Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Untitled Aristocracy

 © 2004 by Linda Minor
There is, however, in New England, an aristocracy, if you choose to call it so, which has a far greater character of permanence. It has grown to be a caste, not in any odious sense, but, by the repetition of the same influences, generation after generation, it has acquired a distinct organization and physiognomy....A scholar is almost always the son of scholars or scholarly persons. He comes of the Brahmin caste of New England. This is the harmless, inoffensive, untitled aristocracy to which I have referred, and which I am sure you will at once acknowledge.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Elsie Venner (1859) [1]

The Call to Arms

John Forbes Kerry accepted the Presidential nomination at a speech at the Democratic Convention in the summer of 2004 amid rousing oratory praising him as a patriotic veteran who volunteered to serve his country in the war in Vietnam. The details of what inspired his decision, however, were not revealed. Identifying the forces that motivated Kerry to enlist in the Navy in 1966 reveals much more about him than the fact that he served on combat duty in the war. Let's go back to 1966 to find out.

Kerry was recruited by William Putnam Bundy (Yale, Skull and Bones 1939), John F. Kennedy's assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs, who made a speech at Yale University in 1966. Three years after Kerry's "hero," President Kennedy, had been violently murdered while beginning his plan to withdraw all American forces from Indochina, Bundy arrived at Yale to support the war Kennedy had vowed to end. Immediately after JFK's assassination, Lyndon Johnson had reversed Kennedy's National Security Memorandum 263 and kept Bundy on in the same position as before.

Following the Yale speech, where he was "greeted as a legacy of the slain president," Bundy paid a visit to his own nephew, Harvey Bundy III, a resident of Jonathan Edwards College at Yale, who shared a large suite complete with fireplace with roommates including John Kerry. Bundy remained there "into the wee hours of the morning." [2] Bundy's advice to the young men was to be trained as officers for the war in Vietnam—to serve where their country needed men of their calibre and breeding.  He meant, of course, men from that class of “untitled aristocracy,” who were bred to lead the masses and control events.

The Bundy family are members of that class of aristocracy referred to as “Boston Brahmin.”  According to William Bundy’s obituary in the October 7, 2000 New York Times:
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
"He had this extraordinarily strong feeling of traditional obligation to serve the nation," Robert S. McNamara, the former secretary of defense and Mr. Bundy's boss, said in an interview…. William Putnam Bundy was born in Washington, on Sept. 24, 1917, a family with a tradition of service. His father, Harvey Hollister Bundy, a lawyer who had been a clerk for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, had also been an aide to Henry L. Stimson, President Herbert Hoover's secretary of state and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's secretary of war. His mother, the former Katherine Lawrence Putnam, was from the bedrock of Boston tradition. She was closely related to the Cabots, the Lowells and the Lawrences. His wife was the former Mary Eleanor Acheson, the daughter of the former secretary of state…. William and McGeorge were products of Groton, Yale and Harvard. Their friends and mentors included the journalists Walter Lippman and Joseph Alsop, Justice Felix Frankfurter and Judge Learned Hand, and officials such as Allen Dulles, director of central intelligence."
Obituary, New York Times, Oct. 7, 2000 [emphasis added]

McGeorge and William Putnam Bundy
The obituary above quoted David Halberstam, author of The Best and the Brightest, who termed William Bundy’s role as “the pivot” of Johnson’s Vietnam policy in Vietnam, a job he left after Nixon’s election in 1969 with the war at its peak, to become an MIT visiting professor and research associate in the Center for International Studies. [3]  His brother, McGeorge Bundy (Yale, Skull and Bones 1940), left his job as National Security Adviser to Kennedy and Johnson in December 1965 to head the Ford Foundation, where he proceeded to fund the anti-war movement’s Cointelpro agents provocateurs. [4]

Choosing to leave the impression that the Bundys were the creme de la creme in brainpower, the obituary failed to inform us that the clerkship awarded to Harvey Bundy, Sr. (Yale, Skull and Bones 1909) was bestowed upon him by his wife’s “Uncle Wendell,” the son of the man who coined the term “Brahmin Caste of New England.”  Harvey Bundy III—son of William and McGeorge’s older brother, Harvey Jr. (Yale 1938]—with whom Kerry shared his suite at Yale, worked as an investment banker in Chicago for William Blair & Co., where he was one of Kerry’s biggest fundraisers, and he had access to an enormous pool of capital under the management of that investment bank, where Kerry's old roommate (Harvey III) can still be found.

