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Robert McNamara

State Cashes In on Confederate Money

By June 4, 2009

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Archivists for the state of South Carolina have been raising money in these tough economic times by selling off cash. It turns out that boxes of new bills issued during the Civil War turned up in storage boxes, and the Confederate bills are being sold on Ebay.

So far the state has made about $200,000 by selling the old money, which, of course, had been declared worthless at the end of the Civil War. The Confederate states were supposed to destroy all their currency, and they did. But somehow about 40 boxes of South Carolina bills were stashed in a statehouse basement, discovered decades ago, and moved to the state archives.

A retired professor now has the job of going through the stacks of bills and picking out those to be auctioned off. So far he's only gotten through one of the 40 boxes. So the proceeds from the currency auctions, which is being used to buy much-needed equipment for state archivists, will probably continue for quite some time.

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