The first paper money to appear in America was printed in 1690, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony created bills to pay soldiers engaged in campaigns against the French in Canada. What started as an emergency measure, turned out to be a solution to the long-term problem of building an economy without large reserves of precious metals. Eventually, all of the other colonies issued their own bills.
|Public Domain images|
The biggest problem with this system was that paper money didn’t have a uniform value. A pound note from one colony might not be worth a pound in another colony. In fact, it might not be worth a pound anywhere. Some colonies printed far more paper money than they could ever redeem.
Benjamin Franklin was a strong advocate of paper currency in America. Although he argued in favor of it before the English Board of Trade, in 1764, the English Parliament passed the Currency Act, which prohibited any further issue of American paper money.
|By Benjamin Franklin and David Hall (printers) - Image by Godot13, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31946718|
In 1775, the Continental Congress issued the colonies' first uniform currency, the bills came to be called "Continentals." They were used for a time, but in the end, they were worthless, as confederate dollars were after the Civil War.
|Public Domain image|
Before the creation of federally backed paper currency in 1862, the federal government didn’t believe issuing paper money was its responsibility, although it did coin gold and silver. Since the Constitution forbid states from printing money, banks became the main suppliers of paper money in the U.S.
|Chase Dollar - courtesy of US.gov|
Congress eventually phased out the bank notes issued by state banks by putting a tax on them, thereby discouraging their use. In 1863-64, Congress passed a series of national bank acts, which set up a system of privately owned banks chartered by the federal government. These national banks issued notes backed by the U.S. government bonds, and these national bank notes became the country’s chief currency.
Brooks Morgan is quick on the draw, but his weapon of choice is his smile. He’s smart and witty and has charmed his way through much of life, but now he’s growing older—and a bit wiser. He wants to stop drifting and settle down. He sees his chance when he wins Raven Creek Ranch in a poker game, but when he goes to claim his prize, a pretty woman with a shotgun says the ranch belongs to her. Brooks isn’t leaving his one and only chance to make something of his life—but neither is she. Can they reach an agreement? Or will a greedy neighbor force a showdown, causing them both to lose they want most in life?
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Bestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams penning romance stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie is an award-winning author of more than 40 published books and novellas, with over 1.5 million copies sold. Her novels include End of the Trail, winner of the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel Award. Whispers on the Prairie was a Romantic Times Recommended Inspirational Book for July 2013. Song of the Prairie won the 2015 Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Gabriel’s Atonement, book 1 in the Land Rush Dreams series placed second in the 2016 Will Rogers Medallion Award. Vickie has recently stepped into independent publishing.