Counterfeit Confederate Currency

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Confederate money was easy to counterfeit. Large amounts of it were printed in the North and circulated in the Confederacy in an attempt to debase its value. There was so much counterfeit that this has contributed as to how much legitimately were issued.

One of the best counterfeiters was Samuel C. Upham. He printed fake Confederate currency and claimed to be selling it for novelty purposes. He labeled many of them in margin "Fac-Simile Confederate notes sold, wholesale or retail, by S.C. Upham, 403 Chestnut Street, Phila". The words were hardly noticeable at a glance and were meaningless to the illiterate.

He stated "During the publication of those facsimile notes I was the "best abused" man in the Union (by the Confederacy). Senator Foote, in a speech before the Rebel Congress at Richmond, in 1862, said I had done more to injure the Confederate cause than Gen. McClellan and his army."

Upton's notes have an historical value today. They can command $75 to $100 in Fine condition for the note with Upton's advertisement in tact. In uncirculated condition, they are worth about $250. Those listed as scare and rare are even worth more.

From: "Confederate States Paper Money"edited by George S. Cuhaj and "Everyday Life During The Civil War" by Michael J. Varhola.
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
You have to know what they look like, type paper used, etc. That is why you need to know what you are doing in collecting money. The book I mentioned has pictures and descriptions of all the Confederate notes, legitimate and fake. However, I think you need to be an expert in types of money to really know the difference. I would never buy without consulting someone who really knows. You could be taken to the cleaners.
 

Carronade

Captain
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
Samuel C. Upham............
.........Senator Foote, in a speech before the Rebel Congress at Richmond, in 1862, said I had done more to injure the Confederate cause than Gen. McClellan and his army.

Not sure if that's a comment on Upham - or McClellan.

Legend has it that counterfeit Confederate notes could be recognized by being of better quality than the real ones :wink:
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Many of the Southern States issued notes. In fact, the Indian Territory issued some. The Cherokee Nation issued currency in June, 1862 which was all in low denominations which state they are redeemable in "Notes of the Confederate States".

These notes are very rare. They command a high price if ever found.
 

rhp6033

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Everett, Washington
I would wonder that the Treasury Dept. didn't take some offense to this scam. Sure, they were the paper currency of the enemy, and undermined the enemy's economy. But at the same time the U.S. was issuing it's own currency (IIRC, the first since the revolution), and might have been concerned that the demonstrated ease in counterfiting currency would tend to bring about pulic distrust of it's own paper currency.
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
I think from what I read on this matter, the U.S. government liked the fact that Confederate notes were being counterfeited. They flooded the market and devalued their value. This another strike at the Confederate economy.
 

Robert Gray

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
An example of one of Upham's notes as printed in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper on January 11, 1862.
Frank Leslie\'s Illustrated Newspaper, Jan. 11, 1862.jpg
 

gem

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
The note is the famed 1861 $1000 Confederate States of America T1 note. This particular example is not counterfeit.

This is the highest and only $1000 denomination series to be offered by the Confederacy.

Only 607 notes were issued and features images of John C. Calhoun on the left and Andrew Jackson on the right. Notice the hand signatures by Alex B. Clitherall, Register, and E.C. Elmore, Treasurer.
The Confederate States of America was formed February 4, 1861 when the 7 states which had seceded from the Union—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas—formed a "permanent federal government" whose capital was in Montgomery, Alabama.
They issued their first paper money in April 1861, when the Confederacy was just two months old.
The first four Confederate notes (of $50, $100, $500, and $1000 denomination) were issued from the original Confederate capital of Montgomery, Alabama and they represent the highest quality engraving and printing. Notice the word 'Montgomery' printed on the face of the note as these notes are sometimes referred to simply as 'Montgomeries'.
The South had no indigenous printing and engraving industry of its own. Thus its not surprising they looked to New York City for their first order, the center of printing and engraving during this time. Gazaway Lamar, a Georgian entrepreneur living and doing business in N.Y., at the request of Confederate Treasury Secretary Christopher Memminger set up a secret printing contract with the National Bank Note Company of New York. They engraved a plate to print a four-note sheet with one of each denomination: $50, $100, $500, and $1000. The order was placed for 607 sheets and was delivered to Montgomery, Alabama, on April 2, 1861. Interestingly, the delivery took place just days before the Confederate attack of Fort Sumnter, South Carolina April 10, 1861 and the offical start of the war.
A second shipment of notes was confiscated by the North as “contraband of war,” according to Memminger biographer Henry D. Capers. Thus, as history would have it these 'Montgomeries' ceased after only the initial 607 notes.
The loss of the New York Printing facilities was a crushing blow to Secretary Memminger, who now had to seek currency contractors within the Confederacy itself who lacked the expertise of the New York lithographers.
These high denomination notes were interest bearing at a rate of 3.65% per annum. In the case of the $1000 note, this breaks down to 10 cents/day. They were not intended for general circulation. These notes tended to be endorsed on the back when issued and cancelled when redeemed.
In May 1861, once Virginia had seceded, the Confederacy decided to relocate the captial to Richmond VA, and future issues of CSA notes reflect Richmond as the centerpoint.
Today about only 100 some odd T1 notes exist and are highly sought after even in the lowest grades.
t1_zps73ea044a.jpg

t1reverse_zps51d0539a.jpg
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
According to price list in book, "Confederate States Paper Money", the prices for the 1000 dollar Confederate note with Calhoun and Jackson range:

Good $12,000
Very Good $15,000
Fine $20,000
Very Fine $35,000
Extra Fine $45,000
Uncirculated $95,000

This catalog is the newest dated 2012.
 

gem

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
According to price list in book, "Confederate States Paper Money", the prices for the 1000 dollar Confederate note with Calhoun and Jackson range:

Good $12,000
Very Good $15,000
Fine $20,000
Very Fine $35,000
Extra Fine $45,000
Uncirculated $95,000

This catalog is the newest dated 2012.

those prices are accurate , its a pricey note
 

TinCan

Captain
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Location
Transplanted Texan
The guys who planned to steal Lincoln's body were also counterfeiters and were going to hold the remains as ransome until counterfeiters held in prisons were released.
 
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