General John A. Dix - Mississippi and Missouri Railroad Co. - Stock CertificateInv# AG1214B Stock
Stock issued to William C. Durant and signed as president by John A. Dix. Nice! Very slight hole cancel at signature.
General John A. Dix (1798-1879) Dix was born in Boscawen, NH and joined the Artillery as a military cadet at the age of 14. He served in the US Army and attained the rank of captain.
In 1826, Dix married Catherine Morgan, the adopted daughter of Congressman John J. Morgan, who gave Dix a job overseeing his upstate New York land holdings in Cooperstown. Dix and his wife moved to Cooperstown in 1828, and he practiced law in addition to overseeing the land holdings. He was appointed Adjutant General of New York State by Governor Throop. He moved to Albany, New York in 1830, and served as Secretary of State of New York from 1833 to 1839.
Dix was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Silas Wright, Jr., and served from 1845 to 1849. He was not a candidate for reelection, having become a candidate for Governor. He was an unsuccessful Free-Soil candidate for Governor in 1848 losing to Hamilton Fish.
In 1853 Dix was president of the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad. He was appointed postmaster of the City of New York and served from 1860 to 1861. In addition to his military and public duties, he was the president of the Union Pacific from 1863 to 1868 during construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Dix was the figurehead for rail baron Thomas C. Durant, in both of his railroad presidencies.
He was appointed United States Secretary of the Treasury by President James Buchanan in 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he sent a telegram to the Treasury agents in New Orleans ordering that: "If any one attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot." Although the telegram was intercepted by Confederates, and was never delivered to the Treasury agents, the text found its way to the press, and Dix became one of the first heroes of the North during the Civil War. At the start of the American Civil War, Dix was appointed a major general in the New York Militia.
He served as the temporary chairman of the 1866 National Union Convention, was the United States Minister to France from 1866 to 1869, and served as the Governor of New York in his seventies as one of the oldest governors of New York. Dix died in New York City and was interred in the Trinity Church Cemetery.
Thomas Clark Durant (February 6, 1820 – October 5, 1885) was an American physician, businessman, and financier. He was vice-president of the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) in 1869 when it met with the Central Pacific railroad at Promontory Summit in Utah Territory. He created the financial structure that led to the Crédit Mobilier scandal.
He successfully built railroads in the Midwest, and, after an 1862 act of Congress created the Union Pacific Railroad, John A. Dix was elected president and Durant vice president of the company. Durant assumed the burden of management and money raising—and, with much money at his disposal, he helped secure the 1864 passage of a bill that increased the railroad's land grants and privileges. He organized, and at first controlled, the Crédit Mobilier of America, but in 1867 he lost control of the company to brothers Oliver and Oakes Ames. Durant continued on the directorate of the Union Pacific, however, and furiously pushed construction of the railroad until it met the Central Pacific RR on May 10, 1869. The Ames group then procured his discharge.
Durant was born in Lee, Massachusetts. He studied medicine at Albany Medical College where, in 1840, he graduated cum laude and briefly served as assistant professor of surgery. After he retired from medicine, he became a director of his uncle's grain exporting company: Durant, Lathrop and Company in New York City.
While working with the prairie wheat trade, Durant realized the need for improved inland transportation, which led to his interest in the railroad industry. Durant started in the railroad industry as a broker for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. During that time, Durant became professionally acquainted with Henry Farnam.
The two men created a new contracting company under the name of Farnam and Durant. In 1853, they received a commission to raise capital and manage construction for the newly chartered Mississippi and Missouri Railroad (M&M). The M&M Railroad acquired major land grants to build Iowa's first railroad (planned to go from Davenport on the Mississippi River to Council Bluffs on the Missouri River).
The centerpiece of the M&M was a wooden railroad bridge, which, when completed in 1856, was the first bridge across the Mississippi River. The bridge linked the M&M to the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. After a steamboat hit the bridge, boat operators sued to have the bridge dismantled. Durant and the Rock Island hired private attorney Abraham Lincoln to defend the bridge. This association played to Durant's favor in 1862, when President Lincoln selected Durant's new company, the Union Pacific, and its operation center in Council Bluffs, Iowa as the starting point of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
"Like Samson he would not hesitate to pull down the temple even if it meant burying himself along with his enemies." Durant had a ruthless reputation for squeezing friend and foe for personal gain. As general agent for the UP Eastern Division, Durant was also charged with raising money, acquiring resources, and securing favorable national legislation for the company. In addition to securing an enlarged land grant from Congress in 1864 as part of the legislature's subsidizing distribution of 100 million public acres, Durant effectively reacted to the Union Pacific's failure to sell significant stock in light of the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 ruling that merchant holding would be limited to 200 shares per person. Proposing to finance the required ten percent down payment on stock himself, Durant campaigned to brokers and merchants in the New York and Philadelphia areas on the condition that he would be reimbursed at a later date. Persuading various politicians to invest as limited stockholders, among others, Durant successfully issued $2.18 million of UP stock to subscribers.
