Early Motto on First US Penny

Everyone knows the official motto of the United States: In God we Trust. According to Wikipedia’s article, United States national motto, it wasn’t adopted until 1956, during the Eisenhower administration. Before that, the only official motto we had was on the seal: E Pluribus Unum.

But what about on the nation’s coinage? We found an article at the CNN website which is rather enlightening: First U.S. penny sold for $1.2 million. They say, with bold font added by us:

It sold for nearly $1.2 million Thursday night at an auction in Baltimore.

We don’t care. We only want to know what the motto was on the coin. We’re always being told that the Founders were creationists. See, for example: The Founders Rejected Evolution?, and also ICR: America’s Creationist Founders, and also Answers in Genesis: An Ark-Load of Nonsense. Surely the motto on the first US penny should reflect the Founders’ creationist views. CNN says:

The coin, known as the “Birch Cent,” was made in 1792, months after the one-cent denomination was first authorized by Congress, according to the auction house Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The motto — what was the motto? Let’s read on:

It was made in a trial run for the penny, and depicts Lady Liberty. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington discussed the design in letters dated August 1792, before it was presented to Congress as an option for the new coin.

Whoa — Jefferson and Washington discussed the design? Then the motto should be very interesting. What was it?

The story doesn’t say. However, the CNN article has a picture of the front and back of the coin. The motto is very legible. It says: “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

That’s odd. After reading what the creationists tell us about US history, and how all the Founders were creationists, it should have said something like “Evolution Is a Lie from the Pit of Hell!” Something’s wrong here. We’re very confused.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Early Motto on First US Penny

  1. Lewis Thomasonn

    Let me explain it for you,originally the coin said” God is the reason merica was founded and all people gona have to be Christians”. The trouble started when that great deceiver satan snuck in one night and changed the wording. Washing and Jefferson didn’t notice because they was blinded by the debal.

  2. Can’t wait to hear the spin on this.

    Can we re-adopt that Moho?

  3. This is delicious. The story about the sale is widespread, so many creationists must have noticed the early motto. I wonder what David Barton will have to say about this “early document.”

  4. Well, it depends what you mean by “science” . . .

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Realthog and we are learning these days that ‘liberty’ really always meant ‘religious liberty’, as Indiana finally clarified in 2015.

  6. I hadn’t seen that one, it is a true rarity. “In God We Trust” goes back to the Civil War when a 2 cent piece was produced. War makes people religious. The religious motto was revived on some coins in the early 1900s. Theodore Roosevelt actually didn’t like it, more for piety. Since money is sometimes used for shady purposes. He lost out and it ended up on some of the gold coins of that period. The last godless coin was the Buffalo nickle in 1938. The theocrats had won, with the last blow it became the official motto of a secular state. Challenged in the supreme court it was dismissed as “ceremonial deism” In other words it is just pomp and they don’t mean it. Of course theocrats don’t see it that way, to them it is glorious proof that this is a Christian nation.

  7. Wonderful!

    OK, so who is organising the massive campaign to re-instate this splendid motto! And how do I join?

  8. I suggest we put a new motto on the penny:

    This penny costs nearly two of these to make. How stupid is that?

  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugio_Cent

    On April 21, 1787, the Congress of the Confederation of the United States authorized a design for an official copper penny,[1] later referred to as the Fugio cent because of its image of the sun shining down on a sundial with the caption, “Fugio” (Latin: I flee/fly). This coin was reportedly designed by Benjamin Franklin; as a reminder to its holders, he put at its bottom the message, “Mind Your Business.” The image and the words form a rebus meaning that “time flies, do your work.” This design was also used on the “Continental dollar” (issued as coins of unknown real denomination, and in paper notes of different fractional denominations) in February 1776.

  10. Techreseller

    hmmm, given everything I heard from Barton etc, i am confused as well. Guess we have to read what the founding fathers said in their own documents. Hmmm, more confused, no mention of a Christian Nation.