Confederate Paper Money Series Part VII: Bogus Notes (Part 2)

In continuation of the last post in this blog series, we left you with a statement written by S.C. Upham of Philadelphia to a Dr. William Lee (early Confederate currency historian) in 1874 in reference to the Female Riding Deer note saying that “none of the designs of the notes were original with me.” Further research noted that Mr. Upham was not necessarily accurate about a few things in reference to the notes, including that he put his name and address on the margins of each and every note. This was found to not be true as he supplied notes upon request without his imprints. However, this information cannot confirm that Mr. Upham created, or originated, the Confederate $20 Female Riding Deer note, he was one of the first to produce the bogus note.

Other Bogus Notes

The Female Riding Deer Note is no doubt the most famous of the bogus note varieties when it comes to Confederate paper money. However, with the popularity of this single bogus variety, some may not know of or may forget that there are other notes to consider. Some of them are partially bogus, meaning that a number of notes actually have fake backs with illustrations that may be familiar to them. These backs were created on already printed Confederate currency to create a new variety and research will show that some of them were printed over the designs appearing on the notes. Some of these markings included “interest-paid” markings on the $100 notes from 1862.

Some of the markings were even printed on top of counterfeit notes which made them even more fortuitous in their intent. While there were those bogus notes that were used for currency exchange, some were merely for collectibility. For example, there is a bogus note with “One Thousand Dollas” in the center of a decorative green background and has been found on a number of series of notes. These notes with bogus backs were made up until about 1900.

Other notes that are considered bogus that were printed prior to the First World War display designs that were never used by the Confederacy. Some of these notes also had advertising on them which meant they could be considered both bogus and advertising notes. Recent bogus notes are in $10,000 and $100,000 denominations that are dated back to 1861. The Confederacy never issued notes with such denominations.

Source: Confederate States Paper Money: Civil War Currency From the South (12th Edition) by George S. Cuhaj & William Brandimore