1861 Confederate money found in Lebanon
Posted: Monday, January 31, 2011 8:01 pm
LEBANON (AP) — “Save your Confederate money, boys, the South will rise again.”
According to The Lebanon Democrat, apparently some past county employee took that old suggestion seriously.
Two fragile Bank of Tennessee $1 notes dated Dec. 1, 1861, were found recently by Wilson County Clerk Jim Goodall. He discovered them in a wallet behind a drawer in an old safe kept inside the vault at the courthouse office.
“The 150-year anniversary of the Civil War’s beginning (1861-1865) is going on this year, so this is a piece of history uncovered at a good time,” said Wilson County Archives Director Linda Grindstaff.
“These notes must have been some of the first notes put in use during the beginning of the war.”
Printed in the lower right corner of the notes is “New Orleans, La.”
Grindstaff said she checked with the Tennessee State Archives and was told, “This is a real find.”
How long the notes had been there is a mystery. According to the newspaper, the wallet looks newer than the 19th century and the company that manufactured the safe, Mosler Safe Company of Hamilton, Ohio, operated from 1867 to 2002.
Goodall and Register of Deeds Bev Spickard, both members of the Public Records Commission, agreed that the county is lucky it has a professionally run archives where such finds can be shared with the public.
“Not many counties have archives at all and ours is excellent, Spickard said.
Grindstaff said the notes will be displayed at the county archives.
Tennessee had seceded from the union six months before the notes’ date.
“The state relied primarily on notes issued by various local banks for currency and many of these notes were redeemable in Confederate currency,” Grindstaff said.
“Federal ’greenbacks’ were also used in portions of the state, depending on whose control it (Confederate or Federal) was under at the time.”
Information from: The Lebanon Democrat, http://www.lebanondemocrat.com
Published in The Messenger 1.31.11