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Early Paper Money of America / La Louisiane / 1750 Billets de Cartes

[No examples of the following seven French paper money issues have been located. These are known only through the research and writing of those who have examined the remaining original archives. Much of the data is incomplete, unexplained, and confusing. Printing was not available in New Orleans until 1764 and thus whether prior issues were printed in France in whole or in part, or whether scribes wrote them is an open question. Similarly, the size of the individual pieces is unknown and the means and extent of their circulation is unknown. Without examples of the paper money itself the comments, which follow, are subject to challenge. Nevertheless, an attempt is made to present this elusive subject rather than to omit it as its inclusion may stimulate further findings.]

By an ordinance of February 1, 1750, a special issue of card money with denominations from 25 sols to 30 livres was emitted by the Colony to pay the King’s obligations there. These cards were ordered withdrawn by European French officials on October 23, 1750 because the cards were issued only by Colonial authority. The money was extensively counterfeited by those who were described as “many important people.” The genuine cards were exchanged for bills of exchange in France.

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