US Hard Times Tokens
01- 1837 Illustrious Predecessor Executive Experiment Token
Illustrious Predecessor Token 1837 - The tortoise with a safe on its
back on the tokens alludes to the slow progress which the successful "experiment"
of Van Buren's administration made, and the running jackass to Van Buren's
rapid growth in popularity. Briefly the experiment was to withdraw the Government
funds from State Banks and place them the hands of United States Government
officers - "Fiscal Agents."
The rapid speculations which accompanied the rapid development of Western lands from 1820 onward, intensified by the building of railroads; the miserable banking system of the period; the inflation of the currency by the issue of worthless bills and "shinplasters" were all potent causes of "Hard Times."
When speculation was checked, and "cheap money" abolished, prosperity returned. For this the Wings claimed the glory, but it was due nevertheless to the "experiments" which they satirized so severely.
Source: Standard Catalog of United States Tokens by Russell Rulau