2017 America the Beautiful–Frederick Douglass National Historic Site 3-coin set rolls out April 24


The U.S. Mint will open sales for the 2017 America the Beautiful Quarters Three-Coin Set honoring the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (17AE) on Monday, April 24, at noon Eastern Time. The coin is the second ATB quarter in 2017 and the 37th in the program overall.

The reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Thomas R. Hipschen. The design places Douglass to the right of the field in a three-quarter profile toward the left, seated at his writing desk. His left hand rests on his knee, while his right holds a pen to paper on the desk top. In the background is his Washington, D.C., home, Cedar Hill, which is also depicted on the card that holds the three coins. The legend surrounding the field reads, in three parts, FREDERICK DOUGLASS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, and E PLURIBUS UNUM, with the date of issue, 2017, below the main design.


The obverse features the left-facing profile portrait of George Washington originally created by John Flanagan in 1932 and updated by William Cousins in 1999, at the start of the 50 State Quarters Program. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appears above the portrait and QUARTER DOLLAR below, with LIBERTY to the left and, in three lines, the national motto, IN / GOD WE / TRUST, to the right. The mintmark (P, D, or S) appears below the motto.


Each three-coin set features an Uncirculated quarter from Philadelphia Mint, an Uncirculated quarter from the Denver Mint, and a Proof coin from the San Francisco Mint. The specifications for this and all modern quarter dollars are as follows: Composition:  8.33% nickel, balance copper. Weight:  5.67 g. Diameter:  0.955 inch (24.26 mm). Edge:  Reeded.

The following history of Frederick Douglass is from the National Park Service’s website.

Slavery and Escape

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in February 1818. He had a difficult family life. He barely knew his mother, who lived on a different plantation and died when he was a young child. He never discovered the identity of his father. When he turned eight years old, his slaveowner hired him out to work as a body servant in Baltimore.

At an early age, Frederick realized there was a connection between literacy and freedom. Not allowed to attend school, he taught himself to read and write in the streets of Baltimore. At twelve, he bought a book called The Columbian Orator. It was a collection of revolutionary speeches, debates, and writings on natural rights.

When Frederick was fifteen, his slaveowner sent him back to the Eastern Shore to labor as a fieldhand. Frederick rebelled intensely. He educated other slaves, physically fought back against a “slave-breaker,” and plotted an unsuccessful escape.

Frustrated, his slaveowner returned him to Baltimore. This time, Frederick met a young free black woman named Anna Murray, who agreed to help him escape. On September 3, 1838, he disguised himself as a sailor and boarded a northbound train, using money from Anna to pay for his ticket. In less than 24 hours, Frederick arrived in New York City and declared himself free.

The Abolitionist Movement

Frederick and Anna married and moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where they adopted the last name “Douglass.” They started their family, which would eventually grow to include five children: Rosetta, Lewis, Frederick, Charles, and Annie.

After finding employment as a laborer, Douglass began to attend abolitionist meetings and speak about his experiences in slavery. He soon gained a reputation as an orator, landing a job as an agent for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. The job took him on speaking tours across the North and Midwest.

Douglass’s fame as an orator increased as he traveled. Still, some of his audiences suspected he was not truly a fugitive slave. In 1845, he published his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, to lay those doubts to rest. The narrative gave a clear record of names and places from his enslavement.

To avoid being captured and re-enslaved, Douglass traveled overseas. For almost two years, he gave speeches and sold copies of his narrative in England, Ireland, and Scotland. When abolitionists offered to purchase his freedom, Douglass accepted and returned home to the United States legally free. He relocated Anna and their children to Rochester, New York.

In Rochester, Douglass took his work in new directions. He embraced the women’s rights movement, helped people on the Underground Railroad, and supported anti-slavery political parties. Once an ally of William Lloyd Garrison and his followers, Douglass started to work more closely with Gerrit Smith and John Brown. He bought a printing press and ran his own newspaper, The North Star. In 1855, he published his second autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom, which expanded on his first autobiography and challenged racial segregation in the North.

Civil War and Reconstruction

In 1861, the nation erupted into civil war over the issue of slavery. Frederick Douglass worked tirelessly to make sure that emancipation would be one of the war’s outcomes. He recruited African-American men to fight in the U.S. Army, including two of his own sons, who served in the famous 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. When black troops protested they were not receiving pay and treatment equal to that of white troops, Douglass met with President Abraham Lincoln to advocate on their behalf.

