Brooklyn in the Civil War
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Ten Cent Promissary Note
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Ten Cent Promissary Note

Brooklyn 1862

During the Civil War, people hoarded metal coins because of their intrinsic value as silver, gold, or copper. This hoarding caused a shortage of circulating coins. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing was called to print paper notes in denominations of 3 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, and 50 cents.

This note, however, may be of a different sort called a shinplaster. Enterprising businesses, such as this store at 683 Myrtle Ave., Brooklyn, would issue a promissory note (promise to pay) to their customers. These notes came in a variety of denominations and were redeemable for merchandise only at the merchant of issue. Also, after customer pressure, merchants promised to exchange the shinplaster for bank notes if the customer could save one dollar's worth.

Citation - Document 41
Courtesy of Tom and Angela Sarro

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