[D8832AAE], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, August 18th, 1888


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[D8832AAE], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, August 18th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"I enclose you herewith copy of a letter which I have received from McClement. I have replied to him that I cannot supply the information in question without your premission. It is about this matter that I wired you yesterday, saying I would like to see you as early as possible. I did not get your reply until late this afternoon, and it is now too late to go to Chautauqua, and as Kreusi is away I must be here next week, so that I have thought it best to wirte you on the matter. As soon as I received McClement's letter I got at Upton on the telephone and told him that I did not think he should give any such statement as that asked for without your premission. He replied that he had no intention of doing so. All that I know about the matter is that Johnson has got some new scheme which he is working up with Villard. I think it is a proposition of Villard's. Villard is not willing to put through the old scheme, and I think this new scheme is proposed as a substitute. The proposition is that a Trust should be created which would purchase a controlling interest in all the shops, the Light Co. and the Sprague Co. I presume that it is with an idea of getting at values that Johnson has asked Mc.Clement to do what he proposes to do in the letter annexed. I do not want to give any such statement. In other words, I do not want you to give me your permission to give such a statement-- that is, not until you can have a thorough discussion and understanding of the matter in New York. Of course I will be guided by whatever you tell me to do, and I would like to have a short telegram from you immediately on receipt of this letter. I cannot at the moment offer any opinion as to whether it will be beneficial or detrimental to your personal interests if such a deal as is proposed should be put through. My firm belief is, however, that you will find that they will want to put the Light Co. and the Sprague Co. in at a valuation which would not at all satisfy you, although of course in making this remark it is mere conjecture on my part. I know, however, that Mc.-Clement's idea of the value of the Light Co's. property is very much higher than mine, and I think that my ideas as to the value of the Light Co's. property would be about the same as yours. ### If you are not going home within the next few days, I think I had better go out to Akron to see you. I know that the first time I am in New York I shall be expected to discuss this matter, and of course I do not want to offer any opinion. In fact, I will not offer any opinion until I can have an understanding with you as to what I ought to say. One thing you can be assured of, the proposed deal of last Spring is not going through. If it is not going through it is beause Villard and the Drexel, Morgan people think that it is too good a deal for the shops. Now they can put the present proposals in any form they like, but you may be sure that when you sift the thing right to the bottom it will be no such advantageous deal as that previously proposed. ### Do not fail to wire me immediately on receipt of this, first, as to whether I am to give the statement asked for; second, as to how soon you will be home. If I have to come out to see you I can do so by leaving here one afternoon and getting to Akron the next morning, see you and be home by the following morning, which will only take me away from business a day." Yorus very truly, (Signed) Samuel Insull. "P.S. Of course Mc.Clement has been asked ot set in his individual capacity, but you can see that should we give him all the figures called for, the Light Co. would be thoroughly posted as to exactly where we stand. ### In answering me also let me know if Upton is to give the figures called for, as I have promised to telephone him as soon as I have heard from you. ### Since writing above, Hutchinson has telephone from New York to me saying he knows Johnson's opinion of the Light Co's value is very high. I am confident that he has a very high opinion also of the value of the Sprague Co., which opinion I know is not shared by you."




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