As the Civil War progressed and emancipation seemed imminent, Douglass intensified the fight for equal citizenship. He argued that freedom would be empty if former slaves were not guaranteed the rights and protections of American citizens. A series of postwar amendments sought to make some of these tremendous changes. The 13th Amendment (ratified in 1865) abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment (ratified in 1868) granted national birthright citizenship, and the 15th Amendment (ratified in 1870) stated nobody could be denied voting rights on the basis of race, skin color, or previous servitude.

In 1872, the Douglasses moved to Washington, D.C. There were multiple reasons for their move: Douglass had been traveling frequently to the area ever since the Civil War, all three of their sons already lived in the federal district, and the old family home in Rochester had burned. A widely known public figure by the time of Reconstruction, Douglass started to hold prestigious offices, including assistant secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission, legislative council member of the D.C. Territorial Government, board member of Howard University, and president of the Freedman’s Bank.

Post-Reconstruction and Death

After the fall of Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass managed to retain high-ranking federal appointments. He served under five presidents as U.S. Marshal for D.C. (1877-1881), Recorder of Deeds for D.C. (1881-1886), and Minister Resident and Consul General to Haiti (1889-1891). Significantly, he held these positions at a time when violence and fraud severely restricted African-American political activism.

On top of his federal work, Douglass kept a vigorous speaking tour schedule. His speeches continued to agitate for racial equality and women’s rights. In 1881, Douglass published his third autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, which took a long view of his life’s work, the nation’s progress, and the work left to do. Although the nation had made great strides during Reconstruction, there was still injustice and a basic lack of freedom for many Americans.

Tragedy struck Douglass’s life in 1882 when Anna died from a stroke. He remarried in 1884 to Helen Pitts, an activist and the daughter of former abolitionists. The marriage stirred controversy, as Helen was white and twenty years younger than him. Part of their married life was spent abroad. They traveled to Europe and Africa in 1886-1887, and they took up temporary residence in Haiti during Douglass’s service there in 1889-1891.

On February 20, 1895, Douglass attended a meeting for the National Council of Women. He returned home to Cedar Hill in the late afternoon and was preparing to give a speech at a local church when he suffered a heart attack and passed away. Douglass was 77. He had remained a central figure in the fight for equality and justice for his entire life.   ❑

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  1. DBR says

    I like the design of this coin a lot. First of all, it looks like Frederick Douglass and all the elements of the design fit in a balanced way on the coin.

    @ Gary not Dave : No, I haven’t picked up one of those 2015-P ASE coins yet. Sounds like an interesting story behind their provenance, plus needing a FOIA request to verify their existence. I wonder what tipped somebody off?

    Additionally, buying a graded PF 70 2017-S ASE from a dealer sounds way more appealing right now then how most of you all describe ordering and obtaining that coin. I don’t care if I pay way more for it from a dealer. Or I can wait until the LESPS, but that set will probably get the same miraculous increased interest in it like the 2017 Congratulations Set. And I could be shut out again.

    It’s actually a little comical, but I understand the interest in a low-mintage surprise ASE.

  2. data dave says

    I just got my Frederick Douglass 5 oz bullion pucks yesterday and they were awesome. One of the capsules was busted but is being replaced. This is probably the one area where cagcrisp and I are on opposites sides of the table. I would much rather have a 5 oz puck with a interesting design than 5 silver eagles.

    I am still trying to figure out the best way to display them in my house. I am thinking about a stand or shelf to display 5 at a time on a rotating basis. BTW, the bullion Effigy puck just jumped to 20,600 and the Douglass puck to 16,200. I was hoping for a new low with one of these but maybe not.

    Now with all of that, I’m not really a big fan of the P version. The $50 premium over the bullion seems too high, and I like the bullion finish better (more proof like). And the mint boxes take up too much space.

  3. Dustyroads says

    data dave, Without looking back, I think I can say that the first 5 oz. of the year sells the most, doesn’t it? This year I thought that trend was going to be broken. Now I wonder if we will begin to see sales drop off after the Douglass coin, which looks like a popular one. I like it a lot too.
    With your comment about running out of space in your safe, I realize I have the same problem. I’ve decided that I’m going to take the “P” 5 oz’s out of their boxes and put them in a monster box. Problem solved.

