Skip to main content

new Robert Schuyler signed Illinois Central Rail-Road Co. - $1,000 Autograph Railway Bond

Inv# AG2714   Bond
New Item!
State(s): Illinois
Years: 1851

$1,000 6% Bond signed by Robert Schuyler as President of the Illinois Central in 1851. It is interesting to note that Abraham Lincoln represented the Illinois Central in the 1850's as their attorney. Important! 

Few chieftains of American finance have fallen as far and as fast as Robert Schuyler. In the early 1850s Schuyler achieved fame as “America’s first railroad king,” then infamy as the perpetrator of its first massive stock fraud. By 1853 he had been president of five roads—the Illinois Central, New York and Harlem, New York and New Haven, Renssalaer and Saratoga, and Sangamon and Morgan—most of them simultaneously; he had been instrumental in building the Vermont Valley and the Washington and Saratoga, and in the promotion and administration of the Housatonic, Naugatuck, New Haven and Northampton, and Saratoga and Whitehall.

A scion of a blue-blooded New York family that counted Alexander Hamilton among its ancestors, he was widely admired and trusted. Ironically, it was Schuyler’s wide-ranging involvements that proved his undoing. In his capacity as transfer agent of the New York and New Haven, beginning in October 1853 he issued some $2 million in unauthorized stock, diverting the proceeds to other railroad ventures he was juggling. In the past had covered up similar over-issues on a much smaller scale by buying back and retiring the over-issued shares.

This time, though, events spun out of his control; the irregularities became public at the beginning of July 1854, Schuyler fled to Canada under threat of arrest, then to Europe, where he died in disgrace in November 1855. Schuyler’s defalcations were genuinely sensational, sending shock waves through the realms of finance and high society; one contemporary reaction was that the “Schuyler fraud fell like a thousand bombshells, or hissed like a million fiery flying serpents in Wall-street,” and a newspaper editorialized, “if Robert Schuyler is capable of such a wrong, then no one is to be trusted.” The New York and New Haven would eventually lose nearly $1.8 million redeeming the spurious stock. So strong was society’s condemnation that the Schuyler’s name was virtually excised from the historical record for decades.

Robert Schuyler or Robert Livingston Schuyler (September 16, 1798 – November 15, 1855), was a financier, steamboat operator, and railroad president who acted as the de facto head of the prominent Schuyler family during his adulthood. Schuyler was known referred to as "America's first railroad king." He had a role in America's first large-scale stock fraud on the New York and New Haven Railroad. His scandal is among the greatest scandals in Wall Street history alongside the Bernie Madoff scandal and the Richard Whitney scandal.

Schuyler was born in Rhinebeck, New York, in 1798. He was the youngest of five children born to Philip Jeremiah Schuyler (1768–1835), a U.S. Representative, and Sarah Rutsen (1770–1803), who died when he was young. After his mother's death in 1803, his father remarried to Mary Anna Sawyer (1786–1852), the daughter of Micajah Sawyer, a founding member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, with whom he had three more children. His siblings from his parents marriage were Philip P. Schuyler, who married Rosanna Livingston; Stephan Van Rensselaer Schuyler, who married Catherine Morris; Catherine Schuyler, who married Samuel Jones; and John Rutsen Schuyler. His half-siblings from his father's second marriage were William Schuyler; Sybil Schuyler; and George Lee Schuyler (1811–1890), who married Eliza Hamilton, daughter of his cousin, James Alexander Hamilton (son of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler Hamilton). After her death, he married Eliza's sister, Mary Morris Hamilton.

His paternal grandparents were Philip Schuyler (1733–1804), a Revolutionary War General and U.S. Senator, and Catherine Van Rensselaer (1734–1803), a member of the prominent Van Rensselaer family. His maternal grandfather was John Rutsen (1743–1771), a descendant of Wilhelmus Beekman and inheritor of a large portion of the Beekman Patent, which encompassed much of what is now Dutchess County.

