COL. EDMUND D. TAYLOR
AND CONSPIRACY THEORY
by William R. Carr
THE GREENBACK -- TRUTH, SPECULATION, AND TRIVIA
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY -- SERIOUS BUSINESS!
Updated February, 2011
[Related Books Available from Amazon.com]
"Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the laws.
"Usury once in control will wreck any nation.
"Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and of Democracy is idle and futile."
The Right Honourable W.L.MacKenzie King,
Prime Minister of Canada (1934)
NOTE: The Springhouse
Magazine is a small regional magazine
published in Southern
Illinois. Billed as "An adventure shaped like a magazine," this
bi-monthly publication has evolved into one of Illinois' most
"unofficial" historical journals. It would seem an unlikely place for
conspiracy theory to rear its ugly head, but articles, letters, and
"Updates" carried over the last couple of years on Col. Edmund D.
Taylor, "father of the greenback" sparked this old conspiracy buff's
interest. The Springhouse is in no way interested,
embroiled, in political controversy. It "discovered" Taylor in the
course of its research into other historical matters, and printed some
information in the interests of Illinois history. The Springhouse
consequently received much criticism from state historians who are not
happy to see Taylor's reappearance in Illinois history—especially when
pertains to his alleged ties to Illinois' most illustrious hero,
(not to mention slavery in Illinois).
Illinois historians were not very enthusiastic about the "other historical matters" that caused Edmund D. Taylor to rise from the ashes of the proverbial historic memory hole. The research centered on John Crenshaw and his house, locally known as the "Old Slave House," located near Equality, Illinois, in Gallatin County, near the intersection of Illinois Route 1 and 13.
Illinois historians regard the research with a jaundiced eye for two reasons. (1) The unpopular fact that slavery existed in early Illinois, in conjunction with the Salt Works near Equality, and (2) That in 1840 Abraham Lincoln may have debated there, attended a party, danced, and even slept there. (This, according to local tradition and now born out by some somewhat convincing corroborating evidence.)
That a "Slave House" hosted Lincoln, and might even have a Lincoln bedroom, has a few historians in a dither. Much to the chagrin of more reputable historians in Springfield, Springhouse publisher, Gary DeNeal, and local historians Ronald Nelson and Jon Musgrave have let the cat out of the bag. Some people began calling them the "Crenshaw Rascals," as the result of their diligent research and embarrassing findings.
What made things tend to come together at the Crenshaw house was the fact that John Crenshaw, a wealthy salt merchant and planter (and reputed slaver and kidnapper), was married to the sister of Edmund Dick Taylor. Taylor, Like Lincoln, became a politician. He was undoubtedly an old acquaintance, if not a friend and confidant, of the sixteenth president. The research finally led to Edmund Taylor's claim to have been a Civil War special agent for Lincoln, and the father of the greenback, both things Lincoln historians have studiously denied.
As the following biographical sketch makes perfectly clear, however, Taylor certainly wasn't a nobody in Illinois history. If he was a fraud, as some historians claim, he clearly wasn't "all fraud."
The following is reprinted from Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men of Chicago, Chicago, 1876. E. D. Taylor died in 1891.
E. D. Taylor
Virginia is called “the mother of Presidents” because George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Tyler were born, lived and died in that State. It Was also the native commonwealth of William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor. The latter was of near kin to Edmund Dick Taylor, the subject of our sketch. The President was born in Orange County; the member of the family with whom we have to do was born in Lunenburg County, October 18, 1804. His parents removed in his infancy to Kentucky. Mr. Taylor was a merchant, and after several changes of residence, he removed in 1814, to the Ohio Saline, nine miles from Shawneetown, Illinois, where he engaged in the manufacture of salt.
This was a pioneer settlement, and young Taylor’s education was only such as the Territorial schools of half a century ago afforded. His time was mainly occupied in assisting his father in his business.
When he was only nineteen years of age, a merchant who was well acquainted with him—Mr. Timothy Gard—proposed to him a partnership involving great responsibility and fraught with no little hazard. Edmund had at the time three hundred dollars of his own. Mr. Gard offered to put with that amount, eight thousand dollars, and trust the junior member of the firm to sell the goods bought with the money, in the Indian country; the two to share equally in the profits, and in case of loss Mr. Taylor was to lose only the money he had invested.
The venture was eminently successful. Mr. Taylor’s share of the profits was $14,000. Such goods as the Indians really needed and of a suitable quality were selected, and without resort to any of the tricks familiar to the modem Indian Ring, this large profit was realized. He spent two years in that part of the Indian country known as the White River Country. During that period he rode horseback to Texas five times. It was a rough life, but to a youth of daring and endurance a pleasant one.
The next event of note in Mr. Taylor’s career was his settlement in Galena. He entered into partnership with Gen. Dodge in the lead mining business. The Galena district was then almost as attractive as California in a later day. Messrs. Dodge & Taylor owned the rich Jackson lead, and were very successful.
Mr. Taylor’s first really permanent settlement was in Springfield, where he continued to reside some twelve years. Always attentive to his business, which was very large for the place, he at the same time took an active part in politics. He was then, as he ever has been, a Democrat. In 1831 he was elected to the Legislature. Illinois had then been a member of the sisterhood of States thirteen years. Vandalia was the capital at the time Mr. Taylor was a member of the Legislature. The question of the removal of the capital came up for settlement during his term of office. Mr. Taylor favored its removal to Springfield, and labored indefatigably for this purpose. Its final accomplishment was mainly due to his exertions.
In 1835 Mr. Taylor resigned his seat in the Senate to accept the position of Receiver of Public Moneys at Chicago. The appointment was tendered him by President Jackson as a recognition of his party services and personal worth. He came here in the discharge of his duties, April, 1835. The first land sale commenced the 15th of the following June. Lake shore land, now worth thousands of dollars a foot, then sold for $1.25 per acre. One hundred and sixty acres just South of the School Section, sold for $3.10 per acre. The rapids of the Illinois river ran up to $10.00 per acre, on account of the water-power. The sale continued two weeks. It was supposed that the amount realized would be only a thousand dollars or so. The price of land certainly did not indicate that any very large sum would accrue from the sale. But the amount received showed that there were not wanting those who foresaw, albeit vaguely, the destiny of Chicago, and was a cause of great surprise to the Government authorities at Washington. Their expectations may be indicated from the fact that the bond required of Mr. Taylor before he began the sale was only $30,000. After the sale was closed he deposited one half of the proceeds in one bank and one half in another at Detroit, to the credit of the United States Government (there being no suitable depository here,) and notified his superiors at Washington of the fact. They replied, saying, “your checks for $493,000 are received. Is this true, or is it a fiction? Where did the people come from?” To which Mr. Taylor replied that it did look like fiction, but was nevertheless true; and that the people who purchased had come from all the civilized world.
In these days of corruption and malfeasance in office, it would be a cause of surprise indeed to find a Government official with a bond of only $30,000 turning over every cent of a sum more than sixteen times as large as his bond. That was the largest public land sale ever made, before or since, in the United States.
Mr. Taylor held the position of Receiver for four years. In the meanwhile he became attached to Chicago transferred his permanent residence from Springfield to this City, where he has remained most of the time ever since. After giving up his position, under the Government, he opened the first wholesale jobbing house ever established in Chicago. It was under the firm name of Taylor, Breese & Co. The late Seth Payne, Esq., was bookkeeper for the house. After continuing in the business five years, Mr. Taylor sold out his interest here, and returned to Springfield, where he resumed commercial business. After another five years he came once more to Chicago, but presently went to Michigan City, where, in company with Thomas Dyer a former Mayor of Chicago, he bought the branch of the State Bank of Indiana located there. It was owned by Gen. Oher, an old wealth, and somewhat eccentric withal.
An incident in regard to the purchase deserves to be told. The General had been provoked beyond measure at some transaction at the central office of the State Bank, and was eager to sell out. Learning this, Mr. Taylor went there and investigated the affairs of the institution. He ascertained that it was thoroughly solvent and every way prosperous. But he had not the money at command to purchase it. Finally Gen Oher proposed to Messrs. Taylor & Dyer to pay five hundred dollars down, to bind the bargain, and give their note for $35,000, payable in sixty and ninety days; he in turn to deliver over to them the entire bank, not only its franchises and notes payable, but the gold in the vaults, and everything else. The proposition was accepted, and when the notes became due, they had only to draw on the money they had bought to promptly and fully meet them. Consequently they soon found themselves in possession of a large and prosperous bank, for the real sum of five hundred dollars. Mr. Taylor’s superior financial ability soon placed the bank upon even a better standing than formerly.
The time came in Indiana finances when the more prudent bankers, Mr. Taylor among the number, thought best to wind up their old concerns and begin anew on a better basis. Mr. Taylor at that time paid every dollar of the old obligations. The new plan proved a great improvement, and in its passage through the Indiana Legislature, Mr. Taylor took a leading part. The Governor vetoed the bill. It was passed over his veto, notwithstanding it took a two thirds majority to do it. The bill created a State Bank with a capital of twelve million dollars, and six million dollars actual cash.
In the Winter of 1853-4, Mr. Taylor returned to Chicago, where he has since resided uninterruptedly. He opened a bank here, the firm being D. Kreigh & Co. He has since been engaged in various enterprises, besides being a heavy real estate owner, He became the President of the Illinois Coal Mining Company, one of the largest in the State, owning three thousand acres of coal land.
Having entered the Legislature while yet a young man, Mr. Taylor took a deep interest in politics, and in time became the leader of the Democratic party in this State, and so continued until the appearance of Judge Douglas upon the political arena. Mr. Taylor became a warm friend of the Judge, the pleasant relations between them continuing until the death of the latter.
The Democratic party in Illinois was only once divided. This was on the occasion of Judge Douglas’ seeing fit to secure the nomination of William A. Richardson, as Governor of Illinois, thereby displeasing many members of the Democratic party, among whom was Mr. Taylor, who determined to defeat the plan. He therefore secured the nomination of Dr. Bissell, of Belleville, as Governor, and “stumped” the State in his interest. The battle was a hard one, but Dr. Bissell was triumphant, and to no one did he owe his victory so much as to Mr. Taylor. Immediately after the contest was over, the party reunited, and all worked together harmoniously as before.
Mr. Taylor was married on the 28th of September, 1828, to Margrett, daughter of the venerable Col. John Taylor, of Springfield. She is still the sharer of his life’s joys and sorrows. Mrs. Taylor is a member of the First Baptist Church, and is beloved for her many Christian graces and charities. They have had thirteen children, seven of whom are now living. One of the daughters is the wife of Hon. S. S. Hayes. Another married Mr. Strother, a rising lawyer, now deceased. The oldest son, a young man of brilliant promise, died when he was nineteen years old. At the very age the father began to test the realities of life upon his own responsibility, his first-born was called away from life.
It is by noting the record of such a man as Mr. Taylor that the benefits of true manliness and of our Democratic institutions can be made most appreciable. We see what may be wrought through personal exertions, if only one is blessed with good natural gifts, and the unwavering purpose to use his opportunities aright.
Mr. Taylor is a standing argument in favor of honorable dealing in all things and at all times. He has been and is successful because he always improved the aids to success which a new and thrifty country affords. From such a life go out benedictions upon all who are familiar with its springs of action and its beneficent fruitage.
Reprinted from Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men of Chicago, Chicago, 1876. E. D. Taylor died in 1891.
dear Colonel Dick:
I have long determined to make public the origin of the greenback and tell the world that it was Dick Taylor’s creation. You had always been friendly to me, and when troublous times fell on us, and my shoulders, though broad and willing, were weak, and myself surrounded by such circumstances and such people that I knew not whom to trust, then I said in my extremity, ‘I will send for Colonel Taylor — he will know what to do.' I think it was in January 1862, on or about the 16th, that I did so. Said you: ‘Why, issue treasury notes bearing no interest, printed on the best banking paper. Issue enough to pay off the army expenses and declare it legal tender.' Chase thought it a hazardous thing, but we finally accomplished it, and gave the people of this Republic the greatest blessing they ever had — their own paper to pay their debts. It is due to you, the father of the present greenback, that the people should know it and I take great pleasure in making it known. How many times have I laughed at you telling me, plainly, that I was too lazy to be anything but a lawyer.
(Colonel E. D. Taylor's claim to being the father of the greenback – authenticity contested by Lincoln scholars.)
For more background information about Col. Edmund D. Taylor read these transcripts taken from the pages of the Springhouse.
Springhouse Transcripts on Edmund D. Taylor
Also see: Col. E.D. Taylor and the Mormons.
JANUARY, 2011 FIND: Edmund Dick Taylor Tribute Page: http://www.josephscottmorris.net/edmunddicktaylor.htm
After reading about Col. Taylor, and vainly searching for additional information, I wrote the following article (since expanded and updated into something of a rambling patchwork, also dealing with the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations), and submitted it to the Springhouse editors as a point of interest relative to Col. Taylor. "Take it seriously — or take it with a grain of salt," I told them. Perhaps wisely, they didn't take it at all.
Since this article and web page was written, Jon Musgrave, one of the three "Crenshaw Rascals," has published a book entitled Slaves, Salt, Sex & Mr. Crenshaw, The Real Story of the Old Slave House and America's Reverse Underground R.R. Musgrave's book contains more material on Col. Taylor than any other single source to this date. Published in 2004 by Musgrave's IllinoisHistory.com.
October, 2010: During the period since originally writing this article the author has received much constructive criticism, some of which impacted some of the primary premises regarding President Lincoln's role in supporting the greenbacks (i.e., the legal tender laws), and the National Banking Act. It seems that Lincoln was not nearly the champion of greenbacks that we were originally led to believe in our initial research. He in fact backed the banker's bill – the National Banking Acts of 1863, '64, and '65 – and apologized to the bankers for issue of greenbacks. Whether that apology was sincere we cannot say, but, with the passage of the first National Banking Act, things clearly broke in favor of the bankers and Lincoln apparently applauded it. It does remain clear that the bankers were virulently opposed to the Legal Tender Laws and the greenbacks, even though they managed to manipulate Congress into making them quite profitable to them.
This does nothing to clarify the questions that we originally had with regard to Col. Edmund D. Taylor who claimed to have been the one who first suggested the greenback idea to Lincoln – but it does make his case somewhat weaker in the author's eyes than previously. Nor does it strengthen the speculative stance we've taken suggesting that English and American bankers may have played a pivotal role in Lincoln's assassination.
COL. EDMUND D. TAYLOR
AND CONSPIRACY THEORY
by William R. Carr
"I shall never forget our frequent conferences at Cairo, in 1861, when I was in immediate command of that post. That was a gloomy period; the financial credit of the Government was strained to extreme tension; the soldiers had not been paid for some time. In this exigency you suggested and advocated the expedient of issuing Treasury notes as a circulating medium, to be made a legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private. You not only advocated that recourse as an expedient, but as a principle and system. In the same interview you informed me that you had unfolded this scheme to General Grant, and that you would immediately proceed to Washington City and lay it before President Lincoln, which, I am convinced by what followed, you did." General John A. McClernand, to Edmund Taylor. (Emphasis added)
Few people today are aware that there are on-going questions relating to the assassination of President Lincoln, and the motives therefore. Without a doubt, Lincoln made some powerful enemies when he was president, and they weren't all south of the Mason-Dixon Line. If Col. Taylor was the father of the greenback, he too would have been in the sights of some of the same enemies.
"I have two great enemies," Lincoln once said, "the southern army in front of me and the financial institutions in the rear. Of the two, the one in the rear is the greatest enemy." (quoted from This Difficult Individual, Ezra Pound, by Eustace Mullins)
Note: As in the case of so many oft-quoted popular quotes, Lincoln seems not to have actually said or penned the above. The "quote" seems to have dated from about 1896. See: http://en.wikiquote.org/...Abraham_Lincoln...#Misattributed On the other hand, denial of such quotes (or letters that no longer exist), could be the result of the alleged broad-based whitewashing that may well have gone on in the post war years.
