Virginia Central Imports

Quoted from the President's Report, dated November, 1863, by President E. Fontaine, from the Virginia Central's Annual Report, p.10:

  The unfortunate habit of our people before the war of relying too much on foreign supplies of many of our wants, found us dependent on others for articles of indispensable necessity, and it was therefore found necessary to make arrangements for importing from England certain supplies, some of which could not be procured at all in the Confederate States. This Company, in connection with several others, employed Captain John M. Robinson, of the Confederate Army, who was going abroad on Government business. He was successful in making a contract for supplies most immediately needed, in payment for which the seller receives the bonds of the Company, only requiring as collateral security double the amount in Confederate bonds. It had been apprehended that the important article of locomotive tires would necessarily have to be imported, which would have constituted an almost insurmountable obstacle to the successful working of our roads. The Board is happy, however, to inform the Stockholders that the persevering efforts of those in charge of that subject have been crowned with success, and the Company is now making in its shops substantial and reliable locomotive tires. [The tires were a failure. They were replaced with cast iron tires made by Tredegar.]


Quoted from the President's Report, dated November 8, 1864, by President E. Fontaine, from the Virginia Central's Annual Report, p.16:

  The Stockholders were informed at the last meeting that the Board had united with several other companies in the importation of articles of necessity which could only be obtained in the Confederacy at very great cost, and some of them not at any price, except from those who had imported through the blockade. Though some of the articles were captured, in amount about one-fourth of the whole purchase, those received, if valued at present prices in this country, are worth more than the cost and charges of the whole, and a portion are still in Bermuda.

  The articles imported were bought of Messrs. Charles Joyce & Co., of London, and the bonds for the amount, $11,714.18, are payable in October, 1865. Thirty-five thousand dollars of Confederate eight per cent bonds were deposited with them as collateral security. The first and second installments of interest have been paid by the proceeds of a joint shipment of cotton, leaving a balance due the importing Railroad Companies of L167 12s 5d, a sum nearly sufficient to pay the interest to the 1st of April, 1865, on the joint purchase.