Old Promissory Note

Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 01:28 pm
My husband has had this for quite some time and I just recently re-found it and became curious about it.

It seems to be an old promissory note that is dated 1840, the writing is as follows:

No. 8894 (on the top left and right corners above the 1000's)
seventeen months after date
The Bank of the United States
Promises to pay to J.W. Fairman(?) not sure on my signature deciphering)
or order One Thousand Dollars
in New York Philidelphia Dec 15th 1840
akaroney(?) cash J Dunlape(?) Pres. (signatures)
Draper, Toppan, ongaere & Phil & New York (fine print under left signature)

It seems to be old parchment paper and is 'crispy' and delicate to the touch. There is nothing at all on the reverse.

I looked on Wikipedia and found that this would have had to come from the 2nd Bank of the United States as the 1st went bankrupt before 1840. There I also found a picture of a promissory note that is identical to the one I have except for the tiny tear on the top is in a different location. This leads me to believe that the one I have is either a replica or a counterfeit. There was talk of the 2nd bank being involved in fraud and was closed in 1841. Either way authentic, replica or counterfeit I would like to know more and whether this holds any kind of value.

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Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 02:09 pm
Bonds, like the ones shown here, were issued by the Pennsylvania-chartered Bank of the U.S. of which Nicholas Biddle was the President. The Pennsylvania charter was issued after the Federal charter lapsed in 1836. For those interested in determining its value, our inquiries among bank note dealers suggest that $125 is a fair price for an authentic one.

However, if yours has a value of $1000 and the number 8894 dated December 15, 1840 (top picture), or $10 with the number 646 dated Jan 23, 1834 (middle picture), or $1,000,000 number 711 dated Dec. 25, 1840 (bottom picture), they are counterfeit reproductions sold as souvenirs along with other "authentic looking" bills and sell on Ebay for under $25, usually.

Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 05:30 pm
cool! I figured it was probably a repro. since the one on Wikipedia is identical. It's good to know.

It is still rather neat to look at, too.

Thanks a lot!
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Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 05:48 pm
That is a neat site too. I might get the James brothers wanted poster, I am actually related to them. My great grandmother on my fathers side was their first cousin.

I don't know what that makes them to me, but it is still neat.

I got to know my great grandmother before she passed away and she told me about when she was a little girl on the family farm. Jesse and Frank rode up to the door one day and her mother made them some fried egg sandwiches. They never got off their horses and when they finished they gave her mom a gold coin and then they rode off. They found out later that they had just finished a robbery and were on the run.

I don't remember where the farm was located or anything, but it is an interesting bit of family trivia.
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Reply Fri 6 Apr, 2012 08:24 pm
I have one too!!! What did you find out about it?

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Reply Sun 28 Apr, 2013 11:55 am
This is very curious...I have the same one...no 8894...the Bank of the United States woth 1000 and it is dated Dec 15, 18.40...this one is in perfect condition..
I am very curious
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