Let me briefly bring readers up to date on Lincoln assassination conspiracy theory. Simply put, it is believed by many that Lincoln was assassinated because of his monetary policy. They don't buy the "lone gunman" and "Confederate leadership" ideas. If this be true, the difficulty the Springhouse has experienced with regard to reliable information about Taylor could be readily explained. His character would have been discredited and his memory suppressed by contemporary and subsequent engineers of political "cover-up" — aided and abetted, of course, by court historians and a gullible, uninformed, public.
According to David Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier, Jr.'s 1977 book , The Lincoln Conspiracy, (later made into a movie) the conspiracies against Lincoln are no longer mere theories, but facts revealed by an abundance of irrefutable documentary evidence. The complex and convoluted truths far out-do the wildest imaginings any conspiracy theorist or writer of fiction could think up. If what the book claims is true, there were multiple, over-lapping, plots against Lincoln. They involved the southern Confederate leadership, prominent northern businessmen and speculators, radical Republicans of Lincoln's own party, some of the key members of Lincoln's own cabinet, and "financial interests." Ironically, actor John Wilkes Booth, an idealistic southern partisan (or greedy assassin for hire), was apparently recruited by both southerners and northerners. In the end, it was the northern conspirators' purposes that were served by Lincoln's assassination. Booth did a great disservice to the south he supposedly desired to help.
Gerald G. McGeer, author of The Conquest of Poverty, stated in 1934, that, "The South worshiped Lincoln and looked upon him as the only one who would secure them justice in defeat. If they wished to kill him they had splendid opportunities and could have secured a thousand who would do the job".
McGeer may have overstated somewhat in saying that the South worshiped Lincoln. After all, Lincoln had gone to extreme lengths to defeat its bid for independence and self-determination. But it is probably true that Lincoln had little to fear from the South after its defeat. It was clear to most southerners that Lincoln was the South's greatest hope (last, and only hope, as it turned out), for a just peace following its defeat.
The Lincoln Conspiracy, for all its revelations, is silent on the greenback money controversy. And there is no mention of Edmund Dick Taylor. However, there is brief allusion to the strong influences of the money men in both the assassination conspiracy and cover-up. "...the very bankers who financed Lincoln's war," according to the book, involved John Wilkes Booth in a scheme to remove Lincoln from power. Booth is alleged to have said to banker-financier, Jay Cooke, and his brother, Henry Cooke, organizer of the First National Bank, "So much of the problem you gentlemen face has grown out of the new Treasury system." This would seem to allude to the issue of greenbacks rather than the national banking acts of the period. Jay Cooke is alleged to have told Booth, "There are millions of dollars in profits to be made, and we're being denied our share. We'll be ruined if Lincoln's policies are continued."
Edgar Lee Masters, in his Lincoln The Man, says nothing about Lincoln's greenback issue and little enough about Lincoln's assassination. Masters does mention Taylor, however briefly. Early in Lincoln's career, "...on the stump he (Lincoln) was compelled to defend himself against the ridicule of swashbucklers like Col. Dick Taylor, who to discomfit, Lincoln pulled down his vest rudely, while Taylor was addressing the multitude, exposing to the gaping rustics Taylor's frilled shirt, and great watch seal." This would hardly seem the endearing act of an old friend, as Taylor later claimed to be. Yet it may have been that the familiarity born of long association and friendship made the act acceptable in Lincoln's own rustic eyes. Had Lincoln not been on quite familiar terms with Taylor, such a rude act would have been truly outrageous. It was rude enough, but perhaps an old friend would forgive it.
In spite of the lack of biographical data, Edmund Taylor had much to his credit. He spent many years in public life, serving in the Illinois Legislature from 1830. During most of his public years, he was on the opposite side of the political fence from Lincoln. In 1832, he gained 1,127 votes to young Abe Lincoln's 657. Lincoln's old law partner, and later Lincoln biographer, William H. Herndon, died in 1891, the same year Edmund Taylor passed on. In his three volume Herndon's Lincoln, Herndon devoted a rather long paragraph to Taylor, and Lincoln's vest tugging escapade. Herndon said Taylor was "a showy, bombastic man, with a weakness for fine clothes and other personal adornments... He had a way of appealing to 'his horny-handed neighbors,' and resorted to many artful tricks of a demagogue..." as he was doing when Lincoln gave his vest a playful pull, "to take the wind out of his sails."
Regardless of their political differences, there is evidence that they were friends and met socially. In one instance, for example, Lincoln and Taylor co-managed (along with several others), a "Cotillion Party," held at the American House in Springfield, Illinois, on the night of December 16th, 1839. (Springhouse Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 3, June, 1997 Edmund D. Taylor, Forgotten Illinoisan, and father of the "Greenback")
...While engaged in his business of Indian trader he became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, who was then a clerk at Salem, Illinois, and with Stephen A. Douglas, who was teaching a country school. He was much impressed... and told them they should study law. Lincoln replied that he had no money with which to buy books.
“Come to Springfield and I will see that you are supplied,” was the Colonel’s reply.
Lincoln came and for a long time made his home with Col. and Mrs. Taylor. Through Col. Taylor’s influence Lincoln was taken into Judge Logan’s office where he made himself useful keeping up fires, sweeping out the office and doing clerical work for the privilege of using the Judge’s law library.
About that time Lincoln bought several yards of jeans for a pair of trousers. He lacked enough money to get them made, and Mrs. Taylor volunteered to make them for him. In after years when he was the President, he told Mrs. Taylor that he had never had a pair of trousers that gave him as much satisfaction and as good wear as the pair she had made him when he was a law student unknown to the world.
...Col. Taylor had an active interest in politics from the time he first settled in Illinois until his death. He campaigned the state for Gov. Bissell and it was largely through his efforts that Bissell was elected. He afterwards took the field against Lincoln in the famous Lincoln-Douglas campaign. After the battle was over, Lincoln met the Colonel on the street at Springfield and jokingly remarked:
“Well, Colonel, you elected me President.”
“Well,” replied the Colonel without a smile, “if voting for Douglas made you President, I presume I did.”
“No, no, it was not that,” continued Lincoln. “If I had never read law I never would have been President and if it had not been for you, I never would have read law; therefore, I say you are responsible for my election.”
Col. Taylor was a financier and was connected with many banking institutions in his day. And when the war broke out and the government’s credit with Europe was exhausted... and the Treasury was empty, Lincoln sent for Col. Taylor.
“I have many suggestions from the bankers of New York and the East,” said the President, “But they do not suit me. There is a crisis at hand. We must have money. I want to hear what you have to say.”
“Issue treasury notes printed on good banking paper,” promptly replied Col. Taylor...
“The best suggestion I have heard,” spoke up Lincoln.
Secretary of State Chase was called in, but being a hard money man, he opposed the plan with all his force... (A) Cabinet meeting was called and the first greenbacks were soon in circulation. The crisis was over.
(From a Taylor obituary. See Springhouse, Edmund D. Taylor, Forgotten Illinoisan, and father of the "Greenback")
THE MONEY CONTROVERSY
Consider money. Pretty common stuff. We all pretty much take it for granted, but can never get enough of it. Most of us work for it. Others steal it. Money is... well just money. A dollar bill, of the modern variety, is simply as special piece of paper issued under the authority of the government, and officially recognized as having value as "legal tender for all debts, public and private." The various "controversies" concerning money issue ordinarily don't interest the average person. However, hundreds of books have been written on the subject. There are "hard money" and "soft money" advocates, but this isn't really the basis of the main controversy. The real controversy has to do with who issues it, and how. Whether it is made of gold, silver, copper, nickel-clad copper, or paper, is another matter.
Let me just put the controversy into a simple nutshell. Who has the right to issue money and put it into circulation? Article One, Section Eight of the United States Constitution would seem to make the matter rather clear. It reads:
"The Congress shall have Power... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures..."
But Congress totally abrogated this sacred constitutional power and responsibility in 1913 with the adoption of the Federal Reserve System. Yet the first major triumphs of the money power in America came much earlier – first with the first and second Banks of the United States (defeated by Jefferson and Jackson respectively) – and then with the National Banking Acts of the 1860's. Though the Treasury still coins and prints our money under the authority of Congress, neither the Treasury nor the Congress has the slightest thing to do with its issue or regulating the value thereof. That's done exclusively by the Federal Reserve. While the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and the board itself, are quasi-government entities, they aren't answerable to Congress, and the Federal Reserve Banks themselves (Our so-called "central bank") are privately owned and operated—and, they are not not-for-profit organizations. Federal Reserve Notes are now our "legal tender". The controversy is whether private bankers should have a profitable monopoly on the issue of our currency, charging our government (us), interest on every dollar issued and circulating, or should the government itself issue currency, interest free, solely on its own ample authority? The Constitution gives Congress the exclusive authority to do so.
The right of money issue is one of the preeminent sovereign powers, prerogatives, and responsibilities, of government. By government fiat alone is money given "legal status" as a circulating medium of exchange. Greenbacks were a fiat currency (though later redeemable in gold or species), made "legal tender" by government fiat. Federal Reserve Notes are made "legal tender" by government fiat also. In spite of the similarity of appearance, however, there the similarity ends.
For all practical intents and purposes, the greenback dollar is issued directly into circulation and represents a dollar's worth of obligation on the part of the government, but it only costs the government pennies to issue the dollar – and, most importantly, it satisfies the obligation! and continues to circulate as currency free of further charge.
ADDED NOTE: At least in theory. The greenback should have continued to circulated free of charge, but there was a lot of skulduggery going on between the Legislature and the bankers. In reality, bonds were created to "back" the various greenbacks issues. And these bonds became a source of bank credit. They were sold to bankers at discount and at 6% interest in gold! In the end, this had the effect of making the issues of greenbacks a forced loan from the people to the government, saddling them with costs that should have been totally bypassed by the issue of greenbacks. The bond purchasers not only insisted on deep discounts to purchase the bonds, but gold interest to boot – and before the maturity of the bonds approached, and the Resumption Act was passed (1873, and effective in 1879), they finally received gold, in payment of the principle!
So, while the greenback served its purpose in paying the troops, suppliers, and government contractors during the heated years of the Civil War, bankers profited from them in the end at the expense of the people! The people were ripped off royally, and never realized it. But this had not been the original intention – the banks simply got their way.
Federal Reserve Notes are issued and come into circulation through a more complex process via the Federal Reserve Banking System — one that obligates the government (We the People), to much more than a dollar's worth of debt. And, because it is loaned into circulation, it does not satisfy the obligation of its original issue! The obligation grows with time, in spite of the fact that the dollar FRN in the hands of the bearer will only purchase a decreasing amount of groceries.
The difference is measured in millions of dollars added annually to the public debt. That is the core money controversy today—the one that no public official or alleged representative of the people even dares mention. Common sense says that we ought not to have to pay interest or rent on our own outstanding circulating currency. Doing so is totally absurd. Yet, we do. Why? Because it's so profitable to both the bankers who issue it and those who use it to inflate their ability to expand credit utilizing their "fractional reserve" privileges! Defrocking the banking monopoly, however, has proven to be dangerous business. For example, president Lincoln tried.
It had been tried before. Jefferson succeeded in defeating the money power of his day. And Jackson succeeded, though he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. But in these previous attempts, the administration failed to hit upon the magic formula that would prevent the bankers from being the issuers of our circulating monetary paper. Lincoln went the extra mile and established a national currency – a significant bold step that neither Jefferson nor Jackson took.
There was no Federal Reserve, nor central bank, in Lincoln's day, but bankers had nonetheless been able to maintain a de facto monopoly on money and credit issue, and thus a strangle-hold on governments, since the middle ages. The story of the "money power" down through the ages is the history of the issue of credit on a large scale. It's a fascinating story—beyond the scope of this article.
The Lincoln Conspiracy, published in 1977, fleetingly brought to American public attention what had long been of intense interest to conspiracy theorists. They, and a few discerning writers along the way, have known that Lincoln was not assassinated by agents of the defeated Confederacy, as popular history has claimed, and no American historian or politician has had the guts to correct. (Or, if they were "Confederate agents," they were Confederate agents working for northern and foreign financial interests at the time of the assassination).
Popular history has made Lincoln into a towering figure, but has very carefully failed to record the matter of his true genius and probable cause of his martyrdom. Like so many others, he deplored the institution of slavery—but like most of them, he could see no satisfactory solution to the problem. His sole mission in prosecuting the Civil War was to preserve the Union at all costs. Emancipation of slaves came as an auxiliary expediency thereto, especially calculated to prevent the British from actively supporting the Confederacy.
Lincoln was a most enigmatic personality. While, like Edgar Lee Masters (author of Lincoln, The Man), deploring the manner in which Lincoln prosecuted the Civil War (literally trashing the Constitution of the Union he intended to save, ultimately at the cost of over half a million American lives), I admire him for his wisdom in monetary and economic affairs—and particularly for his courageous attempt to free the nation from the grasp of domestic and foreign financiers.
Consider the following rather lengthy, but very relevant, excerpts from The Conquest of Poverty, by Canadian politician and writer, and one-time mayor of Vancouver, B.C., Gerald Grattan McGeer, published in 1935. (The Garden City Press, Gardenvale, Quebec, Canada) McGreer doesn't mention Col. Taylor, but does clearly point to the monetary policy that led to the Lincoln assassination conspiracy.
From Chapter V of The Conquest of Poverty
by Gerald Grattan McGeer
Lincoln--The Practical Economist
(emphasized print added)
...On the threshold of America's greatest era of expansion, Lincoln clearly foresaw the economic and social troubles that have since come to pass.
Lincoln's biographers have failed to appreciate his great work as a practical economist. They have failed to recognize that he was and still remains the greatest, most effective and practical of all money reformers... His part in the struggle to emancipate the negro from slavery and to prevent the destruction of his nation by cesession have been allowed to overshadow his greater work which characterized his attempt to establish a sane and sound national currency system...
Lincoln Clashes With the Bankers.
The nature of Lincoln's fight with the bankers may be inferred from the debates on the amendments made in the Senate to the full legal tender Bill passed in Congress in 1861 making gold the specie in which interest on public debt and customs duties were to be paid. In closing the debate, Thaddeus Stevens, who had Lincoln's unqualified support, after pointing out that "the full legal tender Bill had been hailed with delight throughout the whole length and breadth of the Union by every class of people" exposed the bankers' power over the people's representatives when he denounced the Senate's amendments in these words:
"It is true there was a doleful sound came up from the caverns of bullion brokers, and from the saloons of the associated banks. Their cashiers and agents were soon on the ground, and persuaded the Senate, with but little deliberation, to mangle and destroy what it had cost the House months to digest, consider and pass. They fell upon the bill in hot haste, and so disfigured and deformed it, that its very father would not know it. Instead of being a beneficent and invigorating measure it is now positively mischievous. It has all the bad qualities which its enemies charged on the original bill, and none of its benefits. It now creates money, and by its very terms declares it a depreciated currency. It makes two classes of money - one for the banks and brokers and another for the people. It discriminates between the rights of different classes of creditors, allowing the rich capitalists to demand gold, and compelling the ordinary lender of money on individual security to receive notes which the government had purposely discredited."
Thus in the midst of the Civil War international bankers were able to retain their privilege of using gold as a means of controlling and depreciating the value of national currency and as a continuing form of specie payment that placed Government along with other borrowers under the control of lenders and debtors under the control of creditors.
Unfortunately for humanity, in the name of 'sound money' the conspiracy to monopolize the issue of bank currency as a substitute for national currency promoted by international bankers who did not and who do not hesitate to combine the baneful forces of war and usury to produce power and profit, though temporarily checked by Lincoln, has prevailed. Its sponsors, guided by the age-old craft of the money changers and inspired by lust and greed, by sustaining weak and pliant government and a general distrust of government in the mind of the public have been able, since Lincoln's assassination, to corrupt and dominate every nation in Christendom. They found in Lincoln, however, a leader whom they could not buy, bluff or confuse; hence they had a positive interest in his assassination. They were, during his first term as president, through the control they exercised in the Senate, able to frustrate and delay his plans, but they could not swerve him from the purpose of establishing the control of currency and credit as the paramount responsibility of the government of the people.
