A Letter to David E. Evans, Esquire, of Batavia, on Life Insurance; from William Bard, President of the New York Life Insurance and Trust Co. December 1st, 1832.
Sole edition, scarce. Provenance: “T.C. Perkins Agent. Hartford, Conn.” Only a few titles concerning New York Life & Trust’s early history emerge before Bard’s Letter (1832).
William Bard’s text serves as an advertisement for The New-York Life Insurance and Trust Company. He was granted a charter in 1830 and raised $1 million in capital before establishing a network of salesmen to sell policies throughout New York State.
Bard’s Letter explains to a New York state insurance agent why the newly-born life insurance market will continue to grow and why individuals would benefit from purchasing a policy. Three tables follow the text to further explain the mechanics of a life insurance policy.
New York Life & Trust was “the most important life insurance company in the country, prior to the rise of mutuals in 1840s ... The driving force behind NYL & T, William Bard (1778–1853), can in fact be considered the father of the U.S. life insurance industry. Not only did he push harder than anyone else in the early days of the industry for the compilation of better actuarial data and the creation of more accurate life tables, but he also pioneered many of the marketing practices and protocols that informed the industry throughout the antebellum period, indeed, right through the Civil War.” (Peter A. Coclanis, reviewing Sharon Ann Murphy’s Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America)
In 1933, New York Life & Trust merged with the Bank of New York, founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton. In 2007, The Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Corporation merged to form The Bank of New York Mellon.
Description: A Letter to David E. Evans, Esquire, of Batavia, on Life Insurance; from William Bard, President of the New York Life Insurance and Trust Co. December 1st, 1832.
New York: Print of William Van Norden . half-title, 1–3, 17, [3, tables], [1, blank]pp. 6 x 4 inches. Removed pamphlet, without wrappers. Very good, thus.