Christopher Columbus: His Decline in Numismatics and the Nation’s Collective Memory

By Heinz Tschachler … ..
When in the early 1990s the United States was getting fix to commemorate the quincentennial of Christopher Columbus first landing on the Caribbean island of Guanahani, a bill was proposed that would eliminate the cent and the half-dollar and create a raw small-dollar coin bearing a portrayal of the finder ( Wilcox, 1006-7 ) .
nothing ever came of this, though in November 1991 the United States Mint announced its plan for a “ 500 Years of Discovery Medal ” for the U.S. Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission. A year subsequently, the Mint released a half-dollar commemorative mint. Designed by T. James Ferrell, the coin ’ south obverse shows Columbus at landfall ; in the background is the Santa Maria and a smaller ship with the crew disembark. The mint ’ second inverse shows Columbus ’ flotilla of three ships .
1992 Columbus half dollar. Image: PCGS. The half-dollar is contribution of a set of three commemorative coins–a ash grey dollar designed by John Mercanti, which shows, on the obverse, a standing Columbus with a banner in his justly hand and a scroll in his left ; on the reverse, designed by Thomas D. Rogers, Sr., is a jar juxtaposition of the Santa Maria and the Space Shuttle Discovery ; a half eagle ( a $ 5 gold mint ) bears a Columbus profile break against the eastern shoreline of the Western hemisphere on the obverse ( created by T. James Ferrell ) and a chart with a compass rose overlapping the western Old World with the date 1492, and Columbus ’ coat of arms on the reversion ( the work of Thomas D. Rogers, Sr. ) ( Vermeule, 206 ).

1992 Columbus dollar and $5 coins. Image: PCGS. Emitting the coins at best was a halfhearted attempt, done in order not to fall behind international exercise ( Spain, Portugal, and Italy –as well as the Bahamas, Colombia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and other latin american countries already had produced their commemoratives [ 1 ] ) .
Worse, sales figures were more than meek : of the six million pieces minted, alone some 600,000 were sold to the public. Most of the coins were late melted down. The economic failure of the coin shows that in the United States there was not then a lot to write dwelling about Columbus ’ numismatic bearing, and the 1992 commemorative did little to improve the position [ 2 ] .
The quincentennial of Columbus ’ death, in 2005, did not occasion any numismatic activity on the separate of the Mint, and the six-hundredth anniversary of Columbus ’ birth, presumably in 1451, seems besides far in the future to make any predictions .
You won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate find it in the public literature surrounding the quincentennial, but Columbus had been a popular motif on coins, currency, and medals ( about 270 all in all ) in the nineteenth century. And beginning with Independence, he became a cultural investment throughout the new nation, an ideal initiation figure visible in the arts, literature and, lest one forgets, plaza and event names, from the Columbia River to the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1892 .
How, then, to explain the flag pastime in the great finder ?
In the remainder of this essay, I will probe the follow two reasons for Columbus ’ decline in the american nation ’ sulfur corporate memory .
One, there is not a single portrait of Columbus that was taken from biography. Portraits that broadly passed for those of the finder were either portraits of his son Don Diego Columbus or strictly fantasy products. furthermore, by the middle of the nineteenth hundred, the use of photograph became criterion for illustrations in print media and bill and coin output. Increasingly, designers would think doubly about using strictly fanciful Columbus portraits–especially on fresh notes. As of the 1920s, there was no longer a position on american english currency for the finder, whose portrait had appeared together with George Washington’s on a one-dollar note of 1869 .
Two, the trouble of an authentic Columbus portrayal was, however, a minor consequence in comparison with larger social and cultural trends. Columbus was a genoese in the serve of the spanish crown. By the end of the nineteenth hundred, this fact was being held against the inventor. firm nativist sentiments had emerged against newcomers from Southern and Eastern Europe, and concomitantly, Columbus ’ condition as an important figure of sociable cohesiveness was challenged .
And opposition to Columbus Day, which began in dear with the quincentennial of 1892, has not gone away. As of the final years of the twentieth hundred, the confrontation, initially led by Native Americans and later expanded upon by left-leaning activists, has decried the actions taken, both by Columbus and early Europeans, against autochthonal populations in the Americas. This enemy reached a modern vertex in June 2020, when protesters damaged Columbus statues in Richmond, Virginia ; Boston, Massachusetts ; and St. Paul, Minnesota .

The Problem of an Authentic Portrait

American author Washington Irving, who in 1828 published an authoritative Columbus biography that secured the explorer ’ randomness set in narratives of America ’ s historical progress, had found to his chagrin that the portraits that by and large passed for those of Columbus were actually portraits of Columbus ’ son Don Diego. [ 3 ] .
Irving then settled, half-heartedly, for a portrayal painted by one Antonio Moro. The portrait, from an old book of italian engravings, was favored by Irving ’ s contacts in Spain, which included Martín Fernández de Navarrete, the author of a collection of Columbus-related documents called Colección de los viajes y descubrimientos, and the Duke of Veragua. Irving included the paint in the condensation published by Murray of London in 1830 [ 4 ] .
Irving ’ s adjacent determination, in 1829, was a late 16th-century portrayal by one Aliprando Caprioli ; he had it copied but was evenly unconvinced about the “ authenticity of the likeness ” [ 5 ] .
The problem of an accurate likeness concerned Irving for the following twenty-some years .
Writing to William Cullen Bryant in December of 1851, he discusses more than half a twelve alleged Columbus portraits, though he adds a note of resignation :
“ I know of no portrait extant which is positively known to be authentic. ”
He ultimately settled for a portrait by the spanish artist Juan de Borgoña, knowing full well that this likeness, besides, might have been “ strictly complex number ” [ 6 ] .
Depictions of Columbus on 19th-century currency notes likewise were fantasy products, including those based on a 16th-century portrait by Francesco Mazzola Parmigianino or on a 17th-century painting by Mariano Maella [ 7 ] .
At the time, practice of photograph had become standard for bill production ( President Lincoln’s portrayal, based on Christopher S. German’s photograph, in an engraving by Charles Burt, had appeared on $10 Demand notes in 1861 ) [ 8 ], thus why mark “ strictly fanciful ” Columbus portraits on fresh notes ?
In the farseeing run, Columbus gradually disappeared from currentness notes .
however, as the quatercentennial of 1892 was approaching, an early 16th-century paint of a beardless man of learn, attributed to Lorenzo Lotto, was accorded something like official hold, possibly because it somehow matches the description by Columbus ’ second son and biographer Fernando [ 9 ]. It was thought that Lotto ’ s portrait of 1512, which had served for a spanish decoration, was to be the option for the american half dollar .
yet neither this likeness ( which shows a cleanshaven homo with an about monk-like appearance who holds, in one hand, a conically projected map of Brazil ) nor a chubby one by Sebastiano del Piombo was taken from life. alternatively, they are thought to be copied after the sketch of an nameless artist working in Rome about 1500. A claim by the Chicago businessman C. F. Gunther that the Antonio Moro painting in his possession was the lone actual portrayal of Columbus in universe was ignored .
The dilemma was resolved when the United States Mint forwarded an engrave by F. Focillon, which in turn was based on a painting by Bartolomeo Suardi ( aka Bramantino ), in the possession of a Dr. di Orchi of Como, and hang in the Naval Museum, Madrid [ 10 ] .
besides in 1892, a Henri-Emile Lefort published an etch titled Christophorus Columbus ( New York : M. Knoedler, 1892 ). The engraving, presumed to be based on an anonymous portrait in the Naval Museum at Madrid ( it does look exchangeable to the Focillon etch ), was late used as the frontispiece for the Complete Works edition of Irving ’ s A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus [ 11 ] .
Until the Civil War, depictions of Columbus on banknotes were by and large based on Parmigianino ’ s paint .
One rationality is that once a vignette was engraved, it was offered to as many banks as possible in order to make up for the original outgo .
Gene Hessler, in “ Capturing the True Columbus ”, has identified bills from 10 states that used the Parmigianino portrayal as a model :

