1867 Dubuque and Sioux City Railroad Bond, RN-P3, RN-V1


IA, 1867 $1,000 7% Bond. Printer-Henry Seibert & Bros, NY. Pres. Theodore Roosevelt rubber stamped note. Green 50 and 5 P3 over yellow V1.

The story of the Dubuque & Sioux City Rail Road bonds is also quite fascinating from a philatelic point of view. Two denomina­tions of bonds, $500 and $1000, were printed by Henry Seibert & Brothers in 1867. They were then forwarded to the American Pho­totype Company for imprinting. They were initially imprinted with 50¢ and $1.00 stamps, the rate that one would expect if these were mortgage bonds. But that was not the case. These were almost a simple promise to pay with no pledge of the property and rolling stock of the company pledged as collateral for the bonds.
These were what we would today call junk bonds, or nearly so. The Dubuque & Sioux City Rail Road pledged to set aside $18,000 per year in two installments to be placed in a sinking fund. These were also convertible into stock of the same rai I road. The advan­tage for the investor was that if the company was financially suc­cessful and the stock of the company appreciated in value, these bonds could be used to purchase an ownership share of the com­pany.
At what point it was discovered that these bonds were improp­erly stamped is not known. The fact that they are dated May I, 1867 suggests that they may have been imprinted by the American Phototype Company before it was required that all new imprinting work had to be approved by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Washington (April 15, 1867). Unsecured debt was to be taxed as a promissory note, i.e., at the rate of 5¢ per $100 of face value. Thus they should have been taxed at 25¢ and 50¢ respectively.
The agreement that they could be converted at any time into stock of the company required an additional tax of 5¢. The $500 bond was imprinted with a 25¢ stamp and a 5¢ stamp in green, obliterating the original 50¢ orange imprinted stamp. Similarly, the $1000 bond was imprinted with 50¢ and 5¢ stamps in green obliterating the underlying $1.00 imprint. The Dubuque & Sioux City Rail Road bonds are the only ones known to the author that show evidence that an error in imprinting had been caught and subsequently corrected. They are the only examples of the higher denominations that were printed in green. The $500 bonds are quite scarce, only six examples having been recorded in collections.

Additional information

Catalog Number

RN-P3, RN-V1


VF Typical folds


Henry Seibert & Bros, NY



Issue Date

May 1, 1867


circular punch

Coxrail #