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232: Colonial Currency, Rhode Island, July 2, 1780, Hal

Lot 232 View Catalog

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Colonial Currency, Rhode Island, July 2, 1780, Half Sheet 

Approx. 8 x 13.5 in. Uncut, with one of each denomination ($1-5, 7, 8, 20), Serial No. 355, issued 2 July 1780. Each signed by Adam Comstock (in black) and Caleb Harris (in red), no guaranty signature on back. According to notes on Notre Dame's Special Collections page (, a full sheet would have had two of each denomination. The sheets were then cut in half, and each half given a serial number for all bills on the sheet. Back is printed in red and black with different designs for each border and emblem on each denomination. Paper has blue threads and mica flecks and is watermarked CONFEDE / RATION.

Adam Comstock was born in Warwick, RI in 1740. He entered the Continental Army at the beginning of the Revolution, serving in Washington's troops and sharing the hardships during the winter at Valley Forge. He resigned his commission as colonel mid-war to care for his seriously ill wife. He was then elected to the Rhode Island legislature. After the war he moved to New York and continued his career of service as a judge and assemblyman, as did successive generations of Comstocks.

Caleb Harris is listed in the 2nd Battalion within the 1st Regiment Continental troops in 1776 (Comstock was colonel of the 1st Battalion of the same regiment) as "Inspector of Gun Powder." He was appointed surveyor of Rhode Island in 1785, and his observations were incorporated into the map of Rhode Island which appeared in Matthew Carey's General Atlas (publ. from 1795 to 1818). 


Folds in center both directions; small water stain in one margin, not affecting currency. Some fading of Harris' signature. Light surface soil and discoloration of the panel that was outside when folded.
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Estimate $1,500 – $2,500
Starting Bid $750

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7:00 AM - Jun 23, 2011
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