W2609 TO ISAAC B. MCQUESTEN from William Dunn
Nov 18 1883
From: New York
I do not like troubling you so much with correspondence and would not do so if the urgent necessities of the case did not compel me. As things are at present It is plain that the result of years of toil and harassment, has to be sacrificed if I am not assisted at this juncture. I know that I am now helpless to take advantage of opportunities that have only presented themselves by being worked out and a considerable expense. The difficulties I have had has been told. The results in a financial point have not been successful. Why this has been so I have endeavoured to explain. One thing is certain, my present position which soon becomes known, prevents the possibility of my being successful in carrying or any negotiations with any prospects of satisfactory results. Besides other reasons no man when continually harassed to meet his immediate wants and without the really necessary means to do anything that may be absolutely necessary can be in a condition to carry out any business as it should be done.
As it is I have through this cause lost much time and valuable opportunities that could have been turned to advantage. They are gone as things are, I see nothing but loss before me If I am by some means or other. I do not care as much for the money loss to myself, as the reflection that after years of labor I was the cause of others losing heavily. After assisting me as has been done, The money I ask for was not my own use or benefit for there is enough owing to me and which I expend daily, to meet my requirements until I was enabled to earn more. My wants are not much for my habits are not extravagant. Had you let me have the money it would have been put into the business to increase its value. And my acquaintance with it is such as not to make me spend money recklessly. As stated before it is only necessity that makes me trouble you in the matter. I do not ask for this money to be sunk in the business but as a loan. And I will pay it back (if not before) in other payments of equal parts at 2 months, 3 and 4 months. And if I fail in this I will assign everything over to you without a murmur.1 I know where the money can be got from to meet these payments. If I am mistaken I know the consequence. This is all that I can do in the matter and the most that could be done under the circumstances as it is a matter of vital importance to me. If you see your way clear to accommodate me in this (and I can assure you you will be the last call on your generosity in these matters at least) You would confer a favor by notifying me by Telegraph. For expense and uncertainty what steps to take is unexplainable.
1 Isaac agreed to give Dunn six months to repay him for the money he had been given to fund his efforts at patenting, manufacturing and selling train car couplers and other devices but Dunn did not deliver. Isaac and his brother Calvin Brooks considered suing Dunn for the items and money owed, but it is not clear whether or not they ever received what was owed. See also W2625, W2628, W2648, W2643, W1726, W2683, W1734, W1745, W1749 for more on this agreement and W2554a for a more comprehensive overview of Isaac's business relationship with Dunn.