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In 1777, Native American allies of the British were staging horrific raids on the U.S. settlements of Kentucky. In an effort to stop the bloodshed of his countrymen, 25-year-old George Rogers Clark hatched a plan to liberate the countryside from the Native Americans and the British. After explaining his plan to the governor of Virginia, Clark was granted a commission as Colonel-Lieutenant of the Virginia Militia to lead a group of brave frontiersman to strike back at the enemy.
On February 6, 1779, one of the most famous events of the Revolutionary War began as Clark and around 170 brave men marched across leagues of sleet, snow and ice. Their objective: the British Fort Sackville in Vincennes. The troops finally arrived on February 23, catching the unexpecting British garrison off guard with a fierce surprise attack. Within two days, despite losses, the fort was theirs.
The site of this dastardly surprise attack on Fort Sackville soon became a park named after its mastermind – George Rogers Clark Park. In 1966, it was formed into a national park. Located near the Wabash River in Vincennes, Indiana, this park today encompasses over 26 acres of land. There is a memorial on the site for people of all ages to remember the sacrifices these brave men made to protect their land.
This series of large silver coins are struck to celebrate the many national parks and landmarks of the U.S. Originally created in 2010 by an act of Congress, the America the Beautiful Coin Series has and will produce five coins per year until it ends in 2021. All the coins in this series are a solid 5 Troy oz. of .999 fine silver, spread over a 3” diameter.
U.S. Mint artists engraved this latest entry in the America the Beautiful Series with a stunning design that captures the story commemorated by the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park.
U.S. Mint designer Frank Morris and sculptor-engraver Michael Gaudiso collaborated to create the scene on the reverse side of the coin. It depicts George Rogers Clark and his men making their way through over 180 miles of flooded, swampy land to make that surprise attack at Fort Sackville. The rifles that the men are seen carrying are long rifles, which had a great advantage over the British muskets. The inscriptions of “GEORGE ROGERS CLARK,” “INDIANA,” ”2017” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” can be found encircling the design.
The design on the obverse of the coin is the same for all U.S. Quarter Dollar coins since 1932. It bears a left-facing profile of George Washington, along with the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “LIBERTY,” ”IN GOD WE TRUST” and ”QUARTER DOLLAR.” Like a normal quarter, this coin is legal tender for 25 cents.