Boston & Maine Railroad
Records, 1907-1915

Mss: 724
1907-1915
B747a

Historical Note:

During the nineteenth century, the Boston and Maine Railroad grew to provide rail service in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. By 1900, this profitable venue attracted not only individuals interested in handsome stock dividends but other corporations as well. Among those were American Express Company and The Pullman Company who acquired large holdings of Boston and Maine Railroad stock at the turn of the century. In 1907, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad--a consolidated corporation created by concurrent legislation of the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts-- purchased the American Express holdings and proceeded to secure control of the Boston and Maine by further purchase of stocks. The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad hoped to merge the two railroads with control firmly held by New York capitalists such as J. P. Morgan.

The validity of the purchase of stocks authorized by the laws of Connecticut, but prohibited by the laws of Massachusetts, became an issue upon which litigation was started. Hearings were held before the Committee on Railroads of the Massachusetts Legislature, concerning the proposed merger of the two railroads. In question was the legality of how the stock was acquired as well as whether this action would violate Federal anti-trust laws. William B. Lawrence, an attorney from Medford, Massachusetts, emerged as a leader of the minority of Boston and Maine stockholders opposed to the merger. The anti-merger faction not only questioned the legality of the merger, but they loudly protested the possibility of a distinctly New England operation being managed outside of Boston.

The debate on the merger took several years to be resolved. The General Court of Massachusetts, at its 1909 session, authorized the incorporation of the Boston Railroad Holding Company for the sole purpose of acquiring and holding capital stock of the Boston and Maine Railroad. By 1912, the Holding Company maintained absolute control of Boston and Maine. In 1916 the federal government decided that the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad had indeed acquired the Boston and Maine stock illegally. The judge, hearing the case, appointed five trustees who were under decree to use their best efforts to complete the sale of the stock held by the New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad before 1918; it was extended to 1920.

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of the working papers of William B. Lawrence, Clerk of the Boston and Maine Railroad, who took part in most of the hearings before the Railroad Commission from 1907 until 1911. Papers include meeting notices, news clippings, balance sheets, abstracts, transcripts, reports, statements, lists of assets and liabilities, monthly reports of revenues and expenses, memoranda, resolutions, letters sent and received, notes and legislative bills. The bulk of the collection consists of selected typescripts provided by Arthur T. Lovett, Stenographer, containing verbatim accounts of testimony before the Railroad Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A majority of the testimony contain remarks by William B. Lawrence. Other speakers include attorneys, politicians, businessmen, officers of both railroads and stockholders with an interest in the merger of the two railroads.

Provenance : Gift of Mrs. William B. Lawrence, 1931.

Amount: 1 carton, 2 boxes

Container List:

