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Register of the Treasury – Signatures on US Paper Money

Register of the Treasury Blanche Kelso Bruce's facsimile signature.
Register of the Treasury Blanche Kelso Bruce’s facsimile signature.

The Register of the Treasury is a former office of the United States Treasury Department. The position was instituted in 1861 and lasted until it became part of the Public Debt Service in 1919. It was a primarily bureaucratic position. On United States paper money printed between 1861 and 1923, one can find the signature of the Register of the Treasury alongside the Secretary of the Treasury.

Notably, four Registrars of the Treasury were African-American (Blanche Kelso Bruce, Judson Whitlocke Lyons, William Tecumseh Vernon, and James Carroll Napier), and they are among the five African-Americans whose signatures are found on U.S. paper money.

Registers of the Treasury

Lucius E. Chittenden (1861-64) S.B. Colby (1864-67) Noah L. Jeffries (1867-69)
John Allison (1869-78) Glenni William Scofield (1878-81) Blanche Kelso Bruce (1881-85)

  • First African-American to hold position
William Starke Rosecrans (1885-93) James Fount Tillman (1893-97) Blanche Kelso Bruce (1897-98)
Judson Whitlocke Lyons (1898-1906) William Tecumseh Vernon (1906-11) James Carroll Napier (1911-13)
Gabe E. Parker (1913-14) Houston Benge Teehee (1915-19) William S. Elliott (1919-22)
Harley V. Speelman (1922-27) Walter Orr Woods (1927-29) Edward E. Jones (1929-33)


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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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