Friday, October 12, 2007

"strive to excel"--HCM

Charlottesville Woolen Mills manufactured cloth for the 1893 "worlds fair" guards' jackets. Digitized by Google

Henry Marchant was a representative of the curious union of business and religion which sees God's hand in every commercial success or failure. "He conscientiously believes," wrote a contemporary in 1906, "that whatever success he has achieved is due to the guidance of an overruling Providence, and that it is his solemn duty to point others to the divine Pilot." Recommending the Bible to "all who wish to find the true way and the true life," Marchant offered special advice to young men: "Work, work, strive to excel. If an employe [sic], strive to faithfully and conscientiously discharge whatever duties you undertake, and make your services indispensable to your employer; and, above all, ask God's guidance and help, that you may live a sober, unselfish, righteous, and useful life." Marchant paid more than lip-service to his religious beliefs. He became an active Episcopal layman, and toward his own employees he maintained a spirit of benevolent paternalism and genuine interest in their physical and moral well-being.
--Harry Poindexter

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