Beautifully engraved check from the Leather Manufacturer's Bank dated 1852-1853. This historic document was printed by the R.C. Root & Anthony Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of dog lying beside a trunk. This item is hand signed and is over 155 years old. Punch cancelled.
Leather Manufacturers' Bank History
1832 Established Leather Manufacturers' Bank
1865 Convert Federal Leather Manufacturers' National Bank of New York
04/01/1904 Merge To Federal Mechanics National Bank of the City of New York
04/01/1926 Merge To Federal Chase National Bank of the City of New York
03/01/1955 Merge To State President and Directors of the Manhattan Company
03/01/1955 Name Change To Chase Manhattan Bank, The (1799-9/1965)
09/01/1965 Convert Federal Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., The
07/14/1996 Merge To State Chemical Bank
07/14/1996 Name Change To Chase Manhattan Bank, The
Slave Insurance Policies
On September 30, 2000, California's Governor Davis signed into law two bills that could eventually lead the way to the payment of reparations to the descendants of slaves. Under the Slaveholder Insurance Policies Bill (SB 2199) California's Insurance Commissioner has the power to request slave insurance policies from insurers doing business in California. The second law, the UC Slavery Colloquium Bill (SB 1737) allows the University of California the option to hold a conference on the economics of slavery. Organizations such as Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) supported the California bills.
Already, research has determined that several insurers were involved in providing slave insurance policies to slave owners. Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, an attorney, has discovered an 1852 circular that named some of the insurers that serviced these policies. The National Loan Fund Life Assurance Company of London distributed a circular entitled "A Method by Which Slave Owners May Be Protected From Loss" in which it named The Merchants Bank and The Leather Manufacturers Bank as institutions able to pay and adjust claims. The circular also included the names of medical examiners in Virginia, Washington DC, and North Carolina who were authorized to examine slaves and offer insurance policies. Under a typical policy, a 30-year-old slave could be insured for $500 with an annual premium of about $11.25.
The circular has exposed that Chase Manhattan was connected with slave insurance policies based upon its merger with two of the banks named in the circular. In 1920, the Merchants Bank merged with The Bank of the Manhattan Company, and in 1955 it merged with Chase. In 1904, The Leather Manufacturers Bank merged with The Mechanics National Bank, and then in 1926 merged with Chase. However, Chase is not alone, it has also been uncovered that Aetna was involved in slavery as well. In March of 2000, Aetna issued a public apology for its involvement in underwriting policies in the 1850s. Other companies include, New York Life, Baltimore Life Insurance Co, and American Life Insurance Co.
Now that the involvement of insurance companies has become known, it is being advanced that the companies involved should pay reparations. There has also been a movement for the payment of reparations for slavery, which appears to be getting stronger. The first call for reparations was by Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, after Reconstruction. The movement was revived in 1988 by Imari Obadele who formed the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA). Additionally, United States House of Representative member John Conyers has tried to implement reparations legislation every year since 1989.
Despite the lack of success in the House of Representatives, there are a few states that have given reparations and others are considering it. The Florida Legislature in 1994 decided to provide up to $2 million in compensation to the survivors of the 1923 riot that took place in Rosewood. Whites had killed six African Americans and ruined a black town. Moreover, Oklahoma's Tulsa Race Riot Commission decided to provide reparations to the survivors of the 1921 riot. The riot occurred after a black man was falsely accused of raping a white woman. A white mob went to the courthouse to kill the accused, and in the process, 40 people were killed along with the destruction of the "Negro Wall Street".
While the movement has gained some success in getting reparations for the survivors of riots, it has not been successful in its efforts of reparations for slavery. However, momentum has increased with the publication of Randall Robinson's book The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, and it could soon become a topic of public debate.
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