March 10, 1865
Copy sent 24 March
The Marine Insurance Office
Messrs. Eines & Macey
The claim made as for a general charge in the case of the “Golden Gate” (s) from Panama to San Francisco (in June 1864) is so heavy, that my Company hesitate to admit it without some inquiry into the circumstances which led to it, and the method adopted for fixing the reward to the steamer “Golden City”, belonging, as I am told, to the same company as the “Golden Gate,” which it appears, served the “Golden Gate” from Acapulco to San Francisco, a service which, though it occupied 8 days, did not delay the “Golden City” more than probably a day or two, as she was herself bound to that port.
It has been stated to me that the masters of the two steams, whilst, at Acapulco, fixed upon $100,000 in gold currency as the value of the service in contemplation – but that, on arrival at San Francisco, that amount was considered so exorbitant that it was reduced to $60,000 gold currency.
Having only a certificate showing totals without furnishing details, I hope I may be forgiven for asking the following questions –
1. Was any bargain made at Acapulco, as alleged, between the captains of the “Golden Gate” and “Golden City”, and, if so, what was it, and if broken subsequently, at whose instance, and why?
I may, perhaps, say that $60,000 gold currency is thought on this side a most extravagant sum for the service in question though the steamer belonged to different owners; but if belonging to the same company, that that fact is an aggravation of the overcharge.
Perhaps, I should have asked as the first question, whether the sum of $60,000 gold currency was, in point of fact, decreed as the measure of reward to the “Golden City”.
I remain Gentlemen,
Robert I. Lodge