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[Historic Gallery]


[Revolutionary War Horse Bond]

Pennsylvania (1780) (35k jpg) The Continental Congress had great difficulty in financing the Revolutionary War because there was no tax system, treasury, or other way to pay for the men and equipment necessary. Promissory notes were often used when items were legally "confiscated" and often the holder received little or no compensation because of rampant inflation. These promissory notes were issued to acquire horses and were eventually paid in full, but not before "smart" city businessmen bought many of them from the farmers for pennies on the dollar. This one was issued to Edward Bailey for "a bay Horse 13 years old 14h hands high" for 30£.
Price: Low.


Continental Army Commodities Bond

Continental Army Commodities Bond (1790) (48k jpg) — Early American state bond bearing 6% interest for 250£ in the then current money. To hedge against inflation, the note is payable in a higher amount as necessary to match the value of "five vushels of CORN, Sixty-eight pounds and four-sevenths parts of a pound of BEEF, Ten pounds of SHEEPS WOOL, and Sixteen pounds of SOLE LEATHER." A great way to hedge against inflation.
Price: Moderate. [Winslow and Associates]


[North American Land Company]

North American Land Company (1795) (24k jpg) 1795 Pennsylvania. Stock certificate for 5 shares in the North American Land Company for Isiah Watson of Alexandria [VA]. Signed as president of the company by ROBERT MORRIS (1734 - 1806). Often called "The Financier of the American Revolution. Morris signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution. His downfall after the revolution came through land speculation. Morris first gained attention when he headed two of the Continental Congress' most important committees (1776-1778), one to obtain war materials, and the other to instruct overseas diplomats. He was one of the best known merchants in the colonies, and thus his business experience led to his appointment as superintendent of finance in 1781. Morris' shrewdness and personal reputation were enough to secure the funds required for the colonies to successfully prosecute the war against Britain. He left the Continental government in 1783, and served as U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania 1789-1795. Even before leaving the Senate, Morris, in partnership with others such as John Nicholson, became heavily involved in fund speculation, believing that there was a fortune to be made by selling funds in the growing U.S. The demand for land, however, was not what Morris had hoped for, and eventually he was unable to pay his massive debts and went bankrupt, spending 1798-1801 in debtor's prison. This is a classic piece to add to a Scripophily collection.
Price: Moderate. [Winslow and Associates]

[State of Massachusetts Bay Bond]

State of Massachusetts-Bay (1780) (34k jpg) £15. (MA-13). Early Massachusetts bond. Note "Death to counterfeit this" in bottom braid. Signed by Henry Gardner (1730-1782) who was named Treasurer of Massachusetts in 1775 and signed many of the early debt instruments.
Price: Low.



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