Obverse. Photo © United States Mint
  • 5 Cents 2004, KM# 361, United States of America (USA), Westward Journey, Keelboat
  • 5 Cents 2004, KM# 361, United States of America (USA), Westward Journey, Keelboat
Description

In commemoration of the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Jefferson 5-cent coin (nickel) was modyfied to reflect images evocative of the historic expedition into the Louisiana Territory.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, departing in May 1804, from near St. Louis making their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast.

The expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, consisting of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend, Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. The primary objective was to explore and map the newly acquired territory, find a practical route across the Western half of the continent, and establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it.

The campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and establish trade with local Native American tribes. With maps, sketches, and journals in hand, the expedition returned to St. Louis to report their findings to Jefferson.

Obverse

A left-facing bust of the president, dressed in a coat of the period and wearing a peruke wig. Arranged in arcs around the border are the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to the left, with LIBERTY and the date to the right, separated by a single star.

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). During his first term as President, Thomas Jefferson virtually doubled the size of the United States when his Administration successfully completed the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and commissioned the Lewis & Clark Expedition to explore the new territory.

Engraver: Felix Schlag (FS).

IN GOD WE TRUST
LIBERTY ★ 2004
P
FS

Reverse

Side-view of the keelboat with full sail, a type of boat that was used during the Lewis and Clark journey.

A keelboat is a riverine cargo-capable working boat, or a small- to mid-sized recreational sailing yacht. The boats in the first category have shallow structural keels, and are nearly flat-bottomed and often used leeboards if forced in open water, while modern recreational keelboats have prominent fixed fin keels, and considerable draft.

E Pluribus Unum — Latin for "Out of many, one" — is a phrase on the Seal of the United States. Never codified by law, E Pluribus Unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States until 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act (H. J. Resolution 396), adopting "In God We Trust" as the official motto.

Engraver: Al Maletsky (Am).

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
E PLURIBUS UNUM
Am
LEWIS & CLARK
FIVE CENTS

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 5 g
Diameter 21.21 mm
Thickness 1.95 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Mints
Denver Mint (D)
Philadelphia Mint (P)
San Francisco Mint (S)

Related coins

Jefferson Nickel, Louisiana Purchase, Peace Medal

Westward Journey

Cupronickel, 5 g, ⌀ 21.21 mm
Jefferson Nickel, American Bison

Westward Journey

Cupronickel, 5 g, ⌀ 21.21 mm
Jefferson Nickel, Ocean in View!

Westward Journey

Cupronickel, 5 g, ⌀ 21.21 mm