Lot 129: Colonial Currency. 1769 PA. CHARLES THOMSON, Continental Congress Secretary
October 29, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
Famous Signers on Colonial Currency
March 10, 1769 "Relief and Employment of the Poor - City of Philadelphia" Pence Note Signed By Charles Thomson
CHARLES THOMSON (1729 - 1824). Patriot Leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the Official Secretary of the Continental Congress (1774-1789).
Fr. PA-135. Pennsylvania. March 10, 1769. Four Pence. Signed by "Cha(rles) Thomson." Backed. Choice Very Fine. This rare low denomination pence note is printed in a smaller size than the higher denominations. The text is quite readable and it is well centered. Contemporary laid paper on the blank reverse. The signature, "Cha(les) Thomson" is clearly readable being well written in rich brown ink at the bottom. This is the first note of this type we have seen having been signed by Charles Thomson. The current Newman reference book on page 346, lists this extremely rare low Pence denomination with a dash in all grades, in place of value in all qualities, due to its great rarity (whereas a higher denomination is listed for $2,000 in Very Fine). An important note that is lacking in most every collection and also Signed by Charles Thomson!
Colonial and Continental Congress issued currency is one of the greatest fields of collecting within American numismatics. Colonial American paper money was the very first used in the entire Western World. First issued in 1690 Massachusetts, the use of paper money quickly spread to all thirteen British colonies. American history was immensely influenced by the use of this "fiat" paper money as it allowed for an expanded economy and trade between the colonies. The history of paper money is repeated, even today. The very first issued of Massachusetts currency of 1690 had some notes deceptively altered to show higher values, inflation and the rampant printing of both the Colonial and Continental Congress issues led to the Government "bailout" of State debt, huge inflation and the mistrust of paper money as being ultimately "Not Worth A Continental." Collect this field and learn how history repeats!
For additional historic, rarity and value information, I highly recommend acquiring an additional reference book which is considered to be the "Bible" on this field of collecting, "The Early Paper Money of America" by Eric Newman.