Petition for the Formation of the Atlantic Insurance Company, 1824

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This petition for the formation of the Atlantic Insurance Company was sent to the representatives of the city and county of Philadelphia on March 10, 1824. The petition asked for these representatives to consider the needs of “a very large portion of our mercantile community” and support the formation of “a new institution, founded, supported and managed by men in active commercial business.” The petitioners asked that their proposal be considered before the end of the session, so that no business would be lost in the meantime. The petition is closed with ten signatures.  Soon after the petition, in April of 1824, The Atlantic Insurance Company was organized as a marine insurance company.

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petition_atlantic_ page 1petition_atlantic page 2

Bay State Beneficiary Association, Westfield, Massachusetts 1887

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This Statement of Death and Emergency Funds from the Bay State Beneficiary Association of Westfield, Massachusetts, was published on October 10, 1887. It details company’s assessments and emergency funds and also includes the names of the recently deceased who had death claims paid for them, listed along with the disease they suffered from, providing genealogical information to researchers. Bay State also uses this statement to advertise, illustrating how their rates are lower than the “old-line” companies.

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bay_state_001La Fayette F. Robinson, Medina, N. Y. Pneumonia, 5,000.00
James E. Vose, Ashburnham, Mass., Anemia, 5,000.00
Daniel Alexander, Lee, Mass., Acute Tuberculosis 5,000.00
Alberti C. Steward, Peterboro, N. H. Stricture of Oesophagus 5,000.00
E. Edwards Allen, Florence, Mass., Paralysis, 5,000.00
William W. Dewey, Lowville, N. Y. Cirrhosis of Liver, 5,000.00
Elizabeth Ladue, Springfield, Mass., Pneumonia, 1,000.00
Albert S. Mowry, Nantucket Mass., Brights Disease, 2,000.00

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Travel Insurance Tickets, 1867

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This week we have two travel insurance tickets from the collection that were purchased by R. H. Belden of Hartsfield, Massachusetts in 1867. The first ticket is from the Provident Life Insurance & Investment Co. of Chicago, Illinois. The ticket, which cost 10 cents, was good for 1 day, from 12 noon on the day of the ticket stamp date. This travel insurance ticket would pay $15 per week in case of personal injury causing total disability for up to 26 weeks, or $3,000 to his heirs upon his death, due to an accident on any public transportation while in the United States or British North American possessions, excluding War Risk.

ticket_provident_side1ticket_provident_side2The second travel insurance ticket purchased by Belden, also for 10 cents, was from the Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut one month later. The terms of insurance were almost identical to the first ticket. The front of the Travelers ticket suggests Belden took the North Bennington – Troy & Boston Railroad.

ticket_travelers_01_side1ticket_travelers_01_side2

Travelers Accident Insurance Advertisement, 1888

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This little card was distributed as an advertisement for accident insurance from the Travelers Insurance Company. There is an 1888 calendar on one side with information on the cost to professional and business men. The other side contains two images of steam-powered locomotives, the Best Friend, and the West Point, with a cautionary tale about why one should purchase accident insurance when the travel. Text at the bottom indicates the printer of the card: The Kellogg & Bulkeley Co. HTFD, CT.

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ticket_travelers_2_side2The Travelers Insurance Co.
1888
Never Travel Without Accident Insurance
Accident Policies Cost But $5.00 Per Year To Professional
And Business Men For Each $1000 With $5.00 Weekly Indemnity

ticket_travelers_2_side1

TOP

First Excursion Trip Of The “Best Friend”
The First Locomotive Built In The United States
For Actual Service On A Railroad,
In Charleston, S.C. Sat. Jan, 15th 1831.

The Travelers Life Policies Are The Best.

The Negro Fireman, Annoyed By The Blowing Off Of Steam From
The Safety Valve, Fastened Down The Valve Lever And Sat On It,
With The Result Of An Explosion, That Killed Him And Scalded The Engineer.

“Moral; Insure In The Travelers.”

BOTTOM

First Excursion Trip Of The “West Point”
The Second Locomotive Built In the United States
For Actual Service On A Railroad,
In Charleston, S.C. Sat. March, 5th 1831.

All Claims Paid Without Discount.

This Engine Replaced The Exploded “Best Friend” And To Protect Passengers Against Such Explosions, A “Barrier Car,” A Flat Car, Loaded With Cotton Bales, Was Placed Between The Engines And Coaches, The Safety Valve Also Being Fastened Out Of Reach Of Anyone But The Engineer.

The Travelers’ Insurance Tickets
Cost Only 25 Cents A Day   $4.50 For 30 Days.

Declaration of Intention to form a Company for Fire Insurance, 1863

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This week’s document is a handwritten declaration of intention to form a fire insurance company in New York City, called the Hendrick Hudson Fire Insurance Company. The declaration is dated June 4, 1863, and contains 22 signatures, most with addresses written lightly next to the name. The text is transcribed below.

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Declaration of Intention to form a Company for Fire Insurance

We the Undersigned hereby give notice of our intention to associate and form an Incorporated Company agreeably to an Act of the Legislature of the State of New York entitled ” An Act to provide for the Incorporation of Fire Insurance Companies” passed June 25th 1853, and the acts ammendatory thereof, for the purpose of transacting the business of making insurance on – dwelling houses, stores and all kinds of buildings, and upon household furniture and other property, against loss or damage by fire, and the risks of inland navigation and transportation; and also for the purpose of transacting the business of making insurance upon vessels, boats, cargoes, goods, merchandise, freights and other property against loss and damage by all or any of the risks of lake, river, canal and inland navigation and transportation; such Company to be known by the name or style of The Hendrick Hudson Fire Insurance Company and to be located in the City of New York.

