[D8938ABJ], Letter from William Dennis Marks to Henry Villard, July 30th, 1889


View document with UniversalViewer   → View document on Archive.org  → Re-use this digital object via a IIIF manifest


[D8938ABJ], Letter from William Dennis Marks to Henry Villard, July 30th, 1889

Editor's Notes

The near approach of Mr. Edison's departure for Europe renders it necessary that I should remind you of your promise last Tuesday July 23rd. To "let me hear from you within a day or two."####Desiring not to in any way jeapordize the interests of this Company I have without regard to our own understanding heretofore acceded to the wishes of your Vice President until such time as Mr. Edison and yourself could definitely arrange matters.####However much to be deplored the present status of affairs may be, I can not blame myself, nor could any one else blame me for believing that the promises of Messrs. Edison and Villard reduced to writing, would be kept.####The proper te to have modified our arrangements was during our negotiations when at your solicitation I visited you in New York, not now that I have left my positions in Philadelphia aftr having found proper substitutes and had these positions filled by others.####I noted during our interview of last Tuesday that you quoted statements made by others around you as to my conduct in office as subversive of organization and trenching on the rights of others. All of this gossip if brought in definite form I am prepared to show is a mis-statement.####May I request you, in forming your judgment, and in justice to me, as I have already requested Mr. Edison; to refer to the following gentlemen of Philadelphia where I have resided for the last thirteen years. Their names are synonyms for all that is honest and able: Mr. Sam'l B. Huey, Drexel Building.####Mr. Amos R. Little, Aldine Hotel,#####Mr. Wm. P. Thatham, 1420 Walnut Street,####Mr. Chas. H. Banes, Market Street National Bank,.####These are all gentlemen accustomed to large affairs and of the foremost commercial and social standing in Philadelphia. The havve been very close to me in business matters and anything they are willing to say should carry great weight.####The money you offered me was but incidentally a means of support.The broader field of engineering was the real inducement which made me willing to leave my home and enter your service.####There never has been any question of authority outtake of the engineering work, nor will be, whatever our understanding may be, but I am not willing to have the engineering work of this Ccompany removed from my supervision and control. If after proper investigation amongst those who knew me best, you feel that I will not exercise this control wisely and to the great advantage of this Company you have in your power my immediate removval under the terms of our agreement but pray do not begin by so crippling me by allowing the interference of otheres in the Engineering Department, as to render impossible successful work on my part, and that this has already been done is my fixed opinion, based on years of actual experience partly in electrical engineering; since in 1884 I assumed the position of Manager for the Franklin Institute of its Electrical Exhibition.####I deplore the necessity which has forced me to take this position, it has caused me infinite regrets, and if you decide to call for my resignation will subject me to very grave injury, but, honestly I take it with a thorough and practical knowledge of my work and the business connected with it.####To go forward as matters are now arranged I KNOW will results alike in injury to the interests of this Company, and to my own reputation as an Engineer and man of business.####I have tried to make myself clear, I have never attributed to Mr. Edison or yourself other act than forgetfulness of promises made. I am willing to do the engineering required by any officer of this Company but this engineering should be subject to my supervision and control.####I earnestly beg of Mr. Edison and of yourself a definite decision in accordance with our agreement.####I am, Very respectfully and truly yours,####Wm. D. Marks.####[name mentions: William D Marks, Thos Edison, Henry Villard, Sam'l B. Huey, Chas Banes, Amos R. Little, William Tatham, Aldine Hotel, Market street National Bank, Franklin Institute, Drexel Building, Edison General Electric Co.]






Folder/Volume ID


Microfilm ID


Document ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
Download CSV | JSON