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Confederate War Currency Makes Money

June 7, 2009

You too could have  a Confederate bill with pictures of John C. Calhoun on it.  He was a real prize of a U.S. Senator……not.   As a Civil War buff I think owning a piece of the past would be grand, but Calhoun on a Confederate bill……….

About 40 boxes of the currency were supposed to be destroyed more than a century ago, but some of the bills were tucked away in the Statehouse basement and eventually moved to the state archives. They sat there largely undisturbed for four decades, and only recently did officials realize they could sell the cash.

The archives have made about $200,000 selling hundreds of the bills over the past couple of years. Most of that money was made in an auction of uncut sheets of the currency last year, but every week or so, South Carolina puts a couple of loose bills up for sale online. The old money is a little wider, whiter and lighter than today’s paper money.

Last month, a bill from the Bank of South Carolina worth $4 when it was issued almost 150 years ago fetched nearly $400.

When the South lost the Civil War, (AND THEY DID) Confederate money became worthless and the new Reconstruction government in South Carolina refused to cover the paper money issued by the state when it was not a part of the United States.

Several other Southern states went through a similar process after the Civil War, but Rodger Stroup, director of the state archives, said that as far as he knew, only South Carolina had failed to destroy all of its currency, bringing this unexpected windfall more than a century later.

The bills, issued during the Civil War, provided information on what people thought was important to the rebel government. Plenty of bills have pictures of John C. Calhoun, the United States senator and one-time vice president from South Carolina best known for laying the foundation of secession by advocating that a state could ignore any federal laws it thought were unconstitutional. Others have Revolutionary War heroes like George Washington or South Carolina’s own Francis Marion.

One Comment
  1. nikolaykotev permalink
    June 8, 2009 6:18 AM

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