thatcoinguy's Blog

30 Oct 2021

Model For the Morgan: Anna W. Williams

Young Numismatists Exchange | thatcoinguy

Little is known about he mysterious figure who stares at collectors and dealers across the country. She remains quite a shadowed fog in terms if her life history, and although we all know that the Morgan Dollar is the most loved coin in all of numismatics, we all barely (if any) know if the woman gracing the Lin's design with her face. Ladies and gentleman, collectors everywhere... everything we know about Anna Williams.

Anna Willess Williams was born in 1857. She met George T. Morgan (the designer of the Morgan Dollar) because after going through multiple models (and not liking any of them) a friend of Anna's father, Tomas Eakins, pointed George to Anna. At first, Anna was very skeptical. She did not want to be on the coin. She only agreed because Mr. Morgan said he would not leak her identity. He came to her house several times when she was 18 to make some sketches, but the two never met otherwise. But mum's the word has never been the slogan when it comes to coins. And as Anna would soon find out, when word got out, there was no stopping it.

In 1879, a newspaper company in Philadelphia leaked word that Anna was the "Silver Dollar Girl." Poor Ms. Williams (as her engagement was called off because of the leak) was flooded with job offers, Visitors, and letters by the thousand. In 1891, Anna took up a job at the Girl's Normal School in Philadelphia. She would never speak of her time with Mr. Morgan, calling it "An incident of my youth." In 1925, Ms. Williams died of a stroke. She was 68.

Image Credit:www.acoincollection.com


Long Beard

Level 5

Great research, as always. Written with just enough information to leave the read doing further searching.


Level 6

Interesting story. Thanks for the blog! ; )


Level 5

Nice post!


Level 5

Nice post. I wasn’t aware of this story. Thanks for sharing!


Level 5

Nice blog.

AC coin$

Level 6

An inspiration that will never die . Captured alive foreve .


Level 6

There is more info on her to be found in Roger W. Burdette's book, " The Girl on the Silver Dollar". Check it out it's a good read. Nice blog. Thanks.


Level 5

Quite the story. To be the one picked for the coin is something. thanks


Level 5

Seems sad situation to me.


Level 7

She wanted no part of it. Thomas Eakins kind of gave her a push. He was a painter and an acquaintance of her dad. There is a great book. The Sketch Book of GeorgeT.Morgan. They have it all in there. Actual letters getting him here and Barber saying no he doesn't belong here. Thanks for the read. Enjoyed it.

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