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Meeting Minutes of the Board of Directors of the Winchester Office of Discount & Deposit of the Farmer’s Bank of Virginia
Entries dated from 23 January 1845 to 14 August 1849; 216 pages in length. Contains entries that describe the day to day operations of an Antebellum Virginia branch bank, to include regular accounting of the contents of the bank's vault (generally listed by notes of the Farmers Bank by denomination, then by notes of other banks, then specie), as well as inventories of notes to be returned to the parent bank in Richmond for destruction. The branch's president before January 1847 was James Murray Mason, grandson of George Mason, Congressman then later Senator who co-wrote the infamous Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, then later campaigned for secession. Mason was later expelled from the Senate and became the Confederate envoy to Great Britain and France, in which capacity he was captured on board a British vessel, the RMS Trent. When Winchester was first occupied by Union forces, his house on Amherst St. on the west side of town, Selma, was burned down in retribution for his secessionist stance. Mason died in 1871 and is buried in Alexandria, VA. The minutes book was originally obtained off of eBay in 2002 in poor condition (was going to be cut up for Mason's signatures for framing and resale) and the binding restored the following year.