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This bill is a $100 note from September of 1861. This is one of my favorites and is certainly one of the more beautiful notes ever issued, Confederate or otherwise.
The South never used dollar signs, but there are a few big "C"s on the note. We've all heard of "C" notes!? >More
The Confederate States
of America released their first issue of paper money
in April, 1861, when their provisional government
was only two months old. The Civil War started that
same month. The US Congress, on the brink of bankruptcy
and pressed to finance the Civil War, authorized the United States Treasury to issue paper
money for the first time that same year. The US notes were in the form of non-interest
bearing Treasury Notes called Demand Notes.
The total amount of currency issued under the various acts of the Confederate Congress totaled $1.7 billion. Due to the scarcity of metal, however, the Confederacy never issued coins, instead releasing seventy different paper note 'types' between 1861 and 1865. The different types are listed in Grover Criswell's Catalog of Confederate Notes. For some types there are no varieties. Other types have thousands of minute variations, e.g., Crisell lists approximately 140 major and minor varieties of the 1864 $10 (type 68) note.
For a short time after the outbreak of the Civil War, Confederate currency was accepted throughout the South as a medium of exchange with high purchasing power. As the conflict progressed, however, confidence in Confederate success waned, emissions of paper money increased, and dates of redemption on the notes were extended further into the future. The inevitable result was the depreciation of the currency and the soaring prices characteristic of inflation. By the end of the conflict a cake of soap could sell for as much as $50 and an ordinary suit of clothes could sell for as much as $2,700.
- Confederate Paper Money
This 1996 'Comprehensive Catalog' is the final offering from the late, great patriarch of Confederate Currency, Grover Criswell. His many books are invaluable resources, the latest written with assistance by Douglas Ball, PhD and Hugh Shull.
- Duke University
The Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University has an incredible collection of Confederate Currency and related materials, most notably the collection of Raphael Thian. They have a searchable on-line catalog.
- Lyn Knight Auctions
When you are ready to spend some serious money you might consider checking out a professional auction house. Lyn Knight has beautiful full-color catalogs and archives of previous auctions. A great place to see what serious collectors are paying for serious notes.
- Register of the Confederate Debt
Most Confederate notes were hand signed by Confederate widows and veterans. In the 1880s, Raphael Thian, an employee of the US Government, created, among other things, this book that lists the name of the signer of every Confederate note.
While eBay is a decent place to see some notes and do research, it's not where one would go to find premium notes. But if you are getting started and are looking for a dynamic way to get familiar with the different notes, it can be fun to track the auctions.
- Hugh Shull - President of PCDA
Shull's bi-annual catalog is THE reference for prices of and Obsolete Currency. He doesn't have a web site but he can be reached at Box 2522, Lexington, South Carolina, 29071. His phone number is (803) 996-3660.
Counterfeit Currency of the Confederate States of America by George Tremmel, has brought about new interest in Counterfeit Confederate. It has a good coverage of S.C. Upham, the Philadelphia maker of counterfeit Confederate stamps in 1862.>Read Entire Story
Stephen Recker on:
Collecting Confederate Currency
I began collecting Confederate currency in 1993 on a drive from Atlanta to Pittsburgh. My father had just died and I had to drive his car to my brother's place. I decided to make the most of the trip and stop by as many Civil War spots as I could. Somehow I got the idea that I would scour the South for Confederate currency and return home with the beginnings of a new hobby.
>Read Entire Story