Text for an exhibit in an exhibition on protests around money at the Fitzwilliam Museum, on now November 2022.
Bills of credit
1776 Banks in Colonial America are forbidden by Britain. So paper notes are ‘bills of credit’ rather than ‘banknotes’ This 40 shilling bill, issued by the Colony of Rhode Island, is signed by William Ellery, a lawyer, merchant and revolutionary, who goes on to become a signatory of the US Articles of Confederation and Declaration of Independence. The first American bank opens in 1784.