Morris & Essex Rail Road Company Ledger Sheet signed by Moses Taylor - BondInv# AG1960 Bond
Ledger Sheet of the Morris & Essex Rail Road Company signed twice by Moses Taylor. Also signed by Samuel Sloan.
Moses Taylor (1806-1882) Taylor was a 19th century N. Y. merchant and banker and one of the wealthiest men of that century. At his death, his estate was reported to be worth $70 million, or about $1.7 billion in 2006 dollars. His parents were Jacob B. Taylor and Martha (Brant) Taylor. His father was a close associate of John Jacob Astor and acted as his agent by purchasing New York real estate while concealing Astor's interest. Astor's relationship with the Taylor family provided Moses with an early advantage. Moses began his career at age 15 at J. D. Brown shippers, but soon moved to a clerk's position in the firm of G. G. & S. Howland Company of New York. By 1832, Moses had sufficient wealth to marry, leave the Howland company, and start his own business as a sugar broker. Taylor soon discovered that loans and investments provided returns as good or better than the sugar business, and by the 1840s his income was largely from interest and investments. By 1847, Moses Taylor was listed as one of New York City's 25 millionaries. In the 1850s Moses invested in iron and coal, and began purchasing interest in the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad. When the Panic of 1857 brought the railroad to the brink of bankruptcy, Moses obtained control by purchasing its outstanding shares for $5 a share. Within seven years the shares became worth $240, and the D. L. & W was one of the premier railroads of the country. By 1865 Moses held 20,000 shares worth almost $50 million. Moses also held an interest in the N.Y., Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company that Cyrus West Field had founded in 1854. Although its attempts to lay a cable across the Atlantic were initially unsuccessful, it eventually succeeded and in 1866 became the first transatlantic telegraph company. After the Civil War, during which he assisted the Union with financing the war debt, he continued to invest in iron, railroads, and real estate. His real estate holdings in N. Y. brought him into close association with Boss Tweed of New York's Tammany Hall, and in 1871, Moses sat on a committee made up of New York's most influential and successful businessmen and signed his name to a report that commended Tweed's controller for his honesty and integrity, a report that was a notorious whitewash. In 1882, Moses Taylor donated $250,000 to build a hospital in Scranton, Penn. to benefit his iron and coal workers, and workers of the D. L. & W railroad. The Moses Taylor hospital continues in operation today.
Samuel Sloan (1817-1907) Samuel Sloan was a well known 19th century railroad executive. He was a son of William and Elizabeth Sloan of Lisburn, County Down, Ireland. When he was a year old he was brought by his parents to N.Y. At age 14, the death of his father compelled Samuel to withdraw from the Columbia College Preparatory School, and he found employment at an importing house on Cedar Street in N.Y., where he remained connected for 25 years, becoming head of the firm. On April 8, 1844, he was married to Margaret Elmendorf, and took up his residence in Brooklyn. He was chosen a supervisor of Kings County in 1852, and served as president of the Long Island College Hospital. In 1857, having retired from the importing business, he was elected as a Democrat to the New York State Senate, of which he was a member for two years. Sloan at 40 was recognized in New York as a successful businessman who had weathered two major financial panics, but it could hardly have been predicted that 20 years of modest achievement as a commission merchant would be followed by more than forty years in constructive and profitable effort in a wholly different field—that of transportation. As early as 1855 he had been a director of the Hudson River railroad. Election to the presidency of the road quickly followed, and in the 9 years that he guided its destinies, the market value of the company’s shares rose from $17 to $140. Resigning from the Hudson River, he was elected, in 1864, a director, and in 1867, president, of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, then and long after known as one of the small group of “coal roads” that divided the Pennsylvania anthracite territory. Beginning in the reconstruction and expansion era following the Civil War, Sloan’s administration of 32 years covered the period of shipping rebates, “cut-throat” competition, and hostile state legislation, culminating in federal regulation through the Interstate Commerce Commission. Sloan’s immediate job, as he saw it, was to make the Lackawanna more than a “coal road,” serving a limited region. Extensions north and west, and, finally, entrance into Buffalo, made it a factor in general freight handling. Readjustments had to be made. It was imperative, for example, that the old gauge of six feet be shifted to the standard 4’8 1/2". This feat was finally achieved on May 25, 1876, with a delay of traffic of only 24 hours—in some cases less. The total cost of the improvement was $1,250,000. Sloan was an ally of J. P. Morgan, and one of the founders of what is now Citibank and his name is engraved in stone on the wall in the former Citibank headquarters at 55 Wall Street. There is a statute of Sam Sloan one block from the former Lackawanna Railroad station in Hoboken, New Jersey. Sam Sloan had little patience with the likes of Jay Gould and Jim Fiske, and the other 19th-century “robber barons.” In his book, “Reminiscences of a Stock Broker,” Edwin Lefere, wrote: “The newspapers never had to beat about the bush with old Sam Sloan.” Although Sloan resigned the presidency in 1899, he continued for the remaining 8 years of his life as chairman of the board of directors. At his death, at the age of 90, he had been continuously employed in railroad administration for more than half a century and had actually been the president of 17 corporations. At the time of his death he was director or officer of 33 corporations including Citibank, Farmers Loan and Trust Co., United States Trust Co., Consolidated Gas Co., and Western Union Telegraph Company.
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