Quotes Uncovered: In God We Trust
I’m back to inviting readers to submit quotations whose origins they want me to try to trace, using my book, The Yale Book of Quotations, and my more recent research.
In God We Trust
The Yale Book of Quotations, which has annotations explicating the origins of many of the most famous quotations, says the following:
In God we trust. – Salmon P. Chase, Letter to James Pollock, Dec. 9, 1863. In this letter to Director of the Mint Pollock, Chase, then secretary of the treasury, proposed this as a motto on U.S. coins, a proposal implemented on the two-cent coin in 1864. Chase may have taken the words from a Civil War (1862) battle cry of the Fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers. In 1956 a Joint Resolution of Congress declared “In God we trust” the national motto of the United States. “In God we trust” was mentioned in the Pennsylvania Gazette, Jan. 12, 1748, as one of a list of “Devices and Mottoes painted on some of the Silk Colours of the Regiments of Associators, in and near Philadelphia.”