||Farmerville, LA - Parish of Union, Louisiana $1 June 9, 1862 overwritten May 1862. PCGS Very Fine 20 Apparent. Particular to Louisiana are their Civil War era Parish or county issue notes. Only Louisiana had this parochial system of necessity currency, which grew out of French Catholic localities. The organization by parishes persisted after statehood in 1812. Prior to the Civil War, there were forty-eight note issuing authorities that are well-known by their eager collectors. The Parish of Union is one of the rarest issuers. Amazingly, the Newman collection contains six different notes from this key location, including this previously unpublished trilogy of denominations from an unknown series. They are all printed on local brown paper, in a wide format, and without imprint. This denomination has charming folk vignettes with a horseracing scene centered between two identical steamers. Titles and obligations are across the center, and the date is partially overwritten to "June 9" from the crossed out engraved "May" on the plate. All this is contained within a simple pattern frame. Fully issued and countersigned very lightly across the face in red vertically at the left. This is an Exceedingly Rare note. The Parish of Union June 28, 1862 $10 narrow format series type sold in the November 1991 Smythe & Co. Sale #100 Parish Collection sale realized a resounding $1,430 (on its $450-Up estimate). (Over a thirty-year period, this assemblage was formed by a noted Louisiana attorney who corresponded with Eric Newman concerning the Parish note contents of his collection.) That Smythe auction catalog and its corresponding Mail Bid Only Sale #101 are an important resource, comprising the most comprehensive record of Parish notes ever cataloged and sold. That collection contained forty-two of the known forty-eight issuing Parishes. This note and the two to follow are beautifully preserved for this genre of Civil War currency. Mentioned is a "Small Edge Tear at the Right," which is seen with extreme scrutiny and barely touches the black frame line. In the old days of cataloging, the present Obsolete note would likely have been graded "Superb" or even "Uncirculated" due its bright eye appeal and its likely unique status. This is an opportunity not to be missed. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $3,290.00. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19070. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.