JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN
In recent years, your editor acquired two books authored by
U.S. Mint Director James Ross Snowden, who served from
June 1853 to April 1861. Most U.S. bibliophiles are familiar
with Snowden's books on the Mint Cabinet and Washington
medals (printed in 1860 and 1861, respectively). But these
two acquisitions are much less commonly seen, and it would
be interesting to learn if other bibliophiles have copies.
The first is a small tract published in 1866, titled "The Coins
of the Bible, and Its Money Terms." This copy is 16mo in
size, 94pp, covered in raised green cloth with gilt lettering.
It is the "enlarged edition." The first edition was published in
1864. In his foreword Snowden notes:
"A few years ago the writer made some remarks to a
Sabbath-school with which he was connected, and exhibited
specimens of some of the Coins mentioned in the Bible,
namely, a denarius, or "penny;" a shekel, a silver stater, and
a lepton, or "widow's mite." There was present on that
occasion a clergyman, at whose request the writer prepared
a series of articles on the same subject, which were published
in the "Sabbath-School Visitor."
In compliance with the repeated request of the same
gentleman, and other clergymen and laymen, the writer has
arranged these articles, and with several additional chapters,
and some introductory remarks, they are presented to the
public in the present form.
As the articles were originally written for a Sabbath-School
paper, so now, this little work is mainly intended to be used
as a Sabbath-school book .The writer begs to express the
hope its pages will give useful information to youthful inquirers
after truth; and that the statements and tables herein presented,
will be found valuable to all readers of the sacred Scriptures,
into whose hands it may come, and thus advance the interests
of our beloved Zion."
The book was published by "The Trustees of the Presbyterian
Board of Publications" While scarce, the book is known, and
is listed in the Sigler and Clain-Stephanelli bibliographies.
George Kolbe reports that a copy appeared in his Sale 65,
We'll save the second Snowden book for next week, and I'll
be quite surprised if anyone can guess what it is. Hint: it's
Wayne Homren, Editor
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