Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

board, as you think best. Mr. F. W. Reynolds (one of the owners of the vessels above spoken of) will be in New Orleans, and you will consult with him as to what is best to be done for the owners' interest.

Knowing as I do your ability to manage this business properly, and believing that you will at all times act in such a manner as will contribute to the interests of all concerned, I remain yours, respectfully,

WM. H. REYNOLDS,

For the owners. Mr. HENRY B. BRASTOW.

No. 3.-Referred to in statement.

From page 116, September 23:
Cash, to Harris Hoyt adventure, for J. A. Suydam's check

No. 95 on Fourth National Bank, New York

$2,389 43

From page 121 :
Harris Hoyt adventure, to W. H. Reynolds, for W. H. R.'s

check No. 15 on Fourth National Bank, New York, (re-
moitted to H. Hoyt in Chicago)..

[merged small][ocr errors]

DECEMBER 9, 1864. I reside in Providence. My firm is Reynolds & Co., consisting of myself, F. W. Reynolds, and William H. Taylor. My Providence place of business is on Westminster street; in New York it is 45 William street.

The business of the house was in cotton and cotton goods. Up to 1862 we were cotton brokers, but bought and sold some cotton on our own account.

We had business connections with Harris, Hoyt, and Prescott in 1862. Hoyt was brought to my office in Providence by Byron Sprague, one of the firm of A. & W. Sprague; introduced him as from Texas or Matamoras; told me that Hoyt had met Governor Sprague in Washington and had a talk with him about getting cotton from Matamoras, and Governor Sprague had sent him to talk with me ut it.

Hoyt hailed from Texas, and said he was all right. Hoyt had a general letter of recommendation from the private secretary of the President.

Hoyt wanted me to advance money to buy goods to send to Matamoras and sold there for cotton to be sent thence to New York. I looked into it, and then proposed to A. & W. Sprague, Owens, Taft & Co., and B. B. & R. Kuight, all of Providence, that we four should each put twenty-five thousand dollars into the enterprise; with a part of the inoney we were to buy a couple of schooners, load them and send them to Matamoras to be sold, and the proceeds converted into cotton, and with another part we were to buy a steamer and send her out to bring home the cotton. Two schooners and a steamer were purchased and cargoes for them. The schooners were, I do not remember what. The steamer was the Ella Warley. I cannot tell you about the cargoes. I authorized Hoyt and my agent, Suydam, in New York, and Mr. Prescott, (a man introduced to me by Hoyt,) to buy such goods as could be cleared at the custom-house. A part of the cargo was old machinery. We advanced Hoyt the money to pay for it, but it was his own adventure. Hoyt said that by taking that machinery out there he could get some loyal families away from Texas. It was not understood t'a' the was to set up a corporation in joint stock company in Texas, the stock to be paid in cotton and sent out to us. I never saw any written agreeinent; perhaps there was a memorandum of an agreement sent by Pres. cott, but we refused to sign it. The cotton was to be procured at MataIdoras. Hoyt said that there was cotton in Texas belonging to loyal men which could be bought cheap. The sellers of the cotton were to be paid with the money proceeds of the sales of cargoes in Matamoras. The goods sent out were not to be taken by hiin into Texas. lloyt was to do all his busiuess at Matamoras, to the satisfaction of the American consul.

The Snow Drift was the first schooner bought and sent out; our accounts will show what was paid for her, and what her cargo was. There were guns and revolvers bought, as Hoyt said, for the protection of the vessel. Mr. Brastow, who was in our employment, thought that there were too many, and they were removed; I don't know by whom; they were afterwards put on the steamer Ella Warley ; can't say what became of them; they went to Havana in the Ella Warley. No authority Was obtained, so far as I know, from Washington for this enterprise. The Snow Drift was sold at Harana; put under the British flag, by the name of Cora; it was not a real sale; I cannot state why she was sold, or put under the British Hag. Brastow, under my orders, sold , her at Matamoras; we were told that Hoyt was raising the devil at Havana, and that he had gone off on a private speculation into Texas, aud I sent Brastow out to sell the vessel and close up the concern. Α. portion of the proceeds of the cargo of the Cora was sent home in cottou, twenty bales, by Hoyt. Mr. Brastow invested the proceeds of the sale of the vessel in cotton, and sent to us, by what vessel I don't know. Adjourned to December 10.

DECEMBER 10–11 a. m. There has never been any settlement between the parties to this enterprise. My impression is that there is a loss of some $30,000 in the enterprise. The steamer was lost, uninsured; she cost us, I think, over $50,000, including what we laid out on her; Prescott bought her of some parties who had bought her at auction of the Government, and he bought them out and paid them a bonus; I can't recollect whether she cost $38,000 or $28,000. I don't remember such a person as N. C. Trowbridge.

