Harlem River and Portchester Railroad Company (Signed William Waldorf Astor and Franklin Hughes Delano)
Harlem River and Portchester Railroad Company (Signed William Waldorf Astor and Franklin Hughes Delano)
- Only one piece available...
- Inventory on the way
Harlem River and Portchester Railroad Company
October 1, 1881
Continental Bank Note Company
12 1/2" (w) by 9" (h)
Show the exact certificate you will receive
Signed by William Waldorf Astor and Franklin Hughes Delano
The Harlem River and Port Chester Railroad was chartered April 23, 1866 as a branch line from the Harlem River at the north end of the Harlem Bridge (now the Third Avenue Bridge) in New York City to the Village of Port Chester in Westchester County, New York at the Connecticut state border. Only the southern portion was completed, terminating instead about five towns southwest of Port Chester in New Rochelle. At the time, New Rochelle was the final railroad station when traveling from Connecticut before entering New York City.
The New York and New Haven Railroad and the Hartford and New Haven Railroad merged to create the larger New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in 1872. The HR&PC was leased by the New Haven Railroad in 1873 and opened later that year, running from the New Haven at New Rochelle south into the Bronx.
Leasing the line enabled the New Haven to establish a continuous line of service from Connecticut to Manhattan. The HR&PC provided freight service between New York City and the Harlem River Yard. Commuter service ran along the line from the Harlem River Terminal up to main-line New Haven in New Rochelle until 1931.
The New York, Westchester and Boston Railway commuter rail line opened in 1912, paralleling the HR&PC just to the west, south of the crossing of the Bronx River. Until 1924, when a new combined station was built, the short Willis Avenue Spur of the elevated IRT Third Avenue Line ran to the Harlem River terminal of the HR&PC and the NYW&B.
In 1917 the New York Connecting Railroad opened for passenger service between the HR&PC at Port Morris and the Pennsylvania Tunnel and Terminal Railroad at Sunnyside Yard. This allowed NYNH&H trains to run over the HR&PC and into New York Penn Station, though most continued to serve Grand Central Terminal until Amtrak took over intercity operations in 1971.
On January 1, 1927 the HR&PC was merged into the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. The NYNH&H was merged into Penn Central in 1969, and Penn Central became part of Conrail in 1976. The HR&PC was ultimately sold to Amtrak and is now part of their Northeast Corridor used by its high-speed Acela Express.
William Waldorf Astor
William Waldorf Astor was born in New York City. He was the only child of financier and philanthropist John Jacob Astor III (1822–1890) and Charlotte Augusta Gibbes (1825–1887). He studied in Germany and in Italy under the care of private tutors and a governess.
In his early adult years, Astor returned to the United States and went to Columbia Law School, graduating with a LL.B. in 1875. He was called to the United States Bar in 1875. He worked for a short time in law practice and in the management of his father's estate of financial and real estate holdings.
After some time practicing law, Astor thought he had found his true calling and an opportunity to make a name for himself outside of his family's fortune by entering the political realm. In 1877, with his eyes set on the United States Congress, Astor entered New York City politics as a Republican.
He was elected as a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 11th D.) in 1878; and of the New York State Senate (10th D.) in 1880 and 1881. Astor was likely supported by the boss of the New York State Republican machine, Roscoe Conkling, with whom his family was involved.
In 1880, the Maryland General Assembly voted to rename Beantown in Charles County Maryland "Waldorf" in honor of him.
In 1881, Astor was defeated by Roswell P. Flower as a candidate for the United States Congress. A second attempt at the seat also resulted in defeat. His shy nature could not handle the political attacks on his character. This was the end of his political career. The press used his political failures as fodder for harsh criticisms.
In 1882, President Chester A. Arthur appointed Astor Minister to Italy, a post he held until 1885. He told Astor, "Go and enjoy yourself, my dear boy." While living in Rome, Astor developed a lifelong passion for art and sculpture.
Move to England
Upon the death of his father in February 1890, Astor inherited a personal fortune that made him the second richest man in America. Economists widely agree that John D. Rockefeller was the wealthiest American of that time.
In 1890 Astor initiated the construction of the luxurious Waldorf Hotel on the site of his former residence. At 13 stories high, it overshadowed the adjacent mansion of his aunt, the socialite Caroline "Lina" Schermerhorn Astor. Lina complained bitterly about the commercial establishment next door. However, in 1897, her son John Jacob Astor IV persuaded her to move away and replaced their mansion with the, slightly larger in height and width, Astoria Hotel, which was operated as an extension of the Waldorf; the complex became the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
In the meantime, the friction had blown up into a feud. Aunt Lina also insisted that she, not William's wife Mary, was the Mrs. Astor in New York society, just as she had when that title belonged to her husband's elder brother's wife, Charlotte Astor, when she was alive.
As a result of the conflict, Astor moved with his wife and children to England. He rented Lansdowne House in London until 1893. That year, he purchased a country estate, Cliveden in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, from the Duke of Westminster. In 1899, William Waldorf Astor picked up British citizenship, which drew him further away from American history.
