Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Confederate Treasury-- Part 1

A very interesting article from the March 14th New York Times Opinion page "Money for Nothing" by Ben Tarnoff.

This is a subject I knew little about other than so much Confederate money was printed during the war that it essentially became worthless. Mr. Tarnoff went into some detail on Southern finances.

On March 9, 1861, the Confederate Treasury was given authority to print $1 million in notes. From this small amount, huge increases were made. With the Civil War still a little over a month away, a Northern firm, the National Bank Note Company of New York, was contracted to print it. That is definitely an interesting arrangement.

President Jefferson Davis appointed Christopher Gustavus Memminger of South Carolina to run the treasury. He didn't have much to work with. Gold bullion had been obtained when the federal mints at New Orleans and Dahlonega, Georgia, were seized, but beyond that, there wasn't much to back up currency.

More to Come. --Old B-R'er

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