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Confederate Bond Engravers

1) American Bank Note Company. This firm's name first came into use in 1855 as a name for Draper, Welsh and Company. By the merger agreement of 1858, this firm absorbed most of the other prominent firms of the time and gained a near monopoly of the security printing business. The American Bank Note Company  was formed in 1858 by the merger of the following  seven companies: Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, Toppan, Carpenter & Co.,  Danforth, Perkins & Co.,  Danforth, Perkins & Co., Jocelyn, Draper, Welsh & Co.,  Wellstood, Hay & Whiting,  and John E. Gavit  Bonds were prepared for the Confederacy by this firm in New York, prior to the outbreak of war. The plates for these bonds were then seized by a U.S. marshal. Subsequently, more bonds were printed at the New Orleans branch office headed by Samuel Schmidt.

2) Archer & Daly (Archer & Halpin). This firm was set up in Richmond, Virginia in 1863. John Archer was an engraver from the North who had worked for Harper Brothers, the book printers, as a plate engraver. Joseph Daly is thought to have been a Richmond plasterer of means who put up the money for the Archer firm in its various forms. However, Paterson visited Richmond in August 1862 and reported to Secretary Memminger that Archer was absent at a Virginia spa and that Daly was in charge of the shop in his absence. Daly, it seems, was doing some of the Confederate stamps by the stereograph process, probably the De La Rue 5~ blue stamps with Davis on them.

It would therefore seem that Dietz to the contrary, Daly was in fact a printer and engraver, and not merely a financial backer. In 1863 Frederick Halpin had been ignominiously booted out of the Keatinge and Ball premises in Columbia, South Carolina for alleged complicity in Blanton Duncan's false accusations against Edward Keatinge. Halpin then moved to Richmond, where he joined the Archer firm. He appears to have been a man in his early 60s who had also been a Northern engraver for Harper Brothers.

This firm produced stamps, notes, and bonds for the Confederacy until September 1864, when its equipment was seized for alleged inefficiency. Subsequently, its men and materials were shipped to Columbia, South Carolina where most of the workmen took service with Keatinge and Ball. Evans and Cogswell seem to have been assigned most of the bond plates and printed all the bonds originally engraved by Archer.

3) John Douglas was an engraver and printer in New Orleans, Louisiana. He produced three bonds, some government warrants, and other fiscal paper, not to mention state notes and private scrip. His one-man shop had a limited productive capacity, and after the capture of New Orleans on April 24, 1862, he was cut off from further business with the Confederacy.

4) Blanton Duncan was the son of Kentucky Congressman Garrett Duncan, who moved to Europe in 1861 in order to avoid having to take sides in the impending conflict. His son was made of sterner stuff. At 35, he formed the first Confederate Kentucky regiment as its executive officer (with no previous military experience). He went with his unit eastward and joined General Joseph Johnston's forces near Winchester, Virginia. He was present at First Manassas (Bull Run) where he was mentioned by General Beauregard in his dispatches. He next went back to Kentucky to help organize the secession convention (of which he was a member). While he was thus engaged, he also helped Secretary Memminger in his search for men and security printing materials, particularly paper.

In January 1862 he appeared once more in Richmond, Virginia, where he joined the bar and opened a printing shop. Mary Boykin Chesnut reported meeting him at a dinner party at this time and found him quite fascinating. Even at this early time he had trouble with his workmen, who took off "blue Mondays" for getting drunk and to seek opportunities for amorous indulgence. After he appealed for help from the provost marshal. General Winder, these men were arrested and forced to return to their presses. By way of thanks to the general, Duncan put his portrait on a $1000 bond.

In May 1862 he moved his printing operation to Columbia, South Carolina where he ruled his workers with a rod of iron and compelled them to be more efficient. However, his blatant efforts to eliminate the competition by seizing their supplies and manpower under pretended military authority got him into major trouble with state governments (who had contracts with those firms) and with Secretary Memminger, who had to deal with their vehement complaints. Among the firms victimized was F. W. Bournemann's shop in Charleston, which worked for that city and also for the state of North Carolina. Even the firm of Evans and Cogswell, with whom Secretary Memminger was well acquainted, and who had been induced by him to undertake contracts with the government, suffered from Duncan's depredations.

Duncan's campaign to monopolize the security printing business even extended to an effort to corner the ice supply (needed to cool off printing plates) as well as to the interception of the ink and paper arriving in Charleston consigned to Keatinge & Ball. This devious activity was discovered purely by accident, when Joseph Daniel Pope, a prominent South Carolina lawyer from Beaufort, who had been the former statewide commissioner for the war tax and who was in charge of the printers from April 1862 to April 1863, visited Duncan's premises during his absence. Conducted on a tour of inspection of the building. Pope literally stumbled upon the missing materials in Duncan's attic.

Curiously, while Pope was making this discovery, Duncan was on a flag of truce ship near Richmond. He was trying to induce a Major Schenk of the United States Army to become his partner and help him procure badly needed printing supplies by running them through the blockade. Schenk reported this proposition to his superiors under the mistaken impression that something of the sort must have been going on prior to Duncan's surprise approach. This led to such a bitter wrangle between the War and Treasury Departments that Lincoln had to step in and settle the controversy personally.

These and other annoying habits resulted in the loss of Duncan's government contracts in early 1863. In May 1862 Duncan had set up a steam press for printing books and documents, and many items bear his imprint. He also continued for a few weeks in 1863 as a note contractor for various state and local governments, most notably those in Louisiana. When his state contracts were completed, Memminger seized the equipment and supplies that the government had given to Duncan, and Duncan later sold out the residue of his business. He rejoined the Army in Wilmington, North Carolina for the duration of the war. He was still alive in 1896, when he was reportedly visiting California during the winters.

5) George Dunn and Company was formed in 1863. Dunn had come over to Wilmington aboard the Giraffe in early 1862 as part of the group of Scottish lithographers hired by Major Benjamin F. Evans in London during late 1861. His talents and skills at working without the usual equipment brought him to Secretary Memminger's attention. He was accordingly encouraged to set up his own shop, separate from that of the government in Richmond. He designed some of the "December 2, 1862" $5 note, and later won contracts to engrave quite a few bonds and call certificates. He also did some of the late warrants. His limited printing capacity often compelled him to sublet the printing end of his business. For example, while he designed and engraved the March 23, 1863 4% coupon bonds, the bonds were actually printed by Hoyer & Ludwig, and most of his other work was printed by Evans & Cogswell. Dunn was, next to Edward Keatinge, without doubt the best engraver within the Confederacy. He remained in Richmond and did some private engraving and printing work when his government contracts permitted. He probably returned to Britain in early 1865 along with the other printers who had three-year contracts. The postwar Richmond directories make no mention of him.

 6) Evans & Cogswell. This Charleston, South Carolina firm was formed in ISSS-wighiallyunder the style of Walker and Cogswell. In 1860, James Walker took a back seat as a silent partner and was replaced by Major Benjamin Evans. The firm was renamed Evans & Cogswell. Evans went to Europe in late 1861 and at great risk procured badly needed manpower and supplies.

While doing so, he used the offices of the famous firm of Thomas De La Rue and Company as his headquarters. He is described in that firm's history as a large, charming but businesslike man. On his way back, he had the curious distinction of having no less than three ships founder beneath him, making him the Jonah of the Confederacy. His revolver, which he took with him on this trip, turned up in the 1970s and was sold to a collector. His junior partner, Harvey Cogswell I, continued in his role as the firm's general manager. Walker tried to help out (and avoid the draft) by going to Britain in 1863. Operating under instructions furnished by Secretary Memminger, he contracted with S. Straker and Sons for the production of the Chemicograph backs, which were intended to be used as the new backs for the 1864 note issue. Unfortunately, the plates were captured while running the blockade, although Walker himself managed to return safely by another ship. The firm printed a few bonds starting in late 1861, only to have their materials and personnel seized by Blanton Duncan in May 1862. Duncan then bought them out, Harvey Cogswell being under the misapprehension that Duncan was running a bonafide government establishment and that he was selling his plant to the government. When Major Evans' men arrived from Britain with supplies, the firm was started up again, and was active doing large scale work for the Confederacy from 1862 on. It printed notes and bonds for state, city and private corporations, particularly early during the war; it also used its steam printing press for book and other commercial printing.

When the Union blockade tightened around Charleston and shells from Morris Island began to land in the city (one hit the State Bank building on the corner of Bay and Broad Streets, right next door to the Evans & Cogswell offices), the firm moved to Columbia. There it took over Kintsler's Hall, a large, airy, multistory building, where it continued its operations until the fall of Columbia to General Sherman in February 1865.

The firm returned to Charleston, where under the resumed name of Walker, Evans and Cogswell (WECO) it continued in business after the war despite the loss of much of its equipment in the reported burning of its Columbia premises in 1865. It was still doing security printing work early into the 20th century. Ahistory of WECO was published in 1936. More recently, this firm survived as an office supply store. In the late 1980s Harvey Cogswell V sold his plant and then conveyed the trade name to a young couple, who failed within a year or so in North Charleston.

7) Fred Geese (originally styled Friederich Giesse), was a lithographer from Bavaria. He came to America and went to work in 1859 for Ludwig Hoyer. He moved from Richmond in 1864 and ended by working for Evans & Cogswell. He engraved one set of Confederate bonds, which bear his name, for Evans & Cogswell in 1864. After the war, unable for reasons unknown to make a living as a lithographer, he and his wife ran a grocery store in Richmond. He is buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery, just to the right across the street from the Ludwig family plot.

8) Hoyer & Ludwig. This firm consisted of two persons, Ludwig Hoyer and Charles Ludwig. Hoyer was born in 1820 in Bavaria and moved to Richmond where, by/1860, he was a successful jeweler and real estate investor. He hired Geese and then Ludwig to work for the business card pripung operation associated with his jewelry store. His firm also printed labels for cigar boxes and other tobacco products.    Charles Ludwig, 1829-1874, also came originally from Bavaria, via Sweden. He had been orphaned at an early age, but he claimed to have been brought up by an aunt who was a lady-in-waiting to Eugene de Beauharais's daughter, who became the queen of Oscar I of Sweden. He learned the lithographic engraving business, was well educated and came over to the United States. He married a Culpepper, Virginia woman, Henrietta Koeckler, had four sons and moved to Richmond, where he worked for a while for Ritchie & Dunnavant, the Commonwealth's official printers. He did some bonds and ballots for them in the 1856- 1859 period. In early 1860, he went to work for Hoyer.

In July 1861, at the time of the Confederate government's removal from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, the treasury, for lack of anything better in the way of security printers, contracted with Hoyer & Ludwig to print the notes and bonds authorized by the Act of May 16, 1861. Subsequently, the firm also printed notes and bonds authorized by the Act of August 19, 1861. When not engaged in that business, the firm printed notes for states such as Virginia and Florida and a number of local governments in Virginia. They also did Virginia scrip notes and the occasional bank note. With the Union attack on Richmond in the spring of 1862, Secretary Memminger decided that the security printers should be moved to some less vulnerable site. If the capital should be captured, it would be impossible to move the printers out with their heavy equipment on short notice. If these plants were captured, the Confederacy would be deprived of the means to pay the army or any other government expenses, particularly with treasury notes. Accordingly, Memminger decreed that all the printers must move to Columbia, South Carolina.

Hoyer & Ludwig declined to make this move. Both men were closely associated with Richmond and they may have thought that, despite Memminger's firm insistence on the point, they could still get government contracts. Moreover, they were filling orders for others and they may have thought that that business, which was not trammeled by Memminger's low margin contracts, would pay them better. In any case, they did not move and were compelled to sell their government-supplied equipment and materials to James T. Paterson of Augusta, Georgia, who moved that portion of the plant to South Carolina.

The departure of the printers to Columbia did not, as Secretary Memminger had intended, mean an end to the relationship between Hoyer & Ludwig and the treasury. The firm was still busy finishing up contracts for coupon and registered bonds, call certificates and other debt instruments, and Ludwig continued to do postal warrants for Postmaster General Reagan, who was not bound by Memminger's rules. Moreover, in August 1862 Ludwig got a secret contract for one Confederate note of his design (the Type 46, $ 10). Later he received printing contracts for the $1 and $2 bills, from late 1862 to 1865. Ludwig also did some of the bond printing that George Dunn could not handle. Then, ironically, in early 1865, when the Union captured Columbia and broke up the other printing firms, Hoyer & Ludwig enjoyed a brief monopoly of the printing contracts. Hoyer also rented some of his buildings to the Confederacy to use as offices.

