Articles

The Sesquicentennial Exposition Coinages

In order to celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on a scale commensurate with the significance of the event for the American people, it was determined to hold an International Fair. Philadelphia was chosen as the Fair site because of its intimate connection with these events and because the Declaration was adopted by the Congress in session in that city.

Inorder to raise funds for the financing of the Fair, Congress appropriated funds, and also authorized the issue of silver 50-cent pieces and gold quarter-eagles. The original bill for these coins had requested the minting of gold two-and-one-half- dollar coins, gold dollar-and-a-half coins, and the silver fifty-cent pieces. There was a provision for a special commemorative dollar bill, as well as for postage stamps. The two-cent postage stamp shows the bell depicted on the half-dollar reverse. Secretary of the Treasury Mellon, who opposed in principle the majority of these souvenir issues, would not approve the new gold denomination of one dollar-and and-a-half, or the special dollar bill, therefore the bill was Amended and passed with but two types of souvenir coins.

The Act of Congress, authorizing this issue follows:

[PUBLIC RESOLUTION—NO. 62—68TH CONGRESS]

Joint Resolution Providingfor the cooperation of the United States in the sesquicentennial exhibition commemorating the signing of the Declaration ofIndependence, and for other purposes.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby established a commission, to be known as the National Sesquicentennial Exhibition Commission and to be composed of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce, to represent the United States in connection with the holding of an international exhibition in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1926, in celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence…

(Sections 2 and 3 refer to Exposition exhibits.)

4. (a) In commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence there shall be coined at the mints of the United States gold $2.50 pieces to the number of not more than two hundred thousand and silver 50-cent pieces to the number of not more than one million, such coins to be of the standard troy weight, composition, diameter, device, and design as shall be fixed by the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, and such coins shall be legal tender in any payment to the amount of their face value.
(b) Same as last paragraph of Grant issue, page 51.)

(c) The coins authorized by this section shall be issued only to the authorized officers of the Sesquicentennial Exhibition Association, and in such numbers and at such times as they shall request, upon payment by such officers, for and on behalf of such association, of the par value of such coins.

Approved, March 3, 1925.

Both the half-dollar and the quarter-eagle were designed by John R. Sinnock, chief engraver of the United States Mint. This appears to have been the last issue of commemorative coins designed by the Mint employees.

On May 19, Mayor Kendrick of Philadelphia participated in the ceremonies attending the coinage of the first Sesquicentennial pieces. The first coin struck was presented by the Mayor to President Coolidge when he visited the Exposition.

During the remainder of May and June, 1926, 1,000,528 half-dollars and 200,226 quarter-eagles were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. This was the first time in many years that the full number of pieces authorized was coined, but this exception no doubt was due to the fact that the Exposition was considered national in scope and interest.

The Fair was unsuccessful from a financial standpoint, and the National Sesquicentennial Exhibition Commission was unable to distribute the complete allotment of coins. The half-dollars were sold at one dollar each, and the quarter-eagles at four dollars each.

The Commission failed to sell to the public 154,207 quarter-eagles and 859,408 half-dollars, which were subsequently destroyed.

To the present time, this quarter-eagle is the last souvenir gold coin authorized by Congress. According to present indications, the increasing price of gold in addition to the increasing restrictions that governments place upon gold coinage, will result in the gradual abandonment of such coinage.

34. Obv.A standing female figure symbolic of Liberty, holding Torch of Freedom aloft in left hand, and scroll representing Declaration of Independence in right. In field, at left and right are commemorative dates: 1776— 1926 Around border at top: united • states — of • America At base, in large letters, covering globe on which figure stands: liberty

Representation of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in which is housed the Liberty Bell shown on half-dollar, described below. Across field in small letters divided by tower of Hall: in god — we trust In field, below base of Hall: e pluribus unum Around upper border: sesquicentennial • OF — AMERICAN • INDEPENDENCE At lower border: 2 ½ dollars Above right wing of Hall, initials of designer in small incuse letters: jrs
Edge.Reeded.18 mm. Gold.

Lettering. Roman.

The half-dollar caused comment, because the obverse bore the portraits of Presidents Coolidge and Washington. Although the precedent for placing the likeness of a living person upon the coinage had been established, it had not been extended to living Presidents. Thus, the Sesquicentennial half- dollar shattered a record of one hundred and fifty years during which the head of the government had never appeared on the coinage during his lifetime.

It was also thought that a more fitting tribute was due to the writers of the Declaration of Independence, and that in place of Coolidge’s portrait, those of Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton or Thomas Jefferson, the real “framer” of the document, should have been chosen.

The design of the coin is very artistic, the obverse showing the portraits of Washington, the first President, and Coolidge, the President at the time of the celebration (1926). The reverse shows the original Liberty Bell, now hanging in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Penna. The reverse was modelled directly from the Bell, and is correct in every detail, even to the chipping along the edge of the rim.

A description of the half-dollar follows:

Obv.Accolated busts to right of Presidents Washington and Coolidge. Around the top border: LIBERTYbetween two rosettes. At bottom border: UNITED • STATES • OF • AMERICAIn lower right field in two lines, quite small: IN GOD / WE TRUSTOn truncation of bust of Washington, in incuse letters, initials of designer: J.R.S.
The Liberty Bell hanging from a beam dividing the dates 1776 — 1926 Above beam, around border, in small letters: E • PLURIBUS • UNUMAt sides and around raised border: SESQUICENTENNIAL • OF • AMERICAN • INDEPENDENCE At bottom border: • HALF • DOLLAR
The inscription on the Bell is in very small letters and is given herewith in the form in which it appears upon the coin, as well as with the complete text, with the portions not shown in brackets.

EOF LEV XXV fx PROCLAIM LIBERTY
OUSE IN PHILADA BY ORDER OF THE AS
PASS AND STOW

PHILADA

MDCCLIII

Proclaim Liberty [throughout all the land unto the inhabitants ther]eof, Lev[iticus, Chapter] XXV, (verse) x. By order of the A[ssemblyof the Province of Pennsylvania for the State H]ouse in Philad[elphi]a. Pass and Stow, Philad[elphi]a, 1753.

Reeded.30 mm. Silver.
Roman.
The dies were cut in remarkably low relief, and as a result the coin is seldom struck up in every detail. Had a bolder relief been employed, as was the intention of the designer, a more practical coin would have resulted in which every detail would have been apparent. Unfortunately, the designer was handicapped by requirements specifying the low type of relief.

Washington shares with McKinley and Lee the honor of having his portrait upon two of the commemorative issues of the nation.

THE OREGON TRAIL HALF-DOLLARS

The westward movement of the0 American people in the first half of the past century was of sufficient significance to merit an issue of souvenir half- dollars. These commemorated the blazing of the Oregon Trail and the memory of countless pioneersettlers who subsequently followed that Trail.

In order to raise funds to finance the marking of the Trail (as noted in the Act of Congress below), an issue of souvenir half-dollars was authorized by Congress, and approved by President Coolidge.

