October 26,2017 – The American Numismatic Society (ANS) has published their latest issue of The Colonial Newsletter (CNL). Founded in 1960, CNL has continuously published some of the most scholarly and seminal studies in the area of Colonial numismatics. Editor, Christopher McDowell, states that “this just might be the best issue ever.”
Throughout 2017, CNL has been publishing transcripts of the newly discovered accounting books for the Connecticut State Mint. These documents are a treasure trove of information on the inner-workings of the mint between 1787 and 1788. Issue 164 includes the first half of the transcript of the 1787 Connecticut mint accounting records. Mr. McDowell notes that “this document provides more than just the numbers of coins produced, it also gives us the names of all the mint employees along with wage and cost data. With these records we can fully understand for the first time how the mint operated.”
Issue 164 also includes an article based on the accounting records regarding Jack Arabas, a former slave and Revolutionary War soldier who worked at the mint in 1787. This article tells the story of Jack’s struggle freedom after the war and how his fight resulted in freedom for hundreds of other slaves who served with bravery and honor in the Continental Army.
The feature article in CNL-164 is written by a metal-detectorist, James Bailey, who uncovered an Islamic coin in Rhode Island dating from 1693 and spent several years figuring out how it got there. What Mr. Bailey’s quest reveals is the amazing story of how pirates brought a kings ransom in silver and jewels to the New World in the late 1690s. By piecing together finds of other Arabic coins located by detectorist throughout New England and examining shipping records, Royal Proclamations, wills, and other primary source materials, Mr. Bailey makes a convincing case that these coins circulated in the Colonies for a brief period of time and significantly impacted the economy.
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And this is the homepage of the American Numismatic Society.