Here's another entry from
the online draft of John Lupia's book of numismatic biographies. Thanks! This is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is American numismatic giant J.N.T. Levick.
Joseph Napoleon Tricot Levick (1828-1908), was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. However the GAR Muster Roll of December 16, 1892 lists him as 58 years of age making him born in 1834.
About 1855, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a member of that city's and the nation's first numismatic club – the Philadelphia Numismatic Society. He worked in an office on Front Street in the same building where Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., also worked. The two became good friends socially and in coin and stamp collecting.
During the Civil War Levick enlisted as a private on April 19, 1861, and subsequently was mustered in on June 15, 1861, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a 2nd Lieutenant. He had previously been a private for 30 days in Company "H", 7th New York Militia. On June 20, 1861, he was assigned to Company "I", 70th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Sickle's Brigade (a.k.a. the 1st Excelsior Regiment of the Excelsior Brigade). He was promoted to First Lieutenant on April 30, 1862. On May 5, 1862 he saw action for the first time at Fort MacGruder. The next day he was brevetted to Captain for conspicuous gallantry in battle. Levick was discharged on May 18, 1863, with the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
In 1860 he moved to New York and was an agent for Woodgate & Company, importers of liquor, wines, gins, etc., at 83 Water Street.
He issued a brass store card with his name on the reverse. He also seems to have been a dealer in Regalias tobacco and cigars with a token "The Smoker" NY-429, with an address at 904 Broadway, New York.
He was a charter member of the Numismatic and Archaeological Society of Philadelphia. He served in the U. S. Army during the Civil War and obtained the rank of captain. In the summer of 1863, twenty-seven Oak and Pine Tree coins were unearthed in Roxbury. These came into the possession of J.N.T. Levick, and would appear at W. Elliot's auction the following year. During the Restoration in 1864 he moved to New York working as a banker.
His 1865 coin auction catalog was postponed due to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on April 14th.The sale was held on May 29, 1865 and realized $2,090.03. Sold his collection of 1667 lots through Bangs 41 page catalog on 05/29/1865.
In December 1865, he joined the ANS.
In March 1866 he proposed the first numismatic journal in the United States – the American Journal of Numismatics – and served as its first editor. Publication of the AJN began in May 1866. In addition, he also served the ANS as its treasurer, a position he held from 1867 to 1875.
In October 1868 he published a survey of 1793 cents.
In April 1869 Levick and Sylvester Crosby, produced an article describing the 1793 varieties and a plate depicting the various obverses and reverses.
In January of 1870 he opened a bank in the same building as Mason at 54 Wall Street. That same year he helped form the New York Numismatic Society. Some months afterwards the Society merged with the American Numismatic Society to form the American Numismatic and Archeological Society. Levick continued as a member of the combined organization.
Levick sold his collection of tokens, which included more than 20,000 pieces, in 1884. He observed and discovered various varieties of the 1793 Large Cent and prepared a table published in his N. Y. Journal of Numismatics. He was perhaps the first to refer to the edge impression on the 1793 Large Cent as Vine and Bars instead of the Stripes and Bars assumed by the general numismatic community.
In April 1892 he was taken very ill as it was reported in the May 15, 1892, issue of The Post Office, on page 21 : "We understand that Mr. J. N. T. Levick has been quite sick, and he is now in North Carolina for his health."
On December 16, 1892 he mustered in GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) pension.
New York City Directories from 1888-1894 list him living at 244 East 86th Street, working in insurance at 54 William Street.
In 1898, he was on the Executive Committee of the Collector's Club in New York, together with Hiram E. Deats and Henry L. Calman.
Letter to Tom L. Elder, 1907, published by Elder in The Elder Monthly, June-July 1907 :
Some day there will be a grand house cleaning and the junk man and the scavenger will have a cinch shoveling all my gatherings for the last 50 years. There's no man in my neighborhood can boast of such a collection as my tin foils, wrappers, graphics, beers (unbottled), cigarettes, (smokeless), and tax paids. Then I must have a hogshead of entire embossed envelopes saved for forty years past; theatre play bills, programmes, photographs, car and ferry tickets, 30 to 40 years old; 200,000 or more postmarks with stamps attached; engravings, philatelic literature, numismatic library, coins and stamps, catalogues- let alone match and medicine and other revenues; U S Postage, plate numbers. Then there are books, books, books, from one end of the house to the other. I want the numismatic, philatelic, and curio world to know that I have to throw up the sponge and be counted out.
He died on Monday, September 7, 1908. He was survived by his wife Mary Louise Gardiner Levick (1827-). Funeral services were held September 9, 1908 at 7:30 PM at the Chapel of the Holy Trinity Church East 88th Street, between 1stand 2nd Avenues, Manhattan, New York. His death notice was published in The New York Times, Tuesday, September 8, 1908, page 9.
In June 2018, the ANA inducted him into the ANA Hall of Fame.
To read the complete article, see:
LEVICK, JOSEPH NAPOLEON TRICOT
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
ARTICLE EXPLORES THE 1869 AJN LEVICK PLATE OF 1793 CENTS
ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS JOSEPH N. T. LEVICK'S MILITARY SERVICE
J.N.T. LEVICK INDUCTED TO ANA HALL OF FAME
Wayne Homren, Editor
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