The Postal Service commemorated the 400th anniversary of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the oldest European road in the United States, and the founding of the Spanish settlement at San Gabriel with the issuance of a 32-cent Spanish Settlement of the Southwest commemorative stamp on July 11, 1998, in Española, New Mexico.
The stamp is a photograph of La Mision de San Miguel de San Gabriel. The building, a replica of the church at San Gabriel, is located in present-day Española, New Mexico, near the site of the original Spanish settlement.
In 1598, a Spanish expedition led by Don Juan de Onate created the first European road in what would become the United States, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (the Royal Road to the Interior Land) and later built the first European settlement west of the Mississippi at San Gabriel. This expedition laid the foundation for 400 years of commerce and cultural exchange throughout the Southwest.
Designed by Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Arizona, the stamp was printed by the Banknote Corporation of America, Inc., in the offset process and issued in water-activated panes of twenty.
Postal Bulletin (June 18, 1998).
Scott Catalogue USA: 3220
Spanish Settlement of the Southwest 1598
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Museum ID: 2002.2009.10