TeachMeFinance.com - explain George Smith's money
George Smith's money -- The name applied to a circulating
medium (in this case a substitute for money) devised by
George Smith, who came to the United States from Scotland
in 1834 and who died in London in 1899 m ms ninety-second
year, leaving a fortune estimated at 10,000,000 pounds (about $50,000,000).
In 1839 Smith procured the incorporation of the Wisconsin
Marine and Fire Insurance Company and made himself its
president. The company did not and it was not Smith's intention
that it should do much of an insurance business. It
proceeded to issue what were termed certificates of deposit in
denominations of $1 and upward in similitude of bank bills.
These certificates said on their face that the amount of them
had been deposited with the company and that they were
payable to the bearer on demand.
The whole Northwest had been denuded of currency by the
financial disturbance of 1837 and there was ready employment
for George Smith's money, which, by reason of the fact that it
was promptly redeemed on presentation, passed everywhere
without discount, or in other words, at its full face value. It
was wildcat or red dog money, but it was good.