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From:
Subject: [CARPENTER] Re: Money in Colonies
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 19:05:04 EST


<< I thought the money in the New England Colonies was same as England pound &
schiling but I found this Notataion on Robert coles where he is fined 5
marks for drunk & disorderly >>

The English/colonial mark was never issued as a coin. It was simply a "money
of account" (like the mill [1/10 of a cent]) equal to 2/3 of a pound (13s.
4d.). The noble, another money of account, equaled 1/3 of a pound (6s. 8d.).

<< Payroll for Capt. Thomas Emerson's company in Col Thomas Barglets Regiment
in 1780 for the defense of West Point. ... By the magnitude of the numbers, I
doubt that any of the soldiers got this money, unless the valuation was much
different than thought compared to dollars. Nicholas Carpenter of No.
Waterborough, Maine is my ancestor on these rolls and he was supposedly down
for 679 lbs 6 shillings! >>

The large numbers reflect runaway inflation, which prevailed during the
active years of the Revolution (1775-1781). The absolute number of
pounds/shillings/pence the soldiers actually received probably depended on
when they were paid: the widespread debt (both governmental and personal)
incurred during the war's active phase had by 1782 caused a severe depression
that lasted until the end of the decade. The buying power of their actual
pay was probably comparable to that implicit in the inflated payroll amounts.

Gene Z.


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