200-year-old coin to be part of War of 1812 exhibit

A 200-year-old coin, recently discovered on a beach near Shippagan, will be on display next month as part of the New Brunswick Museum's War of 1812 exhibit.

Discovered on beach near Shippagan

The coin, recently discovered a beach near Shippagan by archaeological services staff for the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, has since been restored. (GNB)

A 200-year-old coin, recently discovered on a beach near Shippagan, will be on display next month as part of the New Brunswick Museum's War of 1812 exhibit.

The coin, known as a trading coin, may have belonged to a soldier during the war, chair of the War of 1812 commemorative committee Brian Macdonald stated in a release.

Such coins were typically issued to soldiers by private trades people when the government had limited means to produce conventional currency, Macdonald said. This was the case during the war, when all available metal was needed for the production of wartime equipment, he said.

The face of the token depicts a ship in full sail with "For general accommodation" written around the edge. The reverse face reads "Half Penny Token" in the centre, with "Pure Copper Preferable to Paper" around the edge.

"It is a pleasure for me to celebrate a newfound piece of New Brunswick's shared heritage," said Macdonald, the MLA for Fredericton-Silverwood.

"New Brunswickers serving in the military during the War of 1812 demonstrated enormous courage and resilience that was an inspiration for the generations that followed," he said.

"This coin will serve as a reminder of their contribution and of our rich tradition of service."

The Regimental Colour of the 104th Regiment of Foot is also part of the War of 1812 exhibit at the New Brunswick Museum. (GNB)

The participation of New Brunswickers in the war was significant, Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder stated in a release.

The 104th Regiment of Foot is in the history books for marching from Fredericton to Kingston, Ontario, during the winter of 1813 to help defend Canada from American invaders.

The regiment consisted of men from the Maritime provinces and what was then Upper and Lower Canada.

"This artifact, now conserved and ready for exhibition, becomes an exciting opportunity to learn about this important  period," said Holder.

The coin was discovered on a beach in the Shippagan/Pointe-Sauvage area by department staff on Oct. 11 during a routine archaeological dig.

"This coin helps us to reconstruct this period and is another reminder of how life was 200 years ago," Holder said.

The New Brunswick Museum's War of 1812 exhibit is expected to continue until the late fall. 

A restored flag that the 104th Regiment of Foot marched with during its epic 1,100-kilometre trek will remain on permanent display at the museum, located at Saint John's Market Square.