By resorting to the issue of "greenback" currency, Lincoln launched "a national currency policy" which provided that the financing of government and progress, with the issue of "honest money dollars" by the government would take the place of the policy of borrowing "dishonest credit dollars" issued by the private money system. He believed that the spending power of government and the buying power of the consumers could and should be created and issued by the State free from "interest, discounts and other charges" imposed as the profit of the private money system. Lincoln's monetary programme offered the means of paying the debts and current expenses of government without profit to the bankers and without disaster to the taxpayers.
Quite naturally, the bankers opposed Lincoln's "national currency programme" for under it he proposed to take away from the bankers the privilege of issuing an effective substitute for money. Instead of borrowing from the private money system, Lincoln proposed to use national currency for all government expenses and to pay off outstanding bonds with the same medium of exchange. Instead of government borrowing a fiction of money from the bankers Lincoln proposed to compel the bankers to borrow real money from the government.
The issue between Lincoln and the financiers was clear cut and well defined. It involved the great question that must now be settled. That issue is: Shall the medium of exchange, consisting of money, token currency, inconvertible bank notes and inconvertible bank credit transferable by cheque, be created and issued by men responsible to the government and subject to the restrictions of stewardship or shall it be created and issued by men who are answerable to neither nation nor people and who have no responsibility other than that of serving their own and the interests of the private money system? In short, shall government be subordinate to Money Power, with the money changers ruling Democracy? Or shall Democracy rule the money changers? Lincoln knew that it was upon the determination of this great issue in favour of Democracy that the progress, prosperity and peace of humanity depended.
In accordance with this sound conclusion, being on the side of humanity, he therefore proposed "a managed currency system" that would fully establish the sovereignty of Democratic Government.
Labour and Capital
Recognizing that if Lincoln succeeded in the United States that the power of high finance would be wiped out throughout the world, for the international bankers knew that other nations would be certain to follow Lincoln's lead, the bankers of Europe and England organized against Lincoln and exhorted the bankers of the United States to support: "The European plan led on by England that was capital's control of labour by controlling wages."
That Lincoln was fully aware of this attitude of capitalists, financiers and bankers to labour, and opposed it openly, is shown by the language he used in his message to Congress under date of December 3rd, 1861. On that occasion he said:
"There is one point to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above labour, in the structure of government. It is assumed that labour is available only in connection with capital. That nobody labours unless somebody else owning capital, somehow, by the use of it, induces him to labour. Now there is no such relation between capital and labour as assumed. Labour is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labour, and could never have existed if labour had not first existed. Labour is superior to capital and deserves much the higher consideration.
"Let the worthy men who toil up from poverty beware of surrendering a political power they already possess, and which if surrendered will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as them, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost."
In this conception of government the wages of men were considered more important by Lincoln than the wages of money. He was unable to tolerate, much less accept, the bankers' idea that labour should be exploited, and liberty invaded by men primarily interested in the accumulations of money wealth. This did not prevent him from recognizing that: 'Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights."
The idea, however, of establishing the sovereignty of Money Power over labour was abhorrent to him.
The Plans of Bankers in 1862
The bankers' plan of controlling labour by controlling wages was to be carried out, as we shall see, by inducing governments to finance all public enterprise by the issue of interest-bearing bonds.
The government, under the bankers' plan, was to farm out its power to issue money to the bankers. Having thus lost its power to issue money, the government would be reduced to the position of a perpetual borrower at interest from a private monopoly which secured its power to issue a substitute for money from the government itself.
Government interest-bearing bonds were to take the place of gold as a basic security for private bank note currency and bank deposits. In this way government bonds were to be used as the basis of bank credit. Thus we see that the bankers' scheme to establish the sovereignty of Money Power over labour was to be secured by establishing the sovereignty of Money Power over government. In this dangerous adventure bankers may have been blinded by selfishness, but they have always acted upon plans carefully laid to serve the desires of the lovers of money.
In this diabolical scheme of high finance war played its part. The technique of using war as a means of enthralling government in interest-bearing debt, financed by the manipulation of credits, was first developed as an international racket by the Rothschilds during the Napoleonic wars. That this evil combination of war and usury which culminated in world bankruptcy following the World War formed a major part of the plan which organized international finance had under way at the time the Civil War broke out in the United States is clearly proven by the circulars issued to American banking institutions by European bankers as a part of the propaganda used in opposing Lincoln's attempt to restore to government the right to finance war and public enterprise by the issue of national currency combined with the governmental control of the monetary system. The circulars contained the statement that "the control of labour and of wages can be attained by controlling the money". This, in turn, was to be achieved by recognizing war as the means of putting government permanently in debt. Let there be no mistake about this. The bankers at that time, in opposition to Lincoln's greenback currency, specifically outlined the policy they have since pursued, by stating: "That the great debt that capitalists will see to it is made of the (Civil) war must be used as measure to control the volume of money. To accomplish this the bonds must be used as a banking basis."
The results of the financial policy followed during the last World War have confirmed the fact that the iniquitous scheme outlined by the bankers during the American Civil War was still operating during the years 1914 to 1920. Vigorously prosecuting their programme of establishing the dominion of usury in the United States in opposition to Lincoln, the international financiers then appealed to the bankers of the war-torn nation.
"To sustain such daily and weekly newspapers as will oppose the issue of greenback money, and to withhold patronage and favours from all who will not oppose the government issue of money."
That the purpose of this policy was to secure an advantage to the craft of usury through the maintenance of a shortage of money was also placed beyond question, for the bankers' propaganda boldly stated:
"Let the government issue the coin and the bankers issue the paper money of the country. To restore to circulation the government issue of money will be to provide the people with money and will therefore seriously affect your individual profit as bankers and lenders."
It is not without significance that a check-up today of these statements contained in circulars distributed under the direction of international bankers, for the purpose of arousing American bankers against the national currency policy of Lincoln, shows that they state correctly the actual policy that the private money system has since put into operation, and from which the whole world is now suffering. This programme of the international bankers constituted a direct challenge to Lincoln, who incurred the hatred and the undying enmity of this crafty and merciless band of robbers when he undertook to establish the right of the government of the American people to save the nation from disruption by the issue of national currency not convertible into either gold or silver. Yes, Lincoln saw through the bankers' rascality and opposed it. Notwithstanding the power of its sponsors he challenged their attitude as a public outrage and opposed their activities up to the very moment of his death. He had defined his position on labour and when the opportunity came for him to declare his position upon the right of government to issue and control the currency of the nation he was equally outspoken.
Lincoln Drives the Money-Changers From the Temple
In 1862 the conflict between Lincoln and the bankers became a matter of public record. The bankers, encouraged by the successes they had achieved in emasculating in the Senate the legal tender Bill passed by Congress in 1861, secured the passage of an Act which provided for the issue and circulation of private bank notes of a less denomination than $5.00 in the District of Columbia. On June 23rd, 1862, Lincoln met this open challenge of organized and militant finance by exercising his power to veto the Bill. In the veto message which he dispatched to the Senate he not only joined issue with the money changers, but he took advantage of the occasion to lay down a guiding basis for a national currency and credit policy that is just as sound and necessary to-day as it was when it was first written. To the Senate he said:
"This bill seems to contemplate no end which cannot be otherwise more certainly and beneficially attained. During the existing war it is peculiarly the duty of the National Government to secure to the people a sound circulating medium. This duty has been, under existing circumstances, satisfactorily performed, in part at least, by authorizing the issue of United States notes, receivable for all government dues except customs, and made a legal tender for all debts, public and private, except interest on public debt. The object of the bill submitted to me - namely, that of providing a small note currency during the present suspension - can be fully accomplished by authorizing the issue as part of any new emission of United States notes made necessary by the circumstances of the country - of notes of a similar character, but of less denomination, than five dollars. Such an issue would answer all the beneficial purposes of the bill, would save a considerable amount to the treasury in interest, would greatly facilitate payments to soldiers and other creditors of small sums, and would furnish to the people a currency as safe as their own government.
"Entertaining these objections to the bill, I feel myself constrained to withhold from it my approval, and return it for the further consideration and action of Congress.
June 23, 1862."
By this action Lincoln upset the "money changers" benches and temporarily, at least, drove the "Ragmen", as he called the bankers, from the temple of the government of the American people. By this action he sealed his own personal doom. This great contest between Lincoln and "the secret foes of the nation", the bankers of his day, little referred to by historians, ended in the assassination of the "great emancipator"...
Booth undoubtedly was the leader in the organized plan which had been carefully developed to assassinate Lincoln, Seward and Stanton. This plan was not original with Booth. He was employed by certain rebel agents operating in the cities of Montreal and Toronto in Canada who, in turn, were engaged by an undisclosed group of wealthy men who were vitally interested in Lincoln's removal. Working in secrecy, these men used the Southern agents to conceal both their motive and identity. It was a clever piece of work and worthy of the devilish cunning of usury. The unknown men who originated the conspiracy were not associated or connected in any way with the Southern leaders or the Southern government.
...Lincoln, released from the problems of the Civil War, following his second election, proceeded at once to free mankind from the burden of unpayable, interest-bearing debt claims. He lost no time in commencing his campaign to free the American people from the slavery of mass usury.
The oligarchy of high finance saw in the successful Lincoln a statesman enjoying the unchallengeable power of exalted leadership which is the privilege of superior achievement. He was the one man in the world who was willing and able to meet and to overthrow the control over the government which organized finance was seeking to perfect. With the problems of the rebellion out of the way, the bankers knew that Lincoln would devote his undivided attention to developing the monetary system he had proposed to Congress. If Lincoln were allowed to carry out his ideas, the hope that international financiers had of establishing world sovereignty for Money Power would be impossible of fulfilment.
Thus we see that Lincoln was a leader of humanity which orthodox finance dared not suffer to survive. Lincoln was assassinated.
Who, then, were the instigators of the conspiracy that ended in his murder? That is a question worthy of investigation.
The assassination of Lincoln under such circumstances emphasized the commendation his friends offered to him in the platform of the Convention of 1864 and gives a sinister atmosphere to their reference to Lincoln's protection of "the nation against its open and secret foes". The "secret foes" of the nation were the money dealers, the members of the age-old craft of usury, who, as we shall see, fulfill the description of the group of men who, cleverly concealing their part in the greatest of all American crimes, induced by promises of money reward Lincoln's assassination.
Read the rest of Chapter V, or the entire book: The Conquest of Poverty.
THE GREENBACK ISSUE AND COL. TAYLOR
We still call American dollars (Federal Reserve Notes ), "greenbacks," but only because they closely resemble greenbacks in appearance. There are very significant differences between FRN's and greenbacks. The Lincoln era greenbacks, which were Treasury Notes, were our first official circulating national "legal tender" paper currency. (Revolutionary era, so-called "Continentals" are not counted since they were issued before the present United States of America existed.) There had been earlier issues of various "Treasury Notes" that were used as money, particularly in conjunction with the first and second Banks of the United States, but they were never giving full "legal tender" status nor broadly circulated in small bills. Later, gold and silver certificates, National Bank Currency, and Federal Reserve Notes, were patterned closely after greenbacks in appearance, and all five types of currency have circulated concurrently and interchangeably as "legal tender."
Everybody knows about Lincoln's greenbacks, but few people know very much about them because history has given them rather short-shift. Though several books have been written on the greenback and our Legal Tender laws, Lincoln's apparent "original intent" (aside from the necessities of financing the war), have been totally ignored. Greenbacks have become a mere foot-note of America's monetary history. Ditto for the rationale and mind behind them. Greenbacks are explained away simply as a temporary emergency war time measure, and Taylor has almost disappeared from the record. It is quite possible he bowed out of the public eye with some prompting, and perhaps even stern warnings -- like, "Or your name will be Mudd!"
The Lincoln greenback issue not only offended the eastern bankers in this country, but their superiors in England. The European money power (essentially, the Bank of England), feared the greenback. In fact, it almost threw the weight of the British Empire behind the Southern cause. The need for access to cotton was not the only interest England had in the Confederacy.
" 'The great debt that (our friends the) capitalists (of Europe) will see to it is made out of the war must be used to control the volume of money... It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate... for we cannot control them' " (from the Hazard Circular, of the year 1862, quoted by Ezra Pound, page on 104 of Impact).
Note: It's not as if "Treasury Notes" as money was actually a revolutionary idea. Such notes had often been used since the early years of the republic. The greenbacks, however, are officially considered "the first paper currency of the United States," because they were the first paper currency to be declared "legal tender" and widely circulated as money among the people. Several Treasury note authorization acts were passed during the first half of the nineteenth century, notably the Acts of 1812, 1837, and 1857. Some were passed in conjunction with the first and second banks of the United States. Such Treasury Notes were usually in large denominations used in inter-bank and Treasury transactions and saw little, if any, general circulation. See Listing of Library of Congress Links on U.S. Monetary Acts from 1792 to 1873.
As previously noted, Taylor's life was the stuff of American frontier legend. He got his start trading with the Indians beyond the American frontier. Later, he was a trusted government agent who helped found and develop what became the city of Chicago. Eventually, he became a wealthy railroad man and banker, and had expended a great deal of his fortune on behalf of the Union cause, and acted (according to some pretty impressive sources), as a personal agent to president Lincoln during the early years of the conflict.
Some years after Lincoln's assassination, Taylor's fortunes took a change for the worse. He suffered serious financial setbacks during his post-war life-time and was apparently never able to recover his fortunes. Among other things, the great Chicago fire helped wipe him out in 1871. He reappeared before Congress later only in hopes of recovering some of the money he had expended on behalf of the Union cause during the Civil War. His "Lincoln letter" may have been denied credibility because history could not afford to record that Lincoln ever believed greenbacks "the greatest blessing they [the Republic] ever had."
When financing the Civil War became difficult, Lincoln had the choice of following the advice of his official advisers (dominated by banking interests), and borrowing from the financial houses at high interest rates, or printing interest-free government money. He chose the latter course, supposedly at Taylor's suggestion. If he had even the slightest notion of making the greenback issue permanent monetary policy for the nation, as some records seem to indicate, powerful interests (the same ones that would be responsible for the assassination conspiracy cover-up), had cause for wishing him out of the way. It certainly constitutes ample motive, when one reflects on how seriously money is taken. Printing interest-free money, rather than borrowing it at interest from banks, was taboo, even in Lincoln's day. Lincoln, however, did it anyway much to his credit and at great savings to the nation. After the war had been won, having saved the Union and freed the slaves, the president was popular enough to have been capable of forging independent policy. Lincoln had become a very dangerous man. He was politically unassailable except through assassination.
To confuse the issue, a David Taylor enters the picture. This account, attributed to Don Piatt, "a noted journalist" of Washington (in an account of the origins of the greenback in a North American Review article), refers to David Taylor of Ohio:
"Amasa Walker, a distinguished financier of New England, suggested that notes directly from the Government to the people, as currency, should bear interest. This for the purpose, not only of making the notes popular, but for the purpose of preventing inflation, by inducing people to hoard the notes as an investment when the demands of trade would fail to call them into circulation as a currency.
"This idea struck David Taylor, of Ohio, with such force that he sought Mr. Lincoln and urged him to put the project into immediate execution. The President listened patiently, and at the end said, 'That is a good idea Taylor, but you must go to Chase. He is running that end of the machine, and has time to consider your proposition.'
"Taylor sought the Secretary of the Treasury, and laid before him Amasa Walker's plan. Secretary Chase heard him through in a cold, unpleasant manner, and then said: 'That is all very well, Mr. Taylor; but there is one little obstacle in the way that makes the plan impracticable, and that is the Constitution.'
"Saying this, he turned to his desk, as if dismissing both Mr. Taylor and his proposition at the same moment.
"The poor enthusiast felt rebuked and humiliated. He returned to the President, however, and reported his defeat. Mr. Lincoln looked at the would-be financier with the expression at times so peculiar to his homely face, that left one in doubt whether he was jesting or in earnest. 'Taylor!' he exclaimed, 'go back to Chase and tell him not to bother himself about the Constitution. Say that I have that sacred instrument here at the White House, and I am guarding it with great care.'
"Taylor demurred to this, on the ground that Secretary Chase showed by his manner that he knew all about it, and didn't wish to be bored by any suggestion.
"'We'll see about that,' said the President, and taking a card from the table, he wrote upon it:
"'The Secretary of the Treasury will please consider Mr. Taylor's proposition. We must have money, and I think this is a good way to get it.
