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1808 Engraved Aboliton of Slavery Coin Story...

This is my favourite numismatic story, as recalled by my uncle, a keen numismatics expert. He loves telling it. It is a wonderful story and very important in US history.

On January 1st 1808 the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves came into force. After there was a massive public movement and support for the total Abolition of slavery in the United States. It created friction between the north eastern states and those in the south east, as we know. To appease the Southern States Congress put a 20 year ban in place.

The United States was in party mode after the Act was ratified. Black and white communities across the country celebrated wildly. The support for the total Abolition movement exploded across the country. This was followed by the progressive rallying cry to denounce the slavery trade, throughout the north east of the United States. Speeches, books, articles, journals and many other forms of media were written, talked about and even action taken. The "A" for Aboliton symbol was used as a marker and an early form of graffiti!! The "A" appearing in alleyways, books, scribbles, journals etc to show support for the movement, and even one coin!!!!

The director of the mint at the time was a very keen Abolitonist and philanthropist. He had suffered at the hands of the British in his own country and refuted segregation. He sanctioned the engraving of the letter "A" on a single specimen of coin at the time, in a prominent location, and then then the coin was put into circulation. This was his form of protest and getting the word out. People at the time heard the news and it grew the movement in its own small, but very significant way! The die was then apparently destroyed and a new die used, so there was no evidence, as not everyone had the same beliefs as he did.

I absolutely love this story, it shows what the US was really about at the time. Hope, equality, rebellion, education, intelligence above many more adjectives to describe a nacent new country.

It would be great to find out more about this history, as it was a very important time in the States. It precluded and was a participant in the American civill war and the birth of the country, as we know it today. Of course, as well to see if anyone has got that coin in their collection.. it maybe worth a little more now then back then....

Comments

  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,041 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Historical_numi said:
    The director of the mint at the time was a very keen Abolitonist and philanthropist. He had suffered at the hands of the British in his own country and refuted segregation. He sanctioned the engraving of the letter "A" on a single specimen of coin at the time, in a prominent location, and then then the coin was put into circulation........... The die was then apparently destroyed and a new die used, so there was no evidence, as not everyone had the same beliefs as he did.

    I don't believe a special die was ever created for this purpose.

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Paging @BillJones, one of the forum’s prominent historians, who can perhaps shed more light on this?

    Successful BST transactions with 170 members. Recent: Tonedeaf, Shane6596, Piano1, Ikenefic, RG, PCGSPhoto, stman, Don'tTelltheWife, Boosibri, Ron1968, snowequities, VTchaser, jrt103, SurfinxHI, 78saen, bp777, FHC, RYK, JTHawaii, Opportunity, Kliao, bigtime36, skanderbeg, split37, thebigeng, acloco, Toninginthblood, OKCC, braddick, Coinflip, robcool, fastfreddie, tightbudget, DBSTrader2, nickelsciolist, relaxn, Eagle eye, soldi, silverman68, ElKevvo, sawyerjosh, Schmitz7, talkingwalnut2, konsole, sharkman987, sniocsu, comma, jesbroken, David1234, biosolar, Sullykerry, Moldnut, erwindoc, MichaelDixon, GotTheBug
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,382 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Walkerguy21D said:
    Paging @BillJones, one of the forum’s prominent historians, who can perhaps shed more light on this?

    Sorry, but this is all new to me.

    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 ... ?
  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,887 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sounds like a fairy tale, sorry.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • A new die was not created for the coin, the "A" was graffitied on the die.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,532 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Creating a special die to strike one coin to put into circulation to "get the word out"? 🤔

    It's not even good fiction. ;)

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,310 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    Creating a special die to strike one coin to put into circulation to "get the word out"? 🤔

    It's not even good fiction. ;)

    But one person MIGHT have gotten the message.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,310 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Without further evidence, the tale is likely a legend and not true. The details are certainly not true. Dies were valuable and carefully tracked. You wouldn't waste one to make one coin, especially when you could easily just counterstamp an A on every coin you spent in commerce and have a larger impact.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,532 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, counterstamping would have been infinitely more efficient and productive, and it would not have wasted valuable mint resources or risked anyone's job.

  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,612 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This one falls in the "incredible claims require incredible proof" department.

  • RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭

    Nice story, just probably not true. Hearsay isn't facts, never was, never will be. Some could describe it as wishful thinking

  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,041 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It was 1848

  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The O/P uncle may very well have been a keen numismatics expert as well as a good storyteller but none of us have heard this story before. We're a lot more skeptical bunch when it comes to numismatic claims than your average non-numismatist audience.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • Some_of_itSome_of_it Posts: 107 ✭✭✭

    I am interested in knowing who is the “uncle, a keen numismatics”.

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