Dominican Republic 1938 Scott 338 1/2c orange
"Seal of the University of Santo Domingo"
First New World UniversityBud's Big Blue
Being a country of many firsts, the Dominican Republic (DR) unsurprisingly issues stamps commemorating these firsts. Here’s a checklist.
1. Discovered on Columbus’s first voyage, 1492. Scott #s: 103, 108, 109, c35-39.
2. First European settlements in the New World -- Hispaniola, declared by Columbus, 1492-93. Scott #s: 111-119.
3. Oldest continuously inhabited European type city in the New World -- Santo Domingo, started by Columbus’s brother in 1496 and moved to present location in 1502. Scott #s: 144-150.
4. First stone fortress in the New World -- Fortaleza Ozama, aka Fortress of Santo Domingo, aka Columbus’s fortress (1502-08). Scott #s: 241-248.
5. First church/cathedral in the New World -- Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, begun in 1512. Scott #s: 260-265.
6. First revolt of Native Americans and Blacks -- alzamiento de Enriquillo (Enrique 's uprising), originating in 1519 and continuing to 1533. Scott #: 102. Caused by Spanish oppression; resulted in freedoms and property rights for protestors.
7. First university in the New World -- Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino (St. Thomas Aquinas University), 1538. Scott #s: 338-341. I wanted to study here but my application was sent in too late. It ceased in 1823.
8. First truly totalitarian state in the New World -- Rafael Trujillo regarded the DR as personal property (1930-61). Scott #s: 286-288, etc., etc.
Other DR New World firsts, not expressly mentioned on stamps, include: first Caribbean ship wreck (Santa Maria, 1492), first school of rhetoric (1507), first gold mines, first forced labor conditions, first plantations, first monastery, first hospital (1503), first export of tobacco, first port of entry for African diaspora, first recorded small pox outbreak (1507), first nunnery, first seminary (Dominican, 1518), first teacher, first national anthem, first bishop, first mayor, first governor, first paved street (Calle las Damas). Documentation for some of the above is sketchy.
DR issued many stamps showing a coat of arms which goes through several slight revisions - an interesting study for micro philatelists.
The Dominican republic shares the island La Hispaniola with Haiti, and is located in the Caribbean Sea. The Capital is Santo Domingo, and the population was 1,800,000 in 1942. Christopher Columbus reached the island in 1492, and Santo Domingo became the first European settlement in the Americas. The Dominican Republic has seen three centuries of Spanish rule, brief French rule, brief Haitian rule, "Independence" in 1821, another "Dominican War of Independence" in 1844, brief Spanish rule, U.S. occupation 1916-1924, the dictatorship of Trujillo Molina until 1961, a 1965 civil war, and finally a move toward a representative democracy. Stamps were first issued in 1865
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