Starting next year, there will be four new pennies to collect, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.
The obverse (or heads) part of the coin will stay the same, showing the 16th president facing to the right.
But the reverse (tails) part of the coin will show different times in the life of Lincoln, who is widely considered to be one of the country’s greatest leaders for freeing the slaves and saving the Union during the Civil War.
The designs for the new pennies were shown for the first time yesterday near the Lincoln Memorial.
The first new penny will be available Feb. 12, Lincoln’s 200th birthday. It will show a log cabin to honor his birth and childhood in Kentucky.
The others will show his life as a young man in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois and his presidential years in Washington (when the U.S. Capitol was being built).
The other side of the penny will continue to show the likeness of Lincoln designed by Victor David Brennan. It was introduced on the Lincoln penny 100 years ago.
A Lincoln commemorative silver dollar also will be issued next year.
Abraham Lincoln did not really free the slaves. The 13th Amendment did. The Emancipation Proclamation said “all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Only those slaves captured by the North by that point were set free. Maryland and Delaware were both slave states and not on of the supposed rebel states. While not recognized by any other government the Confederate States of America was a separate nation with it’s own government defined by their own (though heavily borrowed from the USA) constitution. Therefore from their perspective the Emancipation Proclamation meant as much as if it had come from England. Lincoln also said this of the Corwin Amendment, “[H]olding such a provision to now be implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.” which read:
No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.
As for saving the Union… a highly questionable action. Even if ruled unconstitutional there is plenty of evidence that such a claim is incorrect from a legal standpoint. For example: When ratifying the new constitution, Virginia (1788), New York (1788), and Rhode Island (1790) included clauses indicating they were free to leave the new federal government confederation should it become oppressive. It seems obvious that they would not have joined if they believed it was a one way trip. From a moral standpoint its reprehensible. The Declaration of Independence clearly says:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Lincoln was in no way a great leader but a statist who put his beliefs in keeping together a union of people who did not wish to be under the same government umbrella above the lives of over 600,000 individuals.
For more information read Thomas DiLorenzo’s books Lincoln Unmasked and The Real Lincoln. Many complain his views are one sided but given the works written in excess of Lincoln’s greatness I think that’s excusable. You can also find a decent interview with DiLorenzo on CSPAN’s Q&A at Google video.