J.P. Morgan Signed Northern Pacific Railroad Company Stock
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Partially Printed Document Signed as Company Trustee. 100 Shares of fully paid shares of one hundred dollars each of preferred stock to Drexel Morgan & Company. January 27, 1881. Signed by Frederick Billings as president and Robert L. Belknap as treasurer. With large signature of Morgan on verso dated June 24, 1881.
Frederick H. Billings (1823-1890) was president of the Northern Pacific Railway from 1879 to 1881. Originally from Vermont, he was a lawyer and traveled to San Francisco during the Gold Rush to become California’s first land claims attorney. He was a trustee at the College of California and suggested that the school be named after philosopher George Berkeley. Billings returned to Vermont and became an active conservationist, forester, and booster of the University of Vermont. Billings, Montana, is named is named in his honor.
Robert L. Belknap was the treasurer of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Belknap, Montana is named in his honor.
John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) was one of the world’s leading investment bankers between 1890 and 1915. He reorganized several major railroads with William Henry Vanderbilt. In 1898, he strong-armed a syndicate of New York banks into financing a thirty-million-dollar bail-out of the United States Treasury. Known as a trust-organizer, he consolidated the United States Steel, International Harvester, and General Electric corporations. Morgan was also an avid collector of fine art, manuscripts, and print collectibles, which today are displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Pierpont Morgan Wing and in the Pierpont Morgan Library.