Liberty Bonds

Liberty Bonds – (PIP #27)

By Louise Peloquin

Last week’s peek into the past – “The Franco-Americans of Lowell in the War effort” – mentions World War II government bonds. (1) Twenty-seven years earlier, during World War I, L’Etoile was also encouraging its readership to purchase them.

L’Etoile – October 24, 1917

Only 4 days left!
And today, by President Wilson’s proclamation, is the

If you have not yet purchased
Liberty Bonds
Buy some today

If you have bought some, then buy more in order to participate in this glorious opportunity to be part of the overabundant wealth of our country in favor of THE WAR EFFORT..

Purchase in any bank, in cash or by installment.

The New England Loan Committee.


It is The Day of Liberty
Everyone Subscribe to the Loan (2)

Excerpts from the front page, third column story:

The Liberty Loan in Lowell

Subscription thus far in Lowell, $3,960,300. – The Elks purchase $20,000 in bonds. – Mayor O’Donnell speaks about the Loan at the Strand.

     In Lowell, the Liberty Loan subscriptions are about to reach 4 million dollars. Less than $40,000 are missing to reach that sum. The local Elks subscribed $20,000.

     Church bells rang today to remind the population of Lowell that it is the “Day of Liberty,” and that the time for the subscriptions to close is approaching. The President declared that today is a non-official holiday.

     Here are the subscriptions thus far:

Union National, ….. $1,072,950

Appleton National, ….. $802,100

Old Lowell National, ….. $224,650

Lowell Trust Co., ….. $183,850

Wamesit National, ….. $132,650

Middlesex Trust Co., ….. $102,550

Savings banks not registered in the national bank reports, …..$663,250

Other sources, ….. $770,300


October 24, 1917 “Day of Liberty” editorial:

By proclamation, Governor McCall set today, October 24th, as the Day of Liberty date. It is a day entirely dedicated to the sales of National Loan bonds.

     This is the last week to subscribe.

     Our readers understand the necessity of purchasing these government bonds in order to help it continue fighting in the great war undertaken for the liberty of peoples. If the funds requested are not raised, Congress will be obliged to vote in favor of new taxes. There is no other way. It is the only alternative we have.

     But the American people know their duty and will readily perform it. Furthermore, buying government bonds is an excellent investment and the money is reimbursed with interest. But once the authorities collect taxes, the funds never come back to our taxpayer pockets.

     Here are the comments on the Loan found in “L’Indépendant” of Fall River:

     The sinking of the American ship “Antilles” is the first serious strike against the United States by German submarines.

     However, this will neither be the last nor the most terrible strike if the government in Washington finds it impossible to offer the vessels transporting our troops to Europe all of the protection necessary to render them inaccessible to enemy vessels.

     And, to allow the protection of our soldiers, it is necessary for the American people to supply them with the funds they need.

    That is the reason for launching the second Liberty Loan.

     With the billions subscribed, the War and Marine Secretaries will surround our land and sea troops with their rightful protection, thus greatly contributing to decreasing the number of young lives lost.

     The Liberty Loan will close next Saturday. Until then, it is absolutely necessary that a minimum of $3,000,000,000 be gathered….

     One must remember that subscribing to the Liberty Loan is not giving alms to Uncle Sam.

     It is a loan which is taken out with the best possible conditions.

     First of all, the money subscribed gives a 4% interest rate. Secondly, not a single bank in the country or in the world offers surer guarantees.

     There is no valid reason to prevent us from subscribing to a Liberty Loan and it is for us an imperative duty to respond to the call of the government.

     We owe it to the country which combats for the existence of liberty in the world, to our soldiers who will support the Allies, to ourselves who suffer in all kinds of ways by our indifference….

     Let us not hesitate to subscribe to the Liberty Loan if we want to hasten the end of the hostilities and save thousands of American soldiers! (3) 

     The United States had more than 320,000 casualties in World War I, including over 53,000 killed in action, over 63,000 non-combat related deaths, mainly due to the influenza pandemic of 1918, and 204,000 wounded.

Here is a photo of the Oise Aisne American Cemetery 1.5 miles east of Fère-en-Tardenois, in Aisne France, 14 miles northeast of Château-Thierry. This 36.5-acre cemetery contains 6,012 graves, most of whom died in the area in 1918. (4)



  1. PIP #26, posted on April 2, 2024. Consult the link: 
  2. Liberty Loans were part of the U.S. government’s effort to sell war bonds (also known as Liberty Bonds) during World War 1 to defray the expense of war. These bonds were issued by the U.S. Treasury. The First Liberty Bond Act was passed by Congress on April 24, 1917, and the bonds began issuance shortly thereafter.
  3. Translation by Louise Peloquin.
  4. Photo posted on June 4, 2017 on the lagadelle Instagram account.

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