Smithsonian

Banknote: Massachusetts, December 7, 1775, back

The back of this 1775 banknote, engraved and printed by Paul Revere in Boston, is often called the “Sword in Hand” issue. It depicts a colonial soldier with a sword in his right hand and a copy of the Magna Charta in his left. Printed above the soldier is the motto “Issued in defence of American Liberty.” We also see the Massachusetts motto, “Ense petit placidam sub Libertate Quietem” (By the sword one seeks peace under tranquil liberty).

Credit: Massachussetts, December 7, 1775, back, National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History.