Hoyt told me at the outset that he wanted me to lend him some mones—$800—to send his wife, and left his gold watch and some diamonds (cluster-pin and ear-drops—his wedding present to his wife) as security. I lent him the money on my own account. At Prescott's request I. gave back the watch. The diamonds remained with me till lloyt returned from Texas and redeemed them about ten months ago. I think we have never got any cotton except twenty bales or so, and no other returns from Hoyt. IIe told me he had not been about our busiDess, but his own, in Texas; had started his machinery and bronght cotton out, not for us. The agreement he made with us—and Prescott's was the same was to give us all his time and skill. He said he had done well and made. We never paid him anything for his services.

may have advanced him a little money on account, but I think not. We bought the Citizen for this enterprise and sent her ont to New Orleans, not hearing from the Snow Drift; we did not send the Citizen to Matamoras. After getting to New Orleans she was to sell her cargo and get cotton if there was a market there, and, if not, to go to Mata

We

moras. We sent Mr. Whitford out in her to manage our interests, and we were to write him there. I must correct this last, by saying that Whitford was to await the arrival of the Ella Warley, and my brother, Francis W. Reynolds—my partner—was to go out in that steamer and carry our instructions to the Citizen. The Citizen lay in New Orleans a long time. We then sent Henry B. Brastow to Matamoras, and ordered the Citizen there, and he was to sell her cargo there, as we did not dare to trust the matter to Hoyt, as we considered he had stolen one cargo. Brastow sold all the goods he could and the vessel, put the proceeds in cotton and sent it to us; the rest of the goods be left on consignment with a house there. That house (Labatt & Joseplı) has never accounted to us.

After Brastow came home we sent Whitford to settle with Labatt & Joseph, and he reported that they had run off. About six or eight months ago I was surprised to meet Hoyt at the St. Nicholas; I think, on reflection, that Suydam telegraphed me that Hoyt was here, and I came on to see him at the St. Nicholas; saw Prescott there at the same time. Hoyt asked me the first thing what I meant by such treatment, sending Brastow out to sell goods and vessels. I told him because we had made up our mind that he was dishonest, and could not trust him. He said he could convince us he had been honest and perfectly square in all he had done. He told me a long story, and made me believe he was honest, although he went out poor and with our goods, he came back rich and made only loss for us. Brastow showed me Hoyt's Houston secesh advertisement, and I have it and have meaut to use it. I had received that paper before Hoyt got here. After going through his story, telling me that charges and expenses bad eaten up the bigger part of the goods, and said he had sent some forty or fifty bales of cotton which the United States had captured and he meant to reclaim, and he asked me to go to Washington with him and reclaim it. I declined uutil he got his papers in the right shape. He said that the cotton was seized going from a Texan port to Matamoras. We had not, and I did not suppose he had, a permit to bring cotton from Texas. At the beginning of the enterprise he said he could get such. We should not have put capital into this enterprise except upon our belief that such a permit would be had. Governor Spragne said he did not know but a permit might be granted. Governor Sprague had told me that loyt was coming to Providence, and had spoken so as to make me trust him.

Hoyt's talk at the St. Nicholas induced me to trust him again. He said he was going back to Matamoras, and persuaded us to authorize him to collect of Labatt & Joseph and to put $5,000 in greenbacks into his hands, and to send out the Caraccas withi a cargo of $12,000 or $15,000, all of which was to be converted into cotton to be returned to

There were no other parties interested in this last adventure but Hoyt, one-quarter; Suydam, (James A.,) then my agent, one-quarter; Morris, (who was in Hoyt's employ, and here at that time,) one-quarter, and Reynolds & Co. the other quarter.

The Caraccas sailed; was damaged and put into some port-hercargo partially damaged. We got from the insurance company $1,800, partial loss. The cargo was transferred to some other vessel and went to Mat. amoras, and was there sold by Hoyt and Morris, and what has become of the proceeds we don't know. Hoyt says he put it into cotton and it was coming out to us—160 bales were coming ; that 40 bales belonged to us and 120 to himself, individually-all consigned to us. Where it is I don't know.

I saw Hoyt ten days ago. He said, “ Your 56 bales of cotton are on the Sibyl,” which was seized and brought in; case still pending. But

[ocr errors]

I have found that none of my cotton was on her. What he told me of the 140 bales was when he first came back, six weeks to two months ago. Whitford and Brastow are in Colorado. I understand that Hoyt has bought a house in Chicago in his wife's name.

While Hoyt was last in Matamoras he sent, consigned to W. II. Reynoles & Co., lot of wool, which I sold before he got back for $2,500. This I at first held, but finally paid over after some correspondence with bim in Chicago.

I sent him my check. Suydam had persuaded me to do this on the ground that Hoyt had us in bis power, and might keep back some $20,000 of our property, and that Floyt said this wool belonged not to him but to other parties.

