NEW BRUNSWICK Sackville Mount Allison Business College Currency 5 Schingoethe #NB-220-5
Below are excerpts from The Mount Allison Bank of Sackville, NB
by Mark Holton, FCNRS published in The White Fence, issue #96 (Tantramar Heritage Trust) in October 2021
How was this money actually used? Three items recently appearing at a Moncton auction elaborated upon the comments made by Prof. Reid and the late numismatist Ray Mabee.8 According to Mabee, students were given $1000 in notes and then small printed cards were distributed stating the nature and quantity of a particular commodity or “Representative Merchandise”. It could be five barrels of white fish, or five barrels of trout or perhaps 40 pounds of coffee. The goods were added to inventory, wholesale and retail prices calculated, then they were put up for sale; students would buy and sell their “merchandise” with the cash proceeds received and carefully accounted for. The card for 5 barrels of white fish indicates in a very neat handwriting on the reverse a “1st cost 5.00 / 25.00”, then “Wholesale 6.00 / 30.00” and finally “Retail @ 8.00 / 40.00”. All this, presumably, to be recorded under the sharp eyes of Prof. Whiston and his assistants.9 It should be noted that the existence of many of these early Mount Allison notes is due to the chance discovery by numismatist and antiques collector Ray Mabee of “a folder with a small hoard of bills” found in a Queen Anne style walnut chest of drawers in an old New Brunswick home.
These notes were much less attractive than the 1874 notes. There is no cheerful scene of Sackville, no reassuring Britannia or a neatly-dressed and well-equipped sailor. Instead, with the heading of “Good Only in the Actual Business Department of / Mount Allison Business College / Sackville, New Brunswick” the design can only be called bureaucratic/institutional. To give one example: at the left is the large digit “10” and “One” printed vertically, both within a small vertical guilloche and at the right, a woman coming in from the field carrying what might be a sheaf of wheat. The lower half of the note carries a statement and a quotation that perhaps explains the Spartan nature of the design. The following clause from the Bank Act, 53 Victoria Chap. 31, 1890, explains why a Bill resembling a Bank Note cannot be issued by any Business College – Clause 63:
“Every person why designs, engraves, prints or in any manner makes, executes, utters, issues, distributes, circulates or uses any business or professional card, notice, placard, circular, hand bill or advertisement in the likeness or similitude of any Dominion or Bank Note, or any obligation or security of any Government or of any Bank, is liable to a penalty of one hundred dollars, or to three month’s imprisonment, or to both.”
And here it is worth noting historian Reid’s reference to a Mount Allison 1874 $2.00 bill that an enterprising student successfully passed as the genuine article!
It is not known how long these 1890s notes were in use or when they were discarded. In blue ink were notes of $1, $5, $10 and $20 and they were headed “Mount Allison Business College”.
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