The engraved inscription on the front of the cann reads: Presented on the 18th day of May 1803 by Phineas Bond Esqr, his Britannic Majesty's Consul General, to George Barclay of the City of Philada. at the Instance of his venerable Relation David Barclay Esqr. of Walthamstow in Essex, as a proof of his remembrance & as an acknowledgement of his Consanguinity: they being lineal descendants of the great & good Robt. Barclay of Ury the celebrated Apologist
Robert Barclay (1648-1690), the celebrated Apologist, was a renowned Quaker theologist and author. In 1676 he published his "Apology" which established the basic tenets of Quakerism. He was a friend and correspondent of William Penn, George Fox, the Duke of York and Princess Elizabeth of Germany. In 1863, he was appointed the Governor of East New Jersey, and although he never visited, his brother John Barclay (1659-1732), emigrated to New Jersey in 1684. The John Barclay branch of the family prospered in New Jersey. Meanwhile the English descendents of Robert Barclay, the Apologist, ran into financial difficulties with their entailed estate. In 1802, David Barclay of Essex, grandson of the Apologist, contacted his American cousins via Phineas Bond, the Consul General in Philadelphia, to ask for letters of consent to alter the entailment. The family all complied. A grateful David Barclay sent gifts of books and money to the cousins in New Jersey. A memo dated January 15, 1803 written by his nephew Robert Barclay states:
"D. Barclay directed me to write P. Bond to pay on his Account...as follows: to George, eldest son of David Barclay - 50 dollars"(as cited in R. Burnham Moffat, The Barclays of New York, 1904, p. 35). It is probable that Phineas Bond or George Barclay had this gift of silver currency fashioned into this commemorative cann.