Category:Historical currencies of the United States
Pages in category "Historical currencies of the United States"
The following 49 pages are in this category, out of 49 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 49 pages are in this category, out of 49 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Confederate States dollar – The Confederate States of America dollar was first issued just before the outbreak of the American Civil War by the newly formed Confederacy. It was not backed by assets, but simply by a promise to pay the bearer after the war, on the prospect of Southern victory. As the war began to tilt against the Confederates, confidence in the currency diminished, by the end of 1863, the Confederate dollar was quoted at just six cents in gold, and fell further still. The Greyback is now a collectors item, in its many versions, including those issued by individual states. The Confederate dollar, often called a Greyback, was first issued into circulation in April 1861, at first, Confederate currency was accepted throughout the South as a medium of exchange with high purchasing power. As the war progressed, however, confidence in the ultimate success waned, the amount of paper money increased, as the war progressed, the currency underwent the depreciation and soaring prices characteristic of inflation. For example, by the end of the war, a cake of soap could sell for as much as $50, near the end of the war, the currency became practically worthless as a medium of exchange. This was because Confederate currency were bills of credit, as in the Revolutionary War, just as the currency issued by the Continental Congress was deemed worthless because they were not backed by any hard assets, so, too, this became the case with Confederate currency. When the Confederacy ceased to exist as an entity at the end of the war. The Confederacy, being limited in skilled engravers and printers as well as printing facilities. Some such were abstract depictions of gods and goddesses, such as the Goddess of Liberty. Confederate themes did prevail with designs of black slaves, naval ships and historical figures, images of slaves often had them depicted as smiling or happily carrying about their work. Many variations in plates, printing and papers also appear in most of the issues, some of the people featured on banknotes include Andrew Jackson, John C. There was also a bill featuring George Washington, Confederate Treasury Notes were hand signed by various clerks, with exception of the 50 cent issues that had the printed signatures of Robert Tyler and Edward C. The first six notes issued were hand signed by the Register and Treasurer themselves, while hand signatures were considered an anti-counterfeiting tool, the sheer number of bills being produced could not reasonably be signed individually by two men each. Women were often hired as clerks to sign for Register and for Treasurer, as the Civil War continued, the cost of the war loomed large. Any precious metals available in the South often made their way to Europe to procure war goods, but the CSA did manage to mint a few coins. In 1861, Mr. Robert Lovett Jr. of Philadelphia was commissioned to design, engrave, on the obverse, he used the head of Minerva, which he had used on several store cards
2. Early American currency – Early American currency went through several stages of development in colonial and post-Revolutionary history of the United States. Because few coins were minted in the thirteen colonies became the United States in 1776. Colonial governments sometimes issued paper money to facilitate economic activity, the British Parliament passed Currency Acts in 1751,1764, and 1773 that regulated colonial paper money. During the American Revolution, the colonies became independent states, freed from British monetary regulations, the Continental Congress also issued paper money during the Revolution, known as Continental currency, to fund the war effort. Both state and Continental currency depreciated rapidly, becoming practically worthless by the end of the war and this depreciation was caused by the government having to over-print in order to meet the demands of war. There were three types of money in the colonies of British America, specie, paper money. Commodity money was used when cash was scarce, commodities such as tobacco, beaver skins, and wampum served as money at various times and places. Cash in the colonies was denominated in pounds, shillings, the value varied from colony to colony, a Massachusetts pound, for example, was not equivalent to a Pennsylvania pound. All colonial pounds were of value than the British pound sterling. The coins in circulation in the colonies were most often of Spanish, the prevalence of the Spanish dollar in the colonies led to the money of the United States being denominated in dollars rather than pounds. One by one, colonies began to issue their own money to serve as a convenient medium of exchange. In 1690, the Province of Massachusetts Bay created the first authorized paper money issued by any government in the Western World and this paper money was issued to pay for a military expedition during King