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Story of Money


Section 9: Commerce in the colonies Previous | Next | Section Index
Wampum was legal tender in several colonies
Native American tribes used wampum—beads made from shells—as money. This Cherokee mussel shell necklace comes from southwest Virginia. Similar beads, made by tribes along the coasts of New England, New York, and New Jersey, were so extensively used that they were, for many years, legal tender in those areas.
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