Massachusetts Bay Colony Pine Tree Sixpence coin, Castine, ca. 1671

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Massachusetts Bay Colony Pine Tree Sixpence coin, Castine, ca. 1671

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This Pine Tree Sixpence coin was part of a cache found at the mouth of the Bagaduce River, indicating the area's thriving trade in the 1600s. The front of the coin was stamped with the next "NEW ENGLAND. ANO. 1652/VI." The reverse, shown here, featured an image of a pine tree and the text "MASA- THVSETS.IN."

Present-day Castine was a contested area of overlapping Wabanaki, English, and French claims for centuries. In 1674, during a period of French control, Dutch privateers attacked the fort and took the Baron of Saint-Castin (Jean Vincent d’Abbadie) and others hostage for ransom. When Saint-Castin returned to Castine in 1677, he established a trading post among Wabanakis on the Bagaduce River, about six miles from the old fort.

In 1684 Chief Madockawando’s daughter, Pidianiske (baptized as Molly Mathilde), married Saint-Castin and solidified the alliance between the French and Penobscot. Family ties and reciprocal relations gave Saint-Castin a stronger footing among Wabanaki people than the English settlers and traders encroaching up the coast.

In 1840, the Grindle family found a cache of hundreds of coins buried on their farm at the mouth of the Bagaduce River. It is possible that this Pine Tree Sixpence was part of a secret stash from Saint-Castin’s trading post.

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About This Item

  • Title: Massachusetts Bay Colony Pine Tree Sixpence coin, Castine, ca. 1671
  • Creation Date: circa 1671
  • Subject Date: circa 1671
  • Town: Castine
  • County: Hancock
  • State: ME
  • Media: Silver
  • Dimensions: 2.9 cm x 2.9 cm
  • Local Code: A00-52-06
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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