At the same time, Durant manipulated the stock market, running up the value of his M&M stock by saying he was going to connect the Transcontinental Railroad to it. He was secretly buying competing rail line stock, and then said the Transcontinental Railroad was going to go to that line.
Since the government paid for each mile of track laid, Durant overrode his engineers and ordered extra track laid in large oxbows. In the first 2 1⁄2 years, the Union Pacific did not extend further than 40 miles (64 km) from Omaha, Nebraska. As the federal government was waging the Civil War, Durant avoided its oversight on railroad construction.
During the Civil War, Durant made a fortune smuggling contraband cotton from the Confederate States with the help of General Grenville M. Dodge. When the war ended in 1865, the Union Pacific put extra labor on. It completed nearly two thirds of the transcontinental route. Durant employed Dodge as the chief engineer along the Platte River route.
One of Durant's biggest coups was the creation of Crédit Mobilier of America. Durant and entrepreneur George Francis Train joined in March 1864 to form a business venture to buy out the Pennsylvania Fiscal Agency, changing its name to Crédit Mobilier. The company was one of the first to take advantage of the new limited liability financial structures. Previously, investors were responsible for the finances of a company if it had problems. Under limited liability, their only responsibility was for money paid in. Durant created this limited liability company to encourage UP investors to agree to take on the railroad's construction after contracted employee Herbert Hoxie announced that he would fail to meet his deadline for building 247 miles of track. Investors thought that this contract, given the high construction cost, was too great a risk, but the protection offered by Crédit Mobilier convinced them to take on the construction. Durant then manipulated Crédit Mobilier's structure so that he wound up in control of it. UP was effectively paying him via Crédit Mobilier to build the railroad. Durant covered his tracks by having various politicians, including future President James Garfield, as limited stockholders. Things got worse for Durant when it came clear that he had violated the 1862 Pacific Railroad Act by using his control of the Crédit Mobilier to become the majority stockholder in the Union Pacific Railroad. There was also suspicion that Durant had taken money from the company, yet it seems that his co-workers were too fearful of him to meet clandestinely to discuss this possibility. Durant's control at Crédit Mobilier was challenged after Oak Ames took Durant to court and fired him from Crédit Mobilier in May 1867. Ames had previously been a Massachusetts Representative and had also assisted Durant in bribing congressmen and other government officials. In 1867 Durant was ousted from his position managing Crédit Mobilier. President Ulysses S. Grant fired Durant from Union Pacific. The company Crédit Mobilier had been increasingly associated with corruption and secrecy and the government was fed up with not being paid back for loans and the swindling that went on at each company.
Like many others, Durant lost a great deal of his wealth in the Panic of 1873. He sold his remaining stock in Union Pacific and started a new railroad company, Adirondack Railroad. He spent the last twelve years of his life fighting lawsuits from disgruntled partners and investors.
The Mississippi and Missouri Railroad (M&M Railroad) was the first railroad in Iowa and was chartered in 1853 to build a line between Davenport, Iowa, on the Mississippi River and Council Bluffs, Iowa, on the Missouri River and played an important role in the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
Shortly after the bridge opened in 1856, a steamboat hit the bridge and steamboat companies sued to have the bridge dismantled. The M&M and Rock Island hired private attorney Abraham Lincoln to defend the bridge. The case was to work its way through the courts to reach U.S. Supreme Court in 1862 during the American Civil War when the court decided in the bridge's favor.
During Lincoln's investigation into the case ,he traveled to Council Bluffs to inspect M&M property in August 1859 under the guidance of the M&M attorney Norman Judd. On the visit Judd and M&M engineer Grenville Dodge described the merits of locating the eastern terminus of the railroad at Council Bluffs. After the Pacific Railroad Act in 1862, Lincoln selected Council Bluffs as the eastern terminus and the Union Pacific created by former M&M owner Thomas C. Durant as the company to build the railroad road eastward.
Durant was slow to build the M&M through Iowa although quick to manipulate its stock. He had gained control of the Union Pacific because of his stated plans for the M&M. However, the line under his ownership did not even make it half way across the state, terminating in Kellogg, Iowa, 40 miles (64 km) east of Des Moines, Iowa, in 1865 with a branch to Muscatine, Iowa, ending in Washington, Iowa.
Durant built up his fortune by manipulating the M&M stock via rumors. First he drove up M&M stock by saying the transcontinental railroad would travel across Iowa via the M&M while at the same time quietly buying depressed Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad (CR&M) stock. Then he spread rumors that drove up the CR&M stock that the transcontinental would follow that line instead and Durant bought back the newly depressed M&M stock. The gambit made Durant and his cohorts $5 million.
The Rock Island Line bought the M&M on July 9, 1866, and completed its line to Council Bluffs in 1869 and extended the Muscatine/Washington Line to Leavenworth, Kansas. The merged railroad was called the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, a name it kept until it was dissolved in bankruptcy in the 1970s.
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.