A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912

20 A THUMB-NAIL HISTOY OF
forty-year bonds, a new issue. The aldermen explained
that the action of the citizens precluded
their paying more than 50c. Then the bondholders
made the following proposition: The compromise
would be made ostensibly for 60c on the dollar, but
really for 40c. A prominent Houston banker whose
name they gave, Mr. Baker and Mr. Cleveland
were to guarantee that the new bonds would be issued
by the city and for doing this the bondholders
would divide the difference between 40c and 60c
with these three men and keep quiet about it. The
aldermen returned to Houston, and Mr. Cleveland,
Mayor Baker and the banker went over the proposition.
Mr. Cleveland pointed out that the plan
proposed offered the only solution of the problem
and suggested that the three gentlemen draw up
an agreement, together with a statement of facts,
by which the city would get all the bonds that were,
ostensibly, set aside for themselves; that this agreement
be witnessed by reputable witnesses and locked
up securely in a safe. The bondholders had said
they would treat the matter confidentially. Mr.
Cleveland and Mr. Baker saw the advantage to
the city and were anxious to close the deal, but the
banker was afraid and dreaded adverse criticism
and discussion by the people who would know nothing
of the truth of the deal until it was all over, so
he refused to have anything to do with it and as the
bondholders insisted on his taking part, the thing
fell through and Houston lost the opportunity of
compromising her debt on the most advantageous
conditions that were ever offered.

Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/. Accessed September 19, 2014.