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Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company records
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Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company records

Accession 1776

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-10-03T13:14-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company records (Accession 1776), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company records
Dates: 1872-1979
Accession Number: 1776
Creator: Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company
Extent: 12.6 linear feet
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company was incorporated in 1874, for the purpose of forming a second railroad route between the cities of New York and Philadelphia.Their records consist primarily of basic corporate documents such as minutes, account books, annual reports to the I.C.C., and agreements.
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Historical Note

The Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company was incorporated in New Jersey on May 12, 1874, for the purpose of forming a second railroad route between the cities of New York and Philadelphia.

The Delaware & Bound Brook was a successor to the National Railway project of 1868-1875. In 1831, the Camden & Amboy Railroad & Transportation Company was granted the exclusive right to operate a railroad across New Jersey between New York and Philadelphia. This monopoly expired in 1869, but the Camden & Amboy and its successor, the Pennsylvania Railroad, were able to use their control of the New Jersey State Senate to block any attempt to charter a competing line.

In 1868, a group of speculators led by Henry M. Hamilton attempted to evade this blockade by using existing charters for short railroads which could be joined end-to-end to form the desired route. As the consolidation stood on very flimsy foundations, the road's backers were forced to obtain legislative sanction. In 1871, they concealed a clause granting the required powers of consolidation in an otherwise unrelated bill for the German Valley Railroad Company, but the strategem was discovered. In 1872, they tried the same trick with the charter of the Stanhope Railroad Company, but this time concocted an elaborate fraud. Two bills were drawn up, one with and one without the enabling clause. By bribing the clerks of the legislature, the speculators were able to substitute the doctored bill only at those points in the process where it was required to be recorded and signed. The fraud was not discovered until after the bill was passed, but the Stanhope charter was eventually voided by the courts.

Next, Hamilton obtained a charter for a holding company, the National Company, from the more pliable Pennsylvania legislature. The National Company was authorized to hold the stocks of all the separate New Jersey lines. Meanwhile, the reaction to the Stanhope fraud helped anti-PRR forces in New Jersey finally secure the passage of a general railroad law, ending the need to apply to the legislature for special charters. Hamilton and his associates promptly formed companies under the general law, while the PRR formed companies of its own to pre-empt the ground and otherwise interfere with the National Railway. The taint of scandal, followed by the Panic of 1873, prevented Hamilton from completing his task.

At this point, the more responsible backers of the National Railway project broke away from Hamilton and joined with Edward Collings Knight and the North Pennsylvania Railroad to complete the project. The portion of the line west of Delaware River was built by the North Penn under its own charter. The Delaware & Bound Brook was formed to build the middle section, while the existing line of the Central Railroad of New Jersey was substituted for a new railroad between Bound Brook and Jersey City.

Fighting to preserve its lucrative monopoly, the PRR fought the Delaware & Bound Brook in the courts. It also built a line of its own in the same territory and blockaded the point at which the two tracks would have to cross. This resulted in the so-called "Frog War," the special rail pieces for crossings being known as frogs. Delaware & Bound Brook work gangs stormed and took the PRR position and defended it long enough to install the frog and obtain the protection of the local residents and the state militia.

The Delaware and Bound Brook inherited all of the rights and charters of the National Railway project in 1875. The so-called Bound Brook Route or "New Line" was opened for business on May 1, 1876, in time to profit from the Centennial traffic. A short branch was constructed to Trenton in 1877. Both the North Penn and the Delaware & Bound Brook were leased by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company on May 14, 1879. Under Reading operation, the Bound Brook Route received deluxe equipment and after 1885 was operated at very high speeds, with short bursts as high as 100 mph. It also became the New York entrance of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

The East Trenton Railroad Company was incorporated on April 17, 1884, and constructed a branch to the factory district of Trenton. It was merged into the Delaware & Bound Brook on December 9, 1955.

The company sold its railroad property to Conrail on April 1, 1976, and was finally liquidated in 1982.

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Scope and Content

The records of the Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company consist primarily of basic corporate documents such as minutes, account books, annual reports to the I.C.C., and agreements. There are also original survey and property maps and a profile of the line from the Delaware River to Bound Brook. Similar corporate records are available for the East Trenton Railroad Company. The records also include the minute book of the Stanhope Railroad company (1872-1975).