I had, at the outset of the enterprise, carefully instructed Hoyt and Prescott that nothing should be done that could compromise us with the Government.

The reason that I remember so imperfectly as to the details of this enterprise is that most of the business was done by my agent and clerks.

Our Caraccas bond at the custom-liouse has not yet been canceledso Morris told me a few days ago, last week—for want of some formality at Matamoras.

Morris told me a short time since that some man who had seen him in Texas was claiming $500 or $600 or threatened him with arrest. I told him if he was arrested and could satisfy me he was all right, I would be his bond; but that if he had done anything wrong, this was 110 place for him. I have not seen him since. He did tell me what he went to Texas for, i. e., for Hoyt.

Hoyt, since his last return, on my reproaching him for his failure in our affairs this last time, (the Caraccas operation,) answered that he had a great many other matters to attend to, and this was only a small part of what he had to look after. I have left your matters with Morris. Adjourned to 11 a. m. December 13.

DECEMBER 13. None of the parties to the original enterprise were aware of the last or Caraccas enterprise. They were aware that Hoyt had been back. I took him to Providence and had him before them, viz: Mr. Frase, the representative of A. & W. Sprague, Mr. Edward P. Taft, and Mr. Knight. He told them the same story that he had already told me, viz: That a good deal of the money lad been used up in expenses; that many of the goods had been used by him, but he ineant to account for them; and that he had got some cotton np the river near Padros Negoes which he proposed, when it got to Matamoras, to send to us to pay for these goods. He told them he had shipped to me forty or fifty bales of cotton by water from some Texan port to Matamoras, (this was early in 1864,) and it had been taken by a United States vessel, (he called it stealing,) but on the pretext of violation of blockade. The reason he gave for calling it stealing was, that the captors had never accounted for it to the Government. He said he calculated to send that cotton to them from Matamoras. I don't remember what he said about his doings in Texas.

They made up their minds that he was all right, and might possibly account for this money.

He told them or me that he had rendered important service in Texas to the commanding Federal general, and he allowed him to go back and forth as lie pleased. I don't remember the general's name.

After this interview nothing was said by the other Providence parties as to having anything more to do with Hoyt. All we expected to do further was to get our money back.

I think, on reflection, that Hoyt had never sent us a bale of cotton. There was no settlement with him. Ile went to Chicago. Then came the Caraccas enterprise. Hoyt now owes the original concern all he ever had; a large indebtedness,

When Hoyt first came to me he represented to us that he was a Union refugee from Texas. I got the impression that he was poor. He said he had had a little property in Texas; never claimed to have had $25,000 or $50,000 worth of property in Texas.

At this Providence meeting with Hoyt last January, Mr. Taft and I had seen the Houston advertisement of Hoytis. I don't think anything was said about it. He was not called on to explain it. I don't think Hoyt ever told us what had been his old business in Texas. He might have told Governor Sprague. I looked on him as his man, because of what Hoyt and Byron S. had told me, and not from anything said or done by Governor S.

Iloyt told me that his Houston advertisement was a blind to the confederates.

Hoyt, at the outset, told all of us that what he wanted to get back to Texas for was to assist Union families to come out and bring their cotton with them; and he was to go to Texas via Matamoras, taking goods to Matamoras to be sold there for money, and the money invested in Matitmoras in cotton. From Matamoras he was to go into Texas to induce people to send their cotton to Matamoras, to be bought as above. The people were come with their cotton; and for that purpose, and on that plan, we put in our $100,000.

He told me, but I have no recollection of his stating in Providence last January, that he had assisted various Union people in getting out of Tesas.

I have never communicated to the other Providence firms any information of my last Hoyt enterprise. I considered that they had no thing to do with it.

Mr. Taft has asked me once or twice to make up the account of the old enterprise, as recently as within six months. I think not since July.

Iloyt's last return from Texas the last time I cannot date. I don't recollect whether I have seen him since.

My clerk wrote me last week that Hoyt was here, and was going to Texas, and wanted to see me, but I went to Washington without seeing him.

[ocr errors][merged small]

I, Robert Knight, of Cranston, State of Rhode Island, of the firm of B. B. & R. Knight, who were interested in the Texas adventure socalled, was present at a meeting or representation of the parties interested, held at the office of Messrs. Reynolds & Co., in March, 1864, (I think.) I there saw Mr. Hoyt the only time I ever saw him. At this interview I came to the conclusion we would have nothing more to do with the affair, and so expressed myseli to those present. We have trusted the whole matter to our old and tried friends, Messrs. Orray, Taft & Co., whose loyalty we believe is beyond question. We have been, from time to time, posted through them, in substance as set forth

« PředchozíPokračovat »