header Notes Collection

2 Dollars 1922, Serie A, United States of America

in Krause book Number: 188
Years of issue: 1922
Signatures: Register of the Treasury: Mr. Harley V. Speelman (in office from January 25, 1922 to September 30, 1927), Treasurer of the United States: Mr. Frank White (in office from May 2, 1921 to May 1, 1928).
Serie: 1917 Issue
Specimen of: 1917
Material: 75 % Cotton, 25 % Linen
Size (mm): 187 х 79
Printer: Bureau of Engraving and Printing, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Fort Worth, Texas.

* 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.

2 Dollars 1922, Serie A




2 Dollars 1922, Serie A

Thomas Jefferson

The portrait of the third President of USA Thomas Jefferson made by Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 - July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801-1809). He was a spokesman for democracy and the rights of man with worldwide influence. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia and then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia (1779-1781). Just after the war ended, from mid-1784 Jefferson served as a diplomat, stationed in Paris. In May 1785, he became the United States Minister to France.

To the left of the portrait is an inscription (mention) of the Act of Congress of March 3, 1863.

At first I found only 1 Act passed by the US Congress on that date - the military duty act, in the light of the American Civil War (The Enrollment Act).

It was also known as the Civil War War Bill - a piece of legislation passed by the United States Congress during the United States Civil War to provide new labor for the northerners' army. The appeal form required the enrollment of each male citizen and those immigrants who applied for citizenship from the age of twenty to forty-five. Federal agents set quotas for new troops from each Congressional district. In some cities, in particular in New York on July 13-16, the execution of the law caused civil unrest as the war dragged on. He replaced the previous People's Police Act of 1862.

But, I had doubts that the banknote is talking about this Congress Act - what does it have to do with the banknote?

Here is what I found later:

“By an act of March 3, 1863, Congress authorized the issuance of exchange bills instead of postal money and limited the availability of both types of payment signs to fifty million. The Minister of Finance, when issuing new banknotes, decided not to reproduce postage stamps on them, although the size of the banknotes remained the same. At first they were brown, green, purple and red, but then all banknotes of 3, 5, 10, 15, 25, and 50 cents turned green. They were accepted for payment in the United States for all transactions worth less than $ 5, with the exception of customs duties, and exchanged for bank notes of the United States; gradually they replaced the postal money; the people called both “creak.” At first they were treated favorably as getting rid of more evil, but from constant walking around the hands of the banknote became so worn and dirty that it turned out to be undesirable for hygienic reasons.When they finally began to issue small changeable silver coins in 1876, most were happy. The banknotes were gradually withdrawn from circulation, although it was regrettable for someone, since small paper money could easily be sent by mail, and it was convenient for miners and manufacturers to pay money in envelopes to employees.

At the beginning of the war and until the fall of 1862, it was not easy for everyone. “People here are terribly impoverished,” said Phillips Brooks of Philadelphia. The New York newspaper Tribune wrote about "paralyzed industry, stalled trade, financial tensions, and mangled railways." People learned to save on everything. Coffee and sugar rose incredibly in price. Many families mixed the fried dandelion roots with real coffee, others prepared their morning drink from dried corn or rye grains; some went from white to brown sugar.

Delicacies one by one disappeared from the tables, and few were embarrassed by the modesty of meals. Simple clothes turned out to be both fashionable and decent. For the most part, the North was distinguished by the simplicity of life. The operas were performed from time to time, there were few theaters, and entertainment took on a character adapted to ordinary life. During the war, a public lecture, concert, church meeting with charades became rare events; boys and girls gathered to pinch lint for the wounded, occasionally paid visits to the nearest military camp to watch the parade of volunteers - this served as a kind of distraction from all-consuming worries and anxieties. To the concern for the country, personal sorrows were added. “In many of our homes,” Harriet Beecher Stow wrote, “the light of life has disappeared.”

Great inconveniences mingled with minor inconveniences arising from the disruption of public finances. In January 1862, gold was already sold at a premium and quickly disappeared from circulation. But for the masses this did not create difficulties, since gold was not used as the main means of payment and he was ready to replace it in the form of state banknotes and state treasury bills. But a rise in the price of gold was followed by a rise in price of silver. Silver coins became the subject of speculation and were bought by brokers at an inflated price. Most of them were sent to Canada, so that by July 1, 1862, they also almost went out of circulation. Their sudden disappearance required various measures to rectify the situation. Individual entrepreneurial figures who are more responsive to the situation than municipal authorities or the national government began to issue “patches” - small banknotes of 5 to 50 cents, which, as stated, can be paid in hotels, restaurants, with trading houses and provincial merchants. Soon copper and nickel coins began to rise in price; instead of them, also instead of small silver coins, merchants began to issue various metal symbolic substitutes. The Minister of Finance Chase, in a letter to the chairman of the House Tax and Duty Committee, noted that “serious inconvenience and trouble are expected” if the release of “adhesives” and metal signs “is not limited, and small coins or state substitutes remain in circulation” . He proposed either to lower the silver content in coins worth less than a dollar, or to actually legalize the use of postage and other stamps as money. Congress, by an act of July 17, 1862, banned the release of patches by individuals and corporations, acknowledged the release of postage and other stamps to public circulation and announced that, with certain restrictions, they are accepted as a means of payment in the United States and exchanged for "greens." People, of course, preferred the stamps to the promises of private entrepreneurs “to pay someday” and rushed to the post offices to buy them.

