An 1841 token alluding to “hard times,” or the Panic of 1837, and targeting the policies of President Van Buren.

This is one of several “hard times” copper coins that were minted during the Panic of 1837. These coins were unofficial currency and often offered political messages about the state of the economy. One side of this coin (left) alludes to Martin Van Buren’s metallic currency “experiment.” The other side (right) anticipates the next presidential administration, presuming that it would be led by Whig Party leader Daniel Webster. Webster was ultimately not the Whig Party’s choice for the 1840 nomination; they selected William Henry Harrison, who won, but died soon after taking office.