By the time this note was authorized, Louisiana and Texas were basically separated from the central government in Richmond, and had to rely more heavily than ever upon their own resources. Along with many staple and necessary items, Confederate currency, while never popular, had virtually disappeared from the area west of the Mississippi River, and the prospects for receiving any appreciable amount were almost non-existent. Therefore, state issued currency became much more important to the beleaguered populace, and Louisiana responded to the need by releasing a large amount into circulation. This note was part of that later issue. The central vignette features a period riverboat crossing the note from left to right. Smoke billowing from four stacks and a significant bow wave seem to indicate a rapid progress, possibly harkening back to the days when boats of this type traveled freely on the river, without hindrance from patrolling Union vessels. It is interesting to note that the flag flying at the stern of the vessel appears to be that of the United States (this vignette was probably a pre-war design). Above this scene is the statement that this note was “RECEIVABLE FOR ALL DUES TO THE STATE.”, as well as the disclaimer that it would be redeemable “Twelve months after a Treaty of Peace between the Confederate States and the United States” (this statement refers to payment in specie, which had been suspended during the war). Immediately below the vignette is the financial obligation which states that “THE STATE OF LOUISIANA Will pay ONE DOLLAR to the Bearer, at the Treasurer’s Office.”, with no restrictions limiting its redemption (many notes were only redeemable in Confederate issues). The city of issue – “Shreveport” - followed by the date – “March 1, 1864” – appears immediately below the financial obligation, with a small vignette of a ballerina at the bottom center (the exact meaning of this figure is unknown). At the lower right is the secretarial signature of “B. L. Defreese”, with the statement “FOR TREASURER” printed below. The printer’s name, “SOUTHWESTERN PRINT”, appears near the lower left border. The right end of the note features a scrollwork design, with the denomination expressed in numerical and written formats. The left end is dominated by a vignette depicting an attractive standing female figure, her arm resting upon a broken column, above the denomination. This figure was intended to represent Securitas, the Roman goddess of security and stability (this is not security of the home, but rather the safety of the state as a whole). A two line border frames the top and bottom of the note, though none was printed at either end. The back, as with many notes of this era (especially southern issues), bears no printed design. This piece measures approximately 2.75 x 5.90 inches and could be framed with a period map of the state to form a very attractive display.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the city of Baton Rouge was serving as the capital of Louisiana. The first issues of currency, as well as bonds, emanated from that city. However, the Union Army captured the city in 1862, and the government was forced to flee. They set up a temporary capital in Opelousas, but they quickly realized how vulnerable that city seemed to be. They finally moved the capital to Shreveport, a well-protected city on the Red River, in the northwest corner of the state. This city remained the capital until the close of the war, and the later series of currency was issued from there. The offered note is one of that last series.
Though exhibiting signs of improper storage since the war, the presently offered note is technically un-circulated, with average contrast and reasonable eye appeal. Minor toning is noted across the entire surface, imparting an off-white to beige tint to the note. A glance at the accompanying image will show several brownish stains scattered throughout the piece, as well as ink migration at the signature and serial number. The ink uptake on the printing is average for the issue, though it appears that the design may be failing, as it is lacking in the finer details of the riverboat and the figure of Securitas. The edges are tight and irregular, with one of the inner frame-lines affected at the upper left. The corners are weak and slightly rounded, with small folds at the lower left and upper right (given the condition of the remainder of the note, this was obviously caused through mishandling). A nice representative example of this popular issue, priced according to the condition.