Family Donates Confederate Money

December 20, 2010

The family of the late Marion and Charleen Hickey of Helena recently donated 16 pieces of Confederate States of America currency to the Delta Cultural Center.

“We are so pleased the Hickey Family thought of the cultural center in making this gift,” said DCC Director Katie Harrington. “The currency will become a valuable part of our Civil War-related archives.”

As the museum develops its exhibits, it is important that it have objects in its collections which help tell the story, Harrington said.

“Donations of items such as this are priceless,” she said, explaining that contributions of objects from families and individuals throughout the Delta aid the museum in its mission to teach and preserve the cultural heritage of the region.

Such donations are also often of benefit to families and others who are at a loss as to what to do with historical items for which they do not have a use or place to store, she said.

“Families can contribute objects to the cultural center and be assured the family treasures will be cared for,” Harrington said. “Whether the items are being exhibited in our galleries or stored in our collections management areas, they are cared for, kept safe from the elements, humidity, dust, heat, or water damage. They are catalogued and researched – and truly treasured and protected by the people of Arkansas.”

The denominations of the currency donated by the Hickey family are a $100 bill, two $50 bills, three $20 bills, two $10 bills, one $5 bill, one $2 bill, a $1 bill, three 50 cent bills, and a 10 cent bill.

Most of the currency was printed in Richmond, Virginia, in the years 1861, 1863 and 1864. Two of the smaller denominations were printed in St. Martinsville, Louisiana, and Opelousas, Louisiana.

“It is interesting that several of the bills are marked as being ‘six months’ or ‘two years’ after the ratification of a treaty of peace between The Confederate States and The United States of America,” noted DCC Curator Bill Branch.

When contacted concerning objects for possible donation, museum personnel review the items and consider whether they meet with the institution’s needs and fit within the parameters of its mission, Branch explained.

When items are accepted for donation, the donors are presented with papers acknowledging the gift to the DCC, and are also free to utilize the donation as a charitable contribution when filing their annual federal income taxes, Branch said. He noted, however, that the DCC cannot assess values for the items – the individuals must make those decisions themselves or seek the advice of an appraiser.

Gallery hours at the DCC Visitors Center at 141 Cherry Street and the nearby DCC Depot at 95 Missouri Street are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. “King Biscuit Time,” the nation’s longest-running blues radio program, is hosted each weekday at the DCC Visitor’s Center by “Sunshine” Sonny Payne, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. “Delta Sounds,” hosted by DCC Assistant Director Terry Buckalew and Payne, is broadcast each Friday at 1 to 1:30 p.m.

To donate artifacts to the museum or for more information, interested persons can call the Delta Cultural Center at (870) 338-4350 or toll free at (800) 358-0972, visit the DCC online at, or email

The Delta Cultural Center shares the vision of all seven agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage – to preserve and promote Arkansas heritage as a source of pride and satisfaction. Other agencies within the department are the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Arts Council, and the Natural Heritage Commission.

(Source: Delta Cultural Center)

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