The distinguished New England financier, Amasa Walker, it should be noted (in true banker fashion), suggested that greenbacks should bear interest—something anathema to the greenback's purpose of providing an honest currency—to make them "popular" and inducing people to hoard the notes. Here the idea struck David Taylor, rather than Edmund D. Taylor, a circumstance that has thrown many into confusion.
Illinois historian Thomas E. Schwartz, who dismisses the Edmund D. Taylor greenback letter as a forgery, lends credence to the note written by Lincoln mentioned above. In his article "One or Two Lincoln Forgeries?" in the Autumn 2000 issue of For the People, A Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association of Springfield, Illinois, Mr. Schwartz says the note was written "by Lincoln on January 16, 1862, introducing 'Mr. Taylor' to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase.'" Schwartz mentions his belief that "Mr. Taylor is most likely David Taylor from Ohio," indicating that there is some room for doubt in the matter, "...Although David Taylor fairs no better by historians when evaluating his role as 'the father of the greenback.'" Maybe David Taylor's existence merely served as a convenient means by which to obfuscate the truth and discredit Edmund Taylor's claims. Perhaps it really was Edmund D. Taylor, and not the Ohioan, David Taylor, whom Lincoln sent to Secretary Chase with reference to the greenback.
Schwartz concedes that Edmund D. Taylor's claims were supported by a pretty impressive list of contemporaries: "John A. McClernand and a petition signed by the leading citizens of Chicago. Notables such as meatpacking mogul Philip D. Armour, cattle and land baron John Dean Gillett, Chicago Tribune editor Joseph Medill, and a rising young lawyer and son of the late President, Robert Todd Lincoln, signed the petition." Would these preeminent persons, including Lincoln's own son, lend their names to a spurious claim? Reputable historians apparently think so.
"The claims made by (Edmund D.) Taylor are questionable on a number of grounds." wrote Schwartz, "Telegraph lines operated between Washington, D.C. and Cairo throughout the war. There was no reason to use a courier to send messages that were readily transmitted over the wires. Taylor does not appear as a correspondent in the Lincoln Papers throughout the war years nor does he appear in the Grant papers." He points out that Taylor's political career took a back seat to business pursuits after about 1850, and that none of those who wrote serious studies of the greenback mention Edmund D. Taylor.
In light of the known controversies over the greenback issue and the assassination, and how Lincoln's post war aims were totally thwarted by powerful politicians (not to mention how Lincoln was sanitized and canonized by historians after his death), I would tend to place more confidence in the testimony of contemporaries who supported Dick Taylor's claims than on any of those who subsequently wrote history to accommodate Lincoln's enemies while also making him into a hero. The fact that telegraph lines were in use, does not make use of couriers unlikely during times of war, especially when confidential or secret information is to be protected. Military "Dispatches" are sometimes bulky documents, not likely to be sent by telegraph, and if secrecy was a concern the telegraph lines were the last choice in sending sensitive messages.
Additionally, Grant may easily have avoided mention of Taylor simply because he became a party to the same political machinery that came to power in the immediate post war years. If the nature of Taylor's mission was sufficiently confidential, he would also have been omitted from his wartime reports. If there was a historical white-washing of Lincoln's "original intents," it is likely that all official documents were "cleansed" prior to release for public scrutiny.
The fact remains that the alleged "forgery" is not the original letter, but merely a copy recorded in the House of Representatives' Report No. 380. The original letter, since it cannot be located, cannot be, and never has been, proven to be a forgery. That reputable historians build upon "accepted" historical records does not prove anything if the record is tainted through manipulation or omission. A missing letter cannot be a proven forgery, even if historians believe it is.
It is true that there seems to be no serious work (or any work at all), about the greenback that makes mention of Edmund Dick Taylor. This, of course, could be explained by the fact that Taylor had no official standing in the government and (if he was indeed the true father of the greenback), his role was strictly behind the scenes, and his suggestion to the president made strictly at the personal level.
fact, if Col. Dick Taylor really did have a role in suggesting the
greenback, it might have been upon a very informal personal basis. This
is how I imagine him advising Honest Abe:
There are plenty of false Lincoln quotes out there, of course. See Mr. Schwartz's article: http://www.state.il.us/HPA/facsimiles.htm
There was apparently little real investigation into Lincoln's assassination, and those who did attempt an honest investigation were denied the facts. Conclusions were immediate. In fact, the facts were apparently already too well known by some of Lincoln's most trusted "friends" and associates. Consequently, there was a great deal more cover-up than investigation. The matter was wrapped up in a hurry, and few questions were asked. Booth was tracked down and allegedly killed. Dr. Mudd and others were railroaded and summarily sentenced—unconstitutionally, by a military court. Four conspirators were hanged, including the first woman to be hanged in the history of the nation. She was probably only guilty (by association), of owning the boarding house where the conspirators met. This was Mary E. Surrat, owner of the boarding house where Booth boarded.
The assassination took place on April, 14th, 1865. Booth was allegedly killed 12 days later. Eight co-conspirators, after being held under deplorably cruel conditions, were formally charged on May 8th, 1865. The conspiracy trial commenced on May 10th. The trial, which was lengthy enough, concluded on 6 July, 1865. All were found guilty. Four were hanged within 24 hours of conviction—no time for reflection or appeal. Four got life in prison, and were quickly removed from all public access. The trial itself was a lengthy one, but apparently there was much pressure put on witnesses, some suppression of evidence, and perhaps some false testimony of "paid witnesses," in order to arrive at the intended verdicts.
Most of us are aware of the continuing controversy over the Kennedy assassination. In fact, there are a lot of parallels, (at least in the minds of conspiracy theorists) as well as interesting "trivia-type" coincidences, between the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy. There is a school of thought that believes Kennedy made the same sort of enemies Lincoln did. This theory is not totally without credible foundation.
There is a little list of coincidences concerning the two assassinations that has been kicked about for years. Still, they are interesting both to trivia and conspiracy buffs.
Mysterious Links Between the Lincoln and Kennedy Assassinations
No doubt, there is continuing public confusion concerning both assassinations. According to The Lincoln Conspiracy, the man killed and buried as John Wilkes Booth, was probably James William Boyd, (a Confederate officer and prisoner of war, who, like Booth, had been hired by northerners to kidnap, and probably kill, Lincoln — the idea being to blame it on Southerners). And there seems to be reason to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was not in fact Kennedy's true assassin — in fact, Oswald was probably just what he claimed, "A patsy." In both cases a wider conspiracy was involved than has been "officially concluded" by government investigators. We may never know the full truth in either case, but the truth should nonetheless be pursued.
The Kennedy assassination, in particular, is very much the subject of on-going "conspiracy" theories (See Kennedy, below). The Lincoln assassination, like-wise, still cries out for further investigation, though the public now, as then, is far less aware of the causes for continued interest. That Lincoln was killed by a lone "Southern partisan" is only partly true, but the plot appears to be much, much thicker than has been popularly believed. Booth seems to have been an agent for a very unlikely combine of more sinister forces.
The plot of the Confederate leadership to kidnap Lincoln was aimed at forcing a prisoner of war exchange, and hopefully a favorable conclusion to the conflict. Killing him could not have served their purpose. It would only have enraged the nation against them. But the southern plot died the day the war ended. The northern kidnapping plot against Lincoln was much more sinister, since only by killing him could the perpetrators hope to cover their acts. They wanted to enrage the nation against the defeated Confederacy in order to facilitate their own "Reconstruction" agenda. Though it is rather certain that Booth killed Lincoln, and may have done so in a desperate act to preempt the plan involving Boyd, he apparently accomplished the goals of northern, rather than southern, men – northern men as well as foreign interests.
In both the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations, there is more than mere appearance of official "cover-up" and obfuscation of both motives and related issues. In both instances there were several convenient "obvious" motives which were, at least initially, very convincing to the public.
The House committee that finalized the investigation into Lincoln's assassination essentially concluded—in the words of spokesman, Massachusetts Congressman, George S. Boutwell:
"The whole matter is really very simple, John Wilkes Booth shot the President, and some dirty Rebs, including Jeff Davis, helped him do it. Nobody else! So far as I'm concerned, this case is closed!" (The Lincoln Conspiracy)
A similarly simple conclusion was reached in the Kennedy assassination investigation conducted by the Warren Commission. According the The Lincoln Conspiracy, over a century elapsed before 18 critically revealing missing pages of John Wilkes Booth's diary. It may take as long to get to the bottom of the Kennedy assassination. Those 18 pages of diary supposedly revealed the names of those (mostly northern men) with whom Booth had been involved in the various evolutions of the conspiracies against Lincoln. Significantly, the missing diary pages finally turned up in the possession of the descendants of none other than Lincoln's own Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton!
(Note: it seems the "discovery" of those 18 missing pages turned out to be impossible to verify and may have been a false lead! See: Booth's diary)
Another alleged significant discovery was made by a Ray Neff about 1956 and was detailed in Anatomy of an Assassination, by John Cottrell (Funk & Wagnalls, 1966) – a source cited multiple times in The Lincoln Conspiracy. I have not yet (as of April 2005), read this book, but come by the following comments and passages through a "Conspiracy Nation" web site at http://www.shout.net/~bigred/cn.html. Neff Discovered Coded Messages in the margins of "Colburn's U.S. Magazine" for the year 1864 which he found in a used bookstore. The messages were allegedly the work of Colonel Lafayette C. Baker who was in charge of Union counter-intelligence and the National Detective Bureau during the Civil War. The following is quoted from the Conspiracy Nation site:
...Ray Neff, a research chemist, came across a bound volume of "Colburn's U.S. Magazine" at a used bookstore 92-years after Abraham Lincoln's assassination...
The bound volume of Colburn's magazine which Neff chanced upon was for the latter half of 1864... Months after purchasing the volume, Neff was idly thumbing through it. He noticed a series of numbers and letters written in the margin. Mr. Leonard Fousche (a professional cryptographer) and Neff's wife helped him decipher the messages...
Here is what the de-ciphered messages said:
"...I am constantly being followed. They are professionals. I cannot fool them. In new Rome there walked three men, a Judas, a Brutus and a spy. Each planned that he should be the king when Abraham should die. One trusted not the other but they went on for that day, waiting for that final moment when, with pistol in his hand, one of the sons of Brutus could sneak behind that cursed man and put a bullet in his brain and lay his clumsey [sic] corpse away. As the fallen man lay dying, Judas came and paid respects to one he hated, and when at last he saw him die, he said, "Now the ages have him and the nation now have I." But, alas, fate would have it Judas slowly fell from grace, and with him went Brutus down to their proper place. But lest one is left to wonder what happened to the spy, I can safely tell you this, it was I. -- Lafayette C. Baker
...I did not know the identity of the assassin, but I knew most all else when I approached E.S. [Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War] about it. He at once acted surprised and disbelieving. Later he said: "You are a party to it too. Let us wait and see what comes of it and then we will know better how to act in the matter." I soon discovered what he meant that I was a party to it when the following day I was shown a document that I knew to be a forgery but a clever one, which made it appear that I had been in charge of a plot to kidnap the President, the Vice-President being the instigator. Then I became a party to that deed even though I did not care to...
...There were at least eleven members of Congress involved in the plot, no less than twelve Army officers, three Naval officers and at least twenty four civilians, of which one was a governor of a loyal state. Five were bankers of great repute, three were nationally known newspapermen and eleven were industrialists of great repute and wealth. There were probably more that I know nothing of.
The names of these known conspirators is presented without comment or notation in Vol one of this series. Eighty-five thousand dollars was contributed by the named persons to pay for the deed. Only eight persons knew the details of the plot and the identity of the others. I fear for my life, L.C.B. [Lafayette C. Baker]
...it's learned that the names of the members of Congress, military officers, bankers, newspapermen and others could be found in Volume One. But as pointed out at the beginning of this issue of Conspiracy Nation, when Baker had died an inventory of his possessions showed that particular volume to be missing.
Read more at the Conspiracy Nation: http://www.shout.net/~bigred/cn.html
Much is made of the fact that the conspirators who plotted the assassination of the president were "Confederate agents" meeting and operating out of Canada. This, of course, is well documented. Canada was not only a safe haven for Confederate and Union agents, it remained a possession of Great Britain – the home-base of the "money power" at that time. Thus, it is easy to imagine the influences that might have been exerted through the Canadian connections, whoever's anti-Lincoln conspiracy was being furthered. England, it must be remembered, almost threw its support behind the Confederacy (and probably would have, but for the slavery issue), for at least three major reasons. (1) The desire to see the United States rendered into two lesser powers. (2) The desire to see the United States fail and perhaps once again return to the mother country. (2) To fight the greenback currency's serious threat to the hegemony of the money power at that time centered in the Bank of England.
It was clear to England by that time that the growing economic might of the United States, with its great abundance of land and natural resources, was a serious and growing threat to her position in the world, and that if the United States survived whole, it would only be a matter of time until she was eclipsed in every significant way.
England, of course, had a great need for southern cotton, and had been the South's major export market prior to the war. And there was an ongoing illicit trade throughout the war, some of which Lincoln himself apparently encouraged for the purpose of earning foreign exchange – gold that (in spite of the greenback), the Union needed badly to deal with the bankers, foreign suppliers, and "hard money" industrialists. Some believe that the merchants who conducted this trade, along with mostly Northern agents (both in and out of government), exerted considerable influence to prolong the war, since the illicit cotton trade was so profitable. Lincoln wanted to win and end the war, and when the end seemed near, he began to put an end to the smuggling trade he had theretofore allowed. This, too, is given by some sources as a reason some influential northerners were angry with Lincoln.
Besides becoming more aware of the several other nuances of motive behind the assassination, it has been pointed out to me that the monetary conspiracy theory with regard to Lincoln's assassination seems to be a relatively modern phenomenon – that it appears that nobody thought of it until about the time McGeer's The Conquest of Poverty was published in the early 1930s. Two things may explain this. First, the public was not very "conspiracy minded" during the post Civil War period – and this circumstance continued at least until the Nixon presidency. People simply had faith in their government and could not imagine a government cover-up, much less actual complicacy in the assassination of a president. They were perfectly satisfied with the idea that the Lincoln assassination was the result of a Confederate conspiracy, and that the guilty parties had been brought to justice.
Though monetary policy became a very hot item during the last decades of the nineteenth century (with the Greenback Party, Populists, and the advocates of free silver, etc.), few were searching for conspiratorial roots of the Lincoln assassination. Secondly, crime files often go cold for lengthy periods of time – especially when they have already allegedly been "solved" – and McGeer's book, along with others that followed, awakened a growing number of writers and readers to the possibility that culpability in Lincoln's assassination may actually have been misdirected. Though McGeer may have lit the spark, it took many additional decades, and an obvious assassination cover-up in the case of the Kennedy assassination, for the Lincoln "cold case file" to be reopened in the inquiring minds of a significant number of the public.
Lincoln's famous letter to Colonel E.D. Taylor says, "...we finally accomplished it, and gave to the people of this Republic the greatest blessing they ever had ...It is due to you, (Col. Taylor) the father of the present greenback, that the people should know it, and I take great pleasure in making it known..."
Apparently Lincoln failed to make the matter known before his life was abruptly ended and Taylor suffered for the omission.
Of course, though Lincoln managed to give the nation greenbacks as a temporary war measure, he had failed to do what many have come to believe he intended — that is, to declare national independence from the bankers and make the issue of greenbacks permanent national monetary policy, (reclaiming the power of money issue to the federal government). The bankers were too powerful for him, (and his experiment may have been what proved the ultimate hazard to his life). The greenback was crippled from the beginning, by its limiting clause: "This note is legal tender for all debts public and private... except duties on imports and interest on the public debt," necessary to appease the bankers within the administration as well as abroad. (The initial issue of greenbacks in 1861, before the passage of the Legal Tender Laws, didn't have that limiting clause.) Ironically, the greenback's fate as national monetary policy was permanently sealed with the National Banking Acts of February 25th, 1863, and June 3rd, 1864, which consolidated the power of the bankers even as the greenback was at its zenith.
Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, thinking it "a hazardous thing," went along with the greenback proposal reluctantly. Though, like Lincoln, he was outraged at the outrageous credit terms offered by the eastern financiers, he probably exerted his influence to limit the scope of the greenback issue and put his seal of approval on the subsequent banking acts, as Lincoln himself did. Those acts not only undermined the greenback, but put all but favored "national banks" out of the money issuing business.
The National Banking Acts effectively "federalized" private money issue and were actually forerunners of the Federal Reserve Act passed in 1913. Some early Federal Reserve Notes even declared themselves "National Currency." The problem Chase is given credit for solving was that of selling bonds with which to the finance the war at a profit to bankers. The northern capitalists, patriotic as they may have been, would not part with their money unless at a considerable profit—thus government bonds were not selling very well. And, in any case, as hard money men, bond redemption could not be denominated in greenbacks. This requisite of the capitalists, so nicely accommodated by Secretary Chase, played nicely into the hands of the waiting money power—the eastern bankers and their European counterparts, who also demanded their "rightful share" of the profits of the war.
"...Chase, who had preached the golden rule as an abolitionist lawyer, could see no way of selling the bonds for the purposes of saving the Union except by creating a compulsory market for them. That could be done, it occurred to him, by offering special privileges to banks organized under Federal charters. The special privilege was to give the banks the power to issue money, based upon a deposit of government bonds. The result of all this was that such banks drew the interest on the bonds, and whatever usury they could exact when they loaned their paper money so based on the bonds. Even so, government of the people, for the people, and by the people must not perish from the earth! It was a handsome gift to the bankers. But the Union had to be saved. It might be that out of this Chase plan a vast money power would spring... The act of June 3, 1864, drove the state banks out of the note issuing business by taxing their issue 10% after July 1, 1866...
"An illustration will show the working of a national bank under the Chase law. Incorporators bought $100,000 in bonds, for which they paid the market price, 10% or 15% under par, whatever it happened to be. They deposited these bonds with the United States Government. They then issued $90,000 in paper money, that being the amount permitted upon a deposit of $100,000 in bonds. The $90,000 could be loaned at whatever the interest rate was, or could be manipulated to be. It was possible, therefore, for the national banks to make 14% or more on their investment. They drew interest on the bonds at par, not on what they paid for the bonds; and they exacted interest on their note issues according to the chances." (Masters, Lincoln The Man)
Previous to the National Banking Acts, state banks had issued monetary notes based on the deposits they held in their vaults. Loans and bond issues, were constrained for the same reason. In short, state chartered banks could not lend money they did not possess, but national banks could partake of the fractional reserve principles which became commonplace under central banking systems.
See Listing of Library of Congress Links on U.S. Monetary Acts from 1792 to 1873.
Imediately after the Civil War,
there was a concerted
attempt to call in and retire all the greenbacks. To the extent the
effort succeeded, it resulted in a severe contraction of the currency
and widespread financial hardship throughout the nation. Public
pressure, and a number of greenback supporters in Congress, managed to
save the greenback, but only as a declining percentile of our money
The greenback in limited issue survived until about 1969, and there are still some in circulation today. They are known as "U.S. Notes." On May 31, 1878, Congress passed a law requiring the Treasury to keep $322,539,016.00 in U.S. Notes in circulation, and $156,039,431 in gold reserves with which to back or redeem them. Of course all of this worked in favor of speculators with inside knowledge of events, as well as bankers, and held them until the legislation was passed. They could then take their "discounted" greenbacks to the Treasury and redeem them for gold at full face value – or rather at the rate of $20.67 per ounce of gold. (Similar schemes had played out for insiders following the Revolutionary War with regard to "Continentals.")
Public Law 90-269, approved March 18, 1968, repealed the gold reserve requirement against U.S. Notes that had existed since 1878, and greenbacks, like Federal Reserve Notes after the nation went off the gold standard, became a pure fiat currency irredeemable in species.
Ezra Pound, like Edmund Taylor, would have been dumped into the "memory hole" if it were not for the fact that he enjoyed world renown as a poet, which could not be erased from the world's literary volumes. As it was, this great thinker and patriot was indicted for treason (for his radio addresses broadcast in Italy during World War Two), and later proclaimed insane in order to avoid a public trial, which probably would have embarrassed the government. Committed to the federal St. Elizabeth's Hospital, in Washington, D.C., he remained a political prisoner for twelve long years. It had been hoped that Pound would "reform" his thinking during that period, and hopefully be forgotten. Pound didn't reform, however. Nor has he been forgotten. He will never be forgotten.
"The economic facts behind the American 'Civil' War are extremely interesting...
"The United States were sold to the Rothschilds in 1863." (Pages 101 and 102, of Impact, by Ezra Pound. [this refers to the National Banking Act of 1863 and later])
"War is the highest form of sabotage... Usurers provoke wars to impose monopolies in their own interests, so that they can get the world by the throat... so they can extort the interest and rake in the profits resulting from changes in the values of the monetary units."
" 'The great debt that (our friends the) capitalists (of Europe) will see to it is made out of the war must be used to control the volume of money... It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate... for we cannot control them' " (i.e., their issue, etc.). (from the Hazard Circular, of the year 1862, quoted by Ezra Pound, page on 104 of Impact). This quote indicates that the European money power feared the greenback (not the National Banking Acts of the same era). In fact, it may have almost thrown the weight of the British Empire behind the Southern cause.
THE UNITED STATES SOLD TO THE ROTHSCHILDS IN 1863?
What could Ezra Pound have meant by that assertion? How could a "National" Banking Act, supposedly passed by Congress in the interests of the people of the United States, be construed as a sell-out to Rothschild interests? The following, excerpted from a book named Vindication, by Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford, which (if genuine) goes a long way toward explaining it.
"...Here are some historical facts that may interest the present generation now suffering under the oppressive hand of Satan and his chief instrument Big Business." To continue (page 168 of Vindication)...
NATIONAL BANKING ACT
The National Banking Law of the United States was forced through the Congress of the United States and enacted by Big Business agents. The money lords of the seventh world power, to wit, England and America, dictated the conditions under which they would finance the Union, because much financing became necessary during the American Civil War, known as the War of the Rebellion. It is practically certain that that war between the North and the South was fomented by the money interests of Britain, the purpose being to divide the states, that the "old mother country" might profit thereby. John Sherman of Ohio was then a member of the United States Congress. In 1855 Mr. Sherman was admitted as a member of Congress.
"In Congress, Mr. Sherman quickly demonstrated his exceptional power as a master of finance. . . . Mr. Sherman was elected [to the Senate] and took his seat 4 March 1861. . . . From 1860 to 1900, there was scarcely a great financial measure with which the name of John Sherman was not connected. Among these were the making of United States treasury notes legal tender, the enacting of the national banking bill, the refunding act of 1870, and the resumption of specie payments. The detailed record of measures by which the legal tender notes of the government reached par, and by which specie resumption became an accomplished fact at the time fixed for it, exhibits the man under whose leadership this was done as a financier of the highest order." — The Americana, Volume 24, page 704.
The National Banking Act of the United States provided for the establishment of national banks in the following manner: In a city of more than six thousand population such a bank could be started with a capital of one million dollars. Government bonds were then selling for fifty cents on the dollar, and with five hundred thousand dollars in cash one million dollars of the United States government bonds could be bought. These bonds must be deposited with the government at Washington as security for currency furnished by the government to the bank organized. These bonds deposited with the government belonged, of course, to the bank, and the government paid the bank an annual interest of six percent in gold coin on one million dollars of bonds, which had cost the bank only half a million, and which was therefore equivalent to twelve percent interest on the amount invested by the private interests. In consideration of this deposit of bonds the government then issued currency to the bank up to ninety percent of the par value of the bonds, or nine hundred thousand dollars, which currency must be signed by the president of the bank before it was used and was therefore in fact the money issued by the bank. This was a subterfuge to get around the Constitutional provision for issuing money. This nine hundred thousand dollars so issued in currency, the bank could loan at ten percent interest for thirty or sixty days, the interest payable in advance, of course, which amounted to twelve percent on the nine hundred thousand dollars. The bank, of course, received deposits from the people and was permitted to loan such deposited money for its own private use. The national bank, therefore, was really a gold mine. Rothschild Brothers were then the great money kings of Britain. Those money changers conspired with their allies in the United States in putting through the United States Congress the National Banking Act.
Letters passed between Rothschild Brothers, bankers of London, and Ikleheimer, Morton and Vandergould, of Wall Street, New York, two of which letters, together with a circular appearing with them, and which relate to the National Banking Act, are published below. More than thirty years ago a St. Louis magazine published these letters, and their authenticity has never been disproved. There is still living at this time in the state of New York a man upward of eighty-five years of age who had plates made reproducing these letters as they appeared in the publication above mentioned, and which plates he now has in his possession. He used these letters against the money changers during the Populist movement in the United States. There appears to be only ten days between the dates of the letters, and someone raised the point that in 1863 letters could not pass between London and New York within that time. The same gentleman above mentioned made inquiry of the Information Department of the Post Office Department at Washington concerning this matter. That department replied by letter, and from the letter signed by the Director of the Post Office Department, Division of International Postal Service, the following quotation is taken:
"With reference to your inquiry of September 4th last addressed to Mr. Frederick M. Kirby of the Washington Bureau, this city, requesting information with respect to the shortest time required for a letter to reach New York from London in the year 1863, you are informed that in the year 1863 the SS. "Scotia" crossed the Atlantic in 8 days 3 hours, which was a record at that time. The average time of mail steamers was about 9 days."
The letters between the Rothschild and the Ikleheimer firms, as well as the attached circular, are undoubtedly genuine. They are exactly in keeping with the history of the movements of the bankers and money powers since 1861 through all of their financial conspiracies, particularly in reference to the following things, to wit: The EXCEPTION CLAUSE on the greenbacks; the BANK ACT of 1863; the resumption of specie payment in 1875; the repeal of the PURCHASE CLAUSE of the Sherman law of 1878; which acts, of . course, are matters of public record. The above-mentioned letters and the circular are as follows:
"ROTHSCHILD BROTHERS BANKERS"London, June 25th. 1863.
"Messrs. Ikleheimer, Morton and Vandergould,
No. 3 Wall Street, New York, U.S.A.
"DEAR SIRS: A Mr. John Sherman has written us from a town in Ohio, U.S.A., as to the profits that may be made in the National Banking business under a recent act of your Congress, a copy of which act accompanied his letter. Apparently this act has been drawn upon the plan formulated here last summer by the British Bankers' Association and by that Association recommended to our American friends as one that if enacted into law, would prove highly profitable to the banking fraternity throughout the world.
"Mr. Sherman declares that there has never before been such an opportunity for capitalists to accumulate money, as that presented by this act and that the old plan, of State Banks is so unpopular, that the new scheme will, by mere contrast, be most favorably regarded, notwithstanding the fact that it gives the National Banks an almost absolute control of the National finances. "The few who can understand the system," he says, "will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantages that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests."
"Please advise us fully as to this matter, and also, state whether or not you will be of assistance to us, if we conclude to establish a National Bank in the City of New York. If you are acquainted with Mr. Sherman (he appears to have introduced the National Banking act), we will be glad to know something of him. If we avail ourselves of the information he furnished, we will of course make due compensation.
"Awaiting your reply, we are,"Your Respectful Servants,
"IKLEHEIMER, MORTON & VANDERGOULD
"Private Bankers, Dealers and Brokers in Stocks and
Bonds and Gold, and American Agents for the
Investment of English Capital.
"Number 3, Wall Street"New York July 5th. 1863.
"Messrs. Rothschild Brothers,
"DEAR SIRS: We beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of June 25th, in which you refer to a communication received from the Hon. John Sherman of Ohio, with reference to the advantages and profits of an American investment, under the provisions of our National Banking Act.
"The fact that Mr. Sherman speaks well of such an investment, or of any similar one, is certainly not without weight, for that gentleman possesses in a marked degree, the distinguishing characteristics of the successful modern financier. His temperament is such that whatever his feelings may be they never cause him to lose sight of the main chance. He is young, shrewd and ambitious. He has fixed his eye upon the presidency of the United States, and is already a member of Congress. He rightly thinks he has everything to gain both politically and financially (he has financial ambitions too), by being friendly with men and institutions having large financial resources, and which at times, are not too particular in their methods, either of obtaining governmental aid, or protecting themselves against unfriendly legislation. We trust him here implicitly. His intellect and ambition combine to make him exceedingly valuable to us. Indeed, we predict that if his life be spared, he will prove to be the best friend the monied interests of the world have ever had in America.
"As to the organization of a National Bank here, and the nature and profits of such an investment, we beg leave to refer to our printed circular enclosed herein. Inquiries by European capitalists, concerning this matter, have been so numerous, that for convenience we have had our views with regard to it put into printed form.
"Should you determine to organize a bank in this city, we shall be glad to aid you. We can easily find financial friends to make a satisfactory directory, and to fill any official positions not taken by the personal representatives you will send over."Your most obedient servants,
IKLEHEIMER, MORTON & VANDERGOULD"
This latter letter, in the paragraph next to the last, mentions a circular enclosed, and which circular is here inserted.
"IKLEHEIMER, MORTON & VANDERGOULD
"Private Bankers, Brokers, Financial Agents, Etc.,
3 Wall Street, New York City
"We have had so many inquiries of late as to the method of organizing national banks under the recent act of congress, and as to the profits that may reasonably be expected from such an investment, that we have thought it best to issue this brief circular as an answer to all questions of our friends and clients:
"1. Any number of persons, not less than five, may organize a national banking corporation.
"2. Except in cities having 6.000 inhabitants or less, a national bank can not have less than $1,000,000 capital.
"3. They are private corporations organized for private gain, and select their own officers and employes.
"4. They are not subject to the control of the state laws, except as congress may from time to time provide.
"5. They can receive deposits and loan the same for their own benefit.
"6. They can buy and sell bonds, and discount paper and do a general banking business.
"7. To start a national bank on the scale of $1,000,000 will require the purchase of that amount (par value) of U.S. Government bonds.
"8. U.S. Government bonds can now be purchased at 50 per cent discount, so that a bank of $1,000,000 capital can be started at this time with only $500,000.
"9. These bonds must be deposited with the U.S. Treasurer at Washington, as security for the national bank currency, that on the making of the deposit will be furnished by the government to the bank.
"10. The U.S. Government will pay 6 per cent interest on the bonds, in gold, the interest being paid semi-annually. It will be seen that at the present price of bonds, the interest paid by the government, will of itself amount to 12 per cent in gold, on all the money invested.
"11. The U.S. Government, under the provisions of the national banking act, on having the bonds aforesaid deposited with its treasurer, will on the strength of such security, furnish national currency to the bank depositing the bonds, to the amount of 90 per cent of the face of the bonds, at an annual interest of only ONE per cent per annum. Thus the deposit of $1,000,000 will secure the issue of $900,000 in currency.
"12. This currency is printed by the U.S. Government in a form so like greenback money, that many people do not detect the difference, although the currency is but a promise of the bank to pay — that is, it is the bank's demand note, and must be signed by the bank's president before it can be used.
"13. The demand for money is so great that this currency can be readily loaned to the people across the counter of the bank at a discount at the rate of 10 per cent at 30 to 60 days' time, making about 12 per cent interest on the currency.
"14. The interest on the bonds, plus the interest on the currency which the bonds secure, plus the incidentals of the business ought to make the gross earnings of the bank amount to from 28 to 33 1-3 per cent. The amount of dividends that may be declared will depend largely upon the salaries the officers of the bank vote themselves, and the character and rental charges of the premises occupied by the bank as a place of business. In case it is thought best that the showing of profits should not appear too large, the now common plan of having the directors buy the bank buildings and then raising the rent and the salaries of the president and cashier may be adopted.
"15. National banks are privileged to either increase or contract their circulation at will and, of course, can grant or withhold loans as they may see fit. As the banks have a national organization, and can easily act together in withholding loans or extending them, it follows that they can by united action in refusing to make loans, cause a stringency in the money market and in a single week or even in a single day cause a decline in all the products of the country. The tremendous possibilities of speculation involved in this control of the money of a country like the United States, will be at once understood by all bankers.
