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Martha Ballard and Money

Examples of eighteenth-century currency that was in circulation in Martha's time and place.


back and front of bill

Five Shillings and Six Pence, Massachusetts, Boston, 1779

  front and back of coin
Head Pistareen, Spain, 1772

Hard currency was in short supply and much of the hard currency in circulation was foreign. The new decimal system of U.S. currency was based on the Spanish dollar, or piece-of-eight, worth eight reales. Pistareens like this one were worth two reales.


front of bill
Five Dollar Bill, Hallowell and Augusta Bank, January 1, 1807


front and back of bill
One Dollar Bill, Massachusetts, May 5, 1780


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