Offering a two-piece grouping regarding the renowned, highly accomplished, sometimes controversial Jewish-American banker Henry Greenebaum.
The grouping includes a short ALS, Dec. 22, 1870, on his banking house letterhead acknowledging the receipt for the distribution of proceeds with a bold Henry Greenebaum signature. Also included is a 3 ½ x 4 advertising card with Greenebaum’s image on one side with text endorsing the clothing business of Clement & Sayer, Men’s and Boys’ Clothing in Chicago.
Greenebaum’s background is extraordinary by any measure.
HENRY GREENEBAUM (June 18, 1833 – February 2, 1914) was a German-born Jewish-American banker. He arrived in America when he was 15 and settled in Chicago. In January 1855, Greenebaum and his brother, Elias, established their own banking house, Greenebaum Brothers, which was Chicago’s oldest European banking institution. He later renamed the firm Henry Greenebaum & Co.
In 1856, he was elected to the Chicago City Council as an Alderman of the Sixth Ward. He was the first Jew to sit on the city council. Greenebaum was a personal friend of Sen. Stephen Douglas and the Democratic Party nominated him as a presidential elector for Douglas in the 1860 election.
In 1870 and 1871, he formed the German Savings Bank and the German National Bank. His banks were housed in the same building and while the building was destroyed in the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, he financed a new building. In 1871, Greenebaum was indicted for committing fraud as his banks declared bankruptcy. He was put on trial for embezzlement in 1878. The trail ultimately fizzled out. A congressional investigation followed but Greenebaum was not convicted of any crimes.
In 1861, he and his brother Elias were among the founders of the Sinai Congregation. He served as the first president of the Isaiah Congregation, also known as the Zion Congregation, which was founded in 1864. He was a founder and first president of the United Hebrew Relief Association, the first agency to centralize Jewish charitable activities in Chicago.
Folds to the letter. The advertising trade card has light soiling. The color offers a fine accentuating feature. Very light soiling on the verso.
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