The Bundys, McCormicks and the Blairs
New Capitalist Competitors in Chicago
William Blair & Co. was founded in 1935 by William McCormick Blair  (Yale, Skull and Bones  1907),  [5] formerly a banker in the Chicago office of Lee, Higginson & Co. (1922-32).[6]   As we saw in the Forbes clan research, Boston-based Lee, Higginson investment bank was heavily involved in reinvesting the profits made in the China trade (opium in particular) of the Massachusetts shipping families such as Forbes, Cabot, Cushing and Perkins, who joined with New York families like Russell, Delano and Sturgis to merge into Russell & Co.  It was a Russell & Co. heir, William Huntington Russell, who in 1832 created the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale, along with friend Alphonso Taft.
McCormick Reaper
The founder of William Blair & Co. was the son of Anna Reubenia (Ruby) McCormick Blair, therefore making him a first cousin to Robert Rutherford McCormick and Joseph Medill Patterson, all of them heirs to the Cyrus Hall McCormick farm machinery fortune as well as to the Chicago Tribune publishing empire.  The manufacturing company in which his father was a partner became International Harvester when Cyrus and his brothers hired the J.P. Morgan bank to raise $120,000,000 from a sale of securities in order to purchase its competitor companies. [7] That fortune made the McCormick and the Blair heirs among the wealthiest families in Chicago. They became inextricably linked through marital ties, as well as through their relationship with the Morgan bank, to old-money families in New York, Boston and other Eastern cities. William Blair, Jr., while attending Groton like his father, had been close friends with William Bundy, though Blair chose Stanford rather than following Bundy to Yale, as his father and younger brother Edward had done. [8]

The importance of relationships cemented during the formative years cannot be emphasized too much. The idea of a residential college system in the United States took hold when Yale accepted in 1930 a $16 million donation from alumnus Edward S. Harkness (Wolf’s Head 1897), who had also made a similar donation to Harvard on the condition that each university set up the residential system on the model of Oxford and Cambridge in England. [9]    The donation to Harvard in 1928 was approved by President A. Lawrence Lowell—whose favorite niece just happened to be the mother of William and McGeorge Bundy.

An informal residential tutelage program had existed for years, however, in post-graduate levels of the educational system. For example, Harvey Bundy, Sr., father of William and McGeorge, had been selected, after Harvard Law School, while clerking for Justice Holmes, to live in “the House of Truth,” a bachelor quarters three blocks north of Dupont Circle in northwest Washington, D.C. This red-brick Victorian group house had been established in 1911 by Felix Frankfurter and named facetiously by Justice Holmes. Justice Frankfurter, who recruited most of the clerks for the Court, had lived in this same house with Eugene Meyer’s brother, Walter (who never married), Walter Lippmann and Philip Kerr (Lord Lothian). [10] One can only imagine the psychological impact on a young man allowed to hobnob on such a basis with America’s legal and philosophical legends.

On the undergraduate level, Jonathan Edwards residential college opened at Yale in 1932 with eight fellows appointed to study under Professor Robert Dudley French.  When William Bundy recruited Kerry for Vietnam in 1966, he must have felt a wave of nostalgia, as he himself  had lived at Jonathan Edwards College in 1935 after matriculating at Groton, choosing it because Master French was a “family friend.”  The Bundy boys, through their mother’s family, equaled the Winthrops in their long history in America.  In fact, one Putnam genealogist traced the Putnam roots back to the same ancestor — Mary Veren Putnam — who, through her first husband Nathaniel Veren was the great-great-grandmother of Jane Borland, who married John Still Winthrop in 1750. Through Mary’s second husband, Lt. Thomas Putnam, she was the great-great-grandmother of Elizabeth Putnam, who married Samuel Endicott in 1794. This was apparently a matter of great pride to the family, who considered their blood the bluest of the blue.

