||St. Paul, MN - Borup & Oakes $1 Handwritten Amount Hewitt A445-H Rockholt-5. PCGS Very Fine 20. Discussing and cataloging this Minnesota Obsolete note as a giant might be considered an understatement to the serious students and collectors of this richly historic and beautiful genre. The St. Paul Borup & Oakes $1 notes, emitted in three different series, with the first two confirmed and plated in Hewitt, are among the rarest of all American territorial paper currencies. They are missing from the major collections of Territorial notes surveyed, including Ford. The other Minnesota Territory period banks were remote and "nefarious" in intent as noted by Fred Marckhoff in his 1966 SPMC article. Borup, born in Copenhagen, and Oakes, from Vermont, were scrupulously honest and created this currency in 1852 to fill the commercial needs of the community. The notes were well accepted, and notes with a written denomination like this as well as fully engraved "$1" types are known. The third series of note has not been confirmed, but was payable in gold, a fact that infuriated the enemies of the private bankers. Those involved with spurious banks resented Borup & Oakes for their success and for the impediment they presented to the acceptance of their own notes. Lobbied by these forces, the legislature passed laws against the Borup & Oakes notes. Eventually, the financial panic that swept the region and nation in 1857 spelled doom for the honest pair's bank. Like the Clark, Gruber & Co., Kansas note discussed earlier in this sale catalog, a private bank worthy of listings with the later state authorized banks listed initially by Haxby in 1988. The note is printed from an intaglio plate engraved at Baldwin, Adams & Co., New-York and is the Hewitt plate note for the written "$1.00" denomination type. This is also the early Rockholt Minnesota book plate note (St. Paul #5), courtesy of EPNNES and credited in the front of the book. At the upper right is an eagle with wide-spread wings, with state flags in the background. At the lower left is a young girl in an oval frame. Fully issued to Theodor Borup and countersigned "To Bearer" on the blank back. This is a mesmerizing, historical currency note from early Minnesota banking history, a predecessor to the magnificent state bank notes that would commence in a few short years. We have never catalogued an example as the note and series are so rare; few have had the opportunity to study them carefully. Strong paper body and a very bright appearance. This beautiful example will be a central note in an advanced St. Paul, Minnesota Obsolete, or American Territorial note collection when the hammer falls on this virtually priceless note. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $6,168.75. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19176. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.