The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 42, October 15, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have two new subscribers this week: Stephen Pradier and 
   Mark Nuetzi.  Welcome aboard!   This brings our subscriber 
   count to 348. 

   One of last week's new subscribers, Fabrizio Maddalena of 
   Vicenza, Italy, writes: "I discovered The E-Sylum on the web 
   with a link to" 


   An article in the October 23, 2000 issue of COIN World 
   (p98) reports that that library of the Canadian Numismatic 
   Association was recently flooded.  The flooding led to a loss 
   of "about 240 books, many journals and library supplies... 
   Several rare books - works by Breton, Leroux and others 
   - were included in the loss." 


   Sharp-eyed catalog readers may have noticed that E-Sylum 
   subscriber John Kraljevich, Jr. is now listed as a Professional 
   Numismatist on the staff of the Bowers and Merena 
   organization.  John's work may be seen in the catalog of the 
   firm's Robert W. Schwan sale (October 26-27, 2000), 
   particularly in the Bryan Dollar section (lots 1132-1151). 

   In the description of lot 1932 he provides some information 
   on George Frederick Kunz (thought it was gonna say 
   Kolbe, didn't you?).  "In 1895 Kunz was involved in the 
   encouragement of new designs for United States coinage, 
   an effort which brought forth many ideas but produced 
   no lasting results." 


   Dave Bowers has made a few chapters from the draft of 
   his upcoming book available for comment by NBS 
   members and E-Sylum subscribers.  The book is 
   prospectively titled "The History of the Gold Rush as 
   Illustrated by Treasures from the S.S. Central America" 

   The chapters are available for review on the NBS web 
   site.  Go to, then choose 
   the new  "Research" link. 

   Of special interest to E-Sylum readers is the information 
   on Ezekiel I. Barra, who was discussed in previous issues. 
   Bowers also notes: "Another numismatist, Philadelphia 
   physician Lewis Roper (whose coins were auctioned in 
   1851) is said to have been part of the Gold Rush, and to 
   have been lost at sea - but I have not included him as I 
   cannot find a lost ship sunk in 1850 on its way back from 
   California (or the Panama connection) that might be a 

   Please send any comments to Dave by October 30, 
   2000, as the project is nearing completion. 


   Dave Lange writes: "Thanks for running my announcement in 
   The E-Sylum about my new Buffalo Nickel book.  The 
   response was very favorable, and I'll definitely proceed with 
   the deluxe edition." 


   To continue our compilation of "Devastating Reviews" of 
   numismatic books (as initiated by Tom Fort), your editor 
   found this review in his "research archives" (i.e. "pile of 
   unsorted miscellaneous stuff he could never bring himself 
   to throw away..." 

   The February, 1986 issue of Bank Note Reporter 
   contained a review by Dr. Douglas Ball of  "Graybacks 
   and Gold: Confederate Monetary Policy" by James F. 
   Morgan, Perdido Bay Press, Pensacola, FL. 1985: 

   Headlined "Book on Confederate Money Has Serious 
   Flaws", the review began:  "Having written my own 
   doctoral thesis on the theoretical and policy making 
   aspects of Confederate finance, I was looking forward 
   to reading this work.  But having done so, I must 
   regretfully report that it is so seriously flawed as to 
   render it practically useless, if not positively misleading. 

   For starters, the book title itself is both erroneous and 
   misleading.  The Confederate currency was popularly 
   known as "blue backs," not "graybacks."  Indeed, the 
   term "graybacks" was a term used by both armies for 
   the ever-present scourge of lice." 

   Dr. Ball enumerates several flaws.  One example: 
   "he declares that Secretary Memminger was an 
   enthusiastic advocate of fiat paper money and an 
   enemy of coin and coinage.  Memminger, as a 
   matter of well-known record, was the hardest of 
   hard money Jacksonian Democrats." 

   "I can understand how this thesis might have got 
   by the student.  What puzzles me is how it got 
   past a faculty advisor, two other readers, and then 
   the Perdido Press. 

   Perhaps as some of the faculty members suggested 
   during my recent visit to the University of Oklahoma 
   campus, it is time that Oklahoma devoted the same 
   energy and money to the University's academic 
   programs that they do to its athletic ones." 


