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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 41, October 8, 2000, Article 10

JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN 

   In recent years, your editor acquired two books authored by 
   U.S. Mint Director James Ross Snowden, who served from 
   June 1853 to April 1861.  Most U.S. bibliophiles are familiar 
   with Snowden's books on the Mint Cabinet and Washington 
   medals (printed in 1860 and 1861, respectively).  But these 
   two acquisitions are much less commonly seen, and it would 
   be interesting to learn if other bibliophiles have copies. 

   The first is a small tract published in 1866, titled "The Coins 
   of the Bible, and Its Money Terms." This copy is 16mo in 
   size, 94pp, covered in raised green cloth with gilt lettering. 
   It is the "enlarged edition."  The first edition was published in 
   1864.  In his foreword Snowden notes: 

   "A few years ago the writer made some remarks to a 
   Sabbath-school with which he was connected, and exhibited 
   specimens of some of the Coins mentioned in the Bible, 
   namely, a denarius, or "penny;" a shekel, a silver stater, and 
   a lepton, or "widow's mite."   There was present on that 
   occasion a clergyman, at whose request  the writer prepared 
   a series of articles on the same subject, which were published 
   in the "Sabbath-School Visitor." 

   In compliance with the repeated request of the same 
   gentleman, and other clergymen and laymen, the writer has 
   arranged these articles, and with several additional chapters, 
   and some introductory remarks, they are presented to the 
   public in the present form. 

   As the articles were originally written for a Sabbath-School 
   paper, so now, this little work is mainly intended to be used 
   as a Sabbath-school book .The writer begs to express the 
   hope its pages will give useful information to youthful inquirers 
   after truth; and that the statements and tables herein presented, 
   will be found valuable to all readers of the sacred Scriptures, 
   into whose hands it may come, and thus advance the interests 
   of our beloved Zion." 

   The book was published by "The Trustees of the Presbyterian 
   Board of Publications"   While scarce, the book is known, and 
   is listed in the Sigler and Clain-Stephanelli bibliographies. 
   George Kolbe reports that a copy appeared in his Sale 65, 
   lot 260. 

   We'll save the second Snowden book for next week, and I'll 
    be quite surprised if anyone can guess what it is.  Hint: it's 
    non-numismatic. 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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