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For Ms. Wells' class,
Livingston Elementary School

"Not Worth a Continental"

The Continental Congress decided in May 1775 to issue paper money to finance the war. More and more "Continentals" flowed into circulation as the war progressed, and people realized that Congress could not possibly redeem them in Spanish dollars, gold, or silver. This loss of confidence brought rapid declines in the purchasing power of Continental currency. "Not worth a Continental" became a commonplace saying.


Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

On February 17, 1776, Congress issued a One-Sixth of a Dollar denomination. The reverse side features a design by Benjamin Franklin, which shows the 13 Colonies linked, as in a chain, in solid union with one another. Each link contains the name of a Colony. Within the chain, a radiant circle contains the words "AMERICAN CONGRESS" and the phrase "WE ARE ONE," which demonstrated the solidarity of the American Colonies as they stood against Great Britain.