 1782.
The cachet depicts John Adams in the foreground, on the viewer's side of a table, with four representatives of the Netherlands behind it. It should be noted that while Adams was the single US signature on the treaty, the Netherlands had eight plenipotentiaries sign/seal the final document not four. They were: George van Randwyck, Bartholomeus van den Santheuvel, Pieter van Bleiswyck, Willem Carel Hendrik van Lynden van Blitterswyck, Derk Jan van Heeckeren, Joan van Kuffeler, Frederick Gysbert van Dedem tot den Gelder and Herman Tjassens. So, the scene depicted does include a bit of artistic license.
Much more to come!