Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, January 7, 2013

Talk on Civil War currency and inflation at Library

The role of currency in the Civil War will be examined.
The Friends of the Plainfield Public Library
offer a rare treat this coming Saturday with a presentation on Civil War currency and inflation by Dr. Thomas Brown, Plainfield resident and president emeritus of Union County College.

Known as 'greybacks' (the Union currency was 'greenbacks'), the paper money issued by the Confederate States of America was not based on hard assets, but was instead -- like the notes issued by the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War -- a promise to pay at some future date.

As the war continued and Confederate prospects dimmed, the currency underwent tremendous inflation, making it nearly worthless. Dr. Brown will trace the history of the currency and its impact on the Civil War.

Examples of Civil War currency will be on display as well as Civil War engravings by artist Winslow Homer from the Library's local history collection.

Dr. Brown has an especial interest in the Civil War and is the author of George S. Boutwell, Human Rights Advocate and 'Lincoln, Boutwell and the Creation of the Internal Revenue Department'.

The presentation is this Saturday, January 12, 2:00 PM in the Anne Louise Davis Meeting Room. The Plainfield Public Library is at Park Avenue and West 8th Street. All are welcome. For more information about the Friends of the Library, call (908) 757-1111 x136 or visit the library's website at

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Pat Turner Kavanaugh said...

Dan: it is truly disappointing that you would ignore the Celebration of Herb Green's life, with all he did for Plainfield, and trumpet a talk on Confederate currency, which was scheduled for 5 Jan. and changed with total disrespect for Herb because 5 Jan. "was too close to New Year's" and "Tom and Tessa leave for Florida." Shame on you. I know where I trust anyone who cares about Plainfield will be at 2 pm that day, Emerson School.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like today's money!