Original manuscript bank check, typlical of period. Drawn on the "Otsego County Bank, Cooperston [NY], Jan 4 1840." For 252.24 "Cashin [? ] of the Mechs. & Farming Bank Albany. Pay to Joseph Gratz or order Two Hundres and Fifty Two 24/100 Dollars. [Signed] H [? ] Scott, Cash. " On the reverse side, it is boldly signed, "Jo Gratz" and then other endorsers as the check is passed down the line. Interestingly, Gratzburg is the original Name of Cooperstown, NY. And though the story now seems more legend than fact, The Mills Commission concluded in 1907 that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, New York in 1839, just a year before this check was written there. Rebecca Gratz (1781 - 1869) was a "preeminent Jewish American educator and philanthropist. " Her parents "were observant Jews and active members of Philadelphia’s first synagogue, Mikveh Israel. " In 1801, at the age of 20, Rebecca "helped establish the Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances, which helped women whose families were suffering after the American Revolutionary War. In 1815, after seeing the need for an institution for orphans in Philadelphia, she was among those instrumental in founding the Philadelphia Orphan Asylum…. Under Gratz' auspices, a ‘Hebrew Sunday School’ was started in 1838. Gratz became both its superintendent and president, and assisted in developing its curriculum, resigning in 1864. Gratz was also one of the founding members of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society, around November 1819. In 1850, she advocated in The Occident, over the signature A Daughter of Israel, for the foundation of a Jewish foster home. Her advocacy was largely instrumental in the establishment of such a home in 1855…. Gratz is said to have been the model of Rebecca, the daughter of the Jewish merchant Isaac of York, who is the heroine in the novel Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott" (Wikipedia, 2015) Her brother, Joseph was secretary of the Congregation Mickveh Israel for many years and a director of the Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (JE, 1906) . A few period pinhole cancellations, as is typical for this kind of item, old creases, but very good condition, nice and clean with no flaws. Interesting artifact from a leading early American Jewish family. (women-4-7). Bookseller Inventory #
Title: 1840 BANK CHECK SIGNED BY JEWISH ...
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