Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Ms 7, 1879

The Publishing House in California



Previously unpublished.

The state of the publishing house in California is in a very critical, embarrassed condition. There is need of much being done there. The proper elements for judicious, careful management of the business of the office are wanting. Much means are expended with but little to show for it. 3LtMs, Ms 7, 1879, par. 1

One of the greatest and most serious evils is in the high wages paid to those at work in the office. There must be a different arrangement all around. The workers must be willing to work for less wages. This is to bear upon everyone engaged in the work. Brother Glenn is a man whose heart is in the work, but he fails to follow out the light given in reference to managing matters in the office. He does too many things without counselling with anyone, things that no one knows anything about but himself till it is done. He will involve the office, if he is authorized to employ help, and specify and raise their wages. He has set the wages of the workers altogether too high. The office will eat up itself at present prices. 3LtMs, Ms 7, 1879, par. 2

Money is hard to be got, but Brother Glenn does not see and sense the leaks, and then when the fact is ascertained that means have been used up, the mistakes of others are reflected upon Edson. It is very easy to make him responsible and ruin the confidence of his brethren in his financial management, as well as to cast reflection upon his integrity. This is not just; this is not right. 3LtMs, Ms 7, 1879, par. 3

Edson has a faculty of large hopes, and he reckons upon income and profits and fails to make a proper estimate of the liabilities of breakage of machinery and losses that very naturally occur. It seems to him a small matter to incur debts in order to stave off present difficult pressures, but he does not fully consider that a day must come when these debts must be met. Others are moving on the very same principle. Deficiency of management is in every department. That office has been growing faster than it has managers to conduct it. The larger the business the worse perplexities will occur, because there is not a man sufficient to stand at the head of the office. Blunders will occur and losses be continually occurring. 3LtMs, Ms 7, 1879, par. 4

Frank Belden should be able to stand in some responsible position in the job department, but he is not altogether qualified for this position of trust. While he has made improvement in many things and is qualified for this position in some respects, as far as his understanding of the work is concerned, in others, in regard to management of means, he has learned but very little. There is a frivolity, a fickleness, an inconsiderateness of how to use means. He is no financier. He is no critical manager. The same defects that marked his character at fifteen, in the expenditure of means, mark it at twenty. He needs the firmness and business tact of a man, but he has it not. 3LtMs, Ms 7, 1879, par. 5