This story relates to the use of Singapore notes by Levi Loomis, who was believed to be one of the first settlers in the Singapore area.

During the late 1830’s, there seems to have been a shortage of footwear in the area.  Mr. Loomis noted this and thought he had a solution to the problem.  He wanted to order footwear from the east, and when received would try to sell them locally.  When the locals tried to buy the footwear, they presented Mr. Loomis with Bank of Singapore notes, which as it turned out, Mr. Loomis refused to accept.

Local residents knew the people who ran the bank, and the fact that the bank of Singapore wanted to try and please its customers, the bank worked out an arrangement whereby it agreed it would redeem the Singapore bills with bills from the east and would do so in time to enable Mr. Loomis to pay timely the invoices for the footwear.  Mr. Loomis agreed to this arrangement and it is believed he sold his stock of footwear for the sum of $600.

As one might imagine, when the time for the redemption came due, the Bank of Singapore started to look for ways to delay this.  It first tried to make a draft on one of the Eastern banks, but it came back worthless.  This continued for another month, and Mr. Loomis was getting worried.  After all, Mr. Loomis had his credit and reputation at stake and as the delays continued he felt he needed to take desperate measures.

Bank of Singapore Casher Rob Hill boarded in the Loomis house.  Mr. Loomis suspected that Mr. Hill had with him the real specie of the bank and kept it under the mattress in his room.  Making sure no one else was around; Mr. Loomis went to Hill’s room, woke him up and dumped the worthless bills on top of Mr. Hill’s mattress.  Mr. Loomis, who had a pistol, pointed it toward Mr. Hill and demanded Mr. Hill trade him the good money for the bad.

The surprised Hill tried to stall, but Mr. Loomis would have none of it.  Mr. Loomis would not allow Mr. Hill to leave the room until the exchange was made.  Taking Loomis’ treat seriously, Hill lifted up his pillow, under which is claimed to have been a roll of $1,000 of real bank money, and traded the Singapore money for the “good” bank money.

From:  http://singaporemichigan.com/


Go To: Saugatuck Page