Confederate Paper Money Series Part XVI: Paper Money of the Southern States (Pt. 7)

The secession of the southern states in the early 1860s led to the formation of the Confederacy. After South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860, seven states followed although it was thought that there would be double that initially. Secession was a delegate decision state by state and after the election and fall of Fort Sumter in April of 1861, some states decided against it. However, once the Confederate States were established, currency circulated heavily throughout the South during the American Civil War. But as we have come to learn throughout this blog series, that currency still was not enough in the South. This led to the enactment of individual states issuing their own currency.


The state of Maryland was important to both North and South interests. The state fell on the border but the United States capital, Washington, D.C., fell within the borders of Maryland at the time. While the state ended up voting to remain a part of the Union, if the South had occupied Maryland by secession or military force, the United States government would have been forced to move its operations to either Philadelphia or another major city in the North.

Because the state was bordered between the North and the South, it had its fair share of pro-Confederate and pro-Union parts. Baltimore and the Eastern part of Maryland were for the South as it held a number of planters. The Western part of Maryland was for the North and had fewer slaves than its counterpart. Before the idea of secession truly took hold, Maryland State legislators held a vote that resulted in a 53-13 majority to remain a part of the Union on April 29, 1861. The governor at the time, Thomas H. Hicks, refused to call a convention to discuss secession after the vote took place and Maryland would later adopt a new constitution to abolish slavery in 1864.


Located in the Deep South, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union. A convention was held on January 7, 1861, to decide upon the secession and was also attended by delegates from the states of South Carolina and Alabama. While a large number of the delegates took the “wait and see” approach to secession, they were intimidated by their pro-Confederate, pro-secession counterparts. In the end, a vote of 84-15 was recorded in favor of secession. Two days later on January 9th, Mississippi instituted an independent republic but it did not last very long as they ratified the Constitution of the Confederate States just a few short months later on March 30th. Also during those months, Jefferson David had already been named the President of the Confederacy.

As an end to the war would finally come, it was not made easy for the state of Mississippi to return to the Constitution of the United States. While a Provisional Governor was named in June of 1865 to the state for which he held a convention to abolish slavery and rescind secession, it did not take long for the newly elected governor in October to not only not seat the United States Congressman chosen but instead put into place military rule over a civil government. January of 1868 would finally bring about another convention that was held to adopt a new Constitution, but after being in session until mid-May, it too would be rejected after an election took place in June. Congress would eventually authorize the President to once again present the Constitution for vote on April 12, 1869, and in November it would be accepted. The Constitution would hold clauses denouncing and disenfranchising former Confederates. By January of 1870, both the 14th and 15th Amendments were ratified and Mississippi was reintroduced to the Union in February of 1870.

The first notes authorized from Mississippi were before tensions would break in April of 1861. They were issued from the state capital at Jackson and were written with dates from 1861-1864. These notes were “on account of the Military Fund bearing Ten per cent interest per annum.” Notes were authorized and issued in a number of denominations including but not limited to $10, $20, $50, $100, etc.

A number of designs were also created for the state as the notable 1862 Faith of the State Pledged Notes are a great example of this. These notes were overprint in red or blue and some of them were printed on the back of Mississippi Cotton Company fractional notes. These notes were often stamped as re-issues and are worth more than their face value. Another example of notes were those during the Reconstruction Period. These notes are green and black and are found canceled with a large hole. These notes are extremely rare and are worth at least five to six times more than their face value.

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