Northern Pacific Express Co. Issued to and Signed by Wm. Nelson CromwellInv# AG2107 Stock
Stock issued to and signed by Wm. Nelson Cromwell on the back. Important!
William Nelson Cromwell (January 17, 1854 – July 19, 1948) was an American attorney active in promotion of the Panama Canal and other major ventures especially in cooperation with Philippe Bunau-Varilla.
He worked as an accountant for the attorney Algernon Sydney Sullivan, who paid for his education at Columbia Law School and made him a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell in 1879. In 1898 the chief of the French Canal Syndicate (a group that owned large swathes of land across Panama), Philippe Bunau-Varilla, hired him to lobby the US Congress to build a canal across Panama, and not across Nicaragua, as rivals would have it. Cromwell showed that Nicaragua had an active volcano. On June 19, 1902, three days after senators received stamps showing volcanic activity in Nicaragua they voted for the Panama route for the canal. For his lobbying efforts, he received the sum of $800,000. (about 20 million USD today). After the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty was ratified, Cromwell was paid another $2,000,000 (about 60 million USD today) – at the time, the highest amount ever paid to a lawyer.
By 1907, he was a member of the Consolidated Stock Exchange of New York, one of around 13,000.
One of his main pro bono activities was helping the blind. Another was the founding of "the Society of Friends of Roumania" in 1920 under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Marie of Romania. Under his tutelage, the New York-based Society promoted numerous exchanges between the two countries and published the distinguished Roumania – A Quarterly Review.
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.