Prior to 1862, when the Federal government began regulating currency, there was no such thing as legal tender in this country. Instead, banknotes and promissory notes were exchanged on a peer-to-peer network of trust, much like bitcoin is today. Each bank adopted its own distinctive designs and could issue currency as they saw fit. Paper was not standardized either and bank note plates were outsourced to private engravers. This created a world of opportunity for engravers like Richard Brunton to make counterfeit money when legitimate work was not to be had. In her biography Soldier, Engraver, Forger—Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic (a 2015 publication of New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts), Deborah M. Child retraces his steps from the time of his arrival with the British army in Boston in 1774, until his death in Groton, MA in 1832. It’s an exciting journey that crosses six states and moves through all levels of society and circumstances in the earliest years of our Republic.
PLEASE NOTE: All of our Lectures and Visiting Author Events are held in the Folsom Tavern, which has a capacity of 50 individuals. We frequently fully “sell out” our lectures. Doors open 30 minutes prior to lecture, come early to grab your seat!