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Paterson Extension Rail Road Company (Signed by U.S. Vice President Garret Hobart)


SKU: 5652
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Paterson Extension Rail Road Company dating back to the 1880's. This document, which has been signed by the company President (Garret Hobart) and Treasurer, was printed by the Kendall Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 16" (w) by 10 1/4" (h).


This certificate features a pair of vignettes - a reclining allegorical female figure at the top, and an eagle on a shield at the bottom.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured. Please note edge faults, particularly along top margin. There are some fold splits that have been tape repaired on the back.

    Historical Context

    The Paterson Extension Railroad Company (also known as the Paterson City Branch) was incorporated in New Jersey on April 18, 1881.

    Two months later, it was consolidated with the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad Company, the Midland Railroad Company of New Jersey, the Midland Connecting Railway Company, the North Jersey Railroad Company, the Water Gap Railroad Company, and the Pennsylvania Midland Railway Company under the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad Company name.

    This 3/4 mile long line was formed to bring the Midland Railroad of New Jersey into the center of Paterson. This was not surprising, as many of the road's directors had close ties to the city. The branch meant more convenience for passengers transferring to/from the Erie Railroad and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, as well as those trying to access city offices and businesses.

    The decision to consolidate the six smaller lines with the New York, Susquehanna and Western was to form a complete line to the more western based anthracite fields of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Company President Garret Hobart (the 24th Vice President of the United States) enlisted the help of other local business magnates (including John Insley Blair, Jacob Rogers, General A. L. Lee, Simon Borg, William S. Dunn and Frederick A. Potts) to form the new road. Blair owned a small railroad to be included in the consolidation and Rogers was a Paterson locomotive manufacturer.

    Garret Hobart

    Garret Hobart's Signature

    Garret Hobart's Signature


    Garret Augustus Hobart was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, to Addison Willard Hobart and the former Sophia Vanderveer. Garret initially attended his father's school in Long Branch. He graduated from Rutgers in 1863 at age 19, finishing third in his class. He received his diploma from Theodore Frelinghuysen, New Jersey's first major-party vice-presidential candidate, who had run unsuccessfully with Henry Clay in 1844. In later life, Hobart was a generous donor to Rutgers, received an honorary degree after becoming vice president, and shortly before his death was elected a trustee.

    After graduation from Rutgers, Hobart worked briefly as a teacher to repay loans. Although Hobart was young and in good health, he did not serve in the Union Army. Addison Hobart's childhood friend, lawyer Socrates Tuttle, offered to take Garret into his office to read law. Tuttle was a prominent Passaic County lawyer who had served in the legislature. Hobart supported himself during his time of study in Paterson by working as a bank clerk; he later became director of the same bank. Hobart was admitted to the bar as an attorney in 1866; he became a counsellor-at-law in 1871 and was made a master in chancery in 1872.

    In addition to learning law from Tuttle, Hobart fell in love with his daughter, Jennie Tuttle Hobart. The two were married on July 21, 1869. The Hobarts had long been Democrats; Garret Hobart's marriage into the Republican Tuttle family converted him to that party.

    Socrates Tuttle was influential in Paterson, which worked to Hobart's advantage. In 1866, the year he became a lawyer, Hobart was appointed grand jury clerk for Passaic County. When Tuttle became mayor of Paterson in 1871, he made Hobart city counsel. A year later, Hobart became counsel for the county Board of Chosen Freeholders.

    In 1872, Hobart ran as a Republican for the New Jersey General Assembly from Passaic County's third legislative district. He was easily elected, taking nearly two-thirds of the vote. The General Assembly was then elected annually and he was successful in winning re-election the following year, although his margin of victory was cut in half. In 1874, still only age 30, he was voted Speaker of the Assembly.

    In 1876, Hobart was nominated for the New Jersey Senate seat for Passaic County. He was elected to a three-year term, and was re-elected in 1879. In 1881 and 1882, he served as President of the state Senate, becoming the first man to lead both houses of the legislature. In 1883, he was the Republican nominee in the election for United States Senate—until 1913, senators were elected by state legislatures. As the Democrats had more legislators, a Republican had no chance of election—the nomination was simply a way of honoring Hobart for his political service. The "complimentary" nomination would prove to be Hobart's only electoral defeat.

