- ADAMS & CO. GOLD RUSH ERA - BILL OF EXCHANGE - MINERS SLUICE Third Bill of Exchange. Unissued. San Francisco Adams & Company Express Office. The vignette on this exchange is among the most collectible by Adams & Co. because of the sluice box in the miners’ scene at the top center.
& CO.'s EXPRESS & BANKING HOUSE OF SAN FRANCISCO
Adams & Co.’s Express, an express and forwarding agency, opened in San Francisco in October 1849, on the east side of Montgomery Street, north of California Street,. In 1850, this company entered the banking business. From time to time, Adams & Co. absorbed other express companies in California and during 1851 penetrated into the more remote mining districts. Adams & Co. was the largest and most respected express agency in San Francisco and the West until its failure on February 23, 1855. It engaged in virtually every type of financial business, from forwarding gold to cashing checks. Unfortunately, the firm was engulfed in the financial panic caused by the alleged bankruptcy of the banking house of Page, Bacon & Company. Although Page was solvent, the scare resulted in a run on Adams & Co. and the closing of the latter’s doors and those of all its branches in California. Notes of exchange were essentially copies of bills done in triplicate. Usage of any one automatically cancelled out the other two. In Commercial law, a set of exchange refers to a single bill of lading drawn in a set of parts. Each such bill is valid only if the goods have not been delivered against any other part. Bills may be drawn in duplicate or triplicate, the first part being “first of exchange,” the second part being “second of exchange,” and so on. When one part has been paid, the other parts become void. Fine + exa001 65.
ADAMS & CO. GOLD RUSH ERA - BILL OF EXCHANGE - MINERS SLUICE