Williams War. Other colonies followed the example of Massachusetts Bay by issuing their own currency in subsequent military conflicts. The paper bills issued by the colonies were known as bills of credit, bills of credit were usually fiat money, they could not be exchanged for a fixed amount of gold or silver coins upon demand. Bills of credit were usually issued by governments to pay debts. The governments would then retire the currency by accepting the bills for payment of taxes, when colonial governments issued too many bills of credit or failed to tax them out of circulation, inflation resulted. This happened especially in New England and the colonies, which. Pennsylvania, however, was responsible in not issuing too much currency, pennsylvanias paper currency, secured by land, was said to have generally maintained its value against gold from 1723 until the Revolution broke out in 1775
3. Demand Note – A Demand Note is a type of United States paper money that was issued between August 1861 and April 1862 during the American Civil War in denominations of 5,10, and 20 US$. The U. S. government placed the Demand Notes into circulation by using them to pay expenses incurred during the Civil War including the salaries of its workers and military personnel. S. currency today. As a result, most Demand Notes were redeemed, though the few remaining Demand Notes are the oldest valid currency in the United States today, the Demand Notes were a transitional issue connecting these Treasury Notes to modern paper money. The Continental Congress had issued Continental dollars between 1775 and 1779 to help finance the American Revolution, while the constitution did not explicitly grant the power to issue paper currency, it did grant the power to borrow money. Treasury Notes, as a form of debt, were an innovation to help bridge federal financing gaps when the government encountered difficulty selling a sufficient amount of long term bonds, Treasury Notes were first employed during the War of 1812 and were issued irregularly up through the civil war. Characteristically the issues were not extensive and the fiction was always maintained that Treasury Notes did not serve as money when, in fact. These notes usually bore interest, their value varied with market conditions, however, only $3,392,994 were issued, and these were rapidly exchanged for bonds. In witness to the limited circulation achieved by these notes, only two issued uncancelled examples of the Small Treasury Notes are known today vs. almost 1000 examples of the Demand Notes. One response from Congress was the Act of July 17,1861, of this sum, up to $50,000,000 was authorized as non-interest bearing Treasury Notes, payable upon demand, in denominations less than fifty dollars and not less than ten dollars. These were called Demand Notes to distinguish them from the interest-bearing Treasury Notes in existence at the time, the notes were to be redeemable through the assistant treasurers offices at Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. These signature provisions would later be altered several times and this act also stipulated that prior to December 31,1862, an individual Demand Note could be re-issued into circulation after it was presented for redemption. Just before they were to be released, the Act of August 5,1861 and it allowed for Demand Notes to be issued in denominations of not less than $5 and be redeemable through the assistant treasurers office at St. Louis or the bullion depository in Cincinnati. This act also stated that the Treasurer of the United States, under this act, Demand Notes did not need to carry the seal of the U. S. Treasury. Because the Bureau of Engraving and Printing did not exist at the time, both companies were prominent printers of banknotes for private and state-chartered banks throughout the country. Most likely, the American Bank Note Company engraved the plates for $5. All of the Demand Notes were printed by the American Bank Note Company, as designed, they were of the same size, and in appearance closely resembled banknotes. Secretary of the Treasury Chase began distributing the notes to meet Union obligations in August 1861, initially, various merchants, banks and especially the railroad industry accepted the notes at a discounted rate or did not accept them at all. Louis, and at the Depository of Cincinnati and they must be always equivalent to gold, and often and for many purposes more convenient and valuable
