Formative Years in Indiana Lincoln Penny

Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Program

Background

In 2009, the United States Mint issued four different pennies throughout the year in recognition of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth and centennial of the first year of the Lincoln cent. The themes on the reverses represent the four major aspects of Lincoln’s life.

Formative Years in Indiana (1816-1830)

Abe grew into a skilled plowman and woodcutter at his new home in southern Indiana. For a frontier farm boy in those days, there wasn’t much time for learning from books or going to school. Yet his parents loved to read and passed that love on to their son.

He often carried a book along with his axe. By the age of 11, he had read The Life of Washington, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Robinson Crusoe, and A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. The design on this coin captures this part of Lincoln’s life by showing him reading while he takes a break from his work as a rail splitter.

While in Indiana, his mother Nancy died. This was a terrible loss for 9-year-old Abraham. But his father later married Sarah Bush Johnston, who proved to be a kind and caring stepmother. The next time the family moved, Abraham was 21.

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Characteristics

Obverse (heads): Show the familiar Victor David Brenner likeness of President Lincoln featured since 1909.

Reverse (tails): Depicts a young Lincoln educating himself while working as a rail splitter in Indiana.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • IN GOD WE TRUST
  • LIBERTY
  • 2009

Reverse Inscriptions

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • ONE CENT
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM

Specifications

The circulating version of these coins uses the same metal content as other modern cents (2.5 percent copper, the rest zinc). The uncirculated version contains the metals used in the original 1909 cent (95 percent copper, 5 percent tin and zinc).

Artist Information

Obverse
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner
Reverse
  • Charles Vickers
Content last reviewed December 23, 2016

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