Lot 372 of 703:
Early Mormon paper money  

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Lot closed - unsold
Estimate:
$400 - $600

Title:
Printed "Valley Note" Currency in Denomination of $2.00, with Printed Heading: "G.S.L. City, Jan, 20, 1849"

Author:
Young, Brigham

Place:
[Salt Lake City]

Publisher:

Date:
1849

Description:

Small printed paper slip, measuring about 2 x 3¾ inches.

This small piece of paper money printed by the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City is an example of the earliest recorded printing done in Utah.  Called a "Valley Note" by Alvin E. Rust, this form of paper currency was printed in several denominations, using a font of script type of the style used for calling cards.  McMurtrie quotes a passage from a manuscript history of Brigham Young which describes the interesting circumstances under which this paper money was printed:

"They had gold dust, but many refused to take it, as there was a waste in weighing it for exchange.  To meet this want, we employed brother John Kay to coin the dust, but upon trial he broke all the crucibles and could not proceed.  I then offered the gold dust back to the people, but they did not want it.  I then told them we would issue paper till the gold dust could be coined.  The Municipal Council agreed to have such a currency, and appointed myself and President Heber C. Kimball and bishop N.K. Whitney to issue it.  The first bill, for one dollar, was issued on the first of this month [January 1849].  The bills were signed by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, & Thomas Bullock, clerk."

 

The copy in hand is not signed, stamped, or filled out.  "It is definite enough that the first use of the press by the Mormon settlers was in January, 1849, for the production of paper currency.  Furthermore, it is gratifyingly definite that the first printer was Brigham H. Young, with the perhaps unskilled aid of Thomas Bullock.  Brigham H. Young at that time was a young man of about 25, the nephew of Brigham Young the governor and leader" - McMurtrie.

 

Very rare.  According to Rust, only 204 valley notes in the two-dollar denomination were issued without a serial number, "rare in unsigned condition."

 


Lot Amendments

Condition:
Very good.


 
Item number:
299517
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