Northern Pacific Railroad Stock Issued to The Commissioners of the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company And Endorsed on Verso by Two of The Commissioners
New York, February 1, 1876. Stock certificate for 11 shares of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Issued to to The Commissioners of the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company. Endorsed on verso by two of the bank’s commissioners, John A. J. Creswell and Robert H. T. Leipold.
The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, commonly known as the Freedman's Bank, was a significant financial institution established during the post-Civil War era in the United States. Founded on March 3, 1865, by the U.S. government, the bank had a unique mission to provide financial services and promote economic empowerment among formerly enslaved African Americans and their descendants. The bank's creation was seen as a critical step towards ensuring economic independence for newly freed African Americans who were just emerging from centuries of slavery.
The Freedman's Bank operated branches in major cities across the country and attracted thousands of depositors. It played a vital role in providing a safe place for African Americans to save money and learn about financial literacy. Unfortunately, the bank faced financial mismanagement and corruption, which ultimately led to its downfall. In 1874, it went bankrupt, resulting in significant losses for depositors, most of whom were African American. Despite its ultimate failure, the Freedman's Bank highlighted the importance of financial inclusion and literacy for marginalized communities and served as a precursor to later efforts to expand access to financial services for all Americans
John A. J. Creswell (1828-1891) was an American politician and statesman who made significant contributions during the 19th century. Born in Maryland, Creswell had a distinguished career that included serving as a U.S. Senator and Postmaster General under President Ulysses S. Grant. He was known for his role in advocating for civil service reform and modernizing the U.S. Postal Service during his tenure as Postmaster General from 1869 to 1874. Creswell's efforts to professionalize the postal system laid the groundwork for greater efficiency and accountability in government operations. His commitment to reform and public service left a lasting legacy in American politics.