header Notes Collection

5 Dollars 1850 - 1860, Plate C, United States of America

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: Unissued, Unsigned (late 1850s-1860s)
Edition: --
Signatures: no signature
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 1850 - 1860
Material: Paper
Size (mm): 187 х 75
Printer: Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co. - New York & Philadelphia; American Bank Note Company

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Dollars 1850 - 1860, Plate C




5 Dollars 1850 - 1860, Plate C

General Joseph WarrenOn right side is Dr. Joseph Warren.

Dr. Joseph Warren (June 11, 1741 - June 17, 1775) was an American doctor who played a leading role in American Patriot organizations in Boston in early days of the American Revolution, eventually serving as president of the revolutionary Massachusetts Provincial Congress. Warren enlisted Paul Revere and William Dawes on April 18, 1775, to leave Boston and spread the alarm that the British garrison in Boston was setting out to raid the town of Concord and arrest rebel leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Warren participated in the next day's Battles of Lexington and Concord, which are commonly considered to be the opening engagements of the American Revolutionary War.

Warren had been commissioned a Major General in the colony's militia shortly before the June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. Rather than exercising his rank, Warren served in the battle as a private soldier, and was killed in combat when British troops stormed the redoubt atop Breed's Hill. His death, immortalized in John Trumbull's painting, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775, galvanized the rebel forces, and he has been memorialized in many place names in the United States.

I was interested in identify the ship in the engraving. The task was not easy.

I wrote to the 24 museums and historical societies in the United States, asking for help in this matter. By myself I could not find a similar boat.

Total responses I received 5:

1) From the maritime museum in Maine "Penobscot Marine Museum".

2) From the ships museum in Indiana "Howard Steamboat Museum" (they, or rather Mr. Travis C. Vasconcelos, advised me to appeal to the right place).

3) From the Maritime Historical Society in Seattle, Washington "Puget Sound Maritime".

4) From the Maritime Museum in the city of Bass, Maine "Maine Maritime Museum".

5) And, finally, from Mrs. Astrid M. Drew of " Steamship Historical Society ", in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Many thanks to Mrs. Astrid M. Drew of "Steamship Historical Society" in Warwick, Rhode Island, for help in determining the ship on the banknote! I am very grateful to her for co-operation!


On banknote is "SS Quaker City" (the boat has the letters Q.C. on the flag).

That what Mrs. Astrid M. Drew wrote to me:

"Hello Mr. Leyderman,

Going off of the letters Q.C. on the flag, and the overall shape of the ship, I think it may be the SS Quaker City. Her official number was 20528, and she was built in 1854 for the New York, Havana and Mobile line.

She was built by "Vaughn & Lynn" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her tonnage was 1,428, and she was about 227 feet long and 36 feet wide. She had side lever engines and a wooden hull. She was operated by "the North American Lloyd", and "the New York & Bremen steamship companies" in addition to "New York, Havana and Mobile Line". She served the union during the United States’ Civil War as an armed cruiser that hunted blockade runners, and after the war sailed a pleasure cruise to middle east and Europe in 1867. Apparently Mark Twain wrote a book about or at least based on this trip, called Innocents Abroad, which is digitized and can be read here.

marineOne of the very few photos we have of her shows her in Naples in 1867, most likely during that cruise (this photo is in the public domain, and appears in the article about this ship’s military career). After being sold in 1869 her name was changed twice: Columbia in 1869, and to Mont Organise in 1870.

I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


Astrid M. Drew

Research and New Media".

marine marine marineOn top is the steamer USS Quaker City leaving the harbor.

Although this engraving, like most nineteenth-century bank note work, was not signed, the artist was extremely skilled and created a range of tones by varying the spacing, size, and depth of the lines and dots. This detail of the sailboat in the foreground shows just how precise and delicate the line work needed to be to create a strong overall impression.

Vignettes were often used by a variety of clients, but the only bank note upon which this particular one seems to appear in the ANS collection is on an 1859 five-dollar note issued by the Morganton branch of the Bank of North Carolina (Haxby NC-55 | Pennell P-990). (Pocket change)

On left side is an abbreviation "ABC" - the monogram of "American Bank Note Company".

Connecticut coat of armsThe coat of arms of Connecticut is also on left side.

Description of the coat of arms from the Register book, 1910.

CONNECTICUT, U.S.A. (State Device). A shield charged with three trees

from mounts on the dexter side, war trophies, and on the sinister the emblems

of justice; behind the escutcheon an explosion. Motto - "Qui tran sust" or "He Who Transplanted Still Sustains".

The trees are grapevines.

The grapevines are said to represent more specifically either early towns or the early individual colonies. Some 19th-century versions of the Connecticut Great Seal show several grapevines. The best answer today is that the grapevines should be taken to represent the three original colonies of Connecticut: (Hartford), Quinnipiac (New-Haven), and Saybrook, though it can also represent the first three settlements of the Connecticut colony proper-Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield, as New Haven and Saybrook were reluctant additions to Connecticut.

