Billy Graham Center
The Archives Bulletin Board
This service is intended for Wheaton College students, faculty and staff; people who live in convenient driving range to campus; or people who will be visiting Wheaton's campus. Every month, this Bulletin Board will highlight a new document or set of documents that are available in the Archives. Come on over and have a look!
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February 2004: Missionary Currency
This month's Bulletin Board shows a note issued by the China Inland Mission exactly 100 years ago. It was meant to be used by workers of CIM or their authorized
creditors for the transfer of small sums of money. The note, signed by Treasurer A. Judson Broomhall, had to be exchanged at
one of the banks or commercial houses or mission stations that were authorized to
handle CIM business in a particular part of China. A missionary (or a mission creditor with an authorizing statement from a missionary) could hand in this note for the equivalent of a dollar in the local currency.
These bills would have been worthless to a robber, since he couldn't exchange
them, but it did help missionaries in remote areas draw on mission funds for small
amounts that might be necessary. In 1904, China was in the midst of the confusion
that marked the end of the Manchu Empire. Warlords and foreign governments were
starting to exercise real control in some areas. "Currency" such as this private
note, printed by the Mission headquarters in Shanghai, were used to allow individual
missionaries and mission stations to draw against accounts in the Mission's office
in Shanghai and so help the witness of the missionaries to continue amid the social
and economic dislocation of the time.
The two characters in the oval in the center of the front of the bill and on the
back mean "One Yuan." The characters along the left and right side of the front
mean "China Inland Mission."
This note is from Collection 215, the Records of the United States Home Council of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship.
To see a similar private currency note, click here.
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Last Revised: 02/13/04
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