11. Essex Journal, 19 September 17871


The public are requested to beware how they receive Counterfeits of the emission of 1774 and 1775.—The true are composed of sterling metal—that of the counterfeits are very Base; so slightly washed over with silver, as in many places to betray its æruginous complexion.—The word LIBERTY on the true coin, is elegantly and regularly embossed—but on the counterfeits it is most bunglingly engraved—the letters being placed at unequal distances, and capitals with small letters injudiciously huddled together. By scraping away the wash, you will find that the word so clumsily transformed to LIberty, was originally LICENCE.—The words PUBLICA FIDES are faintly impressed, and appear, by holding the piece to the light, to be PUNICA FIDES, also very indifferently altered.—The noble snake of thirteen parts, so conspicuous in the emission of 1774, in the counterfeits appears like a viper of the most venemous species, said to be peculiar to the cliffs of Berkshire and Rhode-Island—And the dragon ready to devour, is here transformed into the American bald Eagle.

The bust, on the reverse of the true coin represents GENERAL WASHINGTON, crowned with Laurels—that on the counterfeits bears a near resemblance to Shays; and instead of the laurel wreath, the hemlock bough is discernible on the head.—The word FABIUS, by a blunder of the counterfeiter, is mistaken for FACTIOUS.

One would from this description, be led to imagine, that there was little danger of a deception—experience, however, shows the contrary. The counterfeits have had a surprising circulation in Massachusetts—are the standing currency of Rhode-Island—and have been industriously introduced into several parts of the state of New-York;—and in New-Hampshire they are frequently to be met with. They ring unaccountably shrill which has deceived many honest people—and the glare of their appearance catches the eye of the superficial, with whom All is gold that glistens.—Many appear much pleased with the ridiculous jumble of Italic, Roman and German capital and small characters in the inscription, and confidently assert this is the genuine coin of 1775.

N. B. Worn a while in the same pocket with gold, it imparts its rust.

1. Reprinted: Newport Herald, 4 October; New Haven Gazette, 11 October.