Hiram Gallagher

Ambassador & Practical Joker

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The Poca Post announces a new issue honoring The Honorable Hiram Gallagher:  Ambassador and practical joker.

Hiram Gallagher was born in Poca County, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1765.  When Hiram reached his teen years, he had developed a reputation for both a scholarly bent and a propensity for practical jokes.  He was able to enter the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) where he studied Law. During his studies he met James Madison, a fellow student.  A friendship was formed, and when Madison was elected to the Presidency of the United States, he recalled his college chum, Hiram Gallagher.

The President was well aware of Gallagher's proclivity for antics, but wanted to do something for his old friend.  These considerations resulted in Gallagher being named Ambassador to Moldavia in 1810.

Ambassador Gallagher served without incident until 1821 when he put a whoopee cushion in the chair of the Turkish ruler of Moldavia at a state dinner.  The incident embarrassed the Turkish Sultan to the glee of the Ambassador from Russia.  The resulting hostilities between the Sultan and the Russian ambassador brought about the Sino-Turkish War.

Gallagher was recalled from his post at the outbreak of hostilities.  He retired to his home on the Poca River, where he lived out his life. 

The stamp was issued on 2 March, 2002 in a pane of 20 stamps with the domination of 74 Poca Units.


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