To disappear from public view, in the summer of 1892, Astor faked his own death by having his staff report to American reporters that he had died, apparently from pneumonia. However, the ruse was soon discovered, and Astor was mocked in the press.
In 1895, he built a gothic mansion on London's Victoria Embankment at Two Temple Place overlooking the River Thames. He commissioned architect John Loughborough Pearson to design a $1.5 million building, a "crenelated Tudor stronghold" which he used as an office for managing his extensive holdings.
Astor made several business acquisitions while he lived in London. In 1892, he purchased the Pall Mall Gazette, and in 1893 established the Pall Mall Magazine. In 1911 he acquired The Observer, a national newspaper. In 1912 he sold the Pall Mall Magazine, and in 1914 made a present of the Pall Mall Gazette and The Observer, with the building in Newton Street and its contents, to his son Waldorf Astor.
In 1903, he acquired the Hever Castle Estate near Edenbridge, Kent, about 30 miles south of London. The estate of over 3,500 acres had at its centre a castle built in 1270 where Anne Boleyn lived as a child. Astor invested a great deal of time and money to restore the castle, building what is known as the "Tudor Village," and creating a lake and lavish gardens. He also added the Italian Garden (including Fernery) to display his collection of statuary and ornaments.
In 1906, he gave his eldest son Waldorf Astor and his new daughter-in-law, Nancy Witcher Langhorne, the Cliveden estate as well as the Sancy diamond as wedding presents. Nancy Astor (as she became on her marriage) became Britain's first seated female Member of Parliament.
In 1908, building on his success with the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York he financed the Waldorf Hotel in London's West End.
Philanthropy and peerage
Astor became a British subject in 1899. He continued his philanthropic activities, like his father. Among the charities he supported were the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street (to which he gave $250,000 in 1903); University College, London (including a gift of £20,000 in 1902 for professorships); the Cancer Research Fund; Oxford University; Cambridge University; the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; the British Red Cross Society; Gordon Memorial College, Khartoum; the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association; and the Women's Memorial to Queen Victoria. His gifts to war charities included $125,000 to the Prince of Wales's National Relief Fund; a similar amount to Princess Louise's Officers' Families Fund; $200,000 to the British Red Cross; $25,000 to Queen Mary's Employment Committee; and a similar sum to the Lord Mayor's National Bands Fund. He gave $5,000 to King Edward's Hospital Fund annually starting with its founding in 1897.
Coat of arms of Baron Astor of Hever
In recognition of his work for charity, on January 1, 1916, he was offered and accepted a peerage of the United Kingdom under the title of Baron Astor of Hever Castle in the County of Kent. On June 3, 1917, he was elevated to the rank of viscount as the Viscount Astor. The elevation was controversial, as some felt that a rich American had bought his way into the English aristocracy.
On October 18, 1919, he unexpectedly died of heart failure in the lavatory of his seaside house at Brighton in Sussex. His ashes were buried under the marble floor of the Astor family chapel (also called the Octagon Temple) at Cliveden.
Franklin Hughes Delano
Franklin Hughes Delano was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on July 27, 1813 and grew up in Fairhaven. He was a son of Captain Warren Delano and Deborah Perry (née Church) Delano. Among his siblings was brother Warren Delano Jr. After his mother's death in 1827, his father, who was involved in the New England sea trade, remarried to Elizabeth Adams, a widow of Captain Parker of the United States Navy.
A descendant of Philip Delano (a Pilgrim who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621), Franklin's paternal grandparents were Ephraim Delano and Elisabeth (née Cushman) Delano, and his maternal grandparents were Joseph Church and Deborah (née Perry) Church Through his brother Warren, Franklin was the uncle of Warren Delano IV, Frederic Adrian Delano, and Sara Delano Roosevelt (the mother of Delano's grand-nephew and namesake, Franklin Delano Roosevelt).
Delano was involved, and partners, in a number of financial ventures, including shipping ventures, with his brothers Warren, Frederick, and Edward. In January 1839, he became a partner in the New York shipping firm of Grinnell, Minturn & Company. He served as U.S. Consul for Chile at New York, from 1840 until 1851, when he resigned that office and also retired as an active partner in Grinnell, Minturn & Co. After his marriage, Delano joined his father-in-law in the Astor family business, located on Pearl Street in New York City, and assisted in control the large piece of property in New York City which his wife had inherited.
After his retirement in 1851, Delano and his wife traveled to Europe, and later, spent much of their time in Italy and Monte Carlo.
In the 1850s, Delano, along with his brother Warren and Asa Packer (the builder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and founder of Lehigh University), headed a land company that purchased several thousand acres and established the town of Delano, Pennsylvania. Delano also served as the company president of the Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad, the largest railroad in Alabama, due to the Astor family's ownership of a large block of stock. The Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad was formed by the consolidation of Alabama and Tennessee River Rail Road Co. (incorporated in 1848), the Georgia and Alabama Rail Road Co. (incorporated in 1854), and the Dalton and Jacksonville Railroad Co. (incorporated in 1854) on August 6, 1866. Delano handed over day-to-day management of the railroad to Captain E. G. Barney.
