Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Physical Description:
copper (overall material)
overall: 19.8 mm; 25/32 in; wt. 3.685 g
Object Name:
Date made:
In the beginning of 1862, citizens went on a hoarding frenzy as high inflation plagued the market after the outbreak of the Civil War. Their target: coins of gold, silver, and copper. The hoarding problem was so extreme that the government halted the minting of coined money and by the end of 1862 there were hardly any metallic coins in circulation. This was acutely felt by business men and customers alike since coinage in small denominations was most commonly tendered at that point in time. In order to alleviate the situation, merchants and tradesmen sought alternatives to government issued small change. Privately issued tokens, typically one cent and made of copper and similar in size to government issued coinage, were used instead and by late 1862 these Civil War Tokens were circulating in Cincinnati and New York. This particular token’s text, “FOR PUBLIC ACCOMODATION,” reflects the pecuniary problem that was happening at that time.
Currently not on view
ID Number:
Accession number:
Catalog number:
See more items in:
Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
Civil War
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source:
National Museum of American History