U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln this week introduced legislation to mint coins in commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the nation's first law enforcement agency, the United States Marshals Service. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the coin will go to the United States Marshals Service National Museum to be located in Fort Smith. The funds will be used for the preservation, maintenance, and display of artifacts and documents of the Marshals Service.
"I'm proud to introduce legislation to commemorate the heroic service of the U.S. Marshals and their history in Fort Smith. A lot of people interested in the Old West' and law enforcement are already drawn to Fort Smith, and now the Marshals Museum and this commemorative coin are going to be a source of pride not just for Fort Smith residents, but for the entire state," said Lincoln.
"Since the days of Judge Isaac Parker, the U.S. Marshals Service has played an important role in American and Arkansas history," Pryor said. "I am pleased to join with Senator Lincoln to honor the U.S. Marshals Service and help preserve its legacy in Fort Smith, and I am proud of the U.S. Marshals and their hard work keeping our communities safe."
The commemorative coin proposed by Lincoln and Pryor would be minted in 2014 to coincide with the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the Marshals Service. It would be available in two denominations, a $5 gold coin and a $1 silver coin, and would be the first commemorative coin to honor the United States Marshals Service. U.S. Representative John Boozman (AR-03) introduced similar legislation earlier this year.
The United States Marshals Service has had major significance in the history in the United States and has directly contributed to its safety and preservation by serving as an instrument of civil authority used by all three branches of the United States Government. The first U.S. Marshals were appointed by President Washington more than 220 years ago. As Americans moved west in the 19th century, it was the U.S. Marshals that ensured orders and decisions by federal courts were enforced and that there would be some semblance of law and order in areas like Western Arkansas that were far from Washington, D.C.