Carton 1
Folder 1 -- Correspondence/Reports, 1907-1915
Folder 2 -- Rhode Island Securities memo, ca. 1910
Folder 3 -- Working papers, 1907-1915 (1 of 4)
Folder 4 -- Working papers, 1907-1915 (2 of 4)
Folder 5 -- Working papers, 1907-1915 (3 of 4)
Folder 6 -- Working papers, 1907-1915 (4 of 4)
Folder 7 -- Acts of legislature, 1902-1917
Folder 8 -- Votes (abstracted from minutes), 1900-1906
Folder 9 -- Legal papers, ca. 1907-1915 (1 of 2)
Folder 10 -- Legal papers, ca. 1907-1915 (2 of 2)
Folder 11 -- Exhibits by date, 1910
Folder 12 -- Exhibits by date, 1911
Folder 13 -- Exhibits 1-50, ca. 1910
Folder 14 -- Exhibit A, ca. 1911
Folder 15 -- Exhibit B, ca. 1911
Folder 16 -- Exhibit C, ca. 1911
Folder 17 -- Exhibit D, ca. 1911
Folder 18 -- Exhibit E, ca. 1911
Folder 19 -- Exhibit F, ca. 1911
Folder 20 -- Exhibit G, ca. 1911
Folder 21 -- Exhibit H, ca. 1911
Folder 22 -- Exhibit I, ca. 1911
Folder 23 -- Exhibit J, ca. 1911
Folder 24 -- Schedules 1 and 9, ca. 1910
Folder 25 -- Financial papers, ca. 1907
Folder 26 -- Reorganization and consolidation papers, 1915
Folder 27 -- Printed matter, ca. 1908
Folder 28 -- News clippings, 1909-1914
Folder 29 -- Transcript, Committee on Banks & Banking -Mar.13,1908
Folder 30 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads - June 20, 1907, hearing on bills relative to railroad merger
Folder 31 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 4, 1908 Governor's Address on Transportation
Folder 32 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 19, 1908, Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol.1
Folder 33 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 26, 1908 Issue of stocks and bonds by railroad corporations
Folder 34 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 27, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol.2
Folder 35 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads [nd] Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol.3
Folder 36 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, April 14, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol.4
Folder 37 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, April 16, 1908 Savings bank investments, vol. 1
Folder 38 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, April 21, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 5
Folder 39 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, April 23, 1908 Savings bank investments, no.2
Folder 40 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, April 24, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 7
Folder 41 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, April 29, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 8
Folder 42 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 5, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 9
Folder 43 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 6, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 10
Folder 44 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 7, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 11
Folder 45 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 8, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 12
Folder 46 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 11, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 13
Folder 47 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 12, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 14
Folder 48 -- Transcript, Committee of Railroads, May 13, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 15
Folder 49 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 14, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 16
Folder 50 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 14, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 17
Folder 51 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 15, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 15 pt.2
Folder 52 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 15, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 18 pt. 1
Folder 53 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 19, 1908 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 19
Folder 54 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, February 9, 1909 Hearing on report of the Attorney General, vol.1
Folder 55 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, February 11, 1909 Hearing on report of the Attorney General, vol.2
Folder 56 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, February 16, 1909 Hearing on report of the Attorney General, vol.3
Folder 57 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, February 23, 1909 Hearing on report of the Attorney General, vol.4
Folder 58 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 2, 1909 Ownership of railroad securities, vol.5
Folder 59 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 9, 1909 Ownership of railroad securities, vol.6
Folder 60 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 16, 1909 Ownership of railroad securities, vol.7
Folder 61 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 23, 1909 Ownership of railroad securities, vol.8
Folder 62 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads and Street Railways [nd] Control of stock of railroads and street railways
Box 2
Folder 1 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 30, 1909 Ownership of railroad securities, vol.9
Folder 2 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, March 30, 1909 Ownership of railroad securities, vol.10
Folder 3-4 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, April 27, 1909 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 1
Folder 5 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 19, 1909 Control of Boston & Maine stock, vol. 2
Folder 6 -- Transcript, Before a Special Commission, Oct.18, 1909 Chapter 144, relative to N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R., vol.1
Folder 7 -- Transcript, Before a Special Commission, Nov. 9, 1909 Inquiry as to the N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R., vol. 2
Folder 8 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, February 1910 Investigation of N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R.
Folder 9 -- Transcript, Committees on Railroads and Banks and Banking, Savings bank investments, Boston Holding Co.: vol. 1 March 17, 1910, vol. 2 March 18, 1910, vol. 3 March 22, 1910
Folder 10 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 10, 1910 Validation of securities on N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R.
Folder 11 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, May 11, 1910, Issue of preferred stock by the Railroad Holding Co., Transcript, Board of Railroad Commissioners, Nov. 15, 1910, Increase of stock of Boston & Maine, vol.1
Folder 12 -- Transcript, Committee on Railroads, February 2, 1911, Acquisition of Revere Beach & Lynn R.R., vol.1, Transcript, Committee on Railroads, April 3, 1911, Punishment of officers for violation of law, vol.1, Transcript, Committee on Railroads and Metropolitan Affairs, April 20, 1911 Acquirement of Revere Beach, vol.1
Box 3
Folder 1 -- Legal papers, 1900-1902
Folder 2 -- Abstract of report of Massachusetts State Commission on Commerce and Industry, ca. 1910
Folder 3 -- Legal papers, ca. 1910
Folder 4 -- Trust agreement, April 1914
Folder 5 -- Financial papers of Boston and Maine Railroad, New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, ca. 1903-1907
Folder 6 -- Monthly financial reports, 1908-1909
Folder 7 -- Operating expenses, January 1908-December 1910
Folder 8 -- Operating expenses, January 1910-February 1913
Folder 9 -- Merger of Boston and Maine R.R. and Consolidated R.R.

See Also:

Boston & Maine Railroad, Malden Branch