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Early Paper Money of America / Continental Currency / 1779 January 14

$95,051,695 in Continental Currency was authorized by seven separate Resolutions passed between Jan. 14, 1779 and Nov. 29, 1779, the first portion being authorized and issued simultaneously with the Sept. 26, 1778 issue. The Jan. 14, 1779 Resolution provided for $50,000,400 to exchange for the May 20, 1777 and April 11, 1778 issues which were called for redemption because of extensive British-sponsored counterfeiting. Sixteen denominations of bills, including $7 and $8 denominations, were originally planned, but by the May 7, 1779 Resolution denominations of $70 and $80 were substituted for the $7 and $8 and the total number of bills to be issued was decreased accordingly. As a result the $70 and $80 denominations were printed on the same sheet as the six lowest denominations, which sheet was watermarked UNITED STATES in two lines. The $30 through $65 denominations were printed on sheets watermarked CONFEDERATION in two lines. New border cuts were engraved for the face and used the name of UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA.

New emblem and motto cuts of smaller size were similar to those used on corresponding denominations of prior issues. The emblem on the $3 bill has the bird's head on the right side rather than on the left side as theretofore. Francis Hopkinson developed the new emblems and mottoes for the $35, $45, $70, and $80 denominations. On the backs is an entirely new set of leaf and cloth nature prints. On the face of all bills portions of the emblem and the left border were printed in red, the balance of the face being printed in black. The parts of the emblem cut out and replaced for the red print caused this issue to be humorously referred to as "kite faced bills" due to the diamond shaped cut out on some bills. An unnumbered and unsigned two-color test printing exists of only the face of a $65 denomination on heavy white un-watermarked paper without colored fiber or mica flakes. On the $5 denomination the letter R in DOLLARS below the text was higher than the adjacent S; broke in the course of printing and shifted; was replaced and was no longer higher than the S; the period after DOLLARS was moved to the right; and the outside double circle of the emblem was also damaged at 5 o'clock. The $40 denomination has 14 instead of 13 rays, apparently in recognition of Vermont's assertion as a state.

Counterfeit detector sheets are printed in red and black on blue paper. By the time the final portions of this emission were issued the exchange had reached over $40 in bills for $1 in specie. Signers, emblems, mottoes, and nature prints are subsequently included in this section. The emblems and some border cuts on the face were subsequently used for the backs of the State issues guaranteed under the Mar. 18, 1780 Resolution of the Continental Congress.

$1 [139,811] ▷DT◁
$2 [139,811] ▷DT◁
$3 [139,811] ▷DT◁
$4 [139,811] ▷DT◁
$5 [139,811] ▷DT◁
$20 [139,811] ▷DT◁
$30 [182,070] ▷DT◁
$35 [182,070] ▷DT◁
$40 [182,070] ▷DT◁
$45 [182,070] ▷DT◁
$50 [182,070] ▷DT◁
$55 [182,070] ▷DT◁
$60 [182,071] ▷DT◁
$65 [182,070] ▷PR◁ ▷DT◁ ▷CF◁
$70 [139,811] ▷DT◁
$80 [139,811] ▷DT◁ ▷CF◁

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