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of things in the Bible Society—whether they had anything to do with this very proceeding-let our readers judge. For our part, all the circumstances convince us that they certainly had. We were the more easily forced to this conclusion from the fact that the secretary of the society, who is a clergyman, and the president, who resides at Philadelphia, and has charge of Girard College, expressed, respectively, their deep regret and mortification; but added that they were utterly powerless in regard to it, except so far as, to place it before the board of managers—that is, before F. S. Winston, Nathan Bishop, etc. Need we say, that we had just as much confidence in this tribunal as we had in that composed of Peter B. Sweeny, A. Oakey Hall. & Co., after his Honor had let his celebrated, but rather unfortunate, “cat out of the bag ?"
When demoralization and degeneracy supervene in any institution, there are always certain evidences of the fact which cannot be concealed. It may be that only those having something to do with making criticisms on “first-class managers” are insulted and attempted to be blackmailed at the Bible House. But this will not account for the fact, which any one can verify for himself, that even in the depth of winter people withdraw from the Bible House as from a sinking ship or plague-spot, so that every entrance has to be placarded with the announcement, "offices to let.” It is true that those attracted by this display may find reason enough for it, without supposing that there is anyone there who would bully a delenceless lady, or who would demand ten dollars bonus, apart from the rent! If their olfactories have not lost much of their natural sensibility, they have only to go upstairs and walk about a little. They need hardly use their eyes to be convinced that there ought to be some tracts on the uses of chloride of lime and carbolic acid, as well as on hypocrisy, imposture, etc. Closing this little episode, we return to the main branch of our subject.
Referring tu the unfortunate “cat” of the Hon. A. Oakey Hall, reminds us that Mr. Winston, too, has let out his cat. He thought (just as Oakey did that the animal would spare himself and his “high-minded” colleagues, and only hurt those who attempted to throw obstacles in the way of so pious and charitable a man. It is pretty evident already that this was a grave mistake, although only one or two of its ominous results have yet begun to develop themselves.
We might mention several other cloaks of which Mr. Winston has sought to avail himself, from time to time, including that of the Board of Charities and Correction ; but there is not one of them which is not
now very much the worse for the wear, if not altogether used up, like the Bible cloak. Few, if any of our readers, have failed to see the numerously signed, indignant protest of the policy-holders of the Mutual Life against Winston's latest scheme, since it has been published day after day in all our leading newspapers. None can deny that these numerous protesters include the most intelligent of the policy-holders, and those least disposed to find fault without good reason. But not only have large numbers voluntarily signed the sentence of condemnation, so unequivocally passed on Winston and his ring, a considerable number have. accused them individually. In illustration of this we need only refer to the charges of Mr. James W. McCulloch, of No. 60 Beaver street, New York, which appeared in the Herald of December 17, 1872. After referring to the general protest of the policy-holders, Mr. McCulloch proceeds:
"It has been said with much truth that one of the greatest dangers connected with the management of life insurance companies in this country has been immunity from criticism on the part of policy holders. This arises in no small degree from the fact that the influence of these wealthy corporations has become so powerful aud widespread that most policy-holders shrink from incurring the hostility which adverse criticism inevitably arouses, and acquiesce in or submit to that which they would otherwise unhesitatingly condemn and oppose. Furthermore, those upon whom such eriticism bears, are ever ready to torture it into an attack upon the business principles and cash interests involved in life insurance, and thereby to alarm the policy-holder and divert his attention from their own misdeeds. None understand this mode of defence better or can use it more adroitly than the chief officer of the Mutual Life."
