Paper Money

Obsolete note with a connection to 1968 novel True Grit

A bit of history with a connection to the 1968 novel True Grit by Charles Portis, sold for $54 during the Jan. 13 Tuesday Internet Currency Auction by Heritage Auctions.

The 50-cent obsolete remainder note was printed for the J.J. McAlester General Store in the Indian Territory (later, Oklahoma). The auction company graded the note Choice Crisp Uncirculated.

According to the auction catalog description, James Jackson McAlester “was a Confederate States of America soldier, businessman, merchant and U.S. Marshall in the Indian Territory in Oklahoma and the second lieutenant governor of Oklahoma. He formed McAlester Coal Mining Co. and paid his miners in the 1890s at least partially with this scrip that could only be redeemed at the store that he owned.”

McAlester also founded the Oklahoma town named after him.

His store was the basis for the one visited by U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn in the Portis novel and the 1969 movie starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby, as well as the 2010 movie version. The site of the original store is now J.J. McAlester’s Antiques.

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