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Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway

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Office of N. E. Em. Aid Co.
No. 3 Winter St. Boston.
May 15, /58
Dear Sir.
Your No. IX, X, & XI, bearing dates May 3d. & 5th have all come to hand, and been perused with “ a melancholy satisfaction”. A satisfaction arising from the belief that our affairs are beginning to round into form; & yet melancholic in its character from a conviction that so large a portion of them has heretofore been in such a chaotic confusion.
In regard to the Killam & Critchett business no action has yet been taken, & probably will not be until Mr. Branscomb’s Acct with the Co. is placed in a more satisfactory shape than it is at present.
Relative to the Manhattan Mill business you write that “Butterfield insists upon the Compy paying his claims”. He has no valid claim vs. the Co., as Mr. Branscomb, probably has advised you, or can, as he has been in charge from the commencement of our transactions with Butterfield directly or indirectly has had

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the management of the whole. He executed the “Articles of agreement” whereby the mill was leased to Butterfield . Therein it is expressly stipulated that--”The lessee is bound, at his own expense to make all the repairs which may be needed to said Mill or the Machinery thereof, except that the lessors will pay fifty dollars towards purchasing a new saw for said Mill & doing such necessary repairs as lessee shall think proper, the said fifty dollars payable to be deducted from the sum of two hundred fifty dollars payable in advance.” It will also be well to bear in mind that – “All saws or other machinery put up into the Mill & all improvements made therein or which shall become part of said Mill are not to be taken away by the lessee at any time during the operation or the termination of this lease.”
In case of failure to pay the rent monthly in advance, “or to perform any other stipulation of the lease, or to run the Mill in a satisfactory, proper, or reasonable manner” “the lessee shall have the right to take immediate possession”.
There are various other stipulations which I will not here recite, as very probably Mr. Branscomb has delivered to you his copy.

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You had better by all means “give Butterfield notice to surrender the Mill unless he pays up; & if he does not pay up bring action against him for the amount.”
Our sole reliance for successfully carrying out the great enterprise in which we are engaged is for the future upon what we may realize from the investments which have been made in the territory. If this fail us our career ends; and the termination will be any thing but agreeable or reputable to us; many of our losses, I fear, are justly chargeable to the laxity of Agents; lessees and other debtors seeing the carelessness or indifference of Agents, have taken advantage of indulgences granted them, and come to the conclusion that it is quite immaterial whether they discharge their dues to the Co. or not. It is certainly time they were undeceived, & given to understand that the Company expects & will demand promptitude off action in all business concernments.
I presume ere this that the Messrs. Kimballs have paid up their back rent. The little indulgence granted them were quite right considering as you say that they have “heretofore been very prompt in

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making their monthly payments.”
From what you state in relation to the scarcity of money, I apprehend we cannot rely upon making any advantageous sales until the Fall immigration & business travel sets in.
We think the course decided upon by you & Mr. Pomeroy in reference to Osawatomie a very important & judicious one, and trust it will be energetically followed out.
I have written to Mr. Ward, as you requested about Brown, and suggested, unless he designs going to the Territory, that he had better send you a Power of Attorney to act for him.
I am glad that progress is being made with the Batcheller Mill business; the prospect however of our having any funds to put the machinery in running order is extremely unpromising.
Trusting that you will be saved from becoming completely embrogliod, I remain very truly yours,
Thomas H. Webb Secy
M. F. Conway Esq Genl Agt N.E. Em. Aid Co. Lawrence K.T.
P.S. How very obsequious our Squatter Friends in their Remonstrance to the President of the U.S., styling him “your Excellency”!!!!

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