CWTS Article of the Month!

December 1999

"Speculations About Yankee Robinson"

by Roger Leafgreen Jr.

Extracted from The Civil War Token Journal, Volume 15 Number 2.

    Yankee Robinson was a very successful carnival showman as evidenced by the number and variety of his tokens.  Based upon quantity estimates relating to the Fuld's rarity guide and allowing for lost and destroyed tokens, it would not be unreasonable to assume that he produced at least 15,000 to 20,000 tokens.

    It could be assumed that the common tokens were issued for admission to shows, whereas the off-metals were probably produced by the die-sinker as collectors items.  One exception would be NC-20f struck over a liberty seated half dollar.  Apparently this piece entitled one to attend multiple shows or some combination of shows.

    The overstrike would have been a convienient alternative to the production of a special oversize planchet and dies for multiple show tokens.  It is not surprising that Robinson would choose a larger denomination coin for a higher value token, since at that time coinage denominations were proportional to their intrinsic metal value.

    The rarity rating of NC-20f is an R-8, indicating an estimated 5 to 10 in existence.  The only NC-20f  I have encountered is  the one pictured in Fuld's reference work and the one shown in Volume 9 Number 3 of the CWTS Journal.  Close analysis of the picture shows these to the pictures of the same piece.

    I recently obtained an overstrike in a purchase of miscellaneous coins from the general public.  I was obviously surprised to obtain the piece in this fashion and even more surprised to note that the date of the piece was 1853.  The Fuld reference piece was 1854.

    My speculations lead me to believe that Robinson or the diesinker were not particular as to the date or variety of the coin selected, but were concerned only with the denomination.  If the rarity scale is correct, a number of other pieces should exist in addition to these two.  To evaluate my speculation, I would appreciate hearing from others who have specimens of this overstrike variety.

Editor's Note: A merchant such as Yankee Robinson probably counter-stamped every half dollar he received (This was obviously the admission charge for his show).  It is probable that there are quite a few C/S half dollars around.  David Schenkman has one dated 1843 and has had at least four of them in the past few years.  An R-8 rating is perhaps a bit high.

CWTs Issued By Yankee Robinson
165EZ-1a Yankee Robinson/Triad C R-1
165EZ-1b Same BR R-9
165EZ-2m Obverse Incused TIN R-8
165EZ-3a Shorter Hand Dividing Date C R-2
165EZ-3b Same BR R-8
165EZ-4d 1018 C-N R-10
165EZ-5a 1028 C R-7
165EZ-6a 1034 C R-7
165EZ-7b 1069 BR R-10
165EZ-7d Same C-N R-10
165EZ-8a 1023 C R-8
165EZ-9a 1028 C R-2
165EZ-10a 1034 C R-2
165EZ-11a 1045 C R-9
165EZ-12a 1046 C R-6
165EZ-13a 1047 C R-7
165EZ-13d Same C-N R-10
165EZ-14a 165EZ-3a/date 1869 C R-4
165EZ-13a1 Same C R-9
165EZ-15d 1018 C-N R-10
165EZ-16a 165EZ-14a/hand points right C R-3
165EX-17d 1047 C-N R-10
NC-20f Half-Dollar S R-8

CWTS Article Archive
Winter 2016 A Reminiscence
Winter 2016 My First Sulter Token
Spring 2016 Protesting Union Civil War Policies
Winter 2015 Slave Owner Issued Civil War Tokens
Fall 2014 Hill the Barber & African American Store Card Issuers
Fall 2014 Gustavus Lindenmueller: The Myth, The Man, The Mystery
Apr. 2004 Henry Varwig - OH165GD
Mar. 2004 Dating Mr. Sayre's Tokens
Feb. 2000 Knowledge of Civil War Tokens
Jan. 2000 Ohio 710A
Dec. 1999 Speculations About Yankee Robinson
Nov. 1999 Hussey's Private Message Post
Oct. 1999 The Great Central Fair
Sep. 1999 Wm. S. Wilcox of Adrian, Michigan
Aug. 1999 Grading Isn't Really a Monster
July 1999 The 1860 Presidential Campaign Medalets
June 1999 The Other Store Cards of Central New York
May 1999 George McClellan - The Peace Maker?
Apr. 1999 Sutler Tokens at Gettysburg
Mar. 1999 More on the Monitor and Merrimac
Feb. 1999 Civil War Token Mini-Set -- General Franz Sigel
Jan. 1999 Die Sinker Errors on Civil War Tokens
Dec. 1998 The Abraham Lincoln Mini-set
Nov. 1998 Civil War Token Errors
Articles reprinted with permission of The Civil War Token Society.
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