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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 53, December 31, 2006, Article 3

BOOK REVIEW: NUMIS WORTHY - OLD NUMISMATIC NEWS 1752 TO 1800

Eric Leighton's new book "NUmiS WORTHY: Old Numismatic News 1752 to
1800', a compilation of contemporary newspaper reports published in
Nova Scotia, is a browser's delight.  Thumbing through my copy I read
a number of interesting accounts of news, laws, debates and other
anecdotes relating to numismatics of the era.

For example, on December 4, 1787 the Nova Scotia Gazette & Weekly
Chronicle reported "On Thursday last His Excellency the Lieutenant-
Governor... was pleased to give his assent to the following...  An
ACT to prevent the Circulation of base and counterfeit Half Pence,
and other Copper Coin, and to establish the Current value of English
Crowns and Shillings in this Province."  The full text of the Act
is included.

As noted previously, since newspapers of the era frequently republished
accounts from papers in other regions, there is much to be found here
of interest to researchers on British and U.S. topics as well. A sampling
of reports from other regions:

London, November 9, 1773:  "There was a time, says a facetious
Correspondent, when it might have been deemed a libel to call in
question the abilities of the King; but since the late Coin Act was
passed, all ranks and degrees of men daily experience and complain
of the lightness of his Majesty's head.."

London, February 14, 1789: "The Empress of Russia has set the example
to her subjects by sending her own plate to coin, for the purpose of
carrying on the war."

London, April 7, 1791: "Mr. Alexander Bruce, late merchant in
Edinburgh, has received from the Empress of Russia a gold medal which
weighs about twenty guineas in gold.  On the one side there is an
elegant bust of the Empress, which is pronounced, by those who have
seen her majesty, to be a very striking resemblance.  The other side
bears a representation of the equestrian statue of the Czar Peter the
Great at Petersburgh."

London, January 28, 1794: "The French are breaking up the graves in
all the churches, in order to make even the dead contribute to the
expences of the war.  The lead coffins are converted into bullets and
the copper ones sent to the mint."

Springfield, MA, January 7, 1795: "The people grumble because they are
in great want of small coin, and cannot get cents from the mint.  The
officers of the mint complain that they cannot get their cents into
circulation, there is nobody to take them!"

The book has a 16-page index and a 10-page glossary of numismatic
terms.  There are few illustrations, but the author's transcriptions
of the often blurry, smudged or faded originals make for easy reading.
Making such important original source material available to present-day
researchers and collectors is a difficult, commendable but often
thankless task.  Any numismatist with the slightest interest in the
Colonial period should order a copy for their library.  For more
information, see the previous E-Sylum items about the book.

 NEW BOOK: NUMISWORTHY: OLD NUMISMATIC NEWS FROM NOVA SCOTIA
 esylum_v09n48a05.html

 LULU.COM BOOK ORDERING TUTORIAL
 esylum_v09n50a22.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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