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Bond One of Three Known
By Bank Note Reporter
October 09, 2013

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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The chief lot in Archives International Auctions’ upcoming sale is a U.S. federal bond, issued to and signed by George Washington while he was president.

The Washington bond is part of the “Copps Collection,” an assemblage of U.S. colonial and federal bonds, stocks and paper.

“This is truly one of the finest rarities to surface on the scripophily market in many years,” said Dr. Robert Schwartz of Archives International Auctions of the Washington bond. “It is of exceptional historical importance to the history of American capital markets and will be the centerpiece of a savvy bidder’s collection.”

“These certificates were the first securities traded on the New York Stock Exchange after its founding in 1792, upon the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement, four months after this certificate was issued to Washington.”

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As for the other known examples, one is in the Museum of American Finance and the other in the George Washington University Library.

The bond being sold, signed on Jan. 17, 1792, measures 17¾ inches by 5½ inches. It was issued by the United States Loan Office, payable to “George Washington, Esq., of the County of Fairfax or his assigns, the sum of One Hundred and Twenty Three Dollars and Ninety Nine Cents assumed debt bearing interest at six percent per annum (beginning Jan. 1, 1801).”

It was the first loan issued under Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s plan for the federal assumption of debt to liquidate the state and foreign debts under the newly formed federal government.

Washington endorsed the bond: “I request the within debt may be carried to my credit on the books of the Treasury of the United States, Oct. 1st, 1974.”

At its completion, the president boldly signs, “G. Washington.”

The 16th AIA sale is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19, and Tuesday, Oct. 22. The Saturday session will be held at the Museum of American Finance in New York City. The Tuesday sale will be held at the firm's offices in Fort Lee, N.J. For more details, visit

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