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The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 48, November 19, 2000, Article 8


Philip L. Mossman writes:

"I'd like to comment regarding the reference to "Pike's Arithmetic -- A New and Complete System of Arithmetic Composed for the Use of the Citizens of the United States."

I agree this is a fascinating text which explains clearly the many intricacies of the colonial and early federal monetary systems. I used it liberally, in addition to other resources, in my own book, “Money of the American Colonies and Confederation,” (New York, 1993) for the preparation of Appendix I. In that section, I attempted to outline the complex computations used to convert currencies between the various local monies of account of the period and the new federal denominations. I’m glad to see that other readers appreciate Pike’s work - 200 plus years later!"

Eric P. Newman adds:

"I was delighted to have Edward A. Krivoniak make reference to numismatic material in the early American arithmetic books of Nicholas Pike through reading Isaac Asimov who seemed to write about almost every subject. This is serendipity at its best. I have both Pike editions in my library and used them and other early American mathematics books and pamphlets to prepare the tables beginning on page 471 of the fourth edition of The Early Paper Money of America. The ability of Americans to make complex money exchange calculations during the American Colonial and Confederation periods and beyond is astounding. All of this points to the broad and exciting scope of numismatic literature."

Wayne Homren, Editor

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