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The first measure to finance the war occurred in July 1861, when Congress authorized $50,000,000 in Demand Notes. They bore no interest but could be redeemed for specie "on demand." They were not legal tender before March 1862 but, like Treasury Notes, could be used to pay customs duties.[citation needed] Unlike state and some private banknotes, Demand Notes were printed on both sides. The reverse side was printed in green ink, so Demand Notes were dubbed "greenbacks." Initially, they were discounted relative to gold, but being fully redeemable in gold, they were soon at par. In December 1861, the government had to suspend redemption, and the Demand Notes declined. Chase authorized paying interest on Demand Notes, which sustained their value.[citation needed]


Since the reverse of the notes was printed with green ink, they were called "greenbacks" by the public and considered to be equivalent to the Demand Notes, which were already known as such. The United States Notes were issued by the United States to pay for labor and goods.[8]

Earlier, Secretary Chase had the slogan "In God We Trust" engraved on U.S. coins. During a cabinet meeting, there was some discussion of adding it to the U.S. Notes as well. Lincoln, however, humorously remarked, "If you are going to put a legend on the greenbacks, I would suggest that of Peter and Paul, 'Silver and gold I have none, but such as I have I give to thee.'"[nb 1][9]

California and Oregon defied the Legal Tender Act. Gold was more available on the West Coast, and merchants in those states did not want to accept U.S. Notes at face value. They blacklisted people who tried to use them at face value. California banks would not accept greenbacks for deposit, and the state would not accept them for payment of taxes. Both states ruled that greenbacks were a violation of their state constitutions.[9]

In 1862, the greenback declined against gold until by December, gold had become at a 29% premium. By spring of 1863, the greenback declined further, to 152 against 100 dollars in gold. However, after the Union victory at Gettysburg, the greenback recovered to 131 dollars to 100 in gold. In 1864, it declined again, as Grant was making little progress against Lee, who held strong in Richmond throughout most of the war. The greenback's low point came in July that year, with 258 greenbacks equal to 100 gold. When the war ended in April 1865 the greenback made another remarkable recovery to 150.[10] The recovery began when Congress limited the total issue of greenback dollars to $450 million. The greenbacks rose in value until December 1878, when they became on par with gold. Greenbacks then became freely convertible into gold.[citation needed]

Aquatic biologists and researchers at Colorado Parks and Wildlife have launched an intensive review of data on Bear Creek after a routine survey revealed a troubling decline in greenback cutthroat trout populations.

For decades the greenback was believed to be extinct. So protecting the 3-mile stretch of water holding the only known population of naturally reproducing greenbacks became a top priority of Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologists. Today, the greenbacks are listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species.

Each spring, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spawns the greenbacks on the banks of Bear Creek. And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hatches the fertilized eggs at its Leadville National Fish Hatchery to produce thousands of greenback fry. At various sizes, the fish are then stocked into creeks and lakes in the South Platte River drainage.

The September survey preceded the creek habitat restoration work. Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists do not believe that work, or a recent wildfire that burned within a half-mile of the creek, had any impact on the greenback population.

Martin and his research team first became involved with greenback cutthroat recovery in 2007 when one of his students, Jessica Metcalf, embarked on a gene-mapping project for her Ph.D. thesis. To an aspiring scientist in Colorado, cutthroat trout seemed like the perfect subject for such a project.

By the time Metcalf began her gene-mapping project, the greenback had rebounded enough that it was being considered for removal from the endangered species list. The restoration effort was considered a huge success, and Metcalf hoped to bring new insights to the evolutionary history of cutthroats using genetic technology.

Using other historical greenback specimens, Metcalf determined that the greenback had gone extinct in the South Platte in the early 1900s just as most people thought. But she also found a small population of cutthroats from a different watershed that could be the long lost greenback.

AT THE NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY in Leadville, a pair of true greenback cutthroats swim in twisting corkscrews in separate tanks of liquid anesthetic. At the sound of a timer, an apron-clad hatchery worker plucks the first fish from her soporific pool, gives her a firm squeeze on her abdomen and releases a spray of neon orange eggs into a plastic bin. The male in the tank next door gets the same rough squeeze, spreading his gametes over the eggs before two new fish are scooped into the tanks.

Despite his misgivings about a hybrid fish in the wild, Rogers was interested to find out if additional genetic diversity could help the greenback, and teamed up with Martin and Sierra Love Stowell to conduct a hybridization experiment. The researchers took a pure Bear Creek greenback and crossed it with a closely related cutthroat. As Martin suspected, the introduction of genetic diversity doubled the survival and growth rates of the hybrid greenbacks.

The super greenbacks were crossed again with both pure greenbacks and other cutthroats to spawn a second generation. These new combinations will help Rogers and his team isolate which specific greenback genes are problematic. But once that research is done, the fish will likely be killed.

The Greenback movement was a part of the agrarian unrest of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The movement had its start in Texas in 1876, when Greenback clubs were organized with the aid of the national Greenback party, which by 1878 had 482 clubs, including seventy for African Americans. The first convention of the Texas Greenback party met in Austin on March 12, 1878, when the delegates did nothing more than state the aims of the party. A convention at Waco on August 7 nominated a full ticket for state offices, with Gen. William H. Hamman of Robertson County as candidate for governor. The platform, which closely followed that of the national party, denounced the law making greenbacks only a partial legal tender and the acts establishing the national bank system, exempting national bonds from taxation, and resuming specie payment for greenbacks. The platform urged the national government to issue greenback money as full legal tender and to redeem treasury notes and bonds with such greenbacks. Other planks of the platform provided that tariffs should be levied for revenue only and demanded the repeal of the "smokehouse" tax law, the convict labor law, the abolition of useless offices, a decrease in public salaries, the establishment of a tax-supported school system, and the curbing of the power of the railroads. In the election of 1878 the Greenback party replaced the Republicans as the second party in Texas by winning twelve seats in the legislature and electing George W. Jones of Bastrop to Congress.

Federal officials first listed the greenback cutthroat as extinct in the 1930s, but small Colorado populations found in 1957, 1965 and 1970 have left the species with a tenuous, yet steady, presence on endangered species lists.

In 2020, CPW reported an 80 percent decline in adult trout populations over a three year period due to a combination of disease, rising temperatures and other factors. The greenback trout also faces competition from non-native predators, like the brook trout and brown trout, who have invaded local ecosystems and killed off native fish. 041b061a72


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