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Thomas H. Webb to Eli Thayer

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Boston May 26th 1854 Dear Sir
Every thing remains in status quo, and a “masterly inactivity” seems to have taken possession of the Corporators.
You may remember that my objection to being one of the soliciting committee for stock subscriptions was, that I had no acquaintance with the principal men who were designated as the first to be called upon. My objection was overruled, upon the ground that I would count as one, and could join the several gentlemen of the Committee according as one or another could devote any time to the matter. Being willing and desirous of doing whatsoever might be in my power, I yielded.
At the last meeting, you will remember, I gave it as my opinion, that the Corporators must give the first impetus by subscribing themselves; but this seemed to be of little consequence.
Well, a week has elapsed, and matters are, as I anticipated they would be. I have not succeeded in getting a single Corporator to join me, or even to introduce me to Mr. Rich. Again I repeat, that it will be perfectly Quixotic, not indeed injurious to the project, for me alone

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to call on Abbot Lawrence, Enoch Train, et id omne genus. They would very probably give me a rebuff, by saying, “this is a very singular affair; here is a vast scheme for raising a great amount of money; five million of Dollars!! It is endorsed by nobody; not one of the Corporators has subscribed for a shilling’s worth of Stock; and yet you, a person as little known to us, as is your project, have the assurance to ask us to subscribe largely in furtherance of the design said to be contemplated. If the undertaking be what it professes, why do not some of the gentlemen known to us call, and furthermore evince their confidence in it, by inserting their names in the Stock Book. By doing neither, we mistrust the whole, and shall avoid all entangling alliances”. Now I am not willing to expose myself unnecessarily to any such [reception?]
As I have said, I still say, I am ready and willing to put on the harness and work to the best of my ability and power; but there are certain preliminary steps which it is necessary for others to take.
A meeting you know is to be held at 1 o’clock P.M. tomorrow. Suppose you come down as early as possible, join me, and call on Mr. Rich; a few hours labor will decide what reliance can be placed on Bostonians for aid.
I shall be, most of the forenoon, at the His-

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torical Society’s Rooms, over the Savings Institution next S. of the Museum. I remain Respectfully and truly yours, Thomas H. Webb Eli Thayer Esq Worcester

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