[X154A7EH], Letter from Josiah Custer Reiff to Uriah Hunt Painter, September 14th, 1888


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[X154A7EH], Letter from Josiah Custer Reiff to Uriah Hunt Painter, September 14th, 1888

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[5 pgs ] "I telegraphed you this PM to remain at Long Branch tomorrow & that Bergmann would visit for an important errand. Edison was in town today & [seemed?] for him at times manifested a good deal of feeling in the phonograph matter & an especial desire toget the whole thing out of the way. ## It has got into a shape now where I am convinced it is time to act definitely, reasonably & outside of any personal feeling. An opportunity has arisen which we did not create, but was really a [illeg] & yet an on it is carried complication with which we cannot deal with perfect independence. EHJ has already offered to make great personal sacrifices in this matter because of his far-reaching interest elsewhere, & his personal & officicial relations with Edison, which preclude his [p. 2] considering the phonograph alone. ## In this matter Bergmann is entitled to contribute a large share of his epected profit when he [first bought? -----] $8 per share & was quite ready to bind you to take $10 now he wants [illeg] but is very nervous lest he [is found?] or offers antagonism to TAE & the Edison light interests. He evidently thinks about $1,000is [illeg] to me. I have no definite arrangement, but this has been intimated--of course I would not accept it. EHJ sends you a memo by Bergmannn in which I have endorsed just what I feel. I think Bergmann should be abundantly satisfied in doubling his money in a few weeks through you & me rather than by himself. [This?] would leave more for you & in that connection you [illeg] likewise remember that ou have not much actual cold cash in this matter & a round sum now will give you a handsome [p. 3] profit on what a year or two ago was a hopeless wreck. [p. 3] ## Don't forget to take this view! Well after I saw EHJ & Bergmann today, I spent 3 hours with Edison (myself alone). It was a long earnest & on my part a [perfectly?] frank talk---sometimes pretty wram. ## I tried to do exact just by us both. I laid aside my own sufferings in the past & treated his as in an impartial effort to correct errors, [reverse?] wrong impressions, settle controversies & above all prove my true friendship for all. I make no boast of my faithful friendship for you, but I am modest when I say I never expect you to defend me as warmly as I did you, to a man who can do a great deal to restore my fallen fortunes. ## I learned a great many things today that will astonish you & of which you & I have been profoundly ignorant if I have propertly understood you. I vehemently denied many things charged to you today as coming from Lippincott etc. [p. 4] on no other ground than that I have hitherto accepted your simple statement true on any subject without hesitation. ## I would not put on paper the details of my interview---it would not be wise for any of us & would not be just to Edison, but when I see you Monday, I think I can remove some scale from your eyes & change the temper at present existing. ## I insisted that you were entitled to meet your accusers & if you were sustained TAE was to concede his error so far as anything he has said. ## I cannot spend Tuesday in Long Branch, but you must come here Monday & be prepared to definitely settle this whole matter & to remain here Tuesday if necessary. I insisted that I would sustain you whilst I felt you were right but I [would?] agree not to sustain you if I found you wrong, but I must have the evidence & be [illeg] further that you had consistently agreed to abide by [p. 5] the decision of [illeg] if they became convinced your course was wrong or of vital moment to a prompt & reasonable settlement. ## TAE confided to me what he probably has not told anyone else & which fact he only ascertained within the past few days & confirmed today, viz. that his own familiar friend Gilliland deceived him in this whole business & literally robbed him, pocketed part of the boodle without TAE's knowledge & went to Europe. Your friend Lippincott in his frankness did you tell you that this will unravel much that has seemed strange. ## There are two contracts. Furthermore Lippincott evidently did not tell you all the truth about some other things."






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