1871 CHECK FROM THE BOWLING GREEN SAVINGS BANK OF NEW YORK CITY, SIGNED BY THE BANK PRESIDENT & NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER, HENRY "HANK" SMITH - A CLOSE ASSOCIATE OF "BOSS" TWEED - AND UP TO HIS NECK IN CORRUPTION IN BOTH HIS POSITIONS. WHEN THE BANK WENT BANKRUPT IN 1872, AND SMITH'S CRIMES WERE DISCOVERED, HE WAS INDICTED, AND FLED THE COUNTRY.
Approx. 8-3/4" x 3" check, dated at New York City, Aug. 29, 1871, with "Bowling Green Savings Bank" at left, and "Tenth National Bank" at top, payable to the "Tenth National Bank for 35 checks", in the amount of $19,241.97. Signed by Henry Smith, President of the Bowling Green Savings Bank, and by Walter Poch, Acting Secretary. Imprinted Revenue Stamp, 2c orange #RN-C1, in center.
Henry Smith, was New York City Police Commissioner, and President of the Bowling Green Savings Bank. He was a close associate of William "Boss" Tweed, whose Tammany Hall ring stole millions from New York City, and were involved in crime and corruption on a massive scale. As Police Commissioner, Henry "Hank" Smith, aided Tweed associates in their corruption, election fraud, turning a blind eye, or providing protection to vice rackets, and much more
As President of the Bowling Green Savings Bank, he was involved in massive fraud, which was discovered when the Bank went bankrupt in March, 1872, about half a year after this check was signed. Investigation revealed that $25,000 in City bonds earmarked for street improvement were missing; that there were $70,000 in loans made to non-existent persons; loans were made with no security, resulting in losses of $40,000 to the bank's depositors, and many other irregularities, including drawing on other banks for tens of thousands of dollars to make up shortfalls (which is probably the activity reflected in the check offered here) - all of which were captured in a Thomas Nast cartoon in the NY Times, showing Henry Smith and his many crimes as bank president. After being indicted on several charges, Henry Smith fled the country.