This issue is notable in that it commemorates a period of time and a movement of people, rather than a specific occasion.

The Act follows:

[PUBLIC—NO. 235—69TH CONGRESS]

An Act To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the heroism of the fathers andmothers who traversed the Oregon Trail to the Far West with great hardship, daring, and loss of life, which not only resulted in adding new States to the Union but earned a well-deserved and imperishable fame for the pioneers; to honor the twenty thousand dead that lie buried in unknown graves along two thousand miles of that great highway of history; to rescue the various important points along the old trail from oblivion; and to commemorate by suitable monuments, memorial or otherwise, the tragic events associated with that emigration—erecting them either along the trail itself or elsewhere, in localities appropriate for the purpose, including the city of Washington.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,That in commemoration of the Oregon Trail and in memory of the pioneers of the far West there shall be coined at the mints of the United States silver 50-cent pieces to the number of not more than six million; such 50-cent pieces to be of the standard Troy weight, composition, diameter, device, and design as shall be fixed by the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, which said 50-cent pieces shall be legal tender in any payment to the amount of their face value.

Sec. 2.(Similar to Stone Mountain issue, Section 2, but authorizing executive committee of the Oregon Trail Memorial Association, Inc., a corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York, page 63.)

SEC. 3. (Same as Illinois issue, Section 2, page 38.)

Approved, May 17, 1926.

The designs were prepared by James Earle Fraser and his wife Laura Gardin Fraser, and are considered among the finest in the entire commemorative series. The hubs for the dies were prepared by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

In the fall of 1926, an issue of these coins was struck in Philadelphia as well as in San Francisco. Although there were precedents in the commemorative series for date varieties, or varieties due to the addition of a star or a cross, this was the first instance of a mint-mark as the variety.

The coins were distributed by the Oregon Trail Pioneer Memorial Association which withdrew only a small portion of their 6,000,000 piece authorization. The sale of these pieces was not very successful, as all the difficulties which previous commissions had encountered were present in the distribution of these coins.

The Oregon Trail half-dollars were again coined in 1928, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937 and 1938. The month of coinage, the issue price, the number of specimens coined at the various mints and the number of specimens melted, are tabulated below.

The 1928 issue is worthy of more than casual notice as this was the first time in the history of the United States commemorative coinage that a third variety of the original type had been struck, When these coin were prepared, the Treasury Department still had available a supply of the 1926 issue, and it was reluctant to release the newly minted coins until the older issue had been redeemed. The matter was not settled until 1933 when arrangements were made to release the 1928 issue, which collectors had enviously eyed in the coinage reports but which had not been released.

The sale of the 1928 and 1933 issues took place in the same year, and it was therefore deemed advisable to melt a portion of the old issue. The issue of 1933 marks the first commemorative coinage at the Denver Mint.

A comparatively small coinage was prepared in 1933 which was released by a numismatic firm. The issues of the subsequent years were marketed in the same manner until 1938 when the Commission again distributed its own coins. Many of these were given historically interesting names in order to popularize the coin and promote its sale. These names were later officially discontinued because the coins remained unchanged, except for date or mint-mark. The change of names for the same issue was considered improper without change of authority for coinage. These “sales” names, wholly unofficial, are therefore omitted.

The coinage of these pieces has been as follows:

Year Mint Month Coinage Melted Issue
Price

1926 Philadelphia September, 1926 48,030 75 $1.00
1926 San Francisco Oct-Nov. 1926 100,055 17,000 1.00
1928 Philadelphia June, 1928 (released in 1933 50,028 44,000 2.00
1933 Denver July, 1933 5,250 242 1.50
1934 Denver July, 1934 7,006 2.00
1936 Philadelphia May, 1936 10,006 1.65
1936 San Francisco April, 1936 5,006 1.65
1937 Denver February, 1937 12,008 1.60
1938 Philadelphia January, 1938 6,006 set 6.25
1938 San Francisco February, 1938 6,006
1938 Denver January, 1938 6,005


36. Obv.A standing Indian facing right, with right hand outstretched, wearing long feathered bonnet reaching to the ground.A blanket on his shoulder and a bow in his left hand. Across background, an outline map of the United States with a series of Conestoga wagons leading into the Northwest, indicating the Oregon Trail. In two lines, across map, and divided by Indian’s body: united — states/ OF — America Around lower border, divided by Indian’s feet: half — dollar

Rev. A Conestoga wagon drawn by two oxen to left.A man with stick over shoulder walking beside the team.Riding in front of wagon, woman and child. At left, the sun, with rays spreading across field, through motto, around upper border: in god we trust In exergue, in smaller letters, curved: Oregon trail memorial with five stars below. At lower border, date: 1926 At extreme left field back of wagon, combined monogram of the designers in relief JE LG F

Reeded.80 mm. Silver.
Gothic.
Same, but on obverse between Fof halfand Indian’s feet, mint-mark s, 1926.
38. Same, but 1928. (Philadelphia—nomint-mark.)

Same, but mint-mark D for Denver, 1933.
Same,but mint-mark D, 1934.
Same, but 1936. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
Same,but mint-mark s, 1936.
Same,but mint-mark D, 1937.
Same, but 1938. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
Same, but mint-mark s, 1938.
Same, but mint-mark D, 1938.
The Oregon Trail issue was the first to take advantage of the phrasing of the Act regarding the coinage “at the mints,” when issues were struck in 1926 at twomints. To date with eleven issues, exactlyfour and one-quarter per cent of the authorized totalhas been coined. Almost five and three- quarter millions of half-dollars authorized for the Oregon Trail Memorial are still unstruck.

THE BENNINGTON OR VERMONT SESQUICENTENNIAL HALF-DOLLAR

The occasion for this souvenir issue in 1927, was the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Bennington and the independence of Vermont.

The Baltic of Bennington was a turning point for theAmericans when the fate of the new nation wasstill in the balance. It contributed to the surrender ofthe British General Burgoyne shortly afterwards, ashis encounter with the Vermont “Green Mountain ” boys, under Ira Allen, had proven disastrous. Further than this, the Battle of Bennington showed France the strength of the new nation, and the alliance whichwas contracted soon after that victorywas one uponwhich Americans leaned heavily.

The authorization for this coin was approved by President Coolidge in 1925, in the triple authorization Act including the Fort Vancouver and the California Diamond-Jubilee issues. The authorizing Act is on page 70 under Coin 32.

Since that time, no Act has covered as many issues, although there are instances in which two issues have been combined.

The circumstances surrounding the authorization of this issue were not unlike those of the Alabama issue of 1920.In the case of both, the coins were struck considerably after the authorization, and dated accordingly.

The models for this issue were prepared by Charles Keck, who had previously designed the Panama-Pacific gold dollar. The original models for the reverse on this issue, showed a battle-monument instead of the catamount, which was the finally accepted design. The reduction of the models was done by the MedallicArt Company of New York.

