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1823 FIND OF OLD NEW JERSEY COPPER

The E-Sylum (2/26/2017)


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1823 FIND OF OLD NEW JERSEY COPPER

Julia (Purdy) Casey of Charlton, New York. writes:

I found a few more articles in the old newspapers that may be some entertainment for the readers of The E-Sylum. These have to do with a New Jersey Copper found at a site in Augusta, Kentucky in 1823 .....and the confusion it caused!

Some things about this intrigued me: i.e. What was this site in Augusta, KY which was strewn with skeletons "of an unusual size"? Also, that New Jersey coins were still in circulation in 1823.

Thanks! This is an interesting view into what generally was and wasn't known about the "old" coins. For reference, I've added an image of a New Jersey copper from CoinsFacts.com. -Editor

maris_28L_obv maris_28L_rev

Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Mississippi)
February 22, 1823
Courtesy: Newspapers.com

A CURIOSITY

jerseypenny8 There was found on the bank of the Ohio
river, and is now in the possession of the Doctor
A.D. Keith of this place, an old Roman
coin, made of copper, bearing a Latin in-
scription with the title of Nova Caesarae and
purporting to have been coined as early as
the year 787. It is something remarkable
that it has not wasted more than appears;
the impression of a horse’s head with a plough
and shield is quite plain; the letters appear
to be well formed.

It may not be amiss for us to observe,
that the place where Augusta stands, was
probably once very populous, if we may
judge by the number of human bones found
here. In some places they lie so close to-
gether, as to leave no doubt that they were
thrown in one upon the other.

In one place, about 40 or fifty feet square,
there were upwards of seventy human
skulls taken up, and the skeletons are al-
most as plenty for a half a mile along the
bank, all of which are of an unusual size,
from six, to six and a half feet in length,
and well proportioned. Several other ar-
ticles have been found, such as pipes, stone
hatchets and some earthen ware, which is
composed principally of muscle shells and
earth. But of the origin of these people,
no tradition or history has yet been able to
give an account.--- Watchman

Hampden Journal & Advertiser (Springfield, Massachusetts)
April 30, 1823
(Courtesy: Genealogybank.com

jerseypenny7 More Antiquities of the West - In
Looking into the Columbian Star of the
12th inst. I fell upon the following ar-
ticle:

“It is stated in the Western Watch-
man, that there was found, and is now
in the possession of Dr. A.D. Keith, of
Augusta, Ky. an old Roman coin made
of copper, bearing a Latin inscription,
with the title of Nova Caesarea, and
purporting to have been coined as ear-
ly as the year 787. It has not greatly
wasted; the impression of a horse’s
head with a plough and shield is quite
plain. The letters appear to be well formed.”

Shortly after, in making change for
a customer, I discovered among my
change an old Jersey halfpenny, agree-
ing in all points, save one, with the de-
scription of the aforesaid “old Roman
coin” - and this difference consisted
merely in the circumstance of having
the figure 1 prefixed to the 787. Not
being a professed antiquarian, as may
probably be the case with “Dr. A.D.
Keith, of Augusta, Ky.” my reflections
took quite a different course, and in-
stead of indulging in the more classical
and romantic fancy, that I had rescued
from oblivion and “old Roman coin,” I
made the more rational deduction, that
some two penny customer had shaved
my clerk with a “bung-town” instead
of a cent. - New York Statesman

Fredonian (New Brunswick, New Jersey)
May 1, 1823
Courtesy: Genealogybank.com

jerseypenny6

Antiquities. - A great deal of wonderment and
speculation have been lately excited among the an-
tiquarians in Kentucky, on the discovery of an old
copper coin - which turns out to be nothing more nor
less than what we Jerseymen familiarly call a horse-
head! “It bears the impression,” says the account
“of a horse’s head and a plough, and the inscription
Nova Caesarea.”

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