1927 Vermont Sesquicentennial Half Dollar
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To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bennington and Vermont’s independence, and raise money to benefit museums and historical societies in the state.
Maximum Number Authorized: 40,000 pieces.
Sale Price: $1.00
Obverse – Charles Keck
Head of Ira Allen, facing right. His name appears below the bust. “FOUNDER OF VERMONT” appears at the bottom of the coin.
Online Resource: https://www.si.edu/object/saam_1941.5.3
Reverse – Charles Keck
A catamount heading left. At the top of the coin is the inscription “BATTLE OF BENNINGTON” and the dates 1777-1927. In the far left field, the date “AUG. 16” appears just below the catamount’s head. The designer’s initials are located in the field between the animal’s left hind leg and tail.
40,000 pieces were authorized to be minted for sale to the public. The coin sold well locally but was initially of little interest outside of Vermont. Just over 28,000 sold, with 11,892 half dollars returned to the Mint.
Battle of Bennington Online Resource: https://revolutionarywar.us/year-1777/battle-of-bennington/
- Ira Allen was responsible for drawing the Great Seal of Vermont. He was paid ten shillings for his work.
- Allen is known as the “Father of the University of Vermont”. He donated a 50 acre plot in the town of Burlington on which to build the University of Vermont.
- Suffering from money troubles for a good portion of his adult life, Allen left Vermont and moved to Philadelphia to escape debtor’s prison.
- The catamount is extinct. In 1881, the last catamount was shot in Vermont.
- Allen and his older brother Ethan were leaders of the militia Green Mountain Boys.
- The Battle of Bennington actually took place in Walloomsac, New York. Walloomsac is located 10 miles from Bennington, Vermont.
For more information:
Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by
Anthony J. Swiatek
KWS Publishers (2012)
Commemorative Coins of the United States Identification and Price Guide by Anthony J. Swiatek
Amos Press Publishers (2001)
The Battle of Bennington: Soldiers & Civilians by Michael P. Gabriel
Published by History Press Library Editions (2012)
Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek
KWS Publishers (2012)
The Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins 1892 to 1954 by Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen
Arco Publishing, Inc. (1981)