Schuyler graduated with a B.A. degree from Harvard College in 1817, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa society, and the Porcellian Club, along with Samuel Atkins Eliot, Wyllys Lyman, Samuel Joseph May, Thomas Russell Sullivan, Charles Henry Warren, and Francis William Winthrop. His mathematical thesis at Harvard was on "fluxional solutions."

Schuyler started his career with steamboats. In 1838, he was president of the New York and Boston Transportation Company, of which William W. Woolsey, Moses B. Ives, and James G. King were among the directors. The company later became known as the New Jersery Steam Navigation and Transportation Company as well as the Transportation Company. He owned steamboats, including one called the Chancellor Livingston in the 1840s, which was his principal business. Around 1846, he became involved with the railroads along with his half-brother, George Lee Schuyler, who formed R. & G. L. Schuyler, a railroad contracting firm. According to William B. Astor, Schuyler was spoken of as a skillful engineer and a man of good business capacity.

At one time, Schuyler was president of five railroads, including the New York & New Haven Railroad, the Harlem, the Illinois Central, the Rensselaer & Saratoga, and the Sangamon & Morgan Railroads. In addition to helping develop several others, including the Vermont Valley Railroad, thereby earning the title of "America’s first railroad king." He was also secretary of the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad, treasurer of the Housatonic Railroad Company, and vice-president of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company.

During his career, Schuyler was considered a master negotiator and when he was president of the Harlem Railroad, he arranged a running agreement with Edwin D. Morgan, then the president of the Hudson River Railroad, and later a U.S. Senator and Governor of New York. He was involved with many of the leading bankers, financiers, and investors of the day including, Gouverneur Morris, Elihu Townsend, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and August Belmont. Schuyler was also a founding member of the Union Club, the city's oldest social club.

From March 19, 1851, to July 3, 1854, Schuyler served as the first president of Illinois Central Railroad, following his company's initial purchase of a finished portion of the railway from Jacksonville to Meredosia in the 1840s. The Railroad was the recipient of the first federal land grant. Upon his resignation following the 1854 scandal, he was succeeded by the vice-president of the Railroad, William Porter Burrall.

Schuyler served as president of the New York and New Haven Railroad, which began service on Christmas Day, 1848. In addition to his role as president, he was also the company's sole transfer agent, which meant that every sale of the company stock went through him alone. Following the Norwalk disaster in 1853, and after the railroad's stock price dropped in the summer of 1854, he wrote to the board of directors resigning and stating "Your attention to the stock ledgers of your Company is essential, as you will find there is much that is wrong." The discovery of his fraud in 1854 has been referred to as "America’s first large-scale stock fraud." It was eventually discovered that Schuyler issued 19,540 shares in unauthorized stock certificates (worth approximately $2 million US$2,000,000 (equivalent to about $60,318,500 in 2021)) for the railroad. To compound matters, Schuyler had used the fraudulent stock as collateral against loans taken out by several people, including one from Cornelius Vanderbilt for US$600,000 (equivalent to about $18,095,600 in 2021).

Due to Schuyler's vast business interest and prominence at the highest levels of New York society, the discovery caused a shock and sensation throughout the northeast. The fraud caused the railroad to endure years of legal battles as well as a loss of $1.8 million US$1,800,000 (equivalent to about $54,286,700 in 2021). Indirectly, the fraud caused Wall Street to enact legal and procedural changes to avoid similar types of fraud. While the Justice Daniel P. Ingraham of the New York State Supreme Court initially found that the stock issued by Schuyler was void, the appeal eventually made it the U.S. Supreme Court, where the fraudulently issued stocks were upheld. The newspapers of the day covered the fraud and its effects for several years.

Schuyler wrote to The New York Times in July 1855, attempting to explain away the scandal as a misunderstanding stating "I hope you will publish this statement, which I have prepared under great difficulty--without documents, and upon your report alone--in the greatest debility of body, and in broken spirit, but with clear recollection."

Following the scandal, Schuyler fled to Canada through Quebec. He then went on to Geneva and Nice, France, where he died in November 1855, apparently caused by "grief and mortification."

