Monday, October 3, 2011

Doesn't THE TIMES Sound Like a Cool Sadist?

May 30, 1873, New York Times,
The Winston-English Libel Suit-The Defendant's Bail Reduced to $2,000.
In the suit for libel brought by Frederick S. Winston, President of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, against Stephen English, publisher of the Insurance Times and in which defendant was imprisoned in default of $20,000 bail, a motion was made yesterday on behalf of defendant for a reduction of bail. The facts of the case have already appeared in the columns of THE TIMES, not only when it has been before the Court, but also when the subject of investigation before the Legislature at Albany. Defendant, as grounds for the reduction asked for, stated that he had been in close confinement since the 23rd of January last; that he has suffered and is suffering great pecuniary loss and mental and physical hardship by his imprisionment; that his health and standing, his business and property have suffered already great injury, and that they will be ruined by the further continuance of his confinement in jail, and that he is unable to procure bail. It also appeared that he is held to bail on $10,000 in another suit brought by George F. Hope in the Supreme Court.

Judge Curtis, in deciding to grant the motion, said: The law, in requiring bail, seeks only to have security that the defendant's person will be within the jurisdiction of the court, to be amenable to its final judgmnet. There is no element of punishment in its requisition. There is nothing in the papers showing that the defendant will probably seek to escape beyond the jurisdiction of the court. On the contrary, it appears that he voluntarily came within its juruisdiction, and submitted to arrest, The plaintiff's counsel, on the argument stated that they did not desire to be considered as strenuously opposing the defendant's application for a reduction of the amount of bail. The defendant's counsel asked to have it reduced to $2,000. In view of these considerations, and without undertaking to pass in any degree upon the merits of the controversy, I think there should be an order reducing the amount of bail to the sum of $2,000.

Whatever happened to her passionate "our roots are growing together like the roots' of Aspens'" crap?

My handy inflation calculator, which I always feared was extravagantly high and off-the-mark, puts Stephen's former bail at $359,617.10, in 2010 dollars--that is if you were buying goods and not freedom---while CPI the Inflation Calculator, which only goes back to 1913, spat out a not-collaborating $457,666.67. So did the search's at, and John William's Shadow Government Statistic, give $457,666.67 going back only to 1913, while, came to $438,358, and www.moneychimp even higher at $554,800, both again. extending back only to 1913. So what happened again, so earthshatteringly in 1913? Oh, yeah, I remember...and the great fire of London in 1666 too.

I guess I can take my Free Judy Miller bumper sticker off my truck now. 119 days of real incarceration in the Tombs sounds like it could break a man if not Judy.

If you want some kick-ass good reading, try the collected year for 1869 of Stephen English's The Insurance times: Volume 2. I've kindly made a Google Doc with many tens of thousands of words of perfected article transcripts, and a link-able index in progress. It's just my little contribution to the cause of digitalization. English was good-guy Elizur Wright's close partner and confidant---and boy, we can sure tell each other apart now, though I'm sure it was just as clear back then. I believe I read somewhere that Winston et al. finally broke English, but then gave him a $35,000 stipend in the slap-cuddle-hug-slap...which, let's see...that would come out to....


April 22, 1887, New York Times,
Upon the suit of Josephine H. and William T. Black, the Sheriff on Wednesday evening levied a writ of attachment upon the office furniture and fixtures of the Homeopathic Mutual Life Insurance Company at 117 West Forty-second-street. The suit is for $2,329.09, the alleged surrender value of a policy for $5,000 issued upon the life of William T. Black on March 22, 1878. The complaint alleges the insolvency of the company as the cause of the proceeding, and the affidacits filed upon the application for the injunction allege that one of the officers of the company said that $41,390 which had been contributed by certain stockholders in January last to keep the company going had since been returned to them, and that he saw no prospect that the requiaition of the Superintendent of the Insurance Department on the stockholders of the company to make good the impairment of its capital within 90 days would be complied with.

The Homeopathic Mutual Life Insurance Company began business in July, 1868, with a paid-up capital of $200,000. That was a few years later reduced to $100,000. It started out by giving low rates of insurance to parties who certified their faith in the homeopathic system of medicin and who employed physicians of that school in case of illness. During 1886 the company's income was $155,658 77 and the disbursements $215,593 24. The reported balance of assets on Jan. 1 was $521,328 38, against $717,999 41 on Jan. 1 1886. Insurance fell off during the year from 47,990 policies for $7,631,968 to 9,406 polices for $2,641,426.

When in the Spring of 1886 the Superintendent of Insurance of Massachusetts discovered that the capital of the company was impaired, he peremptorily ordered it to withdraw from business in that State. The company had been issuing insurance in homeopathic doses. In 1884 it began issuing policies for any amount above $100, and during the next 2 tears issued many thousands of policies at figures between $100 and $1,000. But the expense of doing this business was about as large as it would have been if eacj policy had been issued for thousands instead of hundreds, while the income derived was insufficient to pay expenses. The action of the Massachusetts Superintendent of Insurance led the Directors to curtail expenses and increase premiums. But the income was not yet sufficient to pay expenses, and in January last the company issued its last policy.

In the statement of the company made to the State Insurance Superintendent on Feb. 18 last, but which was dated Dec. 31, 1886, the company scheduled as part of its income for the year 1886: "Amount paid in by stockholders," $41,390. The Superintendent sent on an examiner, who reported that an assessment had been levied, and that by cutting expenses to 25 per cent. of the income the Secretary hoped to spend only $14,000 and to take in $60,000 during the first half of 1887. Upon this report the Superintendent refused to consider the $41,390 as assets, and on March 8 called upon the stockholders to make good within 90 days the impairment of its capital to the amount of $80,232 30. Mr. and Mrs. Black don't believe this will be done.

In regard to the prospect of an application for a Reciever, Stewart L. Woodford said yesterday that the company was in no sense insolvent, and unless forced into the hands of a Reciever it would, in his judgment, meet its obligations to those who have the courage to continue their premiums. It has all the reserve, he says, required by the laws of this State. Robert Sewell, Frank B. Mayhew, William H. Arnoux, Joel W. Stevens, H.R. Hollister, and E,M. Kellogg are some of the stockholders. Mr. Black's attorney says he expects that the Attorney-General will ask for a Receiver.

One potato, two potato, three potato...Hi!...Hi New York Times! How ya doin'? It's like takin' candy from a baby, isn't it!

June 7, 1885, New York Times,New-York Homeopathic Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Among the reliable life insurance companies of the city of New-York the Homeopathic Mutual stands deservedly high. Its general business is like that of the other companies; but it has made of its office a factory of policies in its specialty of $100 policies. In this business the unit or base is simply reduced to $100.


Thus the wants of all classes of our citizens in all their various grades of prosperity now or a few years hence are provided for. The company has denominationalized the life insurance policy. These policies are participating, non-forfeitable, secured, available. The Homeopathic has popularized its business by fair methods and vigorous management, and with this peculiarly American plan of the $100 policy is gaining largely in members and strength. It has been swarming, and in its purchase of property on Forty-Second-street near Sixth-avenue, for its future permanent home has made another innovation. It will remove from No. 257 Broadway to Forty-second-street as soon as it can complete its building.

Mammies in the kitchen, makin' shortnin', shortnin', Mammies in the kitchen makin' shortnin' bread!!!!!!!