Civil War bond certificates on display
Two interesting items at the Buffalo Island Museum are Civil War bond certificates belonging to David Lane. They had been stored in a warehouse in London and he purchased the bond certificates in 1988 at a sale in Dallas.
There is a $1,000 bond with eighteen $40 coupons attached. It was authorized by act of Congress and approved May 16, 1861 and states that it will pay on July 1, 1874.
The other bond is for $100 with sixteen $4 coupons attached. It states that on Sept. 1, 1871 the Confederate State of America will pay the bearer of this bond the sum of $100, with interest thereon.
After the Civil War broke out in 1861, the Confederacy issued its own currency. People were gambling that the South would win the war. As with any war, the Confederate States of America needed to raise money for the war effort. In 1861, they sold bonds worth 150 million dollars. They held a face value of $50 to $20,000.
These bonds were printed with coupons attached. The coupons were cut apart one at a time every six months and redeemed at the Confederate States of America Treasury. When the bonds had all the coupons removed and cashed in, the bond could be cashed in for its full face value.
But bondholders only collected interest for a few years and few ever saw their principal again. When the war ended, the Confederate government dissolved and the United States Government refused to cover the Confederate debts. Even though some say these bonds are worthless, they are still valuable today to collectors of Civil War memorabilia.
The Civil War era is a part of Buffalo Island history. I am sure that many of you have great-grandfathers that fought in the war. I recently discovered that my great-great grandfather Thomas Mullen was in the Confederate Army and died in 1862 at the Battle of Shiloh.
Visit the Buffalo Island Museum and see other items from the Civil War era.
The museum is open on Friday and Saturday 12:30-4:00 p.m. Admission is free.
The museum will be closing Dec. 15 for the winter months, but you can visit our Facebook page for any new information.