Rare War of 1812 Treasury Notes of the US to be Auctioned

06 Mar 2019  Wed

Kagin’s Auctions is going to offer 14 rare Treasury Notes that were issued during the 1812 War fought between the US and Great Britain. These amazing notes belong the Joel R. Anderson Collection and will be auctioned on 29th March at the ANA National Money Show in Pittsburgh. They are also a part of the most important and challenging series of US banknotes, and that too in the finest condition. It is believed that some of these notes might not appear in the market after the auction for several years. They were among the first circulating United States paper money.

The United States was facing a grave economic crisis during the War of 1812 with Great Britain. Import tax revenues and loans were insufficient to fund the war. The then Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson and other congressmen rejected the proposal for issuing currency notes as there was a fear that it could lead to hyperinflation, which had already occurred with Colonial Currency earlier. After a lot of disagreements from chief financial officers, Treasury notes were issued. These notes were payable to bearer, transferable by delivery and receivable in all payments for public lands and taxes.

Five acts were passed for issuing interest-bearing notes, of which the last one came into effect on 24th February 1815. According to this act, “small” Treasury notes of denominations of $3, $5, $10, $20 and $50 were issued without any interest. These notes were fully signed and circulated as money but weren’t called “legal tender”.

Kagin’s Auctions is going to offer a unique $10 treasury note for the first time publically. It was among new Treasury Notes of the War of 1812 and supposedly, the first circulating banknote of the U.S. government. The line drawing of this note was featured in a book called "United States Notes" by John Jay Knox. No example of this type surfaced for 40 years until it was offered during the FUN 2015 show. This time, the note is being offered at an estimated value of $150,000 to $250,000.

Image Courtesy: Kagin’s Auctions

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