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Lot 20175

Image Information

Type Currency
Title Lot 20175
Country United States
Description Tahlequah, Indian Territory (OK) -Cherokee Nation - Cherokee Nation Treasury Note 50 Cents June 18, 1862 Cr. CHR N-1, Burgett-5, Durand IT-94. PCGS About New 50 Apparent. A remarkable Confederate-era 50 cent scrip note in amazing condition from this interesting May 2, 1862, Act series. Nearly as made, with paper embossing visible, this example is in the finest condition of any denomination we have seen from the historic series. The issue evolved from the Cherokee treaty with Brigadier Confederate General Albert Pike, against the advice of Paramount Chief John Ross. A major portion of this treaty was the settlement of the 1846 claims due from Washington in the form of specie ($77,644.36, per Douglas B. Ball's research) and a trove of $172,300 in Confederate treasury notes. Those higher denomination notes, mostly $20, $50, and $100 notes, would help local change needs. The series appears to be locally printed in denominations from 50 cents to $5. The notes were signed by two Ross family members: Lewis Ross, brother of Chief John Ross and uncle of Clerk Joshua Ross, who was a wealthy slaveholder. The notes did not circulate long and most were seized and destroyed in July 1862. Chief John Ross was sent to Baltimore by Union officials. He was replaced by his constant nemesis within the Nation, Stand Watie, as Chief, who was also made a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army. This is a uniface note printed on very thin, translucent rag paper. Without imprint, but now attributed to John Candy in the Shull-Criswell reference. An intricate, ornamental pattern is at top and bottom. End panels at left and right, composed of linked oval ornaments, somewhat reminiscent of a woven pattern, enclose the denomination HALF DOLLAR in English at the left and translated into the Sequoyah (named for the Cherokee innovator) alphabet at the right. The interesting use of both language styles helped prevent raising the notes' denominations. The numeric denomination is at upper left. The obligation is across, bolded FIFTY CENTS, and its translation in dialect. The additional obligation at the top, "Issued by authority of Law in lieu of Notes of the Confederate States," is continued along the bottom margin with, "which are retained in the Treasury for the redemption hereof." Signed by Joshua Ross as clerk and Lewis Ross as treasurer. The Shull-Criswell Rarity 10 (5-15 known) is accurate. Noted with a "Small Edge Tear at the Top Right" which is not readily seen in the wide margin. That small fault does not discount the fact this is a superior and exceptional note. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. From Newman X (Heritage Auctions, November 2018), lot 20175, realized $3840.

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Image Collection Eric P. Newman Collection, Part X
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