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Current Print >> 26 of 79:  1837

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6 CENTS. HUMBUG GLORY BANK.

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Another mock bank note parodying the "shinplasters" of the 1837 panic. Such small-denomination notes were based on the division of the Spanish dollar, the dominant specie of the time. Hence they were issued in sums of 6 (more accurately 6 1/4), 25, 50, and 75 cents. These fractional notes proliferated during the Panic of 1837 with the emergency suspension of specie (i.e., money in coin) payments by New York banks on May 10 of that year. "Treasury Note" and "Fifty Cents Shin Plaster" (nos. 1837-9 and -11) also use the bank note format to comment on the dismal state of American finances. Unlike these, however, "Humbug Glory Bank" is actually the same size as a real note.

The note is payable to "Tumble Bug Benton," Missouri senator and hard-money advocate Thomas Hart Benton, and is signed by "Cunning Reuben [Whitney, anti-Bank adviser to Jackson and Van Buren] Cash'r" and "Honest Amos [Kendall, Postmaster General and influential advisor to Van Buren] Pres't." It shows several coins with the head of Andrew Jackson at left, a jackass with the title "Roman Firmness," a hickory leaf (alluding to Jackson's nickname "Old Hickory"), and a vignette showing Jackson's hat, clay pipe, spectacles, hickory stick, and veto (of the 1832 bill to recharter the Bank of the United States) in a blaze of light. Above is a quote from Jackson's March 1837 farewell address to the American people, "I leave this great people prosperous and happy."

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Current Print >> 26 of 79:  1837

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