Stock Certificate From Buffalo Bill's Wild West Company Goes For $20,000 At R. M. Smythe & Company A stock certificate from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Company sold for $20,000 and was one of several outstanding offerings that exceeded presale estimates at the February 6-7th. R. M. Smythe & Company Wi
News-Antique.com - Feb 22,2008 - Manhattan, New York - February 21, 2008 - The February 6-7th, Winter, Stock & Bond Auction at R. M. Smythe & Company (#277) saw heated bidding that was typified by the sale of a featured stock certificate from Buffalo Bills Wild West Company, which saw a final hammer price of $20,000. The beautifully illustrated certificate featured a portrait of Buffalo Bill at top center. Other noteworthy sales that warmed the winter auction included:
Lot # 1396 (Presale Estimate - $15,000-25,000) Final Bid - $19,000
Accessory Transit (of Nicaragua) (NY) 1856. #12. $5000. Bearer Bond. Auxilliary ocean going steamship. Signed twice by Cornelius Vanderbilt as president, and on the reverse. Not cancelled. John W. Amerman. NY. VF.*
Cornelius "The Commodore" Vanderbilt (1794-1877) was an American financier and founder of his family's fortune. At the age of 16 he bought a boat and ferried passangers and goods between Staten Island and Manhatten. He later made a fortune in the steamship business, earning himself the nickname "Commodore." In 1862 he sold his ships and turned to financing railroads, where he amassed a greater fortune estimated at $100,000,000 making him one of the richest men of his time. Accessory Transit was organized by Vanderbilt to move passangers and freight to the West Coast through Nicaragua. Vanderbilt hired C.K. Garrison as his agent through San Fransisco, and Charles Morgan as his agent in New York.
Shortly after this bond was issued came the "war of the three commodores," between Charles Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt and George Law. Accessory Transit competed openly with the Law-Aspinwall mail subsidy line. Morgan and Garrison, on the other hand, manipulated the Transit's stock in such a way that they profited while Vanderbilt lost heavily. Vanderbilt is said to have stormed at them, "I will not sue you because the law takes too long. I will ruin you."
Vanderbilt did manage to unseat Morgan and Hoyt from the board of directors, but another headache immediately developed in the form of William Walker, who invaded Nicaragua with the support of Morgan and his Associate! William Walker made himself President of Nicaragua. In order to get the money needed to keep a 1200 man army together, he took sides in the in-fighting within Accessory Transit Company. Foolishly backing those who had double crossed Commodore Vanderbilt, Walker confiscated the company assets and handed them over to the insurgent faction. Vanderbilt retaliated with a blockade, cutting Walker off from reinforcements while inciting the neighboring states. Vanderbilt sent mercenaries to Costa Rica, where they obtained a small force of native troops to attack Walker. As a result Walker suffered defeat and had to flee in May 1857. Vanderbilt was then back in business with Nicaragua.
The first Accessory Transit Certificate signed by Cornelius Vanderbilt that we have sold in over a decade. A museum quality certificate that may not be obtainable again in a lifetime of collecting.
Lot # 1083 (Presale Estimate - $1000 to $1500) Final Bid - $1800
Black Star Line (DE) 1919. #2153. 5