AR, A&F(AL) 7/1/1861 P

Annual Report of the Alabama & Florida (of Alabama) RR
as of July 1, 1861
President's Report
 
   To the Stockholders of the Alabama and Florida Rail Road Company:
   Your annual meeting has been delayed longer than I desired, but I considered it important before I called you together, to have all the outstanding accounts settled up and entered on the books of the Company, so as to lay before you a full statement of its condition, and to enable me to do this, I postponed it from the usual time in August, until to-day {September 10, 1861}.
   I now respectfully submit for your consideration, my Report of the operations of the Road for the year ending the 30th day of June, 1861 -- of the condition of the Road and outfit, and of the financial condition of the Company on that day.
The receipts of the Road for the year were --
From Passengers $83,529.95
   "   Freight 62,985.16
   "   Mail Pay 15,022.73
Total $161,537.84
The expenses of operating the Road and keeping up repairs amounted to 91,310.03
Leaving a nett income of $70,227.81
The amount of interest paid within the year on the funded and floating debt of the Company amounted to $86,239.04
Which was provided for by the nett income to the extent of 70,227.81
and the deficiency of $16,011.23
was provided for out of the sales made within the year of the bonds of the Company.
   I congratulate you on the result of the year's work which has been very much better than I had at one time any reason to hope for. The Road was worked under every disadvantage and at increased expense until the connection was made at Garland, on the 3d of May, and nearly one-third of the entire earnings of the Road for the whole year was in the months of May and June.
   So little aid was given at your called meeting on the 9th January last, that I made up my mind I should be forced to the ruinous necessity of withdrawing all the contractors and abandoning the work; and from doing so the Company was only saved by the liberality and public spirit of Messrs. William M. Marks, and William B. S. Gilmer; they came forward to my assistance, investing a large portion of the proceeds of their cotton crops in the bonds of the Company. With the twenty-five thousand dollars obtained from them, for which they are entitled to the thanks of every Stockholder, I was enabled to sustain the credit of the Company and struggle on with the work until some time in February, when the necessity of a speedy completion of the Road for military purposes warmly enlisted our efficient and estimable Gov. Moore in our favor, and the Legislature loaned the Company $30,000 for three years at eight per cent. interest. With this aid, and with the advance made by the Confederate Government of $15,000 to the Company, to be paid back in transportation of troops and provisions, the Road was opened through to Pensacola on the third of May.
   From the settlements to be made with the Government for transportation up to the 1st of September, we shall be enabled to repay the amount advanced.
   For the details of expenses and for the condition of the Road and outfit, I refer you to the Report of S. G. Jones, the Chief Engineer and Superintendent; he has most ably and faithfully served you, and the very highest compliment I can pay him in the e4stimation of Rail Road men, I do, in saying that he has built your Road under the most discouraging circumstances, within his original estimate of the cost of it, and I most fully and heartily endorse his high opinion of his Principal Assistant, Mr. W. P. Garland, who is destined to be one of the most valuable men connected with the Rail Road service of the South.
   For the details of Receipts and Expenditures, and for the financial condition of the Company, I refer you to the accompanying statement of the Treasurer, Mr. John E. Baker.
By examination of Statement No. 4, you will find that the Road, 115 1/2 miles in length, has cost $1,871,436.39
The outfit consists of:
11 Locomotives, now valued at $94,000.00
90 Cars, valued as per inventory, at 54,230.00
Depot Buildings and Shops in Montgomery 25,750.95
Materials are on hand in the Machine Shop and Car Factory, valued at 19,532.47
Land and Lots in and near the city of Montgomery have been bought at a cost of  14,595.77
And the total amount expended on Road, outfit and property is $2,079,545.58
Which has been provided for:
By subscriptions to Capital Stock $750,287.46
  "  proceeds of sales of Mortgage Bonds 938,000.00
  "  debts now due in Bills, Notes and open Accounts 391,258.12
$2,079,545.58
   This large floating debt was contracted before there was any apprehension of war between the North and South, and judging from my past experience I apprehend no difficulty in providing for it from a sale of Bonds of the Company, aided by the surplus earnings of the Road.
   As long as the war continues but a very small amount can be expected from the earnings of the Road; if these will pay current expenses and provide for the prompt payment of interest, we should be very well satisfied. If the credit of the Company can be sustained by providing promptly for the interest on the outstanding debts during the war, I have no doubt upon its termination, sales of an additional amount of Bonds may be made so as to fund the whole outstanding debt. So far we have been exceedingly fortunate in the sale of those already issued, having sold only about $50,000 out of the 938,000 below par; but I have no hope that any future sales can be made at as good rates, and believing that every opportunity should be taken to settle up the outstanding floating debt with Bonds, at such rates as would be entirely satisfactory to the creditors of the Company, and give them liberal interest on what is due to them.
   If the whole debt of the Company could be funded in ten year eight per cent. Bonds, the total amount of the debt would not exceed the sum of $1,500,000; the investment would be a safe one beyond all doubt, and it could be easily managed and provided for.
   The receipts of July and August of this year have shown such a satisfactory increase upon the receipts of the same months of the last year, and relying upon the completion of the Mobile & Great Northern Rail Road by the 1st day of January, to increase the business of the Road, I do not feel much hesitation in estimating the receipts of the year to end with June, 1862, even if the war continues, at $250,000. This would give us a nett income of $120,000, fully providing for interest and expenses; and if the war should close with the year 1861, the receipts would probably reach $300,000.
   With the lands of the Company but very little has been done during the past year.
   In the month of March I closed up the office of the Land Agent at Greenville, and dispensed with the services of the Land Value, so as to reduce as much as possible the expenses of the Department, retaining only in service Mr. Walter L. Coleman as Register and Clerk.
I submit for your consideration his Report:
By it is shown that within the past year there has been sold only 2606 acres
There was sold previously 8984   "  
--- Making the total number of acres sold since the opening of the Land Department 11,590, for the sum of` $38,960.51
--- On which there has been collected in cash and paid over to me the sum of 14,672.73
--- Leaving due, which is in notes bearing interest, secured by a mortgage on the lands with a power of sale $24,287.78
--- Of which but a very small amount can b e collected until the peace and independence of the Confederate States has been conquered.
With the amount paid over to me $14,672.73
I have paid the expenses of the Land Department including fees for services of Land Agent at Washington, of Attorneys and all Officers  $7,356.45
--- And have purchased the endorsed Bonds of the Company for  6,500.00 $13,856.45
--- Thereby reducing the bonded debt of the Company this amount, and have now on hand to be applied to the same purpose the balance of $816.28
   I acknowledge with great pleasure the faithful services of the Treasurer Mr. John E. Baker, and of all the officers and employees of the Road in my department.
Charles T. Pollard
President

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