AMERICAN MERCHANTS UNION EXPRESS CO. - STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED 06/26/1869 CO-SIGNED BY: WILLIAM G. FARGO, J. N. KNAPP, E. P. ROSS - HFSID 15313
Sale Price $1,275.00
AMERICAN MERCHANTS UNION EXPRESS COMPANY: WILLIAM
FARGO, J. N. KNAPP, and E. P. ROSS
The three businessmen signed this stock certificate to confer shares in the company
Stock Certificate signed: "Wm G. Fargo" as President, "E. P. Ross" as Treasurer and "J. N. Knapp" as Secretary, 2p, 12¼x9½ front and verso. New York, June 26, 1869. Certificate No. 5822. In part: "This Certifies…that said shares are subject to assessments for all losses and damages or other liabilities incurred in the prosecution of the business of the company" On verso, the stock is transferred to another individual. William G. Fargo, who served as Secretary and President of the American Express Company (1850-1868 and 1868-1881) signed this certificate for the American Merchants Union Express Company, which evolved from American Express. American Express, which was founded in March 1850, had been formed by the merger of three companies: Wells and Company, which Henry Wells helped found in New York City in 1846; Livingston, Fargo and Company, which was co-founded by Wells and Fargo in Buffalo, New York in 1846; and Butterfield, Wasson and Company. The reorganized company operated in the New England states and followed the Great Lakes into the Midwest and as far north as Canada, transporting valuables, currency, mail and commodities. By the end of the Civil War, American Express had expanded to over 900 offices in ten states. However, it faced competition from the railroads and other express companies. In 1867, the Merchants Union Express Company entered the market and soon became one of American Express' major competitors. The year before this certificate was signed, the two companies merged, creating the American Merchants Union Express Company. That same year, Fargo succeeded Henry Wells as President of the company. After 1869, the year of this certificate, American Express expanded into banking and tourism. In 1873, the firm's name reverted back to American Express. Light show through of printing and writing on verso. One hole the size of a dime punched through in left side of printed text. Regular stamps. Toned along edges and creases. Otherwise, fine condition.
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