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True's Lincoln Campaign Tokens from 1860 and 1864 - Dewitt 1860-20

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 17, 2022 7:52AM in U.S. Coin Forum

This is the obverse for Lincoln's 1860 campaign token. Of note, Osborne Coin has the dies and claims they struck the token for Lincoln, however, the Osborn company didn't exist until 1920. Their history goes back to 1835 through acquisitions. Do we know who made this token? There's some text at the bottom of Lincoln's bust says "TRUE".

Dick Johnson wrote:
Osborne Coinage Company, manufacturer, Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded 1920 by Wiley W. Osborne as Osborne Register Company. That same year the firm had purchased the Murdock Stamp and Speciality Company -- headed by James Murdock Jr. (q.v.) -- which, in turn, traced its roots to John Stanton (q.v.) the area's first diesinker. While the exact date may be nebulous, Osborne uses 1835 as the firm's founding date. In 1944 W.W. Osborne sold the firm to Dayton Acme Company, which later named it Osborne Coinage Company."

Here's the text from Osborne's website:

Over the past 200 plus years, Osborne Coinage has served The United States, its people and its presidents as a custom coin manufacturer. In 1860, when Illinois Senator Abraham Lincoln decided to run for president, the company provided him with inexpensive campaign coins to give away during his campaigns in both 1860 and 1864. Both sets of dies are still in our die vault today. Osborne made political coins for eight other presidential campaigns including Ulysses Grant and Franklin Roosevelt.

Here's the die from Osborne's website:

This is a photo of Dewitt 1860-20 which was sold by Steve Hayden on May 28, 2018 for $687.50. Unfortunately, the reverse image is no longer available.

1860 Abraham Lincoln Political Campaign Token Eagle on Globe with Shield

1860 Abraham Lincoln Political Campaign Token, Dewitt AL 1860-20. For President Abraham Lincoln Of Illinois with image of an eagle on a globe holding shield on reverse.

I started reading about this through my interest in James Murdock Jr. who struck a Columbian Expo store card I had picked up:


  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some more searching found indicates these were created by Benjamin True. The dies may have then gone to John Stanton who issued some restrikes, and then to James Murdock Jr. who was an apprentice to Stanton. Osborne purchased Stanton's company in 1920.

    Benjamin C. True

    Dies: 506, 507, 508, 509, 509A, 509B, 510, 510A, 510B, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519

    Responsible for the “Wealth of the South” series. Most of True’s tokens bear anti-Union sentiments. He did also make campaign tokens for all four of the 1860 Presidential candidates, including Abraham Lincoln. Several restrikes were made using his dies after the war in off-metals. It is thought that the restrikes were made by John Stanton. But, since the dies were originally Benjamin True’s dies, the restrikes are also attributed to him.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 20, 2019 12:00AM

    David Schenkman indicates this history for the Osborne company. Osborne purchased Murdock's company and Murdock was an employee of Stanton's company. For Osborne's claim to have issued the Benjamin True tokens, it looks like Stanton would have needed to have commissioned the pieces from True or have purchased True's business.

    1835—Z. Bisbee Co.
    1848—Z. Bisbee & Son
    1851 —Bisbee & Stanton
    1852 —John Stanton
    1864—Murdock & Spencer
    1869—Jas. Murdock, Jr.
    1906 —James Murdock, Jr. Co.
    1920 —Osborne Register Co.
    1947 —Osborne Coinage Co., Inc.

    Q. David Bowers indicates that John Stanton struck pieces from dies by Benjamin C. True:

    Recently, I mentioned the tokens from dies made by Benjamin C. True in 1860, with the obverse lettered THE WEALTH OF THE SOUTH, with rice, tobacco, sugar and cotton pictured, and the reverse with NO SUBMISSION TO THE NORTH, showing a cannon beneath a palmetto tree.

    Struck by the shop of John Stanton in Cincinnati, these were popular with Southern sympathizers at the time. The Civil War did not commence until April 1861, and for a Northerner to sell Southern-sentiment tokens in 1860 was not disloyal. Quite a few Northerners sympathized with the South (and once war began, were called “Copperheads”).

