Stock Interest Sheet signed by Moses Taylor - AutographsInv# AU1634 Stock
Sheet of stockholders interest on stock for the Valley Rail Road signed by Moses Taylor.
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.
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.