Continental Currency: February 17, 1776
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    Continental Currency


    February 17, 1776

    An emission totaling $4,000,000 payable in Spanish milled dollars, or the equivalent in gold or silver, was authorized by the Continental Congress resolution of February 10, 1776. Of this $1,000,000 was reserved for the first national fractional currency. The front design on the fractional notes includes the first use of the "FUGIO" (I fly) legend and sundial as well as the "Mind your Business" legend. The back shows the thirteen linked rings representing the colonies and the legends "We are one" and "American Congress". Eric Newman has discovered these designs were created by Benjamin Franklin (see his indispensable The Early Paper Money of America p. 53). Note that on the fractional bills the dots in the corners of the front design reflect the denomination, with one dot designating a sixth of a dollar, two dots for a third, three dots for $1/2 and four dots for $2/3. Also, fractional denominations come in plates A, B and C. Again it was Newman who discovered the devices and border designs for the fractional bills were cut by Elisha Gallaudet, who also designed the Continental Currency coin. There is one signer, in red ink, on the fractional bills and two signers, using red and brown ink, on the dollar denominations. Counterfeit detectors for the dollar denominations were made on blue paper. The Franklin designs were adopted for the Continental Currency coin made a few months later and for the 1787 Fugio cents. The paper, made at Ivy Mills in Chester County, Pennsylvania, contained blue fibers and mica flakes. Printed by Hall and Sellers in Philadelphia. Denominations printed were the: $1/6, $1/3, $1/2, $2/3, $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $6, $7 and $8.


    obv rev


    $1/6                Plate B                Serial Number: 368,246                 CC 02/17/76

    Signer: Benjamin Brannan (or Brannon) (in red ink).

    Size: not available

    Comments: Numbered and signed in red ink. The sundial with the "FUGIO" legend and "MIND YOUR BUSINESS" motto appearon the right center of the front. In this fractional denomination, one ornament appears in the upper right corner of the sundial frame; this is keyed to the denomination as each mark equals 1/6th of a dollar. In the right border cut "CURRENCEY" is misspelled. The back shows the thirteen linked rings representing the colonies and the legends "WE ARE ONE" and "AMERICAN CONGRESS". Paper contains blue threads and mica flakes.

    Provenance: Scanned image of a note in the Collection of James Conner Poynor.


    obv rev


    $1/6                Plate C                Serial Number: 145,707                 CC 02/17/76

    Signer: Robert Tuckniss (in red ink).

    Size: 80 x 60mm (front border design: the vertical dimension is 78mm while the horizontal border is trimmed on our example; back border design: 74 x 55mm).

    Comments: Numbered and signed in red ink. The sundial with the "FUGIO" legend and "MIND YOUR BUSINESS" motto appear on the right center of the front. In this fractional denomination, one ornament appears in the upper right corner of the sundial frame; this is keyed to the denomination as each mark equals 1/6th of a dollar. In the right border cut "CURRENCEY" is misspelled. The back shows the thirteen linked rings representing the colonies and the legends "WE ARE ONE" and "AMERICAN CONGRESS". Paper contains blue threads and mica flakes.

    Provenance: Purchased through the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment from the EANA mail bid auction of 1/13/96, lot 278.


    obv rev


    $1/3                Plate A                 Serial Number: 437,338                  CC 02/17/76

    Signer: Horatio Johnson.

    Size: 79 x 62mm (front border design: 78 x 59mm, horizontal dimension trimmed on our example; back border design: 74 x 55mm).

    Comments: Numbered in red ink, signed in black ink. The sundial with the "FUGIO" legend and "MIND YOUR BUSINESS" motto appear on the right center of the front. In this fractional denomination, two ornaments appears in the corners of the sundial frame; this is keyed to the denomination as each mark equals 1/6th of a dollar. The back shows the thirteen linked rings representing the colonies and the legends "WE ARE ONE" and "AMERICAN CONGRESS". Paper contains blue threads and mica flakes.

    Provenance: Purchased through the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment from the EANA mail bid auction of 1/13/96, lot 279.


    obv rev


    $1/2               Plate B                Serial Number: 357,823                  CC 02/17/76

    Signer: Benjamin Brannan (Brannon).

    Size: 78 x 57mm (front border design: trimmed on our example; back border design: 74 x 55.5mm).

    Comments: Numbered and signed in red ink. The sundial with the "FUGIO" legend and "MIND YOUR BUSINESS" motto appear on the left center of the front. In this fractional denomination, ornaments appear in three corners of the sundial frame this is keyed to the denomination as each mark equals 1/6th of a dollar. The back shows the thirteen linked rings representing the colonies and the legends "WE ARE ONE" and "AMERICAN CONGRESS". Paper contains blue threads and mica flakes.

    Provenance: Purchased through the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment from the EANA mail bid auction of 11/16/96, lot 466.


    obv rev


    $2/3               Plate B                Serial Number: 417,791                  CC 02/17/76

    Signer: William Aisquith.

    Size: 78 x 62mm (front border design: vertical dimension trimmed on our example, horizontal dimension = 59mm; back border design: 74 x 55mm).

    Comments: Numbered and signed in red ink. The sundial with the "FUGIO" legend and "MIND YOUR BUSINESS" motto appear on the left center of the front. In this fractional denomination, ornaments appear in all four corners of the sundial frame this is keyed to the denomination as each mark equals 1/6th of a dollar. The back shows the thirteen linked rings representing the colonies and the legends "WE ARE ONE" and "AMERICAN CONGRESS". Paper contains blue threads and mica flakes.

    Provenance: Purchased through the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment from the EANA mail bid auction of 1/13/96, lot 281.


    Emission continued on the next page.