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Currency Comparison Manuscript

A description of the item at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: Currency Comparison Manuscript
Inclusive Dates: between 1792 and 1796
Quantity: 1 folder (SC)
Abstract: One page, handwritten, headed "The several Currencies of the United States compared with Dolars [sic] & Cents," listing information for fifteen states
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Nothing is known of the author or origin of this piece of fiscal analysis. It was found in the pages of a first edition of de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt's Travels through the United States of North America, the country of the Iroquois, and Upper Canada, in the years 1795, 1796, and 1797 published in London in 1799, so it may have come from London. Whether it was written by La Rochefoucauld cannot be determined.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Currency Comparison Manuscript consists of a single small sheet, headed "The several Currencies of the United States compared with Dolars [sic] & Cents," and giving the values down to 1/16 of a dollar.

Information is given in four groups representing fifteen states (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Virginia, Kentucky, and Vermont; New York and North Carolina; New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland; and South Carolina and Georgia). Kentucky became the 15th state in 1792, which suggests that the document dates from between 1792 and 1796, when Tennessee became a state.

The denominations are given in "D," "S," and "C" -- D and C are dollars and cents, and "S" likely refers to shillings, which remained in circulation in the fledgling United States for some years. For example, according to the document, the dollar was valued at 6 shillings in New York but only 4.8 shillings in South Carolina and Georgia.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Coinage -- United States -- History.
Foreign exchange rates -- United States -- 18th century.
Money -- United States -- History.


United States -- History -- 1783-1815.

Genres and Forms

Notes (documents)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Currency Comparison Manuscript,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from Rare Books, 1970.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 27 May 2010
Revision history:

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Financial records
SC 503 Currency comparison for 15 states between 1792 and 1796

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