This stock certificate for 25 shares was issued on April 14, 1830 by the Second Bank's New York branch to London bank Baring Brothers and Company, a famous British banking house, likely to consolidate one or more purchases of shares by Barings in the local secondary market. This certificate was issued two years before the recharter of the Second Bank of the United States was vetoed by President Andrew Jackson at the height of the cholera epidemic.
The market price for Second Bank shares in New York at that time was $125 for each $100 par share, giving each certificate a street value of $3,125 (25 x $125).
To minimize fraud, the branch issued certificates bearing six major authentication/anti-counterfeiting devices: 1) the signature of the cashier; 2) the signature of the president; 3) the raised seal of the mother bank (barely discernible at the left of the image, just above the cashier's signature); 4) the printed engravings at the top and sides (border, banner, eagle-Columbia-ship image and the flourishes at the bottom left); 5) the certificate number at the top left; 6) the waved cut or indent at the left (which could be matched to the stub remaining in the book from which the certificates were cut).
Collection of the Museum of American Finance.
Objects and Images Related to 1832 Cholera Epidemic