South Pacific MC Stock (108119)

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / Stock & Bond - Mining Start Price:50.00 USD Estimated At:100.00 - 200.00 USD
South Pacific MC Stock   (108119)
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I/U #5320 JA Baker 1882. JA Baker signed stock certificate. Located in the old Salt Springs area of Death Valley (Lingenfelter, 1986, Death Valley & the Amargosa, p.158-159). Has an ornate border around it with a vignette of two part underground scene of miners loading two mule drawn ore cars and miner operating a drill with decorative maidens in the corners. Printed by Homer Lee Bank Note Co., N.Y. Has signatures of the Company’s President and Secretary J. A. Baker. J. A. Baker is the namesake of Baker, California. Located in the old Salt Springs area in Death Valley. This was one of the biggest mine frauds of the 19th century! Lingenfelter, describes it best, “Early in 1881 Luckhardt (a San Francisco assayer) sold it to James Madison Seymour. Seymour was a slim, dapper operator in his mid-thirties. He had speculated in cotton in Texas and grain in Chicago before coming to New York to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and staging a run of stock manipulations. Together, Luckhardt and Seymour dressed up the old Salt Spring mine until it became the new speculative favorite of Broadway. They bought the mine for $22,500 and gave it the exotic stage name of the South Pacific Mining Company. Staying behind the scenes themselves, they gave their creation a conservative-looking, paper capital of $500,000 in $1 shares and a respectable-looking paper directorate that included New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Garret A. Hobart and several New York brokers who were distinguished by the fact that they had ‘not before been identified with any mining scheme.’ Posing as a disinterested expert, Luckhardt then came forward with a wonderfully romantic report on the mine – that it was first discovered by Spaniards, that it had produced the richest gold quartz ever found in California, and that it was abandoned only because the Indians attacked and burned the mill. Further fantasizing a 1,200-foot fall of water from the Amargosa River to power a fifty- or more stamp mill, Luckhardt envisioned profits running into millions a year. In the glow of Luckhardt's praises, Seymour put the South Pacific stock on the exchanges in October 1881, and within a month he and his broker friends had ‘washed’ the price up from its $1 par to $14.63 a share! No other mining stock on the New York exchanges had ever been so far above par, and none had ever been more fictitious.” (Ref. MM 3209 P175)

Date: 1882
State/Country: California
City/County: Baker