"16. National banks pay no taxes on their bonds, nor on their capital, nor on their deposits. This exemption from taxation is based on the theory that the capital of these banks is invested in U.S. securities, and is a remarkable permission of the law.
"17. The secretary may deposit the public money with any bank at will, and to any amount. In the suit of Mr. Branch against the United States, reported in the 12th. volume of the U.S. Court of Claims Reports, at page 287, it was decided that such "Government deposits are rightfully mingled with the other funds of the bank, and are loaned or otherwise employed in the ordinary business of the bank, and the bank becomes the debtor of the United States precisely as it does to other depositors."
"Requesting that you will regard this circular as strictly confidential, and soliciting any favors in our line that you may have to extend, we are,"Most respectfully yours,IKLEHEIMER, MORTON & VANDERGOULD."
The reader may draw his own conclusions as to how much aid the selfish bankers had from their political allies in the United States Congress."
(End of Excerpts)
NOTE: These oft-quoted letters and circular are believed by many historians to be the fraudulent concoctions of later intriguers – perhaps Judge Rutherford himself, author of Vindication (1931-32). Judge Rutherford was a major literary and writing force for and on behalf of the Jehovah's Witnesses, thus the reference to "Satan" on the lead-in. This same circumstance tends to render his motives and scholarship suspect in the eyes of many. Judge Rutherford does not seem to have any substantiation or references with regard to the above beyond his claim that it had appeared some 30 years earlier (c. 1900), in a St. Louis magazine. It certainly seems unlikely that he would fabricate any of the above simply to further his religious-based arguments against "Big Business." It is clear, however, that if the letters and circular were genuine, the banking fraternity (along with everybody directly or indirectly in its pay), would very likely vigorously deny their authenticity. In any case, whether fraudulent or genuine, they apparently reflect what the National Banking laws did actually facilitate.
Rutherford's entire book, Vindication, may be read or downloaded at: http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/vindication2/vindication2_6.html
The http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/ web site is a "Witness" site in the U.K., and Rutherford's work is highly religious in nature, though relating to the evils in the political and "Big Business" realms. WRC.
The above is a most enlightening lesson in how a national economy can be (and was), high-jacked — and how a people of a great and potentially economically independent nation can be (and obviously were), betrayed by elected officials under the influence of the agents of avarice.
For some interesting reading on how the nation was high-jacked by the money power see Benjamin S. Heath's, The Greenback Dollar (1877 – Compliments of now discontinued www.yamaguchy.netfirms.com.)
Here's a very enlightening speech given by Colonel Henry Sylvester Fitch (1877), at the State convention of the National Currency Party of California.
The present writer's father was always fond of saying, "The American people have been getting sold down the river since the Civil War, while being told they were going up the river all the time." How right he was, though for many years I did not comprehend just how right. For many years I thought our present economic malaise was a post World War Two, or possibly post 1913, phenomenon.
Quite frankly, my father is an unreconstructed Southern Partisan, with strong racialist biases. His concern and contexts were cultural, not economic. Though there is a considerable amount of truth in what he said in the cultural sense (it being fairly obvious that our national Civil Rights laws and policies have resulted in a lot more cultural "downgrading" than cultural "upgrading"), in the context of money, banking, and economic policy, his statement was much more relevant and accurate than he realized. The American people have been sold down the river, at a steady pace, since the Civil War. But not so much by Lincoln (who, of course, did his share), or by the liberal champions of the descendants of freed slaves, as my dad believed. Lincoln, though he was obliged to preside over one of the saddest and most tragic periods of our history, apparently made a courageous attempt to thwart the designs of the bankers intent on high-jacking the nation (though the very war he presided over literally laid the nation bare to their accelerated depredations). As for the freed slaves, they, like the rest of us, have been the unwitting pawns in an unending game.
As ironic as it was unfortunate, it was the Civil War itself – the pressing need for money and unlimited credit, with which to fight a totally devastating war – that the greenback came into being. Had the Lincoln administration failed to come up with his greenback policy, the war would have undoubtedly ended much sooner, as the nation would have bankrupted itself right off the bat and a lengthy war would have been impossible. So, in spite of the lengthy period of blood-letting it facilitated, the greenback literally saved the Union. Without the greenback, the Union would have come out of the war in receivership to the bankers even had it won.
No president since Lincoln has had the guts to take such bold action against the the banking and money powers. It is true that Franklin D. Roosevelt took some incredibly bold action, apparently against the wishes of the bankers, when he called in all gold and then revalued it upward (effectively radically devaluing [debasing] the entire money supply of the nation. [How would this influence the depression? It would further erode the people's purchasing power, of course!]). But his actions did not threaten the money monopoly of the bankers, and in fact played nicely into their hands in important ways—ultimately producing the conveniently "elastic" monetary system and very "slippery currency" we have today—literal Utopia for the money-changers.
Greenbacks had been available to Roosevelt, of course, but he neglected to take advantage of the authority he had in that realm. He continued what Carroll Quigley, in Tragedy and Hope, referred to as orthodox monetary policy, whereas something very unorthodox, like using a fiat greenback, was very much needed. As a result, the nation suffered through the Great Depression and a great shortage of liquidity totally unnecessarily – depending on banker credit for all the deficit spending, which was never quite enough to "prime the pump," as Roosevelt put it. But perhaps Roosevelt was very aware of the life-threatening dangers of bucking the banking establishment when it came to money issue. So Roosevelt played into the hands of the bankers to enhance his own longevity.
It might also be noted that the same thing is said of Lincoln – that he in fact played nicely into the hands of the bankers. This is true, of course, in light of the final outcome of the greenback issue and the National Banking laws. But there still appears to be at least some evidence that these results were not what Lincoln himself had in mind. At least we have given him that much credit, though there is some doubt in this regard.
Lincoln had strongly been in favor of the idea of a "National Banking" – but no friend of the Eastern Banking Establishment, and certainly not an advocate of a foreign dominated "national" banking system. Undoubtedly, he supported the national banking laws that were passed during his administration to a significant extent, but the powerful eastern bankers that had the Republican party largely in their corner, managed to stack the deck in their own favor, and if Lincoln's goal really was to free the nation from the banker class, he was simply overwhelmed by their power and ultimately totally thwarted. It is possible that Lincoln realized the dangers to himself as well, and thus backed the National Banking Acts to mitigate the dangers he felt were threatening. Others don't cut Lincoln that much slack and suggest that he had been in the banker's corner all of his political career, since he had earlier supported a "national bank."
Very early in his carrier, Lincoln had made his views on national economic policy clear. In 1832, he told Illinois voters: "My politics are short and sweet... I am in favor of a national bank... in favor of the internal improvements system and a high protective tariff."
I had tended to believe that the national banking system Lincoln wanted was truly a national banking system – An American System, owned by the people – with a national currency that was not hostage to the English gold standard nor burdened by dependence on private credit and private currency issue. He had thus been against the Independent Treasury System, or so-called Sub-Treasury (1840-41), where the gold standard (an English requisite), was a central component. There is room for disagreement here since many believe he was for a 3rd private central bank rather than a publicly owned Sub-Treasury as a repository of Treasury revenues. He did, however, early in his career, give at least one long speech on this subject which rationalized that it is best to have private bankers in command of public funds than public servants.
However, under the plan that Lincoln is often credited with with regard to greenbacks, the government could use its own credit and currency for internal improvements (aside from the up-front demands of war, such things as the post roads, highways, canals, railroads, and public buildings, etc.), without having to impose high taxation on the public or borrow from private sources – and the volume of currency available would not be inhibited by the necessity of "purchasing" gold backing or borrowing from bankers.
Almost all of the popular and "professional" resistance to a national fiat currency have been based on the notion that money must either be gold or silver, or backed by them. Few non-economist hard money men stop to ponder the imponderables of the gold standard – that under the gold standard, every ounce of gold required to back the currency must first be purchased from those who have it to sell. Since, under hard money policy, no money can exist but by the grace of gold backing – where does the necessary money come from with which to purchase the gold? This would seem a "What comes first, the chicken or the egg?" proposition. In reality, either the gold must be taken from the people through taxation, or the national credit card must be used to get it from financiers who charge hefty interest for their patriotic services. And that was exactly the situation the nation has been in during most of its history – and still is, though gold has been largely eliminated from the equation (Our government now has to borrow money to get and use what is supposed to be its own legal tender, paying interest in order to do it!).
And, significantly, Lincoln seemed to realize "that slavery and free trade belong to a single evil system..." – something our present day politicians seem to have totally forgotten. The South depended on free trade with England in order to profit from its cotton production – and only slave labor would suffice to produce it cheaply enough at that – and the English (since the Revolution and War of 1812), had been doing everything within their power to force the former colonies, both north and south, to institute free trade policies.
The protectionism that Lincoln, and the wisest of his predecessors and successors advocated, was what finally broke our umbilical cord to the mother country and made the United States truly politically and economically independent. We became a great and prosperous industrial nation under protectionist policies. We had never managed to get it totally right, and now have repudiated "protectionism" and have lapsed into a "free trade" global economy in a big way – once again forfeiting our economic independence.
If Lincoln's letter to Col. Taylor was the forgery of a self-promoter, as alleged, then where is all the other evidence such a self-promoter, as a man of very real accomplishments, would undoubtedly have left behind? I'm still looking. It is possible, of course, that Taylor produced the disputed letter himself, on behalf of his own case, but it still may reflect the truth of Lincoln's monetary thinking and Taylor's role in creating (or suggesting) the greenback solution. It is an uncomfortable fact that even forgeries can convey truth. In fact, the definition of forgery of written text does not impinge upon the veracity of its content. Be this as it may, however, I'm personally inclined to believe the letter genuine, and its suppression (and perhaps the loss of the original), part of a great post Lincoln-era cover-up.
Additionally, there seems to be solid evidence that Taylor was an extraordinarily honest man. In 1835, as the Receiver of Public Moneys at Chicago, he collected the astounding sum of $493,000.00 in land sale fees. His personal security bond for this responsibility had only been $30,000.00. His superiors in Washington couldn't believe the amount he'd collected and deposited to the credit of the United States government.
They replied, saying, “your checks for $493,000 are received. Is this true, or is it a fiction? Where did the people come from?” To which Mr. Taylor replied that it did look like fiction, but was nevertheless true; and that the people who purchased had come from all the civilized world.
It would seem highly unlikely that a man of such surprising integrity would stoop to the artifice of forging a letter from Lincoln to make make his case for reimbursement for moneys expended on behalf of the Union during the Civil War.
USURPER OF THE TITLE "FATHER OF THE GREENBACK"
While court historians have relegated Edmund Taylor to the memory hole, credit for the greenback idea had to be placed somewhere, and there are several contenders. Elbridge Gerry Spaulding, a banker of Buffalo, N.Y., is one upon whom such credit has kindly been bestowed, as he was one of the most active in getting the greenback legislation passed. Spaulding's hand, however, was certainly turned toward helping save the eastern bankers from the greenback and Lincoln's intended monetary policy, and ultimately permitted them to profit handsomely from them in the end. While he helped facilitate passage of the "Legal Tender Acts" and issue of greenback, as an emergency measure, his interests were clearly with the Eastern Bank establishment, of which he was a leading member. More fittingly, perhaps, Spaulding could be termed an unfriendly "Step-Father of the Greenback."
"Mr. Spaulding advocated the new (greenback) measure as a public necessity, a constitutional proceeding, and a means of carrying into full effect the war power of the United States government. After full discussion, the bill was passed by both houses of Congress and became a law, Feb. 25,1862. A farther issue of legal tenders was also authorized by law, the opening speech in the discussion in the House being made by Mr. Spaulding. These measures and the currency they authorized were of enormous service to the cause of the Union and won for Mr. Spaulding the soubriquet of " the father of the greenback...."
"Mr. Spaulding was also the author of the National Banking act, although the idea embodied in that law did not originate with him.
"In 1869, he issued a 'History of the Legal Tender Paper Money,' which is regarded as the clearest and most valuable exposition of the origin, history and objects of the great financial measures with which his name is identified, and has since become the authoritative standard work on this subject. "
Several others have been mentioned: David Taylor, as mentioned above, and (according to Thomas E. Schwartz) "Bray Hammond identifies the creation of the greenbacks originating from the efforts of Samuel Hooper and John B. Alley, both successful businessmen and congressmen from Massachusetts."
LINCOLN'S MONETARY POLICY
The following is quoted from pages 44-47 of Out of Debt, Out of Danger, by the late California Congressman Jerry Voorhis (1901-1984 — First printed in 1943, and reprinted 1991 by the Populist Action Committee).
"On page 186 of The Conquest of Poverty by G. G. McGeer there appears the following summary of the views of President Abraham Lincoln. The Library of Congress Legislative Reference Service says: 'The statement in this extract are not in Lincoln's own words, but they represent his monetary views expressed in his writings.'"
Money is the creature of law and the creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as exclusive monopoly of National Government.
Money possess no value to the State other than that given to it by circulation.
Capital has its proper place and is entitled to every protection. The wages of men should be recognized in the structure of and in the social order as more important than the wages of money.
No duty is more imperative for the Government than the duty it owes the people to furnish them with a sound and uniform currency, and of regulating the circulation of the medium of exchange so that labor will be protected from a vicious currency, and commerce will be facilitated by cheap and safe exchange.
The available supply of gold and silver being wholly inadequate to permit the issuance of coins of intrinsic value or paper currency convertible into coin in the volume required to serve the needs of the people, some other basis for the issue of currency must be developed, and some means other than that of convertibility into coin must be developed to prevent undue fluctuations in the value of paper currency or any other substitute for money of intrinsic value that may come into use.
The monetary needs of increasing numbers of people advancing toward higher standard of living can and should be met by the Government. Such needs can be served by the issue of national currency and credit through the operation of a national banking system. The circulation of a medium of exchange issued and backed by the Government can be properly regulated and redundancy of issue avoided by withdrawing from circulation such amount as may be necessary by taxation, redeposit, and otherwise. Government has the power to regulate the currency and credit of the Nation.
Government should stand behind its currency and credit and the bank deposits of the Nation. No individual should suffer a loss of money through depreciated or inflated currency or bank bankruptcy.
Government possessing the power to create and issue currency and credit as money and enjoying the right to withdraw both currency and credit from circulation by taxation and otherwise, need no and should not borrow capital at interest as a means of financing governmental work and public enterprise. The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to sat the spending power of the Government and the buying powers of consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Government's greatest creative opportunity.
By the adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts, and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprise, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own Government. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.
"There in a few words are set forth most of the essential features of sound monetary policy. Abraham Lincoln saw with his clear simple vision that it was wrong for anyone except government to exercise the power of monetary issue... (he) was killed by an assassin's bullet in Ford's Theater, Washington on April 14, 1865... Why was Lincoln shot? We probably will never know. But it is hard not to believe that there was far more behind the thing than just John Wilkes Booth; and it is hard not to believe that if it were the Southern cause that prompted the killing, it would have been done before that cause was finally and irreparably laid away.
"In any case President Lincoln understood the basic injustice of privately manufactured money and perceived that whenever the government borrowed such privately manufactured money it imposed upon its people debt-that-ought-not-to-be-debt, the interest upon which was in the nature of a pure tribute devised by clever bookkeepers. He saw that perpetually paying this tribute meant artificially limiting a nation's progress, its wealth, and its production to the ability of that nation to pay 6%, or 4%,—yes or even 2-1/2%—of its increase to its bankers."
(End of quote from Voorhis' book)
April, 2004 Note: It is to be noted that Voorhis was quoting from the same McGeer work already extensively quoted above. Voorhis was my original source for the above "Lincoln's Monetary Policy," and the tract from McGeer's work was added to this page much later. It has been called to my attention that "Lincoln's Monetary Policy" may be McGreer's words rather than Lincoln's.
As mentioned above, the Library of Congress Legislative Reference Service said: 'The statement(s) in this extract are not in Lincoln's own words, but they represent his monetary views expressed in his writings.' That should confirm that McGeer was indeed on track.
