and the rest in paper at 17s. per ounce of silver.”
This is satisfactory; and so they trade.
A dialogue between two merchants, in the purchase of a ship, would be something like this:--Mr.
S.: “What will you take for your bark Columbus
T.: “You know that depends on the pay
S.: “My pay is, double-johns at £ 4. 16s
., moidores at 36s
., pistoles at 22s
., the rest in old-tenor bills at the rate of 45s. for 6s. of specie, and middle tenors at 11s. 3d.
T.: “Well, that's all right; and you may have her for £ 237,--pay down.”
So the bargain closes.
When a boy went to buy a penknife, whose cash price was 12d., the following conversation ensued:--Boy: “I want a good penknife, sir.”
Shopkeeper: “Is your pay ready?”
“What is it?”
“Well, then, the price is 24d.”
The boy then asks, “What will it be in pay
“What will it be in hard money?”
If a young lady went to purchase a dress, and, having looked and chosen, she asked the price, she was answered by the usual question, “What's your pay?”
She answers: “Part in pillar-pieces at 6s. each, part in ‘ pieces-of-eight’ at 4s. 6d., and the rest in cobb money at 6s. 8d. ounce.”
These were every-day occurrences.
What would the farmmers and merchants, the boys and girls, of our day think, if they could not make a purchase without all this bewildering mixture of prices?
When dollars came into common use, all calculations were simplified.
The sign ($) used to express dollars was composed of two letters, U. S.
, signifying United States
. The S was first written; and then over its face the U was drawn, thus $. Our present currency consists of paper-bills of $1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 3, 2, 1.
Gold, $40, 20, 10, 5, 3, 2 1/2, 1.
Silver, $1, 50, 25, 10, 5, 3.
Copper, one cent.
We take leave of the currency of our ancestors which prevailed in Medford
, and which has taught us so much about them, with a few lines, in which some unknown disciple of Thalia
has uttered his financial joy (1750):--
And now, Old Tenor, fare you well;
No more such tattered rags we'll tell.
Now dollars pass, and are made free;
It is a year of jubilee.
Let us, therefore, good husbands be;
And good old times we soon shall see.