Sharp-eyed reader Dave Hirt writes:
Very soon I will be returning to the U.S., but I'm still away from my library, so perhaps you can make sure my memory is correct. Of course I never feel too far away when I can read The E-Sylum each week.
In the item by Mark Ferguson on H. O. Granberg it mentions letters written by William Idler in 1908. I believe Idler died in 1901 at an advanced age. Perhaps the letters were written by his son-in-law, John Haseltine.
I checked Pete Smith's American Numismatic Biographies, and indeed, Idler died 7/16/1901.
Yes, I stand corrected - I wrote that statement from memory, which must be like Ken Bressett's on this subject - he once told me he forgot more than he remembers about 1804 Dollars.
One letter is dated October 19, 1908 at Philadelphia, PA. It is on stationary from H.O. Granberg and the last page is missing. However, I have what appears to be a proof sheet from Mehl's Numismatic Monthly, page 65, that has the remainder of the letter and it is signed by John W. Haseltine. The Newman-Bressett Fantastic 1804 Dollar book
states the letter appeared in the April, 1909 Mehl publication. I am guessing Haseltine and Granberg were both together in Philadelphia when the letter was written and that's why the letter was on Granberg's stationary, but who knows?
And yes, the other letters are also signed by John W. Haseltine and they are dated March 5th and 16th, and July 15, 1910. The letter from July is on Haseltine's letterhead, and the other two appear to be on plain paper. I remember reading somewhere that Granberg may have taken about two years to complete his purchase of the Idler 1804 Dollar - so the 1908 to 1910 period makes sense. I am looking photocopies of the original letters which I sold to Aubrey Bebee after he acquired the coin and before he gave the coin to the ANA.
I put the original letters in sheet protectors and a three ring suede binder and that's the way Aubrey took possession of them; however people from the ANA claim they never received them. I called Adeline Bebee at least twice after Aubrey's passing, but she didn't know of these letters or their whereabouts. Let me know if I can be of further help.
Great catch by Dave Hirt!
If Idler wrote the letters in 1908, I would be very curious to see the return address.
Had Idler written them they would be "heaven sent." Haseltine's return address was: "29 S. 17th Street, Philad'a."
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
MARK FERGUSON, H.O. GRANBERG, AND THE DEXTER 1804 DOLLAR
Wayne Homren, Editor
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