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“In God We Trust”: New Book Explores the Civil War and Its Effects on American Money, Banking, and Religion

In God We Trust book

Whitman Publishing announces the release of In God We Trust: The American Civil War, Money, Banking, and Religion, by numismatic researcher William Bierly. The 352-page hardcover book will debut in November 2019. It will be available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, and online (including at www.Whitman.com), for $29.95.

The national motto “In God We Trust” debuted on United States coinage during the chaos and heartache of the American Civil War. It has appeared on our money ever since. Bierly, digging deep into the origins and history of “In God We Trust,” tells its full story for the first time, introducing Reverend Mark Watkinson, the preacher who inspired the Treasury Department to “recognize Almighty God in some form on our coins” . . . Mint Director James Pollock, former governor of Pennsylvania, “a commanding figure” who worked toward the same vision . . . and Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, nephew of an Episcopal bishop, who marshalled the nation’s vast resources and financed the war with bold innovations. President Abraham Lincoln figures in the tale, as does a cast of military generals, wealthy industrialists, poets and artists, powerful bankers, and everyday Americans, North and South.

Reverend Mark Watkinson's letter.

Bierly shows how the upheaval of the Civil War changed not just the face of our coins and paper currency, but the very foundations of modern American banking and finance.

The story continues into the renaissance of beautiful American coinage started by President Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900s . . . the religious revival of the 1950s, and the “Unwritten Constitution” . . . legal challenges by modern-day atheists . . . and controversy surrounding “In God We Trust,” public and school prayer, Ceremonial Deism, the separation of Church and State, and other topics very relevant in today’s social and political conversations.

Historian Q. David Bowers, former president of the American Numismatic Association, calls In God We Trust “One of the most detailed, intricate, and fascinating books in the field of American numismatics—and in American history in general.” On the author’s style, Bowers says, “Bierly approaches the subject respectfully on all sides, with color, personality, dashes of humor, and dogged pursuit of the truth.”

In God We Trust is available for preorder now.

Website by NumisTech.