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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Prices of Domestic Produce in Confederate Treasury Notes from 1 January 1861 to 1 January 1865 MSS.0352

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Author:

Finding aid prepared by February 2009

Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-02-06T15:44-0600

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

February 2013
Collection Title:

Prices of Domestic Produce in Confederate Treasury Notes from 1 January 1861 to 1 January 1865

Unit ID:

MSS.0352

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.05 Linear feet (2 items)

Dates:

1861-1865

Abstract:

Prices of domestic produce in Confederate Treasury Notes from 1 January 1861 to 1 January 1865

creator

Confederate States of America. Dept. of the Treasury.

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains a price list of domestic products in Confederate Treasury Notes for 1 January 1861 to 1 January 1865.

Preferred Citation:

Prices of Domestic Produce in Confederate Treasury Notes from 1 January 1981 to 1 January 1865, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Biographical/Historical note

The Confederate dollar, often called a "Greyback", was first issued into circulation in April 1861, when the Confederacy was only two months old, and on the eve of the outbreak of the Civil War. At first, Confederate currency was accepted throughout the South as a medium of exchange with high purchasing power. As the war progressed, however, confidence in the ultimate success waned, the amount of paper money increased, and their dates of redemption were extended further into the future. As the war progressed, the currency underwent the depreciation and soaring prices characteristic of inflation. For example, by the end of the war, a cake of soap could sell for as much as $50 and an ordinary suit of clothes was $2,700. Near the end of the war, the currency became practically worthless as a medium of exchange. This was because Confederate currency was actually not money, but bills of credit, as in the Revolutionary War, not secured or backed by any assets. Just as the currency issued by the Continental Congress was deemed worthless because they were not backed by any hard assets, so, this became the case with Confederate currency also. Even though both gold and silver may have been scarce, some economic historians have suggested that the currency would have retained a relatively material degree of value, and for a longer period of time, had it been backed by hard goods the Confederacy did have, perhaps such as cotton, or tobacco. When the Confederacy ceased to exist as a political entity at the end of the war, the money lost all value as currency.

Access Restrictions:

None

Usage Restrictions:

None

Acquisition Information:

unknown

Processing Information:

Processed by

A. Gilbert, 2009; updated by Martha Bace, 2013

Source(s)

Business and Labor (localbroad)

Civil War (localbroad)

Community and Place (localbroad)

Confederate States of America--Politics and government (lcsh)

Daily Life and Family (localbroad)

Financial records (aat)

Money (lcsh)

Ledger pages Box 571 Folder 12