GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 12/06/1869 - HFSID 14097
GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN The eccentric, nineteenth-century American businessman sends letter full of his teachings, signs name in black ink Autograph letter signed: "Geo. Francis Train" in black ink. 1 page, 10x8. Bancroft House, East Saginaw, Michigan. December 6, 1869. In full: "Yours Oct.
Sale Price $378.00
GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN
The eccentric, nineteenth-century American businessman sends letter full of his teachings, signs name in black ink
Autograph letter signed: "Geo. Francis Train" in black ink. 1 page, 10x8. Bancroft House, East Saginaw, Michigan. December 6, 1869. In full: "Yours Oct. 24th finds me on my 259th successive lecture of cause of [illegible] since released from a British Bastile on the way to the White House in 1872. You can help me in my reform by preaching and practicing the following short sermon:- Don't Drink; Don't Chew; Don't Smoke; Don't Swear; Don't Gamble; Don't Lie; Don't Cheat; Don't Steal; Love God - but don't love God so much that you have no time to love your fellow men. Live Truth; Live Virtue and be happy. Sincerely". George Francis Train (1829-1904) grew rich in the shipping and transportation business, and used his gains to finance his eccentric personal causes. A supporter of temperance and of women's rights, he was a major financial backer of Susan B. Anthony. (He embarrassed Anthony and others, however, with his argument to husbands that their wives were certainly more deserving of the vote than blacks.) Train himself ran for President in 1872, and became the only Presidential candidate in history to profit from his campaign by charging admission to his rallies. In 1864, Train created a corporation, Credit Mobilier of America, to finance railroad construction, principally the Union Pacific. This triggered an enormous scandal in 1872, when it was revealed that many members of Congress had accepted gifts of Credit Mobilier stock had discount prices, in exchange for legislation favorable to railroad interests and especially purchase of land right of ways. The scandal enmeshed both of President Grant's Vice Presidents (Colfax and Wilson), and triggered a severe recession. Unlike most of his investors, Train emerged with his wealth intact to pursue other goals. He campaigned to have himself named Dictator of the United States, and began a 20-year quest to circumnavigate the world in less time than it had taken Phineas Fogg, fictional hero of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. His first effort (1870), was delayed when he was caught up in a French Revolution and barely escaped a firing squad. He succeeded in 1890, rounding the world in 67½ days. The author of several books and many poems, Train was a charismatic public speaker. Normal mailing folds. Toned. Creased throughout. Slightly soiled. Otherwise, fine condition.
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