MASSAMORE, Dr. GEORGE WILLIAM

COPYRIGHT 2011-2018 JOHN N. LUPIA III

Dr. George W. Massamore, Jr., is a fascinating personality : Confederate soldier, politician, musician, dentist, optician, fish and game warden, dog breeder, baseball team owner, philatelist, numismatist, coin and stamp auction cataloger, coin and stamp dealer, autograph, and Indian relic collector, and author. In his fifty-six years he accomplished much as an active citizen and hobbyist.

Fig. 1. Sketch of Dr. George W. Massamore, Jr., taken from a photo circa 1895, published in 
John Weston Adams, United States Numismatic Literature, Vol. 1 (1982) : 98. Courtesy of John W. Adams.

George William Massamore, Jr. (1842-1898), was born on March 5, 1842, at Manchester, Carroll County, Maryland, son of George Massamore, Sr. (1802-1877), a shoe maker, and Elizabeth Massamore (1814-1877).

In 1861, at age nineteen he enlisted in the Army of the Confederate States of America fighting under the command of General Elwell.

In 1868 he graduated from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery.


In 1877 he was elected president of the Madison Avenue Musical Union.

In October 1880, he was a founding member and secretary of the Numismatic and Archaeological Society of Baltimore.

From December 1880 to June 1897 he held 46 predominantly stamp & coin auction sales, mainly but not exclusively conducted by William Seemuller.

In 1881, he married Susan R. House Harding (1838-1918), widow of William Henry Harding. They had four children.

In 1881, he was elected a corresponding member of the ANS.

From 1883 to 1884, he was a baseball manager/owner at Baltimore for a baseball team in the Union League, the Monumentals. In November 1883, he was chairman of the committee of the Union League to meet with the National League at Washington, D. C. in order to seek recognition. In March 1884 he was on the arbitration committee for the Eastern League.

Fig. 2. Massamore correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked June 4, 1884. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

In June 1886, he was sued by Nicholas Winkler.

In 1887, he corresponded with Jefferson Davis to gather information on his manuscript on Confederate currency.

In 1889, he published Descriptive and Chronological Catalog of Confederate Currency.

Fig. 3. Massamore chairman of the Medal Committee proposed five medals to be struck, The Baltimore Sun, Thursday, July 18, 1889, page 4

Fig. 4. Massamore's final designs sent to medalist at Philadelphia to be engraved and struck on September 2, 1889. 
The Baltimore Sun, Monday, August 26, 1889, page 6


He was the Assistant Deputy Game Warden in Maryland.

In 1891 he won awards for his pointers at the American Kennel Club show, but was actively engaged in conflict, controversy and political upheaval in the Maryland Kennel Club and was named in lawsuits for participating in illegal meetings, voting, and attempts to oust the president, Mr. Malcolm.

Fig. 5. 
Massamore correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked April 7, 1894. Note this is his optician practice stationery.  Heaton's classic article cited below "one side of the store on North Charles Street, the other side being given up to an optician's business" meaning both businesses belonged to Massamore, not just one and the other to someone else. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

Augustus G. Heaton's classic article, "A Tour Among the Coin Dealers" The Numismatist, January (1895) : 
"Baltimore comes next in our tour. Dr. George Massamore is there to be sought in two or three places. 
As a coin dealer, he has a counter, showcase, and fireproof and show window in one side of the store on 
North Charles Street, the other side being given up to an optician's business. As a dentist he is found at 
times at his residence, and as a politician he has long held some office at this City Hall. There he is perhaps 
now less occupied, as the Republicans have been drawing so many teeth of late that his party has very little 
of even a jaw left. Dr. Massamore is of middle age, of mild pleasant manner, somewhat bald, and has been 
known many years as a coin dealer of experience and a cataloguer of many collections."

In February 1895 as Fish and Game Warden for Maryland he fought to pass laws to protect wild game so that farmers 
and hunters would be required to feed partridges during the cold wintery months when food was scarce.

In June 1895, he fought to have a black and gold badge designed and issued for the Maryland Game and Fish Protective Association, its members and its undercover detectives, and issued a circular to protect wild birds, rabbits, and prevent fish being killed by dynamite, especially to protect the black bas in the Potomac and resolve the Maryland Virginia boundary dispute.

In December 1895 he introduced the law of Pennsylvania State Fish Protective Association into Maryland to protect the fish in the Susquehanna River.

In 1896, he was the secretary and treasurer of the Maryland Game and Fish Protective Association.

Fig. 6. 
Massamore correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked January 9, 1897. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.


Fig. 7. News spread of Massamore's illness and immanent death. Evening Star, Thursday, March 17, 1898, page 12

He died on April 7, 1898, and is buried in Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.

Fig. 8. "Rare Coins and Stamps : Collections of the Late Dr. George W. Massamore To Be Sold," The Sun, Friday, October 14, 1898, page 7. 


Auctions :
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[30]
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[41] November 3, 1892
[42] October 25, 1894
[43] May 13, 1895
[44] November 12, 1895
[45] June 16, 1896
[46] June 23, 1897

Bibliography :

Baltimore Sun, Tuesday, October 2, 1877, page 5
Mason's Numismatic Herald, Vol. 2, No. 3, December (1880) : 19d
American Journal of Numismatics, January (1881) : 69
The Times, Sunday, November 25, 1883, page 5
Harrisburg Telegraph, Monday, March 17, 1884, page 1
American Kennel Club Stud Book Register, Vol. 8 (1892) : 37
Sun, Friday, February 8, 1895, page 6
The News, Thursday, June 13, 1895, page 3
Forest and Stream, Vol. 47 (1896) : 225
Baltimore Sun, Saturday, April 24, 1897, page 7
"Rare Coins and Stamps : Collections of the Late Dr. George W. Massamore To Be Sold," The Sun, Friday, October 14, 1898, page 7
George L. McKay, American Book Auction Catalogues (N. Y., 1937) : 246, No. 4895
Edward D. Bacon, Catalogue of the Crawford Library of Philatelic Literature at the British Library (1991) : : 22 column 2, Sales 11-43 1882-1895
David Pietrusza, Major Leagues (1991) : 
Lorraine S. Durst, United States Numismatic Auction Catalogs : A Bibliography (1981) : 
John Weston Adams, United States Numismatic Literature, Vol. 1 (1982) : 98-102
Charles Davis, American Numismatic Literature(1992) : Nos. 663 & 664
"Dr. Massamore's Fling : Monumental Failure," The National Pastime : A Review of Baseball History, Vol. 19, January (1999) : 65-67
Fanning, David F. “Collectors who Served in the Civil War,” The Numismatist 117.11 (November 2004), pp. 44-48, illus
Martin Gengerke, American Numismatic Auctions (2006) : 



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