A letter from the cashier at Mohawk Bank in Schenectady, New York to William Hayes about a deposit to his account, 1834.

William Hayes was a land speculator, or someone who bought and sold land for profit, near present-day Peoria, Illinois. Mohawk Bank was located in Schenectady, New York, near where Hayes had lived earlier in his life. This letter from Mohawk Bank cashier D. Boyd to Hayes illustrates how banking practice took place largely on paper, rather than through the exchange of “real” currency.


Mohawk Bank
Sch[enectad]y Feb[ruar]y 21st, 1834

Dear Sir,

Mr. Thomas Alexander was here this day and deposited in this Bank Three hundred and Thirty Dollars to your Credit, Money rec[eived]d by him on a Mortgage and requested us to forward a Certificate of deposit to you which I now enclose to you. Almost any Bank in your Country will give you the money on this certificate by your endorsing it--Your friends in this part of the world are all in health__

Yours very sincerely--
D. Boyd, Cash[ier]

Mr. Wm. Hays
Fort Clark