Hard Times Token: Million for Defense, Not One Cent...
Overall: 1 1/8 in. ( 2.9 cm )
Token; metal; depiction of the Tontine Coffee House on obverse; obverse "MERCHANTS EXCHANGE WALL ST N. YORK / BUILT 1827 / BURNT 1835" reverse "MILLIONS FOR DEFENCE / NOT / ONE / CENT / FOR TRIBUTE"
The Merchants Exchange held the largest room in the Tontine Coffee House until it built its own building in 1827. In 1837 and again in 1857, financial crises caused loss of confidence in paper money and widespread redemption of currency in coin. Banks were soon forced to suspend specie payments, and tokens and fractional notes had to serve as smaller change.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.