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Ten dollar note issued by Merchants Bank of Fort Leavenworth. White paper with black printing on front only. Cameo head of George Washington in oval flanked by fruit and flowers at right. Spread eagle perched on elaborately framed arm holding hammer at bottom left, and seated woman with spinning wheel at center. This is an example of a "wildcat" note. Wildcat banks were situated in remote areas (in this case, Kansas Territory), making it almost impossible for their notes to be redeemed. The banks' inaccessibility was important because these notes were neither guaranteed nor backed by adequate securities. Bank president Lucien Ayer had traveled to Ft. Leavenworth during the fall of 1854 and announced his intentions of establishing a bank there. The bank was never opened but a large quantity of notes were printed and apparently circulated in the east before the fraud was discovered.

Creator: W. L. Ormsby
Date: 1854

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Item Number: 221159
KSHS Identifier: 1995.53.3

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