|The certificate was issued in 1891, at a time when silver miners, Western mining companies, and some Western banks were objecting to the government's decision to essentially adopt a gold standard.|
A law passed in 1878 required the government to buy several million dollars' worth of silver bullion and mint it into coins. Because the silver was so heavy, the government decided to issue certificates like this one that could be exchanged for the same face value in silver dollar coins.
|The US government no longer prints silver certificates, and it hasn't exchanged existing ones for silver since the 1960s. But even now, those that remain outstanding are still legal tender and can be spent, according to the federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing.|
$ 1000 in silver is a bargain. The note is one of only 2 known in existence and sold at auction for $2.6 million.
|William L. Marcy was a 19th century politician and statesman who served as secretary of war, secretary of state, a senator, and governor of New York. He is also noted for saying, during a congressional debate over a nomination, "to the victor belong the spoils."|