A Curious News Item

I recently found the following news item in an old newspaper:

“Boston, Feb. 1. Yesterday a man by the name of Jenks was committed to jail in Dedham for having passed in this town, on Thursday, between five and six hundred dollars counterfeit bank bills of the Farmers Exchange Bank of Gloucester, RI, of the denomination of two, five, and ten dollars.”

The curious matter is that this bank itself was operated by fraudster Andrew Dexter, issued paper money without backing, and was a criminal enterprise! Dexter, however, got off scot-free, as was usually the case with bank defaults. He later went to the South where he became prominent in various enterprises, including land development. The main thoroughfare in Montgomery, Alabama, bears his name.

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