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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    At the beginning of the year we were in the midst of a general institute which lasted from Dec.22, 1893, to Feb. 4, 1894. Elders Kilgore and Jones were present to give spiritual instruction, and Brethren Mead, Harrison, and others attended to the practical work of the canvassers. Nearly all the ministers, Bible-workers, and canvassers in the district attended. While the expense attending this institute was quite heavy, the benefit to most of the canvassers was also great.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.3

    From this institute about 85 agents entered the field, but some who had no experience or who were less determined soon fell out by the way. We have however maintained an average of 62 agents in the field the whole time. Quite a number of experienced agents were sent us from the North and they have proven faithful and efficient laborers and a strength to our force. Our agents have worked quite faithfully and taken a large number of orders, and had the condition of the country been more favorable, they would have made a splendid showing. The drought which seriously crippled some of the Northern States did us no harm. We were favored with plenty of rain in nearly all parts of our field and as a result, bountiful crops were raised. In parts of the States of Kentucky and North Carolina where tobacco is the staple crop the deliveries were excellent, but in the cotton States, which comprise a large part of our district, they were not so good. The price of cotton depreciated almost one-half in a few months, and all who could held their crop for a better price.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.4

    A large number of orders were taken from the negroes and poor white people, who are eager for our books, and when the orders were taken the prospect for delivery was good. When fall came, the owners of the land took the crop to satisfy the rent, and what was left, the other creditors took, so they had nothing left to buy books with and the orders were lost. The fruit crop, which promised so much early in the season, was almost a failure by reason of the great strike coming on as the fruit and melons were ripening, and shutting off all markets. Hundreds of car-loads of melons and fruit were sold for freight charges, the producer never receiving a cent. This also caused quite a loss of orders.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.5

    Up to this year the States of Mississippi and South Carolina had been almost untouched, but after the institute a small corps of workers was sent into each of these States, and the work there quite fully organized. We now have agents in every State in our district and the canvassing work established upon a good basis. The Tennessee River and Florida Tract Societies control their own agents, but in all the other States and the Cumberland mission field the agents report directly to the branch office. A few figures will show the amount of work done during the year. Our total sales for the year at wholesale prices were $14,923.71. The gross profit on our sales has enabled us to pay all the expenses of the office and show a small margin of profit besides.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.6

    The agents in the mission field who report directly to the office have worked 59,072 hours; taken 16,181 orders, value, $37,244.65. Of these they have delivered 5961 books, value $13,439.65. They also sold “helps” to the amount of $2406.65. The books delivered were as follows: “ Bible Readings,” 3428; “Great Controversy,” 1695; “Patriarchs and Prophets” 528; “Eden to Eden,” etc. 310.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.7

    We cannot give an exact report of the work in the Tract Societies, but the following is nearly correct: Hours worked in the Tennessee River Society, 11,859; orders taken, 3513, value $8299,25; books delivered, 1515, value $3601,25; “helps” sold, $474,50.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.8

    Florida Tract Society: Hours worked, 3755; orders taken, 1230, value $3041; books delivered, 526, value $1251.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.9

    Total amount of books delivered and “helps” sold in the district, $21,173.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.10

    The profit to our agents on this was a fraction over fourteen cents for every hour worked.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.11

    The small books, “His Glorious Appearing,” and “Gospel Primer” are meeting with a large sale with us. We have already sold over 9000 of the former and 11,000 of the latter. They seem to be particularly adapted to the wants of the people of the South, and we look for large sales in the future, as our calls are increasing every month.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.12

    The office is now located in the building purchased by the Association last winter and has every facility for handling a large amount of business. The work is but fairly begun, as none of the States have had more than a few counties worked. It is all good territory and we have every reason to believe that thousands of books can and will be sold there the coming year.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.13

    Financial Statement

    No Authorcode

    Property inventory $ 2,058 10
    Merchandise inventory 5,635 51
    Accounts receivable 6,139 97
    Cash in bank 5 53
    Cash on hand 412 78
    Total $14,251 89
    Review & Herald $ 2,515 61
    Oakland Pacific Press 98 19
    New York Pacific Press 103 54
    Deposits 191 30
    Agents and others 110 72
    Present worth 11,232 53
    Total $14,251 89
    Net gain for the year $ 861 91

    The report of the Toronto branch was presented by the Secretary in the absence of the manager, G. W. Morse. It is given as follows:—GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.14

    Herewith is submitted the trial balance and annual statement of the Toronto Branch office, together with complete inventories of merchandise, office fixtures, etc., on hand December 31, 1894.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.15

    I regret that the annual statement shows a net loss as having been sustained during the past year. It has been our constant and earnest endeavor to have the business so conducted that not only would no loss occur, but instead, at least a slight gain. But as mentioned in the note appended to the statement, the actual net loss of the past year is materially less than it was for the previous year.GCB February 21, 1895, page 278.16

