Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bank Checks

Cashier's Check The Merchants National Bank
Burlington, Vermont
July 1, 1898 First Day of Tax

endorsement above the stamp.

Bank checks, drafts, or any orders for the payment of any sum of money, whether drawn upon or issued by any bank, trust company, or any person or persons, companies, or corporations at sight or upon demand were taxed 2 cents. This cashier's check drafted on July 1, 1898, the first day of the Spanish American War Tax, illustrates how difficult it was for many to obtain the necessary tax stamps in time for use on July 1, 1898.

Presumably stamps were not available at the bank when the check was obtained as it was endorsed by the bank, "IMPOSSIBLE TO PROCURE PROPER REVENUE STAMPS FOR THIS INSTRUMENT". That the bank had this endorsement handstamp ready for use on July 1 indicates they knew stamps might not be available and had planned ahead for that possibility.

The stamp is pen-cancelled B.G.L.Co. and bears several handstamp cancels including one of JUL 1, 1898 tying the 2-cent I.R. provisional overprint issue to the check. It is likely that B.G.L. was able to secure the necessary tax stamps later in the day before dispatching the check. There is a faint July 5, 1898 "Teller Cashed" handstamp of the Merchants National Bank at the top above "Burlington".

Perhaps someone familiar with the history of Burlington Vermont can identify the B.G.L. Company for us.

The Merchants Bank was first organized in 1849 and became a nationally chartered bank in 1865. It's still in business today as a state chartered institution. For a more detailed history, go here.

1 comment:

  1. Great post!!Thanks for sharing it with us....really needed. Banks and credit Unions would love to be the only avenues from which you order your checks. Now, thanks to the online world, check ordering is much easier and less expensive. ..Check Ordering