Contributed by Maine Historical Society
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This French 1/2 Crown coin was part of an extensive cache found at the mouth of the Bagaduce River, indicating the area's thriving trade in the 1600s.
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. There are many Penobscot descendants of Jean Vincent and Pidianske in Maine, including WWII combat medic Charles Shay and Penobscot tribal historian James Francis.
In 1840, the Grindle family found hundreds of coins buried on their farm. It is possible that this coin was part of a secret stash from Saint-Castin’s trading post.
About This Item
- Title: French 1/2 Crown coin, 1655
- Creation Date: 1655
- Subject Date: 1655
- Town: Castine
- County: Hancock
- State: ME
- Media: Silver
- Dimensions: 3.7 cm x 2.9 cm
- Local Code: A00-53-02
- Object Type: Physical Object
Cross Reference Searches
Standardized Subject Headings
- Abenaki Indians--History--17th century
- Acadia -- History
- Maine--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
- Native Americans--Maine
- Penobscot Indian Nation
- Penobscot Nation
- St. Castin, Jean Vincent d'Abbadie, baron de, 1652-1707
- Trading posts--Maine--Castine
For more information about this item, contact:Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230
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