Update

New-York Historical is temporarily closed to help contain the spread of COVID-19. On August 14, we're opening Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine, a free, outdoor exhibition in our rear courtyard. See more details on our Visit page.

Civil War token

Object Number: 
INV.13855.41a
Date: 
1863
Medium: 
Metal
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3/4 in. ( 1.9 cm )
Marks: 
Die struck: Obverse: "THE FLAG OF OUR UNION" dIE STRUCK: Reverse: "IF ANYBODY ATTEMPTS TO TEAR IT DOWN, SHOOT HIM ON THE SPOT. DIX."
Description: 
Token; metal; depiction of the Union flag within a circle of stars on obverse; obverse " THE FLAG OF OUR UNION / 1863" reverse "IF ANYBODY ATTEMPT TO TEAR IT DOWN / SHOOT HIM / DIX / ON THE SPOT"
Gallery Label: 
Tokens called "Civil War tokens" were struck in some northern cities between 1863 and 1865 to supply small change for public transactions. To circumvent anti-counterfeiting laws, they were either not denominated or bore an evasive valuation. The irresponsible nature of these tokens forced Congress to pass an act in 1864, forbidding private individuals to issue any form of money.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group