Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Cornelius Vanderbilt, Sr. Letter Signed "C Vanderbilt". One page of a bifolium, 5" x 8.25", New York, October 2, 1868. Addressed to Douglas Taylor declining an appointment: "Your favor of the 25th [illegible] informing me that I am selected as one of the Vice Presidents of a meeting to be held the 5th inst at Tammany Hall is this moment received. As I cannot take part in political matters you will please excuse me for declining the honour you have so kindly tendered."

    Tammany Hall, under the reins of William "Boss" Tweed, was at the height of its power in 1868. Their political machine had expanded its dominance to the Upper East and West Side of Manhattan. Although their great work in the building of social services and cultural institutions was evident to all, the extent of their corruption was equally visible. Vanderbilt would have been aware of their machinations when declining their invitation.

    Condition: Usual mail folds, with a paper clip stain at top margin. A small amount of paper loss at lower right corner.

    More Information:

    Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) was an American businessman and philanthropist. He was originally a poor boy. He became captain of a steamboat in 1817. He built many steamboats and steamships and in 1851 established a line from New York to California by way of Nicaragua. In 1862, he established a steam ship line between New York and Havre. He presented a steamer to the Federal Government in 1862 and called it the Vanderbilt, which cost $800,000. In 1854 he became president of the New York Central Railroad and in 1868 he consolidated with the Hudson River Road.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 396

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 27 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search