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United States

 

1862-1890 | 1891-1899 | 1901-1934 | 1957-2009

 

 

United States Note 1 Dollar, 1862

united states note 1 dollar 1862 front
united states note 1 dollar 1862 back

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Front depicts a portrait of Salmon Portland Chase (1808-1873), Secretary of the Treasury 1861-1864 and Chief Justice of the United States 1864-1873

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

United States Treasury Note 3 Cents, 1863
United States Lowest Denomination

united states treasury note 3 cents 1863 front
united states treasury note 3 cents 1863 back

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During the Civil War, silver and gold coins were in short supply. They were often hoarded by the public and thus removed from circulation. In order to facilitate commerce, the U.S. Government started printing small format notes, known as fractional currency, in denominations of 3, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents from 1862 to 1875.

 

United States Note 500 Dollars, 1874

United States Note 500 Dollars, 1874 front
United States Note 500 Dollars, 1874 back

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Front depicts a portrait of Joseph King Fenno Mansfield (1803-1862), Major General of the Union Army during the Civil War.

Mansfield was mortally wounded at the battle of Antietam while leading his troops and died on September 18, 1862.

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

United States Note 1 Dollar, 1880

united states note 1 dollar 1880 front
united states note 1 dollar 1880 back

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A portrait of George Washington and a vignette entitled Columbus' Discovery of Land are on the front of this note. The highly ornate back features the famous "sawhorse" design. The X apparently called to mind the crossed wooden support of the sawhorse, on which logs were cut.

 

George Washington
Painting by Gilber Stuart (1755-1828)

George Washington

Enlarge: PaintingGeorge Washington

 

Silver Certificate 2 Dollars, 1886

Silver Certificate 2 Dollars, 1886 front
Silver Certificate 2 Dollars, 1886 back

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Front depicts a portrait of Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886), Major General of the Union Army during the Civil War.

A Presidential candidate in 1880, Hancock is most remembered for his exploits at the battles of Fredericksburg and Gettysburg.

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

Silver Certificate 5 Dollars, 1886

Silver Certificate 5 Dollars, 1886 front
Silver Certificate 5 Dollars, 1886 back

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Front depicts a portrait of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), Lieutenant General and later Commanding General of the Army during the Civil War, and 18th President of the United States 1869-1877.

Under Grant, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military; having effectively ended the war and secession with the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army at Appomattox.

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

United States Treasury Note 1 Dollar, 1890

united states treasury note 1 dollar 1890 front
united states treasury note 1 dollar 1890 back

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Front depicts a portrait of Edwin M. Stanton (1814-1869), Secretary of War 1862-1868

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

United States Treasury Note 2 Dollars, 1890

united states treasury note 2 dollars 1890 front
united states treasury note 2 dollars 1890 back

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Front depicts a portrait James Birdseye McPherson (1828-1864), Major General of the Union Army during the Civil War.

McPherson served at the battles of Shiloh and Vicksburg and was killed during the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864.

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

United States Treasury Note 5 Dollars, 1890

united states treasury note 5 dollars 1890 front
united states treasury note 5 dollars 1890 back

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Front depicts a portrait George Henry Thomas (1816-1870), Major General of the Union Army during the Civil War.

Thomas was a methodical General who provided a critical defensive performance during the Union defeat at Chickamauga (where he earned the nickname "The Rock of Chickamauga") followed by decisive victories at Missionary Ridge and Nashville. Not being one for self-promotion, Thomas did not receive a lot of notoriety either during or after the war.

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

United States Treasury Note 10 Dollars, 1890

united states treasury note 10 dollars 1890 front
united states treasury note 10 dollars 1890 back

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Front depicts a portrait Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888), Major General of the Union Army during the Civil War.

Sheridan was a capable cavalry officer whose most notable achievements occurred in 1864 when his forces destroyed the economic infrastructure of the Shenandoah Valley and in 1865 during the Appomattox campaign that essentially ended the war.

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

United States Treasury Note 100 Dollars, 1890

united states treasury note 100 dollars 1890 front
united states treasury note 100 dollars 1890 back

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Front depicts a portrait David Glasgow Farragut (1801-1870), Admiral of the United States Navy during the Civil War.

Farragut was the first officer to hold the rank of Admiral in the United States navy. His most significant engagements were the capture of New Orleans in 1862 and the battle of Mobile Bay in 1864 which immortalized (in paraphrased form) his order of "Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!"

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

United States Treasury Note 1,000 Dollars, 1890

united states treasury note 1,000 dollars 1890 front
united states treasury note 1,000 dollars 1890 back

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The front features the portrait of Civil War-era General George Gordon Meade who commanded Union Army troops at the Battle of Gettysburg. The three ornate zeros in the back look like watermelons, thus given the note it's nickname "Grand Watermelon".

This note, graded PCGS Extremely Fine 40, was sold in January 2014 by Heritage Auctions in Orlando, Florida for $3,290,000, a world record price paid for a United States bank note.

Interestingly, the same note was previously graded PMG Very Fine 35 and sold by Heritage Auctions in 2006 for the then record price of $2,255,000.

The only other known Grand Watermelon note is in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Museum.

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

1862-1890 | 1891-1899 | 1901-1934 | 1957-2009

Back to North America

Here is a nice chronological History of Money in America from 1400's to present. Thanks to Serena Castleton for suggesting the link.

United States, originally consisted of 13 former British colonies situated on the eastern coast of North America, declared independence in 1776. More states later joined the Union. By 1958 there were 48 states spanning the full breath of North America from Atlantic to Pacific oceans. In 1959 Alaska joined the Union as the 49th and Hawaii as the 50th state. For a more detailed country profile, see CIA World Factbook on United States.

 

 

 

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