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Oklahoma state quarter design

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N.N. just published my proposed design for the Oklahoma state quarter. It is on page 6 of the July 8, 2003 edition.


Kranky had the courtesy to scan the image for me. It's on an attachment below.



Letter to N.N.:


Enclosed is my rendition for the Oklahoma state quarter inspired by the great sculptor, James Earle Fraser.

The central device features "The End of the Trail", a sculpture which represents the forced migration of the American Indian to reservation land which is now the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma actually means "the land of the red people."

Encircling the central device is the name of the five civilized tribes which were forced to march the Trail of Tears.

As a native Oklahoman, I feel that this design best captures the spirit and history of Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful at contacting Oklahoma's governor to find out how to submit the design. Any help or suggestions about the Oklahoma submission process would be appreciated.


Victor D. Easley

Kent, Wash.


Editor's note: Oklahoma has yet to announce a selection process for its state quarter, due for release in 2008.



The five civilized tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole were all rounded up in the 1800's and were forced to move to Oklahoma since they were an unwanted presence in the Eastern U.S. A very high percentage of those forced to march The Trail of Tears died. I suppose a modern analogy would be the Bataam death march that US soldiers were forced to endure in the Philipines during World War II. The consolation to these tribes was that this new land was to be theirs as long as the sun shined, the water flowed and the grass was green (or until it became inconvenient to the white man, whichever came first. )


As previously mentioned, "The End of the Trail" was sculpted by James Earle Fraser, the designer of the buffalo nickle and many other famous sculptures, coins and medals. He was hit with the inspiration of this sculpture when he was only 18 years old. Fraser was raised in Sioux country, which stirred his sympathy towards the Native American's plight. This was long before he had official training as a sculpturor or medalist and before he trained under August St. Gaudins. During his lifetime, he created quite a few different renditions of this work. I have always been fascinated with this sculpture for as long as I remember. It is currently housed in the Cowboy Hall of Fame, located in Oklahoma City, OK.


The sculpture captures the weariness and despair of both the rider and the horse. What hope could they possibly have possessed? Even upon arrival on reservation land, I can't image that optimism reigned. After all, Oklahoma is predominately flat land, a stark contrast to the Southeastern United States.


In summary, I feel that this design embodies the history of Oklahoma, pays respect to the tribes involved and is simple enough of a design to strike well and remain uncluttered.


This is not a political agenda of mine but pride in my roots. I was raised in Oklahoma and have some Cherokee blood from both sides of my family (although it is a small percentage). I am also toying with the idea of having medals cast in silver and bronze in 2007, Oklahoma's centennial. I would have the above as the reverse and have the OK state flag's device as the obverse (a war shield crossed with a peace pipe and an olive branch).


Thanks for y'all's indulgence, but I just wanted to share something that I have a passion for.


Happy Fourth of July!!!




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"End of the Trail" Cool!


I've got a little sculpture of that in my house. A true classic!



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Victor, I love that design, but I am afraid your design will never make it. Why? Look at most of the state quarter designs, they are about tourism and "Modern" marvels. Delaware has about the only historical design. Some of California's proposed designs are good, but the one with "Hollywood" on it is probably what that goofy state will pick. Best of luck, but in the sense of realistic hopes.....well, let's just say that the Governor and the "art" board of the Mint will probably screw your state's design up like the rest of them! 893frustrated.gif

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Victor, I have a small amount of Cherokee in my blood also (from No. Carolina). I think that your design suggestion for using that bronze depiction is a terrific portrayal of history as it was, not always fair or pretty. It probably will not be picked, if favor of some "happy time-PC" banality, but you have my vote!!

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i saw victors design and it is superb the design should be the winner easy hands down


it is now going to take getting this design in the hands of the right people and for many to see the design concept


i hope it happens maybe someone on here knows who to contact to get this design to the selection committee!


sincerely michael


or whom might you contact at coin world to get it in an article? the design is really good and would definately be in the top state quarter designs in terms of astetic qualities



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In addition to DE, both NJ and CT use highly historical state quarter motifs and should be commended for such.


I think your suggestion is quite good and is also simple, with an open elegance that speaks volumes. This is just the type of design that has no chance since it has a quality and grace about it that is too often sorely lacking in our government and our culture today. I like it.

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I like the simplistic historical design. It is not cluttered and actually has a little history of the state, unlike most state quarters that are dull and lack creativity. Designers have complained in the past how the mint engraver changes their design. So if your design does get picked, the design might be changed, which would be unfortunate. I wish you the best of luck!

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Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback. I agree with all of the posted statements and am also pessimistic about it getting selected for PC reason as Charlie stated.


...). I think that your design suggestion for using that bronze depiction is a terrific portrayal of history as it was, not always fair or pretty. It probably will not be picked, if favor of some "happy time-PC" banality, but you have my vote!!


I feel that the design's strength is in its simplicity and historicity. I don't feel that any state quarter to date has met this criteria.


Well, even if it doesn't get selected, I still plan on producing the tokens as mentioned above.


Wish me luck.


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