    Hobart also had a lucrative business acting as court-appointed receiver of bankrupt railroads. Hobart reorganized them, and restored them to fiscal health. He often invested heavily in them; his success made him wealthy. In addition to the railroads for which he acted as receiver, he served as president of the Paterson Railway Company, which ran the city's streetcars, and as a board member for other railroads.

    Jennie Hobart, in her memoirs, traced her suspicions that her husband might be a vice-presidential contender to a lunch she had with him at the Waldorf Hotel in New York in March 1895. During the meal, industrialist and future senator Mark Hanna interrupted them to ask what Garret Hobart thought of the possible presidential candidacy of Ohio Governor William McKinley—Hanna was one of McKinley's principal backers. Garret Hobart evaded the question, but Jennie Hobart believed the conversation to have been the first of a chain of events which elevated her husband to national office.

    In November 1895, Republican John Griggs was elected governor of New Jersey; his campaign was managed by Hobart. The election of New Jersey's first Republican governor since the 1860s led to speculation in the newspapers that Hobart would be a candidate for vice president. New Jersey Republicans were anxious to nominate Hobart, both to see one of their own possibly elevated to national office, and in the hope that having Hobart on the national ticket would boost the Republican vote in New Jersey. Hobart was an attractive candidate as he was from a swing state, and the Griggs victory showed that Republicans could hope to win New Jersey's electoral votes, which they had not done since 1872. Another reason for a Hobart selection was his wealth; he could be expected to spend abundantly on his own campaign.

    McKinley was nominated for president on the first ballot. Hobart's nomination soon followed, but Hobart expressed reluctance in a letter to his wife from the convention: "It looks to me I will be nominated for Vice-President whether I want it or not, and as I get nearer to the point where I may, I am dismayed at the thought ... If I want a nomination, everything is going my way. But when I realize all that it means in work, worry, and loss of home and bliss, I am overcome, so overcome I am simply miserable." Despite Hobart's expressed hesitation, he was welcomed home by a crowd of 15,000 at the Paterson Armory. City officials, feeling they had insufficient fireworks to properly honor Hobart, obtained more from New York City.

    Together with Pennsylvania Senator Matthew Quay, Hobart ran the McKinley campaign's New York office, often making the short journey from Paterson for strategy meetings. The vice-presidential candidate emulated McKinley in giving speeches from his front porch; unlike McKinley he also addressed rallies. In October, he made a short tour of New Jersey to campaign, expressing relief to his wife when it came to a close. On November 3, 1896, the voters cast their ballots in most states; a nervous Hobart spent the day at his office. Special telegraph wires had been attached to his home; at 8:30 in the evening they conveyed the news to him that McKinley and Hobart had won. The Republican ticket won New Jersey, together with the entire Northeast. The following week, Vice President-elect Hobart attended Rutgers' 130th anniversary celebrations as guest of honor. The member of the Class of 1863 was now Rutgers' most prominent graduate.

    Hobart spent much of the four months between election and inauguration reading about the vice presidency, preparing for the move, and winding down some business affairs. He did not, however, resign from the boards of corporations which would not have business before the federal government. "It would be highly ridiculous for me to resign from the different companies in which I am officer and a stockholder whose interests are not in the least affected, or likely to be, by my position as Vice President." On March 2, 1897 the Hobarts left Paterson to travel to Washington by special train. On March 4, Garret Hobart was inaugurated as vice president in the Senate Chamber.

    The President and Vice President were already friends from the campaign; after the inauguration, a close relationship grew between the two men, and their wives. The First Lady, Ida McKinley, had health issues, and could not stand the strain of the required official entertaining. Jennie Hobart often substituted for the First Lady at receptions and other events, and also was a close companion, visiting her daily. The Hobarts often entertained at their house, which was useful to McKinley, who could attend and meet informally with congressmen without placing strain on his wife with a White House function. McKinley, who had become insolvent while governor of Ohio, turned over a portion of his presidential salary to Hobart to invest.