A relatively small issue was authorized, and the fullcoinage allowed was struck. In January and February, 1927,there were 40,034pieces coined at the Philadelphia Mint. They were sold at one dollar each by the Bennington Battle Monument and Historical Association of Bennington, Vermont. Of the total coinage struck, all the pieces were purchased except 11,892which were subsequently returned to the Mint for melting. The proceeds from the sale were used to create a permanent fund for the support of historical research and for fostering interest in the history of Vermont. The coins weresold directly to the public, without commission to brokers.

A special issue of postage stamps was also released for this celebration.

Obv. Head of Ira Allen to right. Curved below bust: IRA ALLEN Above, at top border: UNITED • STATES • OF • AMERICA At lower border: FOUNDER OF VERMONT
A catamount to left on pedestal. At top around border: BATTLE OF BENNINGTONInner parallel inscription, but smaller: IN GOD WE TRUSTIn center top field: 1777-1927In lower left field, beneath animal’s head, in two lines: AUG. /16 (theday of the Battle). Around lower border: half dollarImmediately above, in parallel line:E • PLURIBUS UNUM Between catamount’s left hind leg and tail, the designer’s initials: CKincuse.
Reeded.30 mm. Silver.
Roman.
This piece is struck in the highest relief of any commemorative issue, and the letteringis particularly large and bold.

THE HAWAIIAN OR CAPTAIN COOK SESQUICENTENNIAL HALF-DOLLAR

This issue was struck to commemorate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Captain James Cook in 1778. The year 1928 marked the two-hundredthanniversary of the explorer’s birth, and the thirtieth anniversary ofthe annexation of the Islands to the United States.

The authorization by Congress to coin this issue follows:

[PUBLIC—NO. 98—70TH CONGRESS]

An Act To authorize the coinage of silver 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Captain James Cook, and for the purpose of aiding in establishing a Captain James Cook memorial collection in the archives of the Territory of Hawaii.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Captain James Cook, and for the purpose of aiding in establishing a Captain James Cook memorial collection in the archives of the Territory of Hawaii, there shall be coined in the mints of the United States silver 50-cent pieces to the number of ten thousand, such 50- cent pieces to be of a standard troy weight, composition, diameter, and design as shall be fixed by the Director of the Mint and approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, which said 50-cent pieces shall be legal tender in any payment of their face value.

Sec. 2. (Same as Sesquicentennial issue, Section 4c, page 77.)

Sec. 3.(Same at Illinois issue,Section 2, page 38.)

Approved, March 7, 1928.

The design for the model is based upon a sketch prepared by Miss Juliette May Fraser, an artist of Honolulu, Hawaii, and was executed by Chester Beach, who prepared designs for a number of other issues. The preparation of the dies and the reduction work was carried out by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

The authorization for a silver coinage of 10,000 half-dollars was the smallest up to that time. It set a precedent for a “limited coinage” which subsequently was overcome with great difficulty, after numerous commissions had profitably exploited this possibility.

During June, 1928, the Philadelphia Mint coined 10,008 of these half-dollars.

The Captain Cook Sesquicentennial Commission of Honolulu released the pieces at two dollars each, the highest initial sales price for a half-dollar up to that time; and the entire issue was exhausted within a comparatively short period. This was followed by a rise in price. Fifty coins of this issue in the form of sandblast proofs were presented by the Commission to various Museums and officials throughout the country. A special surcharge of the regular two cent stamp was released for this celebration.

Obv. Bust of Captain James Cook to left. Inscription at top:•united• states • of• America• (f in of touches top of Captain Cook’s head). In left field. In four lines CAPT (campass needle)/JAMES cook / and smaller, discoverer OF / Hawaii In right field, in smaller letters: in god / we trust At lower left border, preceded and followed by four triangles symbolical of the islands: half dollar At right base of bust, artist’s initials in monogram, in relief: CB Entire design within ornamental wave border.
Rev. Standing native chief in full regalia; his left hand holding an erect spear, his right arm raised in welcome.In background, tropical palm. In left field, village of grass huts at foot of Diamond Hill and Waikiki Beach. In lower left field: E • PLURIBUS / UNUM above tropical fern. At lower border: 1778 1928 All within hairline border.

Edge.Reeded.30 mm. Silver.

Ornamental.
As noted in the Act, funds derived from the sale of these pieces were to be used in the establishment of a Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Honolulu. The reverse seems to have been inspired by the statue of the Hawaiian king, Kamehameha I.

1929-1932

Following the coinage of the Hawaiian half- dollars of 1928, no Acts approving new issues were signed until the Texas authorization of 1933, under which Texas Centennial half-dollars were coined in 1934. The first new type to appear after the Hawaiian issue, was the coin authorized to commemorate the Maryland Tercentenary in 1934. The coins under the latter Act were struck prior to the Texas issue of 1934 approved in 1933

The period without coinageauthorizations coincides with the Hoover administration, which was unsympathetictoward souvenir issues. With thevetoing ofthe Gadsden Purchase half-dollarproposal in 1929, a statement was issued that commemorative coins were superfluous and that their purpose might be as well accomplished with officially authorized medals. These pieces, if struck, would adequately serve collectors, it wasthought; and suchpieces would not tend to “confuse the coinage.”

With the Maryland issue, a new theory in commemorative half-dollar coinage legislation was expressed, which served as the keynote for a number of the later issues, although there are several exceptions which recalled the old forms, and permitted the previous abuses.

With the Roosevelt administration, a series of new types and reissues of old types was released. Some of the new authorizing Acts contained features worthy of more than passing comment. Generally speaking, the Acts had heretofore contained a statement that the coins were to be struck “at the Mints,” and also stated the total number of pieces which might be coined under the Act. The new Acts tended to give a limited coinage which was to be “ coined by the Director of the Mint.” A number of Acts state specifically that the coins might be sold at a premium, a viewpoint which the Government had previously regarded as outside its province.

In 1936, several clauses were added to the Acts of Congress for subsequent issues. The first was,that thecoins were to be struck “at a mint,” thus eliminatingthe mint varieties of similar pieces which had been struck during the previous years.

A fixed date for the coinage, “irrespective of the year in which they are minted or issued” was also inserted, thus making date-varieties of a large coinage impossible, since all pieces were to bear the date stated in the Act.

In addition to the points enumerated above, a minimum limit was placed on the number of pieces which were to be coined at one time. Thus it was impossible to coin an unreasonably small issue. In some instances, this withdrawal figure was made the same as the coinage permitted in the Act, thus making but a single coinage possible.

The final point written into the new Acts was the expiration clause, which made it impossible for commissions to continue to secure their allotment, if any remained, after a certain fixed date.

With all these provisions, it was impossible to secure after 1936, legislation permitting varying dates and mint-marks for an issue, or to order a very small coinage from the mints.

THE TEXAS CENTENNIAL HALF-DOLLARS

Following the four-year period in which no new issues were authorized, the Texas Centennial coinage Act was the first of twenty-eight such Acts approved to date by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The text of the Act follows closely that of previous Acts; and not until the Maryland authorization of 1934, does the new coinage text appear. Although the Texas Act was approved a year before the Maryland Act, the Maryland coins were released prior to those of Texas. The occasion of this souvenir issue was the centennial of the independence of Texas.

