Fractional currency 50 Cents Justice 1863 Third Issue

United States Fractional currency 50 Cents
March 3, 1863 Fifty Cents Fractional Currency
 Fifty Cents Fractional Currency
United States Fractional currency 50 Cents Justice Third Issue, March 3, 1863

Obverse: Seated figure of Justice holding scales.
Reverse: 50.
Signatures: (as depicted) Stoddard Benham Colby, Register of the Treasury and Francis Elias Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

Front Text: Act Approved March 3d 1863 – United States Fractional Currency – Receivable For All United States Stamps – Fifty – Furnished Only By The Assistant Treasurers And Designated Depositories of the United States – Treasury Department – Register – Treasurer – Eng. & Print At The Treasury

Back Text: This Note is Exchangeable for United States Notes By Assistant Treasurers And Designated Depositories Of The United States in the sums not less than Three Dollars. Receivable In Payment Of All Dues To The United States Less Than Five Dollars Except Customs.

United States Fractional Currency
  The average person is surprised and somewhat incredulous when informed that there is such a thing as a genuine American 50 Cent bill, or even a 3 cent bill. With the great profusion of change in the pockets and purses of the last few generations, it does indeed seem strange to learn of valid United States paper money of 3, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 Cent denominations.
  Yet it was not always so. During the early years of the Civil War, the banks suspended specie payments, an act which had the effect of putting a premium on all coins. Under such conditions, coins of all denominations were jealously guarded and hoarded and soon all but disappeared from circulation.
  This was an intolerable situation since it became impossible for merchants to give small change to their customers. For a time, traders reverted somewhat to the ancient barter system and one had to accept his change in the form of goods or produce which he did not necessarily want at that time.
  The lives of millions of people were thus intimately affected and insistent demands were made on the Treasury Department to remedy this chaotic state of affairs.
  Accordingly, on the recommendation of General Francis E. Spinner who at that time was the Treasurer, Congress passed the Act of July 17, 1862 which authorized an issue of 5, 10, 25, and 50 Cent notes. These became known as Postage Currency, because they bore facsimiles of the then current 5 and 10 Cent postage stamps. This was the first of five issues produced by the government from 1862 to 1876. The later issues were called Fractional Currency, and were authorized by another act of Congress, that of March 3, 1863. In general, all issues of Postage and Fractional Currency were receivable for all United States Postage Stamps.
  In the fourteen years that Fractional Currency was produced, nearly 369 million dollars of it was issued. Finally, Congress passed the Acts of January 14, 1875 and April 17, 1876 which authorized the redemption of Fractional Currency in actual silver coins. It is now estimated by the government that not quite 2 million dollars in all types of Fractional Currency is still outstanding.

First Issue. August 21, 1862 to May 27, 1863
  This is the so-called Postage Currency. The issue consisted of 5, 10, 25 and 50 Cent notes. The face and backs of the notes were originally printed by the National Bank Note Company of New York. Later to increase security, the government had the backs printed by the American Bank Note Company of New York, who added the “ABN” monogram to the lower right comer of the back. Both companies produced both perforated and straight edge versions of the notes. The eight notes of this issue are widely collected by stamp collectors in addition to being collected by numismatists.
  The obligation on these is as follows, “Exchangeable for United States Notes by any Assistant Treasurer or designated U.S. Depositary in sums not less than five dollars. Receivable in payments of all dues to the U. States less than five Dollars.”

5 Cents - One 5-cent postage stamp Thomas Jefferson

10 Cents - One 10-cent postage stamp George Washington

25 Cents - Five 5-cent postage stamps Thomas Jefferson

Second Issue. October 10, 1863 to February 23, 1867
  This issue consisted of 5, 10, 25, and 50 Cent notes. The obverses of all denominations have the bust of Washington in a bronze oval frame but each reverse is distinguished by a different color.
  The obligation on this issue differs slightly, and is as follows, “Exchangeable for United States Notes by the Assistant Treasurers and designated depositaries of the U.S. in sums not less than three dollars. Receivable in payment of all dues to the United States less than five dollars except customs.”

5 Cents George Washington         10 Cents George Washington         25 Cents George Washington

50 Cents George Washington

Third Issue. December 5, 1864 to August 16, 1869
  This issue consisted of 3, 5, 10, 25 and 50 Cent Notes. Each denomination is of a different design, as will be seen in the text.
  The obligation on the Third Issue Notes is similar to that on the Second Issue.

3 Cents George Washington          5 Cents Spencer M. Clark          10 Cents George Washington     

15 Cents Ulysses S. Grant & William Tecumseh Sherman       25 Cents William P. Fessenden     

50 Cents Francis E. Spinner             50 Cents Justice

Fourth Issue. July 14, 1869 to February 16, 1875
  The notes of this issue consist of the 10, 15, 25 and 50 Cent denominations, each of a different design. With this issue, the Treasury Seal appears for the first time on the Fractional Currency.
  The 15 cent notes appeared only in this issue and they are much scarcer than the other denominations. The obligation on the fourth issue is similar to that on the Second Issue.

50 Cents Abraham Lincoln          50 Cents Samuel Dexter          50 Cents Edwin Stanton

Fifth Issue. February 26, 1874 to February 15, 1876
The notes of this issue consist only of 10, 25 and 50 cent denominations, each of a different design.
  The obligation is similar to that of the Second Issue.