  • The Ansonia Bank, Seymour, CT ($5, H-CT-5-G8 and G8a, 1862)
  • The Bank of America ($5, not listed in Haxby) and the Tolland County Bank, Tolland, CT ($10, H-CT-430-G64, 1840s)
  • Bank of Augusta, Augusta, GA ($1, H-GA-30-G26, mid-1840s to early ’50s) and Exchange Bank, Brunswick, GA ($10, H-GA-95-G8, 1840s)
  • New Orleans Canal & Banking Company, New Orleans, LA ($10, H-LA-105-G22a, late 1840s)
  • Kenduskeag Bank, Bangor, ME ($5, H-ME-85-G36, late 1840s)
  • Cochituate Bank, Boston, MA ($100, H-MA-130-G16, 1849 to early 1850s); Suffolk Bank, Boston, MA ($5, H-MA-370-G100 and G100b, late 1850s 1860s)
  • Piscataqua Exchange Bank, Portsmouth, NH ($5, H-NH-285-G8, 1840s to ’60s)
  • Bank of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ ($1, H-NJ-345-G2a and G20a-d, early 1850s, and see below); Somerset County Bank, Somerville, NJ ($50, H-NJ-500-G14 and G14c, 1848-1860s); and State Bank of Elizabeth, Elizabeth, NJ ($5, H-NJ-120-G40 and G40b, 1850s-1860s)
  • Bank of Owego, Owego, New York ($1, H-NY-2155-G22 and G22a-d, late 1840s-’60s, and see below); Henry Keep’s Bank, Watertown, NY ($1, H-2860-G2 and G2a, 1840s); Commercial Bank of Troy, Troy, NY ($50, H-NY-2690-G28 and G28a-b, 1840s-1860s)
  • Lehigh County Bank, Allentown, PA ($5, H-PA-20-G8, early 1840s) and The Miners Bank of Pottsville, Pottsville, PA ($20, H-PA-575-G32, 1840s-1850s, and see below)
  • Mechanics Bank, Providence, RI ($20, H RI-340-G36, 1850s); New England Commercial Bank, Newport, RI ($2, H-RI-155-G40, 1850s); and National Bank, Providence, RI ($10, H-RI-360-G58 G58a-b, 1860s)

small engravings of the alleged “ Muñoz portrait “ –so-named after its foremost appearance as the frontispiece in Juan Bautista Muñoz’ Historia del Nuevo-Mundo ( Madrid, 1793 ) –were besides used on a number of disused bank notes, including :

  • The Real Estate Bank of the State of Arkansas, Columbia, AR ($10, H-AR-5-G32)
  • The Commercial Bank of Florida, Apalachicola, FL ($2, H-FL-5-G4, 1830s)
  • The Augusta Insurance & Banking Company, Augusta, GA ($100, H GA-35-G50, ca. 1828-’40s) and The Merchants and Planters Bank, Augusta, GA ($100, H GA-65-G52)
  • The New Jersey Manufacturing & Banking Company, Hoboken, NJ (H-NJ-210: $1, G4 and G4a-b; $3, G26; $5, G38 and G38a; $10, G42 and G42a; $20, G44a and G46; $50, G50; $100, G54, all from the 1820s; the image is reversed on the $20, $50, and $100 notes)
  • The Mississippi & Alabama Rail Road Company, Brandon, MS ($5, H-MS25-G8 and G8a-b, late 1830s) [ 12 ]

