Description

    A.R. Jackman Presentation Piece
    Engraved 1857, Salt Lake City, Utah
    1853 BG-429 Half Dollar Host

    1853 50C Liberty Round 50 Cents, BG-429, Low R.4 -- Engraved -- NCS Genuine. Perhaps the earliest known numismatic piece of its kind from Utah, this engraved California gold half dollar is intriguing both for its known and unknown historic importance. The host coin is a BG-429 Small Head, Bust Close to First Star, Period One small denomination gold piece dated 1853, and engraved for presentation to A.R. Jackman, December 15, 1857.

    Ammi Rumsey Jackman was one of the first Utah pioneers, arriving at the Great Salt Lake Valley on September 30, 1847. He was born in Genesee County, New York in 1825. He left New York at age 13 and worked for a time on the steamboats in Missouri, where his family converted to Mormonism in the 1830s and soon moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. He became a member of the Mormon Battalion that started West at the time of the exodus after the assassination of the Mormon leader and prophet, Joseph Smith. Jackman traveled with the second party of emigrants to Salt Lake.

    Upon arrival, he was one of the first volunteers to carry the mail back to the East, riding for "B.Y. Express" and later for the Pony Express. He made the same journey back and forth six or seven times, a long journey often made in cruel and harrowing circumstances. A devout Mormon, Ammi Jackman was also a veteran of the Black Hawk (Sanpete) wars of 1849-1851 and was witness to more than two decades of regional fighting both with Indians and at times with federal troops.

    Jackman's name is found in both the 1870 Territorial Census (spelled incorrectly) and in the 1880 Census, although Mormons typically avoided the U.S. Census takers. His name also appears as a signatory witness on a bill of sale for slaves in Salt Lake City, a little-researched but significant bit of information for interested specialists. His occupation was officially "clerk in store," but obviously his involvement in the Mormon community went far beyond those duties. He passed away after a six-month illness at age 74 in 1898.

    The exact engraving on this tiny gold piece is intricately done and reads "A.R. JACKMAN G.S.L. CITY DEC. 15. 1857." The inscription encircles the obverse. The fact that this gold piece was presented just a few months after the infamous "Mountains Meadows Massacre" near Cedar City, Utah in 1857 may or may not have any significance.
    Ex: Latter-Day Saints Collection, Sale 45 (Goldberg Auctions, 4/2008), lot 717.


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    Auction Dates
    Feb-Mar, 2015
    26th-1st Thursday-Sunday
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