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ful, and successful on this account. We do not hesitate to predict that if the investigating committee think proper to examine them, it will find, by contrast, a new illustration of the adage, that well filled vessels make the least noise. Its coffers are filling rapidly, although no company is more prompt in its payments. During 1869 it .paid claims by death to the amount of nearly half a million, ($147,781); yet it had a surplus over all liabilities, January 1st, 1870, of over a million and a half, ($1,644,310 00), its total assets at the same date being $6,338,341 00.
Nor need the Manliattan be ashamed of its vigorous and spirited offspring, the National Life, (N. Y.) If any doubt this let them compare the work of the latter during the past year with a few of the companies of the same age (1864)-say with the Great Western, the Brooklyn, the Widows' and Orphans' Benefit. Any of these is vastly more pretentious; but not one of them issued so many policies, or gained so many friends. Its assets are now pretty nearly a million, ($743,215), although it paid claims by death during the year to the amount of $32,500 00—which, for so young and modest a company, must be admitted to be a handsome
But of all our new companies, the Continental, (N. Y.,) has accomplished the most remarkable results. It issued nearly twice as many policies in 1869 as any of several companies which had been doing business years before it more than three times as many as some of them. Everybody knows how loud and tedious is the boasting of Morgan. This gentleman's company commenced operations in 1862 ; the number of policies it issued in 1869 was 4,172, if so many ; whereas the number issued by the Continental was 8,781—more than twice as many.
The United States Life commenced in 1850. The number of policies it issued last year was 1,091–less than one-eighth as many as the Continental, established sixteen years later! Let our readers judge from these figures whether our criticisms on former occasions, or our comparisons of different classes of underwriters with each other, were just or otherwise. It is precisely because Messrs. Lawrence, Rogers and Wynkoop are very different men from Messrs. Morgan, Eadie, Bage, Bouck, Scribner, &c., that the former have issued 21,000 policies in less than three years, and accumulated assets to the amount of $3,500,000.
The Commonwealth is as creditable to the Continental as the National is to the Manhattan. The former only commenced business last year. During the nine months, ending December 31, it issued 1,361 policies, insuring $3,406,000. This, however, is not the chief criterion by which we judge what may be expected in the future. Sometimes the worst companies do a large business at the outset, while the best move very slowly. How an insurance company will turn out in the long run depends upon the intelligence, energy and honesty of its officers more than anything else. Hence it was that we did not hesitate to predict, the very first year,
the success of the National and the Continental, because it so happened that we were aware of the long experience, intelligence, energy, and integrity of Edward A. Jones, Jonathan D. Halsey, Justus Lawrence, and J. P. Rogers. For a similar reason we had faith in the Commonwealth ; we had little doubt that Mr. Pierpont and his colleagues would accomplislı satisfactory results is life underwriters. Nor were we led to this conclusion solely by our higlı opinion of the Continental, from whose office that gentleman went forth to take charge of the new company; it may be remembered that we had no such implicit conficlence (nor have we now) in a certain other company that claims the same honorable parentage. We were quite as well aware then as we are now, that some children are as different from their parents as darkness is from light, and that some children are equally unlike each other.
But what of the Equitable ? we think we hear our readers ask. That is far too gigantic a figure to be overlooked. Those who bear in mind that it only commenced business in 1859—nine years later than the United States Life-will admit that there is something grand in its present magnitude. In 1869, this company issued more than twelve times as many policies as the United States, insuring more than twenty-four times as much! If our readers will have the curiosity to turn to our criticisms and comparisons made years ago in this journal, they can judge for themselves whether our opinions on a subject in which every class of society are more or less interested are expressed rashly or thoughtfully-whether they arc the results of blind passion and prejudice, or of calm reflection and careful research.