The portrait, which Mariano Maella probably painted about a century after Columbus ’ death, shows a bearded man in armor and a trump of the seventeenth century. Bearing no resemblance to descriptions of Columbus ’ person, it is just deoxyadenosine monophosphate fanciful as others of its kind [ 13 ] .
$10, The Real Estate Bank of the State of Arkansas, Columbia, AR, 1839 Eric P. Newman Numismatic Portal A great many currentness notes bearing Columbus ’ portrayal came from banks that bore Columbus in their names. early examples are $ 5 notes issued by the Columbiana Bank of New Lisbon, New Lisbon, Ohio, in the 1830s. The central vignette, which depicts an agrarian scene, is flanked by nameless portraits of Columbus [ 14 ] .
In the 1840s, the Columbian Bank, Boston, Massachusetts, issued Columbus notes in several denominations : the $ 5 notes had as their cardinal vignette the land of Columbus, a theme that was besides used, from the late 1850s, for the $ 500 notes ; on the $ 10 notes, an unidentified portrait of Columbus appears at correctly ; the identical portrayal was used, with an extra portrait of George Washington at leave, for the $ 100 notes in the 1860s [ 15 ] .
The land of Columbus besides appeared on $ 1 notes issued in the late 1850s by the Bank of Columbus, Columbus, Wisconsin. other denominations from this bank besides digest portraits ( after Parmigianino ) of the mariner [ 16 ] .
$2, Bank of Columbus, Columbus, WI (1850s?) Eric P. Newman Numismatic Portal A large issue of banks had “ Columbia ” or alike denominations as separate of their names, though they did not necessarily issue notes depicting columbus : the deceitful, possibly non-existent Columbia Bank, Washington, D.C. ( H-DC-195 ) ; The City Bank of Columbus, Columbus, Ohio ( H-OH-170 ) ; the Bank of Columbus, Columbus, Georgia ( H-GA-105 ), etc .
still early banks had no character to the mariner in their names though they printed Columbus on their notes. Some of these banks have been mentioned, but premier examples, particularly on account of the fall upon orange coloring on the back and the Parmigianino portrait in the center, were the $ 100 notes from the Citizen’s Bank of Louisiana ( on the notes ’ front a decidedly “ Roman ” tear of George Washington is surrounded by three scantily invest female allegories ) .
New Orleans, LA- Citizens' Bank of Louisiana $100 18__ G48a. Image: Heritage Auctions Less dramatic examples came from the Market Bank, Boston, MA, which in the 1830s issued $ 50 notes bearing an unidentified portrayal of Columbus at right, with the numeral 50 above and below [ 17 ] .
besides in the 1830s, the Bank of Grenada, Mississippi, and the Bank of Wilmington and Brandywine, Wilmington, Delaware, emitted $ 100 notes bearing as their central sketch Columbus stand, with his crew and native Americans at a huge crabbed [ 18 ] .
A Parmigianino portrait besides graced $ 5 notes from the Tolwanda Bank, Tolwanda, Pennsylvania, in the 1840s. A frame Parmigianino portrait of a Renaissance-type Columbus, flanked by two females, appeared on $ 1 notes from the Bank of Owego, Owego, New York, during the 1840s and ’ 50s. The same portrait was printed on $ 1 notes from the Bank of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, and the Peoples Bank, Carmi, Illinois, both in the early 1850s .
Unidentified framed portraits of Columbus besides appeared on $ 2 notes from the Newport Bank, Newport, Rhode Island, in the 1820s and ’ 30s ; from the Brunswick Bank, Brunswick, Maine, in the deep 1840s ; from the Mechanics & Traders Bank, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Warwick Bank, Warwick, Rhode Island, the White River Bank, Bethel, Vermont and the Bank of Brattleboro, Brattleboro, Vermont, in the 1850s ; and from the Monadnock Bank, Jaffrey, New Hampshire, in the 1850s and ’ 60s [ 19 ] .
alike in the 1840s, the Canal Bank, New Orleans, Louisiana, issued $ 10 notes bearing a Parmigianino portrayal of Columbus at leave, with the numeral 10 placed above and below [ 20 ] .
ultimately, the Boylston Bank, Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1840s and ’ 50s issued $ 10 notes with portraits both of George Washington and Christoph Columbus. Washington ( flanked by a fly angel ) and Columbus ( after Parmigianino ) were similarly put on $ 20 notes from the Miners Bank of Pottsville, Pottsville, Pennsylvania ; in the 1860s, the Columbian Bank, Boston, Massachusetts, issued $ 100 notes with the identical double fare [ 21 ] .
$ 100 notes from the Lime Rock Bank, East Thomaston, Maine, had ONE HUNDRED written across the numeral 100, with an unidentified portrait of Columbus below [ 22 ]. The identical design appeared on $ 100 notes from the Wrentham Bank, Wrentham, Massachusetts, in the 1840s- ’ 50s [ 23 ] .
A rare fractional note, emitted by the Keystone Mills, Highland, Florida, alike shows a Parmigianino portrayal of Columbus :
5 Cents, Keystone Mills, Highland, Florida, 1880s (?) Imaged by Heritage Auctions After the era of private money, the modern national currency–a wartime expediency–was to show scenes that would represent noteworthy events from the still-young nation ’ s founding history. All designs were to put vitamin a much distance between the country ’ south hard-won independence and its early british convention .
In the eyes of the authorities, Christopher Columbus symbolized the New World, not the Old. The finder was an ideal establish figure, and representations of him–portraits arsenic well as historic scenes–can be found on several types of federal notes [ 24 ]. National Banknotes ( and National Gold Banknotes of California ) showed, in chronological club, Columbus discovering domain and the land of Columbus .
Another Columbus scene appeared on the $5 National Bank Notes, Original Series ( 1863-1875 ) and Series 1875 ( 1875 to 1902 ), and the $5 National Gold Bank Notes, Original Series. The sketch on the presence is like the one on the 1869 United States note, and it is besides called “ Columbus in Sight of Land ” ( however, the engraving is by Charles Burt, after Charles Fenton ’ s design ; more of this anon ). The discovery of new land is at leave. The sketch ( which Louis Delnoce engraved after Charles Fenton ) shows Columbus as the principal calculate on pack of cards of his caravel, thus depicting the moment of dramatic climax in the explorer ’ sulfur life. At correct, we see Columbus introducing America in the class of an amerind female to her three sisters of the Old World—Europe, Asia, and Africa ( W.W. Rice adapted a painting by T.A. Liebler, America Presented to the Old World ) .
$5, National Bank note, Original Series and Series 1875, front American Numismatic Association (ANA) Money Museum On the back of the notes is James Bannister’s translation of John Vanderlyn’s The Landing of Columbus at the Island of Guanahani, West Indies, October 12, 1492, the massive history painting from the national Capitol that shows the mariner and finder resist in a exultant present on the beach of Guanahani, surrounded by his men [ 25 ]. The bills became enormously popular .
however, they were counterfeited so widely ( an estimated $ 200,000 were in circulation before the forgers were caught ) that the Treasury Department initiated a design variety with the Second Charter in 1882. On the raw notes, Columbus was replaced by James Garfield, who had been assassinated in 1881 .
$5, National Bank note, Original Series and Series 1875, back American Numismatic Association (ANA) Money Museum $1,000 United States notes ( Series of 1869, 1878, 1880 ) alike depicted Columbus. In these instances, he is shown in his learn, seated, his legs crossed, and dressed in what were thought to be contemporaneous garments–a tunic, tights, and cloak. He is holding a piece of newspaper in one hand, while he contemplates the earth on the grind to his right. future to the sublunar ball is a map and a blow up glass. The vignette, placed at left on the note ’ south face, conveys an picture of learning and eruditeness, in concert with Columbus ’ abilities as sailing master, his visionary courage and genius, and his conviction that the worldly concern was not flat .
Columbus ’ virtues, the note suggests, lived on in DeWitt Clinton, United States Senator, Mayor of New York City, and Governor of New York, in which capacity he was largely creditworthy for the construction of the Erie Canal, finished in 1825. His portrayal is in the bill ’ mho center [ 26 ] .
1863 $1,000 Legal Tender Note. Image: Stack's Bowers. probably the most compel Columbus notice is the $1 United States (Legal Tender) Note from 1869. Known among collectors as the “Rainbow” note because of its blue-tinted paper and colorful overprintings of red and ignite green, it carries a portrait of George Washington ( engraved by Alfred Sealey from the celebrated Athenaeum paint by Gilbert Stuart ) and a vignette showing Christopher Columbus in sight of nation. The Columbus vignette was done by Joseph P. Ourdan after a painting by Christian ( sometimes called Charles ) Schussele, Columbus, Discovery of Land. It shows a beard captain among his crew. Columbus is wearing a tunic, knee breeches, and a mantle. A few of the sailors are elated, if not ecstatic, pointing toward the land in the setting. Others are on their knees, praying, their eyes on the captain. Columbus is depicted in an upright position, looking dignified and self-assured, his justly hand over the center. The emphasis in the representation intelligibly is on Columbus ’ heroic fictional character ampere well as on the epochal moment of discovery .
The $ 1 United States note of 1869 is an aesthetic and technical success, rightly chosen for the covering of Q. David Bowers’ Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money. But it was its ideological message which proved tone-setting. The notice ’ s composition—Washington ’ mho portrait in the center, looking at Columbus at left—suggests both a chronological and a causal relationship between the face of the nation and the momentous consequence of October 12, 1492 .
Claudia Bushman has termed this relation back the “ Columbus-Washington-Connection ”. The “ connection ” constitutes the basis of a larger cultural narrative, with Columbus and Washington as the main protagonists .
Put plainly, the narrative suggests that Washington became the Father of His area because Columbus had discovered the New World for the Americans [ 27 ]. The narrative continued to be an crucial component in the popular imagination, as the invention was kept for subsequent series, in 1874, a well as for several series from 1875 to 1917 ( all with the “ sawhorse reverse ”, alleged because the inscription “ United States of America ” was set in a flatten “ X ” evocative of a sawhorse ) .
It besides had a dramatic rejoinder on the back of the $5 Federal Reserve Note, series 1914, and on the Federal Reserve Bank Note, series 1915 and 1918 ( on these notes, we see Columbus in view of land at leave, and the land of the Pilgrims at right ; the presence is graced by a portrayal of Lincoln ) [ 28 ] .
The placement, in 1869, of Founding Father of the new nation ( an American of the present ) and inventor of the continent ( a man of the European past ) provided ideological stability and consolation for a state that had been ravaged by the Civil War. The get down of the “ Columbus-Washington-Connection ” must be sought in the War of Independence, though. then Columbus was used to legitimize the rebellion against England, the mother nation. Although the sailing master himself had been convinced that he had reached India, he was however found serviceable as the protagonist of a counter-narrative against prevailing myths–of pious puritans a well as of noble cavaliers. thus, the inventor in the service of the spanish kings transmogrified into an “ american ” bomber, if not a messiah [ 29 ]. His voyages along the coasts of the Americas came to both reflect and anticipate the liquidation, putatively ordained by God, by the english colonists .
Columbus was popular not precisely in numismatics and banknote production. He became a cultural investment throughout the new nation. a early as 1792, the Tammany Society of New York and the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston celebrated the three-hundredth anniversary of Columbus ’ landing. Five years earlier, in 1787, the poet Joel Barlow published his epic poem poem The Vision of Columbus ( it grew into the much more expansive Columbiad by 1807 ). William Dunlap’s play The Glory of Columbia was beginning performed in 1803 [ 30 ]. Noah Webster’s american Spelling Book ended with two pages of significant dates in american history, beginning with Columbus ’ discovery of America in 1492 and ending with the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Horatio Greenough’s 12-ton marble statue of George Washington was commissioned in 1832, the year of the centennial of the founder ’ s birth. small flank figures of an american indian and Christopher Columbus represent the New and the Old World [ 31 ] .
By 1850, three major biographies and histories of Columbus had been published, attesting to the finder ’ s prestige. The books ’ authors–Washington Irving ( 1828 ), George Bancroft ( 1834 ), and William Hickling Prescott ( 1837 ) —did not see Columbus as a man of a outback past, but preferably as a romanticist hero and pioneer, one to help legitimate westbound expansion, a harbinger of civilization and the modern earned run average .
Irving ’ randomness history of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus became spectacularly successful, specially among the general public. New editions were published about every year until 1850, then about every two or three years. raw, there were about 175 editions from 1828 until 1900, some of them expressly for the function as schoolbooks [ 32 ]. And that is not counting the many translations–into spanish, french, german, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Polish, Swedish, and Russian–made before Irving ’ s death in 1859 .
By the meter Columbus was being prepared for Irving ’ s Complete Works edition in 1980, the biography had seen about 200 editions .
“ Few books in modern times, ” Andrew Burstein writes, “ have had such a reach, or such an impact. ” [ 33 ] The make, particularly the one-volume condensation of it that Irving beginning published in 1829, was the most democratic biography of Columbus in the english terminology until the publication of Samuel Eliot Morison’s Admiral of the Ocean Sea in 1942 [ 34 ] .
Name-giving was another cultural investment .
“ Columbia ” had been a poetic denomination already for the north american english colonies. Following the colonists ’ victory at Yorktown, New York ’ s “ King ’ s College ” was renamed “ Columbia College ” ( it became Columbia University in 1896 ). South Carolina ’ s new das kapital became Columbia. The sphere of the new union capital became “ Territory of Columbia ”, subsequently “ District of Columbia. ” There are early locate names galore, such as Columbus, Mississippi, or Columbus, Ohio ; and there is the Columbia River, reached by Lewis and Clark in 1805. New York ’ s Columbia Avenue was opened in 1892. In the same year, the World ’ s Columbian Exposition was dedicated in Chicago ( it opened only in 1893, because of delays ) [ 35 ] .
On the occasion of the World ’ south Columbian Exposition, the United States Mint produced a half-dollar mint bearing a portrait of Columbus. It was the very first U.S. coin bearing the portrayal of a historic person a well as the first gear official commemorative coin .

