Addison Ware (1850)

Page 97

”Soon after the organization of the Board of Directors, in February, 1850, the accounts of the Cashier and Book-keeper, at the Springfield office, were found to be in great confusion. After repeated examinations by the Committee on Accounts, a deficiency in the cash account was disclosed, and the Cashier, Addison Ware, made an assignment, for the benefit of the Company, of all his property, estimated by the Committee, at from seventeen to twenty thousand dollars. The Cashier admitted that the books were correct, and that the cash balance was on hand, December 1, 1847—and there has been no evidence that any defalcation existed prior to that date. An experienced accountant was employed; and he confined his examinations to the transactions from that time to May, 1850. He reported a deficiency of cash, amounting to $68,354.98 —which ,was reduced to $51,524.04, by the sale of the proceeds of the assigned property.

The Cashier received his appointment in August 1839, and he had, from that time, been regarded by all the officers of every year, as one in whom implicit confidence might be placed.”

Pages 169-70

Previous to his death, Mr. Gilmore had prepared a long communication to the stockholders, to be presented on the occasion of his declining a re-election. This, the Directors published in connection with the sixteenth annual Report—January, 1851.

In this document, Mr. Gilmore, in alluding to the defalcation of Addison Ware, says, ‘he was regarded by all the Presidents who preceded him, as one in whom implicit confidence might be placed,’.. ‘and that, at the very time they were eulogizing him,’ . . ‘ he was making improper use of the funds of the Corporation,’—that he ‘was hancdd down to the present administration, endorsed by all the preceding, with a portion of the late defalcation then upon his shoulders.’

Mr. Gilmore, was first chosen President, as successor of the writer of this memoir, in February, 1846. At his request, he was relieved from the duty of a personal examination of accounts, and a standing Committee on accounts was appointed. No suspicion was entertained in reference to the Cashier’s accounts, until early in 1850. A most searching examination of his books and accounts was made during that year, by an experienced accountant, who had the personal assistance of the Cashier. The Committee of Directors, who had charge of the subject, say in their report, that Mr. Ware admitted that the books were right, and the cash balance was onhand December 1st, 1847.

Mr. Ware always affirmed that the difficulty commenced after that date. At that time a committee of Directors visited Springfield, and examined the books and vouchers, and marked them correct. Mr. Warren, the accountant, had long kept the books of the Treasury, in Boston, and had thus become much acquainted with the accounts at Springfield, and other transactions relating to the Company’s affairs. He, acting under the direction of the Committee, of 1850, confined his examination to the transactions from December 1, 1847 to May 1, 1850. The amount of the defalcation thus shown was acknowledged by Mr. Ware to be correct; and the Committee settled with him, taking his property, and gave him a discharge.

There is not a title of evidence, that there was any deficiency prior to December 1847. Indeed, this is clearly acknowledged by the fact, that no examination prior to that time was deemed necessary, and the Standing Committee, on accounts, in December, 1847, had certified to the accuracy of the books and accounts at that date. There is therefore no foundation for the assertion, that the Cashier ” was handed down to the President of 1846, by his predecessors, with a portion of the defalcation upon his shoulders.” The defalcation commenced after the election of February, 1846.

In the same communication, Mr. Gilmore, states the price of the stock of the Company January 16, 1846, at 85,—and that of the Worcester Company, at 114. On January 1,1846, the stock of the Western was at 97}, and that of the Worcester, 116}. The account of stock sales in the middle of January, is not at hand.”

Reference Data:

Historical Memoir of the Western Railroad, by George Bliss, 1863, pares 97 and 169-70

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