Chicago, Burlington and Northern Railroad Co. signed by John Murray Forbes - Stock CertificateInv# AG1707 Stock
Stock printed by American Bank Note Company, New York & Boston. Signed by John Murray Forbes as treasurer. He was a railroad investor and landowner.
John Murray Forbes (February 23, 1813 – October 12, 1898) was an American railroad magnate, merchant, philanthropist and abolitionist. He was president of both the Michigan Central railroad and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in the 1850s. He kept doing business with Russell & Company.
Forbes was born on February 23, 1813, in Bordeaux, France. His father, Ralph Bennett Forbes, was a member of the Forbes family, descended from Scottish immigrants who attempted unsuccessfully to start a trade from Bordeaux. His mother, Margaret Perkins, was a member of the Boston Brahmin Perkins family merchant dynasty involved in the China trade. Among his siblings was older brother was Robert Bennet Forbes, sea captain and China merchant.
In 1814, his parents moved back to the Captain Robert Bennet Forbes House in Milton, Massachusetts. Forbes attended school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, then at Round Hill School in Northampton, Massachusetts, from 1823 to 1828.
Forbes was one of three brothers sent by their uncle to Canton, China, and achieved some financial success during a short time spent trading in Canton trading in opium. However, unlike his brother Robert, who devoted himself to the China trade, Forbes returned to Boston and became an early railroad investor and landowner.
As with Jay Gould and E. H. Harriman, Forbes was an important figure in the building of America's railroad system. From March 28, 1846 through 1855, he was president of Michigan Central Railroad, and he was a director and president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, he helped with the growth of the American Middle West. In addition, he founded J.M. Forbes & Co., an investment firm in Boston in 1838.
In 1860, he was an elector for Abraham Lincoln. He served as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the administration of President Abraham Lincoln. Staunchly pro-Union, he is given credit for founding the New England Loyal Publication Society in early 1863 (Smith 1948). After the Civil War, Forbes was elected as a 3rd Class (honorary) Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
Forbes was a delegate to the Republican conventions of 1876, 1880 and 1884, he eventually became displeased with the Republican party and worked successfully to get Democrat Grover Cleveland elected president.
- Ellen Randolph Forbes (1838–1860), who did not marry.
- Alice Hathaway Forbes (1838–1917), who married Edward Montague Cary (1828–1888) in 1875.
- William Hathaway Forbes (1840–1897), who married Edith Emerson (1841–1929), the daughter of poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. William became the first president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and father of William Cameron Forbes.
- Mary Hathaway Forbes (1844–1916), who married Henry Sturgis Russell (1838–1905) in 1863.
- John Malcolm Forbes (1847–1904), the yachtsman and horseman who married Sarah Coffin Jones (1852–1891) in 1873.
- Sarah Forbes (1853–1917), who married William Hastings Hughes (1833–1909) in 1887.
Forbes died of pneumonia on October 12, 1898 in Milton, Massachusetts.
His cousin Francis Blackwell Forbes (1839–1908) is the great-grandfather of 2004 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Forbes Kerry. His 4x great-grandson is Jonathan Meath, a renowned Emmy award-winning television producer.
In the September 1899 issue of "Atlantic" magazine, Edward Waldo Emerson (Ralph Waldo Emerson's son), published Forbes' biography. The Emerson and Forbes families were close as Forbes' son, William, married Ralph's daughter, Edith Emerson. In Letters and Social Aims, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of Forbes:
"Never was such force, good meaning, good sense, good action, combined with such domestic lovely behavior, such modesty and persistent preference for others. Wherever he moved he was the benefactor... How little this man suspects, with his sympathy for men and his respect for lettered and scientific people, that he is not likely, in any company, to meet a man superior to himself," and "I think this is a good country that can bear such a creature as he."
The small community of Forbes, Missouri, is named for him.
A stock certificate is issued by businesses, usually companies. A stock is part of the permanent finance of a business. Normally, they are never repaid, and the investor can recover his/her money only by selling to another investor. Most stocks, or also called shares, earn dividends, at the business's discretion, depending on how well it has traded. A stockholder or shareholder is a part-owner of the business that issued the stock certificates.