Waldo Ralph Browne to Louis Freeland Post, February 19, 1924

Wyoming, New York
February 19, 1924.

Dear Mr. Post: --

My work on the Altgeld biography is at last completed, and the book is to be published this coming Spring by B. W. Huebsch, Inc., of New York. It will make a volume of about 400 pages, to sell (probably) at $3.

I suppose no one other than you and I could ever realize the difficulties under which this work, first projected nearly eight years ago, has been carried on. Those difficulties have been in part financial, and in part inherent in the nature of the task itself. Of course the effort is out of all proportion to the result but that is due mainly to the peculiar conditions which have attended the work from the beginning.

On the financial side, the income which I have received in connection with this work is as follows:

From Louis F. Post, as trustee for the Altgeld biography fund ... $3713.50

Interest on bonds from the Joseph S. Martin estate ... 190.00

Proceeds from sale of above bonds ... 1530.63

TOTAL $5434.13

My actual cash expenditures in the course of the work amount to $905.15. This sum, deducted from the above total of receipts, leaves a net income of $4528.98. I shall be under a further expense of about $400 for complimentary [page 2] copies of the book to be sent to those who have contributed to the biography fund. In addition, I must also guarantee the expenses involved in printing and publishing the book. Under my arrangement with the publisher, I shall receive a royalty of ten [percent] on the sales of the book; but the income from this source is purely a speculative factor at this time.

In reporting the above facts to those who have contributed to the Altgeld biography fund, I should like to suggest that you urge the contributors to do all in their power to promote the circulation of the book. I have no selfish purpose in this suggestion. My feeling is simply that this biography of Altgeld has been realized by a large common sacrifice on the part of all connected with the enterprise, and this sacrifice will be in large part wasted if the book is read by only a few persons who are already devoted admirers of Altgeld. Every effort should be made to reach the general public, the many thousands of those who either know nothing about Altgeld or know him only as he was pictured in the newspaper lies and slanders of his time. In this effort those who appear on your list of contributors can be of very great service, if they will cooperate in certain plans which the publisher of the volume will suggest to them.

In closing, I should like to say a word of appreciation of the part you have played in this enterprise. For several years you have given freely of your time and thought without compensation of any sort; you have been patient and hopeful and forbearing in the face of many difficulties and many delays; and you have earned a debt of gratitude which ought to be generously recognized by all who have had any part or association in the effort that has made this biography possible.

Sincerely yours,

W. R. Browne.