Who Appeared on the United States $20 Bill in 1875?

Several examples of banknotes produced in 1875

Heritage Auctions, HA.com 

Today, the United States twenty-dollar bill features Andrew Jackson on the front and the White House on the back. It is a relatively small bank note being 6-1/8 inches long by 2-5/8 inches tall. Additionally, all bills are issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States.

However, in 1875 times were different, and so was the money. There were three different twenty-dollar bills in circulation. Some were backed by gold, government bonds backed some, and others were backed by nothing more than a promise to pay by the federal government. Also, the notes were bigger and are now known as "Large Size" notes. They were approximately 7-3/8" x 3-1/8" and featured a variety of different portraits, vignettes, and ornamentation.

1875 Legal Tender Notes

These twenty-dollar bills were identifiable by a portrait of Alexander Hamilton on the front with the inscriptions "LEGAL TENDER FOR TWENTY DOLLARS" across the top and "UNITED STATES NOTE" across the bottom. The bill had a very ornate reverse with the Arabic numeral 20, Roman numerals XX and "TWENTY DOLLARS" displayed on the back along with the Legal Tender lawful restrictions.

These notes were not backed by gold nor silver and could not be redeemed for coin at any financial institution. They were only backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. It was the equivalent of the United States printing free money and giving itself an interest-free loan.

1875 Legal Tender Notes
1875 Legal Tender Notes. Heritage Auctions, HA.com 

1875 National Gold Banknotes

The Banking Act of July 12, 1870, provided for the creation of National Gold Banknotes. These notes were issued directly by financial institutions and were backed by an equivalent amount of gold coin on deposit in the bank. Ultimately, nine different financial institutions were established and issued National Gold Banknotes ranging from five dollars to $500. These banknotes did not circulate outside of California and most people on the East Coast did not know of them.

The front of the note had the denomination displayed in several different places. Prominently printed across the top was "REDEEMABLE IN GOLD COIN" as secured by a deposit with the U.S. Treasurer at Washington. In the center of the note was the issuing bank. For example, "The First National Gold Bank of San Francisco." On the back was a vignette of several different types of gold coins, the denomination in each corner, and the legal declaration of the note.

1875 National Gold Banknotes
1875 National Gold Banknotes. Heritage Auctions, HA.com 

1875 National Bank Notes

The most common type of banknote circulating in 1875 was the National Banknote. At this point in United States history, the federal government was not the only institution issuing paper money. Individual banks were granted charters by the federal government and allowed to deposit government bonds with the Treasurer of the United States. They could then issue banknotes up to 90% of their total deposit in the United States Treasury.

Before this time, individual banks could issue paper currency in any amount and any quantity. When the banks failed, the notes were worthless. The required deposit in the United States Treasury now provided a guarantee in the event that a bank would fail. The notes could still be redeemed at the United States Treasury.

The front of this bill is a very complicated series of vignettes, serial numbers, charter numbers, and identifying financial institutions. The reverse of the note had the denomination in each corner with a vignette of the "Baptism of Pocahontas" in the center.

All banks that were chartered by the United States federal government from 1875 until July 1882 received the Series 1875-style note when they ordered printed currency. A total of 116 banks across twenty-two states were issued charters and issued National Bank Notes (see below for a complete list of chartered banks by state).

1875 National Bank Notes
1875 National Bank Notes.

1875 Bank Note Values

The value of a banknote depends upon several factors. These factors include condition, issuing bank and serial number. Additionally, several rare treasury signatures can significantly increase the value of a note. Fancy serial numbers such as low numbers (00000001 through 00000009), repeating numbers (0007777 or 1111111) or unique patterns (0123210, 556677 or 01212121) can also add to the value of a banknote.

