John Lupia submitted the following information from his Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies for this
week's installment of his series. Thanks. As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This
week's subject is John Ward Dean, an Early American historian and expert on American Colonial Numismatics. -Editor
John Ward Dean (1815-1902), was born in Wiscasset, Lincoln County, Maine, on March 13, 1815, the fifth of six children, son of Charles
(-1829)and Patience Tappan Dean.
Dean is a noted American antiquarian, scholar, writer, editor and publisher with a myriad of associations with noted numismatists,
especially his close friend and colleague Jeremiah Colburn (1815-1891), and the New England Historical Genealogical Society, Boston
Numismatic Society, and the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia of which he was a corresponding member, and was the first
editor for Boston of The Historical Magazine and Notes and Queries published at Boston by Dean's friend and colleague Charles
Benjamin Richardson (1832-1891). Dean was an Early American historian and scholar and expert on American Colonial Numismatics.
He graduated the Latin School at Mt. Vernon, Maine, which recently had been incorporated in 1792 a little over three decades previous.
He then graduated from the English High School, Portland, Maine (which Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr. also graduated a decade after Dean).
In January 1857 he began as editor of The Historical Magazine and Notes and Queries, that published many numismatic articles in
the interest of numismatic history and collecting and served as the organ for the Boston Numismatic Society, the Rhode Island Numismatic
Association, the American Numismatic Society, and the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia, and the American Antiquarian
Society. Dean and Colburn were responsible for publishing the Boston Numismatic Society meeting reports.
In 1872 he retired from Dean & Co. and became the full-time Librarian of the New England Historical Genealogical Society. He resigned in
1889 when he became the editor of the New England Historical Genealogical Register. He returned as Librarian in 1892 until his death
on January 22, 1902.
The significance and value of the biographical research Dean had undertaken is summed up in the final address given in 1862 by the then
stepping down president of the New England Historical Genealogical Society, and noted numismatist, Dr. Winslow Lewis :
"The union of Genealogy with Biography, Heraldry, Numismatics and History was set forth and exemplified fully; but there was a
province of Genealogy of peculiar importance, which has seldom been brought before the notice of our Society; and coming from one of
eminent professional experience it has the sanction, as it were, of a truth ex cathedra. It is this: "That mental as well as
physical qualities are handed down more or less from parent to child, from forefathers to posterity, and that thus, pure and healthy
descent is of immense importance. * * * And very frequently we can ascribe the united qualities of valor and of virtue, of great
intellect and gentle heart, to the marriage union of parents, whose families were respectively distinguished for these virtues."
His portrait was painted in 1888 by James Harvey Young and is now in the collection of the New England Historical Genealogical Society.
A photogravure of the painting was produced by Elson was made after his death.
In 1893 he wrote and published Memoir of Jeremiah Colburn, A.M. portraying him a la sentiment of notions we have just read
presented by Dr. Lewis just over thirty years previous.
To read the complete article, see:
DEAN, JOHN WARD
Wayne Homren, Editor
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