The Columbus half-dollar, of which some five million examples were struck for the Exposition, was a complete failure .
The coins would be sold for $ 1 each and were expected to raise some $ 10 million. While many were sold at the fairly, countless others remained in Treasury vaults and subsequently had to be released for circulation at their confront value .
already before the coins were flush designed, there had been objections. Senator John Sherman of Ohio claimed that the enormous act of the coins “ would destroy their value as souvenirs. ” Senator William Allison of Iowa surmised that excessively many “ children would cry for them, and the old men would demand them, ” then that the coins would be “ retire from circulation and fall into a discipline of innocuous desuetude. ” [ 36 ]
artistically, there besides is not much to write home plate about. Both the obverse ( designed by Olin Lewis Warner and engraved by Charles E. Barber ) and the overrule ( created by George T. Morgan ) display the scholasticism fostered by the Mint in Philadelphia .
The public reception excessively was anything but glowing. “ … it will pass, ” was all that the New York Press had to say, while the Boston Globe observed that to look at the coin will make one “ regret that Columbus wasn ’ t a better looking man. ” The Philadelphia Ledger noted, “ If it were not known in progress whose vignette adorns the columbian keepsake half dollar, the average observer would be undecided as to whether it is intended to represent Daniel Webster or Henry Ward Beecher. ” [ 37 ]
But if the 1892 half-dollar was “ a great disappointment ” as a workplace of art, then the official decoration for the Chicago fair was its accurate opposite .
The obverse, the creation of no less an artist than Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who completed the design merely at the fair ’ south close up in November 1893, shows an excessive Columbus striding ashore on an island in the New World. Yet unlike Ourdan ’ s sketch on the 1869 note, on the Saint-Gaudens obverse, the other participants are kept away from the center, appearing at lower right ( there are three male figures, one bearing an unfurl standard, and above are them the Pillars of Hercules [ the Straits of Gibraltar ] with three spanish caravels and the inscription plus extremist, “ more beyond ” ). The decoration is dominated by a metamorphose Columbus, arms extended, palms turned upward, and eyes to the sky .
With all the details centered around the herculean emotions of the finder, the writing becomes a complete entity, breathe, in the words of artwork historian Cornelius Vermeule, “ mastery of the homo human body over a limited area made concern by variations in open planes. ”
Saint-Gaudens besides created a change by reversal blueprint, though his models were rejected–the combine result, the sculptor ’ s son later explained, of victorian naughtiness and primness. alternatively, Charles E. Barber ’ s design was chosen for the invert [ 38 ] .
Eglit-90 1892-1893 St. Gaudens Award Medal, World's Columbian Exposition Medal At the Chicago fairly, Columbus besides was commemorated through a replica of the Santa Maria anchored in the lake, a copy of the convent of La Rabida, a triumphal arch topped by a quadriga testify Columbus standing in a Roman chariot draw by four horses, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as any count of elongated memento coins and, to display the United States ’ technical progress, medals and tokens made from aluminum [ 39 ] .
Numismatic tributes to the quincentennial besides came from around the world .
A french decoration, modeled by W. Mayer after the U.S. columbian two-cent stamp, depicts the land on its obverse. Clad in armor, Columbus wields a sword in his right pass ; a group of his chap adventurers stands behind him. The inscription reads “ Dedicated to the american People in Honor of the four-hundredth Anniversary of the Discovery of America ” and, below, “ United We Stand Divided We Fall. ” The reverse features a high-relief bust of Liberty encircled by stars, with the 1892 date below [ 40 ] .
Another decoration was produced in Milan, Italy. Known as the Milan decoration, the original issue of this rare smasher was 102 millimeter in diameter and fall upon in bronze and white metal. It portrays a break of Columbus on its obverse with allegorical figures of an indian Princess and a drape Liberty around the sides clasping hands under a earth. The inscription “ Cristoforo Colombo ” surrounds the female chest. The reverse shows the shields of a number of american states around a view filled with allegorical figures. The United States Capitol at Washington and the Brooklyn Bridge can be seen in the background [ 41 ] .

