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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 21, 1864


MINING COMPANIES' ACCOUNTS. - The Morning Call of yesterday has a lively article on Mining Companies, suggesting that Mining Trustees should publish quarterly statements of Expenditures and Receipts, concluding with: "The Legislature is not in session, and a law to this effect cannot now be passed; but if one Company dare voluntarily to set the example, the balance would follow by pressure of circumstances. But that first bold Company does not exist, perhaps; if it does, a grateful community will be glad to hear from it. Where is it? Let it come forward and offer itself as the sacrificial scape-goat to bear the sins of its fellows into the wilderness."

In answer to this the officers of the Daniel Webster Mining Company, located in Devil's Gate District, Nevada Territory, have requested us to inform the shareholders and others who have purchased stock in this Company at high prices, that a complete exhibit of the Company's affairs will be made public in the Argus on Saturday next. This Company, in consequence of a couple of shareholders in Nevada Territory, (legal gentlemen at that,) paying their previous assessments in green-backs, has been the first to levy an assessment payable in currency. We believe, however, they will be the first "who dare" to make public their accounts. We hope the Coso will be the next to follow suit, as a correspondent of ours, in Sacramento, (whose letter appears under the appropriate heading,) seems anxious to learn what has become of the forty three thousand two hundred dollars collected by this Company for assessments the last year. - (S. F. Argus, Saturday.)

So there are company officers who are bold enough, fair enough, true enough to the interests entrusted to their keeping, to let stockholders, as well as all who may chance to become so, know the character of their stewardship, and whose records are white enough to bear inspection. We had not believed it, and we are glad that a Mining Company worthy of the name of Daniel Webster existed to save to us the remnant of our faith in the uprightness of these dumb and inscrutable institutions. We have nothing to fear now; all that was wanting was some one to take the lead. Other Companies will see that this monthly or quarterly exhibit of their affairs is nothing but a simple act of justice to their stockholders and to others who may desire to become so. They will also see that it is policy to let the public know where invested money will be judiciously used and strictly accounted for; and, our word for it, Companies that dare to show their books, will soon fall into line and adopt the system of published periodical statements. In time it will become a custom, and custom is more binding, more impregnable, and more exacting than any law that was ever framed. In that day the Coso will be heard from; and so will Companies in Virginia, which sport vast and gorgeously-painted shaft and machinery houses, with costly and beautiful green chicken-cocks on the roof, which are able to tell how the wind blows, yet are savagely ignorant concerning dividends. So will other Companies come out and say what it cost to build their duck ponds; so will still others tell their stockholders why they paid sixty thousand dollars for machinery worth about half the money; an other that we have in our eye will show what they did with an expensive lot of timbers, when they haven't got enough in their mine to shingle a chicken-coop with; and yet others will let us know if they are still "in the casing," and why they levy a forty-thousand-dollar assessment every six weeks to run a drift with. Secretaries, Superintendents, and Boards of Trustees, that don't like the prospect, had better resign. The public have got precious little confidence in the present lot, and the public will back this assertion we are making in its name. Stockholders are very tired of being at the mercy of omnipotent and invisible officers, and are ripe for the inauguration of a safer and more sensible state of things. And when it is inaugurated, mining property will thrive again, and not before. Confidence is the mainstay of every class of commercial enterprise.

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