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Prices of Domestic Produce in Confederate Treasury Notes from 1 January 1861 to 1 January 1865

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-0352

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a price list of domestic products in Confederate Treasury Notes for 1 January 1861 to 1 January 1865.

Dates

  • 1861-1865

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

None

Biographical / Historical

The Confederate dollar, often called a "Greyback", was first issued into circulation in April 1861, when the Confederacy was only two months old, and on the eve of the outbreak of the Civil War. At first, Confederate currency was accepted throughout the South as a medium of exchange with high purchasing power. As the war progressed, however, confidence in the ultimate success waned, the amount of paper money increased, and their dates of redemption were extended further into the future. As the war progressed, the currency underwent the depreciation and soaring prices characteristic of inflation. For example, by the end of the war, a cake of soap could sell for as much as $50 and an ordinary suit of clothes was $2,700. Near the end of the war, the currency became practically worthless as a medium of exchange. This was because Confederate currency was actually not money, but bills of credit, as in the Revolutionary War, not secured or backed by any assets. Just as the currency issued by the Continental Congress was deemed worthless because they were not backed by any hard assets, so, this became the case with Confederate currency also. Even though both gold and silver may have been scarce, some economic historians have suggested that the currency would have retained a relatively material degree of value, and for a longer period of time, had it been backed by hard goods the Confederacy did have, perhaps such as cotton, or tobacco. When the Confederacy ceased to exist as a political entity at the end of the war, the money lost all value as currency.

Extent

0.03 Linear Feet (2 items)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Prices of domestic produce in Confederate Treasury Notes from 1 January 1861 to 1 January 1865

Provenance

unknown

General

To provide faster access to our materials, this finding aid was published without formal and final review. Email us at archives@ua.edu if you find mistakes or have suggestions to make this finding aid more useful for your research.

Processed by

A. Gilbert, 2009; updated by Martha Bace, 2013
Title
Guide to the Prices of Domestic Produce in Confederate Treasury Notes from 1 January 1861 to 1 January 1865
Status
Coll Lvl Complete
Author
February 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266
205.348.0500