Not sure if this note is genuine or contemporary counterfeit. There is one just like it with the same date,
marked "counterfeit", sold by Heritage Auctions in 2003 (see scans below). You be the judge.
The first Bank of the United States (1791-1811) was the first bank chartered by
the U. S. Congress. Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton conceived the idea
of a central bank, and President George Washington signed the bill into law on
February 25, 1791.
The bank, serving as quasi central bank of the Unites States, was authorized
to issue paper money, to conduct commercial business and to serve as U. S.
Treasury's fiscal agent.
The bank issued the first "United States" banknotes. Earlier banknotes were chartered either under The Continental
Congress (Continental currency) or by the 13 Colonies (Colonial currency).
The $50 note shown above was issued on January 16, 1801, exactly midway in the bank's twenty-year
charter. Apparently it was redeemed on August 20, 1811 (see endorsement on the back.), just before the bank closed its operation.
The first Bank of the United States was headquartered in Philadelphia with branch offices in eight major
cities: Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, New York, Norfolk, Washington D. C.,
Savannah and New Orleans.
Thomas Willing (1731-1821), whose signature appears on the note, was the bank's president
1791-1807. Previously, he held offices as President of the Bank of North America, Member of the Continental Congress,
Member of the Colonial House of Representative, Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Mayor of Philadelphia.
George Simpson, whose signature also appears on the note, was the bank's cashier and in that capacity served as
the day-to-day manager of the bank.
The bank closed in 1811 when Congress failed to renew its charter.