Half Dollar

Long Island Tercentenary


The reverse depicts a three-masted Dutch merchantman sailing ship, similar to the ship that brought the first white settlers to Long Island, New York in 1636. The coin commemorates the Dutchmen who were the first white settlers on Long Island. The Dutch based their territorial claims on Henry Hudson’s discovery of Long Island during his 1609 voyage. They settled on land purchased from the Algonquin Indians and named their settlement after a Dutch town, Breuckelin, now Brooklyn.
The obverse shows the conjoined heads of a Dutch settler and an Algonquin native. It reads “E Pluribus Unum” — the motto proposed for the first Great Seal of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson in 1776. A latin phrase meaning “One from many,” the phrase offered a strong statement of the American determination to form a single nation from a collection of states.