George Henry Thomas
George Henry Thomas was a United States Army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War, one of the principal commanders in the Western Theater. Thomas served in the Mexican-American War and chose to remain with the U. S. Army for the Civil War, despite his heritage as a Virginian. He won one of the first Union victories in the war, at Mill Springs in Kentucky and his stout defense at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863 saved the Union Army from being completely routed, earning him his most famous nickname, the Rock of Chickamauga. He followed soon after with a breakthrough on Missionary Ridge in the Battle of Chattanooga. Thomas had a record in the Civil War, but he failed to achieve the historical acclaim of some of his contemporaries, such as Ulysses S. Grant. He developed a reputation as a slow, deliberate general who shunned self-promotion, after the war, he did not write memoirs to advance his legacy. He had a personal relationship with Grant, which served him poorly as Grant advanced in rank.
Thomas was born at Newsoms Depot, Southampton County and his father, John Thomas, of Welsh descent, and his mother, Elizabeth Rochelle Thomas, a descendant of French Huguenot immigrants, had six children. George had three sisters and two brothers, the family led an upper-class plantation lifestyle. By 1829, they owned 685 acres and 24 slaves, John died in a farm accident when George was 13, leaving the family in financial difficulties. George Thomas, his sisters, and his mother were forced to flee from their home. This was an event in the formation of his views on slavery. Christopher Einholf, in contrast wrote For George Thomas, the view that slavery was needed as a way of controlling blacks was supported by his experience of Nat Turners Rebellion. Thomas left no record of his opinion on slavery. A traditional story is that Thomas taught as many as 15 of his familys slaves to read, violating a Virginia law that prohibited this, Thomas was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1836 by Congressman John Y.
Mason, who warned Thomas that no nominee from his district had ever graduated successfully, entering at age 20, Thomas was known to his fellow cadets as Old Tom and he became instant friends with his roommates, William T. Sherman and Stewart Van Vliet. He made steady progress, was appointed a cadet officer in his second year. He was appointed a lieutenant in Company D, 3rd U. S. Artillery
A gold coin is a coin that is made mostly or entirely of gold. Traditionally, gold coins have been circulation coins, including coin-like bracteates, since recent decades, gold coins are mainly produced as bullion coins to investors and as commemorative coins to collectors. While modern gold coins are legal tender, they are not observed in financial transactions. For example, the American Gold Eagle, given a denomination of 50 USD, has a value of more than 1,000 USD. The gold reserves of banks are dominated by gold bars. Gold has been used as money for many reasons and it is fungible, with a low spread between the prices to buy and sell. Gold is easily transportable, as it has a value to weight ratio, compared to other commodities. Gold can be re-coined, divided into units, or re-melted into larger units such as gold bars. The density of gold is higher than most other metals, making it difficult to pass counterfeits, gold is extremely unreactive, hence it does not tarnish or corrode over time.
Gold was used in commerce in the Ancient Near East since the Bronze Age, the name of king Croesus of Lydia remains associated with the invention. In 546 BC, Croesus was captured by the Persians, who adopted gold as the metal for their coins. Ancient Greek coinage contained a number of coins issued by the various city states. The Ying yuan is a gold coin minted in ancient China. Larger units such as the various talent measures were used for high value exchanges, the German gold mark was introduced in 1873 in the German Empire, replacing the various local Gulden coins of the Holy Roman Empire. Gold coins had a long period as a primary form of money. Most of the world stopped making gold coins as currency by 1933, gold-colored coins have made a comeback in many currencies. However, gold coin always refers to a coin that is made of gold, many countries continue to make legal tender gold coins, but these are primarily meant for collectors and investment purposes and are not meant for circulation. Many factors determine the value of a coin, such as its rarity, condition
National Museum of American History
Among the items on display is the original Star-Spangled Banner. The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and located on the National Mall at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, the museum opened in 1964 as the Museum of History and Technology. It was one of the last structures designed by the architectural firm McKim Mead & White. In May 2012, John Gray was announced as the new director, the museum underwent an $85 million renovation from September 5,2006 to November 21,2008, during which time it was closed. Skidmore and Merrill provided the architecture and interior design services for the renovation, major changes made during the renovation include, A new, five-story sky-lit atrium, which is surrounded by displays of artifacts that showcase the breadth of the museums collection. A new, grand staircase that links the museums first and second floors, a new welcome center, and the addition of six landmark objects to orient visitors. New galleries, such as the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Hall of Invention, an environmentally controlled chamber to protect the original Star-Spangled Banner.
