The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published an article on September 25, 2014
about Will Mipper, author of the award-winning book In Yankee Doodle's Pocket.
Will Nipper of Conway can’t remember a time he was not interested
in collecting coins.
“I guess I was about 5,” he said when asked how long he has been a numismatist (coin collector).
“I’ve been collecting over a 50-year period.”
Nipper, 55, is especially interested in the coins from the Colonial period of American
“There are about 600 [people] or so who collect from this period,” he said. “We’re a pretty
Nipper has been chosen to receive an award from the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) for his
book In Yankee Doodle’s Pocket: The Myth, Magic and Politics of Money in Early America. He
will receive the C4 Book Award, which is a silver medal, during the organization’s 20th annual
convention Oct. 30 in Baltimore, Maryland.
The convention is being held in conjunction with the Coinage of the Americas Conference, which
is jointly sponsored by C4 and the American Numismatic Society. Nipper, who helped organize C4 in
1993, said both groups are national membership organizations that promote study and appreciation of
Nipper said he definitely plans to attend the convention.
“It’s usually held in Boston, but it will be in Baltimore this year,” he said. “I haven’t missed
a convention yet.”
Nipper said he took 10 years to write the 576-page hardback book, which he published himself in
2008 through Bowmanstone Press Inc.
“I wanted to leave a legacy for my kids,” he said.
Nipper and his wife, Debbie, have four daughters: Kelsey, Shelby and Abby, who are all in
college, and Brinley, who is in the first grade.
“They don’t understand why Dad loves coins so much,” he said with a smile. “I don’t remember
when I wasn’t interested. But it’s always been about the history and never the investment.”
“It is my thesis that if you look at the coins, the paper money, the trade items for the last
250 years dating back to the late 1570s, you can track the emergence of the American nation,” he
said. “My book is the story of America as told through the institution of commerce. It is a history
book illustrated with money.”
The oldest coin Nipper has is a Massachusetts silver coin that dates to the 1650s.
“It was the first one made in America,” he said. He has a 1652 pine-tree shilling as well.
Nipper also has a 1776 Continental dollar, which he said was designed by Benjamin Franklin. It
was made of pewter, and the imprinted mottoes read “fugio,” which Nipper said is short for “tempus
fugit” or “time is fleeting,” and “mind your business.”
He said the meaning of these mottos could be interpreted as “Time is getting away. Get to work
minding your commerce.”
Nipper’s collection of Colonial American currency includes coins that were made through 1840,
which he said was the beginning of America’s Industrial Age.
“That’s when I stopped,” he said. “The U.S. Mint opened in 1793, and by 1840, with the
[invention of] steam presses, it was finally able to catch up with public demand. Before then, all
of the coins were handcrafted.”
Nipper grew up in Beebe. He graduated from Beebe High School in 1977 and from the University of
Central Arkansas in Conway in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer
science, and minors in physics and history.
In addition to his affiliation with the Colonial Coin Collectors Club, Nipper is also a member
of the Central Arkansas Coin Club, which meets at 6:15 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at
Parkway Place Baptist Church, 303 Parkway in west Little Rock.
For more information on Nipper and his book In Yankee Doodle’s Pocket, call him at (501)
514-0785 or visit www.bowmanstonepress.com. The book is also available at www.amazon.com.
To read the complete article, see:
Conway coin collector, author to be honored at convention
Wayne Homren, Editor
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