The American Colonies largely made use of foreign currencies as
their medium of commerce, supplemented with limited printing of their own
money. Beginning in 1775, though, the Continental Congress printed a
currency to assist in funding the Revolutionary War against Great Britain.
A testament to the uncertainties of the time, this 1776 Continental $3 bill bears the image of an eagle descending on a crane and reads “Exitus in Dubio,” which translates to “The End is in Doubt.” The eagle, representing England, and the crane, representing America, are locked in an epic struggle whose outcome is yet unknown. The eagle is the stronger creature, but the crane could land a mortal blow with its long bill.