After the war, Hoyer retired from business. His wife had died in 1865 and he decided to devote himself to his investments and the rearing of his sole surviving child. In the 1870 census, he was reportedly living with his 16 year-old daughter and owned over $100,000 worth of real estate at depressed postwar values, exclusive of other investments. He was, by the standards of the day, a wealthy man, and his daughter, whatever her personal attractions or accomplishments, was an eligible heiress.

With Hoyer's retirement, the firm was broken up and Ludwig established a new firm. Under this arrangement, he worked for over a year with Edward Keatinge, the erstwhile Confederate currency engraver, as his junior partner. "The two men produced a few bonds and some checks under the Ludwig & Keatinge imprint. When things quieted down and it was once more safe to go north, Keatinge moved back to New York. Ludwig carried on for a few more years as a sole proprietor. His efforts to incorporate a Southern security printing firm fell through, and he died of renal failure in 1874.

9) Dr. James T. Paterson was a Scottish dentist who moved with his brother George to Augusta, Georgia in the 1850s. There he set up his dental office in a smart part of town just opposite, as it turned out, Augusta's foremost house of assignation. In the course of his professional activities with his brother, he came to know a number of prominent Georgians including Vice President Alexander H. Stephens. Confronted by the Conscription Act in early 1862 and anxious to avoid the draft as a foreigner, Paterson entered the security engraving business, taking over the contracts and much of the manpower and equipment of the Richmond firm of Hoyer & Ludwig. He set up two shops, one in Columbia to meet his Confederate contracts and another in his home town of Augusta to handle an extensive business in state notes and bonds, local scrip, and book printing. Paterson's chief function was to take over where Ludwig had left off. In addition to the note printing, he did a few Confederate registered bonds and call certificates, as well as warrants. Duncan and Evans & Cogswell took over all the Confederate coupon bond printing business.

Paterson's position was a very uncomfortable one. Hoyer & Ludwig had off-loaded on him their oldest equipment and least efficient workmen. He got trapped in the general intrigues among the printers, which involved bribing workmen to switch employers. The fact that Paterson was absent, more often than not, in Augusta, left his Columbia plant in the hands of his foreman. On at least one occasion, after high words, Edward Keatinge pulled Paterson's foreman off his horse and gave him a sound thrashing, protected from the Paterson workmen by a shotgun-wielding Thomas A. Ball, Keatinge's manager.

Paterson lost his Confederate contracts in April 1864 and was replaced as a printer by Evans & Cogswell. He continued in Augusta with his general printing business and his state currency and bond work, chiefly for Mississippi, until 1865. After the war, he invested his capital in a lumber company near Savannah. When that firm failed, he committed suicide in 1870.

10) Ritchie & Dunnavant. This firm and that of Tyier and Allegre were the public printers for the Commonwealth of Virginia in the years prior to the Confederate War. They had, in addition to their public printing, done a few bonds, ballots and the like. Charles Ludwig, as noted, had worked for them.

During the war the firm printed some registered bonds for Virginia. In 1864, they appear to have printed the pink paper funding forms. Later, they prepared the call certificates under the Act of February 17, 1864. This was the only group of bonds done by them.

11) Wagner & Company. Very little is known about this firm, which was a father and son printing concern in Nashville, Tennessee. These men came to Blanton Duncan's attention in the fall of 1861, when Duncan was passing through on his way to the December 1861 Kentucky secession convention. Duncan bought out the Wagners, brought them to Richmond with their equipment, and from the design and workmanship of Duncan's bonds they appear to have had a major influence on that part of his work. Only one bond bears their imprint, probably an error which the egotistical Duncan would have been unlikely to tolerate.

12) George Wojciechowski. Wojciechowski 'as~Polish lithographer who worked and subcontracted for Evans & Cogswell. Otherwise, we know very little about him. He apparentiy~did the engraving work as opposed to the actual printing, the quality of his work being considerably lower than that of the Scottisl Lithographers imported in 1862. His name appears on a number of 1863 bonds. Bond engravers




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