Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Rail-Road Co. Issued to Wm. Astor - Autographed Stocks and BondsInv# AG2470A Bond
Convertible Mortgage Bond issued to Wm. Astor but not signed.
William Backhouse Astor, Sr. (1792-1875) William Backhouse Astor, Sr. was a businessman and member of the prominent Astor family. William Backhouse Astor, Sr. inherited the bulk of his father's estate and also that of his uncle Henry Astor who had died a wealthy man but without children. The combined inheritance made William Astor the richest man in the United States. He was the last member of the Astor family to enjoy this distinction. During the American Civil War he successfully brought a case against the income tax imposed by the United States government, which was ruled unconstitutional. His management of the family real estate holdings succeeded in multiplying their value, and he left an estate worth close to $50 million. It was at this time that the Astor fortune underwent its first major division, between William Backhouse Astor, Jr. (1830-1892) and John Jacob Astor III (1822-1890), whose son William Waldorf Astor relocated to Great Britain in 1893. His sons, whose side-by-side mansions were on the site later occupied by the first Waldorf=Astoria Hotel (a family property) and then the Empire State Building, inaugurated an era of both more flamboyant living and more generous philanthropy than their austere father and grandfather.
A bond is a document of title for a loan. Bonds are issued, not only by businesses, but also by national, state or city governments, or other public bodies, or sometimes by individuals. Bonds are a loan to the company or other body. They are normally repayable within a stated period of time. Bonds earn interest at a fixed rate, which must usually be paid by the undertaking regardless of its financial results. A bondholder is a creditor of the undertaking.