In 1835, Texas revolted against Mexico, and during the revolution the garrison at the Alamo was besieged, finally taken, and the defenders, including David Crockett and Colonel Bowie, massacred. The Mexicans under General Santa Anna, were defeated at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, by the Texans under the leadership of General Sam Houston who, with a much smaller force, succeeded in capturing Santa Anna. Houston became the first president of the independent Texan Republic. In 1845, Texas was annexed to the United States, but in 1861 seceded to join the Confederacy. In 1870, Texas was readmitted to the Union.

Austin, whose portrait appears on the half-dollar along with Houston’s, was one of the founders of the State of Texas, having been active in attempting to secure for Texas admission into the Mexican Union in the early 1830’s. In 1835, he was appointed a commissioner to the United States to secure the recognition of the Texan Republic.

Realizing the tremendous expenditures involved in a celebration of this nature and hoping to secure advance funds the Texas Commission requested an authorization for coins in 1933, so that some of the pieces might be sold prior to the opening of the Exposition in 1934. This procedure has since proven itself to be very popular, although the practice itself is questionable. Funds secured were also to be used in connection with the Texas Memorial Museum.

An authorization of 1,500,000 half-dollars was approved—the bill signed by President Roosevelt follows:

[PUBLIC—NO. 59—73D CONGRESS]

An Act To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary in 1936 of the independence of Texas, and of the noble and heroic sacrifices of her pioneers, whose revered memory has been an inspiration to her sons and daughters during the past century.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representativesof the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary in 1936 of the independence of Texas and of the noble and heroic sacrifices of her pioneers, whose memory has been an inspiration to her sons and daughters during the past century, there shall be coined at the mints of the United States silver 50-cent pieces to the number of not more than one and one-half million, such 50-cent pieces to be of the standard troy weight, composition, diameter, device, and design as shall be fixed by the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, which said 50-cent pieces shall be legal tender in any payment to the amount of their face value.

2. (Same as Stone Mountain issue, Section 2. but specifying the American Legion Texas Centennial Committee, of Austin, Texas, page 63.)
3. (Same as Illinois issue, Section 2, page 38.)
Approved, June 15, 1933.

The models for this coin were prepared by PompeoCoppini, a New York sculptor living in Texas. The 1934 issue, which was struck at Philadelphia, was distributed by the American Legion Texas Centennial Committee. Each of the later issues of 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938 were coined at all three mints. The 1938 issue was distributed by the Texas Memorial Museum Centennial Coin Campaign.

An appropriate postage stamp was released for this centennial, showing the portraits of Sam Houston and Stephen Austin at either side of the Alamo.

A tabulation of the year of issue, month of coinage, the number of pieces coined, number melted, and the issue price is given below.

Year Mint Month Coinage Melting Issue
Price

1934 Philadelphia Oct.-Nov., 1934 205,113 135,000 $1.00
1935 Philadelphia November, 1935 10,008 1.50
1935 San Francisco November, 1935 10,008 1.50
1935 Denver November, 1935 10,007 1.50
1936 Philadelphia January, 1936 10,008 1.50
1936 San Francisco February, 1936 10.008 1.50
1936 Denver February, 1936 10,007 1.50
1937 Philadelphia April, 1937 8,005 1.50
1937 San Francisco May. 1937 8,007 1.50
1937 Denver May. 1397 8,006 1.50
1938 Philadelphia January, 1938 5,005 2.00
1938 San Francisco January, 1938 5,006 2.00
1938 Denver January, 1938 5,005 2.00
To date, approximately 300,000 pieces of the Texas series have been issued, and this represents about one-fifth of the total authorization, which was the largest enacted into law since the Oregon Trail issue.

Whether coinage of this series will be continued for each successive year will depend to a large extent upon the needs of the University of Texas which is acquiring the funds received from sale of the pieces.

The design of the coin has been criticized because too much has been crowded into the small circumference of a half-dollar.

Obv. Eagle facing left, claws holding oak branch, with large five-pointed star in background. Under oak branch, date: 1934 To left of eagle, in small letters: E / PLVRIBVS / VNVMIn upper right field, also in small letters:IN / GOD / WE / TRVSTAround upper border: united —states —OF—AMERICAin larger letters. At lower border: *** HALF DOLLAR ***
Winged and draped Victory, kneeling to right, looking left, holding in right hand an olive branch and resting left hand on model of the Alamo. Under Alamo, commemorative dates:1836 • 1936 Above, between spread wings, six flags, representing Spain, France, Mexico, Texas Free State, the Confederacy and the United States. Upon the flags, scroll inscribed in small letters: LIBERTY TOleft and right, under wings of Liberty, two medallions. At left, bust of General Sam Houston three-quarters left, with inscription at left in very small letters: HOUSTON(NofHOUSTONbehind head). At right, bust of Stephen Austin three-quarters right, with inscription in small letters at right: AUSTINAround upper border, in larger letters, inscription broken by tips of wings: THE TEXAS — INDEPENDENCE — CENTENNIALAt lower border: — REMEMBER THE ALAMO — At right base of Alamo, designer’s initials in relief: PC
Edge.Reeded.30 mm. Silver.

Roman.
Same, but dated on obverse, 1935.
Same, but on reverse, mint-mark s below left knee of Victory, 1935.
Same, but mint-mark d, 1935.
Same, but 1936. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
54.Same, but mint-mark s, 1936.

Same, but mint-mark d, 1936.
Same, but 1937. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
Same, but mint-mark s, 1937.
Same,but mint-mark d, 1937.
Same, but 1938. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
Same,but mint-mark s, 1938.
Same,but mint-mark d, 1938.
THE MARYLAND TERCENTENARY HALF-DOLLAR

The occasion for this souvenir issue, the first type released since the Hawaiian issue of 1928, was the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Maryland Colony in 1634 by the followers of Cedi Calvert, better known as Lord Baltimore. He founded the new colony to establish an asylum for those persecuted for their religious convictions. The majority of the colonists were Catholics who had been driven from England.

The new site was called St. Mary’s, and appropriate celebrations were held in that city and in Baltimore in 1934. In order to assist in financing these celebrations, Congress authorized an issue of souvenir half-dollars which could be sold at a profit—this profit to accrue to the Maryland TercentenaryCommission which sponsored the issue and financed thecelebrations. A special postage stamp issued for the occasion showedthe ships in which the colonists arrived, “The Ark”and “The Dove.”

Anissue of 25,000pieces was authorized by Congress, and the authorization Act is worthy of more than passing notice, due to the many new features which were embodied in it. The Act follows herewith:

[PUBLIC—NO. 215—73D CONGRESS]

An Act To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Province of Maryland.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, incommemoration of thethree-hundredth anniversary of thefounding of the Province of Maryland, thereshall be coined by the Director of the Mint twenty-five thousand silver 50-cent pieces of standard size, weight, and fineness and of a special appropriatedesign tobe fixedby the Director of the Mint, with the approvalof the Secretary ofthe Treasury, but the United Statesshall not be subjectto the expense of making the models formaster dies or other preparations for this coinage.