    The vice president had in recent administrations been considered a relatively low-level political functionary, whose activities were generally limited to the constitutional function of presiding over the Senate. Hobart, however, became a close adviser to McKinley and his Cabinet members, although he was not called upon to attend Cabinet meetings. Reporter Arthur Wallace Dunn wrote of Hobart in 1922, "for the first time in my recollection, and the last for that matter, the Vice President was recognized as somebody, as a part of the Administration, and as a part of the body over which he presided."

    Through late 1897 and early 1898, many Americans called for the United States to intervene in Cuba, then a Spanish colony revolting against the mother country. These calls greatly increased in February 1898, when the American battleship Maine sank in Havana harbor after an explosion. McKinley sought delay, hoping to settle the disputes peacefully, but in April 1898, Hobart told the President that the Senate would act against Spain whether McKinley liked it or not. McKinley gave in; Congress declared war on April 25, beginning the Spanish-American War, and Hobart sent McKinley a pen with which to sign the declaration.

    Hobart was more assertive as Senate president than his predecessors had been. It was customary for the vice president not to rule on disputed points, but to submit them to a vote. Hobart, with his experience as a presiding officer in the New Jersey Legislature, took a more assertive role, ruling on disputes, and trying to expedite legislation. Hobart was initially diffident in his role, feeling himself unproven beside longtime national legislators, but soon gained self-confidence, writing in a letter that "I find that I am as good and as capable as any of them. If they know a whole lot of things I don't know, I also know a whole lot of things they don't know. And there is a common humanity running through them all that makes us all as one, after all." Hobart was so successful at guiding the administration's legislative agenda through the Senate that he became known as the "assistant President".

    Vice President Hobart only cast his tie-breaking vote once, using it to defeat an amendment which would have promised self-government to the Philippines, one of the possessions which the United States had taken from Spain after the war. Hobart was instrumental in securing the ratification of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war; according to McKinley biographer H. Wayne Morgan, Hobart was "almost the president's alter ego, [turning] every screw with his legendary politeness".

    By late 1898, Hobart had fallen ill with a serious heart ailment, which he at first concealed from the public. He continued Senate duty, but nearly collapsed after delivering an address closing the session. He accompanied the President on a vacation trip to Hanna's winter home in Thomasville, Georgia, but quickly contracted the flu and returned to Washington. By April 1899, Hobart's illness was well known in the press, though Hanna assured the newspapers that Hobart would be on the ticket in 1900: "nothing but death or an earthquake can stop the re-nomination of Vice President Hobart".

    Despite his vice president's ill-health, McKinley called upon him to break the news to Secretary of War Russell Alger that McKinley wanted him to resign—the secretary had ignored or misunderstood repeated hints from the President. Hobart invited Alger to Long Branch for the weekend, and broke the news; Alger duly submitted his resignation to McKinley. Hobart's condition worsened within days of the Alger visit, and he was soon bedridden.

    After a vacation with the McKinleys on Lake Champlain, Hobart returned to Paterson in September. On November 1, 1899, the government announced that Hobart would not return to public life. His condition deteriorated rapidly, and he died on November 21, 1899 at age 55.

    New Jersey Governor Foster Voorhees ordered that state buildings be draped in mourning for 30 days, and that flags be flown at half staff until Hobart's funeral. Hobart's home, Carroll Hall, was opened to the public for four hours so that citizens might pass by his open casket; 12,000 people did so. Hobart was laid to rest at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson after a large public funeral, attended by President McKinley and many high government officials. Although the large government delegation meant that few local people could attend the service, a crowd of 50,000 came to Paterson to honor Hobart.

    The line was financed by the Erie Railroad Company in an effort to develop a route that avoided the bottlenecks that occured in Passaic and Paterson.

    Today, it is part of New Jersey Transit's Bergen County Line.