Signed by two very prominent Gettysburg citizens!
6 x 2 1/2, imprinted check on blue paper, filled out in ink. Diamond shaped orange & brown tax stamp imprinted at the center of the check, with a bust view of President George Washington, and United States Internal Revenue, Two Cents printed around the edges. Gettysburg, PA., Dec. 17, 1877. [Check] No. 25. Gettysburg National Bank, Pay to the Order of J.C. Neely. Twenty five Dollars. Signed at lower right by D. Kendlehart. Endorsed on the reverse by J.C. Neely. Typical cut cancellation. Very fine. Desirable Gettysburg document signed by two of its most prominent citizens!
Jacob C. Neely:
The recipient of this check, who signed it on the reverse, J.C. Neely, was born in Adams County, Pa., on February 3, 1838, and graduated from Gettysburg College, in the class of 1856. After studying law, he commenced a practice in 1859, and became a member of the Adams County Bar Association. He married a daughter of Dr. S.S. Schumacher, president of the Gettysburg Theological Seminary. Mr. Neely served for six years as district attorney, and was regarded as one of the best lawyers in Adams County. He served as legal counsel for the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment in their famous and controversial case against the Memorial Association over the location of their monument at the "Bloody Angle," the historic area where Pickett's Charge was repulsed, on July 3, 1863, at the battle of Gettysburg. Neely also served as a commissioner who helped the John P. Rose Farm settle their claims caused by the damage that occurred to the farm during the battle of Gettysburg. Mr. Neely died on Friday, May 25, 1894, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg. Other Gettysburg notables that are buried there include the citizen hero of the battle of Gettysburg, John L. Burns, and the only civilian killed during the battle, Jennie Wade.
(1813-91) A prosperous businessman in Gettysburg, he was president of the city council on June 26, 1863, when Confederate General Jubal A. Early, entered Gettysburg and demanded goods and money from the town. Kendlehart refused, but offered for the stores to be opened so the town's civilians could supply what they could of the general's demands. He later slipped out of town and maintained a low profile during the battle until the morning of July 4th, when he entered the Union lines and informed Union Commander, General George G. Meade of the Confederate withdrawal from the streets of Gettysburg.
Kendlehart, also the owner of a shoe business on Baltimore Street, met General Early as he rode into town less than a week before the outbreak of battle, and demanded to speak with the borough’s mayor. The Confederate general’s inquiry proved fruitless however, as Burgess Robert Martin’s wife informed General Early that Martin and most of the councilmen had already left the town in advance of the arrival of the Confederates army. The responsibility of representing the borough in negotiations with Early therefore fell to Mr. Kendlehart. Early demanded that Kendlehart furnish the rebel troops with thousands of pounds of provisions, shoes, hats, and U.S. currency. Kendlehart’s refusal to supply the rebels, citing limited authority of the Borough, and the impossibility of securing so much material in a small municipality such as Gettysburg.
His tactful argument may have saved the town from ruin in retribution for his noncompliance. Although he refused to hand over the supplies, Kendlehart removed responsibility from the borough, and did, however, suggest that the Confederates go from household to household asking the citizens of Gettysburg to furnish whatever they could. Kendlehart would leave Gettysburg proper that evening to remain hidden two miles outside of the borough at McAllister’s Mill until the end of the battle, at which point the leaderless citizens exercised their own political agenda with General Early. The money in the town bank was hidden, families hid their food and possessions, residents protected their free black neighbors from capture, and most of the Gettysburg citizens lied about having anything of value when the Confederate soldiers asked. The Rebels gained very little from the town’s unified defiance, marveling at how such a population could possess so little.
David Kendlehart died on April 30, 1891, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pa.