It is only appropriate that an Irish
immigrant to the United States be the one credited with originating the dollar
sign. Oliver Pollock sailed the high seas at the age of twenty-three, and
settled in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This young
entrepreneur rapidly established himself as a wealthy and influential West Indies trader.
Pollock moved his operation to Louisiana, where he amassed even more wealth
as a trader, and as a plantation owner. His success enabled him
to provide supplies to the Patriots' cause in the Revolutionary War, and to
maintain close contact and a degree of influence with Congress. Pollock's
success allowed him easily to purchase military supplies to support "the cause,"
as the Spanish Empire had an outpost in New Orleans, Louisiana. In his
dealings with the Spaniards, Pollock used their currency, the peso.
In true Spanish tradition, Pollock used an abbreviation for pesos, yet his
penmanship made the abbreviation appear to
be the transposition of the letters "p" and "s."
Prior to 1775, the fledgling nations monetary system was in disarray, and needed
to be revamped. By 1775, Congress decided to
rectify the situation by backing all of its legal tender with the most commonly
circulated coins that were, coincidentally, Spanish coins minted in the New
World. Americans then began trading with "Spanish milled dollars," later termed
"dollars," as Americans shed the "pounds" that were the vestiges of British
Congressman Robert Morris, to whom Pollock addressed his billing records,
perpetuated the use of the dollar sign, and was the first high government
official to give his blessing to the "s" with the two lines through it.
The appearance of the dollar sign in print, in a 1797 book by Chauncey Lee,
signified the acceptance of the dollar as a purely American symbol.
plantation owner: 种植园主
monetary system: 货币体系
（来源：coolquiz.com 英语点津 Annabel 编辑）