In an interview with a Boston Herald reporter President W.P. Appleton, of the New York League Club, tells of his proposition to Dunlap, of the St. Louis Union Club. He says: "This is the whole truth of the story: After Dunlap had signed to play with the St. Louis Union Club, and had repeatedly told the Clevelands that he would not go back to them, that club continued to write him letters at the rate of three a week. Dunlap soon tired of the correspondence and remained silent until a registered letter was sent to him. He felt bound to answer this, and informed the club that he would not play for $2,100, but that he would consent to sign for not less than $2,800, as he considered that he was fully worth that figure. Then Dunlap signed with the St. Louis Union for two years. He will receive $3,500 the first and $4,000 the second year. He will receive his pay after he has once entered upon his contract, in twenty four equal payments, and, should he die after its inception, the money will be paid to his heirs or representatives. While in Philadelphia a short time ago I met Dunlap, and remarked to him: 'I see you have signed to play in St. Louis: hadn't you better wait a year and see how the new association will prosper? Haven't you made a mistake? 'No,' said Dunlap, 'I am going to play there. I was not treated well in Cleveland. I have been there five or six years and am tired of it. I am going to St. Louis.' 'I think you are making a mistake,' I said. 'Perhaps so,' he replied. 'I would play in New York though, if I got the chance; but as far as going back to Cleveland is concerned, I would not break my St. Louis contract to go there under any circumstances.' I saw at once that he could not be secured by Cleveland, and also that there was a good chance of saving him for the League provided I could secure his release from Cleveland. I at once communicated with Mr. Howe, the vice president of that club, and saw him personally. I went so far as to offer him $1,000 for Dunlap's release. He would not listen to any proposition, but said he would rather let me have the whole of his nine than let me have Dunlap. The Cleveland undoubtedly thought and still thinks that Dunlap will weaken. He will not and the Cleveland might as well let us have him. Dunlap will play in St. Louis if he lives."
The above was shown to Vice President Howe, of the Cleveland Club, yesterday. He said: "My only object in noticing the article referred to the would be to correct a false impression that Dunlap was not treated well by Cleveland. His letters to us, now on file, state the contrary, and he was repeatedly expressed himself to members of the club as being perfectly satisfied. Mr. Appleton's statement that Dunlap repeatedly told the Cleveland Club that he would not go back is, to use a mild term, incorrect, as well as the statement that he (Dunlap) was receiving letters from us at the rate of three a week. Appleton must refer to the letters he wrote us for Dunlap's release. They were numerous. He intimated in one letter that without Dunlap the New York Club could not succeed. This is not very complimentary to such players as Ewing, Ward and Connors. Mr. Appleton says he saw me personally. The only time I ever saw Appleton, that I can remember, was about eighteen months ago, and I don't think I should know him if I were to meet him.
"Yer, Mr. Appleton states one truth. He did offer us $1,000 for Dunlap about the middle of March, and within a week withdrew his offer. If we made any mistake it was in not accepting the offer. Dunlap would have gone to St. Louis all the same and Appleton would have been out $1,000. I say Appleton, as Mr. Day, the president of the New York Club, told me a short time since that he ignored the whole matter and urged Mr. Appleton not to do as he had done, knowing full well it was contrary to the League laws. My impression is that Appleton's offer to Dunlap had more to do in preventing his return to Cleveland than anything else. Yes, the correspondence is at your command at any time."
The letters were read by the base ball editor of the Herald and sustain Mr. Howe in every particular. They are bullying in tone and show Appleton to be a man of but little breeding.
-Cleveland Herald, April 6, 1884
I find it interesting that the money contractually owed Dunlap from the St. Louis contract would be paid to his heirs if he died. I'm certainly not an expert on 19th century baseball player contracts but I can't think of any other contract like that. Dunlap was going to get the money owed to him one way or another. Alive or dead - it didn't matter. The only way this could have been more interesting was if Dunlap demanded, in the event of his death, that the entire sum owed him be paid in one lump sum and placed in his coffin.