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Image of Virginia, 15 Dollars, 1776
 
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Materials: Paper
Measurement: 9.0 x 6.8 cm
Source: Carl H. Jaeschke
Note:
 


Virginia, 15 Dollars, 1776

The American colonies (or states, as they now began calling themselves) issued currency of their own to pay war expenses and keep local economies afloat. Issues from Virginia featured an armored Amazon brandishing a sword. She stands above and on the prone body of a dead male ruler, whose crown has fallen on the ground. The motto could not be more plain: SIC SEMPER TYRANNUS (Be it ever thus to tyrants). This vivid image still adorns the Virginia state flag.

Unlike most Revolutionary War currency, this note was printed on only one side. And the paper for its printing left something to be desired. It looks as if this note were forcibly torn in two. But whether it was torn deliberately or by accident, someone pinned it back together — crudely but effectively.

The denomination is given as "fifteen Spanish milled dollars." Those coins were the famous "pieces of eight," now minted by machinery ("milled") in Mexico City and elsewhere. They were the monies of choice when coins were available, and Americans liked them so much that they eventually based their own United States dollar on the Spanish-American prototype.
 
Related Events
1774: The First Continental Congress convenes in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, Pa.
1775: Addressing the Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry declares, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
1776: Americans sign their Declaration of Independence, formally beginning a war with Great Britain.
1781: General Cornwallis surrenders a large British Army to General Washington at Yorktown, Va.
1789: The United States Constitution is adopted, creating a strong federal government.
 
Legends of the Human Spirit The following objects are in this section.
United States, 2 Dollars, 1776Connecticut, 2 Shillings 6 Pence, 1776Confederacy, 1 Dollar, 1862
United States, 30 Dollars, 1776Confederacy, 5 Dollars, 1862Norfolk, Nebraska, 1 Dollar, 1933
Virginia, 15 Dollars, 1776Confederacy, 5 Dollars, 1863Pismo Beach, California, 1 Dollar, 1933
Maryland, 1 2/3 Dollars, 1775Confederacy, 10 Dollars, 1863Pismo Beach, California, 50 Cents, 1933
 
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