Fenian Bonds: Scanlan Issue, $10 (Theobald Wolfe Tone & Thomas Davis)

Date: 1866-1919

186- Republic of Ireland, Ten Dollars, 186–, no. 228-1228, O’Sullivan-Scanlan signatures


Issued between 1866 and 1919, these are the second type of Fenian Bond from this period, entitled ‘The National Bond for the Republic of Ireland’ and signed by O’Sullivan & Scanlan.

  • The $10 Bond featured vignettes of Theobald Wolfe Tone and Thomas Davis
  • Serial Number: 228 1228
  • Undated (186__)


Often called “Fenian” bonds, these large sheets of paper were issued by republican groups in the 19th and early 20th centuries to raise money for the cause of Irish freedom.

  • The O’Mahony bonds were issued by one wing of the Fenians and were issued in the name of ‘The Irish Republic’.
  • The Scanlon bonds were issued by another wing of the Fenians Party and were issued in the name of ‘The Republic of Ireland’.
  • Most of the notes fall within the date range 1865-1867.

In 1866, the New York Times published a scathing article claiming that:

  • People in Boston faced “unexpected difficulties” after questions arose about where people’s money was going when they purchased these bonds and just what it was being used for.”
  • “thousands of those who contributed their hard earnings…now feel that they have been the victims of designing men and demand a legal investigation”.

The bonds themselves weren’t payable until after an Irish republic was established and the Fenians insisted that bond-holders knew full well this condition.As such, they claimed that:

  • “Those who are still hoping to see the independence of Ireland realised contend that there has been no fraud practiced whatever.”

The newly-formed government upheld the original condition of the Fenian bond – they could be redeemed once an Irish republic had been established. Or in this case declared.

For 10 years – between June 1927 and October 1937 – there was an office operated by the now-independent Irish state at 117 Liberty Street, New York City where bond holders could redeem their bonds.

By 1973, the last Dáil Act relating to these bonds had expired and the New York office had closed. There were no longer arrangements in place for redeeming un-exchanged bonds.

  • The final date was 30 June 1936.





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