Re: Help with colonial diftances and monies

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Posted by Adele on July 18, 2000 at 15:38:37:

In Reply to: Help with colonial diftances and monies posted by Schoolmafter Chriftopher on July 17, 2000 at 23:07:21:

: I am new to the board fo would like to intorduce myself, my name is chris and I am a history teacher in the ftate of Michigan (I will quit replacing "s" with "f" now, it's beginning to annoy me too) Obviously I enjoy all things colonial, although I would probably beg to return to the good old 21st century if I were somehow transported back.
: And now my question:
: I am reading a book "A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution" and the author (private Johann conrad Dohla) refers to distances sometimes as "english miles" sometimes as "german miles" what's the difference and how do they compare with a modern U.S. Mile?

: Second, he refers to various monies which he pays the locals for food &c. York shilling, guinea, half guinea, good kruizer, kruizer, Spanish dollar. Anyone know the value of each of those and which is worth more? Judging by his complaining when something costs a Spanish dollar I assume that is the most valuable. How do they relate to the current U.S. dollar?
: thank you for your help


Hi Chrift (nope - that definitely looks funny!)

Hi Chris

I think that I can help with a couple of your questions (can't vouch for my accuracy tho!)

Right, here goes.....

One (old) english pound was split into 240 pence or 'd', which I believe was also called a sovereign. 12d = 1 shilling. 20 shillings = one pound. One guinea = 1 pound 1 shilling. (Note, interesting fact, a guinea used to be the 'gentlemans' money, a tradesman would be paid in pounds, but a gentleman in guineas!) A crown was 5 shillings, a half crown was 2 shillings and 6d.

A spanish dollar could have been worth anything from 4 shillings 6d upto 7 shillings - and I think (but definitely not sure!) that a spanish dollar was the orginal 'pieces of eight'. I think a York shilling was an eleven-penny bit, it was possibly a counterfeit coin (but again, not sure on that).

As far as the miles are concerned, I think that a german mile equals 4.6 english miles or 7.4 kilometres.

I found a very interesting site you may like to take a look at - it is basically about colonial coins, but also has some really interesting facts about European trading and Native Americans on the East Coast during the 18th century. Definitely worth a peek. I will try and link it (based on past experience, I had better type it in as well!

If I haven't sent you off to sleep - welcome aboard!


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