PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 12, March 19, 2006, Article 13

FREDERICK S. W. MAYERS

Frederick S. W. Mayers’ "The Literature of American Numismatics"
is widely regarded as the first such article published in the U. S.
A piece by David T. Haberly of the University of Virginia includes
some interesting biographical information on Mayers.  Haberly cites
Joel Orosz's 2001 article on Mayers' groundbreaking work in The
Asylum (v19n2), as well as Pete Smith's 2004 Asylum article,
"William Frederick Mayers: A Flashing Star." (v23n3):

Haberly writes: "The author of "The Gaucho" can be firmly
identified as William S. Frederick Mayers, who published two
other articles in the Atlantic:

"El Llanero," in February of 1859, and "In the Pines" in May of that
year. The first is a biography of José Antonio Páez, the hero of
Venezuelan Independence, while the second—an account of the author's
visit to the New Jersey Pine Barrens—is frequently cited as the first
appearance in print of the "Jersey Devil," the legendary monster
who is said to haunt the area.

Mayers was born in Tasmania in January of 1831, the son of a
colonial chaplain, and was educated in Marseilles (Pollard); he
may have spent time in Spain. There are a few spelling errors in
his summary of Facundo, but it is obvious that Mayers read Spanish
accurately and easily. Both "The Gaucho" and "El Llanero" make it
clear that Mayer was eager to show off his Spanish.

It is unclear when Mayers arrived in New York, but by 1858, when
he was twenty-seven years old, he had formed ties to important
members of the North American establishment. Over the next months,
he placed his three articles in the Atlantic—no mean feat for an
unknown young writer. Another of Mayers's interests was numismatics,
and in 1858 he was one of the founders and the first treasurer of
the American Numismatic Society (Adelson 25-30, 314; Orosz).

Mayers resigned as treasurer in February of 1859, sailing shortly
thereafter for China; the British Foreign Office had contracted
him as an interpreter of Chinese—yet another of his languages.
Mayers rose quickly in the British diplomatic service in China,
and eventually became Secretary of Legation in Peking and one of
the most distinguished British sinologists of his time. In 1878,
when Mayers died of typhoid fever in Shanghai, he was only
forty-seven years old (Pollard, Smith)."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster