May 18, 2012

As Coins Disappear During Civil War in Cecil County, Port Deposit and Elkton Issue "Shinplasters"

(WoCCP) As that bloody conflict, the Civil War, smoldered in 1862, a serious shortage of coins for everyday commerce had Cecil County merchants shuffling around trying to find ways to make change. You could blame penny pinchers, hoarders or simply the scarcity of the war, but whatever the cause there was a shortage of gold, silver, and cooper to make change.
With coins largely out of circulation, the hue and cry for small change was at its height as the nation faced the second year of the tragic struggle. If silver did not become more plentiful, one Elkton merchant told the Cecil Democrat he would be forced to issue shinplasters. Continued