I. Money. Expenses. Passports. Custom House. Time.
Money. The currency of the United States is arranged on a
decimal system, of which the dollar ($), divided into 100 cents
(c), is the unit. The Gold coins are the pieces of $ 1 (no longer
minted), $ 2'/2i $ 5, $ 10, and $ 20. The Silver coins are the dollar,
half-dollar, quarter dollar (= 1 s.) , and 'dime' (10 c). The 5 c.
piece or 'nickel' is made of Nickel (silver 5 c. pieces still occasion¬
ally seen), and there are Bronze pieces of 1 c. (l/jd.)and2c. (Id.).
The 3 c. piece (nickel) is no longer coined. The U. S. Paper Cur¬
rency consists of Gold Notes (of the denomination of $ 20, $ 50,
$100, $500, $1000, $5000, and $10,000), United States Notes
('greenbacks'), U. S. Treasury Notes, and Silver Certificates. The
last three are issued for $ 1, $ 2, $ 5, $ 10, $ 20, $ 50, $ 100, $ 500,
and $1000. All are redeemable at par. The National Bank Bills
(from $ 5 to $ 1000) are also universally current. Throughout nearly
the whole of the country notes are much more common than coins
for all sums of $ 1 and upwards ; but on the Pacific Slope gold and
silver are in almost exclusive use. For practical purposes the
dollar may be reckoned as is. and $5 as ll.; but the actual rate of
exchange for ll. is generally between $4.80 and $4.90 (or $1
= about 4s. 2d.).
The European visitor to the United States will find it con¬
venient to carry his money in the form of letters of credit, or cir¬
cular notes, which are readily procurable at the principal hanks.
Foreign money does not circulate in the United States, even the
Canadian coins of exactly the same form and value as American
coins being generally refused; but Bank of England notes are
usually taken at their full value at the hotels of all the larger
cities. — Post Office Orders (see p. xxix) are not convenient for
strangers, as evidence of identity is generally required before pay¬
ment, though this may be waived by the remitter, but the travellers'
cheques issued by the American Express Company (see pp. xxix, 18)
are cashed at sight in the same way as Post Office Orders in Great
Britain and form a very satisfactory mode of paying one's way. The
company has offices in London (3 Waterloo Place), Paris (11 Rue
Scribe), Liverpool, Southampton, and other important towns of
Europe. Most of the other large Express Companies (pp. xxix, 18)
also issue Money Orders payable at sight (fee for $5, 5 c.; $ 10, 8c;
$ 50, 20 c).
Expenses. The expenses of a visit to the United States depend,
of course, on the habits and tastes of the traveller, but are almost
inevitably from one-fourth to one-third higher than those of
European travel. The distances to be traversed are so great that*
railway-fares are sure to be absolutely, even when not relatively,
Baedeker's United State". 3rd Edit. fo c