The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 45, November 8, 2009, Article 7


Editor Gary Trudgen forwarded this note about the December 2009 issue of The Colonial Newsletter. At my request he also sent an image - specifically a thick planchet Mott token. The source of the image is the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Collection, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Notre Dame Library. Thanks! -Editor

The December 2009 issue of The Colonial Newsletter: A Research Journal in Early American Numismatics (CNL) has been published. This issue starts with three technical notes from David Gladfelter concerning the colonial paper money of New Jersey. His first submission, titled "New Jersey's Numismatic Sun," discusses a printer's error found on the 1763 3 bill. Interestingly, this bill was counterfeited and, believe it or not, the counterfeiters corrected the error.

This report is followed by another technical note by David that illustrates an Andrew Bradford invoice to the Province of New Jersey. Bradford had printed the March 25, 1733, issue of New Jersey bills of credit. The invoice shows that John Peter Zenger, the printer and publisher of the New-York Weekly Journal, was involved in producing New Jersey's bills of credit. Zenger is best known for his arrest and trial for criminal libel against New York's royal governor, William Crosby. Zenger was acquitted because it was determined that he was telling the truth, which established our freedom of the press.

A final technical note by David reports the discovery of a previously unknown merchant's small change note. Dated February 23, 1775, and issued by Robert Drummond and Richard Ludlow of Acquackanonck, New Jersey, this three shilling note was payable in New York currency at their stores. The note was printed by Hugh Gaine, a prolific printer and publisher located in New York City who opened his business in 1752.

A discovery by watch collector Tom Brown sheds more light on the Mott token. Numismatists have debated for years whether the token was produced in the year of its date, 1789, or if it was issued in the nineteenth-century and backdated to that year. It was even questionable as to who issued the token. Initially it was attributed to William and John Mott of New York City until it was learned that they were grocers. Then it was discovered that Jordan and James Mott were watch and clock makers and much more likely candidates.

Mott Token

Tom acquired a pocket watch and in the back of the case he found several watch papers. One of the papers was issued by James S. Mott, the son of Jordan Mott. Importantly, the watch paper stated that their firm had been established in 1789, the same date on the token. Therefore, it does seem that the firm of Jordan and James Mott did issue the token and the date on the token commemorates the establishment of their business.

Last year, in conjunction with the annual C4 convention held in Boston, the Bostonian Society placed an historic marker to commemorate the John Hull mint. Established in 1652, this mint produced several denominations of silver coinage for over 30 years, including the well-known Pine Tree shilling. In association with the dedication ceremony of the historic marker, Lou Jordan, author of the book John Hull, the Mint and Economics of Massachusetts Coinage, presented a lecture at the convention describing why the mint was founded. CNL is pleased to present the full text of Lou's well researched lecture along with added citations and footnotes.

On November 11, 2006, the American Numismatic Society held a Coinage of the Americas Conference (COAC) on the subject of the St. Patrick coinage. Oliver Hoover not only presented a paper at the conference but he also edited the proceedings. Thus, Oliver is well aware of the many issues concerning this enigmatic coinage. In the final article of this issue, Oliver examines the claim that on the coinage St. Patrick is shown wearing the vestments of an Anglican bishop although he was a Catholic saint.

CNL is published three times a year by The American Numismatic Society, 75 Varick St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10013. For inquires concerning CNL, please contact Megan Fenselau at the preceding postal address or e-mail or telephone (212) 571-4470 ext. 117.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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