Sec. 2.That the coins herein authorized shall be issued at par and only upon the request of thechairman or secretary of the Maryland Tercentenary Commission.

Sec. 3. Such coins may be disposed of at par or at a premium by said Commission and all proceeds shall be used in furtherance of the Maryland Tercentenary Commission projects.

Sec. 4.That all laws now in force relating to the subsidiary silver coins of the United States and the coining or striking of the same; regulating and guarding the process of coinage; providing for the purchase of material, and for the transportation, distribution, and redemption of the coins; for the prevention of debasement or counterfeiting; for security of the coin; or for any other purposes, whether said laws are penal or otherwise, shall, so far as applicable, apply to the coinage herein directed.

Approved, May 9, 1934.

It is obvious that the responsibility for the coinage now rests with the Director of the Mint. He is named specifically, whereas previous Acts had, with few exceptions, merely stated that “there shall be coined”; moreover, in the Maryland issue no mention is made of the Mint. Most of the previous coinage enactments had expressed only the total number of pieces which could be struck under that Act, but in the Maryland issue there is a fixed coinage figure given, for the production of which the Director of the Mint was made responsible. This was the first Act to contain any reference to the sale of the pieces at a premium.

The coins were designed by Hans Schuler, the Director of the Maryland Institute, whose monogram appears upon the reverse. The preparation of the dies as well as the reduction work was done by the Medallic Art Company of New York. During July, 1934, the Philadelphia Mint struck 25,015 pieces. The entire issue was distributed by the Commission through Maryland banks, at one dollar each.

Obv.Bust of Calvert, facing three-quarters right. Below bust, curved, in small letters: CECIL Calvert To left of bust in field, in two lines, small: E PLURIBUS / UNUM At right: IN GOD / WE TRUST
Around upper border, in large letters: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA At bottom: HALF DOLLAR

Rev.The Maryland arms: a shield quartered, crowned and helmeted, with mantle in background. The shield is supported by two figures: at left, colonist with spade, and at right, colonist with fish. On ribbon below arms, in very small letters: FATTI — MASCHI — PAROLE — FEMINE This motto, from the Italian, means: “Deeds are manly, words womanly.” Around upper circumference: MARYLAND TERCEN¬TENARY Below, at border: 1634-1934In left field, near spade, monogram of artist, in relief: HS

Edge.Reeded. 30 mm. Silver.

Lettering.Gothic.

The first and third quarterings on the shield of the arms of Maryland, are those of the proprietor, Lord Baltimore; they appear on the Lord Baltimore coinage of colonial times.

THE DANIEL BOONE BICENTENNIAL HALF-DOLLARS

In connection with the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of that famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone, half-dollars were struck in 1934. Varieties were struck in 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938./

The Act of Congress authorized an issue of 600,000 half-dollars. Since orders from the Commission to the mint were for small quantities of the coins and in addition were divided at times among the three mints, an exceptional amount of publicity has been given to this issue.

The text of the Act is as follows:

[PUBLIC—NO. 258—73D CONGRESS]

AN ACT TO authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Daniel Boone.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, in commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Daniel Boone, there shall be coined by the Director of the Mint six hundred thousand 50-cent pieces of standard size, weight, and silver fineness and of a special appropriate design to be fixed by the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to be legal tender in all payments at face value; but the United States shall not be subject to the expense of making the models or master dies or other preparations for this coinage.

SEC. 2. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 2, but upon the request of the secretary of the Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission, page 99.)

SEC. 3. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 3, but Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission.)

SEC. 4. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 4.)

Approved, May 26, 1934.

The models for the coins were prepared by Augustus Lukeman, of New York, who had assisted in the memorial at Stone Mountain, Georgia. The reduction work was done by the Medal lie Art Company of New York. The obverse depicts Boone as he appeared at the height of his career, as a pioneer in Kentucky. Since there are no portraits of Boone from this period, the design was created from con-temporary descriptions. The reverse shows Boone negotiating a treaty with Chief Black Fish of the Shawnee Indians, after the siege of Fort Boones-borough, in 1778.

The first issue of these coins, 10,007 pieces, was struck at the Philadelphia Mint In October, 1934. That only 10,000 pieces should have been coined in the first mintage is unusual, since the Act authorized the Director of the Mint to issue a fixed number of pieces—600,000.

Since 1925, the practice in this regard had been to coin the number of pieces fixed in the Act. The Arkansas authorization, is also a fixed coinage, but states merely that “there shall be coined,” whereas the Boone authorization charges the Director of the Mint with a definite coinage. It would have been in order for the Director of the Mint to have had the entire quantity coined at the first striking. In fact, the precedent for this incomplete coinage in 1934 would have gone back to the Lexington-Concord issue; and one can only guess what course commemorative coins in the United States might have followed, if the Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission had been unable to secure fifteen additional coinages from this authorization. Had the terms of the Act been fully understood by the authorities in the light of past practice under similar circumstances, there would have been but a single issue of the Daniel Boone half-dollar. However, it was otherwise. The first issue of 1934 was marketed at one dollar and sixty cents each, by the Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission, of Lexington, Kentucky. In the following years, 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938, further issues were struck.

The designs for the coins placed the year of coinage upon the reverse. When the 1935 issue was struck, the Commission found that the commemorative date of 1934 had been removed from the design. Therefore, they obtained from Congress a special authorization to place this date again on the coinage, in small numerals. The Act was approved in the late summer of 1935; and in the late winter of that year, limited coinages of the double-date variety were struck at the branch mints by order of the Commission. The special Act follows:

[PUBLIC—No. 342—74TH CONGRESS]

AN ACT To authorize the Director of the Mint to supplement the approved design of the 50-cent piece commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Daniel Boone, the coinage of which was authorized by Act of the Seventy-third Congress (Public, Numbered 258, S. 3355).

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, inasmuch as the annual change in coinage date required by law has caused the removal of the commemorative date of 1934 from the design originally approved and in use for the coinage of the 50-cent pieces commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Daniel Boone, authorized by the Seventy-third Congress in Public Act Numbered 258 (S. 3355), the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, be, and is hereby, authorized to^ supplement the said design so that the reverse of said 50-cent piece will show the figures “1934” immediately above the words “pioneer year.”

Approved, August 26, 1935.

The furore which resulted from the coinage of these pieces, which every commemorative coin collector and speculator in America was endeavouring to secure, resulted in a vicious attack upon the Commission by those who had not received the coins, and an equally staunch defense by those who had them. Full details regarding the controversy may be read in the “Numismatist;” compare the issues of January to July 1936.

The result of the agitation was that Congressional hearings were held, and the abuses of the commemorative coin authorizations were exposed. Following the hearing, larger issues were authorized; the number of pieces which could be secured from the Mint at one time was fixed, and the coinage at more than one Mint was stopped, insofar as any new authorizations were concerned. The coinage at several mints has not ceased, however, for the issues which were authorized some years ago, and these may possibly continue to strike coins for years. Those authorizations bear the words “at the mints.”