4. Federal Reserve Bank Note – They had the same value as other kinds of notes of similar face value. Federal Reserve Bank Notes differ from Federal Reserve Notes in that they are backed by one of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks, rather than by all collectively. They were backed in a way to National Bank Notes, using U. S. bonds. Federal Reserve Bank Notes are no longer issued, the only U. S. banknotes still in production since 1971 are the Federal Reserve Notes, additional denominations of $1, $2, and $50 were issued in 1918. Small size Federal Reserve Bank Notes were printed as an issue in 1933 using the same paper stock as National Bank Notes. They were printed in denominations of $5 through $100, a National Bank Note has a line for the national banks presidents signature. The small size Federal Reserve Bank Note printed a bar over the label for this line since Federal Reserve Banks had governors, not presidents. The wording also was changed to add, Or by like deposit of other securities after the phrase, the twelve Federal Reserve Districts also appear on the bills as black alphabetically sequenced letters, from A to L, a system essentially followed today on the $1 and $2 bills. This emergency issue was prompted by the hoarding of cash because of the many bank failures happening at the time. This also limited the ability of the National Banks to issue notes of their own, small size Federal Reserve Bank Notes were discontinued in 1934 and no longer available from banks since 1945. As small size notes, they have brown seals and serial numbers, but while they look very similar, and both say National Currency across the top of the obverse, the issuers were not the same and they are considered to be distinctly different types of bills
5. Fractional currency (United States) – Fractional currency, also referred to as shinplasters, was introduced by the United States federal government following the outbreak of the Civil War. These fractional notes were in use between 21 August 1862 and 15 February 1876, and issued in 3,5,10,15,25, and 50 cent denominations across five issuing periods. The complete type set below is part of the National Numismatic Collection, housed at the National Museum of American History, the Civil War economy catalyzed a shortage of United States coinage—gold and silver coins were hoarded given their intrinsic bullion value relative to irredeemable paper currency at the time. In December 1861, the Trent Affair shook public confidence with the threat of war on a second front, the United States Department of the Treasury suspended specie payments and banks in New York City stopped redeeming paper money for gold and silver. In the absence of gold and silver coin, the premium for specie began to devalue paper currency and this fueled currency speculation, and created significant disruption across businesses and trade. Treasurer of the United States Francis E. Spinner has been credited with finding the solution to the shortage of coinage, Spinner proposed using postage stamps, affixed to Treasury paper, with his signature on the bottom. Based on this initiative, Congress supported a solution involving fractional currency. The intent, however, was not that stamps should be a circulating currency, the design of the First Issue was directly based on Spinner’s original handmade examples. Some varieties even had perforated stamp-like edge, while not actually legal tender, postage currency could be exchanged for United States Notes in $5 lots and were receivable in payment of all dues to the United States, up to $5. Subsequent issues would no longer include images of stamps and were referred to as Fractional Currency, despite the July 1862 legislation, postage stamps remained a form of currency until postage currency gained momentum in the spring of 1863. In 1863, Secretary Chase asked for a new currency that was harder to counterfeit than the postage currency. The new fractional currency notes were different from the 1862 postage currency issues, Fractional currency shields which had single sided specimens were sold to banks to provide a standard for comparison for detecting counterfeits. Postage and fractional currency remained in use until 1876, when Congress authorized the minting of silver coins to redeem the outstanding fractional currency. Inspiration, model, and proof for the First Issue Three people were depicted on fractional currency during their lifetime, Francis E. Spinner, William P. Fessenden, both Spinner and Clark decided to have their portrait depicted on currency, which created controversy. Republican Representative Martin R. Thayer of Pennsylvania was an outspoken critic, on the date of passage, the plates for the 15-cent note depicting William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant had not been completed and thus fell under the scope of the new law. The Sherman-Grant notes exist only as specimens, federal Reserve System List of people on United States banknotes Shinplaster Treasury Note United States postal notes
6. Indian Head cent – The Indian Head cent, also known as an Indian Head penny, was a one-cent coin produced by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1859 to 1909. It was designed by James Barton Longacre, the Chief Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint, from 1793 to 1857, the cent was a copper coin about the size of a half dollar. As rising copper prices made it impractical to keep striking them, in 1857 the Mint reduced the size of the cent, issuing a new design, the new pieces were identical in diameter to modern cents, though somewhat thicker and made of copper-nickel. The design caused difficulties, and the Mint soon looked to replace the coin. Mint Director James Ross Snowden selected the Indian Head design, Cents were hoarded during the economic chaos of the American Civil War, when