[X154A8DA], Letter from Edward Hibberd Johnson to Uriah Hunt Painter, November 8th, 1889


View document with UniversalViewer   → Re-use this digital object via a IIIF manifest


[X154A8DA], Letter from Edward Hibberd Johnson to Uriah Hunt Painter, November 8th, 1889

Editor's Notes

[6 handwritten pages on SERM letterhead; TAE/EHJ split] Yours of Nov 4= just to hand this morning. It continues to insist that I name a sum which I think I am entitled to notwithstanding I have plainly told you that I have absolutely no means of calculating what this ought to be. I decline such an ungracious undertaking & you protest against my unfairness! This is simply [play?]--it is not business. Your remark that you have never refused a request of mine is absolutely without relevance ecept you mean that anything that is to come to me comes [purely?] as a free concession by you & you want me to ask of you a sum so you can show me a continuance of y our good fath= that implies too much.. . . ## All I have to say now is that in pursuing the course you have & in insisting upon it you are sadly mistakedn in your belief that you are doing me a good turn. But I am not going to argue this matter with you. I am in a big fight with a man who controls millions--I am fighting h im single handed & alone & my best friend thinks he is helping me by keeping in reserve some of my weakness so that when I get in the last ditch he can come forward with a reserve. To this I simply say that the reserve will then be absolutely of no avail ## Already I have been compelled to call upon Drexel Morgan & Co to help me against those who are after me and in the general discussion of my affairs I have been compelled to acknowledge that I am unable to control my own resources--an unnecessary humiliation ## The men who you think you have influenced on my behalf have already taken the preliminary steps toward forcing me- He & Edison have renewed their offer to take 1000 shares of my stock at part which I have of course refused as late events show conclusively that they mean to get control of my Co & then throw me out. They have come back with another proposition which is nothing more or less than to sell out & leave all my association in the lurch precisely as E wanted me to do with the Phono matter. This I also decline. This action of course clears the horizon of their [conscience?] re they have tried to be reasonable with me but I am an impracticable fool= There is therefore only one thing to do with me viz put the pressure on that I am expecting every hour as the next step= If it is done I not only lose my money but lose m y reputation & official position as well unless I find friends who are willing to step in & help me notwithstanding it is currently believed I am able to help myself but am in collusion with you to get their assistance without risking my own [illeg] You can well understand I am not very quiet under such reflections. ## This whole phonograph business bids fair to cost me all my friendships & yield me no compensation & yet you think it strange that I will not follow your [illeg, bottom p. 5] wherever you may lead even though the direct loss to me is immediate & tangible while the gain is an unknown quantity & absolutely 'in the air-- Put yourself in my place & say what you would do.






Folder/Volume ID


Document ID



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