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    Description

    Very Rare Wm. O'Hara's Missouri Exchange Bank $2 Note

    St. Louis, Missouri (T.) - Missouri Exchange Bank (of Wm. M. O'Hara & Co.) $2 October 1, 1819 MO-35 G14. PCGS Very Fine 25 Apparent.
    An elegantly crafted and very rare Missouri territorial-period banknote. The Missouri Exchange Bank (of Wm. M. O'Hara & Co.) notes are another interesting chapter in early St. Louis banking at the close of the territorial period and impending statehood. O'Hara came from Morristown, New Jersey, with impeccable credentials from that State Bank and quickly was promoted at the Bank of St. Louis to cashier, replacing short-tenured Theophilus W. Smith (a cohort of John B. N. Smith in the "rag money" purchasing and specie redemption fraud). The (first) Bank of St. Louis closed in June 1819 and O'Hara rented space from Auguste Chouteau, the remaining banker in St. Louis, and opened this unchartered private bank. Chouteau raised the rent for the space after the $250 deposit expired, likely annoyed at the new competitor. Postmaster Aaron Crane and Samuel Wiggins (operator of the St. Louis & Illinois Team Boat Ferry Co.) had ordered their engraved scrip notes to be printed at P. Maverick, Durand & Co. O'Hara also had these banknotes and his change notes printed there; he was involved in settling the Crane estate and redeemed notes for the St. Louis & Illinois Team Boat Ferry Co.

    Printed on banknote paper by P. Maverick, Durand & Co., N.Y. An agricultural vignette with plow, rakes, and wheat sheaves is at top center. Intricate ends, similar to the ones on the $1 from the series, are composed of Durand-patented dies. Perpendicular are TWO left and MISSOURI at right. The title and obligations across include, "... at our Banking house." An embellished TWO protector is across the center. Plate A. No. 497. Signed by James C.[aldwell] Canfield as cashier and Wm. M. O'Hara & Co. This note has been in the Newman Collections for decades, and it is likely the first time it is been publicly offered. According to the updated SPMC Paper Money article by Ron Horstman, apparently all the O'Hara notes were paid out, unlike the two larger, chartered territorial banks that failed. Noted with "Edge Tears and Damage." The signatures are well accomplished. Rarely encountered, and a handsome Obsolete type.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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