Thus, John Kerry’s mother’s family roots were inextricably intertwined with those of the Bundy brothers’ mother.  As Kranish stated in the Boston Globe:
Kerry's reputation as a Boston Brahmin has deep roots, but only on one side of the family. His maternal ancestors include the Forbes family, which started the Boston-China trade and which still owns estates around the world frequented by Kerry, and the Winthrops, who produced the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In the genealogical study of the Forbes clan, I explored the Forbes family roots with particular emphasis on Kerry’s maternal grandfather, James Grant Forbes. Here, however, we go further and examine the background of James Grant Forbes’s wife, Margaret Tyndall Winthrop Forbes—whose heritage serves to give Kerry the title as a true “Boston Brahmin.”

From Groton to Groton

The individuals who established America were members of a variety of groups of dissenters or non-conformists, living during a transition period in history between the divine right of kings and the advent of Parliamentary power. They felt so strongly about their own rightness that they were willing to give up their homeland and depart on faith to create their ideal society in a virgin land.  The “Pilgrims” landed in 1620 at Plymouth, Massachusetts (30 miles south of Boston),  and the “Puritans” arrived ten years later to found Boston. Within ten years another 20,000 Puritans would debark in waves from England to join the remainder of the original 1,000 colonists, where they settled in numerous small towns within a 30-mile radius of Boston.

The leader of this group was John Winthrop, a wealthy attorney from Groton, between Ipswich and Cambridge, in Suffolk, England, who obtained financing for the trip from wealthy investors in England who purchased the Plymouth charter and received a new patent from the king — to form the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  It had been exactly 100 years since King Henry VIII had broken with the Catholic Church by marrying Anne Boleyn, mother of Queen Elizabeth I, who had died in 1603 without issue. In 1558 she had succeeded her half-brother Edward VI and his mother Jane Seymour, both Anglicans, and her sister Mary, a Catholic. To resolve the religious conflict Elizabeth signed two Parliamentary Acts in 1559, reinstating the English monarch as head of the Church of England, above the authority of the Pope, and requiring certain types of orthodox ritual in church services.

Nevertheless, persecution of Catholics and others regarded as heretics continued under Elizabeth’s reign.  After her death, James I — son of her sister Mary Queen of Scots — became king for the next nine years, dying in 1625.  It was the reign of his son, Charles I that convinced the Puritans — Protestants who objected to the ritual, ornamentation, structure and liturgy that the monarchy required—of the need to leave England to establish a new life in America.  They could not foresee that Puritan Oliver Cromwell, who took a seat in Parliament in 1628, would successfully wage a revolution resulting in Charles’ execution in 1649.

The charter for Massachusetts Bay Colony was signed by King Charles in 1629, and the grant was made to persons to whom the Pilgrim colonists had assigned their rights in 1628. An amended charter in 1691 added several names that grab our attention — Saltonstall, Winthrop, Russell, Sewall, Hawthorn, Hutchinson, Lothrop — notable Brahmin family names known throughout American history and up to the present day.

The Brahmin Caste of Characters

John Winthrop, Jr. had two sons, but only one of them carried on the family name.  The other son, Fitz-John Winthrop, however, had several daughters who married very prominent men in the community.  Elizabeth Winthrop married Zerubbabel Endecott, son of another famous Massachusetts Bay governor, and their lineage is filled with Endicotts, Putnams, Crowninshields and Peabodys. It was Wait Still Winthrop, however, who was the ancestor of John Kerry’s grandmother Margaret Winthrop. Wait Winthrop’s grandson, John-Still married the governor of Rhode Island and had three sons, one of whom, Benjamin, married the daughter of Peter Stuyvesant, the governor of New York. Their grandson, Bronson Winthrop, born in 1863 and a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, England (1886), would for many years be the law partner of Henry L. Stimson (mentor to the men in the Bundy family).

Another of John-Still’s sons, Thomas Lindall Winthrop (1760-1841), married Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple, whose maternal grandfather was James Bowdoin of Massachusetts and whose uncle was James Bowdoin, the U.S. minister to Spain and assistant minister to France.  Her paternal grandfather was Sir John Temple, the Eighth Baronet, whom her brother Grenville succeeded as Ninth Baronet. Thomas served as a Harvard Overseer from 1828-41 and as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts from 1826-32.

