FREDERICTON (GNB) – A 200-year-old archeological artifact, a coin, that was recently discovered near Shippagan has been conserved and is ready for exhibition in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
The coin may have belonged to a soldier during the War of 1812. The participation of New Brunswickers in the war was significant, and it is highlighted by the March of the 104th Regiment of Foot from Fredericton to Kingston, Ont., in the winter of 1813 and their role in key battles.
“When you consider things from the perspective of New Brunswick's rich history, this artifact, now conserved and ready for exhibition, becomes an exciting opportunity to learn about this important period,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder. “This coin helps us to reconstruct this period and is another reminder of how life was 200 years ago.”
The coin is known as a trading coin, which was typically issued to soldiers by private trades people when the government had limited means to produce conventional currency. This was the case during the war, when all available metal was needed for the production of wartime equipment. The face of the token depicts a ship in full sail with For general accomodation written around the edge. The reverse face reads Half Penny Token in the centre, with Pure Copper Preferable to Paper around the edge.
“As chair of the War of 1812 Commemorative Committee, it is a pleasure for me to celebrate a newfound piece of New Brunswick's shared heritage,” said Brian Macdonald, MLA for Fredericton-Silverwood. “New Brunswickers serving in the military during the War of 1812 demonstrated enormous courage and resilience that was an inspiration for the generations that followed. This coin will serve as a reminder of their contribution and of our rich tradition of service.”
In February, the coin will be on display as part of the New Brunswick Museum's War of 1812 exhibit, in Saint John.