On bottom is The Bald Eagle - National emblem of USA.


5 Dollars 1850 - 1860, Plate C

Denomination is in big words (red color).


Obsolete Currency refers to paper money that was issued by entities other than the Federal Government, and generally in the period of 1782-1866. It includes notes that were issued by state banks, state and local governments, merchants and railroads.

Many people think that the Federal Government was always in the business of printing paper money. The truth is, up until 1862 (with a couple small technical exceptions), the Federal Government was strictly in the coin business, and didn't issue paper money. The establishment of the Bureau & Engraving can be traced back to August 29, 1862.

The bank issued currency makes up the largest portion of the field of Obsolete Currency. These are often referred to "Broken Bank Notes". This is a term that goes back to the days when bank failures were common. The banks were considered "Broken", and their currency was considered "Broken Bank Notes". The term Obsolete Currency is more fitting, as many of the banks did not go broke. As a matter of fact, James Haxby notes in his book "Standard Catalog of United States Obsolete Bank Notes 1782 - 1886" that many of the early national banks or their successors exist today, and some still redeem the old issues of their predecessors!

There were many different printing companies that could be contracted to print paper money. As with anything else, some were better at their craft than others. Some collectors choose to collect notes that were printed by a particular printer or company. A couple of good examples would be notes printed by W.L. Ormsby, or the American Bank Note Company. Both produced notes of high quality that are actively collected today. There were, however, dozens of others too.

The field of Obsolete Currency consists of many thousands of different issues, featuring some of the most beautiful artwork you'll ever see on paper money. Thousands of different vignettes can be found. I was told by a Bureau of Engraving and Printing employee that was giving a demonstration at a recent coin & currency show, that some of the more elaborate vignettes could take up to 9 months to produce! After the plates were produced for printing, a number of steps were involved in the printing of each sheet of currency. The sheets were usually printed with 4 notes to a sheet, and was delivered to the banks as sheets. There were no elaborate cutting machines in those days to cut the sheets, so the notes would be cut off the sheets by hand with scissors. Because of this, Obsolete Currency is normally found with somewhat uneven margins which were rarely cut perfectly straight.

Due to the high cost of having currency printed, most Obsolete Currency was only printed on one side. During the Civil War there was a severe paper shortage. Many banks, who had to provide the paper for the currency to be printed on, had to be creative at times. Often times, unused sheets from an earlier issue (or even another bank) would be recycled. This would be done by using the blank back side of left-over sheets, usually arranged with the new notes being printed in the opposite direction of the notes on the back of the sheet. There are also some issued that were printed on lined notebook paper and even wallpaper!

Obsolete currency is a vast and interesting field, with many different ways it can be collected. Some people will collect notes from their particular state or town. Others will collect according to the themes of the vignettes. Some will collect notes with vignettes depicting Indians, trains, slaves, bare-breasted women, boats, covered wagons, animals or some other area of interest to them. Although Obsolete currency has been appreciating in value at an amazing rate (and still going!), the greatest reward comes from owning these works of art from an era so long ago.

Catalog number in the Haxby catalogue: Haxby CT-265-G52b.

Unlike regular US Government notes, bank notes were not printed on the finest of cotton-bond paper or with the best of inks. They were not meant to circulate for a long period of time or circulate throughout the nation. They usually circulated on a local or state level, and probably not more then a few years at best. They were printed on whatever paper was available at the time. On some notes one can see some of the wood or pulp chips in the paper. In some cases, they were printed on earlier notes that were no longer in use. The technology of acid-free paper was not there yet, as seen with some of our national historical documents, and paper was much scarcer than we can today imagine. These notes had to be printed on semi-wet or moist paper, or the ink would not properly adhere. They were very labor intensive, and were printed by hand, one side at a time. They would manually ink the press, place the damp sheet in it, and run the roller over it. The sheet would be hung to dry, and the same process of wetting and printing would be repeated for the reverse. In the case where more than one color was used, the process would have to be repeated for each color. Unpurified water was used in the wetting process, thereby introducing more minerals or impurities to the paper. As a consequence, many of these notes are very difficult to locate without discoloration, color bleeding or what looks like water staining, due to the wetting process. As if that was not enough, they were individually cut with scissors or crude cutting boards, making them very difficult to find with good margins, or the design itself not cut into it. When grading them today, the coloration, bleeding or some stains, do not deduct from the grade, for the great majority have these problems. Margins, alignment and condition of the paper itself are the main grading points. However, when finding some of these notes without many of the usual problems, one should recognize that it is not the norm. That is one of the reasons why I have virtually all of these notes certified. They get sealed in archival holders, minimizing the aging and toning effects by not being exposed to the elements, and it also gives the client reassurance as to its authenticity and grade.