Question: What was the amount of South Carolina's Debt at the End of the Civil War?

Pat Young

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#1
Most of us know that the state governments that had been part of the Confederacy were required to repudiate their debts incurred in support of the Civil War. I was wondering just how much those debts were. Does anyone know the amount of the repudiated war debt in South Carolina? What about other states?
 

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#3
Found the following in one of my currency books that may be of some assistance:

"Reconstruction in South Carolina extended from the close of the war in 1865 until 1877 when federal troops were finally withdrawn from the state. The Reconstruction government was corrupt at all levels and was responsible for stealing millions of dollars from the citizens of South Carolina by perpetrating all types of financial scams. Scams included the issuance of bonds without record of how many were sold or where the proceeds went, paper money that was issued without the authorization of the state legislature, at least initially, and the sale of worthless land at greatly inflated prices, by members and friends of the government, to the state land commission that was to be sold at favorable rates to the 'landless,' which included the freed slaves. The state debt increased from $8.6 million in October 1867 to approximately $20 million dollars by 1871. The majority of this money ended up in the pockets of members of the Reconstruction government and their friends.

South Carolina used the Bank of the State of South Carolina, which was wholly owned by the state, as its institution for the issuance of paper money, both before and during the Civil War. The bank was established in 1812 and the earliest known issues were dated 1815. The latest issues were dated during the Civil War years. Bonds for 'military defense' were issued by the bank during the war. The fractional paper issues dated 1861 through 1863 were issued by the state as a result of the lack of small change during the war due to the hoarding of specie."

A Guide Book of Southern States Currency - History, Rarity, and Values, pp. 297-298, Hugh Shull
 

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#4
Found the following in one of my currency books that may be of some assistance:

"Reconstruction in South Carolina extended from the close of the war in 1865 until 1877 when federal troops were finally withdrawn from the state. The Reconstruction government was corrupt at all levels and was responsible for stealing millions of dollars from the citizens of South Carolina by perpetrating all types of financial scams. Scams included the issuance of bonds without record of how many were sold or where the proceeds went, paper money that was issued without the authorization of the state legislature, at least initially, and the sale of worthless land at greatly inflated prices, by members and friends of the government, to the state land commission that was to be sold at favorable rates to the 'landless,' which included the freed slaves. The state debt increased from $8.6 million in October 1867 to approximately $20 million dollars by 1871. The majority of this money ended up in the pockets of members of the Reconstruction government and their friends.

South Carolina used the Bank of the State of South Carolina, which was wholly owned by the state, as its institution for the issuance of paper money, both before and during the Civil War. The bank was established in 1812 and the earliest known issues were dated 1815. The latest issues were dated during the Civil War years. Bonds for 'military defense' were issued by the bank during the war. The fractional paper issues dated 1861 through 1863 were issued by the state as a result of the lack of small change during the war due to the hoarding of specie."

A Guide Book of Southern States Currency - History, Rarity, and Values, pp. 297-298, Hugh Shull
Thanks. I find that the amount of debt incurred by South Carolina during Reconstruction is available, but I am trying to find out how much debt it accumulated during the war that was later repudiated.
 

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#7
From the study cited above:

The Civil War debt held by individual Confederate states at the end of the war has been estimated at $66,907,000.46 But, this pales compared to the debt of the Confederate States of America, which was reported to be $1.4 billion on October 1, 1864.47 Added together, the Confederate debt that might be forced upon the United States for repayment equaled $1.438 billion. And, if one adds in compensation for freed slaves (which was a rumored demand of Southerners),48 valued at $1.75 billion in 1860, the total bill the South might present to the North amounted to $3.2 billion, $500 million more than the United States public debt at its peak. (p. 11)
 

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#8
https://www.vqronline.org/essay/those-southern-repudiated-bonds
Doesn't cover SC.

That is not going to be easily found. Debt includes debt owed to merchants and suppliers. I'd get a copy of SC legislative journal and look for debt and expense authorizations.
Oh my gosh, that is a hoot! I was completely unaware of that article by Joseph Grégoire de Roulhac Hamilton, a leading Dunning School historian. He is so darned outraged! Great stuff. I'll try to start a thread on that article in a few weeks.

Thanks.
 

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#9
Oh my gosh, that is a hoot! I was completely unaware of that article by Joseph Grégoire de Roulhac Hamilton, a leading Dunning School historian. He is so darned outraged! Great stuff. I'll try to start a thread on that article in a few weeks.

Thanks.
Come to think of it, that seems a bit late for Southern Civil War bonds to be an issue, but Imperial Russia Bonds were still in the news Jan 15, 2018.

The figures may be in a musty old financial expose'.
 

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