In 1966, a group of men were hired to clean up a farmstead in Missouri. In an old jar in an oat bin they found what looked like rolls of paper, but turned out to be United States paper money. The men took the bills to a bank. As often happened when “old” money came into the bank, the teller contacted Dr. Howard Carter of Leawood, Kansas, who had an interest in such things. The jar contained $40,000 in face value and among the notes was an extremely rare 1863 $1,000 Legal Tender note. Dr. Carter purchased the notes and eventually the hoard, including the $1,000 note, was dispersed to the collecting community.
The face of the $1,000 note features the portrait of former United States Senator Robert Morris, who was not only a signer of the Declaration of Independence but also responsible for establishing the Bank of North America. There are only three types of this note available to collectors. All have the second obligation on the back that reads: ”This note is a Legal Tender for all debts public and private, except duties on imports and interest on the public debt, and is receivable in payment of all loans made to the United States.” The main difference between the first obligation and the second is that the former also mentions exchanging the notes for six percent, 20 year bonds redeemable after five years.
On August 15, 2013 beginning at 5:00 PM Central Time, as part of our official auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Chicago, Stack’s Bowers is pleased to offer the $1,000 Legal Tender note from the Oat Bin Hoard. This note is attributed as Fr. 186c and is graded PCGS Fine 15 Apparent. Minor Edge Restorations. This note is unique as it bears the March 10th 1862 date -- the other two are dated 1863. The overall appearance is quite nice and better than one would expect after learning about its 90-year storage in a jar in an oat bin. The portrait of Robert Morris is surrounded by a lovely green circular design. The seal, serial numbers and overprint remain pleasing for the grade. There are several splits along the margins that have been repaired. When this note last sold in in 2005 it realized just under $750,000. With the current demand for true rarities, we will not be surprised if this note reaches or exceeds the seven-figure mark.
Lot viewing for this and all the other coins, tokens, medals, and paper money to be offered in our American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money auction will be held in our Irvine, California (July 18-26) and New York City offices (August 2-6). To make an appointment for either of these locations, please call 800-458-4646. The lots will also be available for viewing at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Room 1 & 2 from August 9 through 17.