from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Alternative form of seawan (wampum).
Sorry, no etymologies found.
This was nothing more nor less than strings of beads wrought out of clams, periwinkles, and other shell-fish, and called seawant or wampum.
He had old-fashioned notions in favor of gold and silver, which he considered the true standards of wealth and mediums of commerce, and one of his first edicts was that all duties to government should be paid in those precious metals, and that seawant, or wampum, should no longer be a legal tender.
This has, indeed, long since been insufferable; although it ought chiefly to be imputed to the imprudent penuriousness of our own merchants and inhabitants, who, it is to be hoped, shall, through the abolition of this seawant, become wiser and more prudent.
-- "We have been unable to render your inhabitants wiser, and prevent their being, further imposed upon, than to declare, absolutely and peremptorily, that henceforward seawant shall be bullion -- not longer admissable in trade, without any value, as it is indeed.