Schuyler maintained a residence at 149 Mercer Street during his time in New York City. Schuyler, who was known to society as a bachelor, had a long-term relationship with Lucinda Waldron "Lucy" Wood (1807–1882). Together, they were the parents of six children. Reportedly, even though he was the father of her children, they didn't marry because she was from a less well-known and respectable family than his. However, when his eldest daughters wanted to marry, her fiancé discovered that her father was the famous Robert Schuyler and that she was, in fact, an illegitimate child. The fiancé, a Reverend, insisted that in order for them to marry, her parents must marry. Therefore, Schuyler agreed to marry Lucinda and installed her and the family in a fashionable home in Manhattan on 22nd Street. Other reports indicated that he actually married Wood in 1826, but didn't socially acknowledge the marriage until the 1850s. Their children included:

Schuyler died in Nice, France, on November 15, 1855. His coffin was sent back to New York and he was buried at Greenridge Cemetery in Saratoga Springs, New York. Even after his death, the newspapers reported seeing him abroad.

Following his death, his New York City home and its contents were auctioned off and reportedly became a brothel run by "Mrs. Van Ness." After his death, his widow moved back to the United States and retired to a cabin on Saratoga Lake.

Through his daughter Julia, he was the grandfather of Major Robert Schuyler Lamson (1855–1876), who died at 21 years of age at Darfour in Upper Egypt from malarious fever while serving in the Egyptian Army as a mercenary, and George Henry Lamson (1852–1882), a doctor in Paris who developed a morphine addiction, which was said to have caused him to murder his wife's brother. He was found guilty of murder and hanged in 1882 at Wandsworth Gaol in London.

Through his youngest son William, he was the grandfather of Philip William Schuyler (b. 1861), who married Amanda Mason Erwen, daughter of Robert Moody Erwen and Agnes (née Gominger) Erwen, in 1886.

The Illinois Central Railroad (reporting mark IC), sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, was a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois, with New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa (1870). There was a significant branch to Omaha, Nebraska (1899), west of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and another branch reaching Sioux Falls, South Dakota (1877), starting from Cherokee, Iowa. The Sioux Falls branch has been abandoned in its entirety.

The Canadian National Railway acquired control of the IC in 1998.

The IC was one of the oldest Class I railroads in the United States. The company was incorporated by the Illinois General Assembly on January 16, 1836. Within a few months Rep. Zadok Casey (D-Illinois) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives authorizing a land grant to the company to construct a line from the mouth of the Ohio River to Chicago and on to Galena. Federal support, however, was not approved until 1850, when U.S. President Millard Fillmore signed a land grant for the construction of the railroad. The Illinois Central was the first land-grant railroad in the United States.

The Illinois Central was chartered by the Illinois General Assembly on February 10, 1851. Senator Stephen A. Douglas and later President Abraham Lincoln were both Illinois Central men who lobbied for it. Douglas owned land near the terminal in Chicago. Lincoln was a lawyer for the railroad. Illinois legislators appointed Samuel D. Lockwood, recently retired from the Illinois Supreme Court (who may have given both lawyers the oral examination before admitting them to the Illinois bar), as a trustee on the new railroad's board to guard the public's interest. Lockwood, who would serve more than two decades until his death, had overseen federal land monies shortly after Illinois' statehood, then helped oversee early construction of the recently completed Illinois and Michigan Canal.

Upon its completion in 1856, the IC was the longest railroad in the world. Its main line went from Cairo, Illinois, at the southern tip of the state, to Galena, in the northwest corner. A branch line went from Centralia (named for the railroad), to the rapidly growing city of Chicago. In Chicago its tracks were laid along the shore of Lake Michigan and on an offshore causeway downtown, but land-filling and natural deposition have moved the present-day shore to the east. Track from Centralia, Il north to Freeport, Il was abandoned in the 90s, as traffic to Galena was routed via Chicago, then to Galena and vice versa.

