History Nebraska Blog

Wildcat Notes

The first Nebraska banks were created by the territorial legislature in 1855. 

They were authorized to issue bank notes as money without any underlying assets. These "wildcat notes" circulated freely, riding the crest of the boom years of land speculation and investment in town sites, railroads, and industries. By 1857 the financial panic in the East had spread to Nebraska Territory. The wildcat banks failed, making the notes worthless and destroying public confidence in banks. 

Bank of DeSoto  (NSHS 7302-5)

Bank of DeSoto, $1 bank note (Source: Irving B. Lueth, Omaha, NSHS 7302-5)

National Bank of Brownville, $5 (NSHS 7291-39)

Front

National Bank of Brownville, $5 bank note (Source: Rose Carson, Lincoln, NSHS 7291-39)

National Bank of Brownville, $5 (NSHS 7291-39)

Back

National Bank of Brownville, $5 bank note (Source: Rose Carson, Lincoln, NSHS 7291-39)

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