We need not ask those of the policy-holders, who read our journal, how often, these ten years past, have we sought to impress these facts upon them, and upon all intending to avail themselves of true insurance as a provision for their surviving families. But, limited as our space is in this department, we will let Mr. McCulloch tell sufficient of the story in his own way:
"Two years ago, when an effort was made to arouse you to a just appreciation of the infidelity of the officers of the Mutual Life, corruptible men controlled the State offices, and the public feeling had not yet ripened; but the spirit of reform has been so awakened by the disclosures of corruption in high places, and of the evils which have wielded such baneful influence in matters of public trust, that I believe your minds are now disposed for the reception of the truth with regard to some of those who have controlled the affairs of the Mutual Life, and that you will unite in every proper effort to eliminate from that management everything that tends to endanger its safety or to impair its fair fame and credit
"In a previous letter I gave you in brief some of the well-established facts inculpating the officers in transacsions inconsistent with fidelity and morality, and can givc you more. I can show you how applications were altered by members of President Winston's family to secure brokerages they had not carned ; how a lunatio
brother-in-law of Vice President McCurdy was placed in a most lucrative agency of
the company, and his employment continued and thousand of dollars paid for his * alleged services when he was actually confined in the Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum; how by a fiction of bookkeeping, millions of dollars previously credited as income in the books of the company were again included as 'actual cash' receipts of subsequent years, to effect the apparent ratio of expenses of the company, and of other acts but, my present object is to show you by a few brief examples how the trustees have dealt with these trausactions, to enable you to determine for yourselves how far you may safely rely upon the trustees to correct similar abuses.
“I have told you of the $30,000 loan to a trustee and the faise statement resorted to by President Winston to conceal it from the Finance Committee. The committee of trustees appointed to inquire into that transaction were Lucius Robinson, Alexander Bradtord, John Wadsworth, David Hoadley and William Smith Brown. All of them signed the statement of the facts,' in which it is stated that when the $30,000 was returned 'the clerk making the weekly statement to the Finance Committee at first entered it separately as so much received for United States certificates. He subsequently, by direction of the President, erused the entry and placed the amount with the general statement of receipts from premiums.' Thus, by direction of the President, the clerk falsified the weekly statement, and yet with the fact SO distinctly stated by themselves, all, save Mr. Brown, reported that in respect to the management of our affairs with integrity, fidelity and efficiency, the committee have found nothing to condemn and much to praise. Mr. Brown found evidence of intentional deception and refused to join the others; and it will doubtless be surprising to all who knew the pre-eminent position in social and religious life which Mr. Hoadley has attained, that, with the evidence of the utterance of a deliberate falsehood by President Winston for the concealment of an improper transaction, he did not concur with Mr. Brown.
“With regard to the restoration of the policies on the life of President Winston's son, the testimony of Messrs. William Betts and William H. Popham-both honorable and truthful men-clearly shows that Vice-President McCurdy, partly by withholding and partly by misrepresenting the facts necessary to guide them iu the proper performance of their duty, procured the passage of a resolution which accomplished a purpose entirely at variance with their understanding and donating ten tines the amount that was intended. Yet, with the evidence that they were thus deliberately deceived by him, both acquiece in his retention in office. And with regard to this transaction Mr. Lucius Robinson, in a letter written and widely distributed by the officers after the truth was fully established with regard to their policies, states, .as facts in the case,' that young Winston was compelled to abandon his policies from poverty and because he supposed his salary (only $2,750 at the highest point) would enable him to keep his policies up;' and that the Insurance Committee, finding that he had been forced to abandon his policies because we did not pay him a salary sufficient to support him, at once recommended the 'restoration of his policies upon payment of back dues and interest.' Now the testimony of the two members of the Insurance Committee above
ttee above named shows that they acted upon no such information, and the records of the company show that instead of being paid "only $2,750 at the highest' his salary had been $3.000 per annum, and was continued to be paid after his death in July until the end of the fiscal year on the 1st of February following, with 20 per cent, additional, and that
of March preceding his death he was paid $3.750 bonus' and that over $200 brokerages were paid him by the company in 1864 and 1865, which would have served to have kept his $5,000 policy alive. Furthermore, the accounts of his administrators show that they received August 16, 1816, from the Mutual Life Insurance Company, $3,727.95, amount of insurance on life of paid F. M. Winston,' and which was not derived from the restored policies in question."
