“MAGNIFICENT LOTTERIES . . . SPLENDID SCHEME . . .$1.901,900” Four-page handbill advertising 21 interstate mail-order lotteries originating in Maryland. Lottery Broker George Cox.
“MAGNIFICENT LOTTERIES . . . SPLENDID SCHEME . . .$1.901,900” Four-page handbill advertising 21 interstate mail-order lotteries originating in Maryland
“MAGNIFICENT LOTTERIES . . . SPLENDID SCHEME . . .$1.901,900” Four-page handbill advertising 21 interstate mail-order lotteries originating in Maryland
“MAGNIFICENT LOTTERIES . . . SPLENDID SCHEME . . .$1.901,900” Four-page handbill advertising 21 interstate mail-order lotteries originating in Maryland

“MAGNIFICENT LOTTERIES . . . SPLENDID SCHEME . . .$1.901,900” Four-page handbill advertising 21 interstate mail-order lotteries originating in Maryland

Sent to a potential customer in Pennsylvania from Baltimore, Maryland: 1852. Envelope or Cover. This four-page handbill measures 7.5” x 9.5” and advertises the availability of mail-order tickets for 21 different Maryland lotteries that were being held in March of 1852. It is enclosed in its original mailing envelope which bears a scarce, short-lived “PAID 1” arc postmark indicating the price the lottery broker paid to send this printed brochure. (Between 1 July 1851 and 30 September 1852, the U.S. Post Office charged 1-cent to deliver up to 1 ounce of unsealed circular mail—i.e., printed matter—a distance of up to 500 miles.) The handbill is in nice shape with its original mailing folds and some light and unobtrusive pencil docketing. The cover (envelope) has some light soiling and edgewear; the postal handstamp is dark and bold. Very good. Item #009692

Lotteries played an important role in the early history of the America and were used to finance the establishment of the first English colonies; the first lottery to do so raised £29,000 for the Virginia Colony. They continued to be popular method to funding projects such as road building, wharf construction, church and college construction, etc. until the mid-to-late 1800s.

However, many of these lotteries were fraudulent and perpetrated by corrupt public officials including one National Lottery passed by Congress to beautify Washington, DC. As increasing corruption was revealed, many states began to ban lotteries being held within their jurisdictions, lottery brokers stepped in to sell lottery tickets by mail across state lines. Following massive scandal in the 1870s involving the state lottery of Louisiana that revealed extensive bribery of state and federal officials, Congress outlawed the use of mail for lotteries in 1890 and in 1895 invoked the Commerce Clause to prohibit lottery tickets or advertisements from crossing state lines,

75 years later, lotteries were revived in 1964 when New Hampshire established a state lottery. New York followed in 1966 and New Jersey in 1970. By 1999, the lottery industry had been fully reborn; 37 states and the District were conducting lotteries. (For more information about lotteries in the United States, see the 1999 Final Report of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission.)

A fine example of a mid-19th century advertising by a Maryland lottery broker made especially desirable by the use scarce, short-live ‘printed matter’ postal rate handstamp to send it across state lines in to Pennsylvania (see ASCC, vol 1, p147).

Price: $150.00