Photo provided courtesy of the United States Library of Congress.
The ghost of a dollar or the bankers surprize / W....
The ghost of a dollar or the bankers surprize / W. Charles, Del et Sculp.
1 print on wove paper: etching ; plate 37.8 x 26.7 cm.
A caricature of Philadelphia merchant and financier Stephen Girard, here called "Stephen Graspall, Banker & Shaver." He stands behind a counter with a small slot in it, staring at an apparition of an 1806 Spanish dollar which hovers before him on the left. He says: "Surely my eyes do not deceive me -- It certainly must be a Dollar! -- I declare I have not seen such a thing since I sold the last I had in my Vaults at 18 per Cent Premium -- If thou art a real Dollar do drop in my till and let me hear thee Chink -- As I have been sued for payment of part of my notes in Specie I must collect some to pay them for quietness sake or the game would be up at once." Behind him hangs his signboard, advertising "Paper Wholesale and Retail. NB No foreign Bank notes taken on Deposit except such as are about 5 per cent above par."
Title appears as it is written on the print.
Murrell dates the print about 1808; Weitenkampf tentatively places it in 1806. The former is probably more nearly accurate, since Charles is known to have moved to Philadelphia in 1808.
Murrell, p. 84
Weitenkampf, p. 13-14
Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1808-2.
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