The Winthrops merge with Opium Barons

First the Cabots

The youngest of Thomas Winthrop’s fourteen children was Robert Charles Winthrop, born in 1809.  In 1832 he married his first wife, Eliza Cabot Blanchard, who grew up amidst numerous East India merchant trading families.  Her mother, Mary Ann Cabot—daughter of Francis Cabot and Nancy Clarke, whose brother Richard had imported the celebrated tea from the East India Company involved in the Boston Tea Party—had been previously married to Nathaniel Cabot Lee, and through that marriage became the mother of John Clarke Lee, one of the founders in 1848 of Lee, Higginson & Co. in Boston. [11] Richard Clarke, who had relocated to England during the revolution, used his contacts with the East India to help Samuel Cabot, a Perkins son-in-law, establish a base in Smyrna to purchase Turkish opium—virtually the only profitable commodity in the China trade in the 1820’s—to sell in Chinese ports.

By the 1830s, the Perkins firm was said to control as much as half of the entire U.S. trade with Canton, second only to the British East India Company, which lost its monopoly in India by 1833.After her first husband’s death in 1806, Mary Ann married Francis Blanchard, but died giving birth to their daughter Elizabeth. 

Mary Ann’s family, the Cabots, long involved in the shipping trade in Essex County, Massachusetts, had established their fortunes during the revolutionary war years of 1776-1783 as eminently successful privateers—using their fleet with the approval of the American colonies, to attack and captured British, Spanish, Portuguese, and other ships, seizing and their cargoes under existing forfeiture laws, and keeping the profit. They quickly learned how important it was to control the persons elected or appointed to fill government positions, who could continue rewarding them through the passage of such legislation.

Then the Lowells, Gardners and Coolidges

Francis Blanchard died when Eliza was only four, and she was taken into the home of her father’s maternal uncle. Some accounts say she lived with John Gardner, though others state she was adopted by Samuel Pickering Gardner—both of whom were sons of John and Elizabeth Pickering Gardner. Their mother’s father was Timothy Pickering—a leading member of the “Essex Junto,” which favored secession of New England from the Union during the War of 1812. Their father’s father and his brother were both married to Putnams of West Peabody (formerly Danvers), Massachusetts. 

Judge Lowell

Samuel’s wife Rebecca Russell Lowell was the daughter of Judge John Lowell (1743-1802) and his third wife, daughter of James Russell; the Judge had first married Sarah Higginson and then Susanna Cabot. Her half brother, John Lowell, Jr. in 1823 was referred to as “The Rebel,” because of his support for the British during the War of 1812. [12] Her other half-brother, Francis Cabot Lowell, who spent his efforts building the textile industry in New England, after going to Manchester to study operations there, died in 1817. Thereafter, it would take significantly more capital coming in from China to keep the mills running.

By the time Elizabeth married Robert Charles Winthrop in 1832, Samuel Gardner was associated in the China trade with the Perkins and Forbes families at J. and J & T.H. Perkins & Co.  He was a director of the China Mutual Insurance Co. located on State Street in Boston, of which Russell & Co. was the Shanghai and Canton agent.  Other directors of the insurance firm included John Murray and Robert Bennet Forbes, and James Sturgis.  Samuel and Rebecca Gardner’s son George was engaged in commerce with his brother John—who married Catharine Endicott Peabody—in the East Indies, Russia, and Sumatra, as well as in railroads and banking. 
Russell & Co., Shanghai, 1886

Thomas Jefferson Coolidge
Their daughter, Julia Gardner, in 1860 married Joseph Randolph Coolidge, a great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson and the son of Joseph Coolidge—a partner in Russell & Co.  His brother, T.J. Coolidge, was President of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, a job he was given because his family controlled the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, which owned a large block of stock in the ATSF. [13] Before working for the railroad, Coolidge had a “career in the East India trade.”  T.J. Coolidge was also the incorporator of the United Fruit Co. in 1899, as well as minister to France.  Another daughter, Mary Gardner, married her cousin, Francis Cabot Lowell, Jr. and spent the year 1831-32 visiting family holdings in Cuba.   [14]

