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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 39, September 24, 2006, Article 12

BOOK REVIEW: THE FIRST FRONTIER BY R. V. COLEMAN

Dave Perkins writes: "I recently purchased and read a book titled
The First Frontier by R. V. Coleman.  It is a history of how America
began  why the settlers came, what sort of people they were, how
they made their livings, and how they behaved.  Many details of the
daily lives of the settlers are covered.  I thoroughly enjoyed the
book and highly recommend it.

An item of interest to numismatists may be found on pages 351-352.
It discusses the establishment of the Massachusetts Mint and the
first coinage of the Pine Tree Shillings, "On October 19 [1652]
following, the Court further directed that "all pieces of mony
coined as aforesaid shall have a double ring on either side, with
this inscription, Massachusetts, and a tree in the center on one
side, and New England and the yeere of our Lord on the other side,
according to this draught here in the margent [drawing here in
the margin]"  and there in the margin was the sketch shown on
page 352 [illustration in the book].

Such was the origin of the famous Pine Tree Shillings which for
many years bought mittens, went into the church contribution plates
or paid fines in all the towns of Puritan New England.  [The footnote
reads this is from the Mass. Col. Record, Vol. IV, Pt. I, 84-85, 104.]
This appears to be the same source / reference that is listed on page
44 in Sylvester Crosby's The Early Coins of America.  However, I did
not see this particular quote in the Crosby reference. A drawing
similar to the one in this book can be found in Crosby, also on
page 44.

There is also a photo of the obverse and reverse of a Pine Tree
Shilling in the book, courtesy of The Chase National Bank Collection
of Moneys of the World, New York.  This specimen is likely from
the collection of Farran Zerbe."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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