« ZurückWeiter »
burg and Potomac railroad company and bay company? If so, did the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company decline this offer?
Ans. The agents of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company have the same privilege of passing over our road free of charge which is extended to the agent of the James river and bay line, and the same privilege of buying tickets from our road and selling them with their own, so as to make virtually “through" tickets by way of Richmond and Washington City to Baltimore. The Petersburg railroad company has never, I believe, formally offered to terminate this arrangement; but some time in the summer of 1846, Dr. J. M. Sheppard came over, as he stated, in an informal way, to see if he could not bring about some satisfactory agreement between this road and the roads north of this, in which he said he felt a deep interest. A conversation took place between him, Mr. Bird, (the president,) Col. Jos. Bragg and myself. After interchanging views, a proposition was suggested by Dr. Sheppard, which we told him we thought our board would approve and adopt, if the other companies desired it. Dr. Sheppard then reduced it to writing. The following is a copy thereof :
“ It is proposed that the Petersburg railroad company shall permit no agents of either the bay company, or of the railroads north of Petersburg, to pass free over their road; and that said company shall not permit the agents of either to go into the ticket office, or to purchase tickets for passengers, either of themselves or through other persons; and that said company shall do all it can to abolish agencies on the part of both parties; and that the Petersburg company shall be permitted to sell tickets for both lines, at the price fixed on by them respectively, to the passengers themselves." He left a copy with me, and said, if he found on consultation with the companies north of us, it would be satisfactory or agreeable to them that we should pass resolutions to that effect, he would let Mr. Bird or myself know it. I understood afterwards, first through Mr. Bird and then from Dr. Sheppard himself, that the passage of those resolutions would not be satisfactory or sufficient; and the matter was never brought before our board.
Quies. 10. Did the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company, or the Richmond and Petersburg railroad company, furnish any part of the means advanced to F. E. Rives for the purchase of a part of the Portsmouth and Roanoke railroad in North Carolina; or had either of those companies, or any of their stockholders or officers, directly or indirectly, any connexion with or interest in the movement to break down the Portsmouth and Roanoke railroad? If so, be pleased to state all that you know on the subject of this enquiry, and exhibit any letter or correspondence which may shew the connexion (if any such there be) of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company, or the Richmond and Petersburg railroad company, with this movement.
Ans. I do not know or believe that either the Richmond and Petersburg railroad company, or the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company, or any other company, or any of their stockholders or officers, directly or indirectly furnished or advanced means to F. E. Rives to purchase any part of said road or had any connexion with or interest in that purchase. I think Mr. Rives's purchase of Rochelle's claim and the subsequent purchase of a part of the road was a mere money making speculation. I have no reason to suppose that either of those companies were connected with the purchase, from any letter or other writing. Mr. Rives made at different times to this company, and, I understood, to other companies, (the railroad companies north of us among the rest,) propositions ; among them one made after he became the purchaser, which I learned from him the companies north of us would probably accede to: namely, that if he could succeed in obtaining the undisputed right to the part of the road he had purchased, the companies on the inland route should pay him a specified sum for each through passenger. Our board never acceded to that proposition so far as I know or believe, ror did I understand that there was any positive agreement on the part of the other companies. I therefore never considered Mr. Rives under any obligation (moral or other) to discontinue the use of said part of the road in case of success in getting control of it, but that he had the right to contract with the Portsmouth company and bay line to permit them to use it, or with the inland line of roads to refuse to permit the Portsmouth company to use it, according as he thought it most to his interest.
I considered it the interest of all the roads on the inland line that Mr. Rives should succeed in establishing his right, because I thought the whole inland line would unite and could and would outbid the Portsmouth company and the bay line, but I did not consider them or any of them as partners with Rives, or connected with him in any way in the purchase. On the 25th of December 1843, a resolution was passed by our board, of which I had no knowledge or information for several months after, the object of which, and the circumstances attending its passage, the president of our board and the directors who were then present, will if required explain ; and soon afterwards a copy of a resolution of the companies north of us was communicated to the president of our company. Possibly these may be matters called for in this question. I had no knowledge or information of them until several months after December 1843, and have no knowledge now except from hearsay.
