Michigan 1838 $2
The Bank of Chippeway
Another example below is a Two Dollar banknote issued in 1838 by the Bank of Chippeway in Sault Ste. Marie (then spelled Sault De St. Marys) in Michigan. The most striking element of this note is that top left vignette with the locomotive. The locomotive is an old Stephenson’s “Rocket” which is shown pulling converted stagecoaches as passenger cars. This new technology embodies a sense of excitement of a new age and a promise of a burgeoning economy. A nice vignette of a Native American, which we can assume is of a Chippewa Indian, shows him seated in deep pastoral contemplation with his rifle. The sailor reminds one that Sault Ste. Marie is in the confluence of the Great Lakes and is at a wonderful site for economic prospects, while the image of the woman at her knitting at right gives one a feeling of warm domesticity. These vignettes are nice, but they are also meant to bring the banknotes bearer and recipient a stronger sense of viability so that the banknote would be accepted elsewhere. The reverse is left blank, as were many banknotes at the time.