Issued by the state of Tennessee approximately three weeks prior to its official secession from the Union, this $1000 bond features a view of the state capital as its central vignette, with the name of the issuing authority appearing boldly in an arch above. Immediately below is the financial obligation stating "... That the State of Tennessee acknowledges to owe to _______ or order, ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS, lawful money; which sum the said State promises to pay in the CITY OF NASHVILLE, on the 1st day of June, 1871, with interest ...". The bond was issued under "... an Act of the General Assembly of said State, passed at its Extra Session of 1861, for the defence of the State ...", with no mention being made of the Confederacy or the state's impending secession. It is boldly signed at the conclusion by "J E R Ray" as Secretary of State and "Isham G. Harris" as Governor, with an impression of the state seal at the left. All of the above is enclosed in a decorative border, separating it from the fifteen remaining interest coupons attached below. Isham G. Harris, Tennessee's Confederate governor, was born in Franklin County, Tennessee on February 10, 1818. Prior to the Civil War, Harris served as a clerk in a mercantile house, a lawyer, a state legislator and in 1848, as elector for the unsuccessful presidential candidate Lewis Cass. He was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1849 and 1851, but declined a third nomination to return to his law practice. His political retirement ended in 1857 when he was elected governor of Tennessee, a position he was to hold through re-elections until the close of the Civil War. Since large portions of the state were under Union occupation for the majority of the war, Harris had little to do politically, so he volunteered as an aide-de-camp on the staffs of, successively, Generals Albert Sidney Johnston, Braxton Bragg, and Joseph Johnston. After the war, Harris fled to England, returning to Memphis in 1867 to reestablish his law practice. He was elected to the U. S. Senate for three consecutive terms beginning in 1883, serving until his death on July 8, 1897 in Washington, D. C.
Due to its large size, approximately 16 x 18 inches with coupons extended, the offered bond exhibits numerous folds and wrinkles associated with long term storage. A very small hole is present at the center (hardly noticeable) where the horizontal and vertical folds meet. The paper is in very fine condition, with light toning present in the selvage at the top and bottom of the bond. Several minute foxing spots, along with a small stamped "27", are mentioned solely for accuracy as these do not detract from the overall eye appeal of this impressive piece.