Were tobacco warehouse receipts an economic form of money during part of the Colonial period in Virginia?

  • Received July 10, 2018;
    Accepted September 18, 2018;
    Published December 21, 2018
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  • Article Info
    Volume 7 2018, Issue #3, pp. 37-42
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    4 articles

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This article examines the special use of tobacco warehouse receipts as a store of value, medium of exchange and unit of account in Virginia during part of the British Colonial period. These receipts met the three criteria necessary for them to be a type of money. When confidence in a system of currency with coins is present, this more conventional form of money takes precedence. A respected economic form of currency with coins has all three elements of money: medium of exchange, store of value and unit of account. Tobacco warehouse receipts were used as a form of money in Colonial Virginia. They were used since there was insufficient gold or silver for the commerce in British Colonial Virginia at that time. Also, the concept of store of value is examined in detail.

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    • Table 1. Certain items’ ability to fulfill Miskin’s three requirements to be money