A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 02, 2009
“In God we trust (all others pay cash)”

"In God we trust” was the motto of a Philadelphia regiment in 1748. Francis Scott Key’s “Star Spangled Banner” (1814) contains the words “In God is our trust.” The association of Odd Fellows used the motto “In God we trust” in the 1840s and 1850s. In 1864, a United States coin was minted with the motto “in God We Trust.” In 1956, “In God We Trust” was made the official United States national motto.

In 1877, a New York City merchant displayed this sign: “In God we trust. All others are expected to pay cash.” An 1880 variation of the motto is: “In God we trusted, in Kansas we busted.”

“In God we trust. All others we polygraph” and “In God we trust. All others must bring data” are related sayings.


Wikipedia: In God We Trust
In God We Trust is the official motto of the United States and the U.S. state of Florida. The motto first appeared on a United States coin in 1864 during strong Christian sentiment emerging during the Civil War, but In God We Trust did not become the official U.S. national motto until after the passage of an Act of Congress in 1956. It is codified as federal law in the United States Code at 36 U.S.C. § 302, which provides: “In God we trust” is the national motto”.

History
The motto E Pluribus Unum ("out of many, one") was approved for use on the Great Seal of the United States in 1782. It still appears on coins and currency, and was widely considered the national motto de facto. However, by 1956 it had not been established so by legislation as the official “national motto”. The Congressional Record of 1956 reads: “At the present time the United States has no national motto. The committee deems it most appropriate that ‘In God we trust’ be so designated as U.S. national motto.”

One possible origin of In God We Trust is the final stanza of The Star-Spangled Banner. Written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key (and later adopted as the U.S. national anthem), the song contains an early reference to a variation of the phrase: “...And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust’.” An alternative origin could be through John Milton Hay who was Abraham Lincoln’s personal secretary. Hay was a graduate of Brown University whose motto, In Deo Speramus, is Latin for “In God We Hope”.

Use on currency
As excerpted from the United States Treasury Department’s public education website:

The motto In God We Trust was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the American Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout Christians throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize God on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Salmon P. Chase by Reverend M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, and read:

Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances. One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins. You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW. This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.

To you first I address a subject that must be agitated.


As a result, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia, to prepare a motto, in a letter dated November 20, 1861:

Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.

U.S. Treasury
Fact Sheets: Currency & Coins
History of ‘In God We Trust’

(...)
The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

Another Act of Congress passed on March 3, 1865. It allowed the Mint Director, with the Secretary’s approval, to place the motto on all gold and silver coins that “shall admit the inscription thereon.” Under the Act, the motto was placed on the gold double-eagle coin, the gold eagle coin, and the gold half-eagle coin. It was also placed on the silver dollar coin, the half-dollar coin and the quarter-dollar coin, and on the nickel three-cent coin beginning in 1866. Later, Congress passed the Coinage Act of February 12, 1873. It also said that the Secretary “may cause the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to be inscribed on such coins as shall admit of such motto.”

The use of IN GOD WE TRUST has not been uninterrupted. The motto disappeared from the five-cent coin in 1883, and did not reappear until production of the Jefferson nickel began in 1938. Since 1938, all United States coins bear the inscription. Later, the motto was found missing from the new design of the double-eagle gold coin and the eagle gold coin shortly after they appeared in 1907. In response to a general demand, Congress ordered it restored, and the Act of May 18, 1908, made it mandatory on all coins upon which it had previously appeared. IN GOD WE TRUST was not mandatory on the one-cent coin and five-cent coin. It could be placed on them by the Secretary or the Mint Director with the Secretary’s approval.

The motto has been in continuous use on the one-cent coin since 1909, and on the ten-cent coin since 1916. It also has appeared on all gold coins and silver dollar coins, half-dollar coins, and quarter-dollar coins struck since July 1, 1908.

A law passed by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by the President on July 30, 1956, the President approved a Joint Resolution of the 84th Congress, declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States. IN GOD WE TRUST was first used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the one-dollar silver certificate. The first paper currency bearing the motto entered circulation on October 1, 1957.

