W1528 TO MR. WILLIAM HEISER from Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten
Dec 16 1884
To: Mr. William Heiser 116 Clinton St., Buffalo, N.Y.
From: [New York City]
When I saw you last September I had a little chat with you about Mr. Dunn, but as you were not disposed to talk about the account and referred me to your lawyer. I called on him. After hearing his statement I informed him that at the time Mr. Dunn was in Buffalo, he Mr. D. did not own the patents.2 At that same time, I held an order from Mr. Dunn for all the patents and materials belonging to my brother to be turned over to me; it was not presented because it was my intention to return by way of Buffalo and see you again.
I now notify you that I shall hold you responsible for the models and patterns and that you will not be permitted to dispose of any part of them to any person without Mr. Dunn's order to me presented either by myself or my brother Mr. I.B. McQuesten.
1 The enclosure is a one page letter but it is incomplete--page 2 is missing. It is signed in the left margin by William Heiser., 116 Clinton St. Buffalo, 12/16/84, but the handwriting is not the same as in the letter. It is possible that William Heiser gave this letter to Dr, Calvin McQuesten to illustrate the decline in Railroad investments between 1881 & 1884.
The letterhead is T.C. Delevan, Investments, No 33 Nassau Street, and is dated New York, Dec. 16 1884.
Allow me to call your attention to the following facts in regard to some of the changes for investment projects that have taken place within the last three years.
In 1881--Chicago Burlington & [?] [?] in 1884[?] Decline 57%
In 1881 Chicago [?] & St. Paul [?] [?] in 1884 [?] Decline 29%
In 1881 Chicago & No. West [?] [?] in 1884 [?] Decline 31%
In 1881 Del. Lackawana & Western [?] in 1884 [?] Decline 31%
In 1881 Lake Shore & Mich. Sou 1.35 in 1884 .65 Decline 70%
In 1881 New York Central [?] .55 in 1884 .23 1/2 Decline 71%
In 1881 Union Pacific 1.30 in 1884 37 3/4 Decline 97%
Farm Mortgages on the contrary have not only held their own, but have increased in value.
If in 1837, Two Thousand Dollars had been invested in Western Farm Mortgages paying 8% interest and principal being guaranteed, instead of showing a loss of from 23 to 97% as the above so-called investment stocks do, it would show a profit of over 29 1/2% to say nothing of the rise in the value of the land. The average price of which was in 1881 $125 per acre, while today it is $500 per acre, and is steadily rising in value as the population increases.
To show how these investments are regarded by monied institutions, the New Hampshire Bank Commissioners report that the [end of page and page 2 missing].
Signed in left margin by William Heiser, etc.
2 Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten and his brother Isaac were involved with Mr. Dunn in business concerning train car couplers and other machine patents. In December of 1883, one year before the date of this letter, Dunn had promised to repay Isaac $600 within six months or else hand over all the patents and materials related as payemtnt for Isaac's investments in his patents. It appears that Dunn did not make the payments and the McQuesten brothers considered suing (see W2609 and links). For a more detailed account of the McQuestens' unpleasant business relations with Dunn, see W2554a.