Forgotten Colorado Silver: Joseph Lesher's Defiant Coins

Forgotten Colorado Silver: Joseph Lesher's Defiant Coins


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At the turn of the last century, miner Joseph Lesher attempted to raise the price of silver by privately minting octagonal "Referendum souvenir medal" coins with values of $1.25 or $1. They were common in Victor, Cripple Creek, Denver and other places in Colorado in the days after William Jennings Bryan fought unsuccessfully for free silver. Surviving an initial dust-up with the Secret Service, Lesher found a loophole to place them in circulation in 1900 and 1901. Today, coin collectors pay more than $1,000 for one. This is the story of Joseph Lesher and his audacious private mint, along with the merchants in the mining towns and elsewhere who supported him.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467135252
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 07/10/2017
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 426,672
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Author of over one hundred numismatic articles and three books, American Numismatic Society fellow Bob Leonard has studied private coinages since the 1960s. Founder of Ken Hallenbeck Coin Gallery, Colorado Springs, Ken Hallenbeck is a past president of the American Numismatic Association. Adna G. Wilde, Jr., also an ANA past president, published a groundbreaking study of Lesher Dollars in 1978, "Lesher Referendum Medals: Where Are They Today?"

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

1 The Cripple Creek Mining District 9

2 Private Coins and Free Silver 13

3 Joseph Lesher: Pioneer, Promoter and Minter 17

4 The Lesher "Referendum" Dollar 23

5 Dies, Mintages and Survivors 39

6 A "Lesher Dollar Treasure"? 45

7 A.B. Bumstead, Popular Grocer of Victor 49

8 Sam Cohen, Jeweler and Agent for Victor 53

9 Geo. McMullen ("Mullen"), Shoemaker of Victor 61

10 J.M. Slusher, Grocer and Agent for Cripple Creek 67

11 J.E. Nelson, Dry Goods, Holdrege, Nebraska 75

12 Boyd Park. Jeweler and Agent for Denver 85

13 C.W. Thomas, an Agent Who Vanished 91

14 D.W. Klein, Agent and Pueblo Saloonkeeper 97

15 W.C. Alexander, Jeweler of Salida 103

16 Goodspeed & Co., Colorado Springs Jewelers 109

17 W.F. White, Grand Junction Department Store 115

18 The Uniques: A.W. Clark, H.H. Rosser and H. Stein 121

Bibliography 125

About the Authors 127

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