But perhaps McGeer was even better qualified to judge this than the Library of Congress Legislative Reference Service, and they actually were Lincoln's own words. McGeer precedes his summation of Lincoln's Monetary Policy with, "Let us now, from his speeches and his messages to Congress, summarize the monetary policy that Lincoln, at the time of his assassination, was about to more clearly define and establish." (emphasis added)
An additional valuable work on the greenback, currency, credit, free trade, etc. (crediting Silas M. Stilwell as "father of the greenback,") by Peter Cooper, see: Peter Cooper, Ideas for Good Government. (contributed by Yamaguchy)
The quote from Voorhis book above, though somewhat redundant, is included as a reference to a insightful book by an American political figure well worth the read. Voorhis lost his congressional seat to future president Richard Nixon, and his unorthodox views on debt and money probably had something to do with his political misfortune.
LINCOLN COOL ON THE GREENBACK?
Note) According to Stephen Zarlenga,
in his The Lost Science of Money, The Mythology of Money -
the Story of Power,
an important new book published in 2002 by The
American Monetary Institute. "...(T)he bankers' lobby
Nixon's first congressional campaign against him. ...smearing Voorhis
communist, and got elected. Voorhis learned... that the American
Association had financed Nixon."
Though Mr. Zarlenga agrees with what we have concluded was Lincoln's opinion that the greenback was "the greatest blessing they [the Republic] ever had." Zarlenga does not give Lincoln that much credit. He prefers to quote Sidney George Fisher's opinion of the greenback (from Charles J. Bullock's Monetary History of the U.S.) – that the greenback was, "...(T)he best currency that ever a Nation had." In fact, Zarlenga apparently denies (albeit mostly through omission), that Lincoln had a great deal to do with the issue of the greenback in the first place, much less intended to make it permanent national monetary policy. He says Lincoln was cool toward the greenbacks, stating that, "Lincoln said little good about the Greenbacks and they should not be viewed as his or the Republican's program."
Zarlenga quotes Lincoln's January 17, 1863 message to Congress urging passage of the National Banking Act: "...A uniform currency, in which taxes, subscriptions to loans and all other ordinary public dues as well as all private dues may be paid, is indispensable. Such a currency can be furnished by banking associations, organized under a general act of congress." And, to quote Zarlenga himself, "Thus Lincoln supported the banker's privilege to create money. In the same speech, he apologized for additional issues of Greenbacks."
So here we have the author of what is perhaps the greatest work yet produced on the history of money, effectively refuting almost all we thought we had learned about Lincoln's intention to "drive the money changers from the temple." I would certainly agree that the greenback should not be viewed as a Republican program. And though I have a great deal of admiration for Zarlenga and his monumental work, I would point out that Lincoln found himself in a very awkward position, doing battle on many different fronts, and having to hedge against pressures of both foes and alleged friends alike. Of course, I have already conceded that, in the end, Lincoln did play nicely into the hands of the banking interests. The unresolved question remains, to what extent was this the result of powerful pressures he simply could not overcome?
Abraham Lincoln was part and parcel of the whig group which after a bloody nose from President Jackson, carried on the fight, intending to turn the United States (for common defense and mutual benefit, for which Thomas Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence) into a feudal empire controlled by a financial elite. As a young representative, on December 26, 1839, Lincoln gave a speech and spoke “with the forked tongue and crooked counsel of a politician” against the Sub-Treasury system which aimed to establish a nation-wide, uniform currency based on the credit of the General Government, and on behalf of a 3rd Bank of the United States which aimed to usurp this power and even charge interest for it.Might Lincoln have changed his views between 1839 and 1861? He might have – but his support for the National Banking Acts and apology for additional issues of the greenback seems to tell us that he did not. We might ask...
“We do not pretend, that a National Bank can establish and maintain a sound and uniform state of currency in the country, in spite of the National Government; but we do say, that it has established and maintained such a currency, and can do so again, by the aid of that Government; and we further say, that no duty is more imperative on that Government, than the duty it owes the people, of furnishing them a sound and uniform currency.” —
Abraham Lincoln, December 26, 1839, speech on the Sub-Treasury.
Collected Works, Volume I.
DOES LINCOLN HAVE NO REDEEMING QUALITIES AFTER ALL?
If Abe Lincoln did not intend to drive the money changers from the temple, and the issues of greenbacks were merely, and purely, a temporary wartime expediency – and an oblique ploy to pave the way for the bankers' triumph in the passage of the National Banking Acts, then we are hard-pressed to have a good word for our 16th president at all. Most of the things for which Lincoln has been lionized appear to be either false or deceptive, and any good that he may have accomplished was accomplished at far too high of a cost. Below are some extensive quotes from an article by William R. Tonso entitled "Another View of Lincoln," published in December of 2009 in the Springhouse magazine (emphasis added):
Thomas J. DiLorenzo's The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War...
As DiLorenzo has written: "Lincoln opposed the immigration of black people into Illinois; supported the Illinois Black Codes, which deprived the small number of free blacks who resided in the state of any semblance of citizenship; and was a leader of the Illinois Colonization Society, which persuaded the state legislature to allocate funds to 'colonize,' or deport, free blacks." In other words, Abe was a man of his time, not our time..."
Then why did Lincoln go to war with the Confederacy? As he wrote to Horace Greeley in 1862: "My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race. I do because I believe it helps to save the Union," And why was saving the Union so important to Abe? As Charles Dickens put it: "Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as many, many other evils. The quarrel between the north and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel." And that fiscal quarrel was rooted in the Morrill Tariff that, according to DiLorenzo, "On December 10, 1860, the Daily Chicago Times candidly admitted... was indeed a tool used by Northerners for the purpose of plundering the South."
But Union saving, regardless of why it was important to Lincoln, raises another issue that our schools haven't encouraged us to consider. Did Lincoln have a Constitutionally-grounded right to "save the Union"? The Confederate States didn't think so, and neither do those current scholars who question the conventional, even official, view of Lincoln that put him on our currency and Mt. Rushmore and got him a memorial in D.C.
...And on January 12, 1848, Abe himself had stated: "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. ... Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own, of so much of the territory as they inhabit."
Consider Lincoln admirer Hitchens' words on the subject: "If given a blind test and asked which 'tyrannical' president had suspended the writ of habeas corpus, closed the most newspapers, arrested the most political rivals, opened and censored the most mail and executed the most American citizens without trial, few students would mention the 'great Emancipator' as the original supremo of big government." That from an admirer!
Lincoln critic DiLorenzo is more explicit: "Lincoln illegally suspended the writ of habeas corpus and had his military imprison tens of thousands of Northern political critics and opponents without due process; he censored all telegraph communications; shut down over three hundred opposition newspapers; imprisoned dozens of duly elected officials of the state of Maryland; participated in the rigging of Northern elections; waged war without the consent of Congress; illegally created a new state, West Virginia; and deported the most outspoken member of the Democratic opposition..." He also confiscated private property, violated the Second Amendment by confiscating firearms in the border states, and gutted the Constitution's Ninth and Tenth Amendments..."
So here we have both a current admirer and a current critic of Lincoln agreeing that he acted tyrannically. The difference is that Hitchens, along with knowledgeable Lincoln admirers and defenders in general, argues that he had to go to these extremes to "save the Union," while DiLorenzo, along with knowledgeable Lincoln critics in general, argues that he had no right to "save the Union" and that tyranny and Constitution trashing are never justified.
... The title of Hitchens' Newsweek piece was "The Man Who Made Us Whole," and Lincoln did that to the extent that his war not only kept the Union together but made it mandatory.
But Lincoln's administration, according to his critics, subverted the original Constitutional republic and created "the blueprint for big government in America, with its income taxation, protectionism, central banking, internal revenue bureaucracy, military conscription, huge standing army, corporate welfare, and foreign policy meddling." It also gave the world a blueprint for 20th-century total war with bombed-out cities. And DiLorenzo notes further: "Politicians of all parties... routinely invoke the name of the martyred Lincoln to 'justify' their own schemes to run afoul of the Constitution, international law, and commonly accepted norms of morality." He's right. Since the 9-11 terrorist attack I've heard numerous times on talk radio and elsewhere that the "war on terrorism" justifies suspending habeas corpus and various violations of the Bill of Rights, because, after all, Lincoln, our greatest president, did such things during the Civil War. That's a dangerous, downright scary, position, and one that would carry far less weight if more were generally known about the real Lincoln and his war. The Abe I grew up admiring never was.
(From "Another View of Lincoln," by William R. Tonso, Springhouse magazine Vol. 26, No. 5, 2009)
There's certainly nothing in Mr. Tonso's article that I would personally disagree with, though I wouldn't place "protectionism" itself among Lincoln's sins, though it was one of the causes of north/south conflict. Protectionist policies did, however, discriminate against the south and favored the north. North and South were economically distinct regions. The South had an export economy based predominately on cotton, and wanted "free trade," and the north had a more balanced economy and naturally wanted to protect its manufacturing base. Obviously, Washington should have found a compromise in this regard which both the North and South could have lived with – in peace.
Because Lincoln was assassinated, we will perhaps never really know whether or not he intended to forge independent monetary policy as has been suggested. As (Maurice) Christopher Hollis wrote in chapter 17 of his (1935) The Two Nations: (emphasis added):
"Legend, skillfully directed for somewhat obvious purposes, has sought to make of Lincoln an almost superhuman figure. For there have been many to whom it was convenient that the origins of the Republican Party should be enveloped in a mist of almost Arthurian romance. It is therefore hard to say anything moderate or balanced about him without appearing to be engaged in an exercise of the odious art of debunking. But, while much can be said in praise of his engaging, colourful, and humorous personality, while he proved himself a great master of the diplomacy of war, the sane verdict on his political career cannot be other than this. He was put forward by the moneyed interest as an "available" candidate who would attract the votes of the West but who was never for an instant intended to be the master of his own policy. It was the stalest and most regular trick of American politics. He was put forward exactly in the spirit in which the Whigs had put forward General Harrison and General Taylor. Whether he would have been pliable to his master's voice or whether he would have turned and fought the money-power, as Andrew Jackson, that other great leader from the western frontiers, fought it, can never be known, for he was killed before he had the chance to show."
To see in more details how and why the Greenback was perverted and ended up costing the nation dearly in spite of the good work that it did do, read this very enlightening speech by Colonel Henry Sylvester Fitch, delivered in San Francisco on June 29th, 1877, at the State convention of the National Currency Party of California.
Some interesting Lincoln quotes
Lincoln often spoke of the moral rightness of both Capital and Labor ("Workingmen"). Like Thomas Jefferson before him, he clearly saw the threat of capital empowered, working in conjunction with the "money power" against the general interests of the people.
"These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel."
(speech to Illinois legislature, Jan. 1837.
See Vol. 1, p. 24 of Lincoln's Complete Works,
ed. by Nicolay and Hay, 1905)
"We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. . . . It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless." (letter from Lincoln to Col. Wm. F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864. Essentially)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, by Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY). That traces the quote's lineage to p. 954 of Abraham Lincoln: A New Portrait, (Vol. 2) by Emanuel Hertz (Horace Liveright Inc, 1931, NY).
The Lincoln taught us in school, of course, has been extensively sanitized for public consumption. The Hidden Lincoln; from the Letters and Papers of William H. Herndon, by Emanuel Hertz (Viking Press, 1938, NY), details how Herndon (Lincoln's lifelong law partner) collected an extensive oral history and aggregated much of Lincoln's writings into a collection that served as the basis for many "authoritative" books on Lincoln. Also, for further insight into Lincoln's character, see Lincoln, The Man, by Edgar Lee Masters (Originally published 1931, and reprinted 1997 by The Foundation for American Education).
In what started out to be a mere speculative article on Colonel Edmund Dick Taylor's claim to be the father of the greenback, my speculation tended to get me significantly side-tracked into the matter of the Lincoln assassination. And this, of course, has led to making comparisons between the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations because of what appears to be some startling parallels. Of course, I am not a competent or thorough scholar on either subject, and make no such claim – and (conveniently), this is my ready defense when confronted with criticism over technical errors or omissions (and there are truly some confusing complexities connected to the subjects). It is not my intention to be taken as either an economics or historical scholar, or any sort of authority on the subjects. I am merely addressing the subjects as they appear to me in light of the limited amount of reading and research I've done – channeled and tempered, of course, by my own thought processes and possible biases.
But, since I find the parallels between the two assassinations quite fascinating, I'll add a brief outline of what little I have learned (and/or tend to believe or suspect), with regard to the Kennedy assassination. The full truths of the matters, of course, remain to more competent scholars than I to ultimately sort out.
The motive used, or assumed, in the official investigation of Kennedy's assassination centered on Castro and Kennedy's other alleged "communist enemies." They were an easy sell to a public very much aware of the "communist threat" and Kennedy's various activities directed against Castro, (including the Bay of Pigs and various alleged CIA assassination plots). By it was soon revealed that neither Castro nor the USSR were involved in Kennedy's assassination. The Warren Commission determined that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, though literally everybody with any interest at all consider that very unlikely. In all probability, Oswald was just what he claimed, "a patsy" — and may have even tried vainly to save the president by notifying the FBI of the danger.
Even official sources (including Congress itself), have since acknowledged a "probable wider conspiracy," while curiously declining to reopen a comprehensive official investigation.
(See Plausible Denial -- Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK? by attorney Mark Lane.)
Four other possible (and more probable) assassination motives stand out and are the subject of continuing inquiry. A fourth, which refuses to disappear, is the Greenback issue:
(1) Kennedy had determined to
withdraw American troops from
Vietnam after the 1964 election, much to the annoyance of the CIA
upset at Kennedy due to his betrayal at the Bay of Pigs) and various
anti-communist "hard-liners," (not to mention many salivating
Speaking of salivating corporate interests, it's interesting to note that Vice President Lyndon Johnson had significant long-time ties to the various Texas based corporations that combined in 1962 to become RMK-BRJ, the company that became known as "The Vietnam Builders." They intended to make a lot of money in Vietnam, and they did. Significantly, the contract with them was apparently signed in 1962, and if JFK intended to pull out of Vietnam as some evidence has it, they would not be very happy. RMK-BRJ (Halliburton) did about 97% of the contracting work for the U.S. War effort in Vietnam. Essentially the same companies are doing the same thing in Iraq and Afghanistan today. See: SALIVATING CORPORATE INTERESTS.
(2) Kennedy was too independent minded, and intended to forge his own domestic economic and foreign policies, in contravention of "advisers." (There are, among other things, allegations that Kennedy felt our agricultural policy should favor the family farm rather than corporate collectivization of the nation's agricultural production.)
(3) Kennedy was at loggerheads with Israel over the issue of developing nuclear weapons, and the Mossad played a role in the assassination.
(4) And, most interesting in relation to the Lincoln assassination, Kennedy had offended the international financiers with another issue of "greenbacks," and/or intended to forge his own monetary policy.
(See Rush to Judgment by Mark Lane, and Final Judgment, The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, by Michael Collins Piper)
NOVEMBER, 2003 Kennedy Update
Things began to break in the case of the Kennedy assassination some time ago. In light of this, a new and "official" reason for the assassination of the president may be added...
(5) The president was guilty of high treason! (Indeed, posters to that effect were being circulated in Dallas when Kennedy was assassinated!) And was secretly tried and convicted, and then executed (by assassination), by agencies of his own executive branch of government! Palpable echoes of the Lincoln assassination! That "high treason" was mainly in the form of going the extra mile in keeping the Cold War cold war from becoming a hot war, and thereby threatening national security as planned by the CIA and the military.
This motive number five, however, probably combines 1, 2, 3, above, and maybe even number 4 (The Department of the Treasury, was allegedly privy to the "removal" plan, if not the actual assassination, as indicated below). The alleged removal plot was code named ZIPPER. See: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/wolf-h1.html. (Not to be confused with the WWII "Operation_Zipper").
Even the most
conspiratorially oriented of us
felt that the Kennedy was most likely killed by "rogue" elements
within the CIA, rather than by any broad, "officially sanctioned,"
high level conspiracy (though it was obvious that a very high level,
based, coalition must have assisted in the cover-up). Until last year,
2002, not even the
best and most comprehensive of books on the assassination could present
official documents allegedly proving that Kennedy was killed by "legitimate" (to
use that word very loosely), elements within his own government. As in
of the Lincoln assassination, the truth in the matter appears to be
damning, alarming, and down-right bizarre, than anything heretofore
even by the most conspiracy minded fruit-cake.
