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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Exchange Medium - Currency

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Currency

Currency
Creator: W.L. Ormsby
Date: 1857
Sheet of paper currency containing four bills (two $1, one $2, one $3). Printed by W.L. Ormsby, New York, and issued in Kansas Territory by the City Bank of Leavenworth. This private bank opened for business in 1856 and issued large amounts of unsecured paper money before it failed in the Panic of 1857.


Currency

Currency
Creator: Merchants Bank
Date: 1854
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.


Five dollar bill signed by Georgia Neese Clark Gray

Five dollar bill signed by Georgia Neese Clark Gray
Date: 1950
A five dollar bill signed by Georgia Neese Clark Gray, 1900-1995, of Richland, Kansas. Gray was National Committeewoman for the Democratic Party, 1936-1964, and was appointed by President Harry S. Truman on June 9, 1949 as the first woman to serve as the U. S. Treasurer, 1949-1953.


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