In 2012, the museum began a $37 million renovation of the west wing to add new spaces, public plazas. The renovation will include panoramic windows overlooking the National Mall on all three floors and new features to the exhibits. The first floor of the west wing reopened on July 1,2015 with the second and third floors of the west wing reopening in 2016 and 2017, each wing of the museums three exhibition floors is anchored by a landmark object to highlight the theme of that wing. These include the John Bull locomotive, the Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter, landmarks from pre-existing exhibits include the 1865 Vassar Telescope, a George Washington Statue, a Red Cross ambulance, and a car from Disneylands Dumbo Flying Elephant ride. Artifact walls,275 feet of glass-fronted cases, line the first, the lower level of the museum displays Taking America to Lunch, which celebrates the history of American lunch boxes. The museums food court, the Stars and Stripes Café, the first floors East Wing has exhibits that feature transportation and technology, they include America on the Move and Lighting a Revolution.
The John Bull locomotive is the signature artifact, the exhibits in the West Wing address science and innovation. They include Science in American Life featuring Robots on the Road, spark. Lab is a hands-on exhibit of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The Vassar Telescope is the signature artifact, a café and the main museum store are located on the first floor. The first floor contains the Constitution Avenue lobby, as well as a space for a temporary exhibit. The exhibitions in 2 East, the east wing of the floor, consider American ideals
Representative money, in all simplicity, is any medium of exchange that represents something of value, but has little or no value of its own. Unlike fiat money, to be a genuine representative money, there must always be something valuable supporting the value represented. More specifically, the term representative money has been used variously to mean, A claim on a commodity, in this sense it may be called commodity-backed money. Any type of money that has face value greater than its value as material substance, used in this sense, fiat money is a type of representative money. Historically, the use of representative money predates the invention of coinage and he noted that paper and other materials have been used as representative money. In 1895 economist Joseph Shield Nicholson wrote that credit expansion and contraction was in fact the expansion, commodity money Gold standard Hard currency Silver standard Store of value
George Gordon Meade was a career United States Army officer and civil engineer involved in the coastal construction of several lighthouses. He fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican–American War, during the American Civil War he served as a Union general, rising from command of a brigade to command of the Army of the Potomac. He is best known for defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, Meades Civil War combat experience started as a brigade commander in the Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days Battles, including the Battle of Glendale, where he was wounded severely. As a division commander, he had success at the Battle of South Mountain. His division was arguably the most successful during the assaults at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who accompanied him throughout these campaigns. He suffered from a reputation as a man of short, violent temper who was hostile toward the press, after the war, he commanded several important departments during Reconstruction.
George Gordon Meade was born in 1815 in Cádiz and his father, a wealthy Philadelphian merchant, was serving in Spain as a naval agent for the U. S. government. He was ruined financially because of his support of Spain in the Napoleonic Wars and his family returned to the United States in 1817, in precarious financial straits. Young George attended the Mount Hope Institution in Baltimore and entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1831 and he graduated 19th in his class of 56 cadets in 1835. His brother, Richard Worsam Meade II, became a naval officer, for a year, he served with the 3rd U. S. Artillery in Florida, fighting against the Seminole Indians, before resigning from the Army and he worked as a civil engineer for the Alabama and Florida Railroad and for the War Department. On December 31,1840, he married Margaretta Sergeant, daughter of John Sergeant, finding steady civilian employment was difficult for the newly married man, so he reentered the army in 1842 as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers.