Questioning Columbus’ Significance

The years of the columbian celebrations are customarily regarded as the vertex of the explorer ’ sulfur popularity. In 1892, 400 years after Columbus ’ first ocean trip, President Benjamin Harrison first proclaimed Columbus Day a national vacation .
even 1892 besides was the class when Columbus ’ descent began .
Howard Kretschmar’s monumental Columbus statue at Lakefront Park ( today ’ mho Grant Park ) had been unveiled with much ostentation, yet it was about immediately considered nauseating and finally taken down, replaced by a statue of William McKinley, the martyr president of the united states .
In other respects, besides, Columbus was at best the eminence grise of Chicago. already at the fair, which was attended by more than 27 million people between May 1 and October 30, 1893, the significance of the mariner and his discovery for the advancement of the american nation was being questioned by historians like Justin Winsor, Eugene Lawrence, and Charles Francis Adams. In their wake up, the discovery itself was credited to any numeral of individual explorers or groups—from Leif Ericson to the Portuguese to the Chinese to the Basques [ 42 ] .
In themselves, these questionings were only symptoms of a abstruse social conflict : the growing ethnic and cultural diversity of american english society during the era of the New Immigration, 1880-1925, when some 25 million people arrived in the U.S [ 43 ]. During those years, impregnable nativist sentiments emerged against newcomers from Southern and Eastern Europe ; concomitantly, Columbus ’ status as an authoritative figure of social cohesiveness was challenged. While the Italian community continued to claim him as their hero, his meaning for the symbolic fundamental law of the american nation was in steady decline at the same time as an vehemence on a distinctly american past was given more and more weight .
“ vehemence on a distinctly american english past ” was the hide or not-so-hidden agenda in the great currency reform of the 1920s .
The figures are impressive : between 1863 and 1929 more than 160 different types, classes, and varieties of federal banknotes were put in circulation. By 1929, the number was cut in half ; as of 1930, only 15 were left. As for portraits, they were limited to those of “ the Presidents of the United States ”. This was the work of a especial committee installed by Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon, which had decided that such portraits “ have a more permanent wave acquaintance in the minds of the populace than any others. ” [ 44 ]
never mind that the word “ presidents ” is reasonably of a misnomer, as neither Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, nor Salmon P. Chase always served as president. What is important is that by 1929, “ all historical scenes of home significance had disappeared from american composition money and with them all depictions of Columbus ’ great discovery. ” [ 45 ]
alternatively, the currency, the “ department of state ’ second calling cards ” [ 46 ], mirroring the values the state of matter represents, such as stability, continuity, and resilience to crises, was graced by national heroes—such as Lincoln, whose portrait replaced Columbus on the $ 5 Federal Reserve and Federal Reserve Bank notes ( until 1929, the back calm showed Columbus ’ land, juxtaposed to the land of the Pilgrims ; it was then replaced by the Lincoln Memorial, which had been opened in 1922 ) .

