So-Called Dollars


Purpose: To commemorate 200th anniversary of founding of Pennsylvania; "to exhibit the those arts which promote the intelligence, convenience, comfort, refinement and culture of the people."

Organization: Bicentennial Association of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania formed locally representing commercial, fraternal and civic organizations; all state citizens invited to become members. City and state provided modest funds; no Federal subsidy requested; additional contributions by private citizens.

Site, Dates: City-wide celebration, with special ceremonies in Fairmount Park and at Academy of Music; held Oct. 22 and Oct. 24-27, Philadelphia; Oct. 23 in Chester.

Comment: Five days of Philadelphia activities designated Memorial, Landing, Trades, Festival and Military Days; program included receptions, parades, music festivals, pageants, regatta on Schuylkill and other sports events. Penn's Landing reenacted Oct. 24, accompanied by 200 rings of Statehouse Bell, "commemorative of the two hundredth anniversary of the landing of William Penn." Electric light, then in infancy, added "wonders" to "Historical, Allegorical, Classical and Poetical pageants" of Oct. 25.

Medals: Two U.S. Mint issues below are similar to smaller 26mm. copper and bronze medals, also struck by Mint, worn by marchers in parade of Oct. 24; 75,000 of latter distributed "gratuitously." These dollar size issues were quite limited.



Engraved by George T. Morgan.

Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Male bust (William Penn) facing; to l., vertical 1682; to r., vertical 1882--all within beaded circle; outside, above around Mint of the United States; below * Philadelphia *

Rev. Across, in six lines, Celebration / of / 200th Anniversary / of the / Landing of Penn / Oct. 24, 1882.

HK-138 Brass. 38mm. Julian CM-40.

NOTE: 20th Century restrikes may exist, struck in yellow bronze with matte surfaces.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 138 [William Penn].
Rev. Within beaded circle, in 12 lines across, Officers / of U. S. Mint / A. Loudon Snowden / Superintendent / Jacob B. Eckfeldt / Assayer / James C. Booth / Melter and Refiner / Oliver C. Bosbyshell / Coiner / Chas. E. Barber / Engraver; outside, above around Bi-Centennial of Pennsylvania below * October 24, 1882. *

HK-139 Brass. 38mm. Julian CM-41.

NOTE: 20th Century restrikes are known to exist, struck in yellow bronze with matte surfaces.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Male bust, facing l.; in l. border William, in r. border Penn
Rev. Ornate design--winged full female figure at upper center, between two circles; at top of l. circle, on band, 1682; at top r. circle, 1882; edifice in each circle; in l. circle, below edifice, Penn's House; in r. circle, below edifice, City Hall; below all is small shield with unicorns at each side, eagle above; on ribbon below, small Virtue Liberty Independence (State Motto).

HK-140 White Metal. 35mm.
HK-140a Bronze.


William Penn and 100 followers sailed from Deal, England, in Welcome Sept. 1, 1682; landed at New Castle Oct. 27. They ascended Delaware River to Swedish settlement of Upland, which Penn renamed Chester, arriving Oct. 30. He remained for some time at Chester and convened first Assembly there. On Dec. 7, after it had been in session three days, Assembly enacted first laws for province of Pennsylvania, including authority for establishing cities.

Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 140 [William Penn].
Rev. Within open wreath, tied at bottom with ribbon, Upland / 1682 / Chester / 1882

HK-141 White Metal. 35mm.
HK-141a Bronze.
HK-141b Silver.

HK-119 to HK-137