After that war he was involved in lighthouse and breakwater construction and coastal surveying in Florida. He designed Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island, Absecon Light in Atlantic City, Cape May Light in Cape May, Jupiter Inlet Light in Jupiter, Florida and he designed a hydraulic lamp that was adopted by the Lighthouse Board for use in American lighthouses. He was promoted to captain in 1856, in 1857, Meade relieved Lt. Col. James Kearney on the Lakes Survey mission of the Great Lakes. Completion of the survey of Lake Huron and extension of the surveys of Lake Michigan down to Grand, prior to Captain Meades command, Great Lakes water level readings were taken locally with temporary gauges, a uniform plane of reference had not been established. In 1858, based on his recommendation, instrumentation was set in place for the tabulation of records across the basin, in 1860, the first detailed report of Great Lakes was published. Meade stayed with the Lakes Survey until the 1861 outbreak of the Civil War and he was assigned command of the 2nd Brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserves, recruited early in the war, which he led competently, initially in the construction of defenses around Washington, D. C
James B. McPherson
James Birdseye McPherson was a career United States Army officer who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was killed at the Battle of Atlanta, facing the army of his old West Point classmate John Bell Hood and he was the second highest ranking Union officer killed during the war. McPherson was born in Clyde, Ohio, McPherson was appointed to the Corps of Engineers with the rank of brevet second lieutenant. In 1857 he superintended the building of Fort Delaware, and in 1857–61 was superintending engineer of the construction of the defenses of Alcatraz Island, at San Francisco, California. In 1859, while in San Francisco, he met Emily Hoffman and they soon became engaged and a wedding was planned, but ultimately put off by the onset of the Civil War. He departed California on August 1,1861, and arrived soon after in New York and he requested a position on the staff of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, one of the senior Western commanders. He received this, and was sent to St.
Louis, McPhersons career began rising after this assignment. He was a lieutenant colonel and the Chief Engineer in Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grants army during the capture of Forts Henry, following the Battle of Shiloh, which lasted from April 6-7, he was promoted to brigadier general. On October 8 he was promoted to general, and was soon after given command of the XVII Corps in Grants Army of the Tennessee. On March 12,1864, he was given command of the Army of the Tennessee, after its former commander and he requested leave to go home and marry his fiance Emily Hoffman in Baltimore, Maryland. His leave was granted, but quickly revoked by Sherman. McPhersons army was the Right Wing of Shermans army, alongside the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Ohio. Sherman planned to have the bulk of his forces feint toward Dalton, while McPherson would bear the brunt of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnstons attack, and attempt to trap them. However, the Confederate forces eventually escaped, and Sherman blamed McPherson, McPhersons troops followed the Confederates vigorously, and were resupplied at Kingston, Georgia.
The troops drew near Pumpkinvine Creek, where they attacked and drove the Confederates from Dallas, Georgia and Sherman maneuvered against each other, until the Union tactical defeat at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. McPherson tried a flanking maneuver at the Battle of Marietta, Confederate President Jefferson Davis became frustrated with Johnstons strategy of maneuver and retreat, and on July 17 replaced him with Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood. Then Hoods cavalry reported that the flank of McPhersons Army of the Tennessee. Hood visualized a glorious replay of Jacksons famous flank attack at Chancellorsville, McPherson had advanced his troops into Decatur and from there, they moved onto high ground on Bald Hill overlooking Atlanta
John Marshall was the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Previously, Marshall had been a leader of the Federalist Party in Virginia and he was Secretary of State under President John Adams from 1800 to 1801. Most notably, he reinforced the principle that courts are obligated to exercise judicial review. Thus, Marshall cemented the position of the American judiciary as an independent, in particular, he repeatedly confirmed the supremacy of federal law over state law, and supported an expansive reading of the enumerated powers. Some of his decisions were unpopular, Marshall built up the third branch of the federal government, and augmented federal power in the name of the Constitution, and the rule of law. John Marshall was of almost entirely English ancestry, though his mother had some distant Scottish ancestry as well, the oldest of fifteen, John had eight sisters and six brothers. Also, several cousins were raised with the family, from a young age, he was noted for his good humor and black eyes, which were strong and penetrating, beaming with intelligence and good nature.
Marshall loved his home, built in 1790, in Richmond, for approximately three months each year, Marshall lived in Washington during the Courts annual term, boarding with Justice Story during his final years at the Ringgold-Carroll House. Marshall left Richmond for several weeks each year to serve on the court in Raleigh. He maintained the D. S. Tavern property in Albemarle County, Marshall himself was not religious, and although his grandfather was a priest, never formally joined a church. He did not believe Jesus was a divine being, and in some of his opinions referred to a deist Creator of all things. He was an active Freemason and served as Grand Master of Masons in Virginia in 1794–1795 of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient, while in Richmond, Marshall attended St. The Marshall family occupied Monumental Churchs pew No.23 and entertained the Marquis de Lafayette there during his visit to Richmond in 1824, Thomas Marshall was employed in Fauquier County as a surveyor and land agent by Lord Fairfax, which provided Marshall with a substantial income.
