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NNP Blog

Aug 17 2020

In God We Trust on U.S. Paper Money

The demise of bank-operated money museums in the United States (Chase Manhattan, Detroit National, etc.) is a well known phenomenon. This week we present a brochure from the Chase Manhattan Bank Museum of Moneys of the World, which explains how the phrase “In God We Trust” came to appear on U.S. paper money. Remarkably, while the motto was added to coins in 1865, nearly a century elapsed before it was added to paper money. The Chase Manhattan Bank, c. 1960, exhibited the famous 1861 letter from Rev. Mark Watkinson to Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase urging the U.S. Mint to add “In God We Trust” to the nation’s coinage. Matt Rothert, ANA dignitary, who spearheaded the effort to add “In God We Trust” to paper money, signed this particular example, which originates from the Newman collection. Thanks to Bill Bierly for relating the background of this brochure.

Link to “In God We Trust on U.S. Paper Money” brochure on Newman Portal:  https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/587112


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