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WHILE this list of the medals of Massachusetts is of necessity far from complete, it represents what is, as far as I know, the first attempt to collate them that has been made. Primarily it is a catalogue of the pieces in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society, although I have included descriptions of other pieces, taken from many sources. These descriptions of pieces not in the collection are, of course, in many cases incomplete and incorrect. In old catalogues I have sometimes found what was probably the same piece described in half a dozen different ways.
It will be noted that I have made no attempt to subdivide the pieces into store cards, hard-times tokens, medals, etc., as do most numismatists, which only leads to endless confusion; but have grouped everything, except the personal medals, under the respective towns or cities, in the first place alphabetically and then, in the case of the dated pieces, chronologically. This system seems to be more suitable to a catalogue not compiled primarily for experts. A full index will guide those who consult the list.
A few words about the collection of the Society may be of interest. Since its foundation medals have been presented to it from time to time, but in 1905 William Sumner Appleton left it his remarkable collection of Americana, numbering 3456 pieces, among them a very large number of excessively rare specimens. The Appleton collection is especially rich in medals of Washington, Franklin, Lafayette, and colonial medals. Mr. Appleton's activity in numismatics is attested by the many valuable papers he read before the Society on the subject. In 1914 Mr. Henry Adams presented to the Society his collection of, excluding duplicates, some 5400 coins
of foreign countries, ancient and modern, including a large number of gold and silver coins. When I became a member of the Society in 1912 it seemed to me that, while gifts of coins of any kind were highly welcome, the Society should specialize in the numismatics of Massachusetts. I found that at that time it had some hundred Massachusetts pieces. It now has over two thousand, many of them, to be sure, of rather a trivial nature. I have however felt that everything should be included, as their very triviality makes many pieces ephemeral, and things that now seem of little importance may in the future have their interest. Lest the list be too bulky I have omitted describing badges, a list of which will be found in the volume, except in a few instances where the piece has seemed to be of historical interest.
I wish to express my thanks to Mr. H. A. Gray and Mr. F. H. Shumway, who have been indefatigable in their search for specimens, and to Mr. C. H. Stearns, whose unrivalled knowledge of the Massachusetts colonial coinage has been of great assistance. I am under especial obligations to Mr. Howland Wood, Curator of the American Numismatic Society, for descriptions of many pieces in the cabinet of that Society, and to Mr. William Poillon of New York for valuable aid in the matter of Chapter Pennies. Mr. George R. Russell, late of the Ordnance Department, has been of help in arranging the medals of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. Thanks are also due to the many societies and the selectmen of various towns who have presented us with their medals and also to the many manufacturers of medals and badges who have cooperated, notably the Whitehead-Hoag Company of Newark, who have been most obliging in letting me see what work they have done, and have also presented a number of their medals to the Society. So little work has been done towards collating the minor medals of the United States that a general effort to catalogue them would be of great value. This could
in no way be better done than under the auspices of Historical Societies in the various states. I can only hope that this work will incite other societies to undertake the task in other states, so that when eventually a corpus nummorum of the United States is compiled there will be a mass of material upon which to work.
In conclusion let me say that the preparation of this list would have been a hopeless task without the sympathetic interest of Mr. Worthington Chauncey Ford, whose assistance in the revision of manuscript has been invaluable.