In the early 1760s, the Marshall family left Germantown and moved about 30 miles miles to Leeds Manor on the slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the banks of Goose Creek, Thomas Marshall built a frame house. Thomas Marshall was not yet established, so he leased it from Colonel Richard Henry Lee. The Marshalls called their new home the Hollow, and the ten years they resided there were John Marshalls formative years, in 1773, the Marshall family moved once again. Thomas Marshall, by a man of means, purchased an estate adjacent to North Cobbler Mountain in Delaplane
Silver certificate (United States)
Silver certificates are a type of representative money issued between 1878 and 1964 in the United States as part of its circulation of paper currency. They were produced in response to silver agitation by citizens who were angered by the Fourth Coinage Act, the certificates were initially redeemable for their face value of silver dollar coins and in raw silver bullion. Since 1968 they have been only in Federal Reserve Notes and are thus obsolete. Large-size silver certificates were issued initially in denominations from $10 to $1,000 and in 1886 the $1, $2, in 1928, all United States bank notes were re-designed and the size reduced. The small-size silver certificate was issued in denominations of $1, $5. The complete type set below is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonians National Museum of American History, the Coinage Act of 1873 intentionally omitted language authorizing the coinage of “standard” silver dollars and ended the bimetallic standard that had been created by Alexander Hamilton.
By 1875 business interests invested in silver wanted the bimetallic standard restored, people began to refer to the passage of the Act as the Crime of 73. Further public agitation for silver use was driven by fear that there was not enough money in the community. Members of Congress claimed ignorance that the 1873 law would lead to the demonetization of silver, some blamed the passage of the Act on a number of external factors including a conspiracy involving foreign investors and government conspirators. In response, the Bland–Allison Act, as it came to be known, was passed by Congress on 28 February 1878, the first silver certificates were issued in denominations of $10 through $1,000. Reception by financial institutions was cautious, while more convenient and less bulky than dollar coins, the silver certificate was not accepted for all transactions. Congress used the National Banking Act of 12 July 1882 to clarify the legal status of silver certificates by clearly authorizing them to be included in the lawful reserves of national banks.
A general appropriations act of 4 August 1886 authorized the issue of $1, $2, the introduction of low-denomination currency greatly increased circulation. Over the 12-year lifespan of the Bland–Allison Act, the United States government would receive a seigniorage amounting to roughly $68 million, Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh appointed a committee to investigate possible advantages to issuing smaller sized United States banknotes. Due in part to the outbreak of World War I and the end of his appointed term, any recommendations may have stalled. On 20 August 1925, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon appointed a committee and in May 1927 accepted their recommendations for the size reduction. On 10 July 1929 the new currency was issued. This required that the Treasury maintain stocks of dollars to back
William H. Seward
William Henry Seward was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, and earlier served as Governor of New York and United States Senator. Seward was born in southeastern New York, where his father was a farmer and he was educated as a lawyer and moved to the Central New York town of Auburn. Seward was elected to the New York State Senate in 1830 as an Anti-Mason, four years later, he became the gubernatorial nominee of the Whig Party. Though he was not successful in that race, Seward was elected governor in 1838, during this period, he signed several laws that advanced the rights and opportunities for black residents, as well as guaranteeing fugitive slaves jury trials in the state. The legislation protected abolitionists, and he used his position to intervene in cases of freed black people who were enslaved in the South, after several years of practicing law in Auburn, he was elected by the state legislature to the U. S. Senate in 1849. Sewards strong stances and provocative words against slavery brought him hatred in the South and he was re-elected to the Senate in 1855, and soon joined the nascent Republican Party, becoming one of its leading figures.
As the 1860 presidential election approached, he was regarded as the candidate for the Republican nomination. Although devastated by his loss, he campaigned for Lincoln, who was elected and appointed him Secretary of State, Seward did his best to stop the southern states from seceding, once that failed, he devoted himself wholeheartedly to the Union cause. His firm stance against foreign intervention in the Civil War helped deter Britain and France from entering the conflict and he was one of the targets of the 1865 assassination plot that killed Lincoln, and was seriously wounded by conspirator Lewis Powell. Seward remained loyally at his post through the presidency of Andrew Johnson, during which he negotiated the Alaska purchase in 1867 and his contemporary Carl Schurz described Seward as one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following its footprints. Seward was born in on May 16,1801 in the community of Florida, New York. He was the son of Samuel Sweezy Seward and his wife Mary Seward.