Next came the Derbys, Peabodys and Endicotts
It is likely that Eliza’s marriage to a Winthrop, who had studied law under Daniel Webster, was seen as a great asset to the family, even though he never practiced his trade.  He chose a career in politics instead. [15] Eliza died, however, when her son, Robert Charles, Jr., was young. Robert Charles Winthrop’s second wife, Laura Derby Welles, whom he married in 1849, was the sister-in-law of  Endicott Peabody, who founded Groton School in 1884 with trustees that included J. P. Morgan, Phillips Brooks, and Bishop William Lawrence.  Another founder was William Amory Gardner, the nephew of Isabella Stewart Gardner — the wife of John Lowell Gardner, with whom Eliza had grown up. When Gardner died in 1884, his personal fortune was valued at $5 million. 

George Peabody
Robert, Sr. retired from politics in 1851 and became a noted eulogist and an agent of George Peabody in disseminating the “great education fund for the South, established by his  friend  George  Peabody.”[16] He had then become president of the Massachusetts Historical Society, chiefly financed by Peabody. Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr. (1834-1905) had been a young man of fifteen years when his father married into the Derby and Peabody family. He was in the Harvard class of 1854 and then studied law under Leverett Saltonstall, but had no real occupation other than traveling in Europe, mostly living in Paris for almost a decade. His daughter Margaret Tyndal Winthrop was born in 1880, ten years after her father delivered the eulogy for London banker George Peabody, whose body was returned for burial in Danvers, Massachusetts where he was born. [17]

J.M. Forbes Naushon Island Trust
Map of Naushon Island, Massachusetts
Margaret’s mother was Elizabeth Mason—the granddaughter of Senator Jeremiah Mason, a famous attorney who had represented Bowdoin College in a lawsuit that explains a great deal about how this branch of the Winthrop family departed from its Puritanical heritage.  The story takes us to Naushon Island—the name of one of the Elizabeth Islands chain, south of Cape Code, Massachusetts. The Elizabeth Islands are located southwest of Falmouth, MA, just across Vineyard Sound from Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick, which are directly west of Nantucket—noted for whale fishing in its earlier days. The earliest owners of Naushon Island were the Mayhew family who had arrived in America with the Winthrop fleet and became missionaries to the Indians.  The definitive history of the island was written by Amelia Forbes Emerson in 1935.  Her book recounts that the Mayhews owned the island until 1682, at which time they conveyed it to Wait Winthrop, grandson of the  first governor of Massachusetts Bay. In 1730 Wait’s so John Still Winthrop, lost the land when James Bowdoin foreclosed upon a mortgage.

By 1761 the owners of Naushon Island were the governor’s sons, James II and William.  James’ son (James Bowdoin III) then married his uncle’s daughter, merging 100% of the title in that couple.  It should be recalled here that Thomas Lindall Winthrop had married Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple, whose maternal grandfather was Governor James Bowdoin, owner of the island in 1730.  In 1804 James Bowdoin III was appointed by Thomas Jefferson as minister plenipotentiary of the United States in Spain and associate minister to France, but he retired after four years, dying in 1811 at the island without children. In his will, he created certain trusts for the lives of his wife and a nephew, with the island to pass after their deaths to Bowdoin College if certain contingencies were not fulfilled.  The nephew was the son of Lady Temple, his sister, then living in England and married to Sir John Temple, whose second son changed his last name to Bowdoin in order to meet the trust conditions.  There was a further condition that to receive the inheritance his son had to reside in America.

Sir John Temple and his wife also had a daughter, Elizabeth — the wife of Thomas Lindall Winthrop (one of the ancestors of John Kerry), one of whose sons had also changed his last name to Bowdoin before his mother’s uncle died.  This son was an older brother of Robert Charles Winthrop. Their father, Thomas Lindall, acted as agent for the island while Ambassador Bowdoin was in Spain. There is a plethora of correspondence set out in the history of Naushon written by Amelia Forbes Emerson, which details his work in overseeing the income produced from the island from tenant farming, sheep raising, a dairy and salt works.

