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Early Paper Money of America / La Louisiane / 1785-1810 Private Bons

Private bons were an element in the circulating medium, particularly in the Missouri River fur trade. Obligations were payable in peltry at established rates. Bons were given to suppliers by fur trappers and traders to be paid on the return from an expedition. Some were promissory notes and others were bearer obligations. An Illinois promissory note set forth hereafter illustrates the exchange value of various furs, which were the official medium of exchange in Upper Louisiana. A translation follows it.

At the exchange rate of next May, I will pay to the order of Mr. Pierre Antoine Tabeaux, the sum of three thousand three hundred three livres, six sols current money of Illinois, payable in peltry in accordance with the prices below, namely - raccoons 28 sols, beaver 6 francs, otter 18 francs, foxes and lynx 50 sols, bear skin 8 francs, all on delivery for value received of said gentleman.

Kahokia 9 October 1793 Nicola Lachanse
In addition various articles
20 livres, 12 sols, 6 deniers
Nicola Lachanse

(Kahokia was on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River when this promissory note was issued and thus in the United States.)
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