However, having gained in reliability, they have lost in convenience. The adhesive, thin structure, small surface area and weightlessness of the marks made them the most imperfect means of payment in the history of the United States. On the one hand, giving change during small transactions was not easy due to the appearance of a unit of 3 cents in the usual decimal system (the most frequently used brands issued in the largest number). Recalculation of two-, three-, five- and ten-cent marks became unbearable if it was a question of large sums, so in some places they were sold in sheets, in others they were put in envelopes of 10, 25 or 50 cents, indicating the total amount. This only partially mitigated the inconvenience, because cautious citizens demanded to open the envelope and count the stamps before their eyes, making sure that the amount on the envelope corresponded to the contents. Stamps got dirty, spoiled; losing their adhesive properties, they were no longer suitable for mail. They turned out to be not a particularly successful replacement for the "patches", but the Ministry of Finance and municipal authorities immediately felt relieved by getting rid of two evils.

From Chase's recommendations to use postage and other stamps as a means of money circulation and from the provisions of the legislative act, it was impossible to imagine how much relief this would result. The minister, in accordance with the act of July 17, 1862, agreed with the postmaster general to issue postage stamps, but "it soon became clear that the stamps intended for postal circulation were not suitable for use as money", and he had to interpret the law widely and issue postal money in the form of small banknotes; in denominations of 25 and 50 cents they were printed the size of a quarter dollar bill, in denominations of 5 and 10 cents - a little less. On the five-cent note was a facsimile image of a five-cent postage stamp with a portrait of Jefferson; at twenty-five-cent image was repeated five times. Banknotes of 10 and 50 cents had a similar design, only a ten-cent portrait of Washington was depicted. Banknotes of 5 and 25 cents were brown, 10 and 50 cents of green. The new ones looked pretty good. For the public, who used the "band-aid" and the soiled postage and stamps, this was a deliverance from torment. The release of this postal money began on August 21, 1862. Crowds of people patiently lined up huge lines at the offices of the assistant treasurer in New York and other cities in order to get some of this new and attractive money. (James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861-1865.)

United States Capitol

The United States Capitol), as it looked in 1863-1869 (the first year of issuing a $2 banknote with this design). The view was taken from North-East. I did not find the same image as on the banknote, so I put a photo from the network that is closest to the engraving on the banknote. Image of 1859.

The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the District's street-numbering system and the District's four quadrants.

The original building was completed in 1800 and was subsequently expanded, particularly with the addition of the massive dome, and expanded chambers for the bicameral legislature, the House of Representatives in the south wing and the Senate in the north wing. Like the principal buildings of the executive and judicial branches, the Capitol is built in a distinctive neoclassical style and has a white exterior. Both its east and west elevations are formally referred to as fronts, though only the east front was intended for the reception of visitors and dignitaries.

Prior to establishing the nation's capital in Washington, D.C., the United States Congress and its predecessors had met in Philadelphia (Independence Hall and Congress Hall), New York City (Federal Hall), and a number of other locations (York, Pennsylvania; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland; and Nassau Hall in Princeton, New Jersey).[2] In September 1774, the First Continental Congress brought together delegates from the colonies in Philadelphia, followed by the Second Continental Congress, which met from May 1775 to March 1781.

After adopting the Articles of Confederation in York, Pennsylvania, the Congress of the Confederation was formed and convened in Philadelphia from March 1781 until June 1783, when a mob of angry soldiers converged upon Independence Hall, demanding payment for their service during the American Revolutionary War. Congress requested that John Dickinson, the Governor of Pennsylvania, call up the militia to defend Congress from attacks by the protesters. In what became known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, Dickinson sympathized with the protesters and refused to remove them from Philadelphia. As a result, Congress was forced to flee to Princeton, New Jersey, on June 21, 1783, and met in Annapolis, Maryland, and Trenton, New Jersey, before ending up in New York City.

The United States Congress was established upon ratification of the United States Constitution and formally began on March 4, 1789. New York City remained home to Congress until July 1790, when the Residence Act was passed to pave the way for a permanent capital. The decision of where to locate the capital was contentious, but Alexander Hamilton helped broker a compromise in which the federal government would take on war debt incurred during the American Revolutionary War, in exchange for support from northern states for locating the capital along the Potomac River. As part of the legislation, Philadelphia was chosen as a temporary capital for ten years (until December 1800), until the nation's capital in Washington, D.C., would be ready.

Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant was given the task of creating the city plan for the new capital city. L'Enfant chose Jenkin's Hill as the site for the "Congress House", with a "grand avenue" (now Pennsylvania Avenue, NW) connecting it with the President's House, and a public space containing a broader "grand avenue" (now the National Mall) stretching westward to the Potomac River (see: L'Enfant Plan).

In lower right corner is a red seal of the USA Ministry of Finance.

In the seal are scales, symbolizing justice, a field with 13 stars (the number of the first states), the key and the year 1789 - the year of foundation of the ministry. Seals are located under the facsimile signatures of the Chiefs of Federal Reserve and Treasury, respectively.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners.


2 Dollars 1922, Serie A

The text of the penalty for counterfeiting banknotes.

"One of the "greatest" aspects of the reverse of this note is the "counterfeiting clause". This clause states in detail what the penalties are if someone is tried and convicted of counterfeiting U.S. Currency. In 1917, the guilty party had to pay $5,000 or be imprisoned for 15 years at hard labor, or both!". (

Denominations in numerals are across all field of banknote.