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Early Paper Money of America / Maryland / 1774 April 10

$480,000 in indented Bills without legal tender status authorized at the Nov. 16, 1773 Session. These were Payable between Oct. 10, 1785 and April 10, 1786 at 4s6d Sterling per dollar. Of this issue $266,6662/3 were to be loaned through the Loan Office, $80,000 to be used for public expense and the balance to be exchanged for worn bills. By Act passed during the Oct. 17, 1780 Session all outstanding issues prior to 1776 were to be exchanged at 40 (old) for one (new) or become invalid after Mar. 20, 1781. Similar in form to the Mar. 1, 1770 issue, but on thinner paper containing mica flakes. The nature prints from the July 14, 1756 issue were again reused. For an explanation of additional oddities in printing and “secret marks” or deliberate errors refer to the March 1, 1770 issue. Printed by Anne Catherine Green and Frederick Green. Signers were John Clapham and William Eddis.

$1/9 (6d) [27,000]
$1/6 (9d) [27,000]
$2/9 (1s) [27,000]
$1/3 (1s6d) Caret under small h in Third and small e in Bearer [31,000]
$1/2 (2s3d) Small A between HALF and DOLLAR [27,000]
$2/3 (3s) Caret under small h in Thirds [31,000]
$1 (4s6d) Engraving of Spanish Dollar [34,500]
$2 (9s)         Engraving of two Spanish Dollars [31,500]
$4 (18s) Caret under third the [18,000]
$6 (27s) Three type sizes in MARYLAND [18,000]
$8 (36s) Denomination printed nine times Broken d in London [18,000] ▷CF◁

John Kraljevich provided further detail on the printer Anne Catherine Green in a Facebook post on 3/9/2019:

In March 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband insisting he "remember the ladies" as the work of designing a new government continued.  In March 2019, my mom (not coincidentally also named Abigail) insisted I recognize Women's History Month and International Women's Day with a little slice of American history. So Mom Gail Baker, this is for you.

Woman or man, rich or poor, we all have something in common with Anne Catherine Green. Anne Catherine Hoof was born in the Netherlands and was brought by her parents as an immigrant to the Colony of Pennsylvania sometime before 1738. She was just a kid. She was still just a kid when she got married that year to Jonas Green, a printer who was working for Benjamin Franklin. She was probably about 18.

Between 1738, when she was about 18, and 1760, when she was about 40, Mrs. Green had 14 children. Of the eight daughters and six sons, only six of those children survived past the age of 6: Rebecca, Mary, William, Frederick, Samuel, and Augusta. Her namesake, Anne Catherine, died at 8 months. Both sons named Jonas died before they turned two. Anne Catherine Green knew loss. She knew the love of family. She knew how to stay sane with three boys and three girls barely able to get out of each other's way in a small house on Charles Street in Annapolis, Maryland, where the family moved in the early 1740s to further Jonas' printing career.

With many mouths and a single meager income derived mostly from government printing contracts, Anne Catherine took on extra work to help the family stay solvent. She placed ads in the Maryland Gazette selling raisins, chocolate, and coffee: luxury goods for people more wealthy than themselves. She had to deal with not only a business downturn when smallpox came through Annapolis in 1756, but the loss of a child to the disease. I'm sure she would have vaccinated young Jonas if she could have. Anne Catherine knew about balancing priorities and hard work, amidst struggle.

In 1767, her husband died. With him, the family's sole source of significant income disappeared. She asked the readers of the Maryland Gazette for their understanding and patience -- and she took the reins herself. In January 1768, after an appropriate period of mourning, the masthead listed Anne Catherine Green as publisher.

She survived political squabbles. She stood tall to threats. Just months after taking over, when a local resident was none too happy about some letters published in the Gazette, he threatened "to knock up her press, if ever she published any more pieces against him." She kept going, and within weeks the colony rewarded her with a contract to become the official printer of the government of Maryland. Anne Catherine Green knew how to hold her ground and thrive when obstacles might have derailed others.

In 1769, Annapolis native and renowned painted Charles Willson Peale returned from London and painted Anne Catherine Green. She was not depicted as a widow, or a housewife, or a mother of adults and pre-teens. She was depicted as a publisher, holding a copy of her Maryland Gazette.

She looks exhausted.

Though she styled herself professionally as "A.C. Green" for much of her career, in 1774, she let her hair down on a single denomination of Maryland paper money that was printed in her shop. On the scarce $1/9 notes, you see her name in full: Printed by Anne Catherine Green. One of the clerks who signed the notes, John Clapham, married her daughter.

She printed all the words that led to the American Revolution, the threats and hyperbole from both sides, but mostly steered clear of personal attacks. She died a month before the first shot was fired at Lexington Green, passing in March 1775. Her obituary said she displayed "a mild and benevolent Disposition" and was "an Example of her Sex."

Anne Catherine Green did not become a pioneering printer -- one who survived a tumult that led to civil war -- by being nice. Her life of loss, work, and sacrifice, and her ability to learn the printer's art and trade by mere observation, helped her capitalize on an opportunity and become a central figure in America's most cultured city (sorry Charleston). She bravely faced opposition. You might say that, nevertheless, she persisted.

She's worth remembering on International Women's Day, of course, but she's also worth holding up as an example the other 364 days of the year too.

Thanks Mom.

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