Friday, September 28, 2007

nature and economic factors in league against him

tintype detail, subject unknown

Within this robust national economy, the Charlottesville Factory entered a hectic decade. John Marchant found the burden a difficult one to shoulder, even though he dropped his mercantile interests to devote his full time to the company's business. Almost immediately, he found nature as well as economic factors in league against him. In 1852, before Marchant secured a good grip on the business, heavy rains caused the dam to break and operations were suspended. Still faced with the necessity of raising money to pay for his purchase from Jones and needing capital to repair the dam and resume production, Marchant set about securing the money from responsible men in the county. A sum of $8,000 was deemed adequate for the emergency, but such a large amount could not be procured. Nevertheless, fifty-seven people subscribed to $5,075 in an agreement signed February 1, 1853, to enable Marchant "to put again in successful operation the Charlottesville Factory which for the present has been rendered inoperative by a series of providential misfortunes which could not have been foreseen or guarded against." A year passed before all the subscriptions, ranging from $25 to $200, were paid. Final papers were executed on March 15, 1854. Under the terms of agreement the debt, carrying six percent interest, had to be repaid in installments and was secured by a deed of trust on the factory and property.--Harry Poindexter



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