This document, issued by the “Republic of Texas”, is collected and listed as a Texas bond, though the document itself states that it is a “Certificate of Stock in the ten per cent consolidated fund”. The central vignette depicts a grist mill in operation, with a water wheel prominently featured as the main source of power. A secondary building can be seen in the background, while at the left a man with a bag over his shoulder hurries to leave the scene. Flanking this are two geometric medallions surmounted by the denomination, while above and below are the issuing authority and the financial obligation respectively. Along the left hand edge is a second vignette, enclosed in a circle, featuring an attractive female figure, classically attired, seated upon a rock by the sea. Her arms are positioned across her chest, imparting a sense of modesty to the figure. To her right (the viewer’s left) are the flukes of an anchor, possibly implying that the female figure represents Commerce. The right hand edge is dominated by a large rectangle with attractive geometric designs printed within, while each of the four corners features the denomination within other geometric designs. At the lower center is a large five-pointed star (representing the “Lone Star Republic”), flanked by the signatures of “J W Simmons” as “Comptroller” and “Charles De Morse” as “Stock Commr”. James Wright Simmons was born in Charleston, South Carolina about 1790 and was educated at Harvard University. He served as comptroller of the Republic of Texas from 1839 to 1840, and then as treasurer from 1840 until November, 1841. During his lifetime he published at least three volumes of poetry, the last one in 1852. Wright died sometime in 1858. Charles DeMorse was born in Leicester, Massachusetts in 1816, moved to Texas in the 1830's to assist in their fight for independence, and was stock commissioner under President Mirabeau B. Lamar. He founded the Clarksville Northern Standard in 1842 and remained its publisher and editor until his death. During the Civil War, DeMorse organized and served as colonel of the 29th Texas Cavalry, a unit that fought in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. He was the commanding officer of the force at the battle of Poison Springs, near Camden, Arkansas, where an attempted Union advance was repulsed. Following the war, DeMorse was active in state politics, helped organize the Texas Veterans Association, and was named one of the directors of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A & M University). Charles DeMorse died on October 25, 1887. Immediately above DeMorse’s signature is the hand written date of issue (“April 24th 1840 ), as well as the pre printed city of issue (“Austin”). A thin rectangular border encloses the principal instrument, neatly separating it from the ten attached interest coupons. Interestingly, for some reason these coupons were never numbered or signed, though the certificate itself bears both a serial number and the proper signatures. The certificate was issued to “Charles H. Sheafe”, and his signature, along with the statement “Certif to be issued in name of R M Master(?)” appears on the otherwise blank reverse. The production of the certificate was a joint venture between the “Southern Bank Note Co.” and “Endicott & Clark, New Orleans”, both of which have their imprints along the lower edge of the principal instrument.
The offered certificate is in very fine condition for the issue, with some very light scattered toning present. Two evenly spaced vertical folds flank the central vignette, originally done so that the certificate could be easily stored, with one or two smaller folds mentioned for accuracy. As with virtually all Texas financial documents of this era, this piece was heavily cut cancelled upon redemption (these cuts affect each vignette, most of the denomination markings, and all of the coupons). One of these cancellation cuts caused a small section of paper to separate from the lower portion of the certificate by the star vignette, a situation remedied by the semi-professional replacement of the missing piece (the replacement piece however, did not come from this certificate but from another specimen and is not actually part of a star). The edges are somewhat tightly cut, especially noticeable along the left hand edge. Due to the type of ink used and the thinness of the paper, some show through of the signatures is noted, as is some slight spreading of the ink. Some areas of toning are present, most prominent in the financial obligation. The contrast is strong, the paper is intact (except for the replacement piece previously mentioned), and the overall eye appeal is very nice. Measuring approximately 7.50 x 10.00 inches, this certificate would make a great addition to any Texas currency or bond collection.