1875 Legal Tender Note Values

  • Average Circulated: $700
  • Uncirculated: $4,300

1875 National Gold Bank Notes Values

  • Average Circulated: $6,000
  • Above Average Circulated: $20,000 - $75,000
  • Uncirculated: None is known to exist

1875 National Bank Notes Values

  • Average Circulated: $2,000
  • Uncirculated: $9,500

Collecting National Bank Notes by Issuing Banks

The most common banknote issued in 1875 was the National Bank Note type. These notes were issued by 116 banks across twenty-two different states. Beginning collectors may want to acquire an individual note from their hometown or a city that has a significant place in their life. More advanced collectors may try to obtain an example of a note from each issuing financial institution for a given state. The list below will help you start your collection of National Bank Notes.

Alabama

Charter 2309 – Eufaula National Bank, Alabama

California

Charter 2248 – First National Bank of Oakland, California

Charter 2248 – First National Gold Bank of Oakland, California

Charter 2266 – Union National Bank of Oakland, California

Charter 2266 – Union National Gold Bank of Oakland, California

Colorado

Charter 2300 – First National Bank of Trinidad, Colorado

Charter 2310 – Stock Growers National Bank of Pueblo, Colorado

Connecticut

Charter 2250 – Bristol National Bank, Connecticut

Illinois

Charter 2242 – Havana National Bank, Illinois

Charter 2254 – First National Bank of Prairie City, Illinois

Charter 2283 – First National Bank of Atlanta, Illinois

Charter 2287 – Farmers National Bank of Pekin, Illinois

Charter 2313 – First National Bank of Kirkwood, Illinois

Indiana

Charter 2234 – Citizens National Bank of Muncie, Indiana

Charter 2234 – Merchants National Bank of Muncie, Indiana

Charter 2234 – Union National Bank of Muncie, Indiana

Charter 2238 – First National Bank of Auburn, Indiana

Iowa

Charter 2215 – First National Bank of Monroe, Iowa

Charter 2230 – Valley National Bank, Iowa

Charter 2247 – First National Bank of Malvern, Iowa

Charter 2298 – First National Bank of Bedford, Iowa

Charter 2307 – Iowa National Bank of Des Moines, Iowa

Charter 2307 – Iowa-Des Moines National Bank & Trust Company, Iowa

Kentucky

Charter 2216 – Farmers National Bank of Mount Sterling, Kentucky

Charter 2245 – First National Bank of Mayfield, Kentucky

Charter 2276 – First National Bank of Newport, Kentucky

Maine

Charter 2231 – Messalonskee National Bank of Oakland, Maine

Charter 2231 – West Waterville National Bank of Oakland, Maine

Charter 2259 – First National Bank of Dexter, Maine

Charter 2260 – Manufacturers National Bank of Lewiston, Maine

Charter 2267 – Union National Bank of Phillips, Maine

Charter 2270 – National Shoe & Leather Bank of Auburn, Maine

Charter 2306 – Merchants National Bank of Waterville, Maine

Charter 2311 – Camden National Bank, Maine

Massachusetts

Charter 2232 – First National Bank of Attleboro, Massachusetts

Charter 2255 – Orange National Bank, Massachusetts

Charter 2262 – Citizens National Bank of New Bedford, Massachusetts

Charter 2264 – Packard National Bank of Greenfield, Massachusetts

Charter 2265 – Wachusett National Bank of Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Charter 2273 – Security National Bank of Worcester, Massachusetts

