For me, real excitement starts with the drive home after finding the Scripophily gem. I have experienced this maybe a handful of times over the last several years. You know the feeling, although verification of my suspicions is necessary, a feeling of calm washes over me as I imagine the hours of research, digging for explanations by learning the details of these long forgotten investments. My goal for this blog entry is to wrap up my research of the rare stock certificate found at the local flea market in New Jersey.
Almost every evening, for several weeks after this find, I settled in on my comfy couch searching for more information about the company. The certificate is signed by four (4) different Generals, two from the civil war and two promoted after the war when they enlisted with the New York War Staff soon know as the National Guard of New York, including one recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Civil War, Major-General Alexander Shaler - signed as President (Recipient of the Medal of Honor and Founder and President of the National Rifle Association).
The certificate is issued to Brigadier General, New York War Staff Seldon E. Marvin (Major 1861-5 U.S.V.) (1835-1899) served as a U.S. Army paymaster. Marvin had previously served as the Adjutant of the 112th New York Volunteers. Photo by Addis Washington D.C. After the War Marvin served as the Adjutant General for the State of New York.
|Brigadier General, |
New York War Staff
Seldon E. Marvin
|1862-1896 Army Version |
Medal of Honor
1870-1873 Fire commissioner
After several attempts, I was able to find a copy of the bylaws listed as an item located in the Library of Congress (LOC). A trip to the nations capital was not practical so while I continued to explore the LOC website I discovered a web form intended for submitting questions about ongoing research. So I drafted a brief explanation of my research to date asking for any assistance. To my absolute amazement, a response email was received five hours later from Eric Frazier, Reference Librarian in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. Eric emailed a copy of the company bylaws including a link to the copyright holders I am certain I will be visiting the Library of Congress website soon. THANK YOU Eric!
|J. Henry Liebenau|
On most share certificates issued since that time period are marked "Non-accessible" as the investment made did not obligate the investor to future contributions. Non-accessible stocks typically had the words "fully paid and non-accessible" printed on the stock certificate. Investopedia explains 'Non-accessible Stock' as accessible stocks proved unpopular, and most companies switched over to issuing non-accessible stock in the late 1880s . Although equity was no longer sold at a discount compared to its share price, investors were more confident about buying non-accessible stocks because they no longer had to be concerned about the possibility that the issuer would show up sometime in the future and force them to make additional investments after the initial transaction.
|Major-General Alexander Shaler|
Recipient of the Medal of Honor
In the spirit of the law, the court upheld the idea that the assets geographically located in both states were intended to be included in the original mortgage and as a result the assignee had an expectation that those asset would be included in the dismantling of the company.
The end of The Soldiers' Business, Messenger and Dispatch Company came in the form of bankruptcy filed in April 1869 which resulted in a challenge over a dispute of which assets could be used to discharge the filing in Smith v. The Soldiers' Business, Messenger and Dispatch Company.
Pittston Gazette July 25,1900 Pittston, PA
Library of Congress - Bylaws of The Soldiers' Business, Messenger and Dispatch Company
Investopedia 'Non-Assessable Stock'
January's event at the National Stocks and Bond Show was exciting, educational and well, just pure fun. I presented Internet Excavations by a New Scripophilist. I shared some of my search techniques locating corners of the internet where old certificates go to hide. Please consider for a day learning about old stocks and bonds. Send any comments, suggestions, funny stories or confessions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Well... maybe not confessions.