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.