The Huntington Award Medal Presentation

by Robert Wilson Hoge

Ute Wartenberg Kagan and the Archer M. Huntington Award recipient Philip Mossman.

On November 10, ANS Vice President and Trustee Roger Siboni presented the 2005 Archer Milton Huntington Medal to Dr. Philip L. Mossman, a well-known researcher and author in the field of early American numismatics. Welcoming guests and the distinguished honoree, Siboni referred to Mossman’s book Money of the American Colonies and Confederation, A Numismatic, Economic, and Historical Correlation, Numismatic Studies Number 20 (New York: American Numismatic Society, 1993), as a resource that he used nearly every day. The Huntington medal has been conferred since 1918 in recognition of outstanding career contributions to numismatic scholarship.

Philip Mossman and Roger Siboni.

ANS Curator Robert W. Hoge introduced Dr. Mossman, observing that he had been a collector and numismatic researcher since he was a child. Born in 1933 in Worcester, Massachusetts, he received his AB from Dartmouth College, where he also attended medical school. After obtaining his MD, he served as Lieutenant on active duty in the U.S. Naval Reserve. As a physician, his subsequent professional work has been largely devoted to the rehabilitation of stroke victims—an area in which Dr. Mossman has published the standard work, A Problem Oriented Approach to Stroke Rehabilitation. He wrote this book to fulfill his desire for answers to major therapeutic questions after finding that this important field of medicine was not adequately accessible to students. Mossman has enjoyed a distinguished career as Director of Rehabilitation at the Eastern Maine Medical Center, in Bangor, Maine.

Dr. Mossman’s numismatic career, which has also enjoyed a pioneering flavor, has been concerned with the early colonial period of America, and again has sought to answer fundamental questions. His 1993 book Money of the American Colonies and Confederation is regarded as one of the finest works on the numismatic and economic history of this era. In it he focused on setting the numismatic evidence into a historical context by researching archival documents. From 1995 to 2000, he served as editor of The Colonial Newsletter on behalf of the American Numismatic Society. More recently, he has been compiling a census of coin finds from early sites, using both the results of professional archaeologists and metal detectorists. His current investigations are involved with surveying the contemporary counterfeit coinages and paper money and the relevant primary sources.

Mossman has become known for selflessly assisting with the researches of others. With a strong background in French, he has been of particular help as an editor of other researchers’ work requiring proficiency in that language. Revealing his Canadian origins, the early numismatic history of our northern neighbor has drawn his attention. A fascination with the money of Nova Scotia has a strong personal dimension for Mossman. His father’s family traces its roots there in the mid-eighteenth century, which prompted him to write a book about his own family history, In Search of David: The Saga of a Pioneer to Nova Scotia in 1750.

In connection with the Huntington Award reception, ANS Curator of North American Coins and Currency Robert W. Hoge presented for viewing an eighteenth-century counterfeiter’s engraved copper plate intended for the production of spurious notes of the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War.

Robert Hoge, Philip Mossman, and Roger Siboni.

A toast to Philip Mossman.