[D8938ABB], Letter from William Dennis Marks to Henry Villard, July 22nd, 1889

Item

Abstract

[Enclosure to D8938ABA] My dear Sir:--####I mean no discourtesy or disrespect in what I shall say, but only to place before you a straight-forward statement of my understanding of our agreement concerning my connection with this Company,--copies of which I herewith enclose.####All of my actions in leaving Philadelphia and accepting the position of Engineer-in-Chief here were based upon my agreement with Messrs. Villard and Edison, which I surely had reason to believe would be sustained by the Edison General Electric Company, and in feeling that they were in honor bound to see it carried out.####No inducements whatever would have made me willing to subordinate myself to the then existing officials of the New York Edison Companies, or to risk becoming the subordinate to officials unknown to me.####It was agreed that I should only be responsible to Messrs. Edison and Villard, and the Officers of this Company.####I referred to this agreement in accepting the position of Engineer in Chief.####I was advised that all of the Edison Companies were to be absorbed by on General Company, of which I was to be Engineer-in-Chief.####I did not accept this position for pecuniary reasons for at the end of the year I should have saved more money by remaining in Philadelphia, but, I did accept it believing that a broader field of engineering was offered to me, and that I might share in the creation of a great organization with honor to myself in that field which I have chosen for my life's work.####Acting in perfectly good faith, I provided for filling the positions which I should have to vacate and resigned to undertake my duties in New York.####I find first, that the engineering supervision of the various factories is withdrawn with Mr. Edison's approval. TO this I did not take formal exception desiring not to appear captious.####Next, I am told in most positive terms by the Vice-Prest. Of the Company that in the arrangement and subdivision of engineering matters, I am subjecct wholly to his commands, and further told, that I have no control or supervision of isolated work or cash central stations, which are assigned to others.####Against all of these actions I now protest, as contrary to my agreement with the Edison General Electric Company through Messrs. Villard and Edison, as I havev at no time been informed or believed that my arrangment with them was other than an arrangement whih they would feel in honor bound as influential members of the Company to have approved and carried out.####I have referred to this agreement which certainly is not underhand in its nature, both in my acceptance of the position of Engineer in Chief, and in mjy protest against the action of the Officers of this Company, but have not shown it presuming that it would more properly reach those affected by it from our President than from myself.####It is not a light thing to persuade a man to leave honorable and lucrativve positions, and to leave a community in which he has, by many years of honest toil, gained standing, and then to fail to keep promises made to get him to enter your service.####I desire particularly to say that I am aware that these actions against which I protest were taken during your absence, and without your approval, but, if allowed to stand, the practical results to me are the same as if you were responsible for them.####Sincerely appealing to your sense of justice and of right humanity, I am,####Very respectfully and truly yours,####(signed:) Wm. D. Marks####Engineer in Chief & Technical Assistant to the Prest.####[Enclosure]:####909 Sansom Street,####Philadelphia, Feby. 26th, 1889.####Mr. Henry Villard, Prest.,####Edison General Electric Co.####Dear Sir:--####Referring to the verbal interview of yesterday, at which you and Mr. Edison were present, I would say that as I apprehend it, you offer to me the position of Engineer in chief of the Edison General Electric Company, at a salaray of $10,000, Ten Thousand Dollars per year, also if my connectino with the Company is not required for more than one year or for less time to pay me $5,000, and accept my resignation. My officcial connection to begin April 1st, 1889. I am to be held responsible to Mr. Edison and to yourself only of the Officers of the Company, and am to conduct the engineering work and business appertaining to it as I have heretofore for the Edison Co. of Phila. It is also understood that I am to have sufficient time and opportunity to honorably complete my work for the Phila. Co.####Yours truly, Wm. D. Marks####[Enclosure]: (Dictated), Mills Building, New York, February 27, 1889.####Prof. Wm. D. Marks, Philadelphia, Pa.####Dear Sir:--####I have your favor of the 26th instant. You address me as President of the Edison General Electric Company, but, as I explained to you verbally, I do not as yet hold that office.####Your letter gives a correct statement of the agreement arrived at between yourself and Mr. Edison and myself, and I take pleasure in confirming it, with the reservvation, however, that your formal engagement must, of course, be ratified by the Board of the Edison General Electric Co.####Yours truly, H. Villard.####909 Sansom Steet, Phila., Pa.####May 15th, 1889.####Mr. Henry Villard, New York,####My dear Sir:####In accordance with my promise of the 13th current, I have communicated with my Board of Directors, who are willing to leave the time of departure to my own judgment, only stipulating that I shall visit them once or twice a week or in emergencies, and shall remain Consulting Engineering for one year. Referring to my letter of February 26th, and your own of February 27thm 1889, I shall be pleased to assume the position of Engineer in Chief, in accordance with the terms of those letters, as soon as you require my servies. I shall probably be womewhat irregular in my attention to your work until June 1st, after which I trust I shall be able to give the major part of my time to New York, and settle down to regular routine.####I enclose for your information my report of May 13th, and await your further instructions

Recipient

Date

1889-07-22

Decade

1880-1889

Type

Identifier

D8938ABB

Folder Set

D8938

Title

[D8938ABB], Letter from William Dennis Marks to Henry Villard, July 22nd, 1889

Microfilm ID

126:437

Publisher

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