Counterfeiting and Michigan: The Territorial and Early Statehood Years

Michigan Academician (2021) 47 (2): 71–115.

Posted: 11 May 2021

See all articles by Christopher A. Bailey

Christopher A. Bailey

Central Michigan University

Nancy J. White

Central Michigan University

Date Written: April 2021


Counterfeiting crime was pervasive in the early years of Michigan. This paper describes and analyzes the environment of currency counterfeiting and the causes and effects of counterfeiting in Michigan in the early- and mid-nineteenth century. The laws and changes to the laws of Michigan relating to counterfeiting are also summarized. This is the first state-level historical narrative of nineteenth century counterfeiting in the United States, allowing us to investigate the economic environment and the counterfeiting and counterfeiting law outcomes of a particular state with its particular circumstances. This will give future researchers a basis for state-to-state comparisons of causes and outcomes of counterfeiting and counterfeiting law. In our conclusion, we provide a lengthy example list of future state-to-state counterfeiting comparisons that can be made.

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Christopher A. and White, Nancy J., Counterfeiting and Michigan: The Territorial and Early Statehood Years (April 2021). Michigan Academician (2021) 47 (2): 71–115. , Available at SSRN:

Christopher A. Bailey (Contact Author)

Central Michigan University ( email )

Grawn 337
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
United States

Nancy J. White

Central Michigan University ( email )

Dept. of Finance and Law
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
United States
989-774-1842 (Phone)

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