Confidence in Paper


Just catalogued in special collections, and I wanted to throw it up in honor of this wonderful, crushing economy. This is An act to provide a national currency, secured by a pledge of United States bonds, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof. [32pp.] WITH Instructions and suggestions of the Comptroller of the currency in regard to the organization and management of national banks. [24 pp.]. (Washington DC, 1864). Loose forms (blank, engraved) are also tucked in, docketed for ease of filing: “Certificate of Officers and Directors”; “Oath of Directors”; “Certificate of Organization”; and “Articles of Association”.

This is from the Treasury Department’s history of US currency:

By 1860 more than 10,000 different bank notes circulated throughout the country. Commerce suffered as a result. Counterfeiting was epidemic. Hundreds of banks failed. Throughout the country there was an insistent demand for a uniform national currency acceptable anywhere without risk.

In response, Congress passed the National Currency Act in 1863. In 1864, President Lincoln signed a revision of that law, the National Bank Act. These laws established a new system of national banks and a new government agency headed by a Comptroller of the Currency. The Comptroller’s job was to organize and supervise the new banking system through regulations and periodic examinations.”

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