Confederate Currency

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Confederate Currency

The folks who said, “Hold on to your Confederate Money boys, the South will rise again,” were the brunt of many a joke over the years. Now however, the wise ones who kept their paper are laughing all the way to the bank. The South hasn’t declared its independence again, but the value of Confederate currency has shot through the roof.

Once the war started back in 1861, the Confederate States of America (CSA) began to issue its own money to the citizens of the South. Although not legal tender, it was readily accepted as such. They took a chance that if the South won the war, the money would be redeemable. The first of 70 different types of notes was printed and issued by the CSA in April, 1861 and regularly produced through 1864. All in all the CSA issued $1.7 billion under the various acts of the Confederate Congress. Interestingly, nearly all the notes carried the following inscription in various forms: “Six months after the ratification of a treaty of peace between the Confederate States and the United States The Confederate States of America will pay to the bearer on demand….” Many of the issues were interest-paying notes offering to pay bearers a fixed amount of interest for the amount of time they kept the money.

Almost every Confederate note was painstakingly hand signed and numbered. Secretary of the Treasury, Christopher G. Memminger, believed hand signatures helped prevent counterfeiting. Due to the large numbers of notes produced, clerks were hired to sign “for Register” and “for Treasurer.” Most of the clerks after 1861 were women due to manpower shortages. Many were the wives and daughters of soldiers killed or missing in action. A great number of these notes also have uneven and rough borders since scissors were used to quickly cut the sheets of notes apart.
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Counterfeiting became a serious problem for the South in spite of the Treasury’s efforts to prevent it. Toward the end of the war the Southerners lost confidence in the Confederate currency and eventually the notes were totally worthless. Indeed there were stories of people wallpapering their homes with the money.

Today, the value of these notes has risen significantly and is far from worthless. Their prices range from less than $100 for the most common, to the tens of thousands for the rarest. Many of heavily printed issues are still available while the less common notes are getting extremely hard to find. As a novice collector of Confederate currency, I view these notes as a glimpse into a fascinating part of our nation’s history. It’s my way of honoring my ancestors through the preservation of history and heritage.

By: Johnny Kicklighter

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Johnny is a member of the local Sons of Confederate Veterans, Lt. George E. Dixon Camp # 1962, Belleville, Illinois.

Inactive Realtors in Ontario have the option to join an Ontario real estate Brokerage that help you keep your license active during your inactive times.  Save on real estate board fees and all your other needless office expenses too.  Park your license with a reputable and successful license holding Brokerage and still earn high commissions on all your sales, if any and your referrals.  Commissions are paid to you ASAP!

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