||Chicago, IL - Chicago Times Good for 10 Cents No Date (ca. 1860s). PCGS Fine 12 Apparent. An eclectic and extremely rare Chicago private scrip note issued by a historic Chicago newspaper. In fact, it is the only newspaper-issued scrip note we recall ever seeing. Although lacking a date or imprint, the style is consistent with that from the Civil War era, or only shortly thereafter. This small-format note is printed on both sides, with gray face tint (not unlike Davenport, Iowa scrip notes from the Civil War period printed in Chicago). The face displays a small vignette of a printing press, title and obligation, 10 counters in upper corners, and location at 74 Randolph Street. The green printed back shows the obligation that redeemed it in "BANKABLE BONDS," payable at two local banks. Signed on both sides, with the face signature particularly difficult to read. The Chicago Times was founded in 1854 and was initially pro-slavery; it later became an arm of the "Copperheads," the extreme faction of Northern Democrats seeking a quick peace with the Confederates. Some prominent "Copperheads" were tried for treason, and General Ambrose Burnside had the paper's activities curtailed during part of the war, but Lincoln lifted those restrictions. Eventually, well after the war, the Chicago Times became part of the Times-Herald but is not a predecessor to any of the existing Chicago newspapers. Designated Apparent with noted "Small Edge Splits." A fascinating financial artifact from Chicago, conservatively estimated when weighed against its rarity and interesting historical background. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $998.75. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19041. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.