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ROT currency on display

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1 ROT currency on display on Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:22 pm

$500 Republic of Texas Bill, April 29, 1839. On display at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, second floor Republic of Texas room, on display until August 2012

An act of January 19, 1839 provided for the issue of promissory notes, called “red backs,” to be issued in denominations of $5, $10,$20, $100, and $500. Because there was no limit set on the amount of red backs that could be distributed, and the Republic had no gold or silver coinage to back the money it issued, the notes were soon literally not worth the paper they were printed on. When the red backs first made their appearance, they were valued at only 37½ cents when compared against the U.S. dollar. The notes continued to sink in value until the winter of 1841-42, when they were valued at two cents on the dollar. Though additional currencies were issued, Texans began to use bank notes from other states and shinplasters (currency issued by private companies)instead of the worthless Texas money.

Annette Bethke
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