Hard Times Token: Coin: illustrative predecesor

Hard Times Token: Coin: illustrative predecesor
Title
Hard Times Token: Coin: illustrative predecesor
Date 
1837
Medium 
Copper
Dimensions 
Overall: 1 1/8 in. ( 2.9 cm )
Description 
Token; copper; shape of the token is damaged; depiction of a donkey on obverse, a tortoise carrying a bank on it shell on reverse; obverse "ILLUSTRIOUS / I FOLLOW IN THE / STEPS / OF MY / PREDECESSOR" reverse "EXECUTIVE / SUB / TREASURY / 1837 / FISCAL AGENT / EXPERIMENT"
Object Number 
1627
Gallery Label 
The "executive experiment" refers to the establishment of the Subtreasury system. The tortoise with the safe on its back alludes to the slow progress the experiment made, and the running jackass alludes to the Van Buren's rapid growth in popularity. In 1837 and again in 1857, financial crises caused loss of confidence in paper money and widespread redemption of currency in coin. Banks were soon forced to suspend specie payments, and tokens and fractional notes had to serve as smaller change.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group