Late Issue $50 Confederate Stock Certificate Signed by Robert TylerConfederate 8% Stock Certificate $50 February 28, 1861 Ball 11 Cr. 1A
Cataloger's Note- Additional research and expert opinions have been received concerning this bond and the information presented immediately below is an addendum to the description that appears in the printed catalog.
Four books of the $50 stock (registered bonds) were printed with 250 certificates housed in each book. Records are unclear if all four of the books reached the Confederacy. One source indicates that bonds numbered 1 through 391 were actually issued from the first two books (1-250 & 251-500). No examples from the third book numbers 501-750 have been reported to our knowledge. However, it has been reported that a few remainder bonds from the fourth book of bonds, numbers 751-1000, appeared between 1983-85. This information comes to us from footnote number 8 found on page 241 of the Comprehensive Catalog and History of Confederate Bonds by Douglas B. Ball, PhD. The signature of Robert Tyler on this certificate has been called into question and another observation regarding this certificate is that Treasury clerks generally included all three of their initials rather than only two as found on this example. Taking the past and current information into consideration this would appear to be one of the so-called remainder bonds. Nonetheless, it is still an interesting item.
Additional information was received from Crutch Williams concerning the often told story that Clitherall resigned instead of going to Richmond and that the move was July 1861. That is incorrect. According to Crutch, "The last day of business in Montgomery for Memminger (as evidenced by a letter) was May 28th when he wrote to George Trenholm. He told Trenholm he would be in Charleston on Thursday the 30th and would spend a day there with him and bankers &c. The move up to Richmond likely began prior to the 28th and business began on June 5th evidenced by another letter where Memminger wrote a Railroad official in Mississippi.
Clitherall didn't resign until June 20th and he was in Richmond working through that Saturday. His resignation took effect Monday the 22nd."
An attractive, Very Fine+, $50 stock certificate, often referred to as a bond, that was part of the first issue authorized by the Confederate States of America on February 28, 1861 in the amount of $15,000,000. The certificates were due in ten years, on September 1, 1871. Interest was to be paid in specie semi-annually. They were available to the public beginning on April 17, 1861 with the announcement stating in part, "every citizen throughout the Confederate States will have the opportunity of taking a share of the benefit, and at the same time of sustaining the cause of the country." The Confederate Congress was meeting in Montgomery when these were authorized, thus the Montgomery location listed on the bonds rather than Richmond.
The Ball reference lists two varieties. The $50 stocks attributed as Ball 10 are numbered 1 thru 250 and dated April 11 thru May 16, 1861, while the Ball 11 examples are listed as having been numbered 251 to 391 and dated May 17, 1861 to March 1, 1865. Also with the Ball 11 examples, "Montgomery" was crossed out and "Richmond" written in its place. This example, dated May 1, 1864, does not fit perfectly into Ball's variety 11 designation for these pieces as it is numbered 754. Also, Montgomery was not crossed out and replaced by Richmond on this example. The initials of unknown clerks in the Treasury Department seen in the "entered" and "recorded" fields at lower left help confirm it is a late issue example, as the earlier pieces were all entered by HD Capers, Memminger's personal secretary, and recorded by CT Jones. The earlier notes were signed by the first Register of the Treasury, Alexander B. Clitherall. When the Confederate capital moved to Richmond in July 1861, Clitherall decided to resign and stay in his home state. Therefore Clitherall's signature is only found on the Montgomery issues of the February 28, 1861 bonds. This $50 stock certificate was signed by Robert Tyler (1816-1877), the eldest son of John Tyler, the tenth U.S. President. Robert Tyler was the second Register of the Treasury for the CSA government. He assumed that position on August 13, 1861 and served until the end of the war.
The portrait at top center on this stock certificate is that of the Honorable Howell Cobb (1815-1868), president of the Confederate Provisional Congress and a major general of the Confederate Army. He received a presidential pardon early in 1868 and then began speaking out against the policies of Reconstruction. Cobb died of a heart attack later that year while on vacation. Areas of light staining are noticed. This rare $50 stock certificate is a great piece of Confederate history.
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