HEAL America Campaign


Detail of first engraving of the reverse side (Trenchard, 1786)



"HE has favored our undertaking"


Origin and Meaning
of the Motto above the Eye


Secretary of Congress Charles Thomson suggested "Annuit Coeptis" when he put together the final design of the Great Seal in June 1782.

He placed the motto at the top of the Seal's reverse side, where its meaning is associated with the Eye of Providence in a triangle surrounded by light rays.

Thomson did not provide an exact translation of the motto, but he explained its symbolism: The Eye and the motto Annuit Coeptis…

"allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favor of the American cause."

·         "Signal" means unusual, notable, outstanding.

·         "Interposition" means intervention. (In this case, a divine intervention.)

Many leaders of the American Revolution felt that Providence had a hand in securing their Independence, particularly George Washington who often referred to the "smiles of Providence."

"I salute you Gentlemen most Affectionately, and beg leave to remind you, that Liberty, Honor, and Safety are all at stake, and I trust Providence will smile upon our Efforts, and establish us once more, the Inhabitants of a free and happy Country." (August 8, 1776)

"The many remarkable interpositions of the divine government, in the hours of our deepest distress and darkness, have been too luminous to suffer me to doubt the happy issue of the present contest." (March 26, 1781)

"The Commander in Chief earnestly recommends that the troops not on duty should universally attend with that seriousness of Deportment and gratitude of Heart which the

recognition of such reiterated and astonishing interpositions of Providence demand of us." (October 20, 1781)

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