Charter 2275 – Home National Bank of Milford, Massachusetts

Charter 2277 – Fourth National Bank of Boston, Massachusetts

Charter 2284 – Westminster National Bank of Gardner, Massachusetts

Charter 2284 – Westminster National Bank of Westminster, Massachusetts

Charter 2288 – Spencer National Bank, Massachusetts

Charter 2289 – Metropolitan National Bank of Boston, Massachusetts

Charter 2292 – City National Bank of Gloucester, Massachusetts

Charter 2297 – Georgetown National Bank, Massachusetts

Charter 2304 – Merchandise National Bank of Boston, Massachusetts

Charter 2304 – Winthrop National Bank of Boston, Massachusetts

Charter 2312 – First National Bank of Webster, Massachusetts

Minnesota

Charter 2268 – Merchants National Bank of Winona, Minnesota

Missouri

Charter 2218 – First National Bank of Lancaster, Missouri

New Hampshire

Charter 2240 – Second National Bank of Nashua, New Hampshire

Charter 2299 – Citizens National Bank of Keene, New Hampshire

New Jersey

Charter 2243 – City National Bank of Plainfield, New Jersey

Charter 2246 – First National Bank of Clinton, New Jersey

Charter 2257 – Second National Bank & Trust Company of Red Bank, New Jersey

Charter 2257 – Second National Bank of Red Bank, New Jersey

Charter 2271 – Bloomsbury National Bank, New Jersey

New York

Charter 2224 – First National Bank of Nunda, New York

Charter 2225 – First National Bank of Brewsters, New York

Charter 2229 – National Bank of Haverstraw & Trust Company, New York

Charter 2229 – National Bank of Haverstraw, New York

Charter 2233 – Merchants National Bank of Whitehall, New York

Charter 2239 – Manufacturers National Bank of Amsterdam, New York

Charter 2272 – National Bank of Cortland, New York

Charter 2294 – National Bank of Granville, New York

North Carolina

Charter 2314 – Traders National Bank of Charlotte, North Carolina

Ohio

Charter 2217 – Second National Bank of Youngstown, Ohio

Charter 2219 – First National Bank of Batesville, Ohio

Charter 2220 – Waynesville National Bank, Ohio

Charter 2282 – Farmers National Bank of Franklin, Ohio

Charter 2296 – Commercial National Bank of Toledo, Ohio

Charter 2302 – First National Bank of Bellevue, Ohio

Charter 2315 – National Bank of Commerce of Cincinnati, Ohio

Charter 2315 – National Lafayette Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio

Pennsylvania

Charter 2222 – First National Bank of McKeesport, Pennsylvania

Charter 2223 – First & Farmers National Bank & Trust Company of Montrose, Pennsylvania

Charter 2223 – First National Bank of Montrose, Pennsylvania

Charter 2226 – Citizens National Bank of Warren, Pennsylvania

Charter 2227 – Lycoming National Bank of Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Charter 2228 – Farmers National Bank of York, Pennsylvania

Charter 2235 – Third National Bank of Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Charter 2236 – Diamond National Bank of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Charter 2237 – Marine National Bank of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Charter 2241 – German National Bank of Millerstown, Pennsylvania

Charter 2244 – Sharon National Bank, Pennsylvania

Charter 2249 – Jenkintown National Bank, Pennsylvania

Charter 2251 – Greenville National Bank, Pennsylvania

Charter 2252 – First National Bank of Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Charter 2253 – Hatboro National Bank, Pennsylvania

Charter 2256 – Farmers & Mechanics National Bank of Mercer, Pennsylvania

Charter 2258 – First National Bank of Meyersdale, Pennsylvania

Charter 2261 – German National Bank of Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Charter 2261 – National Bank of America at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Charter 2278 – Duquesne National Bank of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Charter 2279 – Metropolitan National Bank of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Charter 2280 – Citizens National Bank of Ashland, Pennsylvania

Charter 2281 – Smithfield National Bank of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Charter 2285 – First National Bank of Tarentum, Pennsylvania

Charter 2286 – First National Bank of Freeport, Pennsylvania

Charter 2291 – Keystone National Bank of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Charter 2293 – National Bank of Slatington, Pennsylvania

Charter 2301 – Perkiomen National Bank of Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

Charter 2303 – Western National Bank of York, Pennsylvania

Charter 2308 – First National Bank of Lehighton, Pennsylvania

Tennessee

Charter 2221 – First National Bank of McMinnville, Tennessee

Charter 2221 – National Bank of McMinnville, Tennessee

Vermont

Charter 2263 – National Bank of Newport, Vermont

Charter 2274 – Randolph National Bank of Randolph, Vermont

Charter 2274 – Randolph National Bank of West Randolph, Vermont

Charter 2290 – Barton National Bank, Vermont

Charter 2295 – Merchants National Bank of Saint Johnsbury, Vermont

Charter 2305 – Peoples National Bank of Brattleboro, Vermont

Virginia

Charter 2269 – Augusta National Bank of Staunton, Virginia