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    National Freedman's Savings Book and Check. Passbook measures 4" x 6.5", Washington, D.C.; circa 1870. Hand numbered No. 3507, issued to Congressman George C. McKee. Interior pages lists the officers, trustees, and cashiers of the bank. Together with an undated check (7.25" x 2.75) engrossed and signed by McKee, made out to "self" in the amount of $147.97. Check has two cut cancellations. This is the first passbook for the Freedman's bank we have handled; no previous auction or sales records could be located.

    The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company was a private bank chartered by Congress in 1865 to aid in the economic development of newly freed slaves. Its main purpose was to serve as a depository for black veterans, and to help support former slaves and their families to build savings. The bank eventually had 12 branches, with their national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, due to a large fraud scandal and the instability created by the Panic of 1873, the bank began to fail and officially closed in June 1874.

    George C. McKee was originally from Joliet, Illinois. McKee served in the 11th Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the war, and afterwards settled in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1868, and serve as U.S. Representative for three terms beginning in 1869. He was a key member of the Republican party, instrumental in the election of black statesmen.

    Condition: Book pages are toned, with two pages detached. Outer cover is worn and has light sunning at edges. Writing in red ink on title cover. Check has two small areas of paper loss where cancellation cuts were made. Otherwise very fine.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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