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U.S. Postal Service Honoring Richard Allen, Founder of the African American Episcopal Church

The 39th Subject in the Black Heritage Stamp Series

0-0_RichardAllen-BH-2016-Single-v5The U.S. Postal Service commemorates preacher, activist and civic leader Richard Allen (1760-1831), an inspiring figure whose life and work resonate profoundly in American history as the 39th subject in the Black Heritage Stamp series. Born a slave on Feb. 14, 1760, Richard Allen lamented the bitterness of slavery. He purchased his own freedom in his twenties and became one of the most important African American leaders of his era. His life — a legacy of determination, uplift, charity and faith — remains an inspiration to all Americans.

The stamp coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen’s founding of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, one of the most important institutions in African American life, and his election and consecration as its first bishop.

The Richard Allen Forever Stamp is a portrait of Allen, a detail from an 1876 print titled, “Bishops of the A.M.E. Church.” Featuring Allen in the center surrounded by 10 other bishops and six historical vignettes, the print is from the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia.

First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place on February 2, 2016 at the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia.

Find more information about the new stamp at, or