Item #List2423 Collection of Seventy-Six Checks Written to Chinese Businesses in Montana, 1870-1872. Chinese-American Communities - Montana - 1870s, L H. Hershfield, Brother Bank.
Collection of Seventy-Six Checks Written to Chinese Businesses in Montana, 1870-1872.
Collection of Seventy-Six Checks Written to Chinese Businesses in Montana, 1870-1872.
[Chinese-American Communities - Montana - 1870s] L.H. Hershfield & Brother Bank

Collection of Seventy-Six Checks Written to Chinese Businesses in Montana, 1870-1872.

Montana Territory: 1870-1872. Lot of seventy-six checks measuring 8 ½ x 4 inches, with vignette illustration of a prospector and his dog. With one additional document relating to the Hershfield account with the Bank of California. Most checks issued to “Gold Coin,” and drawn on the Bank of California in San Francisco. The checks are printed by Robert F. Macey Stationery in New York. Fine condition with an occasional tear and chip. Fine. Item #List2423

In 1870, one out of ten residents of Montana Territory were of Chinese descent, a figure that would decline precipitously in the ensuing decades until Chinese-Americans made up less than one percent of the population around the turn of the century. Chinese immigrants arrived in Montana following the discovery of gold in Bannack and Virginia City in the 1860s. Many of the Chinese immigrants settled and worked in the Big Belt Mountains east of Helena, including the Cave, Cooper, Oregon, and Confederate Gulches.

Collected here are a collection of seventy six checks from Helena in 1870 and 1871 written to Chinese-owned businesses and cashed at the L.H. Hershfield and Brother bank in Helena, and drawn on the Bank of California in San Francisco. The checks contain the names of over thirty different Chinese merchants operating in Montana at the time - with some companies like Wan Yuen and Co. having multiple checks present. As a group they offer an interesting map of the Chinese-American business community operating at the time, and the duplicate checks, which sometimes have notes on the verso, giving a representation of the relative size of the firms and individuals involved.

The LH Hershfield & Bro. Banking House in Helena operated from 1865 to 1882, in Last Chance Gulch, near the corner of Bridge and Warren Streets. It later became the Merchants National Bank, from 1882-1898, then the Union Bank and Trust Company from 1898 to 1859. Hershfield also had a banking operation in Virginia City during the Gold Rush period. Overall the group documents the Chinese-American community during the period and the breadth of economic activities of Chinese-Americans in Montana’s early mining camps.

Price: $4,500.00