  4. Teach says

    I store all of the P puck OGP in a big plastic storage container. Saves a ton of room in the safe.

  5. gary says

    @data dave…. I would suggest a small table easel with perhaps a blue velvet background. To hold a year’s worth of coins (5) you could set them on a small wood strip and use 10 short round head screws to (2 per coin) to balance the coins on them. Great idea to “rotate” the display. I agree, one 5 oz. ATB of any design is more interesting than having 5 1 oz. silver eagles that haven’t changed design in 30+ years. 🙂

  6. Keep Calm & Stack On! says

    The 2017 United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set® contains two folders of 10 coins each, one from the United States Mint at Philadelphia and the other from the United States Mint at Denver, for a total of 20 coins. Each folder includes these 2017–dated coins with uncirculated finishes:

    Five quarters from the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program honoring Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa; Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.; Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri; Ellis Island (Statue of Liberty National Monument) in New Jersey; and George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana
    One Native American $1 Coin with a reverse design featuring a profiled likeness of Sequoyah writing “Sequoyah from Cherokee Nation” in syllabary along the border of the design. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES of AMERICA,” “$1”, and “Sequoyah” written in English in the field of the design.
    One Kennedy half dollar
    One Roosevelt dime
    One Jefferson nickel
    One Lincoln penny – “P” mint mark is on the penny in the “Philadelphia” folder.

  7. cagcrisp says

    I have a Friend that just got an 1881 $5 Gold Liberty

    Here are just a few reasons why I LOVE Old Gold:

    1. Billy the Kid broke out of a jail in New Mexico in 1881
    2. Sitting Bull surrenders in 1881
    3. The Earps, Doc Holiday and the Clantons shoot it out at the OK Corral in 1881
    4. etc. etc. etc…

  8. Keep Calm & Stack On! says

    American Buffalo 2017 One Ounce Gold Proof Coin will have a ‘P’ mint mark –

  9. Sith says

    I store my 5oz pucks in a ATB monster box. I have a wooden display/presentation box which I use to display the actual silver proof quarters. I have both the Statehood, and ATB quarters in the presentation box

  10. zephin says

    @ KCSO…LOL.I was going to say…I just look at the Buff this morning and didn’t see the “P” 🙂

  11. Keep Calm & Stack On! says

    2017 High Relief 225th Anniversary Coin –

    What a box of rocks! – just kidding.

    IMO –

    The Book – very, very impressive and a great approach with informative content, haven’t read through all of it yet, but impressive.

    Packaging – first class.., very well done. The box is way too big, and why they must make the boxes so big is beyond me, but looks sharp.

    Raised Edge Lettering – gets lost in the capsule, though looks sharp in a Hi-Res photo, I thought the lettering font size, if you will, would be bigger

    Observe – very well executed – from a manufacturing perspective.., they did it very well, the proof and varying frosting is flawless and makes quite a statement

    Reverse – stunning; frosting, micro detail of feathers is impressive, varying frosting makes the eagle ‘pop’

    While I still would have preferred a 1) Modern HR Liberty, and a 2) 225TH Anniversary coin with a Flowing Hair design, it is what it is..,

    I’d give this one an A+

    Those picking up the Silver Medals should be pleased.

  12. Gary Not Dave says

    Why do people get upset when an item sells out quickly! EVERY product the U.S. Mint sells should have a mintage limit. There is way too much made to order products that don’t hold value and in most cases lose money. We just need to be thankful the Mint threw the hobby a bone.

    Very interesting and a nice surprise..IMHO

  13. Dustyroads says

    Gary no Dave, Right you are, I’m stumped too wondering why so many people are upset over the releases. I have never been shut out.

