Lot 372 of 703:
Early Mormon paper money  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - unsold
$400 - $600

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

Young, Brigham

[Salt Lake City]




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

Very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.