Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thanks to Ton! Super illustration. We'll use it in the book ...

But I need help removing the red highlight from Thomas Birney's name ... [click on the image to view.]

Those of you who don't have access to the private blog might not know what this is about. Here is an extract (with footnotes) from chapter one:

Russell pursued business interests up to his death. Some of them were successful and some not. Sometimes the failures were spectacular. But for all the considerable record left by these ventures, no fraud exists. The worst that one can find is apparently evasive testimony during the Russell divorce trial, and even that is open to debate. More telling are Russell’s comments that go to motive. While Russell sought to “do good” with money, he found the opportunities limited: “Those who have money … will not find very much opportunity so far as the world is concerned. Even if we had millions of dollars the spirit of a sound mind should govern us in its expenditure. To give money to encourage anybody in wastefulness, slothfulness and idleness would be to misuse it, and not to do good.” He found by observation, or maybe experience, that wealthy people “cannot do even for [their] own families all that [they] would wish to do.” It is unclear if he meant his own relations or was speaking generally, though he concludes with “we could never do sufficient for them.” Many were made newly poor in the post Civil War depression. Knowing how to handle requests for money from family or friends was difficult. “Before we became Christians at all, we may have been under-balanced, or over balanced,” he wrote. “We may not have known how to deal properly with our families or our friends. Out of kindness and sympathy we may have been inclined to give them money, or to yield to their wishes in a way that was injurious to them; or we may have been too severe and unyielding.”[1] He may have been thinking of his Uncle Thomas Birney’s bankruptcy. Birney & Co., Thomas’s wholesale hardware store, was closed by the sheriff in January 1886 “on executions aggregating $25,000.” Some sources give an unpaid indebtedness of ninety-five thousand dollars.[2]  Whatever happened over his uncle’s bankruptcy, Russell was charitable, usually in quiet ways. During his 1907 court appearance questioning from the opposition attorney elicited this.[3] 

[1]               C. T. Russell: The Importance of Attaining Balance of Mind, The Watch Tower, March 1, 1914, page 77.
[2]               Birney had unwisely furnished roller skates to skating rinks on credit. Skating was a fad, and he saw dollar signs. Payment was not forth-coming and he could not maintain his business. Russell would not have had enough money to save the Birney business. We don’t even know if his uncle sought assistance. See Pith of the News, New York Herald-Tribune, January 7, 1886; Bankrupt by Roller Rinks, Pennsylvania Patriot, January 7, 1886.
[3]               Russell v. Russell Transcript of Record (1907), page 24: R: I usually gave my money away. Atty: You never gave it away, Mr. Russell, until after your wife left you? R: Yes, sir, lots of it.


CrimsonRoseDesigns said...

Here is the image with the red removed I also straightened it a bit

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

thanks for your help!