It is not that Christopher Columbus–or Cristoforo Colombo, as the Italians knew him–was completely eliminated from America ’ s cultural memory .
Columbus may have lost his status as an american national hero, but the italian American community in particular considered Columbus ’ down as part of their inheritance .
There had been private celebrations of a “ Festa di Colombo ” in Chicago in the 1840s, though the inaugural public celebration was held in New York City on October 12, 1866 [ 47 ]. Celebrating the achievements of the “ Almirante de la Mar Océana ” ( the “ Admiral of the Ocean Sea ”, a deed Columbus had received from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Los Reyes Católicos ) continued. Columbus Day was first enshrined as a legal vacation in the United States through the lobby of Angelo Noce, a first-generation italian American, in Denver. Colorado governor Jesse F. McDonald proclaimed it a statewide vacation in 1905 ; it was made a statutory vacation in 1907. Again in 1907, a Columbus Memorial was commissioned in Washington, DC, thanks to the haunting lobby of the Knights of Columbus .
Designed by sculptor Lorado Z. Taft of Chicago, the repository consists of a semi-circular fountain, at the kernel of which is a pylon crowned with a earth supported by four eagles connected by a garland. A 15-foot statue of Columbus, facing the U.S. Capitol and wrapped in a mantle, stands in front of the pylon. Flanking Columbus are two seat allegorical figures representing the Old and the New World .
The dedication reads :
The monument was unveiled on June 8, 1912, under the presence of President William Taft [ 48 ]. Since then, the National Columbus Day Celebration Association and the National Park Service have been honoring Columbus ’ achievements by co-hosting a Columbus Day celebration at the Memorial .
The Knights of Columbus continued to be active in early avenues as well, annually emitting a decoration to be sold to those joining in the parade in celebration of Columbus Day in Massachusetts. Columbus Day had been established as a vacation in that state in 1910. The 1911 decoration, for example, has a square pill topped by a Columbus break on its obverse ; at left are the three caravels, at right a advanced ocean steamer, an airplane above it, symbolic of the changed conditions of navigation. The decoration ’ randomness invert shows a laurel wreath enveloping a lighted torch, entwined with a ribbon coil with 1492 at left and 1911 at correct. Below is the dedication : COLUMBUS DAY | MASSACHUSETTS | OCTOBER 12, 1911 [ 49 ] .
In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt designated the Giornata Nazionale de Cristoforo Colombo, that is, October 12, as Columbus Day. In 1966, Mariano A. Lucco, from Buffalo, New York, founded the National Columbus Day Committee, which lobbied to make Columbus Day a federal vacation. These efforts were successful, and October 12 became a union vacation in 1968. This was changed in 1971 when Columbus Day was set on the second Monday in October ( it is strictly coincident that in 2020 that sidereal day is October 12 ; adjacent class ’ s Columbus Day will be celebrated on October 11 ) .
Columbus Day is generally observed nowadays by banks, the bond marketplace, the U.S. Postal Service and other federal agencies, most state government offices, many businesses, and most school districts. actual honoring, however, varies in different parts of the United States, and most states do not celebrate Columbus Day as an official state vacation. Some states, among them Hawaii and South Dakota, have replaced it with celebrations of Indigenous People’s Day .
american cities excessively are eschewing Columbus Day to celebrate autochthonal People ’ randomness Day. Beginning with Berkeley, CA, in 1992, the class of the quincentennial, the number now includes Austin, TX ; Boise, Idaho ; Los Angeles ; Portland, Oregon ; Seattle ; and dozens of other cities. Two surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015 found that 26 to 38 percentage of american adults are not in favor of celebrating Columbus Day .
opposition to Columbus Day dates back to at least the late nineteenth hundred when anti-immigrant nativists fought its celebration because of its association with immigrants from catholic countries, most notably Italy, equally well as with the American Catholic fraternal administration, the Knights of Columbus. Anti-Catholics like the Ku Klux Klan opposed celebrations of Columbus or monuments about him because they believed that it would increase Catholic influence in the United States. [ 50 ] .
But by far, the most widespread confrontation began in the concluding years of the twentieth hundred .
This opposition, which decries the actions taken by Columbus and other Europeans against the autochthonal populations of the Americas, was initially led by Native Americans and late expanded upon by left-leaning activists. It was at a assembly of native Americans in Davis, California, that October 12, 1992, was declared to be the “ International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People “ [ 51 ] .
Columbus Day celebrations and the myths surrounding the inventor, some critics have said, only mask the ongoing actions and injustices against native Americans. Anthropologist Jack Weatherford even declared, in 2016, that on Columbus Day, Americans celebrate “ one of the greatest waves of genocide known in history. ” [ 52 ]
Columbus ’ mho character besides did not escape criticism .
He was surely a brainy navigator, even Columbus never hesitated to exploit and enslave the autochthonal population .
Washington Irving in 1829 could hush exempt Columbus from the charge of the discoverers ’ “ excesses ”, laying the blame on his followers–villains like Roldán, Bobadilla, and Porras [ 53 ]. Norman Solomon, in Columbus Day : A Clash of Myth and History ( 1995 ), has no patience for Irving ’ s “ double standard ”, which upheld the myth of Columbus ’ “ sound policy and big views ” .
Solomon quotes from Columbus ’ initial description in his logbook ( “ They would make all right servants … ” ) and, at greater duration, from Bartolomé de las Casas’ multivolume Historia de las Indias, which describes the discoverers as driven by “ insatiate greed, ” leading to “ kill, terrify, and torturing the native peoples ” with indefinable cruelty [ 54 ]
criticism of Columbus reached a new extremum when on June 9, 2020, protesters tore down the Columbus statue in business district Richmond, Virginia, following a passive demonstration outside of the statue in honor of autochthonal people. The statue was ripped from its basis, spray painted, set on arouse, and subsequently thrown in a lake .
Statues of Columbus were besides damaged in other places. Outside the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, protesters tied ropes around the statue ’ mho neck and yanked it from its pedestal, while in Boston, the head of a Columbus statue was removed overnight. But these acts need to be seen in the context of the wave of protests initially set off by the murder of George Floyd .
Directed at first toward monuments to the Confederacy, the rage expanded to encompass a swath of imperialist or genocidal Europeans, including Columbus [ 55 ] Predictably, President Trump’s response has been a battleful administrator decree and aggressive intimidation of people who would “ impede the purpose or routine ” of the monuments, memorials, and statues .
The issue is more complicate, though. As Susan Tallman recently argued, it is impossible to limit public artwork to works “ whose subjects and styles are in lockstep with our own ethics ; our museums would be empty if we did. ”
On the early pass, it is evenly impossible to ignore the reality that “ sealed forms of public display act as endorsements of the values of those who erected them. classical sculptures could only be loved by Christians once the gods they represented had died. Robert E. Lee is not however a dead god. ” [ 56 ]
Nor, of course, is Christopher Columbus .
But is Columbus Day very about the diachronic person ? Or is it preferably about the momentous, world-changing event that took place on a little island in the Caribbean on October 12, 1492 ?
Professor of History and italian Studies William J. Connell thinks that the latter is the case, adding that what Columbus gets criticized for nowadays are “ attitudes that were typical of the European sweep captains and merchants who plied the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in the 15th century. ” [ 57 ]
While these words are barely sufficient to assuage the anger and smell of injustice among autochthonal people, it is however true that Columbus Day does not commemorate Columbus ’ birthday ( as was the practice for Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and as is inactive done for Martin Luther King, Jr. ). Nor does it commemorate his death date ( which is when christian saints and martyrs are memorialized ), but preferably the date of his arrival in the New World.

And that, Connell adds, was precisely the intention of the people who put together the Columbus Day celebrations of 1892 .
When President Benjamin Harrison in that year proclaimed Columbus Day a national vacation, praising Columbus as “ the pioneer of build up and Enlightenment ”, it was separate of a wide effort–after the slaughter by U.S. troops of about 200 Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890 and the March 14, 1891, lynching in a New Orleans prison of 11 Italians by a mob led by outstanding Louisiana politicians–to pacify Native Americans and italian Americans. President Harrison in his opening speech did not allude to either the slaughter or the lynching, though he made it unclutter that October 12, 1892, would be a national vacation recognizing both Native Americans, who were here earlier Columbus, and the many immigrants–Italians included–who were equitable then coming to the United States in astounding numbers. It was to be a national holiday that was not about the Founding Fathers or the Civil War, but about the rest of American history, about the land and all its people [ 58 ]
During the anniversary in 1892, teachers, the clergy, poets, and politicians made function of assorted rituals to inculcate in people the ideals of patriotism. There were themes such as citizenship boundaries, sociable progress, and the importance of commitment to the nation, brought to prominence by Francis Bellamy’s “ Pledge of Allegiance ” .
And there were parades .
In New York, about 12,000 public school students grouped into 20 regiments. The boys marched in school uniforms, while the girls, dressed in loss, white, and blue, sat in bleachers. besides present were military bore squads and marching bands, some 5,500 students from the Catholic schools, a well as students from the private schools. These included the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Italian and American Colonial School, the Dante Alighieri Italian College, and the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. A college part brought together students from New York University and Columbia College ( it was not yet Columbia University ), who marched in white hats and white sweaters, with a message on crown of their hats that spelled out “ We are the People. ”
For Connell, what follows from this is that “ Columbus Day is for all Americans. It marks the first find that brought together the original Americans and future ones. A draw of suffering followed, and a lot of accomplishment too. ” [ 59 ]
One wonders : if Columbus Day very is for all Americans, then why are some groups not contribution of the video ? There surely has been enough suffering loaded upon them, much as there has been accomplishment .
* * *


