Monday, November 22, 2010

1773 Insurance Promissory Note

1773 Insurance Promissory Note

This note may be signed by John Coffin at the age of 17? Possibly, but would require further research. At least, this is a rare Boston insurance related note of 1773. John Coffin (1756-1838), Massachusetts Loyalist, had gone to sea as a boy and by the time he was 18 was given command of a ship. In 1775, his ship took part in bringing nearly a whole regiment under General Howe to Boston. He fought gallantly at Bunker Hill for the British. Later, it is said that the Colonials offered $10,000 for his head. In the War of 1812 he raised 700 men. At his death in 1838, he was the oldest general in the British army!

A John Coffin signed this very early “Promise to pay to Nathaniel Barber, or Bearer” 1773 Premium of Insurance note. Likely to insure cargo of a ship. It would be especially exciting to verify whether this is the very same Coffin. Regardless, this is the earliest American Insurance related piece we’ve had. Rare! Choice Condition!

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