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    Likely Unique in Private Hands - North Carolina "Smallpox" Issue $50 "Persecution" 1778 Issue Dated August 8, 1778

    North Carolina August 8, 1778 $50 Persecution the Ruin of Empires PMG Choice Fine 15.
    This small issue consisted of the balance of the total that was authorized for the August 8, 1778 issue that was not printed due to the smallpox epidemic, £24,876 5s. The 1780 notes were authorized on April 17, 1780. Not all of the $16 notes had been printed for the 1778 issue, etc., however only $50 notes were authorized for this issue due to inflation. According to Watson in Money and Monetary Problems in Early North Carolina, in 1778 the paper notes circulated at a rate of 3.5 to 1 for specie. A mere two years later, when this issue was authorized, the rate had increased to 6 to 1 (by 1782 that had increased to a staggering 600 to 1). Richard Cogdell stated that "A string of Fish which used to cost 12d is now 1920d, or 20 Dollars."

    The only change from the 1778 notes was the 1780 date on the back, with the August 8, 1778 date remaining on the face. The Signatures of James Coer and James Green Jr. can be identified on the front of the note. Originally thought to be only three varieties, a recent discovery of a new motto, "Union of Hearts the Strength of Interests", increased the number to four different mottos on the $50 notes. All of which are exceedingly scarce. There were three different varieties of $50 notes. This is the variety with the motto, "Independence." Only 498 examples were printed of each of the four varieties. The present piece is the only one of the issue that we have ever handled, and the only example graded by PMG. A great North Carolina rarity fit for the finest of collections.
    From the Colonial Valley Collection


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    October, 2021
    6th-8th Wednesday-Friday
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