Westward Expansion

Early Banking in the United States: Experiments with Central Banking

In 1785, the Continental Congress adopted the dollar as the unit for the national currency. At that time, a variety of private notes were printed. After the ratification of the Constitution in 1790, Congress chartered The First Bank of the United States to operate until 1811 and authorized it to issue paper bank notes to eliminate confusion and facilitate commerce.

This bank also served as the U.S. Treasury’s fiscal agent, thus performing the first central bank functions in the United States. The privately owned bank was the subject of controversy, and its charter was not renewed. The Second Bank of the United States was given a twenty-year charter in 1816. President Andrew Jackson vetoed the recharter of the Second Bank.

+ References

Gallery

First Bank of the U.S., $10, 1792
First Bank of the U.S., $10, 1792

First & Second Banks of the United States

First Bank of the U.S., $10, 1792

Second Bank of the United States, $2,000, 1840
Second Bank of the United States, $2,000, 1840

First & Second Banks of the United States

Second Bank of the United States, $2,000, 1840

Second Bank of the United States, $10, 1835
Second Bank of the United States, $10, 1835

First & Second Banks of the United States

Second Bank of the United States, $10, 1835

Second Bank of the United States, $1000, 1840
Second Bank of the United States, $1000, 1840

First & Second Banks of the United States

Second Bank of the United States, $1000, 1840

Second Bank of the United States, $2000, 1840
Second Bank of the United States, $2000, 1840

First & Second Banks of the United States

Second Bank of the United States, $2000, 1840

Second Bank of the United States, $3000, 1840
Second Bank of the United States, $3000, 1840

First & Second Banks of the United States

Second Bank of the United States, $3000, 1840

Second Bank of the United States, $5000, 1840
Second Bank of the United States, $5000, 1840

First & Second Banks of the United States

Second Bank of the United States, $5000, 1840

Perkins Plate Note, Massachusetts, $1, 1809
Perkins Plate Note, Massachusetts, $1, 1809

Perkins Plate, Sutler, Mormon & Gold Dust Notes

Perkins Plate Note, Massachusetts, $1, 1809

Mormon Kirtland Note, Ohio, $10, 1837-1839
Mormon Kirtland Note, Ohio, $10, 1837-1839

Perkins Plate, Sutler, Mormon & Gold Dust Notes

Mormon Kirtland Note, Ohio, $10, 1837-1839

Gold Dust Note, Miners Bank of Savings, Alta, California, 25 cents, 1850-1859
Gold Dust Note, Miners Bank of Savings, Alta, California, 25 cents, 1850-1859

Perkins Plate, Sutler, Mormon & Gold Dust Notes

Gold Dust Note, Miners Bank of Savings, Alta, California, 25 cents, 1850-1859

Sutler Note, Massachusetts, $1, 1861-1862
Sutler Note, Massachusetts, $1, 1861-1862

Perkins Plate, Sutler, Mormon & Gold Dust Notes

Sutler Note, Massachusetts, $1, 1861-1862

Perkins Plate Note, Rhode Island, $3, 1800
Perkins Plate Note, Rhode Island, $3, 1800

Perkins Plate, Sutler, Mormon & Gold Dust Notes

Perkins Plate Note, Rhode Island, $3, 1800

Perkins Plate Note, New Hampshire, $10, 1806
Perkins Plate Note, New Hampshire, $10, 1806

Perkins Plate, Sutler, Mormon & Gold Dust Notes

Perkins Plate Note, New Hampshire, $10, 1806

Sutler Note, United States Cavalry, 10 cents, 1861-1862
Sutler Note, United States Cavalry, 10 cents, 1861-1862

Perkins Plate, Sutler, Mormon & Gold Dust Notes

Sutler Note, United States Cavalry, 10 cents, 1861-1862

Perkins Plate Note, Massachusetts, $10, 1826
Perkins Plate Note, Massachusetts, $10, 1826

Perkins Plate, Sutler, Mormon & Gold Dust Notes

Perkins Plate Note, Massachusetts, $10, 1826