1880 $50 (Fr.# 159)

Mintage: 160000

Series Overview

Legal tender notes, also called "United States notes," were first issued on March 10, 1862 and were produced in denominations ranging from $5 to $1,000. These notes were released in five different issues, with the first issue bearing two obligations � one on the obverse, and one of two types on the reverse.

The obverse obligation on the first issue reads, "The United States promise to pay to the bearer ["X"] dollars payable at the Treasury of the United States at New York." The first [reverse] obligation seen on the earlier First Issue notes reads, "This note is a legal tender for all debts, public and private, except duties on imports and interest on the public debt, and is exchangeable for U.S. six per cent twenty year bonds, redeemable at the pleasure of the United States after five years." The second obligation, seen on later First Issue notes, states, "This note is a legal tender for all debts public and private except duties on imports and interest on the public debt and is receivable in payment of all loans made to the United States."

Second Issue and Third Issue legal tender issues, printed on August 1, 1862 and March 10, 1863, respectively, contain the second obligation of the First Issue. Second Issue printings were for the $1 and $2 denominations, while the Third Issue covers denominations ranging from $5 to $1,000.

Fourth Issue printings were authorized by the Congressional Act of March 3, 1863 and were issued for denominations ranging from $1 to $10,000 and encompass a range of series, including those dated 1869, 1874, 1878, 1880, 1907, 1917, and 1923. The Fifth Issue was authorized by the Legal Tender Acts of 1862 and 1863 and consists of only $10 notes under the Series of 1901.