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Lot 20136


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Type Currency
Title Lot 20136
Country United States
Description (St. Louis, M.T.) � Robert Simpson, P.M. � St. Louis Post Office 25 Cents April 1, 1817. PCGS Fine 15 Apparent. The territorial period private scrip from Missouri is among the rarest in the entire Obsolete Currency canon. Most of the early Missouri scrip was issued through the St. Louis Post-Office and its postmasters. Amazingly, Eric owned three notes from Robert Simpson, the second postmaster and foundational St. Louis scrip issuer. This is an extraordinary Missouri territorial period scrip note and historic document. It is among the earliest St. Louis-vignetted scrip notes and succeeded the first series typeset notes from Simpson, an example of which Eric was fortunate to have (cf. Newman Part VIII: Lot 28346). It is the second earliest St. Louis Post Office currency known and has a nicely penned signature of R. Simpson, postmaster from 1815 to 1818. Simpson was appointed to the position by President Madison and took office on January 1, 1815, the day his brother-in-law, Rufus Easton retired from that post. Easton did not issue any paper scrip to our knowledge. Dr. Simpson, owner of the first drug store in St. Louis (from which he operated the postal service), was one of the directors of the first or "old" Bank of St. Louis, sheriff of St. Louis County, director of St. Louis and Bellevue Mineral Railroad, and treasurer of Boatmen's Bank. According to Stevens, in St. Louis, the Fourth City, page 588, "In his more active years it was said of him that he knew personally everybody living in St. Louis and most of the people in the county." He was succeeded by Aaron T. Crane, whose issued notes from the post office are cataloged in previous Newman Collection sales. Remarkably, this note is a vignetted type. Printed on white rag paper, without imprint. Medium format size, nearly square. At top right, within ornamental borders, is a charming house on a hill; a rudimentary cart is to the left of the door, and a dog sits next to his doghouse to the right. The engraved date is at right above the three-line obligation with the note payable "in current bank notes....at the St. Louis Post-Office." Ornate end cartouches enclose TWENTY-FIVE CENTS left and ST. LOUIS at the right. No. 148. Signed by R. Simpson as "P.M." Wide margined, full all around and untrimmed. Noted with "Small Edge Tears; Stains." Of course, the faults are petty when compared with its likely unique status. Though small in size, it projects mightily, and its remarkable St. Louis historical importance is apparent at first glance. A singular opportunity to obtain a Missouri currency treasure. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. From Newman X (Heritage Auctions, November 2018), lot 20136, realized $3840.

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