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U.S. Civil war tokens & Store cards


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With Fort Sumpter fired on.... the beginning of the bloodiest part of US history began. An interesting fact that the attack on Fort Sumpter left no dead!  The actual very first lives lost happen just ten miles from my home.  You see Baltimore 1860 was a split city....Maryland a split state...

1861 Baltimore was under Federal control. And as stated the first casualties happen on Pratt st. As political unrest and Northern troops in place lit the powder keg thats fuse was short to begin with....blew...as the Pratt St. riots  exploded so did the loss of life and the war between the states was now going full tilt.





Edited by Paddy54
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Money was hoarded well real money hard money..as paper wasn't considered real as both sides issued paper but no one trusted its backing.

Thus Store cards and Civil war tokens became the script that the every day citizen used to make purchases and make change.

People hoarded silver & gold coinage as a fail safe measure...as again paper was just that paper...no backing by a precious metal. 

So merchants had made and used store cards to substitute  for hard cash.

Some were just for goods and services,others had a two fold being...one for commerce and secondary a poltical statement....pretty much declaring your position on supporting which side.


Please post your specimens that fall into these two categories.  If you know the history please share a few lines about the specimen.  As well should you have other items that tie into the theme of this thread.

I hope you enjoy the thread...as we revisit 1860's and the coins and tokens that were the monetary system of the day.

Edited by Paddy54
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Our little Monitor a new addition to the Paddy hoard was a perfect example of a CWT that showed support of the northen armies. The fact it had just 1 gun as the Southern iron clad  ship had several. Lead to a battle that both sides  claimed victory... but history teaching us differently.



$(KGrHqFHJCcE-ffTjhSNBPss+uuRmQ--60_12   61012 o-crop-crop.jpg

$(KGrHqJ,!joE-msMp+hrBPss+vq(i!--60_12 61012 r-crop-crop.jpg

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Now that is very cool piece of family history!

Now 10 miles south of me is Annapolis,  also pretty historic for many reasons!

George Washington gave up his command of the army, Our state capital was also the capital of the United States at one point, the first treasury was also located on the state house grounds.

To the West of down town as area known as "Parole" it got its name from the temporary camp set up to house Union soliders released from the Confederate pisoner of war camp at Point Lookout Md.

The now released prisoners were placed on trains and ships to return home.



Edited by Paddy54
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My latest numismatic interest is Indiana trade tokens. The majority of the tokens in my collection date from the early 20th century but I have acquired a couple of Indiana Civil War tokens. They tend to be pricey, unfortunately. This relatively common undated store card was issued by J. S. Queeby, a dry goods dealer in Peru (Miami County). Fuld 740-B-6a.



Edited by DLTcoins
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This is my other Indiana Civil War token, a patriotic issue belonging to a class known as "Indiana primitive" produced by Henry D. Higgins of Mishawauka (St. Joseph County). Higgins was an optometrist, jeweler and manufacturer of barometers. He also struck Civil War tokens for himself and others from dies he manufactured himself, sometimes by taking an existing token and driving it into the face of a softened steel die. The resulting hubbed die would lose some detail. This, combined with the somewhat crude lettering by his own hand, is what gives rise to the term "primitive". Dated 1863, the token here features on the obverse the famous equestrian statue of George Washington in New York's Union Square. The reverse quotes Andrew Jackson. Fuld 175/403a.


Edited by DLTcoins
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Now again not exactly a CWT or store card but a very cool find that I never knew anything about.  I grew up attended HS in Baltimore County not 5 miles from this locationI am about to share.

You see Baltimore as well Maryland itself was very much divided durring the civil war. It wasnt impossible that standing in a picket line that in the line facing you ,was your cousin! Or other family members....

In Pikesville Md which is about <10 miles from the center of Baltimore had a Confederate old soliders home ! Now I spent from 1960-1974 living and growing up in this area...and had never heard of this. 

I find this truly amazing as I've always been a student of history,and for the most part considered this area a Northern  territory.  This area of Northern Baltimore has been a area where those of the Jewish faith had settled for as long as I remember. Like other areas around Baltimore a city of many different nationalities ,and religions have or had settled around the city compass.

One can believe that Baltimore was the True Line that separated the north and south...as well a no mans land that split many families. 

On a trip back to Washington by rail Lincoln was diverter from coming into Baltimore Camden yards rail station. The fear that he be assassinated .

All this history took place outside the gates of the Orioles and Raven stadiums. 





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Civil War tokens are definitely interesting, I have a few in my collection.  The first is fairly common, and features a spelling error on the reverse (if you don't already know it, see how long it takes you to spot it):


This next piece, interestingly, is the only direct reference to slavery in the entire Civil War Token series (the famous "Am I Not a Man and a Brother/ Woman and a Sister" types were issued decades earlier, during the Hard Times Token era, and are not considered CWTs):


Some CWTs doubled as campaign pieces during the election of 1864.  I have two different Lincoln pieces:




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