JV Continental Session Set
January 14 1779

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Note Details

Set Details

Note Description: Continental Currency
$5 January 14, 1779 Colonial Notes
Grade: AU 55 EPQ
Country: US
Note Number: CC-91
Certification #: 1016855-007  
Owner: vtrockin1
Sets Competing: JV Continental Session Set  Score: 899
JV Continental Currency Complete  Score: 899
JV Continental Denomination Set  Score: 899
Date Added: 12/7/2007
Research: See PMG's Census Report for this Note

Owner's Description

Border reads: The United States of North America.... The emblem on the front shows a bleeding hand in a thorn bush with the motto: SUSTINE VEL ABSTINE. This is the most difficult emblem in the series to understand.

Benjamin Franklin explained the Continental Currency emblems in a letter published under the pseudonym of Clericus in the Pennsylvania Gazette of September 20, 1775. For the five dollar emblem he explained: "we have a thorny bush, which a hand seems attempting to eradicate. The hand appears to bleed, as pricked by spines. The motto is, SUSTINE VEL ABSTINE; which may be rendered, Bear with me, or let me alone; or thus, Either support or leave me. The bush I suppose to mean America, the bleeding hand Britain. Would to God that bleeding were stopt, the wounds of that hand healed, and its future operations directed by wisdom and equity; so shall the hawthorn flourish, and form an hedge around it, annoying with her thorns only its invading enemies." [B. Franklin, Writings, ed. by J.A. Leo Lemay, 1987, pp. 734-738 on p. 735.].

The nature print on the back is of a feverfew leaf. The paper contains blue fibers and mica flakes and is watermarked "UNITED / STATES" on two lines and oriented to be read from the front.

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