[D8848AEW], Letter from George Parsons Lathrop to Alfred Ord Tate, November 25th, 1888


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[D8848AEW], Letter from George Parsons Lathrop to Alfred Ord Tate, November 25th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"In reply to yours of the 24th inst. Asking further about the date of Lippincott's visit to the Laboratory. I will say that on looking into the matter more intimently + carefully, I think I must have made a mistake in my letter of the 18th. Inst. In which I fixed the date of Lippincott's visit as June 11th. ### In the first place, yr statement that L. probably spend June 11th in Washington + did not return to N.Y. till the morning of Tuesday, June 12th obvious that I most likely was wrong. Secondly, on making I still closer examination of my papers to try + ascertain the date, I find it pretty clearly show that I did not leave New York on June 13th and I wrote you in my letter of 18th inst. But on the 14th. ### I shall have to go into all the details in order to explain this to you; but when you have read them through, I think you will see that I have not got the whole matter straight. ### My Glenham [?] Hotel bill was,I wrote you, dated June 13th, + so was my letter to my wife, in which I said I should probably come leave for home that afternoon. These are the documents that made one think I did leave N.Y. that day. I still cannot quite account for the hotel bill [unclear] being dated 13th [unclear] it was that, on going away the next day, I paid the small balance for the additional day without taking a bill for it. The bill dated 13th was for an even week. But I have now got conclusive evidence, any way that I did not leave N.Y. until the 14th. ### You will remember in my last letter I spoke of a telegram from you to me, dated June 14th, addressed to the Glenham. It was sent from 16 Broad St., + received at the Western Union Station, S.W. 23rd St. at 2.24 P.M. on June 14th. I thought bfore that this must have been sent on to me from the Glenham by mail. But it is clear to me, now, that I received it just before leaving the hotel, on June 14th. ### On examining the envelope of my letter to Mr. Lathrop, which was dated morning of June 13th, I conclude I must have misdated it; for the envelop is postmarked 'New York Jn 14, [unclear].Which meant 11 a.m., there being a blank space between 71 and M. I must have been in New York, then, + have mailed that letter, the forenoon of June 14th. ### But, furthermore, the stubs of my New York checkbook show that I cashed a check to my own order at the Garfield Bank, June 14th and I have also found a bill of Wilhelm + [unclear] for a toilet set for just before coming away. I paid for the set on the spot, + took the bill there + then; + the bill is dated June 14th. ### So it is clear that I did not leave N.Y. until the 14th. ### The next point is to determine whether my last visit to the Laboratory before leaving N.Y. when I am Lippincott there, was Tuesday the 12th, on Wednesday the 13th. Fortunately there is a circumstance + a document which seem to settle this point. ### Gilliland had proposed to pay one for assistance with his paper on the Phonograph, read at the Electric Club, and for press-work and various other service connected with the exhibition there. I had offered ot let that matter go, in view of the fact that I expected to have an intereste in the Amusement Phono. Co. But he insisted that he ought to settle with me on a business basis for my work, regardless of the Amusement Co. When I found he had changed his attitude towards the Amerusement Co., and htat he as well as Tomlinson was not behaving friendly with us, I concluded to take him at this word, and to present any account for services and tiem expended for him. ### With this object I wrote him a letter from the Glenham, dating June 11th. I still have this letter, as, on thinking it over, I decided not to send it. Instead, I wrote a shorter one on the same subject, which I did send to him. Of this I have a copy, and it is dated June 12th, (the next day). The bearing of this letter and its date I will now explain. ### When I paid that visit to the Laboratory, on the day you are trying to fix, I met Gilliland, Tomlinson and Lipincott on the platform just as I was getting into the train to go to Orange. They were about to go there, too. Gilliland was very cool in his manner to me, and took particular pains to extend only one finger to me, instead of shaking hands as usual. He had never done this before, and I made a special mental note of it at the time; for I remember thinking to this effect "He has received my letter and doesn't like it." Now, as my copy of that letter is dated June 12th, and this meeting at the train occurred the next morning, when he was going out to Orange with Lippincott, there seems to be no doubt left that the date of Lipincott's visit was Wednesday June 13th. ### In my last letter to you I was evidenly wrong, as you suggest, in supposing that I remained in N.Y. two days after that. I came back to N.Y. in the train with Lipincott, Gilliland, Tomlinson and Toppan, and went to my hotel alone. The next morning I met Toppan, who said he had gone up to Gilliland's house with him, after I left them, the previous night, and tha tG. Had spoken about my letter. Toppan also expressed the decided opinion, gathered from Gill.'s talk, that notiong would be done about Amusement Phono. While the Lipincott matter was pending; that Lipincott was not to be heard from again until the end of a week and that therefore there was no use in any staying, --which was what I wanted to know, as I wanted to avoid wasting time. I walked with Toppan to the Elevated at 6th. Ave. + 14th. St., + remember taking a 6th Ave. car from there, going up--which was probably when I went to the bank and bought the toilet set. Then I went down to the Equitable to keep an engagement with my brother, + returned to the hotel, where I must have rec'd your telegram; + as the telegram did not promise any meeting of all parties to settle the Amusement Co., I probably concluded htat it was not worth while to remain, + so made a rush to the 4 P.M. train home. ### I add these particulars, to show you that I have thought the whole thing out now, and got it straight. It was very hard to recall all the circumstances when I wrote in answer to your first inquirty; but I am more certain that I left N.Y. the next day after the Lipincott meeting; and that meeting, therefore, must have been on June 13th. ### I am very glad indeed to be of any service to Mr. Edison, + consequently am glad to know this matter is important. Don't hesitate to call on me when I can be of use." Very truly yours, G.P. Lathrop. "I am curious to learn the next developments in the history of the European tourists."





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