    There is an important consideration that should be taken into account in this connection, and that is this: the total sales of the office in 1893, at retail prices, were $26,011.11, while in 1894 the total sales reached only $16,252.49, showing a falling off of $9758.62. Very nearly all of this falling off was in the sales of subscription books, their sales being upwards of $8500 less than in 1893. When it is considered that we rely chiefly upon the sale of subscription books for the necessary gain to sustain the business, this heavy falling off in that matter easily solves the problem of net loss. In order to more clearly show the difference between the two years, and to demonstrate whether the policy and management of the last year were an improvement over the previous year, the matter may be stated thus: With a volume of business in 1893 of $26,011.11, the net loss was $667.57, or a little upward of two and one half per cent; while in 1894, with a volume of business of only $16,252.49, the actual net loss was $263.67, or approximately one and six tenths per cent.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.1

    Referring to the sales for the past year, it may be of interest to you to know the amount at retail for each Province which is as follows:—GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.2

    Maritime Provinces $ 4,919 56
    Quebec 2,327 28
    Ontario 6,237 59
    Manitoba 2,501 48
    British Columbia 266 58
    Total $16,252 49
    Merchandise $ 1,516 86
    Office fixtures $ 22 25
    Expense account 2,339 70
    Net loss 845 09
    Totals $ 2,361 95 $ 2,361 95
    Merchandise, inventory $ 7,350 72
    Office Fixtures, inventory 252 55
    Electros, inventory 200 00
    Accounts Receivable 3,153 73
    Bills Receivable 352 95
    Cash 92 88
    Accounts Payable $ 7,331 71
    Present Worth 4,071 12
    Totals $11,402 83 $11,402 83

    Of the net loss, $531.42 was on the previous year, it being a bill for the canvassers’ institute at Battle Creek, received too late to incorporate in that report. Actual net loss therefore for 1894 is, $263.67.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.3

    The reports of the branch managers were accepted. The President then introduced the attorney of the Association, S. S. Hulburt, Esq., who through the Secretary presented the following paper from the Board of Directors:—GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.4

    To the Stockholders of The Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association Assembled in Regular Stockholders’ Meeting at Battle Creek, Michigan, February 20, 1895:—GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.5

    The undersigned, who are the Directors of the above named corporation, are about to take certain steps prescribed by law to have declared abandoned and surrendered to the corporation certain shares of the capital stock of your corporation, which have not been represented in stockholder’s meetings for the five (5) successive years immediately preceding May 3rd, 1894, which stock your Directors are not able to ascertain and do not know the owners thereof, nor do they know or have they been able to ascertain the residence or address of said holders.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.6

    The first step in the proceeding for the abandonment and surrender to the corporation of this class of stock, is a report to you at one of the sessions of this regular meeting of the corporation, which report shall contain the last known names of the owners of such unrepresented stock, and the time during which it has remained unrepresented, and the fact that the Directors are ignorant of its ownership and are not able to ascertain and do not know the address of its owner or owners.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.7

    This detailed report will be a voluminous one, and the Directors have thought it best that before making up this report in the legal form prescribed by the Statute, a list of the names, alphabetically arranged, should be read before the stockholders of this corporation, and as many other persons as desire to hear the same, to the end that the Directors may have the benefit of the best information attainable as to who the owners may be of such unrepresented stock, and where their residences and addresses may be.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.8

    The previous efforts which have been made to ascertain the ownership, residence, and address have been by inquiry and by the sending of circular letters in every known direction which would be likely to bring a response and elicit the desired information.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.9

    If any one hearing these names now read can give any information which is authentic, as to the ownership, residence or address regarding this unrepresented stock, such persons are earnestly requested so to do, to the end that if the owners of the stock are known or can be ascertained, they may receive certificates of stock in the new corporation which was formed to succeed the old Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, or not desiring to take stock in the new corporation, may be settled with according to the law in such case made and provided.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.10

    After this last effort to obtain information has been made, the matter will be placed in the hands of our legal Counsel, who will prepare the necessary report to make to a subsequent session of this meeting and legal proceedings will thenceforth be continuously taken until this abandoned stock has been, by due process of law, cut off and the new corporation repossessed of such stock.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.11


    An effort was then made to ascertain the addresses of the unrepresented stock by calling the roll of names. Many were thus located.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.12

    H. Lindsay moved that the Chair be authorized to appoint the committees on nominations and resolutions. The following is the appointment:—GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.13

    On Nominations. — R. C. Porter, R. A. Underwood, A. J. Breed.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.14

    On Resolutions. — F. D. Starr, H. W. Kellogg, D. A. Robinson.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.15

    Adjourned to February 28, 3 P.M.GCB February 21, 1895, page 279.16

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