When Britain's American colonies declared their independence in 1776, one of the greatest problems facing the Continental Congress was financing the war effort. The supply of refined silver and gold, as well as the raw ore from which these metals were taken, was quite small in the American colonies. The great gold and silver discoveries of the 1800s were still decades away, and the only coining metal available from domestic mines in any reasonable amount was copper. In the initial enthusiasm of 1776, several of the new states made plans for a copper coinage of their own. One state that actually went through with this idea was New Hampshire. In March, its House of Representatives appointed a committee to look into the practicality of minting copper coins. The committee recommended that William Moulton be assigned the task of coining 100 pounds of copper into pieces valued at 108 to the Spanish Milled Dollar. These fascinating coins, of which fewer than ten are known today, display on one side a tree and the inscription AMERICAN LIBERTY. The other side features simply a harp. Oddly, however, there is no mention anywhere on these coins that they were issued by New Hampshire!
The History of U.S. Circulating Coins: