Colonial paper money was issued by each of the 13 colonies when they were under the British monarchy. Each colony was responsible for the use and redemption of it’s own currency.
Paper money was issued for the construction of roads, courthouses, etc. Continental currency was used to finance military expenses of the American Revolution. They were denominated in pounds, shillings, and pence. Virginia, for example also used dollars as a monetary unit. These notes were printed on high quality durable rag paper, which is why they lasted all these years.
The 13 colonies were represented by Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Think about it. These colonial notes are over 230 and contain signatures from important business and government leaders. A few issues even bear signatures from signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The main unique features of these notes are their incredibly artistic and interesting designs.years old and depicts its own unique design. Some have mythical figures, animals, food, phrases, etc. Also counterfeiting these notes meant death for the offender. It even states that on the back of most currency. And, they weren’t kidding!
Owning colonial paper money is like taking a trip through the earliest years of our nation. Imagine who handled and used this currency in their daily lives. The signatures are a testimony to the incredible journeys this money endured centuries ago. Imagine the people who handled this money. Paul Revere, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. As a matter of fact, Franklin had his own printing press where he and a partner printed currency for use in Delaware and Pennsylvania.
People who fought for our early cause handled this money. Those who signed our important early documents, like the U.S. Constitution even signed some issues stating the strength and hope for prosperity of our newfound nation.
Our country was small in the beginning years, but, it was the determination and ambition of these men and women to pave the way of a free country for all of us.
So, the next time you look at our early money, know that the people who handled this may have crossed the Delaware with our Commander-in-Chief George Washington, fought at Lexington and Concord or was at the end of the Revolutionary War seeing Washington accept Cornwallis’ sword as a term of surrender in 1781.