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NNP Blog

Jan 14 2021

Newman Portal Adds Paper on C. Wylls Betts

Following up on the Betts’ biography appearing in the January 10th E-Sylum, Chris McDowell contributed an in-depth exploration of the identity of Mrs. Charles Wyllys Betts, said to have been married to Betts from 1879-1880. As part of a Newman Grant, awarded in May 2020 for the purposes of numismatic research, McDowell has been working on the subject of Fugio cents and Betts’ involvement with the Fugio restrike dies. The discovery of Betts papers at the Morgan Library in New York demanded further investigation, and, in this paper, McDowell delivers convincing evidence that in fact “Mrs. Charles W. Betts” never existed, and that references to her actually refer to Betts’ sister-in-law Louise (Holbrook) Betts. McDowell cites a contemporary record from the American Numismatic Society noting that Charles Betts never married, and further explains how a cataloging error at the Morgan Library turned into a person who never existed. McDowell intends to continue his research in Manchester (UK), working with the Matthew Boulton papers to investigate the involvement of Boulton and James Jarvis with the Fugio cents.

Link to “The Late Mrs. C. Wyllys Betts of New York City: Another Numismatic Mystery Put to Rest” on Newman Portal:
Link to “Charles Wyllys Betts (1845-1886)” in the January 10th, 2021 E-Sylum:
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