Monday, August 4, 2014

Manuscript Monday—A father's financial advice, 1903

Between 1902 and 1914, Keystone Consolidated Mining Company secretary Charles E. Anderson wrote a series of fascinating letters to his adult son Charles M. Anderson in New York City. These letters (two pages of which are reproduced and transcribed below) are full of insider tips and cautionary financial advice, reminding one of the cyclical crises to which our economic system is prone.

Letter, 1903 July 17, Charles M. Anderson letters to his son Charles E. Anderson and family, MS 55,  courtesy, California Historical Society
Don't branch out, keep steadily on, and you will succeed. In the long letter I wrote you, I spoke pretty freely of the dangers ahead. A panic which will convulse the whole Country, I hope is some ways off. But one never knows when it is going to strike. You may have noticed the liquidation that has taken place the past two weeks. Stocks have not been as low in over two years as they were this week. Some are obliged to sell. Large operators will pick up those they know are good, and that will continue to pay Dividends, and turn the market up for a while. But that is for the Gamblers. It will help you, as some people may have to sell, and others will want to buy desirable pieces. Of course the Real Estate Agent will try to make a trade for either, that's his business, make your money legitimately and keep it. Don't invest in Leases, which I consider extremely hazardous. Have a Safe Deposit Box at $5.00 or $10.00 a year and stow away your coin. You may have to keep a small running [account] for convenience sake, in a convenient Bank. But when trouble comes, the Banks will go by the hundreds. These are things which must not be talked about. A big conflagration ensues from a very small beginning. But one must think for themselves and keep their own counsel. 

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
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