Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Gold Coins
The first 2010 issues in an ongoing series that is struck in both proof and uncirculated condition from a 1/2 ounce of 24 karat gold are the Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Gold Coins. This series comes from the United States Mint and features former American First Ladies.
Under the program (authorized by the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005), the first coin honoring Martha Washington appeared in 2007. Since then, an additional thirteen first ladies have been featured making the Abigail Fillmore coins the fourteenth to appear.
Each coin in the series features a face value of $10. The Fillmore coins are limited to a maximum mintage of 15,000 across both options.
On the obverse (heads side) of the Abigail Fillmore gold coins is a portrait of her that was designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Joseph Menna, showing Mrs. Fillmore placing books on a shelf at the White House library that she established.
Abigail Fillmore Biography (1798-1853)
Abigail was born in Saratoga County, New York in 1798 to a Baptist minister and his wife. Shortly after her birth, Abigail’s father passed away. Her mother took Abigail and her siblings further westward in the hope that their meager funds would serve them better in the frontier.
This remote upbringing did not prevent the children from receiving an above normal education that was provided for by their mother with the help of their deceased father’s library. In fact, the love of reading and education fostered in that environment would continue throughout Abigail’s life.
At age 21, Abigail met her future husband, Millard Fillmore, at an academy recently opened in the town of New Hope. A romance would blossom, but due to Millard’s poor financial resources and his young career as a lawyer, the two would not marry for several years.
Finally, in 1826, they wed. Two children would follow with son Millard Powers born in 1828 and daughter Mary Abigail born in 1832. Still struggling to make ends meet, the Fillmore’s shared a love of reading and continued to build a personal library together with their collections.
Achieving financial security in the 1840′s, the family bought a six-room house in Buffalo, New York, while Millard continued his political ladder climbing.
Then, in 1849, Millard was elected Vice President of the United States, and the couple moved to Washington, D.C. Within 16 months, current President Zachary Taylor passed away, and the Fillmore’s found themselves in the White House.
Not wanting to attend to many of the social duties expected of the First Lady, Abigail delegated these responsibilities to her daughter. Instead, Abigail spent time reading, and with an appropriation from Congress, she established a library in the White House in which she took great joy.
Suffering a cold and fever that developed into pneumonia shortly after leaving the White House, Abigail passed away on March 30, 1853 at the age of 55.