   Researcher David Cassel is seeking information regarding 
   the provenance of  the following J-330A pattern coins. 
   Occasionally, collectors make notations in their auction 
   catalogues as to who bought various coins.  If you can help, 
   please contact David by e-mail, 

   Bowers and Rudy - Paxman Sale -November 1974 sale lot 
   1028.  Any information on who bought this coin, its weight, 
   and where it is today. 

   Stack's - L.S. Ruder Collection - September 1987 lot 985. 
   Who consigned this coin to this auction? 

   Stack's - New England Museum Sale - October 1988 lot 
   610.  Who consigned this coin to this auction? 

   Stack's - Wm. M. Moore - March 1992 lot 1650. Any 
   information on who bought this coin, its weight, and where 
   it is today. 


   You people are just too smart.  Last week, I mentioned a 
   non-numismatic book by Mint Director James Ross Snowden, 
   and practically dared you to guess its title.   Well, Mike Paradis 
   and Pete Smith both responded swiftly and correctly - the 
   answer is "The Cornplanter Memorial", 1867. 

   Great minds think alike, as you'll see. When I asked how they 
   knew the answer, Pete Smith replied:  "As a biographer, I am 
   interested in things people do outside numismatics as those are 
   frequently more interesting. Often my sources have been 
   publications for specific professions. (Who's Who in Insurance 
   or Who's Who in Medicine, as examples.)  Last week I bought 
   a copy of William Sheldon's "Atlas of Men" for $10.50 which I 
   consider a very good price. I already had two other books he 
   wrote on non-numismatic topics. Sheldon is one of very few 
   authors where I collect non-numismatic titles. 

   I will give you two answers to your question and you can pick 
   the one you like best. 

   1)  I have devoted my life to memorizing the titles of 
        non-numismatic books written by people important in 

   2)  I took two minutes to search the Library of Congress 
        website for titles by Snowden. 

   As with magic, often the fun is lost when you learn how a trick 
   is done." 

   Mike Paradis confessed as well: "No, I don't own a copy. 
   I found it at the Library of Congress web site.  However,  this 
   is on ABEBOOKS."   [Editor's note:  the bookseller web site 
   address is:   And so I don't have 
   to retype the full citation, I'll quote the listing Mike forwarded: ] 

   "Snowden, James Ross: THE CORNPLANTER MEMORIAL. 
   CORNPLANTER.  Harrisburg, Pa. 1867. 115pp. Frontis. 
   Half title. Dbd., stitched. 

   Cornplanter was chief of the Six Indian Nations. Also printed 
   herein are speeches by John Luke, councilor of the Seneca 
   Nation, and Stephen Smith, chief of the Six Nations. 

   Appendices provide speeches of Cornplanter, an address to 
   him by President Washington, and the present condition of 
   the Six Nations." 

   For more information on Cornplanter, see this web site: 


   In the category of "things found while looking up other things" 
   is this reference from the Guide to Civil War Manuscript & 
   Newspaper Collections at the Historical Society of 

      Snowden, James Ross.  Diary (1864-65).  Co. 'I,' 23rd 
      PA  Infantry & Co. 'I,' 61st PA Infantry & Co.'I,' 61st PA 
      Infantry. Collection no. 616; call no. Am .1565. 

   The reference is on this web page: 

   Pete Smith's Snowden entry in "American Numismatic 
   Biographies" notes that "Snowden was appointed 
   Director of the Mint by President Pierce serving June 
   1853 to April 1861... He resigned to accept an 
   appointment with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania 
   and served there until 1873." 

   So ... does this diary belong to a different James Ross 


   Dick Johnson writes: "I had to laugh at a typo on my own 
   computer. I was writing about two kinds of brass (for 
   cheap tokens), one kind was red brass, the other rich low 
   brass. In one sentence I dropped an "s" in brass and my 
   computer screen read: rich low bras!" 


   This week's featured web site is on Scottish Banknotes and 
   Coins, maintained by Dave Parrish.  "this site has over 100 
   images of Scottish Banknotes and dozens of images of 
   Scottish Coins." 

  Wayne Homren 
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society 

  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a 
  non-profit organization promoting numismatic 
  literature.   For more information please see 
  our web site at 
  There is a membership application available on 
  the web site.  To join, print the application and 
  return it with your check to the address printed 
  on the application.   For those without web access, 
  contact Dave Hirt, NBS Secretary-Treasurer, 
  5911 Quinn Orchard Road, Frederick, MD 21704 

  (To be removed from this mailing list 
   write to me at   

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