Beautifully engraved unissued certificate from the Bodie Bluff Consolidation Mining Company
in the 1860s. This historic document was printed by Agnew & Deffebach Printing and has an
ornate border around it with nice graphics and a pink and yellow background. All the mines of Bodie Bluff listed in the vignette in the center of the certificate. This is considered one of the top western mining certificates signed as President by one of the most important western financiers, Leland Stanford. This historic certificate is over 148 years old. Excellent condition with light residue on back. This would look excellent framed.
Leland Stanford's Signature
In 1859, there was the discovery of gold in the hills north of Mono Lake, California which brought many prospectors to the area. Two of the prospectors, William Bodey and Terrance Brodigan, found gold on the hill above where the town of Bodie was later built. Bodey died in November 1859 during a snowstorm, and his name was mis-spelled as Bodie, which was given to the town. The gold deposits found were of very low grade so the caliams were combined into the Bodie Bluff Consolidation Mining Co. in 1863. The certificates of this company are the most desirable Bodie paper along with the Bodie and Benton Railway and Commercial Company.
The company was not a financial success which explains why most of the certificates seen are unissued. In 1864, the Empire Gold & Silver Mining Co. of New York was formed and acquired the Bodie Bluff claims. Unfortunately, this company stopped operations in in 1867.
Leland Stanford was the founder of Stanford University. He was born into a well-off farming family in Watervliet, New York. After a superb secondary education and several years of higher education, Stanford entered an elite law office to prepare for a career as an attorney, passing his bar exam in 1848. He soon moved to Wisconsin, where he began to practice his profession.
With the early formation of the Republican Party in California, Stanford became one of the most active members of their small group. He became the party candidate for California State Treasurer in 1857 and then for governor in 1859, although he did not win. In 1861, Stanford was again nominated for governor and he and his wife Jane went from one end of the state to the other end campaigning and won the nomination. Stanford later served two terms as senator.
Stanford teamed up with other Sacramento businessmen to build the Central Pacific Railroad Company. He was elected president of the venture which included robber baron legends, Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker who became known as the “big four.” Their goal was to do what was said to be impossible. That was to build a railroad through the high mountains and snow-covered terrain of the West and to connect it with the Union Pacific railroad. On May 10, 1869, the two rails met in Promontory, Utah. In victory, Stanford took a sledgehammer made of Nevada silver and hammered in a spike of California gold into the tie. The telegraph message said it all - "Done"!
The Stanford’s had only one son, Leland Jr., whom they loved dearly. He was fond of playing at their sprawling Palo Alto ranch, especially on his miniature railroad with 400 feet of track. In 1884, while the family was vacationing in Europe, young Leland, just two weeks shy of his 16th birthday contracted typhoid fever and died. The family was devastated.
The death of their fifteen-year-old son prompted the Stanfords to found and endow Stanford University in his memory. In 1885, Stanford arranged for the California legislature to appoint him to the United States Senate, where he served until his death in 1893.