BELKNAP, SAMUEL

Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

Samuel Belknap (1751-1821), was born on May 28, 1751, son of Jeremiah Belknap (1686-1751), and Mary Rand Belknap, at Boston, Massachusetts.

He is listed in the 1789 Boston Directory working as a goldsmith and jeweler at his shop located at 30 Cornhill, Boston, Massachusetts.

Fig. Portrait of Rev. Jeremy Belknap, an inferior reproduction to an oil at the MHS.

He donated several coins and Continental paper money to the cabinet of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) reported by his elder half brother Rev. Jeremy Belnap (1744-1798), Founder of the Society and Corresponding Secretary on August 3, 1796 in the local newspaper, the Columbian Centinel. The report says he donated an English coin of Queen Elizabeth, a 10 shilling note of New Hampshire dated 1737, a 10 shilling note of Massachusetts  dated 1742, and a key to the French Fort of Annapolis taken in 1710.

Belknap's donation gives us a window to the numismatic collecting culture in the late eighteenth century providing evidence that historical Continental paper money was already collected and conserved as collectible heirlooms of early Americana for a cabinet.

He died June 20, 1821 at Boston, Massachusetts. He is buried at Granary Burying Ground.

Bibliography :

1789 Boston Directory 
Columbian Centinel, Wednesday, August 3, 1796, page 2
Eric P. Newman, The Early Paper Money of America 5th Edition. (Iola; Krause, 2008) : 204 Massachusetts notes of 1742; 230, New Hampshire notes of 1737

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