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John D

sell and true

" JOHN D. Mr. Rockefeller says further in the affidavit from which this letter is drawn: "It is not true that I made any promises that I did not keep in the letter and spirit, and it is not true Tt that I was instrumental to any degree in her being obliged to sell the property much below its true value, and I aver that she was not obliged to sell out, and that such was a voluntary one upon her part and for a sum far in excess of its value; and that the construction which was purchased of her could be replaced for a sum not exceeding $20,000."* It is probably true, as Mr. Rockefeller states, that he could have reproduced Mrs. B 's plant for $2o,000; but the plant was but a small part of her assets. She owned one of the I oldest lubricating oil refineries in the country, one with an enviable reputation for good work and fair dealing, and with a trade that had been paying an annual net income of from $3o,000 to $4.o,000. It was this income for which Mr. Rocke

feller paid $79,000; this income with the old and honourable name of the B Oil Company, with not a few stills and tanks and agitators.

It is undoubtedly true, as Mr. Rockefeller avers, that Mrs.

B was not obliged to sell out, but the fate of those who in this period of absorption refused to sell was before her eyes. She had seen the twenty Cleveland refineries fall into Mr. Rockefeller's hands in 1872. She had watched the steady collapse of the independents in all the refining centres. She had seen every effort to preserve an individual business thwarted. Rightly or wrongly she had come to believe that a refusal to sell meant a fight with Mr. Rockefeller, that a fight meant ultimately defeat, and she gave up her business to avoid ruin.