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 19, 2019 11:51PM

    There's an entry for Benjamin C. True on FindAGrave.com that indicates he lived to 87 from 19 Sep 1825 to 23 Oct 1912 and is burned in Mound Grove Cemetery, Kankakee, Kankakee County, Illinois, USA:


    Anyone know his middle name or have a photo of Benjamin?

    I couldn't find a photo of Benjamin, but here's a photo of his father, Abram Brown True, who was born in Maine and moved to Kankakee, Illinois in 1850 and is also buried there.

  • coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 21,657 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was researching a few of my recent token pickups and ran into your thread @Zoins
    Great information and while I am sorry I cannot add anything to your search I did find that The Osborne
    Mint is responsible for striking my 2 last pickups.

    I testing that they have the same obverse Lincoln but my token does not say who created it.
    Looking at them side by side its obvious that they did in fact. Also the Lincoln bust has same initials A.W.S


    The reverse says Osborne Register Co, Cinti. O

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,257 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I might find the Osborne history a bit more believable if it did not call Lincoln "U.S. Senator."

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 21,657 ✭✭✭✭✭

    WARNING…..OLD THREAD numb for some related information.

    I posted my beardless Lincoln in this thread.

    @zoins mentioned it looked like a W.M. Winter restrike:
    After doing some research I see that zoins has actually figured it out.
    Great work, btw.
    Now I’m wondering if or when my:
    was struck?
    I’ve also been told the restrike of the Douglas campaign medal is much rarer than the
    original one. In the last several years I have not found listed on any auction site.
    I gave up looking long ago and now I’m very curious again. Below is the Douglas medal


    The only image I’ve seen is from one of the workers of Heritage. He had reference guide they use to
    research such pieces.

    I also found this in my research.


  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 17, 2022 5:18AM

    While searching for Benjamin True for Stef's thead here:


    I came up with this thread again and the following info requested by @MrEureka :)

    It's cool that the True's were fro Troy, New York.

    ESylum: https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v07n18a11.html

    Alan Luedeking writes: "Regarding Andy Lustig and Saul Teichman's request for info on the engraver Benjamin C. True, I turned of course to L. Forrer's "Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, Coin-, Gem-, and Seal-Engravers, Mint Masters, &c." Here is a verbatim transcript of what can be found on pages 145-146 of Volume VI:

    "TRUE, BENJAMIN C. and DANIEL (Amer.) There were two Die-cutters in Troy named True, --- Benjamin C. and Daniel ; judging by the appearance of their names in the Directories, the first was the elder, but whether relatives or not, I have not found. Benjamin C. was a "letter cutter," having a shop at 7 Beaver Street, and residence at 134 Lydius Street, as early as 1832 ; in 1834 he is called a gunsmith, and in 1835 a die-cutter, at 7 Beaver Street, "up-stairs"; in 1840 he added to his business as a die-cutter that of a "military store keeper," --- perhaps making military buttons --- and his store was in 88 North Market Street, if the notes furnished me are correct. In 1842-4 he was in business with J. Roseboom & Co., in Church and Division Streets, but I have not been able to trace him further. Daniel True was a die-cutter at 48 Union Street as early as 1837, and continued to do business as such at various locations, in time adding that of seal-engraving, until 1856, when he seems to have been the senior partner in the firm of True & Pilkington, and his address was "Bleecker Hall ;" in 1858 he was at the same location, alone; in 1868, the same name, --- presumably the same person --- appears as a die-cutter and steel engraver, in Hudson Street, and afterwards at 396 Broadway until 1879. The work of this engraver (whether Benjamin or Daniel is uncertain), as shown on the tokens, is not of a very high order.

    A number of Tokens signed T are described in 'American Journal of Numismatics,' 1899, p. 119. The above notes are extracted from this paper."

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,040 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is one that I believe was struck from the original dies.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:
    Here is one that I believe was struck from the original dies.

    Very nice @BillJones! :+1:

    It's nice this one TRUE on the obverse as well.

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