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V16 2013 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 9, March 3, 2013, Article 9

NUMISMATIC REFERENCES IN THE MAINE READER, 1614 TO PRESENT

Dick Hanscom forwarded some interesting excerpts from an historical Maine publication. Thanks! -Editor

Since my wife is from Maine, and we both attended the University of Maine at Orono, I picked up a book at a used book store – “The Maine Reader, the Down East Experience from 1614 to the Present,” edited by Charles and Samuella Shain.

I must admit that it was pretty dry reading to start, and I was ready to give it a pass. Then I came to excerpts from the diary of Benjamin Browne Foster. He was from Orono, and was apprenticed as a clerk to J. Brights Provision Stores in Bangor in 1847. The book only includes entries from July to October of this year. It is interesting to note that when giving values, he switches between dollars and pounds. A few passages are below - I thought others might find this interesting as well.

“Saturday, August 21: Found C.B. Abbot’s horse on the way to Glenburn. Carried him back to the Temperance House. Abbot offered me 3/ [ed. note: / referred to a shilling, six of which made a dollar] which, of course, I refused. If I had earned it, I should have taken it.”

“Monday, August 23, Orono, Maine: Went on board the Governor Neptune, the Oldtown and Passadumkeag steamer….The fare to Greenbush is 25 cents, to Passadumkeag, 3/.”

“Monday, September 13: Mother will be forty years of age tomorrow. Dear Mother, I never yet till now knew how much I loved her. Absence is the true touchstone. I gave her as a present an old American dollar of the date 1795 with the injunction not to spend it. I had and could think of nothing else.”

“Wednesday, September 22: Father and Mother were down this P.M. to see Tom Thumb for principal object. They, particularly Mother, were in raptures. They had his Lilliputian visiting card, given at the door, “Gen. Tom Thumb,” and they bought a gilt medal, on the obverse Victoria’s head and bust with the words, “Victoria Regina,” and on the reverse Tom Thumb’s likeness with the words, “General Tom Thumb, Weight 15 pounds.” For this they paid 9d. Also a pamphlet, with his description, his song, his travels. This was 4d.”

Interesting. Does anyone have an image of the Tom Thumb medal? -Editor

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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