The table below shows the original price asked by the Commission, the number of pieces coined, the month of coinage, and the number melted, of each issue.

The 1937 issue has an interesting feature, in that the Philadelphia Mint coins were first offered at one dollar and sixty cents each. Some months later, an offering of Philadelphia and Denver coins was made at seven dollars and a quarter per pair, and the Denver issue could not be purchased separately.

Still later in 1937, an offering of the San Francisco Mint coin was made at five dollars and fifteen cents. Orders were taken for this issue alone, although the last offering by the Commission was for complete sets only, at twelve dollars and forty cents—the highest original price which any Commission ever asked for coins which it secured from the Mint at a cost of fifty cents each, plus expenses of the coinage preparation of the dies, and the Commission’s expenses.

The trend of premiums for commemorative coins has been steadily increasing. The Columbian issue of 1892 was released at a premium of 100 per cent (then considered an absurd profit for the Commission to realize). The 1937s Boone issue was released at a premium of 930 per cent!

The proceeds from the sale of these pieces was used to purchase sites significant in the career of Daniel Boone, which in turn could be presented to the Government as parks, and be perpetuated as national shrines.

To date, the coinage of the Boone half-dollars has been approximately one-sixth of the total authorization. The Commission had released a statement advising that no future issues of the Boone coins would be ordered from the Mints, but late in the fall of 1938 announced another issue of 5,000 coins from each Mint at six dollars and a half per set.The issues to date have been as follows:

Issue

Year Mint Month of Coinage Coinage Melted Price

1934 Philadelphia October, 1934 10,007 $1.60

1935 Philadelphia May, 1935 10,010 1.10

1935 San Francisco March, 1935 5,005 1.60

1935 Denver January, 1935 5,005 1.60

1934/35 Philadelphia October, 1935 10,008 1.10

1934/35 San Francisco November, 1935 2,004

1934/35 Denver November, 1935 2,003 the pair 3.70

1934/36 __ Philadelphia February, 193610.008 1.10

December, 1936 2,0041.10

1934/36 San Francisco March, 1936 5,006 1.60


1934/36 Denver March, 1936 5,005 1.60

1934/37 Philadelphia January, 1937 15,010 5,200 1.60

1934/37 San Francisco October, 1937 5,006 2,500 5.15

1934/37 Denver May, 1937 7,506 5,000 7.25

1 $12.40 the set (P, S & D); $7.25 the pair (P & D).



63. Obv. Portrait bust of Daniel Boone to left. Around upper border, in large letters: united states of America (Base of letters ates o in states of touch head.) At lower border over collar and fringes:

HALF DOLLAR I

Shawnee Chief, Black Fish, standing at right with tomahawk; Daniel Boone standing at left
facing the Chief. Boone holds an upright musket in his left hand between himself and the Chief. The

Treaty is in Boone’s right hand. At left, in distance, a fort with stockade about it. To right, the rising

Around upper border: in ■ god ■ we ■ trust in large letters; paralleled within, in smaller letters
(broken by the heads of the men): E ■ plu — ribus ■ — unum (ur in pluribus touches Boone’s head,

u in unum touches Chief’s head). At left, in three lines above stockade, in small letters: daniel /

boone / bicentennial (Last word in very small letters.) At right in small letters in two lines,

above rising sun, the rays of which penetrate the words: pioneer / year In exergue, date in large

Reeded. 30 mm. Silver. Lettering. Gothic.
Same, but dated 1935.
Same, but mint-mark s on reverse below rising sun, 1935.
Same, but mint-mark D, 1935.
Same, but 1935; commemorative date 1934 in¬serted above the word: PIONEER. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
Same, mint-mark s, 1935 and 1934.
Same, mint-mark D, 1935 and 1934.
Same, 1936 and 1934. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
Same, mint-mark S, 1936 and 1934.
Same, mint-mark D, 1936 and 1934.
Same, 1937 and 1934. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
Same, mint-mark s, 1937 and 1934.
Same, mint-mark D, 1937 and 1934.
Although there is what is termed a “commemorative” date on these coins, there is nothing which indicates the memorial, an oversight also occurring on several other issues.

THE ARKANSAS CENTENNIAL HALF-DOLLARS

The Centennial of the admission of the State of Arkansas into the Union in 1836 was marked by a

a souvenir issue of half-dollars.

The Act of Congress authorizing this issue follows:

[PUBLIC—No. 225—73D CONGRESS]

AN ACT TO authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the admission of the State of Arkansas into the Union.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representative of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the admission of the State of Arkansas into the Union there shall be coined at the mints of the United States five hundred thousand silver 50-cent pieces of such design as the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, may select; but the United States shall not be subject to the expense of making the models or master dies or other preparations for this coinage.

SEC. 2. (Same as Maryland issue, section 4, page 99.)

SEC. 3. The coins authorized by this Act shall be issued only to the Arkansas Honorary Centennial Celebration Commission, or its duly authorized agent, in such numbers, and at such times as they shall be requested by such Commission or any such agent, and upon payment to the United States of the face value of such coins.

Approved, May 14, 1934.

The coins were designed by Edward Everett Burr of Chicago. The models were prepared by Miss Emily Bates of Arkansas. The dies were finished by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

Although the anniversary of the Centennial did not occur until 1936, pieces from the three mints were coined in 1935.

The 1935 Philadelphia Mint pieces were sold by the Commission directly, but the bulk of the branch mint issues was handled by a dealer. The Arkansas Centennial Commission of Little Rock, Arkansas, did not care to handle the retail sale of these coins after 1936, and as a result, as early as 1935, the Commission was traveling about the country, prepared to sell its rights to the highest bidder. Because of this unsettled situation, the Arkansas series have been nicknamed the “orphan issue,” as they were available anywhere except Arkansas.

During 1936, an endeavor was made to secure three additional reverses for the Arkansas issue. Although this plan did not materialize, one reverse was authorized by Congress in 1936 as follows:

[PUBLIC—No. 831—74TH CONGRESS]

AN ACT PROVIDING for a change in the design of the 50-cent pieces authorized to be coined in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the admission of the State of Arkansas into the Union.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, is authorized and directed to provide for one additional design to be placed on the reverse side of not less than twenty-five thousand and not more than fifty thousand of the 50- cent pieces to be coined in accordance with the provisions of the Act entitled “An Act to authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the admission of the State of Arkansas into the Union.” approved May 14. 1934.

The United States shall not be subject to the expense of making the necessary dies and other preparations for such coinage.

SEC . 2. The coins upon which the additional design authorized by this Act is to be placed shall be coined at a mint of the United States to be designated by the Director of the Mint, shall bear the date 1936, irrespective of the year in which they are minted or issued, and shall be issued in the same manner and for the same purposes as the coins issued under the provisions of such Act of May 14, 1934, except that not less than twenty-five thousand such coins shall be issued at any one time and no such coins shall be issued after the expiration of one year after the date of enactment of this Act. Approved, June 26, 1936.

