“Free Land”

homestead-national-monument-of-america-quarter-and-coin-design-candidate-hp-05

This design never became a coin of the US Mint, but it was a strong contender along with others with the legend “Free Land”.  It begs the question, for whom was it free?  The picture seems to answer the question.  It also answers the question “what did it cost?” for those received the “Free Land”–manual labor.  It however says nothing about the costs of this “Free Land” and homesteading to the indigenous peoples of the region or migrant workers or other disenfranchised peoples.

This is the design that was chosen in the end:

2015-p-homestead-national-monument-of-america-quarter

It by contrast emphasizes the rustic experience: simple shelter, basic water, but corn in abundance.  The oversized ears of grain have a long symbolic tradition in Greek and Roman numismatics, especially in connection with state sponsored solutions to hunger.

 

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