Spuyten Duyvil and Port Morris Rail Road Company signed by Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr. - Stock CertificateInv# AG1155F Stock
Stock signed by Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr. front and back. 2 cents revenue stamp on front. Binding hole. Note on back references Commodore Vanderbilt.
Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-1899) Noted Financier and Head of the House of Vanderbilt in the third generation. He was the favorite grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who left him $5 million, and the eldest son of William Henry Vanderbilt, who left him close to $70 million. In his turn he succeeded them as head of the New York Central and related railroad lines in 1885. He had a reputation as something of a workaholic, though a stroke in 1896 compelled him to reduce his active business involvement. Though retired from active control he took an advisory role in the many properties in which he, and the family, had made investments. Regarded as a capable and conservative railroad manager, and a splendid accountant; mastering the intricacies of the banking system during his association with the Shoe and Leather Bank of New York. Between 1885 and his untimely death in 1899 the stock of the leading railroads, with which the Vanderbilt name was then identified, had enhanced in value to the amount of $173,497,000. over their worth at the time he assumed control. Kindly, charitable, and democratic, he held the respect of employees at all levels of the Vanderbilt railroad interests. This Cornelius, deriving no pleasure in yachting, or the Turf, sought the satisfactions of philanthropy, fine music, good paintings and exquisite architecture. He married Alice Claypoole Gwynne (1852-1934). Their eldest son William Henry Vanderbilt II (1870-1892) died while a junior at Yale University, and Cornelius endowed a large dormitory there. He disinherited his second son Cornelius Vanderbilt III (1873-1942) for marrying without his approval. Third son Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (1877-1915) went down with the RMS Lusitania. His remaining son was Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt. His daughters were Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Countess Gladys Vanderbilt Széchenyi. The fabulous Fifth Avenue mansions he, his brothers, and his sons lived in have been demolished, but the Newport, Rhode Island vacation home he built, The Breakers, still stands as a memory of the lifestyle of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. On his death, family leadership passed to his brother, William Kissam Vanderbilt. His philanthropy had been such that he did not increase the wealth that had been left to him.
“Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt
Steamship and railroad promoter; Capitalist. Founder of the family fortune which exists yet today, Vanderbilt stands as one of the greatest American capitalists. Vanderbilt began his rise at 16, as the owner-operator of a small ferryboat which ran between Staten Island and New York City. In 1829, after some years of running a hotel and various other enterprises, Vanderbilt entered the steamboat business on his own, operating a shipping service on the Hudson. By the early 1850s, he had established numerous shipping lines, with routes to Europe and to San Francisco via a Nicaraguan land route, and was widely considered the leading steamboat owner in the U.S. He acquired the title, "Commodore," sometime around 1845 as a result of his shipping interests. As he neared 70, Vanderbilt sold his shipping interests and turned his attention to railroads, a move which resulted in the creation of one the nation's great transportation systems. He began, in the early 1860s, by gaining control of the New York & Harlem Railroad, followed shortly after by the run-down Hudson River Railroad. In both cases, Daniel Drew and other stock manipulators tried to make a killing at Vanderbilt's expense by short-selling stock in these companies, then trying to force the stock price down. Vanderbilt outwitted them, however, and many either lost substantial amounts of money or were ruined. In 1867, Vanderbilt acquired the New York Central Railroad and, in 1869, merged it with the Hudson River RR, thus forming the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad. In 1868, Vanderbilt attempted to gain control of the Erie Railroad, but was, at last, outwitted by Drew, James Fisk, and Jay Gould, who were in control of the railroad and dumped 50,000 shares of fraudulent stock on the market for the unwitting Vanderbilt to buy up. The trio then escaped to New Jersey to avoid both Vanderbilt's wrath and prosecution for their scheme. Vanderbilt's well-documented battles with Drew and Gould for control of the New York & Harlem, Hudson River and Erie railroads form some of the most colorful and exciting pages in U.S. financial history. In 1873, convinced by his son, William, that they should extend their rail system to Chicago, Vanderbilt bought the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway and, in 1875, the Michigan Central and Canada Southern railroads. During the panic of 1873, Vanderbilt announced that the New York Central was paying its dividends as usual, and he let out contracts for the construction of the Grand Central Terminal. In this way, Vanderbilt used his wealth as stabilizing influence in the U.S. economy during the last years of his life.
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.