the metal nickel was in short supply. As Mint officials saw that privately issued bronze tokens were circulating, they induced Congress to pass the Coinage Act of 1864, in the postwar period, the cent became very popular and was struck in large numbers in most years. An exception was 1877, when an economy and little demand for cents created one of the rarest dates in the series. With the advent of coin-operated machines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, even more cents were produced, in 1909, the Indian Head cent was replaced by the Lincoln cent, designed by Victor D. Brenner. The half-dollar-sized large cent was struck from 1793 to 1857, authorized by the Mint Act of 1792 which defined the cent as 1/100 dollar. That coin was intended to close to a cents worth of copper. Nevertheless, because of the constitutional clause making only gold and silver legal tender, the result was the Flying Eagle cent, the same diameter as the later Lincoln cent but somewhat thicker and heavier, composed of 88% copper and 12% nickel. The Flying Eagle cent was struck in limited numbers as a coin in 1856. The Flying Eagle cent was issued in exchange for worn Spanish colonial silver coins and these small cents were also issued in exchange for the copper coins they had replaced. By 1858, Mint authorities found the piece unsatisfactory in production, the high points on both sides of the coin opposed each other, and it was difficult to get the design to be brought out fully in the tough copper-nickel alloy. Longacre, designer of the Flying Eagle cent, was instructed to develop alternative designs and he produced one, showing a slimmer eagle, which would not clash as much with the reverse wreath. Although this would have cured the problem, the design was not liked. Mint Director James Ross Snowden suggested a head of Columbus as an obverse design, in 1858, the Mint tested new designs for the cent. Snowden would make his choice of design would be struck in 1859 from these patterns
7. Interest bearing note – Interest bearing notes refers to a grouping of Civil War era paper money-related emissions of the US Treasury.3 percent—though both of these latter issues lacked legal tender status. Reference texts used by currency collectors will sometimes include compound interest treasury notes. Images are courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection at the National Museum of American History, Friedberg, Arthur L. Friedberg, Ira S. Paper Money of the United States, A Complete Illustrated Guide With Valuations, the Engraver’s Line – An Encyclopedia of Paper Money & Postage Stamp Art. U. S. Essay, Proof and Specimen Notes
8. National gold bank note – National gold bank notes, issued by nine national gold banks in California in the 1870s and 1880s, were national bank notes redeemable in gold. Printed on a paper, six NGBN denominations circulated, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. A $1,000 NGBN was designed and printed, but never issued, during the issuing period of national gold banks, the U. S. Treasury issued 200,558 notes totaling $3,465,240. Today, national bank notes are very rare in the higher denominations with condition generally falling in the good to fine range. Approximately 630 NGBNs are known to exist, and roughly 20 grade above very fine, the national gold bank notes were authorized under the provisions of the Currency Act of July 12,1870. The series was a result of the California Gold Rush where gold coins were preferered in commerce, ten national gold banks were charted, nine of them in California and one in Boston, Massachusetts. The Kiddler Bank was the bank to have $1,000 notes among others prepared however. Friedberg, Arthur L. Friedberg, Ira S, Paper Money of the United States, A Complete Illustrated Guide With Valuations. Huntoon, Peter W. United States Large Size National Bank Notes, society of Paper Money Collectors, Inc. Annual Report of the Comptroller of the Currency, office of the Comptroller of the Currency. About Paper Money - Large-size paper money - Early federal issues Coin World Pictures of National Gold Bank Notes The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
9. Silver certificate (United States) – Silver certificates are a type of representative money issued between 1878 and 1964 in the United States as part of its circulation of paper currency. They were produced in response to silver agitation by citizens who were angered by the Fourth Coinage Act, the certificates were initially redeemable for their face value of silver dollar coins and later in raw silver bullion. Since 1968 they have been only in Federal Reserve Notes and are thus obsolete. Large-size silver certificates were issued initially in denominations from $10 to $1,000 and in 1886 the $1, $2, in 1928, all United States bank notes were re-designed and the size reduced. The small-size silver certificate was issued in denominations of $1, $5. The complete type set below is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonians National Museum of American History, the Coinage Act of 1873 intentionally omitted language authorizing the coinage of “standard” silver dollars and