The people behind (well actually on front of) the New Series of US State Dollars Banknotes – Part 2 (See Part One)

I am going to write over the next few weeks a little piece about each person depicted on each US state note in this stunning new banknote set by Tom Stebbinss – starting in order of the note issue, which coincides with the succession to the Union.

Georgia (my state of residence for 16 years) – Jimmy Carter

Georgia $50 Dollar Banknote
Georgia $50 Dollar Banknote featuring Jimmy Carter – available at

Jimmy Carter was born October 1, 1924 in Plains, GA. He was American politician, author, and member of the Democratic Party. He was the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981; and was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

Carter, was raised in rural Georgia, and was a peanut farmer. He served two terms as a Georgia State Senator and one as the Governor of Georgia, from 1971 to 1975. He was elected President in 1976, defeating incumbent president Gerald Ford in a close election, running as an outsider who promised truth in government after the wake of the Watergate scandal. He is the second oldest (after George H. W. Bush) of America’s four living former presidents.

Interesting fact: Jimmy Carter is the only president who lived in subsidized housing for the poor. Although he came from a wealthy family, he inherited very little, and when he took over the family farm the first year the crop failed and he lost money (sounds like my business, but for more than one year)

Connecticut – P.T. Barnum

Connecticut $50 Banknote
Connecticut $50 Dollar Banknote featuring PT Barnum – available at

He was born on July 5, 1810 and died April 7, 1891 – 81 years old. He was born in Bethel, Connecticut, Barnum became a small-business owner in his early twenties. He founded a weekly newspaper, before moving to New York City in 1834.

He embarked on an entertainment career, first with a variety troupe called “Barnum’s Grand Scientific and Musical Theater”, and then soon after he purchased the Scudder’s American Museum, which he renamed after himself. Barnum used the museum as a platform to promote hoaxes and human curiosities such as the Feejee mermaid and General Tom Thumb. Of course, P.T. Barnum seems to be best known for his founding of Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Interesting Fact #1 (as it relates to banknotes): He promoted singer Jenny Lind ( who appears on the Swedish 50 Kroner note ) for an American tour in 1850 – paying her the princely sum in those days (and even now) of $1,000 a night for 150 performances.

Interesting Fact #2: He is credited, incorrectly, of coining the phrase “there is a sucker born every minute.” However, it was believed to have originated with David Hannum in a scathing critique of P.T. Barnum’s customers.

I know I mentioned this on my previous blog, so if you have already read it, feel free can skip this part …

I thought it was interesting to find out from Tom Stebbins the rules/laws governing the people who he depicts on these beautiful new State dollars he is issuing. It turns out the regulation, and as such not to break copyright laws, is fairly straight forward (if anything with a copyright law can be).

The picture used on these banknotes have to be of people who have died more than 100 years ago, or the picture/portrait has to be in the public domain. Definitely something I had no idea of, and always wondered how sometimes on FUN notes like this they didn’t use a more obvious choice. Of course it is lucky that the depiction on the amazing Massachusetts note is a picture of John F. Kennedy that happens to be in the public domain. This also goes for Jimmy Carter on the Georgia note. I think this is very fortuitous for not only Tom, but for us collectors of these notes and it seems hard to imagine anyone else on these notes.

I hope this is of interest and, to me, it shows the work and research that goes into creating these notes, not to mention (but I will anyway) the actual work that goes into the drawings, as Tom hand draws all the depictions on these notes. However, that is a subject for another day (well month probably) and something that I am working on with Tom is to sell his signed original (and some prints) line drawings of these famous people (they are incredible, as I got to see them at the FUN show) so watch this space and hopefully I should have these for sale on my website soon.

By the way, these blogs will not be copyrighted, and there is no fees associated with them being a wonderful sleep aid.

Next blog on this will be on: John F. Kennedy – Massachusetts State note #6