Half Dollar

Providence, RI Tercentenary


Providence, Rhode Island Tercentenary

The coin was designed by John Howard Benson and Arthur Graham Carey

The obverse depicts Roger Williams arriving in Rhode Island by canoe, holding a Bible in his left hand and raising his right in a gesture of peace; he is being welcomed by a Narragansett man standing near a corn stalk. The design mirrors the seal of the city of Providence, Rhode Island. Roger Williams (circa 1603-1683) settled in Rhode Island in 1636 after having been banished from Massachusetts because he advocated religious freedom and the separation of church and state. He established Providence on land which he purchased from Canonicus, the chief of the Narragansett Indians. Providence, so named for God’s merciful help, is now the capital of the state of Rhode Island.

The reverse depicts an anchor, which symbolizes Hope and is the design of the state’s shield. The ribbon above the anchor bears the word HOPE, which is the state motto.