Dominica to Trinidad – A Potential West Indies Re-attribution – K. V. Eckardt

An attribution is always sought for coins created to meet the needs of local circumstances when officially minted coins are not available.  Official documentation or contemporary accounts are often non-existent for the cut and countermarked coinage of the colonial West Indies.  In the absence of proper coinage from the home countries crude measures had to be employed to allow for day to day business transactions and for the local marketplace to function.  In many cases an attribution can be made from the countermark; for other more investigative work is needed.  The attribution of the cut countermarked coin examined in the following paper has been previously assigned to two different islands and in this case contemporary documentation has actually resulted in a misleading direction.  While the attribution now proposed cannot be taken as an absolute it has been arrived at on the basis of a detailed review of the published facts and a ‘reasonable scenario’ based on these facts.

One thought on “Dominica to Trinidad – A Potential West Indies Re-attribution – K. V. Eckardt

  1. Can I add a footnote to Ken Eckardt’s persuasive note in relation to these stamped 2s 6d cut quarter dollars. The Governor of Trinidad in August-September 1811 will have been my great-great-great grandfather (on my mother’s side) Major-Gen.William Hector Monro (c.1769-1821), who had taken over as acting Lieutenant-Governor in May 1811 when his predecessor had left for England owing to ill-health, and was confirmed as Lieutenant-Governor in the autumn of that year. It seems strange that he should have decreed in September 1811 that both the pierced dollar and the whole dollar should have the same currency value, but it does not of course follow from the fact that he was an ancestor of mine that he had any wisdom or expertise on these matters. Maybe he was just following the advice of his officials.
    He remained as Lieutenant-Governor until 1813, and thus would have been in charge of the Trinidad administration for most of the time during which these stamped cut quarters might have been issued.

    Hugh Pagan

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