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2021-01-12 Other articles >

US wildcat banknote - Bank of Michigan, 1838

Banknote as a christmas card


There was a period in U.S. history when the 7th President, Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), removed federal assets from the Second Bank of the United States controlled by his political opponents and distributed them among state banks, thereby giving the states financial opportunities to independently regulate the activities of local banks.

'Wildcat banking' and 'wildcat banknotes' – these terms are used to describe the operations of banks established and operating under the jurisdiction of their state. According to legend, on the first banknotes of one of the first regular banks, a wild cat was depicted: the banknote did not survive, the bank – too, but the name stuck to all the banks that were given life by the easy-going hand of American regional legislators.
Michigan became the first state that, with the adoption of the Michigan General Banking Act in 1837, began to distribute permits for banking activities, and within 1 year in Michigan there were 55 own banks operating exclusively under the jurisdiction of the state.

Other states, if they lagged behind in terms of the start date of issuing such permits, soon outstripped Michigan in terms of their number-the number of banks registered and operating exclusively within the borders of their state is impressive:
  • New York – 485;
  • Massachusetts – 266;
  • Wisconsin-166;
  • Illinois - 164;
  • Pennsylvania-143;
  • Maine-132;
  • Indiana-126;
  • New Jersey-114;
  • Rhode Island-114;
  • Ohio – 96;
  • Connecticut – 90;
  • Michigan – 81.
This list is incomplete: only those states that registered more private banks within their borders than the pioneer state of Michigan, and each of these banks issued its own banknotes, and - several denominations, and in total all 3,000 banks issued approximately 50,000 bills of different designs.

In 1863, the National Banking Act banned the issue of private bank notes, and they went out of circulation, moving to Bonist collections, some – in their original form-uncirculated.

The Bank of Michigan $ 3 bill reminds me of a Christmas card: sheep with a ram in the center, a gray-haired gentleman telling a teenager about George Washington on the left, and a girl with a sickle and a sheaf on the right.

The banknote did not have time to reach circulation: unsigned, pressed, crunching – as if only yesterday from the printing press of American Bank Note Co, New York, although 182 years have passed since printing.

US wildcat banknote - Bank of Michigan, 1838

3 доллара 1838 г.

Country : Соединенные Штаты Америки
Value : 3 доллар
Year : 1838
Quantity :
Issuer :
Series :
Valid from :
Valid till :
Cancelled :

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