AR, PR 7/1/1863 P

Annual Report of the Port Royal RR
as of July 1, 1863
President's Report
   To the Stockholders of the Port Royal Rail Road Company
   Our third annual meeting finds us in the throes of a revolution, the enormous proportions of which had not been anticipated by the most sagacious among friends or foes. Amidst all the disadvantages of a state of war, with an invading enemy, our work has been prosecuted, under a kind Providence, with favorable results; although with a much smaller force than had been desired. In consequence of the urgent call to arms, and the responsive spirit of our young men to volunteer, we have, with difficulty, retained for our operations in the field, only our Chief Engineer, one assistant, a Superintendent, and three overseers. We have under our control three hundred and seventeen (317) refugee negroes, of whom there are, estimated by the farmer's rule, one hundred and forty (140) full hands, who have been, and are, employed in grading the track of the Road. The value of the work done by these negroes from the time of their arrival on the Road up to the first day of July last, is set down by the Chief Engineer
At     $37,352.26
From which is to be deducted for Subsistence and other incidental expenses   $28,147.75  
Less cost of Supplies then on hand $3,680.00    
Less invested in Mules, Wagons, &c 1,122.17    
Less cash in hands of Superintendent 694.62 $5,496.79 $22,650.96
One-fourth of this sum     $14,701.30
Is to be paid to the Superintendent as compensation for his services, or     6,675.32
And this sum     $11,025.98
Is to be apportioned to the owners of the negroes as follows, to wit.      
Wm. M. Murray, 148 negroes, 56 hands   5,239.98  
Daniel F. Jenkins, 76 negroes, 37 hands   2,629.69  
Thos. H. Grimball, 75 negroes, 36 hands   2,287.57  
Wm. C. Bailey, 18 negroes, 11 hands   868.74 $11,025.98
   By the terms of the contract with these parties, these sums, and the amount due to the Superintendent, are to be paid to them respectively in the stock of the Company; and the scrip has been ordered to be issued to them accordingly.
   We now hold five mules, two wagons, three carts, and the gear which cost $1,112.17, and are worth at present prices about $4,000.
   It is worthy of remark that, notwithstanding the war prices, which are now in excess of past famine prices, and which we have been obliged to pay for every article that has entered into our consumption, this work has been done within the original estimates, and so done as to save to the owners of the slaves 33 87/100 per cent. of the value of their labor, and to increase the stock of the Company $14,701.30. The aggregate of work done may not meet the expectation of some persons -- it is not so much as had been hoped for, but it is because we have been unable to procure the tools necessary to the employment of a larger force. In consequence of this disadvantageous circumstance we refused, in November and December last, to take a number of negroes in several lots, equal to the force now employed.
   Messrs. Hudson, Lane & Co. still observe unbroken silence in relation to their contract, which remains in the same condition in which they left it. The Secretary has been requested to write to these gentlemen, and urge them to define their position, and to enquire whether they expect to prosecute the work, and when.
   It has for a long time been manifest that Messrs. Goether & Chisolm could not do the work under their contract within the time stipulated in the contract, nor has it been exacted of them. Mr. Goethe has, however, amidst discouraging embarrassments, growing out of the circumstances of the country, prosecuted his work with steadiness; and although employing a very small force, will complete it in time for the purposes of the Company. He has done his work well, and deserves commendation.
   We now have more than thirty (30) of the eighty-five (85) miles between the Charleston & Savannah Road and Augusta, graded. With the same force we now employ the entire distance between these points may be graded in about two year. What them? Darkness enshrouds the future -- it may not be proper to attempt to penetrate it or to anticipate the calamities of a war characterised by a spirit of atrocity which has heretofore marked the savage only. We will not speak of subjugation or extermination -- the one may be possible, the other is not. Our work may be disturbed; but only as a thousand private enterprises have been disturbed, by the fell spirit of invasion. But suppose it shall not be, our grading will be done, and if not before, when Peace shall invite Commerce to our shores, we will stand ready to place Augusta, destined to hold an exalted place among the cities of the South, within one hundred and five (105) miles of the Deep Water of Port Royal; when she, and Macon, and Atlanta, will be sending the rich Southern and Western products that will flow in upon them to be carried across the broad ocean in exchange for the merchandize of every nation, relieved of all corrosive tariffs.
   The Company now owe for borrowed money, the following sums, upon the notes of the Company, endorsed by a majority of your Board, to-wit:
To the Bank of the State of South Carolina $15,445.00
  "    "      "    "  Charleston 12,814.92
  "    "      "    "  South Carolina 5,176.44
Making an aggregate of $33,436.36
And to Contractors -- To Goethe & Chisolm, five notes $6,271.60
Hudson, Lane & Co. hold three notes 6,267.24
Making an aggregate of $12,538.84
   It had been hoped as soon as the cotton, upon which the subscriptions to the stock of the Company were based, could find a market, that these subscriptions would have been paid, and the Company not only relieved from debt but enabled to prosecute their work without difficulty or annoyance -- but this reasonable expectation has been disappointed in the presence of unparalleled prices for cotton. We can now only invite the attention of such as have hitherto neglected to pay, to the fact that all the instalments have long since ben called for, and are bearing interest.
   The Reports of the Chief Engineer and of the Treasurer are herewith submitted, which furnish the details of the transactions in those departments respectively.
R. J. Davant, President
Allendale, S. C., August 12, 1863