1789, French Guiana, Cayenne. Colonial Silver 2 Sous Coin. Rare!
Condition: F+ Mint Year: 1789 Mint Place: Paris (A) Denomination: 2 Sous Reference: KM-1a ( $60 in F! / $150 in VF!). R! Diameter: 22.8mm Material: Silver Weight: 1.64gm
Obverse: Denomination (2 SOUS), date (1789) and mint initial (A) of the Paris mint within inner circle. Legend: COLONIE DE CAYENNE (harp)
Reverse: Crown above french arms (three lys symbols). Legend: LOUIS XVI . R . DE (privy mark: heron) FR . ET DE . NAV
Cayenne is the capital of French Guiana, an overseas region and department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic coast. Ignored by Spanish explorers, who found the region too hot and poor to be claimed, the region was not colonized until 1604, when a French settlement was founded. However, it was soon destroyed by the Portuguese, who were determined to enforce the provisions of the Treaty of Tordesillas. French colonists returned in 1643 and founded Cayenne, but were forced to leave once more following Amerindian attacks. In 1664, France finally succeeded at establishing a permanent settlement at Cayenne. Over the next decade the colony changed hands between the French, Dutch and English, before being restored to France. It was captured by an Anglo-Portuguese force at the invasion of Cayenne in 1809 and administered from Brazil until 1814, when it was returned to French control. It was used as a French penal settlement from 1854 to 1938.
Louis XVI or Louis-Auguste de France (Versailles, 23 August 1754 – Paris, 21 January 1793) ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1793. Suspended and arrested during the Insurrection of 10 August, he was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793. He was the only king of France to be executed.
Although Louis was beloved at first, his indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to eventually view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime. After the abolition of the monarchy in 1793, the new republican government gave him the surname Capet, a reference to the nickname of Hugh Capet, founder of the Capetian dynasty, which the revolutionaries wrongly interpreted as a family name. He was also informally nicknamed Louis le Dernier (Louis the Last), a derisive use of the traditional nicknaming of French kings. Today, historians and French people in general have a more nuanced view of Louis XVI, who is seen as an honest man with good intentions, but who was probably unfit for the herculean task of reforming the monarchy, and who was used as a scapegoat by the revolutionaries.
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