AL "SCARFACE" CAPONE - CURRENCY SIGNED CO-SIGNED BY: FRANCISCO "PANCHO" VILLA, EDNA LOVELL, RALPH J. MARILYN, R. MACK REID, ALOYSIUS (SHANTY) MALONE, HARRY LLOYD KAYAN, BETTY PORTER, BARBARA BRIGGS, H. R. PENNINGTON, JANE MARTIN, MAYOR HERMAN J. ROSSI - HFSID 350448
Sale Price $11,900.00
AL CAPONE, PANCHO VILLA and others
Mexican 5-Peso Note, signed by attendees at a gambling party organized south of the border by the Chicago gangster in the early 1920s to evade Prohibition.
Currency signed: "Al Capone", "Pancho Villa", "Edna Lovell", "Governor Ralph J. Marilyn", "Lloyd C. Pawley, "Mayor Rossi", "R. Mack Reid", "Shanty Malone" and other unidentified signatures, 6x2¾. Mexican 5-Peso Note, issued January 1, 1915. Also signed on obverse of the bill: "Harry Lloyd Kayan, "Ozzie", Betty Porter", "Barbara Briggs", "H. W. Pennington", "Jane Martin" and others. Alphonse "AL" CAPONE (1900-1947), expelled from school at 14, joined New York criminal gangs and became a trusted lieutenant of Johnny "The Fox" Torrio, leader of the Five Points Gang, acquiring his nickname of "Scarface" after gaining the scars in a fight. In 1918, Torrio moved to Chicago at the invitation of mob boss "Big Jim" Colosimo, and Capone - fleeing murder charges in New York - soon followed. Prospering in the numbers and prostitution rackets, Colosimo declined to enter the bootlegging trade after the arrival of Prohibition in 1920. He was slain on May 11, 1920, a crime for which there were several suspects, including Capone. Torrio now became leader of the "Chicago gang," but a gang war broke out with Irish-led criminals in 1924, and Torrio, badly injured in a hit, decided to retire. Capone inherited his organization, prospering especially from his bootlegging profits but diversifying (in case Prohibition should end), until his conviction and imprisonment on charges of income tax evasion in 1931. Although profiting from every criminal vice and willing to use violence to destroy his enemy's, as in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1928), he sought respectability, appearing at charity events and patronizing politicians. He was enraged, not pleased, when he topped the FBI's new "Most Wanted List" as Public Enemy #1 in 1930. The poker party at which this 5-peso note was signed was held in the early 1920s, some time after the murder of Colosimo in May 1920. Francisco "PANCHO" VILLA (1878-1923), the alias of a Mexican born Doroteo Arrango, was a Mexican caudillo who controlled Chihuahua State and was for a time its Governor (1914). The legendary Villa was something of a "Robin Hood," engaged in banditry with the stated goal of redistributing land and wealth to the peasants. In 1916, angered that the US government had interdicted arms shipments to him and allied itself with his rival, Carranza, Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico. President Wilson responded by sending General Jack Pershing on an unsuccessful military expedition in pursuit of Villa. In 1920 Villa was persuaded to lay down his arms in exchange for an amnesty, establishing a "military colony" in Chihuahua to sustain his former soldiers.In 1923, he re-entered politics, and was assassinated (July 20). It's uncertain whether he attended Capone's party or whether his signature was obtained separately. It was certainly in character for Capone to have impressed his guests by inviting a legendary revolutionary/bandit/politician like Villa to his event. This piece was acquired from a descendent of a Las Vegas pit boss who traveled to Mexico to organize the gambling party for Capone. ALOYSIUS "SHANTY" MALONE ran a San Francisco speakeasy during Prohibition. He changed locations after every raid by federal agents. "Mayor Rossi" was almost certainly HERMAN J. ROSSI, who served four terms as mayor of the mining town of Wallace Idaho, obliged to resign from his third term upon his 1930 conviction for violating the Volstead Act. Rossi, with much local support, openly defied Prohibition in what federal agents called the "North Idaho Whiskey Rebellion." Rossi had a previous brush with the law when his plea of "temporary insanity" convinced a jury to acquit him of the murder of his wife's lover in 1916. Jury members were quoted as saying the victim got what he deserved. Many of the names on this bill are difficult to read, and some attendees at such a notorious gathering may have signed with aliases, but further research on the signers would almost certainly yield interesting results. Vertical fold crease at center. Otherwise, fine condition. Framed by the Gallery of History, 20½x 37¼.
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