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An Expedient to abate shinplasters

headquarters district of Memphis, Memphis, Nov. 26, 1862.
To the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Memphis:
gentlemen: I regret to notice that you propose to issue a species of currency of denominations as low as ten cents--“shinplasters” --to swell the amount of bad money with which your community is already afflicted. The issuing of bills of credit by way of money is, in my judgment, in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States; and I think Congress, at the last session, passed a bill prohibiting all issues below one dollar, and provided a species of currency called the “post-office currency,” which will soon supplant the worthless trash which now is a disgrace to the name of money. As soon as possible, enough of this post-office money will come here, and suffice for the wants of the people.

Inasmuch as we seem to be imitating the example of Mexico, rather than those high models of ancient and modern times that we were wont to do in times past, I would suggest a simpler and better currency for the times. In Mexico soap is money, and the people do their marketing through the medium of cakes of soap. Why do you not use cotton for money? It has a very convenient price--fifty cents a pound. Put it up in pounds and fractions, and it will form a far better currency than the miserable shinplasters you propose. If cotton be king, it has the genuine stamp and makes money — is money. Therefore I suggest that, instead of little bits of paper, you set to work and put up cotton in little parcels of five, ten, twenty-five, and fifty cents.

If it be my last act, I wish to spare the people of Memphis from the curse of any more bad money.

Yours in haste,

W. T. Sherman, Major-General Commanding.

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Mexico (Mexico, Mexico) (2)

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W. T. Sherman (1)
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November 26th, 1862 AD (1)
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