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Money madness

The diversity of notes and coins in circulation was frustrating, making simple transactions complex. In a letter to the Acadian Recorder in 1820, an irate citizen in Halifax complained that when he bought vegetables costing six pence in the market using a £1 Nova Scotian Treasury note, his change amounted to 93 separate items, including 8 paper notes from four different merchants or groups (ranging in value from 5 shillings to 7 1/2 pence), one silver piece, and 84 copper coins. The letter ended "For God’s sake, gentlemen, let us get back our DOLLARS”.
pre-1841 | Views: 1190 | Added by: gogoshvab | Date: 2010-02-17


 
The first bank notes in Canada were issued by the Montreal Bank (subsequently called the Bank of Montreal), following its establishment in 1817. These notes were issued in dollars. The success of the Bank of Montreal led to the incorporation of additional banks in Upper and Lower Canada as well as in the Atlantic provinces, all of which issued their own bank notes. These included the Bank of Quebec in Quebec City and the Bank of Canada in Montreal, in 1818; the Bank of Upper Canada at Kingston, in 1819; the Bank of New Brunswick in St. John, in 1820; the Second or Chartered Bank of Upper Canada in York (Toronto), in 1822; the Halifax Banking Company, in 1825; the Bank of Nova Scotia in Halifax, in 1832; and the Bank of Prince Edward Island, in 1855.
pre-1841 | Views: 1322 | Added by: gogoshvab | Date: 2010-02-17


 
As was the case in New France, British colonies in North America also experimented with paper money with mixed success, issuing "bills of credit.” These bills, typically, although not exclusively, used as a means of wartime finance, were denominated in convenient amounts and circulated widely as currency. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first British colony in North America to issue such bills of credit in 1690. Paper money issued by Massachusetts, or "Boston bills,” circulated in Nova Scotia during the first half of the eighteenth century owing to close economic and political links between Massachusetts and the British garrison and community in Annapolis Valley, formerly Port Royal.
pre-1841 | Views: 941 | Added by: gogoshvab | Date: 2010-02-17


 
One rating that became particularly important in British North America was the Halifax rating. Named after the city of Halifax, where it was first used, this rating was given legal standing by an act of the first Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1758. This rating used pounds, shillings, and pence (£, s., and d.) as the unit of account and valued one Spanish (or colonial Spanish) silver dollar weighing 420 grains (385 grains of pure silver23) at 5 shillings, local currency. This valuation of the Spanish dollar was to be used in settling debts. In effect, the Spanish dollar became legal tender in Nova Scotia.
pre-1841 | Views: 478 | Added by: gogoshvab | Date: 2010-02-17


 
Until the middle of the nineteenth century, each British colony in North America regulated the use of currency in its own jurisdiction. Although pounds, shillings, and pence (the currency system used in Great Britain) were used for bookkeeping (i.e., as the unit of account), each colony decided for itself the value, or "rating,” of a wide variety of coins used in transactions or to settle debts. These included not only English and French coins, but also coins from Portugal, Spain, and the Spanish colonies in Latin America—notably Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. Once rated, coins became legal tender.
pre-1841 | Views: 587 | Added by: gogoshvab | Date: 2010-02-17