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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company, 1873-1979
A. Minute Books, 1874-1980
General note
Volumes 5 and 7 not received
Volume
1 1874 April 2 - 1874 April 7
Volume
2 Vol. 1, 1874 August 11 - 1906 February 8
Volume
3 Vol. 2, 1906 May 10- 1927 August 11
Volume
4 Vol. 3, 1927 November 10 - 1948 February 3
Volume
5 Vol. 4, 1948 May 6- 1959 August 7
Volume
7 Vol. 6, 1970 May 7- 1980 October 3
B. Corporate Papers, 1873-1952
Box
44 Location of New Jersey Railway Company No. 1, 1873
44 Location of New Jersey Railway Company No. 2, 1873
44 Articles of Association of The Delaware River and Bound Brook Railroad Company, 1874 March 27
44 Articles of Association to incorporate the Yardleyville Connecting Railroad Company, 1875 February 9
44 Articles of Association to incorporate The Ewing and Trenton Company, 1975 February 9
44 Map and description of the Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad, 1874 August 11
44 Description of the survey and location of Branch Rail Road of the Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company, 1876 March 17
44 Description of the survey and location of the extension of a branch railroad of The Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company in the City of Trenton, 1876 October 20
44 Lease and Contract between the North Pennsylvania Railroad Company and the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Co., 1879 May 14; 21.0 pages
44 Supplemental agreement to Lease and Contract, 1952 December 1; 11.0 pages
44 Mortgage, The Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company to The Pennsylvania Compay for Insurance on Lives and Granting Annuities Trustee, 1905 August 1; 20.0 pages
44 Agency agreement in respect of Consolidated Mortgage 3.5 percent bonds and payment of interest and coupoins, 1942 July 13; 2.0 copies
44 Agency agreement in respect of capital stock and payment of dividends, 1942 July 13
44 Custodian agreement, 1942 July 14; 2.0 copies
44 Guaranty agreement between Reading Company and Tradesmans National Bank and Trust Company, Trustee, 1952 December 1; 11.0 pages
C. Journals, 1874-1976
General note
Volume 5 not received
Volume
8 Vol. 1, May 1874-April 1885
Volume
9 Vol. 2, May 1885-August 1890
Volume
10 Vol. 3, February 1891-December 1933
Volume
11 Vol. 4, January 1934-December 1957
Volume
13 Vol. 6, January 1970-December 1976
Volume
14 Vol. A, Accounts with other companies, May 1876-February 1878
Volume
15 Vol. B, Accounts with other companies, January 1878-April 1879
D. Ledgers, 1874-1979
Volume
16 General Ledger, Vol. 1, May 1874-January 1891
Volume
17 General Ledger, Vol. 2, February 1891-December 1933
Volume
18 General Ledger, Vol. 3, January 1934-December 1957
Volume
19 General Ledger, Vol. 4, January 1958-December 1979
Volume
20 Construction Ledger, October 1874-April 1876
Volume
21 Expense Accounts Ledger, May 1876-October 187
Volume
22 Expense Accounts Ledger, November 1876-April 1877
Volume
23 Expense Accounts Ledger, May 1877-April 1878
Volume
24 Earnings Accounts Ledger A, October 1876-October 1877
Volume
25 Operations Accounts Ledger, January 1877-May 1879
E. Cash Books, 1874-1979
Volume
26 Vol. 1, March 1874-July 1884
Volume
28 Vol. 3, February 1891-June 1917
Volume
29 Vol. 4, June 1917-December 1932
Volume
30 Vol. 5, January 1933-December 1943
Volume
31 Vol. 6, January 1944-December 1957
Volume
33 Vol. 8, December 1969-December 1979
Volume
34 Vol. A-26, Accounts with other carriers, June 1876-November 1878
Volume
35 Accounts with other carriers, January 1878-March 1879
F. Annual Reports to the ICC, 1888-1975
Box
36 1888-1899
Box
37 1900-1908
Box
38 1909-1917
Box
39 1918-1927
Box
40 1928-1938
Box
41 1939-1949
Box
42 1961-1975
G. Auditor's Reports, 1933-1968
Box
43 1933-1939
43 1943
43 1947-1959
43 1963
43 1967
43 1968
H. Maps, 1874-1875, undated
Box
44 Profile from middle of Delaware River to Bound Brook Junction, undated
44 Right-of-way maps, 1874-1875
44 Right-of-way maps by individual properties, 1874-1875
II. East Trenton Railroad Company, 1881-1955
A. Minute Books, 1884-1955
Box
45 Vol. 1, 1884 April 17-1920 May 13
45 Vol. 2, 1932 May 12-1946 May 2
45 Vol. 3, 1947 May 1-1955 May 5
B. Journals, 1881-1955
Box
46 Vol. 1, November 1881-January 1891
46 Vol. 2, April 1893-December 1955
46 Vol. 3, December 1923-November 1955
C. Ledgers, 1893-1955
Box
46 Vol. 1, 1893-1955
46 Trial Balance, 1923-1953
D. Cash Book, 1884-1885
Box
47 June 1884-June 1885
E. Stockholder Records, 1893-1950
Box
47 Vol. 1- Stock Ledger, 1901-1948
47 Vol. 2- Stock Transfer Register, 1893-1950
F. Annual Reports to the ICC, 1889-1949
Box
48 1889-1902
Box
49 1903-1914
Box
50 1915-1926
Box
51 1927-1938
Box
52 1939-1949
III. Stanhope Railroad Company, 1872-1875
Box
47 Minutes, March 1872-March 1875