Update

To help support the city’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, New-York Historical is temporarily closed to the public until it is safe to reopen. More details on our Visit page.

Hard Times tokens (4)

Object Number: 
INV.13740c-f
Date: 
1837
Medium: 
Copper
Dimensions: 
Overall: 1 1/8 in. ( 2.9 cm )
Description: 
Tokens; copper; depiction of a phoenix rising from flames on obverse, ring of garland on reverse; obverse "SUBSTITUTE FOR SHIN PLASTERS / NOVR / 1837" reverse "SPECIS PAYMENTS SUSPENDED / MAY / TENTH / 1837"
Gallery Label: 
"Shinplaster" is a term for bills of irresponsible banks and private parties. The image of the phoneix rising from flames seems to mean that the paper money was only fit to be burned, and that with its elimination, new live would rise from the ashes. The date, November 1837, refers to a convention of represntatives for leading banks in New York to fix a date for resumption. The decided date to resume specie payments was May 10, 1838, exactly one year aftert the suspension.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group