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Story of Money

Section 10: Early American money Previous | Next | Section Index
Soon all thirteen colonies issued their own paper money
The coin shortage stimulated the use of paper money. Colonists had used paper money in their homelands, and it allowed the colonial governments to finance their operations and ease the coin shortage. Some of the notes displayed here were issued prior to July 4, 1776. But independence did not end the coin shortage or the need to finance government operations, so the printing presses rolled on.

Georgia certificate, 1776
One Spanish millled dollar

New Hampshire bill of credit, 1780
20 Spanish milled dollars

South Carolina bill of credit,
October 19, 1776

Two Spanish milled dollars

New York “water works” note, 1775
Eight shillings

North Carolina bill of credit, 1778
Five Spanish milled dollars

Virginia Treasury bill, 1780
400 Spanish milled dollars

Maryland bill, 1774
Six dollars

New Jersey bill of credit,
March 25, 1776

Three pounds

Pennsylvania loan office bill, 1773
Ten shillings

Massachusetts “sword in hand” note, 1775
Five shillings

Connecticut Treasury note,
June 7, 1776

One shilling

Delaware bill of credit,
January 1, 1776

20 shillings

Rhode Island bill of credit, 1786
30 shillings
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