NEW HAMPSHIRE COINS
From "The Early Coins of
America" by Sylvester S. Crosby --
"New Hampshire was the first of the States which subsequent to
the declaration of independence, considered the subject of a coinage of
Soon after that event, she authorized such a coinage, and designated
the devices and legend to be placed upon it; it is supposed, however,
that although patterns were prepared, little, if any, of the proposed
coin was put into circulation. We are indebted to the Hon. Chalres H.
Bell, of Exeter, N.H., for our copy of the original of this act,
as well as for draughts of the designs sketched upon it, from which our
engravings have been made. The design for the reverse is found upon the
back of the original, and not on the face as we have placed it.
"in the House of Representatives Mar: 13th 1776.
"Voted that a Committee be chose to Joyn a Committee from the Hon.
Board, to confer upon the expediency of making Copper Coin & make a
report to this House.
Voted, that Cap! Pierce Long Jonathan Lovell Esq & Deacon Nahum
Balden be the Committee for the above mentioned purpose. Sent up for
P White Speaker.
In Council Eodem Die Read & Mrs. Clagett & Giles added on
the part of the Board.
E. Thompson, Secy.
"The Committee humbly report that they find it expedient to make
Copper Coin, for the Benefit of small Change, and as the Continental and
other Bills are so large that William Moulton be impowered to make so
many as may amount to 100 lbs. w! subject when made to the Inspection
and Direction of the General Assembly, before Circulation. Also we
recommend that 108 of said Coppers be equal to one Spanish milld Dollar:
That the said Coin be of pure Copper and equal in wt. to English
halfpence, and bear such device thereon as the Gen. Assembly may
approve. Wyseman Claggett, Chairman."
A copper piece has recently been discovered in Portsmouth, N.H. (it
having been there exhumed by a laborer in removing a bank of earth, the
accumulation of many years,) which, from the initials upon its reverse,
it would appear probable was either a card or a pattern issued by the
William Moulton mentioned in the report of the committee. It is still in
the possession of the finder, who refuses to part with it except at a
price so excessive that no purchaser has yet to be found. This piece is
much corroded and defaced.
In Force's "American Archives" we find that in the New
Hampshire House of Representatives, it was, on the 28th of June, 1776,
"Voted, That the Treasure of this Colony receive into the Treasury,
in exchange for the Paper Bills of this colony, any quantity of Copper
Coin, made in this Colony, of the weight of five pennyweight and ten
grains each, to the amount of any sum not exceeding £1,000 lawful
money; three of which Coppers shall be received and paid for two pence,
lawful money, in all payments; which Coppers shall have the following
device, viz: A Pine tree, with the word American liberty on one side,
and a harp and the figures 1776 on the other side."
A copper coin in the collection of Matthew A. Stickney, Esq.,
corresponds with the description given in this vote, but exceeds the
weight there specified, as this, though much worn, weighs 155 grains. It
is represented as clearly as its condition will admit, on Plate VI., No.
3. We have seen one specimen similar to the last in its design, but with
the date 1776, barely legible, not struck in dies, but engraved,
probably as a pattern of the time; this is owned by Charles M. Hodge, of
Belknap states, [Hist. N.H., 1791,] that "names of streets which
have been called after a King or Queen, were altered; and the
half-pence, which bore the name of George III., were either refused in
payment or degraded to farthings. The last have not recovered their