  14. cagcrisp says

    @Gary Not Dave, “Why do people get upset when an item sells out quickly! ”

    They’re Not upset because it sold out quickly, They’re upset because they didn’t get one (or they didn’t realize what the secondary market would bring and they didn’t get Enough to Flip to pay for the ones they did get)…

  15. cagcrisp says

    Winged Head Liberty Dime Re-visited :

    • cagcrisp says
    December 18, 2016 at 8:04 pm
    Look at what the Winged Head Liberty dime is Currently selling for after the SO. Currently mid to high $280’s. Let’s see what happens to sales after 8,000+ coins hit the market.
    We will see if the decision to restrict limited sales has any financial effect on the secondary market…

    • cagcrisp says
    January 4, 2017 at 9:59 pm
    The Winged Head Liberty dime was selling mid to upper $280’s BEFORE the Mint released the last 8,000+ coins. I posed the question at the time of what impact Restricting who/who not could purchase the coins And what effect Restricting sales would have on the secondary market. On Average prices have dropped $15-$20 Recently on the bay.
    What impact did having a HHL of 1 and Restricting sales to those that hadn’t purchased any before?
    The results were typical of what I thought Could happen. A Lot of flippers were able to get their “1 coin ”

    Currently you can Look at secondary market pricing and see what effect the Restriction of a HHL of 1 to no one that had purchased Before.

    Prices have NEVER recovered to the level pre release of the final 8,000+. Several months of sales in the mid to upper $280’s and then AFTER the release of 8,854 CRUSHED the secondary market.

    Just another example of a Bad Decision that the Mint made by playing class warfare and deciding who/who should not receive a coin.

    IF you have no viable secondary market you will Eventually have no viable primary market.

    You can look at the Vast Majority of 2017 sales numbers and see what affect a Rapid SO has vs. NO Rapid SO…

  16. Erik H says

    This FD quarter is a nice design. Originally I wasn’t planning on picking up a 5 oz version but I may change my mind.

  17. isp_stuff says

    @j jonah jameson – yes I do I have an order that shows no movement.

    Just backorder status

  18. Donald says

    A couple posters remarked that a 5oz. ATB beats 5 one ounce American Silver Eagles. How would they feel if the Mint did a 5 oz. proof Silver Eagle (one time only)?

  19. CasualCollector says

    In the article, they said the same coin will be offered in the 2017 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set — do they really mean the exact same coin with the “S” Mint Mark???

  20. John Q. Coinage says

    Gary Not Dave says et al., it is AMAZING none of you have ‘ever been shut out”….on a mint item? You got all the C&C Rev. $1 you wanted, you got the Botantical Garden 5c set…you got the ASE anniv sets, you got the new “S” ase, wow, unreal….I have had gliches, dropoofs, empty carts, and lots of bs & lots of wins, but several misses. No I am not upset of being unable to flip, I am fed up w/the mints pure bullsheet. I have yet to buy many new issues & will continue. There is no logical reason for no HH Limits on this ASE issue, profiteering, back door $ or just pure laziness @ the mint. Think about it collectors are dying off, we’re old geezers mostly, & frustrating all that try to buy one for a ‘collection’ v. Mike Miezakripuoff getting 2,500 I KNOW WHO THE MINT PREFERS. I boycott this 2017 S ASE, don’t care anymore, there is no album, there is no hole. We are played by CHumps by the mint

  21. John Q. Coinage says

    Casual Collector, it will be an S mint proof ASE in an expen$ive overpriced set. For close to $200 try for a 1881-83cc from pCGS/NGC @ms63 if you can, they will go up for sure….

  22. A&L Futures says

    @j jonah jameson – I have a rather large order still on BACKORDERED status with the U.S. Mint.

  23. Dustyroads says

    John, Yes, I’ve experienced the lost and confused feeling of not knowing what the mints website is doing during many of these releases at noon, and I can honestly say that through it all, I have never not been able to order.

  24. Throckmorton says

    Peter Parker’s nasty boss – Yep, still on backorder.

    If Coinworld want to do something, why don’t they investigate how the decision was reached to not have a HHL on the set?

    Then they should investigate the apparent cherry picking on fulfilling customer orders. Confirmed orders should be fulfilled on a FIFO basis.

  25. Mike the Greek says

    Would the 2017 “P” penny every be likely to show up in a proof set? I haven’t followed proof sets much.

    Otherwise I guess the best option will be the Uncirculated Coin Set 2017 coming out mid-May.

  26. Mike the Greek says

    And I do find it disgusting that the mint would offer relatively rare/surprise items and not place an HHL on it – as others have stated, smacks of profiteering and inside pay offs. No normal collector would be buying more than 3-4 at most. Obviously no HHL panders to dealers – I’m new to understanding all this but it’s kind of just disgusting.