New York 4th June 1863

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declaration page 2declaration page 3

 

Ask the Secretary of State: Insuring Property in Seceded States During the Civil War?

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Recently we came across these two Civil War-era letters among our many documents that are in the process of being cataloged and digitized at the Davis Library. This correspondence is between an insurance agent in New York, Henry Henig, and the Secretary of State at time, the Honorable William H. Seward, in Washington D.C. regarding insuring property held in seceded states.

The first letter, dated September 19, 1861 is shown below with a transcription. In the top right corner of the letter is the word “Copy” indicating that this is a copy of his own letter to the Secretary of State that Henry Henig hand wrote to keep in his personal files.

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Letter from Henig to Seward 1861Copy
Insurance Office of Henry Henig
No. 118 Broadway
New York Sept 19 1861
To the Honorable Wm H. Seward
Secy of State
Dear Sir,
Please inform me if loyal citizens of this state may insure what property they posses in the seceded states against fire without infringing the proclamation prohibiting commercial intercourse as infringement of which as a loyal citizen I desire to avoid.
The kindness of your reply will exceedingly oblige.
Your mo’ obed
Hy Henig

The second letter is a reply from Secretary State William H. Seward. Received in Washington D.C. from New York, his letter is dated just two days later on September 21, 1861.

Letter from Seward to Henig 1861Department of State
Washington Sep 21, 1861

My dear Sir,
Your letter of the 19th September has been received. I see no objection to loyal citizens of the United States insuring “what property they posses in seceded states” against any loss by fire.
Very truly yours
William H. Seward

This is the envelope used by Seward to send his reply to Henig in New York. The stationary is from the Department of State, and has a red wax seal on the back featuring an image of an eagle and the words “Department of State USA.” A library stamp on the back of the envelope indicates that the letters were donated to our library in 1930.

Envelope 1861 front

Envelope 1861 back

Moses Cohen Fire Insurance Claim, 1771

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This document is an insurance claim for a fire at the home of Moses Cohen of three Crown Court, Poor Jewry Lane. This claim states that the fire happened on or about June 8, 1771, was accidental, and caused the loss and damage of his household goods, printed books and wearing apparel worth sixty pounds. An inventory of said household goods was delivered to the Sun Fire Office. The claim affidavit was signed on July 30, 1771 by Brass Crosby, Mayor of London, at Guild Hall.

On the reverse side of the page, the “minister, church wardens and other inhabitants of the parish of [blank]” certify that the fire on June 8, 1771 at the home of Moses Cohen was accidental, and that “Moses Cohen is an honest man and that he really and by misfortune without any fraud or evil practice has sustained by said fire a loss to the amount of the sum mentioned in the within affidavit.” The document is signed by Sarah Snow and David Salomons.

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doc_0005aMoses Cohen p1side1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second sheet of paper is titled, “An Inventory of the Losses Sustained by the Fire that happened in by back room”. The inventory includes items such as fabric, aprons, a wig box with caps and handkerchiefs, a cap, apron, and ruffles and lace my wife was married in, 1 trunk about 25 inches long & 15 broad marked M. M. with my children’s clothes, a bed, blankets, curtains, and books.

Underneath the inventory is a note about the original fire insurance policy, No. 205959, dated January 10, 1764, on his household goods and printed books, in his new dwelling house only…and wearing apparel therein.

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John Reed Fire Insurance Claim, 1772

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This document is an insurance claim for damage caused by a fire in Exeter, England on September 5, 1772. John Reed, a merchant from Crediton in Devon, Exeter, states here that his buildings were damaged by an accidental fire, that the inventory provided contained a true and faithful account of the damage, that the buildings were not insured in any other office at the time of the fire, and that the damage amounted to the sum of forty four pounds, three shillings, three pence. Below this is a statement by the minister, church warden and other principal inhabitants of Crediton in Devon, Exeter, England certifying that John Reed is “an honest man and of good repute” and that the fire was truly accidental.

On the reverse side of the document is an estimate or inventory of the loss and damage by fire to Mr. John Reed of Exeter on the 5th day of September 1772. At the top of the page is written “Policy 103,347” although no insurer is mentioned. The inventory includes items such as floor board and joyst, roof and thatching, cob, and fine windows and glass.

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John Reed fire insurance claim 1772 side 1Side 2

John Reed fire insurance claim 1772 side 2

Nicholas Barbon Agreement for Purchasing a House

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We have another transcription challenge with this second Nicholas Barbon document from the library’s collection.

This document, dated April 11, 1684, appears to be an agreement between Dr. Nicholas Barbon and another individual for the purchase of a house in Devonshire Square. There are two wax seals near Barbon’s signature. There is similar damage to that of the mortgage document featured in the previous blog post, but overall, it is much better condition with no fading of the text.

We are seeking help in transcribing part or all of this 17th century handwritten document. Contact us or leave a comment on this post to contribute your knowledge. (Click on images to zoom in.)

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Nicholas Barbon house purchase 01Side 2

Nicholas Barbon house purchase 02

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Barbon Mortgage

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This week’s featured item is a transcription challenge!

This 17th century document appears to be a mortgage for a property called Devonshire House for Dr. Nicholas Barbon from Mr. Sayer. Nicholas Barbon is known as one of the pioneers in the formation of the insurance industry in London. This document contains various dates, from as early as 1616, to as late as 1679.

The beautiful but unfamiliar 17th century handwriting is a challenge to read. There is also considerable fading and damage to the fragile paper. We are seeking help in transcribing part or all of the document. Contact us or leave a comment on this post to contribute your knowledge.

Side 1

Nicholas Barbon mortgage side 1

Side 2

Nicholas Barbon mortgage side 2

 

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