Image of the Rhode Island Twenty Dollar Currency Note, 1780.
This 20 Dollar bill was issued in 1780 and is a promissory note from the State of Rhode Island. which promised to pay the bearer the principal plus 5% interest every year in 6 years. The note was then traded like money for goods and services. Whoever possessed the note at the end of the 6-year term collected the principal and all the interest. Notice the offset text on the left side of the bill, the original signatures and the unique handwritten number, all of which were meant to frustrate counterfeiters. The back adds offset text in red and a woodcut image which would be very difficult to reproduce exactly.Source: Brown University: Money, Money, Money!