Irrefutable documentation (if, of course, it is genuine), has finally surfaced and been published in a book entitled Regicide, the Official Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by Gregory Douglas, "With documentation compiled by Robert T. Crowley, former Assistant Deputy Director for Clandestine Operations of the CIA." Washington insiders, have undoubtedly been aware of the facts long before its publication — some, obviously, since the beginning of the alleged assassination conspiracy.
Statement of Policy
1. The removal of the President and the Attorney General from their positions because of high treason has been determined...
4. Removal by impeachment or other legal means is considered unfeasable (sic) and too protracted.
5. Therefore, an alternative solution has been found to effect this removal.
6. This removal is the result of a consensus between the various concerned official agencies...
8. The government departments directly concerned consisted of... (CIA, FBI, JCS)
9. Other government agencies involved but not with specific knowledge were...
(The Department of the Treasury [Secret Service Division], National Security Agency, Naval Security Group, INTERARMCO, Dept. of State)
10. ...the new President (LBJ), who had been fully briefed prior to the act, agreed...
Excerpt and condensed from a document classified as TOP SECRET!: Summary of Conferences held March-November 1963; Reference: Operation ZIPPER; Dated, December 22, 1963, published in Regicide, The Official Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by Gregory Douglas
known, too, but have been afraid to
speak out because of threats and the fact that many suspicious deaths
with knowledge of events in the wake of the assassination. But now many
finally talking, and the cat cannot be put back in the bag. Undoubtedly
more will come forward as time goes by.
A TV documentary called, "The Men Who Killed Kennedy," places vice president, "Lying Lyndon" Johnson, at the very forefront (and prime instigator), of the conspiracy and skullduggery that culminated on the 22nd of November, 1963 (and has followed). The evidence provided in this documentary compliments and enlarges on the information contained in Regicide.
See: Regicide! The Official Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by Gregory Douglas, published in 2002, published by Monte Sano Media, of Huntsville, Alabama.
It's only fair to note that other books and documentaries continue to appear supporting the official government line on the assassination, such as ABC's "...Beyond Conspiracy." No doubt the credibility of Regicide and The Men Who Killed Kennedy will be thrown into question in the minds of many. As always, the messenger has come under attack, throwing the veracity of the work into question, and it is being dismissed out of hand by Kennedy scholars as well as others. But, if the conspiracy and cover-up are true, of course, ABC and the other major media have obviously been active in the cover-up from the beginning and have a vested interest in its continuation. Credibility of the major media has never risen much higher than the government's in the decades since the assassination. In the final analysis, however, we still have a confusing choice as to what we believe.
While Gregory Douglas' Regicide failed to make many waves, a 2008 book by another Douglas is receiving a considerable amount of attention. It reinforces what Regicide and several other works have told us. This is James W. Douglass' new book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.
Once again we have a case where
the legitimacy of the
supporting documents is called into question, but the core revelations
fact be true as alleged. See James H. Fetzer's Amazon.com review of the
briefly quoted here – ("A fascinating work that appears to be a
...The skeleton of this account may well be true, but the documents on which it is based appear to have been fabricated. The corrupt objective, alas!, may be to present a largely accurate account based upon phoney records, whose exposure as forgeries is meant to discredit the account itself. I wish it were not so, but that is how things appear. (A plausible Amazon review of Regicide, by James H. Fetzer.)
Meanwhile, another thread in the assassination saga has emerged. We now have a confessed assassin to contend with – the one from the famous grassy knoll. Meet him at http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com.
For more than you ever wanted to know about the John F. Kennedy assassination visit the following web sites: http://www.jfk-online.com, http://www.john-f-kennedy.net.
Read JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass.
THE KENNEDY GREENBACK
The so-called "Kennedy greenback" refers to the apparent unusual number of "U.S. Notes" circulated during the last year of Kennedy's administration. U.S. Notes are greenbacks (direct descendants of the Lincoln greenback), and were printed and circulated in limited quantities from the Civil War era through 1969, when they were permanently withdrawn as "anachronisms." The following is quoted from a United States Treasury web-site on the history of U.S. money:
United States notes were known as greenbacks
"United States notes, which came to be called greenbacks, were the first real paper money issued by the U.S. government. They became known as greenbacks as they were the first bills to be engraved with green backs.
"Greenbacks were put in circulation in April 1862 at a time when the North was struggling with the problem of financing the Civil War which had begun a year earlier. These notes were made legal tender for all private and public debts except payment of customs duties and interest on U.S. bonds and notes. Thus they also became known as legal tenders.
"U.S. notes were originally backed by faith in the government rather than gold or silver. However, the Treasury was directed to begin redeeming U.S. notes in coin in 1879, which everyone understood as meaning they would be redeemed in gold. This continued until 1933 when the nation abandoned the gold standard. And so, once again, these notes were backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
"The highest amount of U.S. notes ever outstanding was nearly $450 million in 1864. After the Civil War, many of these notes were retired until, in 1878, a law was passed freezing the amount outstanding at more than $322 million. This law still stands today although U.S. notes have not been issued since 1969.
"Today, U.S. notes are a liability of the U.S. Treasury, while Federal Reserve notes are a liability of the Federal Reserve System. Since the Federal Reserve System has the responsibility for maintaining growth and elasticity in the U.S. money supply, it uses Federal Reserve notes for the active currency part of the money supply. With this in mind, the Department of the Treasury has asked Congress to enact legislation that would allow them to cease issuing U.S. notes on the basis that they are an anachronism."
See Listing of Library of Congress Links on U.S. Monetary Acts from 1792 to 1873.
Many conspiracy theorists erroneously believe these greenbacks were a Kennedy executive order "creation." This, if not patently untrue, is perhaps rather misleading. Executive Order 11110 is always cited, though that EO had nothing to do with greenbacks. It dealt with authority to issue of "Silver Certificates." This, of course, would seem very significant in and of itself, and might easily be construed as an opening salvo against the money power. On the other hand, it was in 1963 that Congress abolished silver coinage and the mint started using nickel clad copper for coins (because by 1960 silver had gone to $1.29 an ounce). Thus the probable purpose of issuing silver certificates was in preparation to removing as much silver coinage as possible from circulation in return for silver certificates. The idea apparently was to encourage banks to return silver coinage to the Treasury. But, of course, silver certificates would no longer be redeemable in silver, so this really doesn't seem to make much sense. Whether any silver certificates were actually issued pursuant to that EO is not known. I believe the last series was that of 1957, but the series does not necessarily reflect the date of issue.
However, Kennedy may (or may not) have caused more greenbacks to be put into general circulation than any president since Lincoln – or at least in more recent history. If true (and if Kennedy had any ideas of serious monetary reform), it would have been very "troubling" to the monetary power brokers at the Federal Reserve as well as abroad, and would add another "strange coincidence" relative to Lincoln and Kennedy. See some more light on Executive Order 11110, including the text of the order.
There is one thing that is fairly obvious. There is a lot of smoke surrounding this subject. And it is said that where there is smoke, there has to be a fire.
A 1963 "KENNEDY GREENBACK"
As of 1994, some $284,125,895 in U.S. Notes were supposedly still in circulation (though by now, most are undoubtedly in private collections). They are in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, and $100 bills (source: The 1995 World Almanac). Watch your money and save any U.S. Notes that come into your possession! They are collectors' items. Ten and Twenty dollar U.S. Notes are particularly rare. They are easy to spot, due to the red serial numbers and Treasury seal (Federal Reserve Notes have green serial numbers and seals). Also watch for Gold and Silver Certificates, which are also very rare (with gold and blue seals, respectively).
My limited research has not yet yielded any definitive answers with regard to the number of U.S. Notes put into actual circulation during the Kennedy years—and who or what caused them to be put into circulation. The only thing I know is that the only U.S. Notes I have ever personally seen are dated 1963. Three have come into my possession, and all three are $5.00 notes, dated 1963. This could indicate that more small denomination U.S. Notes were circulated during Kennedy's last year than before or since, though the date is a "series" date which might not be the actual year of issue.
Soon after private ownership of gold was banned in 1933, all of the remaining types of circulating currency, silver certificates, Federal Reserve Notes, and United States Notes, were redeemable by individuals only for silver. Eventually, even silver redemption stopped in 1965-68, during a time in which all U.S. currency (both coins and paper currency) was changed to fiat currency. At this point for the general public, there was little to distinguish United States Notes from Federal Reserve Notes. As a result, the public circulation of United States Notes, which was then mainly in the form of $5 bills, was replaced with $5 Federal Reserve Notes, and the stock of United States Notes was mostly converted into $100 bills, which spent most of their time in bank vaults. No more United States Notes were put into circulation after January 21, 1971. Finally, in 1996, the Treasury announced that its stock of $100 United States Notes had been destroyed.
In any case, an entire conspiracy "scenario" has grown up around the subject. Even Michael Collins Piper, refuting the "Federal Reserve Killed JFK" myth in Final Judgment – the Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, concedes, "In fact, it does appear that the last time U.S. Notes were introduced into the economy was during the JFK administration, but... not by the special executive order issued by the president..."
(j) The authority vested in the President by paragraph (b) of section 43 of the Act of May 12,1933, as amended (31 U.S.C.821(b)), to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury not then held for redemption of any outstanding silver certificates, to prescribe the denomination of such silver certificates, and to coin standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver currency for their redemption (Executive Order 11110, June 4, 1963, John F. Kennedy)
Whether U.S. Notes might have been issued as the result of Executive Order 11110, in lieu of Silver Certificates, I don't know. It would seem highly unlikely. In any case, in spite of EO 11110, apparently no Silver Certificates or new monetary Silver Dollars were subsequently issued. Clearly, there are many unanswered questions which for some reason have not yet been properly addressed even within the "conspiracy community" of writers. Rather, they have only been addressed by writers who have failed to note the distinction between greenbacks and silver certificates, and thus have failed to satisfactorily make a plausible or half-way scholarly case.
The inherent conflicts in using our Federal Reserve currency as the international reserve currency came to be known as the "Triffin_dilemma". Those problems that would result in the end of the gold standard in 1971 and were already well recognized when President Kennedy came into office. Here is the possible smoking gun with regard to Kennedy "angering" the bankers.
Onset Triffin_dilemma during Bretton Woods Era (See:
Due to money flowing out of the country through the Marshall Plan, US defense-spending and Americans buying foreign goods, the number of U.S. dollars in circulation began to exceed the amount of gold backing them up in 1959.
By the fall of 1960, an ounce of gold could be exchanged for $40 in London, even though the price in the U.S. was $35. This difference showed that investors knew the dollar was overvalued and that time was running out.
There was a solution to the Triffin dilemma for the U.S.: reduce the number of dollars in circulation by cutting the deficit and raising interest rates to attract dollars back into the country.
Both these tactics, however, would drag the U.S. economy into recession, a prospect new President John F. Kennedy found intolerable, although he did sign an executive order allowing the US Treasury "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury." This would create competition to the Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) that were overvalued (emphasis and underscoring added).
To maintain the Bretton Woods system and exert control over the exchange rate of gold, the US initiated the creation of the London Gold Pool and the General Agreements to Borrow (GAB) in 1961 which sustained the system until 1967 when runs on gold and the devaluation of the pound sterling were followed by the demise of the system.
(Ironically, the U.S. Mint now does mint and sell gold and silver bullion coins denominated in dollars to the public. These are sold at a profit as a source of revenue for the mint. They are for collectors and investors, and are not circulated as currency and have no relationship to the circulating U.S. currency or FRNs, even though they are "official" U.S. coins and are, presumably, full "legal tender" at "face" value rather than actual value.)
Just because Kennedy didn't issue an executive order causing U.S. Notes to be issued, however, doesn't necessarily mean he didn't have something to do with having them circulated. After all, long-standing law clearly said that over $300 million would be kept in circulation – but the Treasury was not abiding by the letter of that law. Most years the notes were apparently locked away in a so-called "issue vault" and the Treasury considered that circulating them. Perhaps only a word from the president to the right person could have been enough to cause the Treasury to honor the existing law. This, of course, is purely speculation on my part.
There is something more than pure speculation, however, that indicates Kennedy may well have had serious enemies in high banking circles. Indeed, more than just rumors persist that he had a hidden anti-Federal Reserve agenda. The story goes back to the patriarch of the Kennedy dynasty, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., JFK's father, who had been determined to make one of his sons president. Joseph Kennedy may well have inoculated his sons in his own anti-Federal Reserve philosophy. (See Final Judgment, The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, by Michael Collin Piper, for the full story.)
Also, see "Batesfam's" opinions on Kennedy, and his reviews of a book by Professor Donald Gibson on Kennedy's political career: "Battling Wall Street," Gibson on his view of the true allegiance of the late, great president. The writer/reviewer is unknown to the present writer. This copy of an email from him was posted some time ago on the Internet, and I have not as yet had the opportunity to read the book.
In the 1990s, James F. Files, a mob hit man, who had CIA connections (and is doing a life sentence for other crimes), confessed to being the one who made the fatal shot into President Kennedy's head from the "Grassy Knoll." Naturally, the government doesn't seem to be interested, since the FBI claims Files is in not a "credible" witness – but his confession is pretty convincing to the ordinary layman. A book by Wim Dankbaar, and a DVD version, covering Mr. Files' confession are available from Amazon.com: Files on JFK.
Read all about it at: http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com.
Regardless of the truths of the matters at hand, this all makes for interesting speculative thought with regard to Lincoln, Kennedy, and the mysterious Col. Taylor.
PARTIAL LIST OF REFERENCES:
Magazine (P.O. Box 8,
Herod, Illinois 62947) December 1996,
June 1997, August 1997, December 1997, December 2009 Issues.
Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men of Chicago, Chicago, 1876
Edmund Dick Taylor Tribute Page by Joseph Scott Morris: http://www.josephscottmorris.net/edmunddicktaylor.htm
The Lincoln Conspiracy by David Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier, Jr., 1977
The Conquest of Poverty by G. G. McGeer
The Two Nations (1935), by Christopher Hollis
Impact, Essays on Ignorance and the Decline of American Civilization, by Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound, Selected Prose 1909-1965, (1973, New Directions Publishing Corp.)
Out of Debt, Out of Danger by California Congressman Jerry Voorhis (1901-1984 — First printed in 1943, and reprinted 1991 by the Populist Action Committee)
Lincoln, The Man by Edgar Lee Masters (Originally published 1931, and reprinted 1997 by The Foundation for American Education)
Rush to Judgment by attorney Mark Lane
Plausible Denial -- Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK? by attorney Mark Lane
On the Trail of the Assassins, My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy, by Jim Garrison, New Orleans District Attorney, 1988
Final Judgment, The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, by Michael Collin Piper
Regicide! The Official Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by Gregory Douglas, published in 2002, published by Monte Sano Media, of Huntsville, Alabama.
Slaves, Salt, Sex & Mr. Crenshaw, 2004, by Jon Musgrave http://www.illinoishistory.com. (This book sheds more light on the subject of Edmund Dick Taylor than perhaps any other single source.)
The Lost Science of Money, The Mythology of Money - the Story of Power, by Stephen Zarlenga published in 2002 by The American Monetary Institute - http://www.monetary.org.
MONEY! U.S. Monetary system and everything you need to know about it: http://landru.myhome.net/monques/
SEE "United States Notes" at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Note
Other sources as referenced in the text of the articles above, as well as several items from various unidentified web sites.
JFK Web Sites of interest
http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=126 Interesting forum site
http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com One of the assassins confesses to killing President Kennedy – but the government isn't interested. A new book and video are out and available, covering the confession of James F. Files: Files on JFK, by Wim Dankbaar.
Another great source on the Lincoln and Kennedy conspiracies and more! Conspiracy Nation: http://www.shout.net/~bigred/cn.html
READING ON MONEY, THE GREENBACK, AND
AND MUCH MORE!
See Yamaguchy's comprehensive site (on politics, war, economics, currency and money) is now (Aug., 2010) defunct. It included many rare texts available only in large libraries, many of which date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
See our Yamaguchy Reading List on this domain.
Books on Lincoln
Books on Kennedy
Books on the Greenbacks
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