NICHOLS, CHARLES PORTER

Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

Fig. 1. Photograph of Charles Porter Nichols at age 46 in 1869 published in Mason's Photographic Gallery of Coin Collectors of the United States, No. 1, Mason's Coin and Stamp Collectors' Magazine, Vol. III, No. 2, February (1869) : 23.
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.


C. P. Nichols is best known for his comprehensive collections of Hard Times Tokens and Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century English Tokens.



Charles Porter Nichols (1822-1905), was born on July 20, 1822, at Oxford, Massachusetts, son of Charles Porter Nichols (1792-1869) and Irena Hartwell Porter (1791-1876). He was the fifth generation of Nichols born at Oxford, Massachusetts. His grandfather was Captain John Nichols (1734-1812), who fought in the American Revolution. His great-grandfather was Lieutenant John Nichols (1704-1801), also fought during the American Revolution. He was affectionately called Major Charles P. Nichols by his peers.

No later than 1840 Charles P. Nichols was working as an agent for the railroads in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

On January 3, 1853, he married Mary Ann Sullivan (1833-).  They had two children : George B. Nichols (1855-1857), and Carrie B. Nichols (1859-1877).



Fig. Edward Cogan correspondence with Charles P. Nichols postmarked September 25, 1860, franked with Scott 26, and Blood's Penny Post. The Blood's Penny Post stamp and cancel marks are scarce and greatly increase the value of this very rare and valuable cover embossed with Ed Cogan's ovular seal. All coin and stamp dealer covers dated to 1860 are in the range of $450 on up. For comparison please see the biography of John W. Kline and note the price realized October 2018 at a Schuyler Rumsey sale of a Kline cover. Note this cover is eight years older making it a gem in rarity. This cover of Ed Cogan is worth considerable more not only for its rarity but for its added value of the  Blood's Penny Post, and antiquity of the Philadelphia octagonal cancel. Moreover, included inside the envelope is a rare newspaper clipping from The New York Times of the December 1859 Ed Cogan coin sale of J. N. T. Levick, and also mention of the robbery of J. J. Mickley, though both collectors are unnamed. This cover and newspaper clipping are for sale as a package or group lot. For sale $950 plus $25 insurance and shipping = $975 shipped. For those interested please write john@numismaticmall.com.  Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

On May 15, 1867, Nichols was appointed Secretary of the First Convention of the Master Car Builders Association.

On June 13, 1867, he was elected a corresponding member of the ANS.


Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., relates his coin trip to New York City to go view the coin auction at Bangs & Co., of the Michael Moore collection catalogued by Ed Cogan to be sold May 1-2, 1879.  Mason wrote : “Stopping in New York for the purpose of visiting the sale of Michael Moore’s coin cabinet, at Bangs Auction House, Broadway, where he exhibited the interesting Confederate coin to Cogan, Nichols, Chapman, Sampson, Deffendorf, and other prominent numismatists . . . “ Mason’s Coin Collector’s Herald, Volume 1, No. 1, June, 1879. 

Figs. 
Charles P. Nichols correspondence with the Chapman Brothers, (top) postmarked Springfield, Massachusetts, April 9, 1888, (middle) postmarked Springfield, Massachusetts, Transit Clerk, June 3, 1888, (bottom)  postmarked Boston + Spring + NY RPO, November 30, 1888. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, the Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

A little over two weeks prior to his death he sold a portion of his collection and medals at auction through Geoffrey Charlton Adams, on Wednesday, September 27, 1905, "The Ezekiel-Nichols Collections of Coins and Medals".

He died of heart disease on November 12, 1905 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. He is buried in Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts.

Bibliography :

Railroad Car Journal, Vol. 7, No. 6, June (1867) : 145-146
American Journal of Numismatics, October (1905) : 54
The Numismatist

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