Washington D.C. 1852 $1

Merchants’ Bank


The Capitol of the United States was originally located in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But this changed after a band of angry Revolutionary War Veterans converged upon Independence Hall in June 1783, demanding to be compensated fully for their service in the War of Independence. These veterans would not disperse, and congress had to remove themselves to New Jersey for the time being. This was such an unsettling protest, that it stayed on the minds of Congress for some time, resulting in the Federal Residence Act of July 6, 1790 declaring that a site for the permanent seat of government be selected by the President, which at that time was George Washington. He selected the area that is now Washington D.C. (District of Columbia), an area that was surveyed out with sandstone boundary markers placed every mile.

In 1852, several things of note occurred, including the establishment of the Studebaker Company. The Automobile would have to wait for a while, but in 1852, they were building some very nice wagons in South Bend Indiana. On March 20th, 1852, the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher-Stowe was published (a mighty good read even today), and on July 3rd Congress gave the authorization for the second mint to be established in San Francisco, CA. Then, on December 29th, 1852 a woman named Emma Snodgrass was arrested in Boston, MA – for the scandalous crime of wearing pants!

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., the following banknote was printed and issued: A 1 dollar note issued by the Merchants’ Bank, depicting a nice train at the center-bottom, the then-President Millard Filmore at left, and two lovely ladies: one top center and one full length figure at far right within a stylized numeral 1. The women are appropriately attired in dresses and were in no danger of being arrested; Washington D.C. was too busy gearing up for political scandal and a looming war to be bothered with audacious fashion incidents.

1 Dollar 1852 Obsolete Currency "Merchants' Bank, Washington D.C. (uniface)"
1 Dollar 1852 Obsolete Currency "Merchants' Bank, Washington D.C. (uniface)"