It was for alluding to performances like these, on the part of Win. ston and others like him (for there are still worse than he, if possible, among our widow and orphan protectors), that we used to be abused so much, years ago, by the insurance press, until it was found that we do not belong to the class who can be frightened by braying. We have now before us several of the insurance journals for December; but the only one that utters a word of condemnation against Winston or
his Ring is the Insurance Times. Those requiring any further testimony are referred to that journal, with the assurance that they will find abun.. dance of it in its pages, although the morality of it may be somewhat damaged by the fact that the world has the benefit of it only in accordance with the adage that, when a certain class of people fall out, honest people are apt to get their own, or at least to be told who stole the goose, who stole the sheep, etc., etc. Until about six months ago, Winston was, in every respect, a model man in the eyes of the Insu. rance Times; the perfections of all other underwriters were combined in him; so that it took a whole page in every number of that journal -sometimes several pages—to present a catalogue of his virtues. Who wonld dare then to tread on Winston's tail ? Now, it is fully admitted that the more so dirty a tail is trodden upon, until there is none of it left but the jags, the better for the cause of insurance, if not for the cause of the heathen in those parts of Africa not yet explored ! But is it not better to have made the discovery six months ago, than not to have made it at all, like the other insurance journals ?
True, the same discovery was made years ago by the well-known explorer and scientist of the Baltimore Underwriter. Dr. Bombauch's was only seven years later than our own; but, somehow or other, our friend's hitherto excellent memory and equally good visual organs seem to have failed him of late! But may we not hope that he will soon recover the full use of both in their pristine, characteristic vigor, and claim the benefit of his discovery? We will make no opposition, even if he apply for a patent, although we readily admit that it is not the class of physicians to which he belongs that make such applications.
In the meantime, however, the Insurance Times is our candidate, of all the insurance papers, both for the honor and the profit of the thing; and we say, seriously and earnestly, that it deserves credit for having commenced even at the eleventh hour to assist in tearing the veil of hypocrisy from the face of the great Mokanna of Insurance. But while we still look out for Surgeon Bombauch's scalpel, may we not use the language of the original pious Mokanna's faithful historian:
"O Reason! who shall say what spells renew,
By memory's magic, lets in all the rest." What our daily metropolitan journals have said of Winston's last scheme need not be mentioned here. Suffice it to say that with
one or two exceptions, all have denounced and condemned it as “empiricism and quackery.” That is, all have evinced more faith in the views and theories of twelve underwriters, whose characters are unsul. lied, than in those of one underwriter and his colleagues, whose character seems to be considerably sullied. In other words, when a ques. tion of good faith and veracity arose between the officers of the Mutual Life on one side, and those of the Manhattan, the Equitable, the United States, the Continental, the National, the North America and the Guardian on the other, our leading journals did not hesitate to set aside the statements and pretensions of the former as entitled to no credit.
Now, let us see what has been the feeling among respectable underwriters elsewhere. We have already intimated that the chief Boston company never engages in controversies. What the New England Mutual was in its honorable prestige under the management of Judge Phillips, it is to-day under the management of Mr. Benjamin F. Stevens, who is now one of the two or three oldest underwriters in America, and who has no superior among underwriters anywhere in ability and intelligence. It is a significant fact that the only underwriter not belonging to the Mutual Life Ring who attempts to excuse Mr. Winston, bases bis main argument on the fact that, although the New England Mutual insures at very moderate rates, it is nevertheless a prosperous company. Thus, among several letters from the secreta. ries of the leading Hartford companies, in the Hartford Courant of Dec. 14, we find one from Mr. S. H. White, of the Charter Oak, in which the following passage occurs :
“One of the oldest life companies in the country has done a most successful business, but only of moderate amonnt on account of lack of effort, on very low rates, and has been able even upon them, by its great care and economy, to make larger dividends to its policy-holders than most of the high-rate companies have ever reached. That company was under the direct oversig
Hon. Elizur Wright when he was insurance commissioner for Massachusetts, but he never thought it necessary to warn its officers that their course was unwise or unsafe, as he now does those of the Mutual Life."
This may seem very good logic to those who do not know the difference between Mr. Winston and Mr. Stevens, but to those who do it will seem the reverse. It is certainly no imputation on the judg. ment or integrity of Mr. Elizur Wright that “he never thought it necessary to warn its (the New New England Mutual's) officers that their course was unwise or unsafe.” But for the opposite reason it would have been a very grave imputation both on his judgment and on his integrity to have failed to warn the policy-holders of the Mutual Life,