[ 1 ] See Rulau, “ Numismatic Recognition of the New World, 1770-72 ”, 1856-58 .
[ 2 ] For the sake of completeness, the American Numismatic Society (ANS) produced a tasteful decoration ( available in silver, run, and tan ), which showed, on the obverse, one of Columbus ’ ships mirrored in a raise earth, and, on the reverse, an american eagle brood over the globe : hypertext transfer protocol : // The St. Augustine/St. Johns County (Florida) Columbus Commission besides sanctioned a decoration in recognition of the quincentennial. The obverse shows Columbus ’ three ships heading out to sea ; the reverse features, bury alia, a portrayal of Don Pedro Menendez, a spanish soldier who founded and named St. Augustine, the oldest city in North America. See The Numismatist, October 1992, 1365-66. In fact, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) dedicated the stallion publish to the quincentennial. Apart from many feature articles, the front cover showed Charles Burt ’ s engraving of the 1892 mint vitamin a well as the Franklin Mint’s bronze 1992 calendar/art decoration. worth note is besides the 1992 keepsake menu program of American Banknote Commemoratives (ABNC), which included many issues featuring Columbus bank notes, stamp dies, and admission tickets to the Chicago Fair of 1893. See ibid, 1387-88, and, for an example of entree tickets, some of which bore a portrayal of Columbus, Schefler, “ The World ’ sulfur Columbian Exposition, ” 58. For an authoritative script about columbian Exposition paper memorabilia, see Doolin, 1893 columbian Exposition Admission and Concession Tickets .
[ 3 ] Irving to Lady Granard, Madrid, May 7, 1827, CW-Letters, 2:235 .
[ 4 ] Ibid., and 237n9 .
[ 5 ] Irving to Prince Dmitri Dolgorouki, Seville, February 4 and March 11, 1829, ibid, 2:377- 78, 388 ; experience besides Irving ’ s letter to John Murray, his publisher, of February 14, 1829, ibid, 383 .
[ 6 ] Irving to Bryant, December 26, 1851, ibid, 4:283. See a. Irving ’ s drawn-out letter to Bryant of December 20, 1852, in Pierre M. Irving, The Life and Letters of Washington Irving, 4:93-96, a well as Ben Harris McClary, Washington Irving and the House of Murray ( Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, 1969 ), 115, and John Boyd Thacher, Christopher Columbus, His Life, His study, His Remains, 3 vols. ( 1903-1904 ; repr. New York : AMS Press ; 1967 ), 1:69- 70 .
[ 7 ] Vermeule, Numismatic Art in America, 87-88, 230, and Hessler, “ Capturing the True Columbus, ” 1436-39. In the late 1850s, the “ Parmigianino ” Columbus was identified as the condottiere Galeazzo Sanvitale of Fontanello, Province of Parma :
hypertext transfer protocol : // : ( formerly_thought_to_be ) _Christopher_Columbus, _1451_-_1506_RMG_RP6231.jpg. For a fanciful exemplification by F. O. C. Darley for a projected exemplify bulk of Irving ’ randomness Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, see The Worlds of Washington Irving, 54 ; the draw, which shows a case-hardened and warlike Columbus kneel on the beach of Guanahani, is available from the New York Public Library, Manuscript and Archives Division in the Duyckinck, Hellman, Seligman ’ second collections and Washington Irving Papers .
[ 8 ] Tschachler, The Greenback, 111 .
[ 9 ] “ The Admiral was a well-built man of more than average stature, the face hanker, the boldness slightly high, his body neither fat nor list. He had an aquiline nose and light eyes. His complexion besides was light and tending to bright bolshevik. In youth his haircloth was blond, but when he reached the age of thirty, it all turned white. ” Ferdinand Columbus, The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by His Son Ferdinand, 9 .
[ 10 ] Vermeule, Numismatic Art in America, 87-88, 230, and Curtis, Christopher Columbus, detail 25 ; for a different genealogy of the portrayal used for the columbian one-half dollar, see Schefler, “ The World ’ second Columbian Exposition, ” 55-56. The Musei Civici di Como, Italy, besides holds a portrait by an unknown artist, which is like to but not identical with the Lotto portrayal ; and it is date 1516 : hypertext transfer protocol : // lombo/ritratto-cristoforo-colombo-anonimo-ai-musei-civici-como/, accessed September 15, 2020 .
[ 11 ] See Irving, CW-Columbus, eight, and view the engraving at the Library of Congress : hypertext transfer protocol : //, accessed June 29, 2020. For more on Columbus por traits, see Lester, “ Looks Are Deceiving ”, 221-27, Annaloro, “ Man of Mystery ”, 33 ( both on the Lotto portrayal ), and Oliver and Kelly, “ Columbus Controversy ”, 98-99 .
[ 12 ] Hessler, “ Capturing the True Columbus ”, 1,439. Haxby in his Standard Catalog of United States Obsolete Bank Notes ( 2:1113 ) mistakenly identified the portrayal on the notes from the Mississippi & Alabama Rail Road Company as Fernando de Soto ’ mho .
[ 13 ] Maella ’ s original was in the possession of the Duke of Veragua, a descendant of Columbus. Veragua did not think a lot of the Muñoz, prefer, in his agreement with Washington Irving, the Antonio Moro portrayal. A copy of the Muñoz hangs in the Archives of the Indies at Seville. Another imitate was presented to the Philadelphia Academy of Arts in 1818 but disappeared a few years late and has remained untraceable. “ Report of the United States Commission to the columbian Historical exposition at Madrid, 1892-1893 ”, 237. hypertext transfer protocol : // ? id=ucm.5325305690 & view=1up & seq=10
[ 14 ] Haxby, OH-320-G40 .
[ 15 ] Haxby, MA-140-G66, G-122, G-84, and G-118 .
[ 16 ] Haxby, WI-95-G2, G2a, and R5 ( $ 3b notes raised from the G2 serial ) ; for the $ 2 notes, see G4, G4a, and R7 ( $ 5 notes raised from the G4 series ) .
[ 17 ] Haxby, MA-265-G50 .
[ 18 ] Haxby, MA-265-G50, MS-80-G20 and DE-85-G56 ; for dear illustrations, see Bowers, Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money, 7:399 and 8:46. Another bank issuing notes with the identical sketch was the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware, Dover, Delaware ( Haxby, DE-15-G90a and G90b ) .
[ 19 ] Haxby, PA-650-G4, NY-2155-G22, G22a through G22d, NJ-345-G2a, G20a and G20b, IL-115-G2, RI-160-G20 ( illustration in Bowers, Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money, 5:88 ), ME-125-G8, NH-265-G10, RI-545-G30 ( illustration in Bowers, Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money, 5:288 ), VT-20-G8 ( illustration ibid, 5:326 ), VT35- G24, and NH-135-G6 and G6b. $ 5 notes from the City Bank of Troy, Troy, New York, besides bore the identical vignette ( Haxby-NY-2735-G36 and G36a-b, 1840s- ’ 60s ), as did $ 20 notes from the Mechanics Bank, Providence, RI ( Haxby, RI-340-G36, 1850s ) .
