Neil S Berman
Expert Numismatist & Rare Coin and Currency Dealer
Perspectives on Collecting Paper Money: American Currency
Collectors Market Watch, By Neil S. Berman, 2/26/08
This is the story about the note as told by the auction house that will sell it. John D.”Whiskey” Brown was one of the earliest recorded pioneers of Cascade, Montana. He was born in County Cork, Ireland on September 26, 1826, and his parents brought him to Providence, Rhode Island when he was three years old. He married and lived there until early 1858, when he decided to go west. He left his wife and child with family and headed west. He left St. Paul, Minnesota in September 1858 for Colville, Washington Territory, but spent Christmas that year near Winnipeg, where he spent time with an American Fur Company trader. During that time he took presents to the Indians, which later the story says saved his scalp when he and several others were captured in Assiniboine County.
An Indian agent secured their release around the Fourth of July. The continued their journey down the Milk River Valley to Fort Browning and Fort Benton, arriving in the spring of 1860. During the next few years he cut timber and prospected, arriving back in Fort Benton in January 1863. He continued to prospect until 1867 when he located a ranch, soon known as the Whiskey Brown Ranch, so named because they were on the Birdtail Freight route and many freighters would stop to feed and water their animals and themselves. This sheet was acquired by the great grandfather of the original consignor, John D. Brown, around 1870.
Mrs. Brown and their three daughters, Martha, Anna and Theresa, rejoined her husband by traveling by sea around the horn to San Francisco. They then took the train to Corinne, Utah, and stagecoach the rest of the journey. This uncut sheet descended to Johns daughter Martha, through Martha’s family to her daughter, Loretta Lemire, and then to Elaine Dorrity. This uncut sheet never left the family until 2004 when Lyn Knight offered it for sale in Memphis in 2004.
This is only the third sheet of territorials of any type that are currently known to have survived, and is arguably the most important. It is being offered for sale at public auction by Lyn Knight Currency Auctions in Overland Park, Kansas and is expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000.
© 2008. Lyn Knight Currency Auctions. Overland Park, Kansas. Used with permission.
Neil S. Berman is an expert numismatist and a dealer in rare coins and currency. His business is located in Westchester County NY. For professional advice about most collectables contact Neil. Comments and questions are welcome.