Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Jefferson Nickels

Samablog points to the new nickel design which will have either a buffalo or a depiction of the pacific coast on the back. The buffalo refers to the Louisiana Purchase, while the pacific coast refers to Lewis and Clark’s expedition .

Despite his careers as a lawyer, diplomat, Secretary of State, and President of the United States, Jefferson considered three achievements to be his enduring legacy:

  1. The Declaration of Independence,
  2. The Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, and
  3. The University of Virginia

That’s what he asked be engraved on his tombstone. The ideas in each of those are in many ways, still revolutionary. In a much more religious age, Jefferson wrote “we hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…” (emphasis added). He wrote “their creator,” rather than “God,” in a document where every phrase was argued over. What would he have thought about gazing at the words “In God we Trust?” on the currency of a country he did so much to shape?

I blame the Hamiltonians.