1847, March 2d_Sworn to before me.
THOS. H. DANIEL, Chairman.
Question to Francis E. Rives, Esq. by a Member of the Joint Committee.
Which of the railroad companies (if either) implicated in this investigation, first made any proposition to you to close your end of the Portsmouth railroad? What were the terms proposed ? Was any arrangement made and afterwards broken up? If so, state all the facts pertaining to such propositions, &c.
Ans. Neither company proposed to me to close my portion of the Portsmouth road. All propositions went from me to them, until the supreme court of North Carolina decided the case in relation to my purchase—and no agreement was consummated with either until June 1845, and that was with the Petersburg company.
FRANCIS E. RIVES.
WEDNESDAY EVENING, MARCH 3, 1847.
The committee met pursuant to adjournment.
Answers to the interrogatories propounded to Dr. Joseph M. Sheppard, to H. D. Bird, president of the Petersburg company, and to Moncure Robinson, president of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company, were received by the committee, read by the clerk, and ordered to be printed.
Question propounded to Dr. Joseph M. Sheppard. In Mr. Bird's answers to interrogatories, he speaks of a conversation between yourself and himself and two members of the board of directors of the Petersburg company during the last summer; please state your recollection of that conversation and the proposition said to have been made in it.
Ans. It is impossible to state with any precision the details of a long conversation, held months ago, and to which I had no idea at the time of its occurrence that I should ever have occasion to advert again. I will, how. ever, give a concise account of what happened at the interview alluded to.
Being a stockholder in the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company, I visited Petersburg at the period stated, on my own responsibility and without any authority from either of the companies north of Petersburg, with a view of endeavouring to induce the president and directors of the Petersburg railroad company to break off their connection with the James river and bay boats; but found, after a long conference on the subject with Mr. Bird, the president, and two of the directors of that company (Mr. David May and Col. Bragg) that they could not be induced to refuse to the agents of the bay boats the liberty of passing free over their railroad and buying tickets for passengers, so as virtually to make through tickets over the Petersburg road by selling them in connection with the tickets of the bay line, unless on condition that the Petersburg company should be allowed to sell tickets by both the railroad lines north of Petersburg and the bay line. Finding this all that would be assented to, I reduced the result of the conference to writing, in the shape of a proposition, to which I did not at first see the objections which afterwards presented themselves to my mind. On subsequent reflection I thought that with the disposition believed to exist on the part of the president of the Petersburg company, to keep up a competition between the railroad and bay lines, it would be better to leave matters as they are than for the companies north of Petersburg to accede to the proposition, which was as follows:
" It is proposed that the Petersburg company shall permit no agents of either the bay company or of the railroads north of Petersburg, to pass free over their road; and that said company shall not permit the agents of either to go into their ticket office or to purchase tickets for passengers, either of themselves or through other persons; and that said company shall do all it can to abolish agencies on the part of both parties, and that the Petersburg company shall be permitted to sell tickets for both lines at the prices fixed by them respectively to the passengers themselves."
JOS. M. SHEPPARD.
Question for Mr. Bird by a Member of the Committee.
Did you ever express to any one the opinion that if Col. Rochelle would destroy that part of the Portsmouth road in North Carolina, the Petersburg company would pay him the amount of his claims against the company? If so, state to whom?
Ans. I do not recollect ever having expressed any other opinions on this subject than those stated in my testimony. I have often expressed the opinion that the Petersburg railroad company would be greatly benefitted by the going down of the Portsmouth and Roanoke railroad ; and it is quite likely that in conversing with persons respecting Rochelle's claims I may have expressed some such opinion as that the company could well afford to pay the amount of them, and more too, to get rid of the opposition of that road. These were my own opinions on the subject, but I had no authority from the company or the directors to speak for them on the subject.
