A United States Note is a fiat paper currency that was issued directly into circulation by the United States Department of the Treasury. The notes were also known as Legal Tender Notes because of the inscription on its face stating “This Note is a Legal Tender”. They were among the first national United States currency, authorized by the Legal Tender Act of 1862 and began circulating during the American Civil War. They preceded the National Bank Notes and Gold Certificates of 1865. On a United States Note, the Treasury seal and the note’s serial number are printed in red.