Fluctuations in the Price of Gold in 1863 - J. P. Howard 1863 - Snyder, New York - Entered according to an act of Congress in the year 1863 by J.P.Howard in the Clerk’s Office of the Southern District of New York. Address orders to H.B. Andrews care of Messrs. Kissam & Co. 36 Wall Str. New York. These are extraordinary times, and extraordinary measures must be resorted to in order to save our Government, and preserve our nationality.'

Obama? Trump? No, Governor Spaulding presenting a draft of the '
First Legal Tender Act' which President Lincoln signed in February 1862, in order to issue a 'limited' $150,000 of new treasury notes. The birth of the US dollar note as we know it and the first of three rounds over 24 months, which saw the limit rise to US$450,000. Why? To pay off enormous Government debt, caused by expenditure on the military, and also to counter the loss of faith in Government paper.

Here you have an extremely scarce original 1.5 metre long chart of gold prices over this period from January 1862 up to September 1863 (dimensions 150 x 45.5 cm). With notations of current events added (Iron Clad attack on Fort Sumter, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Gettysburg, Surrender at Fort Hudson (the lowest point of the year), etc.). Folded and enclosed in the printer’s original gilt titled green cloth covers. In addition, tipped inside the front cover is a contemporary facsimile of a chart (37.8 x 22.6 cm) showing the fluctuation of iron, flour, and cotton prices from 1834-1859.

The gold chart follows the sharp fluctuations in the value of gold from 101 in January 1862 to a peak of 171 in March 1863. They dropped to 123 on the Surrender of Port Hudson on July 18th. Recovering and continuing up as the variation in prices tempted speculators and investors to buy gold bullion in order to protect against a decline in the value of the freshly printed paper money.

In the following years this rise continued until 1869, the first 'Black Friday' and the collapse of gold over a period of 48 hours, caused by one highly influential finance house with political assistance cornering the market, and a subsequent surge in Gold prices, the threat of flooding the market with Treasury owned gold (which they didn't actually have), the failed attempts to convert gold holdings (on paper), bank runs, riots, investors and speculators wiped out, stock market plummets, economy weakens and the rest is history, which yes does have a habit of repeating itself....
  Printed on chart : -
These quotations are taken from the CASH Sales at the New York Stock Exchange when price is advancing the highest rate for each day is given, when declining the lowest. Entered according to an act of Congress in the year 1863 by J.P.Howard in the Clerk’s Office of the Southern District of New York.
Address orders to H.B. Andrews care of Messrs. Kissam & Co. 36 Wall Str. New York. Price 50 cents. With covers One Dollar
.’

Detail -
1 Jan 135 [1982 -101] 31 Jan 161 [1982 -103] 2 Mar 171 [1982 -102] 1 April 159 [1982 -102] 1 May 150 [1982 -102] 1 June 147 [1982 -103] 1 July 145 [1982 -109] 1 August 129 [1982 -115] 1 September 128 [1982 -117] 22 September 137 last entry on the chart. 1 October 1982 122. 1st November 1982 130. 1st December 1982 131.

2-6 Mar 171-150 Passage of the law taxing transactions in Gold. 21-26 Mar 154-139 Favorable News from the Mississippi. 26-1 April 139-159 Unfavorable news from the Mississippi. 8 April 146 - Iron Clad attack on Fort Sumter. 7 May 155 Battle of Chancerllorsville. 25 May 143 Reported capture of Vicksburg. 15 June 148 Rebels in Pennsylvania. 4 July 138 Battle of Gettysburgh. 7 July 133 Surrender of Vicksburg. 18 July 123 Surrender of Port Hudson [in 1862 on this date Gold prices had risen to 120].

Publisher’s blind embossed green cloth boards (21.8 x 14.5 cm), front panel lettered in gilt, enclosing chart titled ‘
Fluctuations in the Price of Gold in 1863 on two sheets with join in centre (combined size 150 x 45.5 cm), additional chart titled ‘Showing the relative and actual prices of IRON, FLOUR, & COTTON, for stated periods in each year from 1831 to 1858’ tipped in to front inside cover (37.8 x 22.6 cm).
  Condition: Very good. Light spotting to cloth, tipped in commodities chart a bit browned, a few splits along folds.   Ref: 103318   Price: HK$ 58,000