Scope and Contents
Most of the banking documents are 19th century (1830-1890) commercial banking correspondence on letterhead stationary between banking customers and clients and their banks, banking houses, dealers and exchanges (rather than bank to bank correspondence) and cancelled checks from large banks such as Shawmut Bank, Bank of Kent, Bank of Whitehall, and Wells Fargo. Correspondence topics include loans, foreign currency exchanges, mortgages, estates and taxes.
Banking regulations, bank annual reports, state and congressional legislation, stock certificates, and bond certificates are also present.
Notes of exchange (first, second and third exchanges), what appears to be scrip issued for currency requirements, promissory notes ("I promise to pay"), complaints concerning non-payment, and a few documents on banknote companies are among the materials.
Bank-issued booklets on various subjects such as saving money, the effect of various depressions, including The Great Depression, may be included in the folder of the publishing bank, and a few other related publications are in the subject series.
Some early material on investment banks (Kidder Peabody, Brown Brothers) and a large number of items from The Manhattan Company, an early bank type organization is also included.
Most of the material comes from the northeastern United States, with a large amount from New York. The vast majority of items are organized by name of the issuing bank, or the name of the bank that cashed the check, with names like "Bank of Kent" filed under "Kent, Bank of". Banks named First National Bank of... are filed under "F" and banks with names like State Bank of New York are filed under "S". Those items that do not contain an identifiable bank name have been filed in Checks and Records by state.
Documents where no bank name or geographic origin is discernible are in folders organized by document examples, e.g. Bankruptcy and Foreclosure.
A small number of documents and checks from non-U.S. banks are included in Box 29.