1796.014: Form of the Declarations for Assurance.
Full Title: Form of the declarations for assurance. I the underwritten [blank] residing at [blank] in the county of [blank] do hereby declare for assurance in the Mutual Assurance Society Against Fire on Buildings of the State of Virginia, established the 26th December, 1795, agreeable to the several acts of the General Assembly of this state, to wit ...
Author: Mutual Assurance Society Against Fire on Buildings of the State of Virginia
Place Issued: Richmond
Issuing Press: Uncertain
Description: 1 sheet [2 pg.]; 32 cm. x 20 cm. (broadside, printed recto and verso).
This Society was incorporated by an act of the Assembly in December 1794; its first year was devoted to accumulating the subscription of three million dollars required under the act, so its organizational meeting was not held until December 24, 1795; this title is one of the initial corporate publications issued in the wake of that meeting. The title was the society's standard policy form, a printed text with blanks to be completed in manuscript for individual and property insured; this item was apparently distributed with two other initial titles – a cover letter explaining the concept of mutual assurance (1796.012) and the society's constitution (1796.013) – to branch offices in Petersburg, Fredericksburg, Staunton, Alexandria, Winchester, and Norfolk. William Frederick Ast (d. 1807) was the society's Prussian-born founder and principal agent; his manuscript signature can be found on all surviving such declarations through 1807. Verso contains instructions for completion. Title lacks printer credit, as with all of the Society's imprints; the subscription form that Ast circulated in January 1795 (1795.003) was attributed to Samuel Pleasants who was, at that time, principally a job-printer; that form established a precedent for the society to employ unnamed job-printers to produce its standardized forms (mostly these declarations). The archive division of the Library of Virginia is the principal repository of the society's records from 1795 to 1869, comprising thousands of such printed forms, all without attribution.