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Ann Arbor Michigan
The Bank of Washtenaw in Ann Arbor, Michigan, issued this one dollar note in May 1854. The center of the note is decorated with three allegorical images of women—Liberty, Commerce, and Industry—seated under an eagle. The lower left of the note has an image of two farmers with rakes. The note is signed by the bank’s cashier, C. A. Newton, and its president, E. R. Tremaine.
From 1790 to 1863, states and private banks issued their own currency to supply capital in a young nation without a national currency. This currency was backed by the hard money the banks had on deposit, and was only used locally where the bank and its operators were trusted in the community. However, banks often oversupplied notes, and this overextension caused bankruptcy among private and state banks when financial panic struck, particularly in 1837. Currencies from these failed banks are known as “obsolete bank notes” or “broken bank notes,” and several are held in the National Numismatics Collection.
Currently not on view
Danforth, Wright & Co.
United States: Michigan, Ann Arbor
paper (overall material)
overall: 7.1 cm x 18 cm x.01 cm; 2 25/32 in x 7 3/32 in x in