As Mr. Law and I walked out, I asked him if he wanted any writing from me, which was my left-handed way of trying to get a writing from him, but he said: "No, I will have the Deed prepared and let you know when it is ready". He did so, and he fulfilled his promise to the letter, and in due time the transaction with him was closed, and I was the owner of the Tenth Street Mill property.
The auction sale took place in the Fall of 1879, and the previous nine months had been a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. During this period I had celebrated my 27th birthday. Long years afterward I saw a letter from General Grant written in his own hand to one of his former classmates at West Point, and the letter was written when Grant was President, and there was one paragraph which I have never forgotten. It was this:-
"My life has been one of toil, anxiety and care, but I have borne it, I trust, with fortitude."
I might have written much the same of my business experience upon the closing events which culminated in my possession of the Mill; but my business prospered, so that the next year, 1880, my net profits were $30,000.00. During that year I ran the Mill day and night with two gangs of men. When the day gang retired a compete night gang took their place.
During that Summer my superintendent, Mr. Jones, died, and this threw added responsibility upon me, which I felt keenly. Mr. Jones had been an optimist, cheerful and sympathetic helper, and as he was a middle-aged man I depended much upon him. Some four years previous to the death of Mr. Jones, I had brought from the country a young man who had been a playmate in my childhood days and with whom I had always kept in touch — Edward L. Sinsabaugh. He commenced with me as shipping clerk, but he very wisely made himself generally useful, so that upon the death of Mr. Jones I naturally turned to him as an assistant in the operation of the Mill. He finally became my superintendent. It may well be noted that he gained promotion by having done more than he was paid for.
The business was uniformly successful for fifteen years following. During that period we gradually dropped custom-sawing and became dealers in Mahogany, finally selling the entire product of the mill ourselves.
New York had always been and continued to be, the most exclusive market for Mahogany in this country. The storage
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