Beautiful certificate from the Wilmington and Northern Railroad Company
issued in 1887. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a scenic train route. This item has the original signatures of the Company’s President, Henry A. duPont and Secretary, and is over 126 years old.
The Wilmington Northern Branch was built in 1868 as the Wilmington and Brandywine Railroad. The Reading Company obtained control of it in 1898 and it became the Wilmington and Northern Branch. This rail line ran from the du Pont explosives works to Philadelphia.
Henry Algernon Du Pont was born near Wilmington, Del., 30 July 1838, was graduated at the U. S. military academy, 6 May 1861, at the head of his class, and promoted to 2d lieutenant of the engineer corps. On 14 May he was commissioned 1st lieutenant, 5th artillery, and became captain 24 March 1864. He was acting assistant adjutant general of the troops in New York harbor in 1862'3, and commanded a battery in West Virginia from 1863 until 24 May 1864, participating in the battle of Newmarket. As chief of artillery of that department from the latter date he commanded the artillery in engagements at Piedmont, Lexington, and Lynchburg during the spring and summer of 1864.
Later in the year he took part in the battles of Cedar Creek, Halltown, Berryville, Opequan and Fisher's Hill, in command of the artillery of Crook's corps, being brevetted major for gallant services in the two last-mentioned engagements, and lieutenant colonel, 19 October 1864, for services at Cedar Creek. Henry A. duPont won the Medal of Honor for brilliant action at Cedar Creek.
After the war he was a member of the board to assimilate the tactics for the three arms of the service. Colonel Du Pont resigned in March 1875. He served as President of the Wilmington and Northern Rail Road Company and was U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1905-1917