Two interesting Civil War stock certificates

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December 19, 2014

Just got these two in this week.

This first one is a nice early usage of a tougher imperf (R36a catalogs $500). What I don't quite get is the tax rate. A certificate tax for an incorporated company should have been 25 cents, whereas the 10-cent rate was reserved for unincorporated companies and "other" usages.

From Bart Rosenberg: The reason for the ten cent tax is because the first is not a stock certificate. It is scrip for the transfer of 15 shares of stock from one person to another. This was a Power of Attorney tax, which was 10 cents up to $50 value after March 3, 1863. Before that it was 25 cents. Although it was signed in November of 1862, a careful reading of the document states that the shares will not be transferred until all the monies have been paid. If that did not occur until after the March date, the tax on the actual transfer would have been the rate at that time, ten cents.

From Mike Mahler: The Schuylkill is one I have long puzzled over. I have a couple, also with R36a. In my book I keyed on the word .scrip. in the subhead, and called it a certificate of profit (see the list on p. 48). The one I have on hand is dated 2/24/63, for 10 shares, on which only $5 apiece had been paid, so this fit with the Cert of Profit 10c rate for amounts to $50.

But on yours the full amount has been paid, and it.s way over $50. Except for the word .Scrip. its wording is essentially similar to that of many stock certs. But if I have to choose I.d call it an undertaxed cert of profits.

This next one is less about the philatelic aspects than it is about the document itself. Stock certificates are almost always printed. An entirely handwritten stock certificate with written seal is very scarce. Forget about just from this company but across all industries... they just don't exist. When I described this stock certificate to a dealer I know who specializes in Indiana-related paper, he was foaming at the mouth. :)

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