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Walter Ralegh [*Raleigh]


Born in Budleigh parish, Devinshire, England. He spelled his name Ralegh; Congress spelled it Raleigh in the legislation that authorized the commemorative half dollar. Attended Oxford ca. 1570 to 1572. Married Elizabeth Throckmorton in 1591.

He received a patent from Queen Elizabeth authorizing him to explore the new world. His group colonized Roanoke Island, North Carolina. He offended the King and was executed in Westminister, England.

Ralegh appears on the obverse of the Roanoke Island Half Dollar. Designed by William Marks Simpson. His original design had the proper spelling of the name. The Federal Commission of Fine Arts required that the design be modified to use the wrong spelling. The coin was issued in 1937 with 50,000 struck, 29,000 sold and the remaining 21,000 melted.

Ralegh appears on the reverse of the $2 National Bank notes ("Lazy 2") of the first charter period. On the note his name is also spelled Raleigh.

bio: ApCAB; *Drake; NCAB 7; *WWWA-H (*under Raleigh); NUM/NIN

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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