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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 3, January 18, 2009, Article 18

MORE ON JOSEPH CLOUD AND THE ECKFELDT FAMILY OF THE PHILADELPHIA MINT

Karl Moulton submitted these clarifications to the Cloud/Eckfeldt story in last week's issue. -Editor
When doing research about people that were involved with American numismatics, it is often difficult to accurately determine and separate the facts. Genealogy research is hampered by the use of the same name over and over in many families. Such is the case with the report of Adam Eckfeldt living on Joseph Cloud's old farm.

This was Adam C. Eckfeldt, Adam Eckfeldt's oldest son who never worked at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. Adam C. had a beard; dad didn't (and Adam C. didn't commute to work in his sport utility wagon). He should properly be called Adam Eckfeldt, Jr.

In the 19th century in particular, sons who were named after their fathers preferred to differentiate their name by the use of their middle name or initial. Examples of this can be seen in the case of U.S. Mint Directors, Robert L. Patterson and his son Robert M(askell) Patterson. The same holds true about Mint Assayers Jacob R(eese) Eckfeldt and his son Jacob B(ausch) Eckfeldt.

It is important that realistic timeframes and places are considered when presenting something about a past person's life or their activities, especially if the name isn't followed by "Junior".

My recent research about John J. Ford , Jr., has brought this home. Little is known or can be determined about Ford's father, and the activities of the son are not to be confused with the older person that has the same name.

This really comes to the forefront regarding the numismatic activites of Kenyon V(ickers) Painter and his son Kenyon V(ickers) Painter, Jr., who were both involved in American numismatics spanning the timeframe of late 19th century to 1973. The son never used "Jr.".

As a final note, Adam Eckfeldt did not "operate a screw press" in 1794 at the United States Mint. He was, at the time, working in his father's (Jacob) shop as a smith, and didn't begin working at the Mint until 1795.

William E(wing) DuBois (1810-1881) married Susannna Eckfeldt in 1840, not 1841. She outlived him and remained in Philadelphia, just like the Adam Eckfeldt who worked at the Mint. Susanna donated William's personal leatherbound copy of his 1846 book "Pledges of History" to Philadelphia coin dealer, Henry Chapman in 1919 (Hamelberg library). Likewise, William E. DuBois, who worked at the U.S. Mint for nearly 50 years (1833-1881) is not to be confused with the later, black author with the same exact name.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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