Collections › MESDA Collection › Sixteen Dollars Maryland Currency

Sixteen Dollars Maryland Currency

Artist/Maker:
Sparrow, Thomas __Engraver ||Green, Frederick __Printer
Place Made:
Annapolis Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
1775
Medium:
ink on paper
Accession Number:
5844.1
Description:
On July 26, 1775 Maryland authorized an issue of £100,000 in promissory notes (denominated in dollars) to pay for gunpowder. All the notes in the series–there were eight denominations from $2/3 to $16–were engraved by Thomas Sparrow and printed by Frederick Green. This note depicts an American city under attack by the British Navy.

ENGRAVER: Thomas Sparrow was a silversmith working in Annapolis, Maryland, c. 1765-1773. It is known that Thomas Sparrow, born in Chatham, Barnstable County, Maryland, in 1746, apprenticed as a silversmith and jeweler in Philadelphia ca 1760-63 and worked there 1763-65. He was hired by William Farris of Annapolis, Md. March 21, 1765 then opened his own silversmith/jewelry business there Dec. 13, 1765. His distinctive hallmark script TS in relief within rectangular depression appears on teaspoon shanks, etc. He married Esther Smith, born June 1, 1750 of Chatham, Maryland. Sparrow is important to numismatic research because his TS signature appears on some of the 1783 silver shillings, sixpence, and threepenny struck in Annapolis by silversmith John Chalmers. However, he has not been traced beyond 1784 and his date of death in unknown.

Credit Line:
Loan courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg