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    Description

    1920 St. Louis Giants Negro League Stock Certificate. Extraordinary document predates by over a quarter century the Major League rookie season of Jackie Robinson, unquestionably the earliest stock certificate of the tiny population relating to the Negro Leagues to have reached the public auction block. Dated March 4, 1920, the "St. Louis Giants Base Ball and Amusement Co." certificate issues two shares to Charlie Turpin, a prominent figure in St. Louis' African-American community. We found his name in an Internet search of old periodicals, a banner headline on August 6, 1915 for black owned and operated newspaper "The St. Louis Argus," announcing, "Turpin Wins Contest for 4th Dist. Constable."

    The St. Louis Giants were founded in 1909 by white businessman Charlie Mills, so we must assume that the signature at bottom right of "Louis J. Mills" is a family relation. The Giants became a charter member of the Negro National League the year this stock certificate was issued, and two years later they were sold and renamed the St. Louis Stars. The team would win pennants in 1928, 1930 and 1931, disbanding after that final flag. "Lorenzo S. Cobb," who signs as secretary at lower left, was an African-American who applied his signature as owner in the 1920 charter to create Rube Foster's storied league.

    Negro League material is notoriously challenging for the modern collector, but this seminal document almost certainly related to the fundraising necessary to join the Negro National League is one of the most significant we've encountered from the subgenre. It survives in remarkably fine condition, with original storage folds the only condition issue to report. The document measures approximately 9x10.5" in size.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 1
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