An American Mint, Even Before Coins

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In the beginning, Long Island was Sewanhacky. This Algonquian word -- which roughly translates to ``Place of Shells'' -- is found in Dutch records of land purchases in western Long Island. ``It is believed to come from the Delaware sewan, purple shell, and hacky, place,'' said Charles Gehring, the director of the New York State New Netherlands Project, in Albany, an effort under way to translate Dutch documents from the 17th Century.