[LB020444A], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, August 21st, 1885


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[LB020444A], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, August 21st, 1885

Editor's Notes

Your telegram requesting that your overcoat should be sent to the White Mountains, was received and coat dispatched. Also your telegram with relation to Mrs. Prcie. I enclose herewith letter received from King. Will you please return it with your comments. I also enclose you letters from Lytle & Co. (Beetle's firm), which explains itself. If you feel like sending the testimonial they send for, please do so and send the papers to me. I wired you this morning, asking what address would reach you quickly. My reason is that W.N. Stewart has been staying here over two months, trying to get a contract either with himself or with the House of Grace & Co. Either arrangement being equally suitable to him. This is a matter which you may remember Mr. Coster is supposed to have in hand. Stewart's patience is about exhausted. Coster simply says that he has not had time to deal with the business. My impression is that he does not want to deal with Stewart for reasons which you well understand. Grace & Co. intend to go into incandescent business on the Western Coast of South America. They even go so far as to ask Stewart to deal with the United States system if he cannot get the contract for the Edison system. Stewart does not want to do this, in fact he says that he will not do it, but inasmuch as self preservation is the first law of nature, I think that he may find himself compelled to eventually. Now this is a matter which is of personal interest to your own pocket apart from your stock interest in the Light Company, as the only way for us to get the $8,000 to $10,000 which Stewart owes the Machine Works is for us to see that he gets another start in Chile in our business. Johnson claims that he has done all he possibly can--my impression is that he looks upon South American business as outside his own particular province, I think under the circumstances that you should write this (?) letter instructing me to go down to see Mr. Coster and tell him in the plainest possible way that it is your desire that the deal which Mr. Stewart proposes, should be made. Since Stewart has been here, he has received no less than 5 orders which of course he is unable to fill, and our business is getting into extreme disrepute in Chile. I would remind you that Mr. Costers' course in refusing to make an equitable arrangement with you as to the Eastern Coast, has resulted in nothing being done and this writing, I am "on the fence" as to the advisability of approaching the Light Company as to Para or not. Now please try and give sufficient time away from pleasure to write me full instructions as to Stewart and if your inclination requires a little spurring up, remember that we have quite a large amount of money at stake in the matter. If I write you all I feel as to the treatment Stewart is receiving, I would boil over, for a month, as the word scandalous is the only way to characterize it, and I am confident that if the facts were known by the Board of Directors they would be of exactly the same opinion.






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