Printed Material

Public Vendue from Massachusetts Spy

Date: 1785
Creator: John Muzzy
Publisher: Massachusetts Spy
About this artifact

By 1785, gold and silver, also known as "hard money" was difficult to come by in Massachusetts and other states. In this newspaper advertisement, John Muzzy, junior asks for 40 dollars as a down payment for his Spencer, Massachusetts, farm. Muzzy makes a point of letting prospective buyers know he is willing to accept government-issued securities as payment, which were at this time trading at a fraction of their face value. People like Muzzy who risked investing in these depreciated securities benefited when the state and federal government later redeemed the securities for far more than many bearers had paid for them.

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Courtesy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA