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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:30 pm 
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I knew I had some additional info on Granville, and its relationship to Buffalo, NY. This is quoted from Bushnell's "The History of Granville and Licking County, Ohio", 1889:

In 1836, the Bank was revived under the same charter. The capital was furnished chiefly by parties in Buffalo, New York. Henry Roop was president and A. G. Hammond cashier. It occupied the same stone building at the southeast corner of Broad Street and the public square, the old iron vault being still in position. Mr. Hammond was succeeded by Mr. A. J. Smith. On the 20th of May, 1837, the Bank suspended speice payments, acting in concert with other banks in Columbus, Cincinnati, Zanesville, Chillicothe, Lancaster and Cleveland. Mr. Roop resigned the presidency October 3d, 1837, B. Brice being vice president. It is said that the immediate occasion of the breaking of the Bank was the loaning of $50,000 to a party in Western New York, perhaps being a stockholder, in the bank's own issue, with the understanding that it should be put in circulation abroad, to come home for redemption in small amounts. But the party failing, the money went into possession of a Buffalo Bank, and immediately came back in bulk, the original packages unopened. The last recorded meeting of the Directors was March 13th, 1838.

After the failure, Mr. A. J. Smith, who was Cashier at the time, associated with John H. James, Esq., of Urbana, Ohio, Mr. Simeon Reed and others of Granville, opened a Bank of discount and exchange in the dwelling house on the south side of Broad Street, built by Col. Lucius D. Mower, in 1824. The iron vault was taken from its position in the old stone building, placed adjoining the new apartment, and enclosed in solid brick walls in cubic form. They did a large business for some years. Mr. Smith afterwards removed to Newark, carrying with him a share of the Granville business. There he finally failed for a large amount.

In 1852, Mr. Simeon Reed with his son-in-law, Mr. Timothy A. Smith, continued the banking business in the same place. Both these parties died in the fall of 1855.

Mr. Wm. S. Wright, acting as administrator of Mr. Reed, continued the business. After the settlement of the estateit was in the hands of Dea E. C. Wright, Hon. Elizur Abbott, Mr. Virgil H. Wright, and Mr. Nelson Sinnet. This firm continued until 1860.

At that time Mr. Henry L. Bancroft and his brother, Dr. W. W. Bancroft, bought the interest of the above parties and continued the business in the same place, Mr. H. L. Bancroft having charge of the office, and Mr. Abbott continuing to keep the books for them.

This firm continued until the First National Bank was established for general banking purposes, under the new banking system in 1864, commencing business in June.


This fits with the Buffalo side of the story, and also seems to explain the 1839 dated notes. It does not shed any light, however, on the President signature of the 1839 note I posted in the earlier thread. And as for Haxby's 1839-42 dates, I have no idea where they came from.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:47 pm 
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Uzuiwek,

Thanks for the additional information.

I only have about twenty images of Granville notes (OH-230). The G12, 14, 18, 20, 24, 28, 34 ($1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, post) series seems to have hand written dates of 1836, 1837, 1839, and 1861. The 1861 dates are obviously spurious and may have originated during the issuing days (or later) of the 2nd Bank of Granville, OH-231, in the 1860’s.

Given the many spurious dates on remainders and that there were 6 different $5 notes issued in the 1830’s and 1840’s, it would probably require many more images to straiten out the details of these notes. Wolka’s book could also help some.

If anyone is interested, I could supply the images that I have.

Bernie


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:05 pm 
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By the way, the Bank of Granville $3 note with a date of May 11, 1838 and a serial number of 7374 is supposedly a reproduction:

http://www.ronscurrency.com/rcbogus.htm

Bernie


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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 9:31 am 
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Bernie,

Have you found any Granville notes payable in Cincinnati? I've found a reference to some issues that were, but have never seen one.

And I think I'm to the point where I'll take you up on your offer of images. Thanks!

Bernie wrote:
Uzuiwek,

Thanks for the additional information.

I only have about twenty images of Granville notes (OH-230). The G12, 14, 18, 20, 24, 28, 34 ($1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, post) series seems to have hand written dates of 1836, 1837, 1839, and 1861. The 1861 dates are obviously spurious and may have originated during the issuing days (or later) of the 2nd Bank of Granville, OH-231, in the 1860’s.

Given the many spurious dates on remainders and that there were 6 different $5 notes issued in the 1830’s and 1840’s, it would probably require many more images to straiten out the details of these notes. Wolka’s book could also help some.

If anyone is interested, I could supply the images that I have.

Bernie


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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 10:47 am 
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uzuiwek,

Most of the images that I have were captured off of the internet.
I have 3 notes of my own. What resolution do you want for these?
If you send me a PM with your email address, I can email them directly to you.
It might take a few days.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 8:51 pm 
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PM sent.

For the record, reports of the State Bank Commissioners exist on the Granville Bank from 1839 and 1840, showing the bank still in active business. The Rathbun loan is mentioned by A.J. Smith, cashier, in the 2 July 1840 report, to the tune of $83,071.07, considered bad debt by that time. As wonderful as the story of the bank going under when packages of still-wrapped currency arrived on the doorstep is, I'm starting to have my doubts. I'll get back to the Ohio Historical Society in a few weeks and will eagerly look at the 1841 reports.

From the report from the Bank Commissioners to the State Assembly, 18 Nov 1839:
"In the opinion of the Board the charter of the Society is not one from which the right to exercise banking powers can be drawn by any fair and just construction; but they found it in existence, exercising all the usual functions of a bank and entertaining the opinion that no act of theirs connected with an examination, could give it any legal powers, they did not hesitate to examine its affairs. We would respectfully call the attention of the General Assembly to this society, and taking into consideration its present attitude in community, would recommend that the act of incorporation be forthwith repealed, or that the society be legally authorized to exercise banking powers."


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 5:10 pm 
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uzuiwek,

Just wondering if you got my email with the 3.6 MB Word attachment?
If it was too large, I can split it up.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:16 pm 
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I did get it, thanks. I haven't had too much opportunity to look at it yet, though.

I did get to thinking, though, and cracked out Haxby. He does list four notes (5-5-5-10) with the place payable to be filled in. I imagine this is what was done for the payable at Cincinnati notes, and also helps to explain the sheer number of $5 notes.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:31 pm 
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Berny,

I'm resurrecting this thread because I want to tap your knowledge of Benjamin Rathbun and Buffalo in general in the 1830's.

Without saying exactly why I'm asking (I'll fill you in later, but don't want to lead you in any particular direction, in case you find something I'm unaware of), do you recognize any/all of these names as being involved with Rathbun or being tied to Buffalo at all? Time frame for all would be late 1830's-early 1840's.

Joel Buttles
Merril B Sherwood
Alpheus J. Smith
George N. Kinney
E.E. Smith
Alexander C. Farrington
Augustus H Scoville
Frederick E Whiting
Ebenezer N Stratton
Stephen Hill Jr. (may be an alias)

Thanks -- hopefully we will have many notes to compare soon.
John


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:19 pm 
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Uzuiwek,

I looked up these names in the index to the Whitman book about Rathbun. The only ones that I found were “Merril B Sherwood” and “Sherwood and Kinney”. There were some Smith’s but no A. J. Smith. By the way the Whitman book about Rathbun is a good read and available for about $3 online at amazon.

You might want to reread my previous posts on Rathbun (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=180&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=granville&start=15) . There I discussed the role of “Sherwood and Kinney” and posted pages 118 and 119 of the Whitman book.

In “THE CASE OF BENJAMIN RATHBUN THE STORY OF A FAMOUS BUILDER OF BUFFALO,WHO SERVED FIVE YEARS IN STATE'S PRISON FOR FORGERY, AS TOLD BY HIMSELF” (http://www.buffalonian.com/history/arti ... /index.htm ) Rathbun himself mentions on page 235 an Edwin Smith, general agent and superintendent of stores, teams, purchase of building materials, and paymaster in Niagara Falls. I don’t know if this is E. E. Smith. Rathbun employed over 2500 people in Buffalo and thus must have employed several Smith’s. Rathbun also mentions the Granville Bank on page 239 in connection to obtaining the plates for the “large bills, post notes, etc. for that bank.”

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society ( http://www.bechs.org/ ) has extensive archives that might be useful. I believe that they have several boxes of records on Rathbun that were used for the Whitman book.

Sherwood was one of Rathbun’s broker-agents and was the organizer and president of “The Commercial Bank of Fort Erie” located across the Niagara River from Buffalo in Canada. Note that the “B” in his signature (on the note that I posted) has a very strong resemblance to the “B” in the B. Rathbun signature. I speculate that the Rathbun notes were probably all signed by Sherwood and not by Rathbun.

I have other books on Buffalo history that talk about Rathbun and I will see if I can find anything else.

I presume you have googled various combinations of the names that you mention?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:57 am 
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I did read the book you mention from amazon -- it's been digitally copied as is now available free on the 'net.

Turns out, aside from A.J. Smith (who was the cashier of Granville at its close, then moved to Newark to open a private bank there), the rest of the names aren't attached to Granville -- they are the primary players in the Bank of Gallipolis, which blew up in early 1841. Long story, which I'll put together on here in the next day or two, but in a nutshell Sherwood was sent to get the Bank up and running, with Scoville running the operation. After a few months, Scoville apparently sold his share to Farrington, who blew the place up in a particularly novel manner. The rest are more minor players, but the key question for me is whether Farrington was part of Rathbun's gang or just another crook from the Buffalo area. The locals, when deposed after the failure, didn't know much about these people but the names and that they were from Buffalo. I had been re-reading this thread, saw Sherwood's name and realized I had seen it somewhere else. Hence the question.

Thanks for the info!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:09 pm 
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Between statehood in 1803 and 1816, Ohio granted charters to six banks, each on an individual basis. By
1816, however, enough economic activity was happening that more banks were needed, so the "Bonus Law" of
1816 was passed, giving charters to certain already-existing banks and creating essentially a free banking law for
the subsequent two years. From 1816-1818 around two dozen charters were granted, but three were not
accepted. One of these was the Bank of Gallipolis, a river town at the far southern tip of Ohio. Why exactly the
charter was not accepted and no bank was started is not clear to me at this point.

About two decades later, however, a group of businessmen in Gallipolis decided it was time to start a bank in
their town. They retained a local attorney, Samuel Vinton, to look into the validity of the old charter. After
spending considerable time looking into all available precedents, Vinton determined the charter to still be valid,
and wrote a legal memo to that effect. By the time the books wre about to be opened for stock subscriptions,
however, the economic panic of 1837 started, virtually all banks in Ohio (and much of the rest of the country)
suspended redemption into specie, and the businessmen shelved the plan.

Two years later, in 1839, Sherwood shows up in Gallipolis with a copy of Vinton's memo (In a deposition later,
Vinton claimed to not know how Sherwood got it). Sherwood declares his intention to open subscription
books, and claims to represent Eastern interests who are willing to purchase 2000 shares (this was a vast
majority, as only 2013 shares ended up being outstanding -- specifically, Edward E. Smith subscribed 1000
shares, as did George N. Kinney). Books are opened, a fraction of ten percent payment for the shares is
presented (as was the practice at the time), notes were ordered, etc. and the Bank opened for business on
August 9, 1839 with Smith as President and Augustus Scoville cashier. Apparently the Governor was notified,
and gave his blessing for the bank to commence business. How much legal weight this carries, I cannot say.

Ok, fine. Fast forward to January 4, 1841. On this day Alexander C. Farrington was elected President and
Ebenezer Stratton cashier at the annual board meeting. Sometime later, Farrington would claim to have owned
Smith's 1000 shares by now -- Coombs (we'll get to him later) found no record of a stock transfer, but upon
close examination found the last page of the transfer book to have been carefully cut out; it was this page that
contained the receipt Farrington produced. The annual financial statement showed the bank to be solvent
(relative to the time, of course), but a run began on the bank, and continued for almost three weeks
continuously. On the night of the 22nd of January, word got to the directors that an issue of notes completely
separate from that known to the directors and completely off the books had been produced. The bank closed
the next morning, Farrington and Stratton were fired, and Lewis B. Menager was elected President and Franklin
Carel cashier. Carel declined the office (smart move!) and J. J. Coombs was placed into the position. The
bank never reopened, but attempted to make good on as many obligations as possible. Among those who were
never paid for their trouble were both Vinton and Coombs, and they both had colorful things to say about
Farrington, et al in their subsequent depositions before the Bank Commissioners.

The clandestine issue was unknown to Haxby. We only know of $1 and $3, dated Dec 1st, 1840 (all printed).
We believe at least $5 were also printed, but none have surfaced. Nor have I seen a fully issued example, so I
cannot say what the signatures were. Coombs stated that the damage was not huge, because the scheme was
discovered so early, and much of the issue was still in "first hands". He estimated the outstanding issue to be
380,000 dollars, gathered from bills of impression from the engraver (Rawdon, Wright & Hatch). Howe,
writing a few years later about the incident, claimed the total fraudulent issue was $1.2 million. He claimed
Farrington, Stratton and Sherwood were partners in this endeavor. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported later in
1841 the Farrington was arrested, but released on what seem to have been a technicality, and Stratton was
eventually found in Massachusetts and also arrested, but I do not know what came of that charge.

So here's the rogue's gallery: Sherwood (with ties to Granville, as we know), E.E. Smith, A.H. Scoville (these
two are the typical signature combination for Gallipolis notes), Farrington, Stratton, Fred Whiting (apparently
cashier just before Stratton), and other associates named by Coombs -- Stephen Hill, S.B. Andrews, two men
named Weed (a Will Weed was president of the Bank of West Union at the time of its resuscitation in Feb
1837). The loan to Rathbun was carried openly on the books in all financial reports -- it did not factor into the
bank failure, contrary to most current histories. A large loan also shows to the Erie County Bank. At the
moment, I have sketchy evidence of connections to the (2nd) Bank of Circleville, Manhattan Bank, and possibly
the Mechanics & Traders Bank of Cincinnati, Urbana Banking Company, and Exchange Bank of Cincinnati.

We'll see where it heads.

So here's the immediate question -- what happened to Rathbun's circle when he went to prison?

BTW, here's scans of the Dec 1st, 1840 issue:

Image
Image


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:05 pm 
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I found an interesting 1839 reference related to the Farmers and Mechanics’ Bank of South Adams, MA-15. http://books.google.com/books?id=pJdKAA ... #PPP252,M1

The above reference discusses the involvement of Sherwood, Kinney, and Scovell, all from western NY, in the affairs of this bank in 1837. There also seems to be a connection to the Bank of Pontiac, MI-350.

So it looks like the gang who ran the Rathbun “banks” continued their banking enterprise after Rathbun was arrested and jailed in 1836. Their forte seemed to be reviving banks that had previous or outstanding charters and then introducing bogus notes. It sounds like they had banking interests across many states (and even Canada). Makes you wonder if they were largely responsible for the panic of 1837. This aspect might deserve more research?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:13 pm 
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Bernie wrote:
So it looks like the gang who ran the Rathbun “banks” continued their banking enterprise after Rathbun was arrested and jailed in 1836. Their forte seemed to be reviving banks that had previous or outstanding charters and then introducing bogus notes. It sounds like they had banking interests across many states (and even Canada). Makes you wonder if they were largely responsible for the panic of 1837. This aspect might deserve more research?


Causing the 1837 panic is doubtful -- it was more a result of the specie circular, and besides, most of their banks didn't go down until 1840-42. They were apparently involved with the Patterson Bank in NJ, as well -- a favorite of many obsolete collectors because of the large variety of denominations.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:22 pm 
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I agree that it was the lack of hard specie (due to Jackson's policies) that caused the ultimate panic and closure of banks in the late 1830's. However, it was this lack of hard currency (similar to the lack of credit today), especially in the western states, that slowed expansion and therefore opened the gates for the machinations of the Buffalo gang. In some sense the entrepreneurs had to do something to get currency into circulation to support the rapid expansion/building caused by people moving on the Erie Canal to Buffalo and beyond.

Are you aware of any other “gang” that had such widespread influence on the banking system of the time?

Regarding the Patterson Bank, I had already posted Rathbun’s involvement with a map in the 4 dollar thread at: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=180&p=482&hilit=paterson#p482

Rathbun himself said:
"I had already purchased nearly the whole of the stock of the Patterson Bank of New Jersey which was in good repute, doing a safe business on a bona fide cash capital, conducted by experienced officers under the advice and counsel of a judicious direction. The bank was doing a very respectable and profitable business from which I expected to receive accommodations as far as would be perfectly safe and for the interest of the bank. I had also purchased the majority of the stock of the Granville Bank, Ohio, from which I expected to realize great facilities in my business operations. Located as these three banking institutions were in the three different directions and a distance from each other, the facility with which I could in my business put the paper into a most favorable circulation had given me the greatest confidence in being able to make those banks useful to me and at the same time make the stock more productive than ordinary banks.”

Note that Rathbun seems to be exploiting the long distances bewteen the banks.

uzuiwek wrote:
… the Patterson Bank in NJ, as well -- a favorite of many obsolete collectors because of the large variety of denominations.
I think you are actually refering to the People’s Bank of Paterson that has the $6, 7, 8, and 9 notes?

I am reading more in my Buffalo books and will post some more tomorrow.

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