Recent Relic Recoveries ~ First U.S. Coin With "In God We Trust" On It
I’ve been so busy and it’s been so hot here in Virginia recently, I’ve done very little relic hunting this summer. But I can only go so long missing history I can touch. Fortunately, I was able to get out to a new permission in western Virginia recently and made some decent recoveries. The property dates to the early 1800’s and, after surveying/scanning it for over 3 hours, I’m convinced it’s never been detected before. There were TONS of signals and I barely scratched the surface. In addition to the 154 year old 2 cent piece, I also recovered a fire damaged silver Peace Dollar, a nice silver washed colonial dandy button, a heel plate and an iron stirrup.
The 2 cent piece is the first U.S. coin to include the phrase, "In God We Trust" (1864). The "We" is missing from my specimen:
Though this coin was not actually minted until 1864, the idea for acknowledging God on U.S coinage coin dates to 1806. The "In God We Trust" wording was added to silver coinage two years later. Late in 1861, Baptist preacher Reverend Mark Watkinson of Pennsylvania, suggested to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase that some acknowledgement of God should be placed on our coins due to the state of war in which the country was then involved. One writer noted:
Raised by Episcopal bishop Philander Chase, he’d made a name for himself applying his religious views to the cause of abolition. Before joining the Lincoln cabinet, Chase regularly defended runaway slaves, and the white citizens who helped them, while denouncing fugitive-slave laws. Within the week, he wrote to James Pollock, director of the U.S. Mint: “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.”
Some of my other recoveries: