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Fourth Issue: 07/14/1869—02/16/75

This issue was printed in denominations of 10, 15, 25, and 50 cents and has the distinction of comprising, overall, the most beautiful set of notes for any given issue. Like an award-winning album, there is not a note in this collection that does not ring beautifully. Though there are individual bills from other issues more sought after, taken as a whole, those of the fourth issue are generally the most desirable of any given printing. A new type of paper, with embedded silk fibers was employed, and both the American and National Bank Note Companies were re-employed to hire the most accomplished engravers for the portraits. Some of the notes sport a pinkish hue across the obverse-worth more; and some fade to a ephemeral blue on the right sides-mo' money. They include Lady Liberty on the 10 cent, sporting the forward-pointing cap of Liberty-currently favored by Smurfs-which was often carried on poles by patriots heading into battle to symbolize freedom-there were few flags to go around, and the "freedom" cap was well known. The 15-cent note is the personification of Columbia, which was in fact the name by which the united colonies were known before "The United States of America" took hold. Beneath her portrait find the familiar Roman sign of political authority known as the "fasces" utilized in the designs of many American coins and currency. Atop her head sits an eagle, but she doesn't seem to mind. Rounding out the radiant field of the Fourth issue is a nicely done Washington 25-cent note, and three gorgeous 50-cent notes: one of Lincoln, one of E.M. Stanton who was Secretary of War under Lincoln; and a third of a very interesting gentleman named Samuel Dexter who was Samuel Adam's Secretary of the Treasury, a seminal leader in the temperance movement, and by all accounts, as humble and learned a gentleman as you would meet. Any EF or better example of a Fourth Issue fractional is a treasure.

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