Sunday, November 11, 2007

day of rest

An interesting question arises. Why was Marchant not president of the company from the beginning? The main reason apparently was that he did not own controlling interest in the company. As in the case of his father previously, the price he paid for additional capital was loss of personal control. By prearrangement, the new company had bought out Marchant for $30,500 and assumed the debt owed to Furbush and Gage. Marchant reserved the right to buy 280 shares at par, but whether he did so is unclear. Apparently, the Flannagan interests at first united to secure control, but by 1875 B. C. Flannagan had sold his stock and left Charlottesville. It is not clear why Randolph became president in 1873, unless it was to give standing to the company. Meanwhile, Marchant?s excellent work as superintendent attracted great praise, and his own financial connections grew. That he secured ascendency in 1875 and retained it until his death was more a measure of his ability than of his financial power, for he never owned a controlling block of stock.--Harry Poindexter

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