In 1811 Thomas, named as trustee in the will, wrote a letter to his brother Joseph Winthrop, explaining the terms of his wife’s uncle’s will. [18] To Thomas and his wife, who had spent most of their lives looking out for Bowdoin’s business in America, he left virtually nothing, though their son James, who had changed his last name to Bowdoin, did manage to receive a bequest of personal property.  In 1833 they appointed as agent a man named William Swain, the uncle of John Murray Forbes’ wife (the former Sarah Swain Hathaway).  Swain then occupied the mansion that had been built on the island in 1809, often inviting Forbes as a guest.  In 1842, when James Temple Bowdoin died, Swain desired to buy the island but had to clear the title, which was subject to the entailment created in Ambassador Bowdoin’s will. A friendly court settlement was reached with title conveyed to Russell Sturgis, as trustee for Swain and Forbes. Today the island remains in the Forbes family with title held under the name J.M. Forbes Naushon Island Trust.
John Murray Forbes

In the acknowledgment of her book, Ms. Emerson states:  “Pictures, information and every sort of help have been given by … certain members of the family now living on Naushon, Ralph E. Forbes, W. Cameron Forbes, and Edward W. Forbes.” [19] The father of the three men mentioned was William Hathaway Forbes—married in 1865 to Edith, daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson—who was the first president of American Telephone and Telegraph Co., having organized the corporation for Alexander Graham Bell in 1879.  He had been a partner from 1865 until 1897 of J. Murray Forbes & Co.   We met W. Cameron Forbes in the Forbes Clan.  He was the uncle who had offered to bring John Kerry’s mother, Rosemary, to keep house for him not long before she married Kerry’s father. John Kerry has a brother named for this favorite uncle.

Friends of Lee Harvey Oswald
Ruth Hyde and Michael Paine
Ruth Forbes (1903-98), a daughter of William Hathaway and Edith (Emerson) Forbes, married George Lyman Paine (Harvard class of 1922), an "enthusiastic Marxist and Trotskyite,"  and gave birth in 1928 to Michael Paine. She and Paine divorced in 1934; she married a man named Giles W. Thomas, before marrying her last husband, Arthur M. Young—inventor of the Bell helicopter. [20] Michael Paine testified as to his family background during the Warren Commission hearings. Michael’s testimony resulted from the fact that he and his wife had become very good friends with Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina in the six months or so before the Kennedy assassination. The friendship with the Oswalds occurred while Michael was employed in Fort Worth at Bell Helicopter — a company which eventually made a fortune manufacturing a helicopter design patented by his stepfather, for the war in Vietnam. 
Arthur Young's Helicopter
In Ruth Paine’s testimony she recounted her visit to her in-laws’ summer home on Naushon Island (the same island referred to above, owned by Michael Paine's maternal relatives, the Forbes family. Michael also testified that his grandfather paid his family’s way to Naushon each year, but it is not clear whether this was a time the entire extended family came together or whether only parts of the family assembled at different times. It is clear from their testimony, however, that Ruth discussed Marina and Lee Oswald with her mother-in-law at that time, and that immediately upon her return in September of 1963 she invited Marina and the children to move into her house.

Much of the questioning of Ruth Paine before the Warren Commission came from Allen Dulles, the man whom John F. Kennedy had fired as Director of the C.I.A. Dulles never revealed at the time that he had known Ruth Forbes Paine Young and her family personally before questioning her daughter-in-law. Nor did he feel inclined to mention the fact that Michael Paine’s grandmother’s family (the Cabots) were huge stockholders in United Fruit Company; nor that both sides of the family—Cabot and Forbes—had owned land in Cuba that had been expropriated by Fidel Castro. [21]  Above all, Dulles failed to mention that he and his brother, President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State during the coup era, had previously been attorneys for the United Fruit Company.

At this point we can only wonder whether John Kerry ever knew that he was a not-so-distant relative of one of the closest friends of the family of the alleged assasin of his childhood hero. Is it possible, even, that he may have known Michael Paine or his wife from family gatherings at Naushon? We do know Kerry spent some of his summers there, including the year 1971 upon his return from Vietnam. 
"Vietnam had become Kerry's horse, and he rode it hard. His book The New Soldier was published in late 1971 and featured a controversial cover photograph of an upside-down American flag.