Google Books
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 145:
Salmon P. Chase
U.S. political leader and judge, 1808-1873
“In God we trust.”
Letter to James Pollock, 9 Dec. 1863. In the 1863 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, 12 Jan. 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.”
Pg. 424:
Francis Scott Key
U.S. lawyer, 1779-1843
“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, ‘In God is our trust.’”

“The Star Spangled Banner’ (song) st. 4 (1814)
Pg. 669 (Sayings):
“In God we trust; all others pay cash.”
Chester (Pa.) Daily Times, 21 April 1877. The exact wording here is “In God we trust, all others cash.”

12 January 1748, Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, PA):
PHILADELPHIA, January 12.  DEVICES and MOTTOES painted on some of the Silk Colours of the Regiments of ASSOCIATORS, in and near Philadelphia.
(Various Latin mottoes given—ed.)
IX.  A Coronet and Plume of Feathers.  Motto, IN GOD WE TRUST.

Dagobert, King of the Franks
A Tragedy, in Five Acts

By Benjamin Thompson (1776?-1816)
1800
ACT IV:
What a sight!--- [Stage direction] --- In God we trust.

23 June 1807, New Hampshire Gazette, pg. 4:
(The blest remains now sleep in dust.)
Ah! what remains? In God we trust!

Google Books
January 1845, The Ark, and Odd Fellows’ Magazine, pg. 20:
Remembering our motto, IN GOD WE TRUST,...

18 September 1846, Baltimore (MD) Sun, pg. 1:
[From the Philadelphia Ledger.]
GRAND GALA OF ODD FELLOWSHIP.
(...)
The Continental Lodge followed. it numbered 117 in the ranks, and was preceded by a banner representing Washington in the uniform of a young officer of the continental army—motto, “In God we truat.”

18 May 1865, New Hampshire Sentinel, pg. 2:
There was something of incongruity in the mottoes of a store window in Portland, on the occasion of the funeral of the President: “In God we trust.” “Terms cash.”—Bangor Times.

12 August 1865, Saturday Evening Post, pg. 8:
TRUST.—A merchant of Portland displayed in either window of his store on Wednesday last, this motto, “In God we trust—terms, Cash.”

20 June 1877, Cincinnati (OH) Daily Gazeite, pg. 5:
A New York merchant has a placard announcing, “In God we trust. All others are expected to pay cash.”

Google Books
February 1878, Frank Leslie’s Pleasant Hours, pg. 158, col. 1:
Dull Times have driven many merchants to the cash system, and they are now ornamenting their stores with mottoes such as, “Pay to-day, trust to-morrow”; “If I trust, I bust”; “In God we trust—all others cash.”

5 October 1880, Atchison (KS) Globe, pg. 2, col. 1:
The Atwood Pioneer has suspended. Its valedictory was short and to the point. We quote it entire: “In God we trusted, in Kansas we busted.” If the publisher of that paper had in Kansas trusted, he would not in Kansas have busted.

21 August 1896, New Haven (CT) Register, pg. 7:
BACK IN YANKEE LAND.
In God We Trusted; In Dakota We Busted.”
Rochester, N. Y., Aug. 21.—A large tent rigged up on a wagon after the style of a prairie schooner with a team of horses attached, attracted a large crowd of people on the streets this morning. Inside the tent, which contained considerable household furniture, were John Stevens and his two sons, who have traveled all the way from Dakota. They have been en route several months and with very little money have been olbiged to get their meals the best way they could. Stevens said to-day that he went to Dakota two years ago and not being prosperous there had decided to return to his old home in Connecticut. On one side of the wagon was the inscription in large yellow letters; “In God We Trusted; In Dakota We Busted.”

OCLC WorldCat record
In God we trust, all others pay cash
Author: Jean Shepherd
Publisher: Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1966.
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : English : [1st ed.

OCLC WorldCat record
In God we trusted, in Kansas we busted ... again : a social history of Dust Bowl Kansas
Author: Pamela Lynn Riney-Kehrberg
Publisher: ©1991.
Edition/Format: Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, July 02, 2009 • Permalink