[ 20 ] Haxby, LA105-G20 .
[ 21 ] Haxby, MA-120-G10, PA-575-G32, MA-140-G118 ( exemplification in Bowers, Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money, 3:90 ) .
[ 22 ] Haxby, H-ME-275-G72 .
[ 23 ] Haxby, MA-1335-G86 .
[ 24 ] Altogether, between 1863 and 1929, four different representations of Columbus and his land appeared on five types of federal currency, in 14 different series. For an overview of the exploitation of America ’ sulfur composition money since the Civil War, see Lauer, “ Money as Mass Communication ”, 121–24 .
[ 25 ] Vanderlyn ’ s painting was inspired by the description of the land in Washington Irving ’ mho biography. Loock, “ Goodbye Columbus, Hello Abe ! ”, 87-89 and for illustrations, Friedberg and Friedberg, Paper Money of the United States, 80, 332, 339, and Bowers, Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money, 217, 219, and 223 .
[ 26 ] Loock, “ Goodbye Columbus, Hello Abe ! ”, 86 ; for illustrations and brief descriptions, see Friedberg and Friedberg, Paper Money of the United States, 32-33, 325, and Bowers, Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money, 734-37 .
[ 27 ] Bushman, America Discovers Columbus, 53. On the “ Columbus-Washington-Connection ” on the national currency, see Loock, “ Goodbye Columbus, Hello Abe ! ”. On Columbus ’ influence on the rewriting of America ’ s national lineage myth, see Kubal, Cultural Movements and Collective Memory .
[ 28 ] Bowers, Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money, 111-16 ( for the $ 1 notes ), 253-61 ( for the Federal Reserve notes ), and 262-65 ( for the Federal Reserve Bank notes ) .
[ 29 ] On Columbus as an american “ messiah ”, see Boorstin, The Discoverers, 232 .
[ 30 ] Smorag, “ From Columbia to the United States of America ”, 74-75, and Schlereth, “ Columbia, Columbus, and Columbianism ”, 937-68 .
[ 31 ] Greenough ’ s statue was on expose in the Capitol Rotunda from 1841 to 1843, when it was relocated to the east lawn. In 1908 Congress transferred the statue to the Smithsonian Institution, where it was exhibited in the Smithsonian Castle until its move to the new National Museum of American History in 1964. It has resided on the second floor of the Museum ever since. When the Museum reopened November 21, 2008, the Washington statue became the signature artifact for a section in the west wing of the museum focused on american lives. National Museum of American History, “ Landmark Object : George Washington Statue, 1841. ”
[ 32 ] According to Andrew Burstein, Irving ’ s Columbus by and large was “ the most normally owned book ” in american libraries in the mid-19th hundred and “ undeniably influenced how american school-children were taught their area ’ second origins. ” Burstein, The Original Knickerbocker, 196. For the 1833 recommendation by the New York State Legislature that Irving ’ s Columbus be used as a casebook for the common schools, see Myers, The Worlds of Washington Irving, 73 .
[ 33 ] Burstein, The Original Knickerbocker, 205 .
[ 34 ] On the popularity of Irving ’ mho Columbus, see a. Williams, Life of Irving, 1:355, 2:304 .
[ 35 ] For a history of the honest, see Larson, The Devil in the White City, and Loock, Kolumbus in den USA, 85-91, 118-39 .
[ 36 ] Schefler, “ The World ’ second Columbian Exposition ”, 55-56, quotations 55 .
[ 37 ] All press comments qtd. in The Numismatist, January 1943, 20 .
[ 38 ] Vermeule, Numismatic Art in America, 90-92, quotation 90. Saint-Gaudens had rendered a bare male young representing the Spirit of America in his initial purpose for the turn back. Both this and two more proposals were turned down. alternatively, Charles E. Barber ’ s uncontroversial ( and cluttered ) design was selected. The decision infuriated Saint-Gaudens, who late savaged Barber ’ mho accepted design .
[ 39 ] Virginia Culver, “ The Medal Collectors ’ Corner ”, The Numismatist, July 1968, 395. For an illustration of the quadriga, see Loock, Kolumbus in den USA, 131 .
[ 40 ] Ibid .
[ 41 ] Medals from recut dies and a newfangled obverse were 59 millimeter in diameter and were struck in bronze, egg white alloy, and aluminum. The new obverse deleted the allegorical figures around Columbus ’ tear, “ Cristoforo ” was anglicized to “ Christopher ”, and the inscription around the rim became “ Memento of the World ’ sulfur Fair, Chicago 1893 ”. Culver, “ The Medal Collectors ’ Corner ”, 395 .
[ 42 ] Loock, Kolumbus in den USA, 348-51 and 361-81 .
[ 43 ] Higham, Strangers in the Land, 64-65, 87-96 .
[ 44 ] United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing ( USBEP ), “ U.S. CURRENCY FAQs ”. On the currentness reform, see Tschachler, George Washington on Coins and Currency, 123-28 .
[ 45 ] Loock, “ Goodbye Columbus, Hello Abe ! ” 91 .
[ 46 ] Deutsche Bundesbank, “ Das besondere Objekt ” [ “ The extra Object ” ], web document : not just “ ein Gegenstand des täglichen Gebrauchs für jedermann … als Werbeträger sollte sie ein Spiegelbild five hundred Werte sein, die sie repräsentiert, wie Stabilität, Kontinuität und Krisenfestig keit. [ … ] Daher wird die Banknote gelegentlich auch als Visitenkarte eines Staates bezeichnet. ”
[ 47 ] In this and the follow paragraph I have drawn on Loock, Kolumbus in hideout USA, 244-45, 309-45 .
[ 48 ] See Schenkman, “ Mementoes of the Columbus Memorial ”, 75 .
[ 49 ] For farther details, see Anon., “ A Columbus Day Medal ”, 207 .
[ 50 ] Loock, Kolumbus in den USA, 23-37 .
[ 51 ] As if in ( a reasonably awkward ) response to the contract, American schoolchildren designed a pattern dollar showing a female chest of Columbus on the obverse and an indian head and tree on the inverse : hypertext transfer protocol : // ? lang=en .
[ 52 ] Weatherford, “ Examining the Reputation of Christopher Columbus ”, vane document ; the article originally appeared in the Baltimore Evening Sun on October 20, 2016 .
[ 53 ] Irving, History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, CW-Columbus, 353 .
[ 54 ] Solomon, “ Columbus Day : A Clash of Myth and History ”, ( 1995 ). References to Irving ’ s “ double standard ” and Columbus ’ purportedly “ phone policy and liberal views ” are to Hazlett, “ Literary Nationalism and Ambivalence in Washington Irving ’ s The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus ”, 567 .
[ 55 ] NBC12 Newsroom, “ Christopher Columbus Statue torn down, thrown in lake by protesters ”, and Johnny Diaz, “ Christopher Columbus Statues in Boston, Minnesota and Virginia Are Damaged ” .
[ 56 ] Tallman, “ Who Decides What ’ s Beautiful ? ”, 16, 20 .
[ 57 ] Connell, “ What Columbus Day Really Means ” .
[ 58 ] Ibid .
[ 59 ] Ibid .
[ 60 ] Ibid.


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