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Coin or money is the medium which mankind has adopted to facilitate the exchange of one commodity for another, and, consequently, it is now inseparable from the trade, commerce, and exchanges of the world.

The history of money, in our own country, dates from the lignite, shells, wampum, &c., &c., of the aborigines, down to the present very highly artistic coins of the United States Mint. Thus, in coins or money, as in the arts generally, and also in agriculture and commerce, the advancement, from great rudeness to comparative perfection, excites our wonder; so effective, for improvement and progress under Providential arrangement and guidance, has been man's intellect, which, in its further achievements and victories, it is not gifted with the prescience to unfold or determine.

To trace the progress of any art, from its rude origin up to the period of its present perfection, is an agreeable task, and it induces self-gratulation, and merits public approval and support in proportion to its utility. It is peculiarly gratifying to be able to contemplate the results of the inventiveness and ingenuity of mankind, gradually progressing, and finally triumphing over all obstacles to complete success.

The coins of the colonies have been involved in much obscurity, and the facts in relation to them have been chiefly derived from the specimens, and such history in regard to them, as the curious and scientific have collected and preserved.

The specimens are more numerous, and have been better taken care of than those of

any other art; so natural is it, and ever has it been, for mankind in all ages to cling to the representatives of value.

It is the purpose of this work, as far as practicable, to establish the origin, and faithfully describe the coins and coinage of our country, from the dawn of the period when the pioneers of discovery, settlement, and civilization, experienced the necessity, and adopted the measures, for founding some commercial standard or representative of value in their commerce, and also trade, with one another, down to the present very enlightened era in our history; thus forming a metallic chain, the description and history of the links of which will embrace every feature relevant to a thorough knowledge — so far as I have been able to acquire it — of the whole and its parts; and thereby imparting to the student, or the gentleman of leisure, the proper relation of coins to the chronological and historical events therewith connected.

The attention paid to numismatics in other countries has elicited much useful information, and induced numerous publications upon that subject. In our own country, the aboriginal — so far as it can be classed under that head and the colonial coins — the main purpose of my effort — have been peculiarly neglected in every work of the kind. In collating and presenting, therefore, as perfect a history of them, as is practicable, I have expended much labor and time, and incurred great expense. I hope the result will impart much pleasure to my patrons, and contribute something to their stock of information, though it may not be of the kind that adds to the hoards of their metallic treasures.

In the present age, the subject of money can be no intrusive one; as it certainly has lost none of the attraction or interest, which the fondness for its acquisition or possession has heretofore given to it. In fact, every advancing stage of civilization or progress, with its increased refinements and luxuries, has but enhanced its importance in the practical estimation of mankind, till it has become a lever in the movement of the world, totally eclipsing the conceptions of an Archimedes, or any other physical or mental teacher in regard to power, except the modern disciple of gold.

The fac-similes of this work — numerous and expensive — are of themselves such a collection for the general observer, and the young collector of coins, as has never before been produced.

Feeling, as I do, that every department of science has claims to the public consideration and understanding, this volume is presented with the hope that it may meet with the popular approbation ; it being my purpose, if it should be approved, to prepare an edition for the use of schools ; where certainly no harm could arise from proper information being imparted relative to the origin and progress of our metallic currency-occupying as it has, and now does, a paramount relation to everything that has made us a successful agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial people, and without which we should not yet have emerged from our infancy as a nation.

In this work, I am indebted to the Rev. JOSEPH FELT, on the “Massachusetts Currency;" HENRY NOEL HUMPHREYS, “ on the coinage of the British Empire ;" LLOYD P. Smitu, Esq., Librarian of Philadelphia Library; JOSEPH MICKLEY, Esq., of Philadelphia, for ccess to his fine and extensive cabinet of coins; the “Manual” and “Supplement" thereto, by JACOB R. ECKFELDT and William E. Du Bois, Assayers of the U. S. Mint; Hon. JAMES Ross SNOWDEN, Director of the Mint; other officers of that institution, and to numerous private individuals; to all of whom I present my thanks.






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9, 12. 10, 11, 16, 17, 19. 13, 14, 15. 1. 3, 9, 14. 2, 13, 15. 8, 10. 4, 5, 11, 12 6, 7, 16, 17, 18 19. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,

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9, 10.

PLATE VIII. Florida Piece - Charles III., Spain

Pitt Piece
Louisiana Copper
Virginia Half-Pennies -- Copper and Silver...
“Washington Piece”...
Continental Currency
Janus Copper
Massachusetts Coppers.....
Pine Tree Copper
U. S. A. Copper......

Non Dependens Status
IX. Nova Constellatio - Gold........


Immune Columbia

Georgius Triumpho
Anapolis Shilling, Six-pence, and Three-pence......
Confederatio Copper........
Vermonts Res Publica
Vermontensium Res Publica
Vermon Auctori — Immune Columbia

2, 3.

5, 6.


8, 9, 10.

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X. George III. - Immune Columbia.....

Auctori Plebis..
Georgius III. Rex....
Auctori Connec.
Nova Cæsarea......

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Immune Columbia - New Jersey
XI. Neo Eboracensis ........

New York Gold Coin........
Immunis Columbia ...
Nova Eborac.
Liber Natus Libertato Defendo........
First United States Cent
Kentucky Coppers....
Massachusetts Cent and Half-Cent.........
New York Cent.........
Castoriand Half-Dollar.......
North American Token.....

8, 12.

De Dansk Americ........ XII. Washington Cents.....



Token ....

Liverpool Half-Pennies..

9, 10.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9.
2, 10.

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XV. Dollars, Silver, 1794, 1796, 1798, 1840.

Half-Dollars, Silver, 1794, 1803, 1808, 1837, 1840............
XVI. Quarter-Dollars, 1796, 1815, 1831, 1843, 1853.

Dimes, 1796, 1798, 1809, 1837, 1838..
Half-Dimes, 1792, 1795, 1796, 1829, 1837, 1839...
Dollar -- Trial, 1836
Three-Cent Pieces

1, 2, 3, 4.
5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
1, 4, 7, 10, 15.
18, 2, 5, 8, 11.
3, 6, 9, 13, 12, 14

16, 17.

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