[D8603B], Letter from Cook Publishing Co, James H Connelly to Thomas Alva Edison, January 4th, 1886


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[D8603B], Letter from Cook Publishing Co, James H Connelly to Thomas Alva Edison, January 4th, 1886

Editor's Notes

[Long, rambling 7 page letter] With what you loaned me, what Curtis and I earned, a little more that we borrowed, a few shares of stock we sold, what the paper has earned, and some small debts we managed to make, we have succeed in running The Cook beyond the line of experiment to where it has demonstrated itself a paper with a legitimate profit. In Sept., we paid running expenses and in the 2 succeeding months there was a good margin of weekly profit, not enough to justify any wild exhileration, but sufficient to encourage a good deal of calm confidence in the future. Dec. played the mischief with us. Physicians pronounced Curtis's wife--who had for a year been suffering with a cancer--in a dying condition. She demanded his almost constant personal attendance and he gave it until 10 days ago, when she died. Last Monday, she was buried. [Discusses the drain on the paper Curtis's absence took, as he was the publisher and Connelly knew nothing about the business side. But he did get the paper out, and fired Murrey, whose "drunkenness, treachery, and ureliability" lost them money at Christmas. Curtis is back at work, but demoralized, and not in condition to meet the trouble they have accumulated.] We are consequently in very great need of help, or the paper will fail. ##It would be especially bitter to have to see our paper fail now, when we know that if we are tided over three or four weeks more, we will be put firmly upon our feet by the advertising already promised [goes on to discuss the advertising and subscriptions they have under contract]. ##You know the paper called Life, no doubt. Well, Life is not yet 4 years old. It has a much more limited field, being simply a humorous paper, than naturally belongs to us. But Life today is paying $30,000 per annum clear profit. Life has had the advantage of ample capital. We have always been cramped for means. Yet our paper paid its running expenses at an earlier age than Life did. [Believes The Cook would be more profitable, ultimately, than Life.] ##The capital stock of The Cook Publishing Co. is $20,000 in 800 shares of $25 each. There are 155 shares left in the treasury. We want to sell 80 shares. Will you buy 40 shares, or even 20, at a discount of 10% and do what you can to help us sell the remainder of the 80? [Concludes letter by again describing why they need help and how urgent the need is.]




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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