Early history of money and banking in Missouri
Since money is an instrument of commerce it follows that a history of money that did not take into account the extent and character of exchanges would be lacking in a most essential respect. In a highly developed state of society the industrial, commercial and financial activities of a people are so closely interwoven and so dependent upon one another that an appreciation of one necessarily requires an understanding of the nature and extent of the others. Moreover, it follows that adequate information concerning the industrial and financial activities of a people cannot be secured without a study of their character and habits. It would be impossible to understand certain phenomena in the early history of Missouri if we were to leave out of account the fact that the inhabitants of the country were Frenchmen or the descendants of Frenchmen. In the preparation of this paper, therefore, it has seemed best to direct attention to a number of things which, while seemingly foreign to our subject, are so closely related to it as to require consideration. Attention has been briefly called to the political history of the country; the habits and customs of the people have been set forth, and finally considerable space has been devoted to an exposition of their industrial life.