Tennessee 1854 $5
Farmers’ and Merchants’ Bank, Memphis, Tennessee
The next note is dated 1854 and was issued by the Farmers’ and Merchants’ bank in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is located in the South-West corner of the state, next to Arkansas and Mississippi. Though Native Americans had long inhabited the area, it was in 1795 that the Spanish, who held the territory at that time, built a fort on the site called San Fernando de las Barrancas, giving the first city-like development in the area. Spain ceded the territory to the United States, and Tennessee was granted statehood in 1796. Captain Isaac Guion was sent to claim the land around the now abandoned fort. The old Spanish fort was was left unused, but the area was developed and Memphis was officially founded in 1819, and was incorporated in 1826. At the time of this banknote’s issue, in 1854, the Irish immigration to the area was growing rapidly, and would soon make up a quarter of the population by 1860. Memphis was the city that, in 1857, linked the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean when the Memphis & Charleston Railroad was completed.
This note shows a Native American female, a pioneer with musket, three cherubs denoting Agriculture, Science and Industry. To show without a doubt that the note was indeed worth FIVE DOLLARS, it had five one-dollar coins on the front. Though these notes were printed just months apart, their overprints are of different colors, but that did not affect the collectors market, as they are all commonly found.