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Banking House of Cronise & Co., ...1857. We annex rates for SPECIE [opening lines of circular].
Banking House of Cronise & Co., ...1857. We annex rates for SPECIE [opening lines of circular].

Banking House of Cronise & Co., ...1857. We annex rates for SPECIE [opening lines of circular].

Pay rates for California Gold Rush specie and other coins and currency

After the California Gold Rush of 1848–1855, gold bullion was minted in San Francisco into official United States coins.

Some of these coins and gold bullion found their way East to national banking houses in exchange for national paper currency. In this way, the young state of California became more closely knitted to the Union.

This October 31st, 1857 circular from the Banking House of Cronise & Co. in Philadelphia advertises the rates that they paying for gold and silver bullion and specie (coins). The specie, which they exchanged for U. S. Silver dollars or in paper currency, came from all over the world.

A new player in this market can be seen listed in this circular, California gold: “Calfn. $50 Pieces, U. S. Assay…$20 Pieces…$10 Pieces.”

The Cronise & Co. circular lists the rates they pay for various national currencies and the discounts they charge or the premiums they will pay for New York, Boston, or Philadelphia funds. The circular particularly touts the bank’s advantages over New York:

Our rates for SPECIE Credit will be found in leading items, as much as 2 per cent. above those of New York, and certainly as advantageous as any other. We will furnish new Silver at present for Gold at par. Silver or Gold for New York funds at one per cent. premium; for Boston exchange at 1½ per cent. premium; and for Philadelphia funds, at 4½ to 5.—These rates are not likely to advance, and if at any time lower rates are current, we will be governed accordingly.

Further evidence of this new evolving American national economy is evident in the circular’s exchanges with banks in the South and father west:

Quotations for on current Bank Notes will be sent correspondents as soon exchanges South and West become somewhat better regulated: at present, we quote Exchange on Baltimore. 4 to 5 per cent. discount; Richmond, 7 and 8; Pittsburgh, 3; and Cincinnati, 5 per cent. discount.

Jacob Stull Cronise (1783–?) is shown in the 1850 census records as a broker residing in New Market, Frederick County, Maryland. Before beginning Cronise & Co., he is seen in court records involved in a financial dispute with his former employer, Beebe & Co., a banking house in New York City.

There seems likely there is a familial connection between J. S. Cronise and Titus Fey Cronise. T. F. Cronise authored The Natural Wealth of California (San Francisco, 1868) and divorced his wife Estellina in 1864. (T. F. Cronise apparently entrapped his wife into marriage to then abscond with her monies and beeline to California.)

Presumably the Banking House of Cronise & Co., here in 1858, eventually, merged with the entity known as the Banking House of Parker and Cronise in 1878.

A local Philadelphia bank circular for trading California gold and other specie that sheds light on an expanding U. S. national economy.

Description: Banking House of Cronise & Co., ...1857. We annex rates for SPECIE [opening lines of circular].

[Likely Philadelphia]. (1857). [4]pp. Circular. 8½ x 5½ inches. Bifolium; cream colored paper. Printed on rectos only. Folds and creases; some soiling; good.


Price: $225.00

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