5 and 10 Dollars Plate, Made in New York, Captured in New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2, 1861

After the war began and the Union cut off trade with the South, Confederate Treasury Secretary Christopher G. Memminger found that he could no longer rely on Northern printers. He turned instead to the New Orleans branch of the American Bank Note Company, the only shop in the South with the skilled engravers and printing equipment required to produce high-quality bills that were hard to counterfeit. Samuel Schmidt, general manager of the New Orleans branch, changed the name of the bank to the Southern Bank Note Company and was contracted to produce notes using this plate, which was made in New York for the Confederacy. Just two weeks before the capture of New Orleans, Schmidt finished his contract and shipped the last batch of 2,760 notes to Memminger. But, soon after the Confederate city fell, the plate was confiscated by Union forces.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
overall: 14 in x 9 in; 35.56 cm x 22.86 cm
place made
United States: Louisiana, New Orleans
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Civil War
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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