In 1867 the Illinois Central extended its track into Iowa, and during the 1870s and 1880s, the IC acquired and expanded railroads in the southern United States. IC lines crisscrossed the state of Mississippi and went as far as New Orleans, Louisiana, to the south and Louisville, Kentucky, in the east. In the 1880s, northern lines were built to Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Omaha, Nebraska. Further expansion continued into the early twentieth century.

The Illinois Central, and the other "Harriman lines" owned by E.H. Harriman by the 20th century, became the target of the Illinois Central shopmen's strike of 1911. Although marked by violence and sabotage in the south, midwest, and western states, the strike was effectively over in a few months. The railroads simply hired replacements, among them African-American strikebreakers, and withstood diminishing union pressure. The strike was eventually called off in 1915.

The totals above do not include the Waterloo RR, Batesville Southwestern, Peabody Short Line or CofG and its subsidiaries. On December 31, 1925, IC/Y&MV/G&SI operated 6,562 route-miles on 11,030 miles of track; A&V and VS&P added 330 route-miles and 491 track-miles. At the end of 1970, IC operated 6,761 miles of road and 11,159 of track.

In August 31, 1962, the railroad was incorporated as Illinois Central Industries, Inc. With this diversification, ICI, acquired its first business Abex(formerly American Brake Shoe and Foundry) Corporation in 1968.

On August 10, 1972, the Illinois Central Railroad merged with the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad to form the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad (reporting mark ICG). On October 30 that year the Illinois Central Gulf commuter rail crash, the company's deadliest, occurred.

At the end of 1980 ICG operated 8,366 miles of railroad on 13,532 miles of track; that year it reported 33,276 million ton-miles of revenue freight and 323 million passenger-miles. Later in that decade, the railroad spun off most of its east–west lines and many of its redundant north–south lines, including much of the former GM&O. Most of these lines were bought by other railroads, including entirely new railroads such as the Chicago, Missouri and Western Railway, Paducah and Louisville Railway, Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad and MidSouth Rail Corporation.

In 1988 the railroad's then-parent company IC Industries spun off its remaining rail assets and changed its name to the Whitman Corporation. Whitman is currently in the businesses of bottling Pepsi products, Hussman comercial refrigeration, Midas auto repair, and Pet co.- makers of Old El Paso, Progresso, and Whitman Chocolates food products. Whitman sold off Pet Co.

With bottling Pepsi products, Whitman purchased a rival Minnesota based PepsiAmericas Inc. bottler in 2000. On February 29, 1988, the newly separated ICG dropped the "Gulf" from its name and again became the Illinois Central Railroad.

On February 11, 1998 the IC was purchased for approximately $2.4 billion in cash and shares by Canadian National Railway (CN). Integration of operations began July 1, 1999.

A Story written by the first president of the C&NW railroad, surrounding the competition between a Chicago and Northwestern Mikado and a Milwaukee Road Mountain, took place mostly on the Illinois Central Railroad in Kankakee. This was one of Marvin Hughitt's last stories before his death in 1928. The story was eventually rewritten and remade in the fall of 2010 in the form of "Fall Weather Friends".

The Illinois Central was a major carrier of passengers on its Chicago-to-New Orleans mainline and between Chicago and St. Louis. IC also ran passengers on its Chicago-to-Omaha line, though it was never among the top performers on this route. Illinois Central's largest passenger terminal, Central Station, stood at 12th Street east of Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Due to the railroad's north-south route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, Illinois Central passenger trains were one means of transport during the African American Great Migration of the 1920s.

Illinois Central's most famous train was the Panama Limited, a premier all-Pullman car service between Chicago and New Orleans, with a section breaking off at Carbondale to serve St. Louis. In 1949, it added a daytime all-coach companion, the City of New Orleans, which operated with a St. Louis section breaking off at Carbondale and a Louisville section breaking off at Fulton, Kentucky. In 1967, due to losses incurred by the operation of the train, the Illinois Central combined the Panama Limited with a coach-only train called the Magnolia Star.