Samuel Seward was a landowner and slaveholder in New York State. Florida was located some 60 miles north of New York City, west of the Hudson River, Young Seward attended school there, and in the nearby county seat of Goshen. He was a student who enjoyed his studies. In years, one of the family slaves would relate that instead of running away from school to go home. At the age of 15, Henry—he was known by his name as a boy—was sent to Union College in Schenectady. Admitted to the class, Seward was an outstanding student and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa
Daniel N. Morgan
Daniel Nash Morgan was a United States banker who was Treasurer of the United States from 1893 to 1897. D. N. Morgan was born in Newtown, Connecticut on August 18,1844 and his father owned a store, which he took over as a young man. He took a partner, running the store as Morgan & Booth, in 1869, he moved to Bridgeport, becoming a partner in Birdsey & Morgan, a firm producing dry goods and carpets. He ran a grocery, Hopson & Co. in 1877, in 1879, he became president of the City National Bank of Bridgeport. Morgan was elected to the Bridgeport common council in 1873 and served until 1874, was a member of the Bridgeport Board of Education 1877-78, and was mayor of Bridgeport in 1880 and 1884. In 1893, President of the United States Grover Cleveland named Morgan Treasurer of the United States, Morgan was a candidate to be Governor of Connecticut in 1898, but he lost to George E. Lounsbury. Morgan died in Bridgeport on May 30,1931, twelve days after being hit by an automobile and he is buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport
History of the United States dollar
The history of the United States Dollar refers to more than 240 years since the Continental Congress of the United States authorized the issuance of Continental Currency in 1775. On April 2,1792, the United States Congress created the United States dollar as the standard unit of money. The term dollar had already been in usage since the colonial period when it referred to eight-real coin used by the Spanish throughout New Spain. By the end of 1778, Continental Currency retained only between 1⁄5 to 1⁄7 of its face value. By 1780, Continental bills – or Continentals – were worth just 1⁄40 of their face value, Congress tried to reform the currency by removing the old bills from circulation and issuing new ones, but this met with little or no success. By May 1781, Continentals had become so worthless they ceased to circulate as money, Benjamin Franklin noted that the depreciation of the currency had, in effect, acted as a tax to pay for the war. In the 1790s, after the ratification of the United States Constitution, Congress appointed Robert Morris to be Superintendent of Finance of the United States following the collapse of Continental currency.
In 1782, Morris advocated the creation of the first financial institution chartered by the United States, the Bank of North America was funded in part by specie loaned to the United States by France. Morris helped finance the final stages of the war by issuing notes in his name, the Bank of North America issued notes convertible into specie. On July 6,1785, the Continental Congress of the United States authorized the issuance of a new currency, article One states they were prohibited to make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts. The United States Mint was created by Congress following the passing of the Coinage Act of 1792 and it was primarily tasked with producing and circulating coinage. The first Mint building was in Philadelphia, the capital of the United States, the Mint was originally placed within the Department of State, until the Coinage Act of 1873 when it became part of the Department of the Treasury. The Mint had the authority to convert any precious metals into standard coinage for anyones account with no seigniorage charge beyond refining costs, Congress acted on Hamiltons recommendations in the Coinage Act of 1792, which established the dollar as the basic unit of account for the United States.
The word dollar is derived from Low Saxon cognate of the High German Thaler, in the early 19th century, gold rose in relation to silver, resulting in the removal from commerce of nearly all gold coins, and their subsequent melting. Therefore, in the Coinage Act of 1834, the 15,1 ratio of silver to gold was changed to a 16,1 ratio by reducing the weight of the gold coinage. This created a new U. S. dollar that was backed by 1.50 g of gold, the previous dollar had been represented by 1.60 g of gold. The result of this revaluation, which was the first devaluation of the U. S. dollar, was that the value in gold of the dollar was reduced by 6%, for a time, both gold and silver coins were useful in commerce. In 1853, the weights of U. S. silver coins were reduced and this had the effect of placing the nation effectively on the gold standard