This supplementary Act, it is interesting to note, specified the minimum and maximum coinages which might be struck and also had the coinage date clause. In this instance, because of a specific dating clause in the Act, the coins, for the first time, were struck in a year other than the date shown upon the issue. Although a maximum of 50,000 pieces had been authorized, available to the Commission (or its agents) in two allotments of 25,000 each, only 25,265 pieces of the new reverse were coined in January, 1937, at the Philadelphia Mint.

The late Senator Joseph T. Robinson consented to have his portrait placed upon the reverse of this State issue. Henry Kreiss, the designer of the Connecticut and Bridgeport issues, prepared the model for the reverse, the earlier obverse having been retained. The models were reduced by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

The Robinson reverse issue was released by a coin dealer. A number of these pieces were struck in “proof condition,” but are not easily distinguishable as they lack proof brilliance.



The 1937 issue was distributed in special presentation cases, which were supplied by the distributors. A quantity of the 1937 issue were also struck in “proof condition,” but again the proofs are not distinctive.

An issue of special postage stamps was also released for the Arkansas Centennial in 1936.

To date, including the additional reverse coinage, only one-fifth of the Arkansas half-dollars authorized have been minted. The coinages that have appeared are as follows:



YearMint Month Coinage Issue Price

1935 PhiladelphiaMay, 1935 10,0008 1.00

October, 1935 3,004 1.00

1935 San FranciscoNovember, 1935 5,006 1.00

1935DenverNovember, 1935 5,005 1.50

1936PhiladelphiaJanuary, 1936 10,010 1.50

1936San FranciscoFebruary,1936 10,012 1.50

1936DenverFebruary, 1936 10,010 1.50

1937PhiladelphiaMarch, 1937 5,505

1937San FranciscoApril, 1937 5,506

1937DenverApril, 1937 5,505 8.75

1938PhiladelphiaJanuary, 1938 6,006

1938San FranciscoFebruary, 1938 6,006

1938DenverJanuary, 1938 6,005 8.75

1936PhiladelphiaJanuary, 1937 25,265 1.85

(Robinson)



In June, 1938, the Commission announced the advance in price of the 1938 sets to ten dollars each.

A description of the originally authorized issue follows:

76. Obv. Accolated heads facing left of Indian chief of 1836, wearing feather headdress, and American girl of 1936. On girl’s cap: LIBERTY in small Letters above an olive wreath, Around lower border, in larger letters ARKANSAS CENTENNIAL In left field, date: 1836 and in lower center field below Indian’s head, date: 1936

An eagle, with wings outstretched, looking to right In beak, ft scroll bearing two mottoes. At left, very small; In COD WE TRUST and at right: E PLURIBUS UNUM Directly above eagle: ARKANSAS with three stars below, and one above it. Surrounding stars and name, upper portion of a diamond, studded with thirteen stars. The diamond symbol is adapted from the State flag. Around upper border: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA At lower border, the sun, indicating enterprise, the rays of which extend across entire background. Inscription on sun:
HALF / DOLLAR / 1935

Reeded. 30 mm. Silver.
Lettering. Gothic.

The three stars in the device above have a double significance. They serve to represent the three flags which have flown over Arkansas, and also to signify that Arkansas was the third State created

from the territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase. The single star represents the participation of Arkansas in the Confederacy.

Same, but mint-mark S on extreme right ray near sun on reverse, 1935.
Same, but mint-mark D,
Same, but 1936. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)
Same, but mint-mark S, 1936.
81. Same, but mint-mark D, 1936.

82.Same, but 1937. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)

83. Same, but mint-mark s, 1937.

84 . Same, but mint-mark D, 1937.

85. Same, but 1938. (Philadelphia—no mint-mark.)

86. Same, but mint-mark s, 1938.

87. Same, but mint-mark d, 1938.

88. A description of the Robinson reverse follows, the obverse being from the same dies as 79.

Rev. Bust of Senator Joseph T. Robinson, facing right. Around upper circumference: Arkansas centennial 1836-1936 At left, in small letters: liberty At right, in small letters in two lines: Joseph T. / robinson At border, where Robinson’s left shoulder touches rim, small incused artist’s initial: K

With the exception of Robinson’s name, this type carries the same inscription and legends borne by the original issue.

The question of the obverse and the reverse of this issue is of particular interest, as it is usually under­stood in numismatics that a portrait becomes the obverse. In this instance, the portrait of Robinson is officially the reverse. The reason for this is the unusual interpretation of the coinage-date side as the obverse. Here, it is the date specified in the supplementary Act (1936), rather than the coinage year which was 1937.

THE CONNECTICUT TERCENTENARY HALF-DOLLAR

The three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Colony of Connecticut was the occasion for an issue of souvenir half-dollars.

The earliest Connecticut colonists came from Massachusetts which they left because the government there was too autocratic. Under the leader­ ship of Thomas Hooker, they formed a colony in which the Bible was the supreme guide.

In 1638, New Haven was founded; subsequently it combined with a number of the nearby groups. In 1662, Connecticut received a royal charter, which Sir Edmund Andros attempted to revoke in 1687 under orders from the Stuart King, James II of England. The Charter was carefully guarded, and according to tradition was secreted in an oak tree, subsequently known as the “Charter Oak.” After James II was overthrown in 1688, the Charter was produced and the Colony continued under it.

The “Charter Oak” is the main device on the obverse of the half-dollar, as well as on the three cent postage stamps issued for the celebration. The Act of Congress authorizing this issue follows:

[Public—No. 446—73d Congress]

An Act To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Colony of Connecticut.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, in commemoration of the three-hundredth anni­versary of the founding of the Colony of Connecticut, there shall be coined by the Director of the Mint twenty-five thousand silver 50-cent pieces of standard size weight, and fineness and of a special appropriate design to be fixed by the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, but the United States shall not be subject to the expense of making the models for master dies or other preparations for this coinage.

SEC. 2. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 2, but upon the request of the chairman or secretary of the Connecticut Tercentenary Commission, page 99.)

3. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 3, but
Connecticut Tercentenary Commission.) I

SEC. 4. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 4.)

Approved, June 21, 1934.

The coin was designed by Henry Kreiss, an artist working under the direction of Paul Manship. It is interesting that although the Act specifically states that the Government shall not pay for the expenses of the designing of the models, it did finance this as a Public Works Administration project. The dies were prepared by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

During the months of April and May, 1936, the entire authorized coinage of 25,018 pieces was struck at the Philadelphia Mint. The Connecticut Tercentenary Commission released these, in small boxes, through the banks of Connecticut, at one dollar each. The proceeds from the sale of the coins were used to defray the expenses of the Celebration.

89. Obv. American eagle facing left, standing on rock ledge. In lower left field, in three lines, in small letters: E / PLVRIBVS / VNVM Around upper border m large letters: VNITED STATES OF AMERICA (STA of STATES partly behind eagle’s head; final A of AMERICA partly behind tip of eagle’s wing feathers). Thirteen small stars parallel to this inscription. At border, in exergue, in large letters: HALF DOLLAR with first and last letters touching the rock.

