The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 420
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
certificates were issued representing claims for Civil or Military services
and for defraying the expenses of the government, on accounts audited
as due by the accounting officer of the Republic.' These certificates
termed Scrip were often transferred in trade and barter but never used
as currency or money; they were simply acknowledgments of indebtedness
by the Republic.
The first Currency or Paper Money issued by the Republic of Texas
was the Promissory Notes authorized by Act of Congress Approved June
9, 1837, to the amount of $5000ooooo. These notes were commonly called
Star Money from a large Texas Star in the centre of each note. They
drew lo per cent per annum, and for one year only as they purported
to be redeemable 12 months after date. They were receivable as cash for
all sums or moneys owing or due the Republic; they could be issued
from the Treasury only for Civil Services. To guarantee their redemption,
the Act authorizing their issuance set apart one fourth of the proceeds
arising from the sale of the Islands-5ooooo acres of Land Scrip-and all
improved forfeited lands. These means were pledged exclusively and in
addition thereto was solemnly pledged the faith and credit of the govern-
ment." It may be noted in passing that the Islands were by law exempt
from location and that considerable values were anticipated from aban-
doned Mexican lands and improvements." This Star Money served the
purposes of currency pretty fairly; the amount was limited; the means
and guarantees for its redemption [were] ample; it was an exchequer
money and being not reissuable it was impracticable to flood the country
with large amounts of it. In short business transactions it passed at par
with the best bank notes of the United States. It was a real currency.
These Promissory Notes of June 1837 worked so well that Congress next
year, to wit in May 1838 passed an Act authorizing the reissuance of
notes that had been paid into the Treasury and the issuance of an addi-
tional million of them, making in all a million and a half of paper
money indefinitely reissuable in place of a half million not reissuable.'
It was a fair implication that the same guarantees and pledges extended
to the million and a half as had been made for the first half million,
though the Act was silent on this point. However the Promissory Notes
'This law of December 15, 1836, entitled "AN ACT, Making appropriations for paying
the expenses of the government of Texas," may be examined in H. P. N. Gammel (comp.),
The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 (io vols.; Austin, 1898), I, 1145-1146.
5See "AN ACT, Authorising [sic] the issuing the Promissory Notes of the Government,"
ibid., I, 1309-1310.
OWith the exception of one league and one labor of land on Galveston Island sold
previously, all insular lands in the Republic were reserved for sale at public auction in
Houston on the second Monday of November, 1837, by "AN ACT, To Dispose of Galveston
and other Islands of the Republic of Texas," approved June 12, 1837. One fourth of
the proceeds derived from their sale was to be spent for the redemption of government
promissory notes. Ibid., I, 1327-1328.
7See "AN ACT, To authorise [sic] the President to re-issue the Promissory Notes of
the Government as they return into the Treasury, and making special appropriations,
ibid., I, 1492-1493.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/470/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.