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    Important Serial Number 1 Brown Back Uncut Pair

    Key West, FL - $10-$20 1882 Brown Back Fr. 485/499 The First NB Ch. # 4672 Uncut Pair
    This Key West $10 and $20 serial number 1 Brown Back uncut pair is the most important and historical Florida piece we have ever had the pleasure of offering in our many years in the paper money fraternity. We have handled great Florida individual items and collections in the past, but this uncut pair is not only a fantastic Florida National collectible, but also a piece of paper money that transcends borders and collections. Until the recent appearance of this serial number 1 Brown Back uncut pair, there was only one known serial number 1 Brown Back on the entire state, a $5 on the Citizens National of Pensacola. Key West became the county seat of Monroe County in 1824. The city continued to grow and it prospered with an economy based on fishing, cigar manufacturing, and salvaging ships wrecked on the nearby reefs. In April 1884 George Lewis, president of B.C. Lewis & Sons, bankers of Tallahassee and George W. Allen organized the Bank of Key West with a capital of $50,000. In 1886 the bank's building was destroyed by fire. What saved the bank was the fact that all paper money and records were stored in a fire proof vault. The second day after the fire, all of the contents of the vault were moved to the United States Naval Station and from there bank operations were conducted until other quarters could be found. This action with Allen, Lewis, and the tellers manning the "teller's table" gained the trust of the citizens of Key West and business went on as usual. Then in 1889 disputes arose between Mr. Lewis and the board of directors. The disputes continued and this caused the bank to go into receivership. Next, the cigar manufacturers of the city contacted Mr. Allen about organizing a new bank. Mr. Allen thought that a national bank would be the best route to go, so he organized the First National Bank with a capital of $100,000. On Christmas Eve 1891, the First National Bank was chartered. This bank had to overcome the obstacle of the failure of the Bank of Key West. Mr. Allen was up to the task and regained the confidence and patronage of the Key West citizenry. The First National would survive the National era and when the National Bank Note program ended in 1935, the bank had only $7,605 in large size outstanding. This $10 and $20 serial number 1 uncut pair represents $30 of that amount. The notes present themselves well with the following wear noticed. There is a lateral fold along the top frame line of the $20, a few corner folds are observed in the lower left-hand corner, and a small spot is located in the left-hand margin of the $10. Also, a half a dozen light vertical folds traverse both notes. The edges are solid without any blemishes and a detailed study does not turn up any pinholes. The brown ink officer signatures of Geo. L. Lowe and Geo. W. Allen are still dark. Treasury serial number embossing is also noticed on the $20 attesting to this Very Fine+ pair's originality. Included with this uncut pair is a nice collateral item, a color copy of a September 14, 1916 Federal Reserve Board letter that states in part, "George W. Allen to serve at the same time as director of the Florida National Bank of Jacksonville, Florida and as director and president of the First National Bank of Key West, Florida." This Brown Back duo is most certainly a captivating pair and destined for the finest of collections.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    4th-6th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,328

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