SMU Digital Collections

Republic of Texas $2.00 (two dollars) change note

Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency

Republic of Texas $2.00 (two dollars) change note, 1838

Texas Powder Company $1.00 (one dollar) private scrip from San Antonio in Bexar County

Texas Powder Company $1.00
(one dollar) private scrip from
San Antonio in Bexar County

Harry's Cheap Store $3.00 (three dollars) private scrip

Harry's Cheap Store $3.00
(three dollars) private scrip

Provisional Government of Texas $100.00 (one hundred dollars) audited draft, 1835, Gonzales, Gonzales County

Provisional Government of Texas
$100.00 audited draft, 1835,
Gonzales, Gonzales County

 Republic of Texas $20.00 (twenty dollars)

A Republic of Texas $20.00
(twenty dollars) "Redback"
change note, 1839

Commercial and Agricultural Bank of Texas $3.00 (three dollars) private scrip

Commercial and Agricultural
Bank of Texas $3.00 (three
dollars) private scrip, ca. 1835

Stine 10 cents (ten cents) private scrip, ca. 1860s, New Braunfels, Comal County

Stine 10 cents (ten cents)
private scrip, ca. 1860s

Republic of Texas $408.79 (four hundred eight dollars and seventy-nine cents), 1836, Columbia, Brazoria County

Republic of Texas $408.79
(four hundred eight dollars
and seventy-nine cents)

About the Collection  Town of Harrisburg 400 shares stock certificate

Holding library: DeGolyer Library

View more collections held by DeGolyer Library.

Overview

The Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency at the DeGolyer Library is the most comprehensive in the United States, representing thousands of notes, scrip, bonds, and other financial obligations, issued in Texas between the 1820s and 1935.

Holdings and Highlights

John N. Rowe III and B.B. Barr are brothers-in-law, business partners, and advocates for historical preservation.  Both men enjoy collecting and sharing the fruits of their collecting with others. Mr. Rowe, one of the leading numismatic dealers in the United States, started collecting bank notes as a boy. His hobby soon turned into a full-time profession. His special interest is Texas currency through the Civil War. Mr. Barr devoted much of his effort to collecting notes from the post-Civil War period. The men gave their collection to SMU in 2003, so it would be preserved and made accessible to others. This digital collection includes currency from significant historical eras, including the Republic of Texas (1836-1845), early statehood (1845-1861), the Confederacy (1861-1865), and the National Bank Era (1863-1913).

The Rowe-Barr currency collection offers an interesting avenue of access to life in Texas from the early days of its independence from Mexico through the years of the Great Depression. Issued by more than 100 counties, as well as banks, merchants, and private individuals, these notes were most often redeemable for cash, but sometimes for land or shares of stock.

Among the more famous signatures are those of Sam Houston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, David G. Burnet, Asa Brigham, Francis R. Lubbock, John Wyatt Moody, and Green DeWitt. Designs on the notes range from simple to quite elaborate and decorative.

 25 cents (twenty five cents) private scripAbout the Currency Collection

Known to collectors as "obsolete" notes, the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency is useful in a variety of ways for historical research.

Many of the currency notes are unique, and help to identify the issuing organizations that would otherwise be lost to history. By studying how notes were used, both within Texas and in exchange with merchants and governments elsewhere, scholars can learn much about the true basis and workings of the Texas economy.

In addition, currency notes are often beautiful objects in themselves and can be studied as examples of the art of engraving and printing. The imagery associated with the notes -- from classical goddesses to bison to railroads to cotton bolls -- tells us something about the culture and its aspirations and ideals.

 

Digital Collections Policies and ProceduresBurleson County $1.00 (one dollar) county scrip

The metadata, or information for each currency note, captures important features of each item. The notes are searchable by decade, county of origin, town of issue, bank issuer, and denomination, as well as by individual keywords.

The bank notes are assigned a rarity number ranked from 1 (least rare) to 7 (rarest). In this collection the rarity of a note is indicated by the letter “R” and the corresponding rarity number, for example, R.5. Also in the metadata for this collection, there is occasional reference to Medlar or Bieciuk and Corbin (BC), authors respectively ofTexas Obsolete Notes and Scrip and Texas Confederate County Notes and Private Scrip. Reference to these resources is indicated in the Notes field by either “Medlar” and a page number or “BC” and a page number.

Each side of the note was scanned as a 1200 ppi, 16-bits per channel, RGB .tif file. The derivative images you see in the online collection were created by combining the recto and verso, and resizing the composite images as 3000 pixels on the long edge, 8-bits per channel RGB .jpg files. Users may zoom in on the currency notes using the magnifying tool for a more detailed view.

Items in SMU Libraries Digital collections are digitized following the nCDS Digitization Guidelines and Procedures. Digital collections are created under the guidelines of the nCDS Filenaming, Workflow, and Metadata Guidelines, or through specialized metadata profiles tailored for the collection.

Copyright usage terms vary throughout the collection. Each item contains information about usage terms. If SMU does not have the right to publish the item on the Internet, only the item's metadata will be available and the digitized object will be available on a restricted access basis. Such items may only be viewed on campus. When items are available for use, please cite DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University. A high-quality version of these files may be obtained for a fee by contacting degolyer@smu.edu.

For more information about the collection, please contact degolyer@smu.edu.