H. D. BIRD.
Question propounded to M. Robinson, Esq. by a Meniber of the Joint Committee.
Is it the habit of any of the stockholders in said railroad to place their stock in the name of persons who do not in fact own it, and take proxies for the purpose of giving on the stock a larger vote in general meeting than it would have if it stood in the name of the true owner ? If so, state the names of such stockholders.
Ans. I know of no such habit. At the same time; wishing to answer the question fully, I will add that I am myself interested in stock standing in the names of two other stockholders whose proxies I hold. I have no doubt also that stock in the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac and other companies often stands in the names of persons who have loaned money on it, and where a proxy to represent stands in the name of the transferrer.
Questions by the Counsel for the Remonstrants.
Quies. l. Please state if any propositions were made you by the president of the Petersburg company to unite in purchasing the portion of the Portsmouth and Roanoke railroad in North Carolina—and if any joint resolutions were passed by your company and the Richmond and Petersburg railroad company on the subject of purchasing such portion of said road, furnish copies thereof?
Ans. I was called on early in October 1843, by Mr. F. E. Rives, with a letter from Mr. Bird, the president of the Petersburg company, urging strongly the companies north of Petersburg uniting with the Petersburg company in an arrangement for obtaining possession of the Portsmouth railroad in North Carolina, which Mr. Bird stated had been advertised for sale to satisfy certain judgments. I declined having any thing to do with the subject. I was afterwards approached in regard to it by other persons, as I presumed, at the instance of Mr. Bird or Mr. Rives, and expressed in my interviews with them strong objections to have any thing to do with the matter, and that the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac company would, in no way, unite in the purchase. I thought it probable, however, in consequence of the embarrassed condition of the Portsmouth and Roanoke company, that the cars of that company could not long continue to run over their road, and I feared whenever they ceased to do so, that the president of the Petersburg company would endeavour to get up a competition between the river and bay line of boats and the railroad line north of Petersburg. I expressed these impressions to some of the directors of the Richmond and Petersburg, and Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad companies, and suggested that whilst these companies should in no way contribute to the proposed purchase of the Portsmouth and Roanoke railroad in North Carolina, it would be an object, (provided the Petersburg railroad company would unite with the companies north of Petersburg in inducing the establishment of a stage line then in contemplation between Washington and Baltimore,) with a view of securing a permanent through ticket exclusively by the great mail line, to agree in advance, whenever the whole through travel from the Wilmington and Weldon railroad should pass over the railroads north of Petersburg, that the Petersburg railroad company might make a charge of 25 cents in addition to its pro rata fare on each through ticket to be disposed of as that company might deem fit.
The boards of directors of both the Richmond and Petersburg, and Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac companies in consequence united in the passage of the joint resolutions accompanying this, (marked A,) which were transmitted to the president of the Petersburg railroad company, and which were accepted and acted under by him up to the time of the passage of the resolution in page 396 of the last report of the Board of public works, in which the Petersburg company announce their intention to cease to issue through tickets.
