State of Indiana, 1852 I/U Wabash and Erie Preferred Special Canal Stock/Bond Certificate

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / Stock & Bond - Certificates Start Price:75.00 USD Estimated At:140.00 - 250.00 USD
State of Indiana, 1852 I/U Wabash and Erie Preferred Special Canal Stock/Bond Certificate

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Indiana, 1852. $1,100.00 I/U 5% Preferred Special Canal Stock Certificate #302, Blue text with ornate blue border. VF condition. The Wabash and Erie Canal was a shipping canal that linked the Great Lakes to the Ohio River via an artificial waterway. The canal provided traders with access from the Great Lakes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Over 460 miles long, it was the longest canal ever built in North America. In 1846 Charles Butler, representing the canal bondholders, proposed that the state turn responsibility of the canal over to the bondholders in exchange for bondholders assuming half the debt and the land granted for construction. Butler also proposed that the state issue new bonds at 4 percent yearly interest for the other half of the debt, with an option for the state to redeem the certificates at its discretion. This ended state control of the canal and put the Wabash and Erie Canal in the hands of private trustees by 1847. The most successful years for the canal were between 1847–1856. Its peak year was 1852 when tolls reached $193,400. Eventually, cheaper, faster, and more convenient trains made the canal obsolete. Portions south of Terre Haute were closed by 1860; the decline continued until 1876 when the canal was officially auctioned off by the trustees and closed.