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(This article is still under construction)

"The Rodsmen"

By Anonymous

-- Chapter Four --
"Phony as a Three-Dollar Bill"

The expressing "phony as a three-dollar bill" goes back to the post-Civil War period when US Treasury notes and silver certificates were were only printed for the denominations of $1, $2, $5 and higher. In those days anybody holding a three-dollar banknote probably had possession of a bill issued by a state or local bank, and (chances were) it was probably counterfeit. The US Treasury Department and the Secret Service made valiant efforts to stop the counterfeiting of the national currency, but accepting those local banknotes which still remained in circulation was risky business.

In January 1837 Oliver Cowdery (former Mormon "First Elder," but by then simply "Assistant President") was in Monroe, Michigan, busily signing his name to stacks of those proverbial "three-dollar bills." Little more than a year later, at Far West, Missouri, the erstwhile scribe, missionary, and second-cousin to Joeph Smith, Jr. would be excommunicated from the LDS Church for crimes against his fellow Saints. Among the reasons given for this important ecclesiastical decision was that Cowdery had recently been asociated with other "blacklegs" in the "bogus" business over at Tinker's Creek in Trumbull Co., Ohio.

Cowdery's signature on "Sept. 1836"Bank of Monroe $3 bill -- probably signed Jan. 1837.

Oliver Cowdery's association with the "bogus business" began many years before his 1838 excommunication from the Mormons ...

(This article is still under construction)

Historical Quotation

After Oliver Cowdery had been taken by a State warrant for stealing, and the stolen property found ... in which nefarious transaction John Whitmer had also participated. Oliver Cowdery stole the property, conveyed it to John Whitmer ... Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Lyman E. Johnson, united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the deepest dye, to deceive, cheat, and defraud the saints out of their property....

During the full career of Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer's bogus money business, it got abroad into the world that they were engaged in it.... We have evidence of a very strong character that you are at this very time engaged with a gang of counterfeiters, coiners, and blacklegs,... we will put you from the county of Caldwell: so help us God

Sidney Rigdon,
1838 quotation
published in:
US Senate Document 189