Resolved, By the president and directors of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company, acting for themselves and the Potomac steamboat company, and by the president and directors of the Richmond and Petersburg railroad company, that they will hereafter receive through tickets as hitherto, between Weldon and Baltimore at the present rate of fare ($ 12,) unless a different rate of fare should hereafter be agreed on between the several companies, and agreeably to the ratio of division of fare adopted at a meeting of James Bosher, R. B. Bolling, H. Rhodes and M. N. Falls, acting on behalf of the several companies between Washington and the Roanoke on the 13th December 1842, unless a different ratio of division should hereafter be agreed on between the several companies, and that a charge of twenty-five cents may be made at Weldon or some point south of it, and at Baltimore, on the ticket of each first class passenger, and a proportionate charge on the ticket of each second class or other passenger, servant and child going to or coming from the Wilmington and Weldon railroad and passing the whole distance between Weldon and Baltimore, to be apportioned between the companies between Petersburg and Baltimore, (our several companies guaranteeing that the Baltimore and Washington branch will bear its proportion of the charge,) in the ratio in which the fare on through tickets may be at the time divided between them, the said charge of 25 cents to be paid to the Petersburg railroad company or their assigns, and to commence so soon and continue so long as the whole travel between the Wilmington and Weldon railroad and Baltimore shall pass on the line of railroad and steamboat communication between Petersburg and Washington,
(by the whole travel aforesaid we mean the great body of the travel, not less than nine tenths of the same ;) provided the Petersburg railroad company shall, on their part, agree and continue to issue and receive through tickets as aforesaid; and provided also that the said through tickets shall be given as the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company shall elect, either by the railroad line between Baltimore and Washington, or by a stage line or lines between those cities, (should the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company deem it advisable at any time or times hereafter to get up or sustain such a line or lines,) at such rate of charge or allowance for the stage line, as the Baltimore and Ohio railroad company may at the time be charging on passengers between Washington and Baltimore, and that if the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company have to incur expense or loss to sustain such stage line or lines, the Petersburg railroad company will participate in the expense or loss as Charles F. Osborne, Esq. may decide to be right, and will pay their part of such expense or loss either agreeably to the pro ruta division of fare, established on through tickets, or as Charles F. Osborne, Esq. may determine to be fair and reasonable.
Resolved, That a copy of the above resolution be communicated to the president and directors of the Petersburg railroad company.
Ques. 2. Please furnish a copy of the contract between the president and directors of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac company and Messrs. Jacob Peters & Co. under which a stage line was run betw en Washington and Baltimore. Say how much was paid by your company under that contract, and whether any portion of the amount paid by you has been defrayed by the Petersburg railroad company?
Ans. A copy of the contract is furnished here with, (marked B.] The amount of $ 6000 stipulated in the contract was paid on the fare between Washington and Baltimore, being reduced to $1 60 per passenger. The Petersburg company, though called on several times to pay their proportion of the $ 6000, have not as yet done s ; and it appears from the testimony of Mr. Bird before the committee, look to the amount being settled by Mr. F. E. Rives, who was in no way known to the other companies in the arrangement, but who it appears from Mr. Bird's testimony has stipulated with the Petersburg railroad company to bear the proportion of the expense incurred on account of the stage line for which the Petersburg company are liable.
Articles of agreement made this 4th day of May 1844, between the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Po
tomac Railroad Company of the one part, and Jacob Peters and Wirt Robinson, acting under the firm of Jacob Peters 8. Co. of the other part, whereby it is agreed and covenanted as follows, to wit :
The said Peters & Robinson agree on or before the 15th day of June next, to establish a first rate line of stages between Washington and Baltimore for the accommodation of travellers coming from or going to the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad, the said line to consist of not less than two new and comfortable nine passenger coaches daily in each direction, with as many extra coaches as the travel going to or coming from said railroad may require. The said line of coaches to receive the passengers at the wharf in Washington from the steamboat on the Potomac connecting with said railroad immediately on its arrival from the south, and to take them from some point in Baltimore convenient to the line from Philadelphia, with which the railroad company may deem it most advisable to connect, and deliver them on board the steamboat at Washington.
The said railroad company for and in consideration of the above stipulation, agree to receive fare and allow it to be received for them between Richmond and points south of it and Baltimore in connection with the stage line of the said Peters & Robinson.
This they purpose effecting for all travel going south either by way bills or connected tickets as the said railroad company may prefer. As regards travel coming north by making out way bills on board the Potomac steamboat for all other travel than that coming from the Roanoke or points south of it. In the case of this last, either connected tickets to be given as at present, or should there be any difficulty in the way of such connected tickets, then by including the Roanoke travel in the same way bills with other travel. The said railroad company further covenant that the whole charge between Richmond and points south of it and Baltimore sh be the same as-between the said points and Washington; that as regards the travel going to or coming from the Roanoke, if connected tickets should be given and received, as they presume they will be by the Petersburg railroad company, stage passengers may have the liberty of tarrying at Washington as long as they please, and proceeding at their convenience, and that in either case whether passengers take their seats in the stages of the said Peters & Robinson, in virtue of connected tickets or way bills, as above described, the said Peters & Robinson shall be entitled to the same charge per passenger, on each passenger conveyed by them on either plan, as may at the time be made by the railroad company between Washington and Baltimore.
