New York: Ca. 1840s. An unusual bank note card, printed in yellow for the anniversary of the oldest student group at Columbia College, the Philolexian Society.
The Philolexian Society, established in 1802 by associates of Alexander Hamilton, is one of the oldest literary & debate societies in America, and the oldest student group at Columbia, founded when the institution was Columbia College. Alexander Hamilton's son James was an early member, as was the future Columbia president Nathanial Fish Moore.
In 1852, at the society's 50th anniversary, alumni raised a prize fund of over $1,300 to endow annual awards in oratory, debate, and essay. The society has been an integral part of Columbia since its founding, providing the school with noted graduates, traditions and one of its colors (blue).
The Anniversary card is engraved with an eagle, its wings spread wide against an oval border of clouds, with banner in its beak with the Society's motto, "Surgam", and holding a scroll in its claws marked with the founding date, May 17, 1802. 3 1/2 x 2 1/2" Very good overall. Item #26247