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Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 2.djvu/380

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358
[1891
HENRY VILLARD

of the silver standard, advising and urging them to abstain from all long engagements, and to keep their investments in the United States in as liquid a form as possible. He gave them formal notice at the same time that, holding his opinion of a rapid approach to the silver standard, he could no longer take any responsibility for the investment of German capital in this country, and hence should consider their business relations as terminated. The letter was looked upon at the time as exaggerated, but after the crisis of 1893 had set in he was often complimented on having written it.

The Northern Pacific had securely passed through the months of stress before his return, but, as its position would be rendered much safer by turning its short loans into long loans, Mr. Villard set about accomplishing this, and succeeded in forming an international syndicate for that purpose. By the end of February, all he could do for the several corporations having been consummated, he rejoined his family at Cannes late in March, remaining in Europe until midsummer, and was not further disturbed by untoward developments, nor did any such take place after his return. On the contrary, the Northern Pacific continued to show increasing strength right along. Its gross and net earnings for the year 1890–91 were respectively $25,151,544.09 and $10,211,141.91, being the best showing since the completion of the main line, and more than double the gross, and nearly double the net, of the year 1884–85. On the 27th and 28th of April, Mr. Villard and his family, with the exception of his younger son, were in Zweibrücken, to lay the corner-stone of an orphan asylum that was to be Mr. Villard's memorial to his lost boy.

In the fall of 1891, accompanied by his wife, he made what he meant and what proved to be his last official tour of inspection of the main line and principal branches of the Northern Pacific. He was everywhere very well received, and invited to address public bodies at different points on