And whereas it is believed that the effect of this arrangement will be to bring about a reduction of the rates of fare between Washington and Baltimore on the Baltimore and Washington railroad to a rate not exceeding one dollar and fifty cents per passenger, to the advantage of the steamboat and railroad companies south of
Washington, but to the disadvantage of the said Peters & Robinson, now it is agreed that if such reduction should take place whilst the said Peters & Robinson are running their stages as above covenanted, the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company will, immediately on such reduction being made, pay on behalf of themselves, and the other companies interested in such reduction being effected, to the said Peters & Robinson the sum of three thousand dollars, and that they will pay to the said Peters & Robinson an additional sum of three thousand dollars at the expiration of six months, should such reduction in the railroad charge so long continue, as an indemnity to the said Peters & Robinson for the injury they will thereby experience. It is agreed between the parties to this contract, that this arrangement shall continue for the term of two years from this date, or until the fare on the railroad between Washington and Baltimore shall be reduced to not exceeding one dollar and fifty cents per passenger, unless it should be sooner dissolved by mutual consent, or unless the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad should choose rather to give it up and pay to the said Peters & Robinson the sum of six thousand dollars, above stipulated to be paid them in the event of the fare on the Washington and Baltimore railroad being reduced to one dollar and fisty cents per passenger for the period of six months; in this last case, the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company may at any time terminate the arrangement on giving sixty days notice. For the faithful compliance with this contract the parties hereunto bind themselves to each other.
In testimony whereof, they have hereunto affixed their hands and seals the day and year first above written.
The R. F. & P. R. Co. by
M. ROBINSON, Pres't.
It is agreed in additional, that if the fare on the Baltimore and Washington railroad should be reduced to a sum not exceeding two dollars, and the said Peters & Robinson should after running their stages for three months after such reduction shall be made, find that their expenses are not fully met by their receipts, and deem it most advisable to draw off their stock, they shall then be entitled to do so, and to receive a pro rata proportion of the indemnity above stipulated, that is to say, in proportion to the reduction of fare effected on the railroad, to be paid as within provided, that is to say, one half of the amount on the expiration of the six months, and the remaining half at the expiration of six months from the time when the reduction shall be made on the Baltimore and Washington railroad.
The R. F. & P. R. Co. by
M. ROBINSON, Pres't.
The production of the letter referred to by Mr. Robinson in his answer to the second interrogatory propounded to him, being called for by the committee, it was sent for by Mr. Robinson, handed to the committee, and ordered to be printed, and is in the following words:
PETERSBURG, OCTOBER 20, 1843. DEAR SIR,
The whole of the Portsmouth railroad in North Carolina, (about 17 miles,) is advertised to be sold on the 7th of this month to satisfy Rochelle's judgments, and Mr. Rives seems to be satisfied that he could make such an arrangement as would ensure us the possession of it. I have no doubt our folks would contribute a good deal towards the attainment of such a desirable event, but as your company, and the Richmond and Petersburg, and the steamboat companies, are greatly interested, you ought to aid in it. But it seems to me that the pecuniary aid of your company is not enough to carry such a scheme through-it is one of those bold ones that none but a genius like yours can grapple with, and I have asked Mr. Rives to go over and consult with you about it, telling him that if he could get you to take it up we should inevitably succeed.
The testimony being closed, Mr. Baxter opened the argument on behalf of the memorialists, Robert A. Mayo and others, and having exhausted the time allotted to him, On motion the committee adjourned till to-morrow evening 4 o'clock.