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Details about  Revolutionary War Bond Certificate State Of Massachusetts Bay February 5, 1780

Revolutionary War Bond Certificate State Of Massachusetts Bay February 5, 1780

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Approximately C $118.21(including shipping)
 
 
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Last updated on  Jul 13, 2014 14:55:11 EDT  View all revisions

Massachusetts 1st-4th Class Lotteries and Certificates of Delayed Payment

Anderson MA-16 
Rarity  R6
Dated February 5, 1780
Amount £15
Certificate Number 625

Note:
This certificate was printed from an engraved copperplate with a vignette of a pine tree encircled by a rattlesnake. The indented left border read "Massachusetts." Note that in the lower border design is the phrase, "Death to counterfeit this.". Anderson assigns this certificate a rarity of a low R6, designated as 21-30 surviving examples.


On May 1, 1778 the Massachusetts legislature passed a resolve to conduct a lottery to obtain $750,000 to pay soldiers who had enlisted in the Continental Army before April 15, 1777, for a term of at least three years. The lottery was planned in four classes. In the first class there were 25,000 tickets at $6.00 each. Tickets were sold until December 1779, when the drawing was presumably held. As had been announced at the start of the lottery, because of the need for cash to conduct the war effort, prizes of $50 and up were not immediately awarded. Rather winners were given treasury certificates stating they would be paid by January 1, 1783 with 6% interest. Pursuant to the resolve of February 11, 1779, the treasurer was authorized to issue £21,450 in these certificates to winners of the first class lottery.

Certificate authorizing delayed payment (by January 1, 1783) with 6% to winners in the fourth class Massachusetts lottery. The lottery was authorized by the General Court on May 1, 1778 with the drawing to begin on January 26, 1780. The certificates were to be dated on the last day of the drawing which was February 5, 1780. The certificates for prizes of fifty dollars or less were probably remainder certificates from the third class lottery as they were issued with the right border cut off. The specific lottery class was only mentioned in the right border. In order to make the payments to the winners of the lottery the General Court authorized a tax on May 3, 1780 to "enable the Treasurer of this State to pay the prizes of fifty dollars and upwards, drawn in the 4th Class of the lottery." The higher payment certificates (Anderson MA-16) can obviously be distinguished by the larger payments (usually above £15) and because they carry the designation "Massachusetts State Lottery, Class the Fourth" in the right margin. Blank payment certificates were signed by a committee of John Scollay and Edward Green. When the date and amount was entered and the certificated was issued it was signed by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth, Henry Gardner. The signature was cancelled upon redemption.  Comments: The second numeral 7 in the printed date on the certificate 177_ was changed by pen to read 8, to give a 1780 date. The signature of Gardner has been canceled with a pen.

By January 26, 1779 sales began on the second class lottery consisting of 25,000 tickets at $10.00 each. Sales were nearly complete by March 1 and the drawing was held on March 17, 1779. On March 11, 1779 an advertisement was published in the Independent Chronicle for the third class lottery which consisted of 20,000 tickets at $15.00 each, with 5,751 prizes totaling $255,000, leaving $45,000 (15%) for the Commonwealth. The prizes were as follows:

  • 1 ticket - $10,000            for a total of    $10,000
  • 1 ticket - $5,000              for a total of     $5,000
  • 1 ticket - $2,000              for a total of     $2,000
  • 10 tickets - $1,000          for a total of    $10,000
  • 20 tickets - $500             for a total of    $10,000
  • 40 tickets - $300             for a total of    $12,000
  • 220 tickets - $100           for a total of    $22,000
  • 1902 tickets - $50           for a total of    $95,000
  • 3,556 tickets - $25          for a total of    $88,900

According to the Independent Chronicle of May 27, 1779 the drawing for this lottery was to begin on June 3, 1779. As with the first class lottery winners of $50 or more, winners in these two lotteries were give treasury certificates stating they would be paid by January 1, 1783 with 6% interest. On April 14, 1779 a resolve was passed enabling the treasurer to issue £81,572 in certificates, "to pay the prizes of fifty dollars and upward, drawn in the second and third classes of the lottery." The certificates were indented with a "counterpart" or stub kept by the treasurer as a record. The act also provided that a poll and estate tax amounting to £81,500 was to be levied during the June 1782 session of the General Court and was to be collected before November 20, 1782. It was also provided that if the legislature did not impose the tax by September the Treasurer would be empowered to levy the tax. Note that the announcements of the lotteries stated the cost of the tickets and amount of winnings in Spanish milled dollars, but the treasurer actually calculated the winnings and issued certificated in Massachusetts pounds (in Massachusetts by January 1779 the Continental dollar had been devalued to $7.42 to a Spanish milled dollar and by June it was down to $13.40 to a milled dollar)

The fourth class of the lottery was similar to the third and was advertised on July 1, 1779. In October the drawing was announced for the second Wednesday in December. Because of slow sales it was postponed until January 20, 1780, but it did not take place until February. As with the previous lotteries a resolve was passed enabling the treasurer to issue £49,830 in promissory certificates to the lottery winners. The certificate shown on the following page is a promissory certificates issued to Joshua Wyman, a winner in the fourth class lottery.

I am unable to professionally give you a grade for this note and would recommend you use a service like PMG for that, so this note is being sold as is, thanks!

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