Over 8,000 institutions issued paper currency during the period, providing a substitute for coinage. Unfortunately obsolete notes had several drawbacks: They were only as reliable as the institution that issued them; the huge number and variety of note designs and issuers encouraged counterfeiting; and as a result, the notes were only accepted close to their place of origin — so that they could be cashed in for “real” money if need be. The Civil War brought an end to the era of obsolete notes as a result of the Federal government’s need to create a stable national currency to pay for the war.
Did You Know?
Obsolete banknotes come in a number of unusual denominations — including $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $6, $7, $8 and $9 notes!