Original uncancelled stock certificate issued to Henry Bowen of New York, certificate #1330 for 3 shares at $500 each (the 2014 equivalent of $22,000) in the American Express Company, dated 2 January, 1865 and signed by William G. Fargo as secretary, Henry Wells as president, and Alexander Holland as treasurer. Revenue stamp intact and the document is in beautiful fine condition. The certificate's vignette features a dog, the traditional mascot of American Express preceding the centurion.
American Express was formed on March 18, 1850 by Henry Wells, William G. Fargo and John Butterfield through combination of Wells and Company. In 1868 the company merged with Merchants Union Express Company to become American Merchants Union Express Company. In 1873, the name was changed back to American Express.
With fellow express freight colleague Henry Wells, William Fargo was co-founder of Wells, Fargo & Co. Both men helped organize the American Express Company. Fargo served as the company's president from 1868 until his death. After the discovery of gold in California, both Wells and Fargo recognized the desperate need of Westerners for expanded banking and express facilities. American Express was happy to stay in the East. So Fargo made his historic decision with Wells to found Wells Fargo & Co.—a company that was soon busy buying gold dust, selling drafts and doing a general banking and express business.