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Little-known African Americans whose signatures have been on U.S. currency

November 28, 2018 at 02:00 pm | History

Mildred Europa Taylor

Mildred Europa Taylor | Associate Editor

November 28, 2018 at 02:00 pm | History

Pic credit: Readex

Judson Whitlocke Lyons

He was Georgia’s first African-American Attorney and the second black person to be appointed Register of the Treasury. Growing up, he made some money for his tuition by teaching African American women who attended night school.

Lyons later worked for the Internal Revenue Service briefly and went to Howard University Law School where he received his law degree in 1884 and was admitted to the bar the same year, becoming Georgia’s first black attorney.

United States Paper Money 2 Dollar Silver Certificate 1899. Pic credit: World Banknotes & Coins

At the age of 20, he was the youngest member of the Republican National Convention in 1880. By 1898, Lyons had been appointed the Register of the Treasury by President William McKinley. As such, his signature appeared on many notes during that period including the first $10 “Bison” notes and each of the first Series 1899 Silver Certificates. He served until 1906.

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