- Item 105089 - Massachusetts Bay Colony Pine Tree shilling coin, Castine, ca. 1671
- Contributed by Maine Historical Society
- Item 105089
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- *Credit line must read: Collections of Maine Historical Society
This Pine Tree shilling coin was part of a large cache of coins found at the mouth of the Bagaduce River, indicating the area's thriving trade in the 1600s. The center decoration of the coin depicted a pine tree, and the coin was stamped with the text "MASATHVSETS.IN" and "NEW ENGLAND/ANDOM/1652/XII."Show Details
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.