America's Ever-Changing MoneyMoney and Tokens of the Civil War (1861-1865)
National Bank Notes
In 1863, Congress enacted the National Banking Act to standardize the nation’s currency. Banks were granted a national charter authorizing them to issue notes labeled “National Currency” with their own name and charter number. The notes were backed by government bonds on deposit with the Treasury. A bank’s charter lasted 20 years and was renewable. Notes had varying designs, even within each charter period. The note shown is from the original charter period (1863-1882).