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1 41 f ■e stake forty-five years' reputation for honesty, integrity and honorable action against ten months1 asper *:j 3 of our enemies and those who desire to profit by the failure of the greatest financial institution of the colored f k. Our primary object and desire is to reimburse any of our people who have invested in any enterprise fos 4 red by us ?e solemnly swear now, as we swore upon the witness stand, that not one dollar ©! our forty-five years1 accum ' ■-?„ has been the result of dishonorable actions or sharp practices. We insist that the money alleged to be miss ! ' cannot he traced to us either directly or indirectly and that of all the people involved we are the greatest sufferer, even as our honesty has been our greatest asset. The money belonging to as and to the organizations with which we are affiliated was taken by others or was ac c re Bed to other accounts, so that when checks were drawn noon the account there was no money to meet them. was no other course for us to pursue, other than to assume complete responsibility Our ledger sheets at the Bask had been stolen, removed in order to cover up these peeuktioas and to make us the victim. We Lad not transferred our property It was all k. our own name and while the liability chargeable to us from this vv. rce was approximately (564,000) Sixty-four Thousand Dollars, we surrendered assets (real estate) which conservatively handMfi, wffl bring over ($100,000) One Hundred Thousand Dollars, which is ($36,000) Thirty six Thousand Dollars mere than the alleged liability. We have never had charge ei a record in the Mechanics Savings Bank in twenty years' service. We could not Have made a false entry upon the hooks of that o:z:;rn. We bad do reason so to do when we had surrendered pro perty with a gross rental of ($11,000) Eleven Thousand Dollars. have defended colored people, secured their release from jails, penitentiaries and stopped executions upon the gallows. We are now cafled upon to defend ourselves. Certain it is, that the people whom we have defended will tiznj by us. As for the better class of Southerners, their testimony in our behalf is an outstanding feature of this crucial period of our existence. We are trusting in God. In the language of Shakespeare, we are saying to our traducers and slanderers There is no terror, Cassias, in your threats For I am armed so strong in honesty that they pass me by Like the idle wind, that I respect not. A full, free and square vindication is demanded by us and we believe we shall obtain it. D.. J __ _ A ,AAA JOHN MITCHELL, JR. Richmond, Va., May 9, 1923.