David Gladfelter writes:
Here is the photo of William Weeks published in Howard L. Adelson’s 1958 book, The American Numismatic Society, 1858-1958.
Strangely, Adelson mentions nothing of John Lupia’s story of Weeks’s arrest and imprisonment, but John M. Kleeberg does in his 2009
centennial history of the New York Numismatic Club, titled An Island of Civility. Per Kleeberg: “Around 1897 Weeks [not yet a NYNC
member] was entrusted with the settlement of the Edward Lister estate. He expected a fee of $70,000 from the settlement of the estate.
Moreover, the estate made him president of the Lister Agricultural Chemical Company, at a salary of $8,000. However, a series of events
in which he plundered the assets of the Lister Estate and the Plaut Trust, led to his arrest[, conviction] and imprisonment.”
As a result of these defalcations Weeks was forced to resign from a patriotic organization to which he belonged, but he retained
membership in ANS and was actually admitted to membership in NYNC in 1909 and 1910. Kleeberg’s comment: “Yet the numismatic world
remained oblivious to these events. … Yet Weeks’s elite social background exempted him from penalties that would have destroyed a less
well-connected lawyer’s career. Despite Weeks’s thefts from his clients, he continued to practice law until his death in 1919.” Today
such conduct would merit certain disbarment in any jurisdiction.
There is a 1-1/2 page bio of Weeks in John Whitehead’s The Judicial and Civil History of New Jersey published in 1897 before
Weeks’s career-tarnishing events occurred. This bio lists Weeks’s membership in 13 professional, civic and fraternal organizations,
including ANS. It cites several historical publications by Weeks, including History of the American Numismatic and Archaeological
Society, with Lists of its Founders, Incorporators, Officers and Members (1892).
John Kleeberg writes:
William Weeks did not attend the 1913 dinner meeting of the New York Numismatic Club. He had resigned from the Club on June 16, 1910,
giving as his ostensible reason that he was moving out of New York City. He attended and was photographed at the regular meeting of
November 12, 1909. He appears at the extreme right, cropped so that only part of his head is visible.
This photograph has many eminent numismatists in it, both reputable (Victor D. Brenner, Wayte Raymond, William Woodin, Frank Higgins,
John Clapp) and disreputable (Stephen K. Nagy, William Weeks).
John Lupia writes:
I just looked up the other William Weeks in my Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies and found the entry and
bibliography. The term billembiques was first published by the New York Times and reprinted in an articles titled “A Weird
Monetary Muddle,” (reprint from the New York Times) The Numismatist, October (1915) : 376
Since last week's article, John has added additional material to his entry on William Raymond Weeks. See the link below for the full
Postal Card discussing anticipated bids on the Chapman coin auction held December 15-16, 1885:
"You may remember my buying the Bushnell 1839 over/36 Cent, said to be the best (as to condition) then known. I think I have the
finest set of 1839 cents in any collection and the largest number of variations in die cutting of that year. If your /39 was finer than
the Bushnell piece, I wanted it, but would not bid more than $2; without seeing it.
"My 1814 plain 4 is uncirculated, fine color, but has the usual failing of being a light impression; but in this case I do not
wish to make any bid at all without seeing the piece. Yours truly Wm. R. Weeks."
John Lupia writes:
It might be beneficial for readers to be aware that whatever Chapman mail I post in these biographies is not everything in the
archive, but rather, merely the piece or pieces I happen to come across at the time. I know there is more material on the person I am
writing about in my collection. Unfortunately I have not completed a full digital catalogue allowing everything to be retrieved in a
single search. Only about 8 per cent is catalogued this way. I came across the extra material on Weeks by chance and thought it was worth
posting since it reveals his collecting areas of interest and the snafu the Chapmans ran into mailing an auction catalogue at the
proverbial eleventh hour.
Thanks, everyone! -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
FIRST NEW YORK NUMISMATIC CLUB MEETING PHOTO
MORE ON WILLIAM WEEKS (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v18n35a12.html)
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