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Early Paper Money of America / Rhode Island / 1780 July 2 Act

£39,000 ($130,000) in legal tender Bills of Credit payable in Spanish milled Dollars by Dec. 31,1786 with 5% interest was authorized by July 24, 1780 (not July 2, 1780 as appears on bills) and Mar. 1781 Acts pursuant to Continental Congress Resolution of Mar. 18, 1780 guaranteeing payment and making amount issued dependent upon the amount of Continental Currency exchanged at $40 (old) for $1 (new). Face in black and back in red and black. Printed by Hall & Sellers in Philadelphia on paper watermarked CONFEDE on one line and RATION below. The face border cuts and back cuts surrounding the emblems were engraved by Henry Dawkins, a former counterfeiter for the British. Border cuts and emblems on backs were from Jan. 14,1779 issue of Continental Currency. Sometimes endorsed on the face "Int. Pd. one Yr." Printed in red ink and sometimes handwritten in black ink. Interest was required to be calculated from April 1, 1781 because the bills were not issued until Jan. 1, 1781. The guaranty on the back is sometimes unsigned because many bills were liberated from the unissued supply. The Resolve of June 1788 required their exchange for the May 1786 issue. Signers were Metcalfe Bowler, Adam Comstock. Caleb Harris, and Thomas Rumreill. The guaranty was signed by Jonathan Arnold or Joseph Clarke.

See also "The July 2, 1780 Emission of Rhode Island Bills of Credit," by Raymond J. Hébert, published in Italiam Fato Profvgi (the Clain-Stefanelli festschrift, published in 1996).

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