A personal check from Gen. George Armstrong Custer for $20 will be
offered by Heritage Auctions in a Nov. 8 Legends of the West Signature Auction in Dallas, Texas.
The check is characterized by the auction firm as being “in
excellent condition, with a minor cancellation tear not affecting
Custer’s signature. Endorsements on reverse have bled through,
including one witnessing Mrs. Clifton’s ‘X’ signature.”
No pre-auction estimate was given but there was an opening bid
online of $3,500 as of Oct. 29.
The check comes in a custom frame [11 by 18] and matted with a
reproduction cabinet photo of Custer (on an original photographer’s mount).”
The check was made out to Mrs. Clifton and dated Feb. 14, 1873,
bears Custer’s distinctive signature. The check was drawn on Planters
National Bank of Louisville (Kentucky) “where Custer and the
7th [U.S. Cavalry] were stationed from 1871 to 1873,
assigned to put an end to illegal distilleries and ferret out violent
Ku Klux Klansmen and bushwhackers,” according to the auction description.
The catalog description states that Mrs. Clifton first met George
and Libbie Custer when Clifton was married to an Army clerk while she
served as the post’s laundress.
“But her husband [Clifton] deserted, taking with him the couple’s
life savings. In 1872, she remarried, to Sgt. James Nash, personal
servant of Custer’s brother, Tom. Amazingly, Nash also stole the
family savings and deserted from the Army. Later in 1873 she married
again, to Sergeant John Noonan of the 7th [U.S. Cavalry],
who survived Little Big Horn, but died two years later.”
For more information visit the Heritage website.
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