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Lot 274

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James Roosevelt I, FDR's Father, 2x Signed Midwestern Railroad Certificate Worth Equivalent $150K Today!

A stock certificate twice signed by James Roosevelt I (1828-1900), father of future 32nd U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), both times as "James Roosevelt" recto, at upper right and at lower right respectively. Signed in New York, New York on July 19, 1860. Partly printed, partly handwritten, and cosigned by a transfer clerk, cashier, and witness. Certificate No. 2029 granted 50 $100 shares of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Rail Road Company stock to James Roosevelt I, who transferred it to Weeks & Company on the same day (verso). Bearing a green wax paper seal recto at lower right, one sawtooth point just touching the "t" of "Roosevelt" in the second signature. Docketed along a vertical orientation recto and bearing the usual perforated cancellation marks. A few pin holes and isolated edge darkening, else near fine. 7" x 5.625." Provenance: Offered at R.M. Smythe & Company (New York, New York) at their February 10, 1994 auction as Lot 5143.

In part:

"This is to Certify, that James Roosevelt is entitled to Fifty Shares, of One Hundred Dollars each in the Capital Stock of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Rail Road Company…"

James Roosevelt I came from a prominent Knickerbocker family in Dutchess County, New York. As this stock certificate attests, the Roosevelt family was already extremely wealthy in 1860. Other family traditions--including a background in business and loyalty to the Democratic Party--would be passed along to only child Franklin, born to James Roosevelt I and second wife Sara Ann Delano in 1882.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad would enjoy a 151-year-long history (1849-1970) of providing passenger and freight train service to thirteen Midwestern states from Montana to Texas. The company was reorganized as the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1855, during development in Illinois and Iowa. James Roosevelt I's transfer of $5,000 in 1860 currency is the equivalent of over $156,000 in 2020 money.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000