On May 1, 1971 Amtrak took over intercity rail service. It retained service over the IC mainline, but dropped the Panama Limited in favor of the City of New Orleans. However, since it did not connect with any other trains in either New Orleans or Chicago, Amtrak moved the route to an overnight schedule and brought back the Panama Limited name. However, it restored the City of New Orleans name in 1981, while retaining the overnight schedule. This was to capitalize on the popularity of a song about the train written by Steve Goodman and performed by Arlo Guthrie: Willie Nelson's recording of the song was #1 in 1984.

Illinois Central ran several other trains along the main route including The Creole and The Louisiane.

The Green Diamond was the Illinois Central's premier train between Chicago, Springfield and St. Louis. Other important trains included the Hawkeye which ran daily between Chicago and Sioux City and the City of Miami eventually running every other day between Chicago and Miami via the Atlantic Coast Line, the Central of Georgia Railroad and Florida East Coast Railway.

The Illinois Central was also a major operator of commuter trains in the Chicago area, operating what eventually became the "IC Electric" line from Randolph Street Terminal in downtown Chicago to the southeast suburbs. In 1987, IC sold this line to Metra, who operates it as the Metra Electric District. It still operates out of what is now Millennium Station, which is still called "Randolph Street Terminal" by many longtime Chicago-area residents. In honor of the Panama Limited, the Electric District appears as "Panama Orange" on Metra system maps and timetables. Additionally, the IC operated a second commuter line out of Chicago (the West Line) which served Chicago's western suburbs. Unlike the electrified commuter service, the West Line did not generate much traffic and was eliminated in 1931.

Amtrak presently runs three trains daily over this route, the City of New Orleans and the Illini and Saluki between Chicago and Carbondale. Another Illinois corridor service is planned for the former Black Hawk route between Chicago, Rockford and Dubuque. Amtrak, at the state of Illinois' request, did a feasibility study to reinstate the Black Hawk route to Rockford and Dubuque. Initial capital costs range from $32 million to $55 million, depending on the route. Once in operation, the service would require roughly $5 million a year in subsidies from the state.

On December 10, 2010, IDOT announced the route choice for the resumption of service to begin in 2014 going over mostly CN railway.

Presidents of the Illinois Central Railroad have included:

Some historic equipment owned and used by Illinois Central can be found in museums across the United States, including:

The original Mississippi Central line was chartered in 1852. Construction of the 255 miles (410 km) 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge line began in 1853 and was completed in 1860, just prior to the Civil War, from Canton, Mississippi to Jackson, Tennessee. The southern terminus of the line connected to the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad at Canton. It also connected to the Memphis and Charleston Railroad at Grand Junction, Tennessee and the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at Jackson, Tennessee. The Mississippi Central was the scene of several military actions from 1862–1863 and was severely damaged during the fighting. Company president, Absolom M. West succeeded in repairing the damage and returning it to operating condition soon after the end of the War.

By 1874, interchange traffic with the Illinois Central Railroad was important enough that the IC installed a Nutter hoist at Cairo, Illinois to interchange between its standard gauge equipment broad gauge used by the Mississippi Central. This allowed the trucks to be exchanged on 16-18 freight cars per hour, and one Pullman car could be changed in 15 minutes. The original Mississippi Central line was merged into the Illinois Central Railroad subsidiary Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans Railroad in several transactions finally completed in 1878.

A line started in 1897 as the "Pearl and Leaf Rivers Railroad" was built by the J.J. Newman Lumber Company from Hattiesburg, to Sumrall. In 1904 the name was changed to the Mississippi Central Railroad (reporting mark MSC). In 1906 the Natchez and Eastern Railway was formed to build a rail line from Natchez to Brookhaven. In 1909 this line was absorbed by the Mississippi Central.

For a short time during the 1920s, the line operated a service named "The Natchez Route", running trains from Natchez to Mobile, Alabama through trackage agreements with the Gulf, Mobile and Northern Railroad. At Natchez, freight cars were ferried across the Mississippi River to connect with the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway to institute through traffic into Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1967 the property of the Mississippi Central was sold to the Illinois Central Railroad.

Read More

Read Less

Condition: Very Good

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.

Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.
Price: $149.00