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Fourth Issue: 07/14/186902/16/75
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.