ended the bimetallic standard that had been created by Alexander Hamilton. By 1875 business interests invested in silver wanted the bimetallic standard restored, people began to refer to the passage of the Act as the Crime of 73. Further public agitation for silver use was driven by fear that there was not enough money in the community. Members of Congress claimed ignorance that the 1873 law would lead to the demonetization of silver, some blamed the passage of the Act on a number of external factors including a conspiracy involving foreign investors and government conspirators. In response, the Bland–Allison Act, as it came to be known, was passed by Congress on 28 February 1878, the first silver certificates were issued in denominations of $10 through $1,000. Reception by financial institutions was cautious, while more convenient and less bulky than dollar coins, the silver certificate was not accepted for all transactions. Congress used the National Banking Act of 12 July 1882 to clarify the legal status of silver certificates by clearly authorizing them to be included in the lawful reserves of national banks. A general appropriations act of 4 August 1886 authorized the issue of $1, $2, the introduction of low-denomination currency greatly increased circulation. Over the 12-year lifespan of the Bland–Allison Act, the United States government would receive a seigniorage amounting to roughly $68 million, Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh appointed a committee to investigate possible advantages to issuing smaller sized United States banknotes. Due in part to the outbreak of World War I and the end of his appointed term, any recommendations may have stalled. On 20 August 1925, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon appointed a committee and in May 1927 accepted their recommendations for the size reduction. On 10 July 1929 the new currency was issued. This required that the Treasury maintain stocks of dollars to back
10. Civil War token – Civil War tokens are token coins that were privately minted and distributed in the United States between 1861 and 1864. They were used mainly in the Northeast and Midwest, the widespread use of the tokens was a result of the scarcity of government-issued cents during the Civil War. Civil War tokens became illegal after the United States Congress passed a law on April 22,1864 prohibiting the issue of any one or two-cent coins, tokens or devices for use as currency, on June 8,1864 an additional law was passed that forbade all private coinage. Civil War tokens are divided into three types—store cards, patriotic tokens, and sutler tokens, all three types were utilized as currency, and are differentiated by their designs. The collectible value of the tokens is determined chiefly by their rarity, by 1862, the second year of the Civil War, government-issued coinage began vanishing from circulation. American citizens hoarded all coins with gold and silver, and eventually began hoarding copper-nickel cents as well and this made it extremely difficult for businesses to conduct transactions. In response, many turned to private minters to fill the void left by the hoarded coins. The first of these privately minted tokens appeared in the autumn of 1862, by H. A. Ratterman, in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is estimated that by 1864, there were 25,000,000 Civil War tokens in circulation, consisting of approximately 7, Lindenmueller currency, or Lindenmueller tokens, are one of the best-known and commonly struck types were store cards. Lindenmueller had more than one million of his one-cent tokens struck, one of the common uses for the token was for streetcar fare. The Third Avenue Railroad company of New York, which had accepted a large quantity of the Lindenmueller tokens in lieu of actual currency. He refused, and the railroad had no legal recourse, incidents such as these eventually forced the government to intervene. On April 22,1864, Congress enacted the Coinage Act of 1864, while the act is most remembered for the introduction of the phrase In God We Trust on the newly created two-cent piece, it also effectively ended the usage of Civil War tokens. In addition to authorizing the minting of the two-cent piece, the act changed the composition of the one-cent piece from an alloy to a lighter. The new one-cent piece was much closer in weight to the Civil War tokens, while the Coinage Act made Civil War tokens impractical, the issue of their legality was decided on June 8,1864, when Congress enacted 18 U. S. C. §486, which made the minting and usage of non-government issued coins punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, patriotic Civil War tokens typically displayed a patriotic slogan or image on one or both sides. Since the majority of these tokens were minted in Union states, some common examples of slogans found on patriotic tokens are The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved, Union For Ever, and Old Glory. Some of the images found on patriotic tokens were the flag of the United States, a 19th-century cannon, among the best-known varieties of patriotic tokens are the so-called Dix tokens