In September 1844, Delano was married to heiress Laura Eugenia Astor. Laura was a daughter of William Backhouse Astor Sr. and Margaret (née Armstrong) Astor, and a sister, among others, of John Jacob Astor III and William Backhouse Astor Jr. (husband of the Mrs. Astor). Reportedly, Laura was the favorite granddaughter of John Jacob Astor, the founding Astor family patriarch who was America's first millionaire who died in 1848, four years after their marriage. Her maternal grandparents were John Armstrong Jr. (a U.S. Senator, U.S. Minister to France under Thomas Jefferson and U.S. Secretary of War under James Madison) and Alida (née Livingston) Armstrong.
In New York City, the Delanos lived at 190 Madison Avenue, and where he was a member of the Union Club (which he joined in 1839, three years after its founding in 1836), the Knickerbocker Club, the Century Club, the New-England Society, and the American Geographic Society.
Around 1890, due to failing health, Delano moved abroad and after traveling for a year, took up residence in Monte Carlo, Monaco, where he died on December 23, 1893. His widow died in 1902.
As a wedding gift, Laura's father gifted the couple the southernmost 100 acres of his Rokeby estate. The estate came to be known as "Steen Valetje" (which means "little stone valley" in Dutch). The Tuscan-style mansion, designed by Frank Wills, was completed in 1851. In 1866 William Astor Sr. conveyed the adjoining 142 acres of Rokeby to his son, Henry. Henry Astor built a brick dwelling on this land, but in 1873 conveyed the property to Laura, thus expanding "Steen Valetje". A gatehouse, designed by Walter Schickles & Co. was added in 1874. The mansion was expanded in 1881 by architect Thomas Stent.
The Astors and the Delanos commissioned German born landscape gardener Hans Jacob Ehlers to improve the grounds at Rokeby and Steen Valetje. Ehlers converted an old farm track into a woodland path called the Poet's Walk in honor of poets Washington Irving and Fitz-Greene Halleck, who are said to have strolled there. It is now Poets' Walk Park, managed by the not-for-profit Scenic Hudson.
As Delano and his wife both died childless, he left Steen Valetje to his nephew, coal baron Warren Delano IV. Warren IV was very involved in horse breeding, with over sixty saddle, driving, and draft horses at his stables at "Steen Valetje". He died September 9, 1920, when, while picking up a trunk at the Barrytown Train Station, his carriage horse was frightened by an approaching northbound New York Central express, and dashed onto the tracks with the buggy carrying Delano, who was killed instantly. His funeral was held at "Steen Valetje" and was attended by his nephew Franklin, then the Democratic vice presidential candidate.
Jennie Walters Delano, died two years later in 1922. Their son Lyman inherited "Steen Valetje" and his family kept the home until 1966 when it was sold. In the late 20th century the mansion was remodeled in the Georgian style; and the estate's name was changed to "Mandara".
Certificates carry no value on any of today's financial indexes and no transfer of ownership is implied. All items offered are collectible in nature only. So, you can frame them, but you can't cash them in!
All of our pieces are original - we do not sell reproductions. If you ever find out that one of our pieces is not authentic, you may return it for a full refund of the purchase price and any associated shipping charges.
Are the certificates offered on your site genuine or reproductions?All of the certificates you see on our site are genuine pieces, we do not sell any reproductions.
Are the certificates you sell negotiable on any of today's stock markets or indexes?
No. All of the pieces we sell are either canceled or obsolete and have collectible value only.
Are the images presented in your product listings of the exact piece I will receive?
It depends. We try to present images of the exact piece you will receive whenever possible. However, when we are offering quantities of a piece, this is impossible. Within every product page we detail whether or not you will be receiving the exact certificate listed, or if the image is a representative example of the one you will receive.
How will you ship my order and how much do you charge?
We ship all orders via the United States Postal Service. Most domestic orders are shipped via Ground Advantage. USPS International, Priority and Express Mail, UPS and DHL services are also available, and costs are calculated during checkout. Current charges may be reviewed here.
Can I return my purchase?
Absolutely. You may return any merchandise, for any reason, within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund of the purchase price.
We guarantee all of our pieces to be authentic. If you ever determine that a piece is not authentic, it may be returned for a full refund of the purchase price as well as any associated shipping charges.
If your order exceeds $35, and the shipping address is within the United States, shipping via USPS Ground Advantage is FREE!
We make every effort to ship out all orders within 24 hours of receipt.
We ship the majority of orders via the USPS, with domestic orders using the Ground Advantage service.
Shipping is calculated during checkout. Upgraded services such as Priority and Express Mail, as well as UPS and DHL options, are also available.
As soon as your order is shipped you will receive your tracking information via email.
OVERSEAS ORDERS PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DECLARE FULL ORDER VALUE ON ALL SHIPMENTS. CUSTOMER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL VAT/CUSTOMS CHARGES.
Our goal is to make sure every item you receive is exactly what you had in mind. If you not happy with your purchase, we’ll help you get it sorted in a timely and professional manner.
You can return anything we offer for an exchange, refund or store credit within 30 days of delivery. Return shipping costs may apply, and the item must be in its original condition and packaging.
Any shipping charges collected on the original order are not eligible for a refund.