AMERICAN MERCHANTS UNION EXPRESS CO. - STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED 09/30/1869 CO-SIGNED BY: WILLIAM G. FARGO, J. N. KNAPP, E. P. ROSS - HFSID 15296
AMERICAN MERCHANTS UNION EXPRESS COMPANY William G. Fargo signs an American Merchants Express Company Stock Certificate that has been bound in a leather and felt portfolio, 17¾x12¾ when closed. Stock Certificate signed: "Wm G. Fargo" as President, "
Sale Price $1,275.00
AMERICAN MERCHANTS UNION EXPRESS COMPANY
William G. Fargo signs an American Merchants Express Company Stock Certificate that has been bound in a leather and felt portfolio, 17¾x12¾ when closed.
Stock Certificate signed: "Wm G. Fargo" as President, "E. P. Ross" as Treasurer and "J. N. Knapp" as Secretary, 2p, 11¾x9 front and verso (made to show both sides). New York, 1869 September 30. Certificate No. 5442. Issue of 100 shares of Capital Stock; each share was worth $100. In part: "This Certifies that Horace D. Hawkins are entitled to One Hundred Shares in the American Merchants Union Express Company...." On verso, Horace D. Hawkins have transferred this stock on November 11, 1869. 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. "X"-cut cancellations touch the signatures of Fargo and Knapp. Printed stamps touch the top of the "H" in Henry. Light show through of printing and writing on verso. Overall, fine condition.
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