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Early Paper Money of America / Massachusetts / 1690/91 February 3

An aggregate of £40,000 for this and the previous issue of Colony or Old Charter Bills was authorized by the Feb. 3, 1690/91 and May 21, 1691 Orders. These were receivable by Treasurer for taxes at 5% premium or payable at par with any specie on hand in the Treasury. Pursuant to a July 2, 1692 order all Colony bills paid out were to be endorsed on the back by Jeremiah Dummer or Francis Burroughs for validation under the new status of Massachusetts Bay as a Province. By the Dec. 15, 1692 Act all Colony bills, whether endorsed or not, were given legal tender status. By Act of Dec. 1693 the Treasurer, James Tailor, was required to endorse all bills paid out. By Feb. 21, 1693/94 the bulk of Colony bills had been redeemed, but were reissued from time to time up to a total of £42,000. By the Act of June 22, 1694 all unendorsed bills were called in for exchange, or to be endorsed by the Treasurer, or to become invalid in three months. Resolves for redemption of unendorsed bills nevertheless were passed thereafter. On Nov. 21, 1702 further reissue of all bills was prohibited. Engraved on copper plates in the same manner as the Dec. 10, 1690 issue. While the plate engraver of this and the December 10, 1690 issue is the same and is unknown, the style differs from subsequent issues engraved by John Coney. The only known examples are fraudulently altered bills, some of which had their denominations raised from 2s to 10s and others from 2s6d to 20s. Jeremiah Allen of the Treasurer’s Office certified on March 26, 1703 that no 20s bills of this emission were issued. Signers were the same as on the Dec. 10, 1690 issue.

2s6d Extremely Fine $161,000 Stack’s May, 2004 (Altered to 20 Shillings)
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