Types of Fiscal Paper Used as Money


The turbulent times in our country's history necessitated the emergency use of many different types of fiscal paper to be pressed into use for purposes that it was not originally intended. The following are examples of types of paper used as money.

(The following is taken from Roger Durand's Interesting Notes About Denominations, 1988. Used with permission.)

Bearer Checks Checks made payable to the bearer with a printed denomination. These were usually used for small change.
Bonds An obligation under seal in which a person or corporation binds himself to pay a certain sum of money at a specified time. Missouri issued Defense bonds to circulate as Confederate States notes under the act of November 5, 1861.
Certificates of Deposit A statement, issued by a corporation, certifying that it has received a specified sum of money on deposit. Notes were issued in various amounts against these deposits.
Clearing House Certificates A document used during a financial crisis which enables banks to discharge their mutual obligations without a transfer of cash; a guarantee by the clearing house.
Stock Certificate The assets or funds utilized by a company to carry on its business, represented by a given number of shares of fixed value per share. Currency size stock certificates are known to have circulated as money during emergency situations.
Business College Currency Paper currency issued by a college to be used as an educational device in the business departments of the college of issue. These notes, in some cases, were also used as a medium of exchange for college services and are known to have been used in general circulation outside the campus.
Labor Currency Notes issued by organized labor and payable in hours and sometimes with stated values. They usually had to be redeemed by the issuer in other types of funds.
Postage Stamp Currency Merchants scrip notes with U.S. uncancelled postage stamps affixed equaling the printed denomination of the note.
Bank Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a bank, under authority of law, as a circulating medium.
Corporate Note A promissory, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a corporation, under authority of law, as circulating medium.
Government Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a government, under authority of law, as a circulating medium. Example: Government of Texas while not part of the United States.
Insurance Company Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by an insurance company, under authority of law, as a circulating medium.
Mining Company Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a mining company, tinder authority of law, as a circulating medium.
Mortgage Company Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a mortgage company, under authority of law, as a circulating medium.
Post Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand at some specified future date, issued by a bank, under authority of law, as a circulating medium during the states bank era.
Postal Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a postmaster, as a circulating medium. These were emergency issues to facilitate the making of change by the South during the Civil War.
Railroad Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a railroad company, under the authority of law, as a circulating medium.
Note Issued by a Society A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a society, under the authority of law, as a circulating medium.
States Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a state, under the authority of law, as a circulating medium.
Territorial Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a company residing in a territory, under the authority of law, as a circulating medium.
Toll Road Note A promissory note, payable to the bearer on demand, issued by a toll road company, under the authority of law, as a circulating medium, usually to facilitate the making of change.
Railroad Fare Ticket Note issued by a railroad entitling the bearer transportation for a certain distance and in certain instances, payble in money or other services. Used as currency in the south during shortages of paper.
Church Scrip A certificte issued by a church declaring that the holder will be entitled to an amount of money or other consideration equal to the printed or written denomination.
City Scrip A certificate issued by a city declaring that the holder will be entitled to an amount of money or other consideration equal to the printed or written denomination.
Commissioners Scrip A certificate issued by an order of a board of commissioners declaring that the holder will be entitled to an amount of money or other consideration equal to the printed or written denomination.
Merchants Scrip A certificate issued by a merchant declaring that the holder will be entitled to an amount of money or other consideration equal to the printed or written denomination.
Municipal Scrip A certificate issued by a municipality decatring that the holder will be entitled to an amount of money or other consideration equal to the printed or written denomination.
Parish Scrip A certificate issued by a parish declaring that the holder will be entitled to an amount of money or other consideration equal to the printed or written denomination. These notes are usually from Louisiana.
Ticket A certificate with words or characters on it showing that the holder is entitled to something. During the War of 1812, to circumvent local laws, notes were printed with the word ticket rather than dollars or cents and they had printed denominations.
Treasury Warrants An official instrument or order for the payment of a certain amount of money from the treasury of a county or town. These were used as a medium of exchange in Texas in large numbers.

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Last Updated: July 25, 1997