February 12, 2016
February 12, 1853. The self-described "old Fogey" Henry Wells had difficulty understanding the ways free-spending Californians did business--but that did not deter him from checking the bottom line. "I enclose balance sheets," he wrote to Wells Fargo's president from San Francisco, "from which you can make (I can not) something out of." Wells pleaded: "I would suggest to & urge with all my power the propriety of sending out here as soon as possible a competent Bookkeeper." Wells explained he wanted an accountant that could make out such reports as he was accustomed receiving as president of the American Express Company. "I am confident there is not a man in this state [who] can do this," Wells said, adding, "There are good Bookkeepers in double entry here, but ask one of them to make a statement that I could understand & they would look at you with astonishment."