Paper. Paper. Approx. 8" x 2.5". Written receipt reads, "Rec'd Savannah March 26th, 1863 from W. L? Dawson Five Thousand dollars the same being for stock in the 'Steamer Lamar' now fitting out to run the blockade $5000 [signed] G. M. Willets."
Written on the back of the receipt, "For value received Thirty transfer one half interest after written to Ge ??? WC Dawson Sale March 26, 63. Settled except a small balance B & D." Good. Item #16156
Gazaway Bugg Lamar (1798-1874) was an American merchant in cotton and shipping in Savannah, Georgia, and a steamboat pioneer. He was the first to use a prefabricated iron steamboat on local rivers, which was a commercial success. In 1846 he moved to New York City for business, where in 1850 he founded the Bank of the Republic on Wall Street and served as its president. He served both Southern businesses and state governments. After the start of the American Civil War, Lamar returned to Savannah, where he became active in banking and supporting the war effort in several ways. With associates, he founded the Importing and Exporting Company of Georgia, which operated blockade runners.
Lamar returned to Savannah by early 1861, where he was active in banking and re-established himself in the business and social life of the city. He was known to advise "representatives of the Confederate and Georgia governments, including President Jefferson Davis, Confederate Secretary of the Treasury Christopher Memminger, and Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown."
In the Spring of 1863, Lamar and nine other men announced the forming of the Importing and Exporting Company of Georgia.[page needed] They sponsored blockade runners to get products out and supplies in to support the Confederacy. while the blockade runners are considered critical to the Confederate war effort, they reached a peak relatively late in the war, when the Union blockade was getting stronger. While documenting it thoroughly, historian Stephen Wise describes the blockade running, like the Confederacy, as doomed.[page needed]
Through the blockade runners, Lamar continued to be active in the cotton trade. When Savannah fell, it is estimated that 10% of the cotton stores seized in the city by Union General Sherman belonged to Gazaway Lamar. The government held the cotton for later marketing.