The Charter Oak Tree (as taken from picture by Brownell made in the middle of the 19th Century). Below branches of oak, in right field: THE / CHARTER OAK Around upper border, in small letters: IN GOD WE TRVST and LIBERTY In exergue, in large letters: CONNECTICVT / 1635 – 1935
Reeded. 30 mm. Silver.
Gothic.
THE HUDSON HALF-DOLLAR

The occasion for a souvenir half-dollar was the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the city of Hudson, New York, in 1785. This town of 14,000 inhabitants was one of importance in the late eighteenth century at the time it received its charter. The city was named after Hendrik Hudson, who sailed up the Hudson River in 1609 as an employee of the Dutch East India Company in search of a northwest passage to the Orient.

The authorizing bill for this issue is as follows:

[PUBLIC—NO. 48—74TH CONGRESS]

AN ACT TO authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the city of Hudson, New York, and of the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, respectively.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That , in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the city of Hudson, New York, there shall be coined by the Director of the mint ten thousand silver 50-cent pieces, and in commemoration of the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, there shall be coined by the Director of the Mint, fifty thousand silver 50-cent pieces, in each case such coins to e of standard size, weight, and fineness of a special appropriate design to be fixed by , the director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, but the United States shall not be subject to the expense of making the models for master dies or other preparations for this coinage.

SEC.2. Coins commemorating the founding of the city of Hudson, New York, shall be issued at par, and only upon the request of the committee, person, or persons duly authorized by the mayor of the city of Hudson, New York, and the coins commemorating the founding of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, shall be issued at par and only upon the request of the Providence Tercentenary Committee.

SEC. 3. Such coins may be disposed of at par or at a premium by the committee, person, or persons duly Authorized in section 2, and all proceeds shall be used in furtherance of the commemoration of the founding of the cities of Hudson, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, respectively.

SEC. 4. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 4, page 99.)

5. The coins authorized herein shall be issued in such numbers, and at such times as they may be requested by the committee, person or persons duly authorized by said mayor of Hudson, New York, in the case of coins issued in commemoration of the founding of that city, and by the Providence Tercentenary Committee in the case of coins commemorating the founding of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, and in each case only upon payment to the United States of the face value of such coins. Approved, May 2, 1935.
The above Act is one of the few instances in the commemorative coinage wherein two or more issues have been authorized in the same Act. The Hudson issue was released in 1935; that of Rhode Island was not struck until 1936, and is described in its sequence.

The pleasing design of this issue is by Chester Beach, the designer of a number of previous commemorative issues.

The Philadelphia Mint struck 10,008 coins, which represented the entire authorized coinage, in June, 1935, and these were originally distributed at one dollar each. Considerable criticism was evoked by this issue, as few collectors had time to place their orders with the Commission prior to its entire disposal which had taken place within an unbelievably I short time. This promptness on the part of the Commission combined with wholesale selling resulted in a rapid rise of the retail price.

Obv. Hendrik Hudson’s flagship, the “Half Moon” sailing to right. Directly below, partly on waves and partly on field, in thick curved ornamental letters: HUDSON In left field, a half moon. Around upper circumference: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Below, in smaller letters, parallel: IN GOD WE —- TRUST At lower border: HALF DOLLAR At extreme left border, artist’s monogram in relief: CB
Seal of the City of Hudson, New York. Neptune, with upright trident in hand, riding backwards on spouting whale. At left, mermaid blowing conch shell. Above on scroll: ET DECUS —- ET PRETIUM — RECTI in small letters. Around upper circumference: CITY OF HUDSON • N • Y • At lower border: 1785 • 1935 and above, in smaller letters,
Curved: E PLURIBUS UNUM

Edge. Reeded. 30 mm. Silver.

Lettering. Gothic.

The Latin motto appearing upon this issue translated means: “Both the honor and the reward of the righteous.”

The half-moon shown upon the obverse is of particular interest because it makes use of the canting device so often found upon Greek coins.

THE OLD SPANISH TRAIL HALF-DOLLAR

The Old Spanish Trail half-dollar was authorized by Congress to commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of the first overland trek on territory now a part of the United States. In 1535 Cabeza de Vaca, a Spaniard, organized his expedition in St. Augustine, Florida. Heading westward he passed through the Gulf States, and through Texas ending at El Paso.

The Act of Congress giving authorization to this issue is as follows:

[PUBUC—No. 97—74TH CONGRESS]

AN ACT To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in connection with the Cabeza de Vaca Expedition and the opening of the Old Spanish Trail.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That to indicate the interest of the Government of the United States in commemorating the four hundredth anniversary of the Expedition of Cabeza de Vaca and the opening of the Old Spanish Trail, there shall be coined by the Director of the Mint silver 50-cent pieces to the number of not more than ten thousand, of standard weight and fineness and of a special appropriate design to be fixed by the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, but the United States shall not be subject to the expense of making the models for master dies or other preparations for this coinage.

SEC. 2. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 2, but upon the request of the chairman of the El Paso Museum Committee, page 99.)

SEC. 3. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 3, but El Paso Museum.)

SEC. 4. (Same as Maryland issue, Section 4.) Approved, June 5, 1935.

The coins were designed by L. W. Hoffecker of El Paso, Texas, the sponsor of this issue, and the

models prepared by Edmund J. Senn.

In 1935, during the month of September, 10,008 of these commemorative coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint, representing the entire authorized coinage. The coins were distributed by the El Paso Museum Committee at two dollars each, and the proceeds were used in furthering the work of the El Paso Museum. The distribution of these pieces was very wide, and none were returned to the Mint,

( No portrait of this sixteenth century explorer is known. His name, Cabeza de Vaca literally translated means “the head of a cow,” and a cow’s head was chosen as the obverse, another example of the use of a canting type. )

Obv. Head of a cow facing; in field above, curved: LIBERTY Below head, curved, in small Gothic letters: ALVAR NUNEZ CABEZA DE VACA Around upper border, in larger Roman letters: UNITED• STATES • OF • AMERICA Paralleled below Within tips of cow’s horns, in Gothic letters: E PLURIBUS UNUM At lower border: HALF DOLLAR in Roman letters. Entire design within hairline border. Rev. Yucca tree in full bloom, superimposed upon map showing route of Cabeza de Vaca through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Approximate sites of present day cities through which the Expedition passed are marked by connected points from East to West: St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Mobile, New Orleans, Galveston, San Antonio and El Paso. At end of trail in field and on map: EL PASO in small Gothic letters. In lower right field in two lines, in small Gothic letters: IN GOD / WE TRUST Around upper border, in larger Roman letters: OLD • SPANISH • TRAIL Around lower border: 1535 ▼ 1935 At lower right border, designer’s initials in relief faintly visible: L.W.H. All within hairline border.
Reeded. 30 mm. Silver.
This half-dollar evoked considerable comment because of the novel treatment of its design. It is outstanding in appearance because the devices and types do not crowd the field.

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