State Notes 1861-1865 Civil War Currency
After seceding from the Union on January 11, 1861, Florida joined the Confederacy on Jan. 28, 1861. An act providing for the issuance of Treasury Notes was passed by the General Assembly on Feb. 14, 1861. Thus began the first printing (FIRST ISSUE) of State of Florida notes, with dates of September to December 1861. Of special mention are the rare September notes signed by Governor Madison Perry who left office Oct. 1, 1861. All other notes of this issue were signed by Governor John Milton.
Florida’s SECOND ISSUE of notes were printed as payment for Florida’s assessed share of the war tax for the Confederacy. They are all engraved with the January 1, 1862 date and are signed by Walter Gwynn as Comptroller and C.H. Austin as Treasurer.
Florida’s THIRD ISSUE ushered in a beautiful new design which also included, for the first time, fractional notes of 10, 25, and 50 cent denominations. These fractionals bear the engraved date of Feb. 2, 1863, while the $1.00 through $10 denominations are dated, March 1, 1863. Both Third and Fourth issued notes were signed by C.H. Austin, Treasurer and John Milton, Governor.
Florida’s FOURTH ISSUE notes were in reality a reissue of the Third Issue with a different engraved date of March 1, 1864.
Florida’s FIFTH ISSUE notes were in fact it’s last issue during the Civil War and by far the rarest. Notes carry an engraved date of Jan. 1st., 1865, and were issued in high denominations of $50, $100, and $500. They were all printed on backs of 1864 Florida state notes and were signed by Governor Abraham K. Allison, whose term began after the suicide of Governor John Milton on April 1st. C.H. Austin signed as Treasurer.
When Union soldiers arrived in Tallahassee on May 10, 1865, all Confederate and Florida currency became worthless. Governor Allison’s term ended on May 22, 1865, when he was incarcerated by Union troops.
March 1, 1870 State Of Florida One Dollar Note Redeemed Stamped: May 10, 1899, Treasury Of Florida and Signed:
Received and cancelled May 10, 1899. J.B. Whitfield, State Treasurer. Who later became Florida Supreme Court Justice. To date, this is the only note known that carries the “Redeemed Stamp” and cancellation.
Governor Harrison Reed, 9th Governor of Florida, in office July 4th,1868 to Jan. 7, 1873. Born August 26, 1813 died May 25, 1899 in Jacksonville, Florida. For an excellent treatise on the 1870 Reconstruction period notes of Florida see Ron Benice’s book, Florida Paper Money pages 36-40.
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