To the Rate-Payers of that part of Hungerford proposed to be Publicly Lighted
I am again induced to intrude myself on your notice, in consequence of the publication of a printed handbill, signed "W. R. Hall," which has been put forth partly as a reply to the letter I recently addressed to you, which letter, "W. R. Hall," in the plenitude of his wrath, has been pleased to style a "scandalous and disgusting publication." I am rather surprised that a Gentleman, supposed to be possessed of the keen erudition, wit and learning that generally characterises men of his profession, should so far have forgotten himself as to descend to abuse in his attempted reply, (thereby showing the weakness of his position,) instead of dealing at once with the facts of the case, and explaining them in a clear, concise and proper manner, I am also very much astonished that he, (after alluding to "fallacious representations,") should make positive mis-statements, and I beg to assure him, had not his bill contained the mis-statements alluded to I should not have condescended to notice so puerile a production : I should not for this reason, i. e. that it does not contain a single denial, or attempted refutation of any one fact contained in my letter - yes, my letter! - not "the joint production," as "W. R. Hall" insinuates, "of the person whose name it bears and some of the promoters of the measure'' for lighting the town, but my own production, written and published by me, on my own and sole responsibility, without the consent or sanction of any party or parties asked or obtained.
Now for the mis-statements. "W. R. Hall" says (still alluding to my letter.) 'as far as it professes (!) to be the single production of one person, for that person, as a perfect stranger, to come into this town, encouraged by the Gas Company, by their allowing him to have the contract, and paying him £1300 of the Inhabitants money for it, and then to abuse two of the most respectable inhabitants, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Alexander, and all other persons who are not in favor of this measure, and attempt to set the inhabitants at variance with each other."I most distinctly and flatly deny that I came into this town encouraged by the Gas Company, for it is a well known fact that previous to my coming to Hungerford. there was no Gas Company here: but that it afterwards burst forth into the day spring of existence, through the exertions of myself and a few of the more public spirited inhabitants of the town, on whom its opponents have been pleased to bestow the euphonious epithet of "Jumping Lodgers." Again, it is a well known fact that I am not the party contracted with by the Gas Company for the erection of their works; and consequently I cannot have received £1300 of the Inhabitants money for it; and I may further add that the £1300 alluded to was not all subscribed by the inhabitants of the town, but, that the greatest Shareholders are persons who are non-residents. Again, as to my abuse of Mr. Barnes or Mr. Alexander, I give a most distinct and unqualified denial to the assertion. Of either of them I have spoken
"The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
In fact I have always spoken of Mr. W. Alexander as being the only consistent leader in the opposition to this measure. I have never spoken disrespectfully of him, - far from it: I have always given him, individually, credit for consistency, and respect him for the straightforward and manly course he has pursued, both in reference to the Gas Company and the scheme for lighting the town, and should be sorry, at any time, to give him cause for offence. I also indignantly deny ever attempting " to set the inhabitants at variance with each other:" indeed, I have from the first advised the promoters of the scheme for lighting the town not to press it until all the inhabitants were unanimous in favor of it, and should never have had any "ambition to show myself in print," had I not seen that you were likely to be led astray by the "fallacious representations" of those who once promised to give their support in establishing a Gas Company in your town, but who violated their promises without giving any just cause or reason why.
As far as regards the misrepresenting the Act of Parliament, I leave that and other parts of "W. R. Hall's" letter for abler hands than my own to expose, and beg to assure you that the only "incendiary sentiments" I wish to "disseminate" are those in favor of truth, fair play and the conferring of a Public Benefit.
I remain, your obedient Servant,
J. O. CULYER.
Hungerford, Jan. 12th, 1846.
- Thomas Atkins proposal (jpg)