GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN - AUTOGRAPH POEM SIGNED 09/18/1887 - HFSID 169241
Sale Price $378.00
GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN
The eccentric nineteenth-century American businessman writes a short poem to an autograph seeker, signs name twice in black ink
Autograph poem signed twice: "Geo. Francis Train" and "Geo. Francis Train" in black ink. 1 page, 5x8. Madison Square, New York City. September 18 P.E. 48 (1887 A.D.). P.E. 48 meant Physical Era 48, meaning Train had been on Earth for 48 years. Addressed to W.M. Taylor of Toronto. In full: "Your letter has been upon the tramp/And so I do not owe your Stamp/I send you the Autographed name/You seem to value/...A name widely known throughout the world Earth/And yet a name of little worth/So little I now write again/The name to please you". 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. Mounting remnants on verso. Pencil notations (unknown hand) at lower left and right corners. Normal mailing folds. Toned. Ink spots throughout. Creased throughout. Otherwise, fine condition.
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