  27. Yes, But...You Can't Take It With You says

    Donald: Yes! I would love a 5 oz Proof Silver Eagle, especially if it was a one time only issue!

    John Q. Public: I am another one who has never been shut out of any of the offerings that I wanted to order. Started with Jefferson’s Liberty and jumped into the flipping game with 2009 Lincoln C&C. Got all the C&C sets of every year that I wanted, March of Dimes, 2011 SAE set, 2015 APE, etc. There are lot of reasons that many of us have been consistently successful, most have which have been posted on MNB previously. Not saying that the Mint does things well, only that we all have to play the game as it is rolled out. The fact that Diana was successful on her very first run – and with a 2 minute sell out! – shows that she paid attention to commenters on her blog.

  28. Goat says


    I have opened my mint account at 11:50 everything is ready for speedy checkout and ended with nothing to show because of being locked out. This year was the third and final straw, might be a sign I should not collect (collected almost everything since 1982). Since the mint is destroying the collectors, who will my children/grandchildren sell too? It goes back too bullion for me , my children/grandchildren will sell at market price, maybe a small premium (quantity will make a difference) . Big dealers/people I will not buy secondary market coins at inflated prices (that’s called chasing). The mint already has inflated prices that’s too high most times.
    The premium for the Liberty and 1 oz proof AGE, I can afford to buy around 1/4 oz. of gold more when buying bullion and have 1 1/4 oz. gold in my stash .
    This is a new/different game were playing today, not like the old days.

  29. Yes, But...You Can't Take It With You says

    Goat: Out of curiosity – did you attempt your ordering from a full desktop computer, a laptop or a smaller device (phone, tablet, etc.). Did you have all your CC info pre-filled ahead of time and your ccv code handy?

  30. So Krates says

    Yo, Yo, Yo, – Happy Earth Day to all !! Hey I see you rolling your eyes out there… but c’mon how can you not be for the Earth? It’s the only we’ve got.

    @ John Q./ Goat – It sucks to get shut out and although I was successful on this last one, but for the grace of god, there go I. The HHL should have been 10-50. It wasn’t fair. In the past couple of years I stupidly sat out for a few winners and jumped in on a few losers but the only one I wanted and couldn’t get was the Ike C&C. Had to buy two sets from my buddy in India who got thru from across the globe while I was pulling my hair out entering and re-entering and refreshing and re-refreshing and grinding my teeth…There’s gotta be a more equitable way to distribute these curns AND maintain a healthy (not speculative) secondary market.

  31. Donald says

    I’m pretty sure that at least one of our posters is a big fan of Earth Day: Earthling.

  32. Gary Not Dave says

    @John Q.
    Yes, I got shut out on the Eisenhower CC Set. I didn’t try for this one but kick myself for not trying. I do love the challenge of trying to get in on the quick sellouts. But even when I get shut out, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Its nice to have “Collectibles”……I believe this kind of stuff is GREAT for the hobby. I wish the Mint would throw a cap on a lot of things…ie the Silver Proof Sets(75k) Also I would like the Mint to do a Silver Mint Set as well and throw a cap on that of75k. Let the Mint produce the Clad Proof Set and Clad Mint Sets made to order.

  33. Gary Not Dave says

    The US Mint should of put a 10k mintage on the 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin…..Who didn’t see this as a BIG DUD! If you didn’t, It is!

  34. Gary Not Dave says

    Its very possible the S Mint Silver Eagle ends up in the 2017 LESPS? It would only make sense, all the other coins are minted in San Fran.(As far as we know anyway)

  35. Joe M. says

    A – Who bought the 2017 Congratulations set from FEEBAY and the seller still hasn’t received their sets? I’m waiting for 16 sets for $120 each(free shipping) from one seller 🙂
    B – Hopefully people here will leave a message when they hear from the mint about these sets…
    1. Shipped
    2. Processing (formerly on backorder)
    3. Backordered (from the time you paid)
    4. Processing, backordered, then processing again until finally receiving SHIPPED.

  36. MintyFresh says

    The 5 Oz FREDERICK DOUGLASS is now officially being refereed to as the “Bob Ross” .

  37. indydude says

    At the Frederick Douglas Coin Forum this month, it was said the “S” Eagle will be in the LESPS and a product limit of 25K units.
    Look for the first silver medal from Philly in June of the UHR Gold
    Look for the 4 coin silver set in October.

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