The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 22, June 2, 2019, Article 16


John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book of numismatic biographies for this week's installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is Virginia dealer R. L. Deitrick. -Editor

Deitrick, 1908 Paper Money Catalogue Robert Lee Deitrick (1870-1938), was born on February 11, 1870, in Goochland County, Virginia, the fourth child of six, son of Dr. Thomas Marion Deitrick, M.D. (1840-1912), and Frances Etta Pollard Deitrick (1841-1925).

Deitrick never married and worked at various trades : a telegraph operator, boarding house owner, paint and hardware merchant, and dealer in old newspapers, Civil War relics, paper money, stamps, and coins. He was deeply interested, knowledgeable, and active in all aspects of collecting despite some remarks made by modern numismatic historians who characterize him as mainly a stamp dealer. He lived and worked for the most part in the family home in Tuckahoe, Virginia, and used a mailing address at Lorraine, Virginia.

In 1890, he began selling Confederate paper money publishing his first annual edition of Deitrick's Paper Money Catalogue. He also published a semiannual List of Rare Coins and Fractional Currency, Bought and Sold (1890).

On February 14, 1891, he was appointed Postmaster of Lorraine, Virginia.

Deitrick ran his numismatic business on a shoestring budget. His early correspondence is usually found on recycled paper and other company's defunct unused postal stationery envelopes bought by the box at a fraction of the postage value.

Canada Stamp Sheet, 242 R. L. Detrick ad Deitrick 1890 catalogue

The 1900 U. S. Census reports him living at the family home at 322 Libby Avenue, Tuckahoe, Virginia, and working as a telegraph operator.

He applied to the ANA in July and joined the ANA in November 1909.

The 1910 U. S. Census reports Deitrick as a boarding house owner.

His March 1910 advertisement for Deitrick's Standard Paper Money Catalogue and buying list of United States coins and fractional currency (20th edition) published in The Numismatist was offered at 15 cents.

R. V. Carpenter 1912 letter from R. L. Deitrick
Deitrick's 1910 letterhead with the Dutch spelling "Neumismatist".

$500 Virginia Treasury note

On May 10, 1918, he discovered a rare $500 Virginia Treasury note dated October 15, 1864, writing his discovery in pencil on the blank verso of the uniface note. Abraham Atlas Leve, Syracuse, New York, (q. v.), published it for sale for $50 on consignment in The Numismatist, September (1918), page 399. Apparently, Deitrick made a deal with Leve to sell it since he was an established paper money authority in the ANA, and then split the money. Afterwards Deitrick listed it in his Fixed Price Lists for sale. The 1923 Fixed Price List offered it for $25.00. The note was purchased by Colonel Green and afterwards Eric Newman. The note was never official or authorized. Spain was the first known expert to point out that the note's serial number 1002 and signatures are bogus. Also, all red and black Virginia notes are dated August 13, 1861, not October 15. The bank note was sold by Heritage on April 22, 2015, lot 19378.

R. L. Deitrick tombstone The 1920 U. S. Census reports him living with his mother and brother Frank on the family farm in Tuckahoe, Henrico County, Virginia.

In the 1930 U. S. Census he is listed as the owner of Westhampton Paint and Hardware Company, Richmond, Virginia. His residence was at 322 Libby Avenue, Westhampton, Virginia.

He died on Saturday morning at 5:50 A.M., , May 28, 1938, from chronic myocarditis. According to his obituary published in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Sunday, May 29, 1938, page 4, he died "yesterday", i.e., on May 28, 1938, in his home at Westhampton. However, his tombstone is dated the day he was buried.

To read the complete article, see:

* * * * *

The entire inventory of the Lupia Numismatic Library is for sale. Individual items will be available before the remaining archives are broken up into parcels sold at philatelic auctions in the U. S. and Hong Kong. Check frequently as dozens of new items with estimates will be posted daily until everything is sold.

All inquiries will be given prompt and courteous attention. Write to: .

DWN E-Sylum ad05 New Orleans Book

Wayne Homren, Editor

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