That new life companies continue to spring up, is not strange in view of the above facts. Among the most recent are the llercules and the Amicable ; and we believe they are also the most curious specimens. We have remarked on a former occasion, that the titles of a certain class of companies go, like dreams, by contrarities, as the Great Western, the Empire, the American Popular, &c. Accordingly, we confess that the Hercules is to us more suggestive of puny weakness, than of gigantic strength-more of unpaid board and wine bills, than of widows or orphans made happy or comfortable. The “Amicable' is, no doubt, all, to its “ executive officers,” which its name implies ; but whether its amicableness will ever extend much to the outside world is, we fear, rather questionable.
Fire and marine insurance are much more different from life insurance than is generally supposed. The former has far less to do with science than the latter; in other words, it is more material, and yet more a matter of chance, or risk. Accordingly, fire underwriters do not require so much intelligence as life underwriters, nor do they possess so much, in nine cases out of ten. Indeed, the essential requirements are so different, that the life underwriters whom we criticise most for their ignorance and stupidity, might do quite well as fire underwriters,
if they were only endowed with a little more integrity than they are.
Upon the other hand, there are some of our fire underwriters that boast of large piles of millions that are scarcely intelligent enough to be assistant book-keepers in a respectable life office. Then, again, there are fire and marine underwriters that are not surpassed in intelligence, ability, or any other essential qualification, even by the most accomplished and most honored of the life fraternity. Foremost among the select class are the officers of the Washington, the Hope, (N. Y.,) the Etna, (Hartford,) tle Security, the Hanover, and the Mercantile Mutual.
With the exception of the Mercantile each of these has passed the ordeal of fire and water during 1869, not only unscathed, but much improved. Next year we hope there will be no exception among those just mentioned; in any case there is no danger that the Mercantile will not be faithful to its trust. If at any time it fails to meet its engagements, it is because it cannot control old Neptune.
The Washington has added $38,000 to its assets—which now amount to about $800,000--and declared its thirty-seventh dividend. The Hope, always cautious and shrewd, never ventures beyond its means; accordingly, its policy holders have never to wait, although it boasts no huge piles. We are pleased to see, however, that its handsome surplus fund is steadily increasing. In our last number we indicated the prosperous condition of the Hanover; we need only remark now, in passing, that in the meantime it has not lagged in well doing, but made steady progress.
The Security is, in several essential respects, like its life namesake; to those who know the latter nothing further need be said ; they would require no stronger recommendation. The Security Fire has now over $2,000,000 assets. When it is remembered how much it lost lately by a dishonest employé, without allowing its policy holders to lose a penny, it will be admitted that this is a handsome amount for a fire company having a million capital. As for the Ætna, of Hartford, it is one of the greatest fire companies in the world ; certainly no English, French, or German company is superior to it.
The officers of all these companies contribute to strengthen the prestige justly assigned to American underwriters. No doubt there are other table and honest men among the fire and marine fraternities; but if so we do not know them. So far as we have seen or are informed, the remainder are, in general, of the broker genus. They know as little about Laplace's Théorie analytique des probabilités, which forms the groundwork of insurance, as they do of antediluvian manners and customs.
168, ib. et seq.--in 1860, 170-expeditions of
Acta ex iis decrpla, etc., noticed, 192 et seg,
Paris Exposition, 187 et seq.
Marveilles noticed, 188 et seq.
374, et seq.-prevalence of crime, 375–
ors and rulers, &c., ib.
--early belief in regard to, ib.-causes of
Erasmus and bis Influence, article on, 311--
importance of memory, ib.--past and pres-
Flammarion, Camille', his Merveils Culcstes
Roticed, 188 et seq.
tion of the science of Knowledge noticed,
French politica, ib. et seq.-Rochefort, 340-
leon III., ib. et seq.
imperial capital to Constantinople, ib.
thology, 3, et seq.-ihe vedas, 4 et seq.-
- Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma, ib. et seq.-
in Hindoo worship, ib. et seq.
tion of Madame de Girardın, ib.-birth and
-his philosophy, 52.
Heroic Age, by Gladstone, article on, 141-
seq'--morals and manners of Greece, 151.
Hindoo Mythology and its influence, article
on, 1-benefits of mythology, ib. et seq.-