Early on I learned my ancestor, Isaac Frye, recruited a company of soldiers for the Continental Army in early 1777. He ranked as a captain at that time, and records show was given 300£, for to be paid as bounties to induce the men to enlist.
For years, I took that literally, i.e., he was given species as in hard sterling silver money. In those days that was enough money to buy a nice plot of land.
In the past weeks, I’ve been reading the New Hampshire’s Committee of Safety and found in January of 1777 they voted:
“… the Treasurer of this State to Issue Notes for thirty thousand pounds, The one half in Notes of Ten pounds value & the other half in notes of five pounds value, payable in four years from the Date, and Interest at six per cent per annum, the Interest to be paid annually. Which Notes shall be in the following form, viz,”
The following was part of what the Committee voted on and passed to be given to the recruiting officers within the state:
“… Therefore Resolved that every non-commissioned Officer & private Soldier belonging to their[sic] State who shall enlist for three years or during the present Warr[sic] with Great Britain, shall, in addition to the pay & Encouragement given by the Continental Congress Be Entitled to receive the sum of Twenty pounds On his passing muster, to be paid in Treasurer’s Notes, payable in four years from the date with six percent per Annum Interest, the Said Interest to be paid annually; Such Soldier providing himself with a Good fire-arm & a Bayonett fort thereto, a Cartouch box and Knapsack …”
Thus, the bounties were paid in paper notes, and were effectively bonds that could not be cashed for four years, but did pay a 6.0% interest per year.
I was a volunteer soldier in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1987, and one of the inducements for me was the Army College Fund. The Army set aside a bit of my pay each month and matched it two for one. Once I was done with active duty, the Army paid it out to me so I could pay my tuition and other expenses.
It is funny that until just now I thought the Army College Fund was a relatively new idea.
Bouton, Nathaniel D.D. 1874. “State Papers. Documents and Records Relating to the State of New Hampshire During the Period of the American Revolution, from 1776 to 1783; Including the Constitution of New-Hampshire, 1776; New-Hampshire Declaration for Independence; the “Association Test,” with names of Signers, &c.; Declaration of American Independence, Jul 4, 1776; the Articles of Confederation, 1778.” Published by the Authority of the Legislature of New-Hampshire. Volume VIII. Edward A. Jenks, State Printer, Concord, NH Pp. 464-465.