"Condemning Vietnam as a 'degrading and immoral war,'  Kerry wrote: 'We were sent to Vietnam to kill communism. But we found instead that we were killing women and children.'…

"The  young veteran had weighty things on his mind, but he didn't allow himself to be consumed by them. … The future senator particularly enjoyed spending time on Naushon Island, his family's retreat off the coast of Massachusetts. He relaxed in that wild, pristine environment, sunning himself on the beach, riding horses, windsailing, or fishing. Evenings, he liked to cook his catch for family and friends."
U.S. News and World Report, May 3, 2004 (v136 i15 p32)

The Untitled Aristocracy in 2004

What, if anything, does this genealogy lesson prove?  It shows clearly that John Kerry descends from America’s oldest moneyed class.  These families define American capitalism and have a huge stake in the U.S. economy.  They know how to acquire and maintain power, how to manipulate public opinion and how to network on a global scale.  Just how powerful that influence is will be shown in a future article about Kerry’s membership in Skull and Bones, as well as the background of his two very wealthy wives.

Before his first marriage, Kerry was considered a poor relation, with his private school education paid by his “great-aunt great-aunt Clara Winthrop, who had no children of her own. She owned an estate in Manchester-by-the-Sea, complete with a bowling alley inside a red barn.” 

This was apparently the sister of his grandmother, Margaret Winthrop Forbes. [22] It was at this estate located near Beverly, Massachusetts, where Kerry’s mother Rosemary Forbes Kerry died in 2002.  Manchester-by-the-Sea was also the summer vacation spot of the family of Harvey and Katherine Putnam Bundy, who brought their children there every summer, and where McGeorge Bundy himself died in 1996 at what Kai Bird refers to as the “Bundy compound.”

Further research must be done to understand the financial model that allows such “untitled” aristocrats to wield such unbridled control over America’s political and economic institutions.  Much of the wealth, we have learned, was accumulated during the days when primarily Massachusetts seagoing families reaped a fortune in the opium trade.  Thereafter, the fortune was multiplied through control of venture-capital firms and through acquiring equity in strategic industries by virtue of having the money to finance them at the outset.  There was also much intermarrying within the close extended family, as well as a strong sense of loyalty within the unit dedicated to preservation of the capital.

Predating mutual funds, Massachusetts attorneys set up closed end investment trusts that gave income to the shareholders but no voice in management and no ability to sell the shares to outsiders in order to get out of the trust.  As a result, trustees were expected to earn a consistently large return, while knowing that the amount they had to invest would not decrease. Much of the investments made in the 1800’s were in foreign markets, where huge profits were available.  Yet there was always the fear that the peasant class in these “less developed” countries would revolt against the exploitation and elect a leader who would seize the assets of the American investors.  History tells us that the ministers and diplomats in overseas cities felt an obligation to represent American investors to ensure that “Communism” did not take root in such countries.  Any hint of threatened expropriation meant strong political pressure or even military action would be required.  Future articles will not doubt refer back to this tradition.

William and McGeorge Bundy are no more. They have no power to control John Kerry’s policies in the future, should he be elected. But the aristocracy they epitomized remains. The question is whether the descendants of that class have lost a vision of what America was created to be.  Another question is whether those of us not born to the same class can, nevertheless, understand the unstated pressure felt by such a group to maintain their status in American society — not to mention their role in a global economy.

McGeorge Bundy
Understanding of individuals that make up an aristocracy—a political oligarchy, if you will — cannot be obtained without brutal honesty and unvarnished truth.  But, in the immortal words of McGeorge Bundy, who never quite accepted his full responsibility for the half a million American deaths in Vietnam or for the drug culture that arose in large part as a consequence of our being in Indochina,  

“Gray is the color of truth.”  

History is never black and white. Interpretations and conclusions may vary. The best we can hope to do is to review persons and events in the open light of our day — without preferential treatment or allowances. But that can only be done by following the money — and the stock portfolio — from one generation to another. 

The money is where true power lies.


[1] Holmes' story was first published in successive parts in the Atlantic Monthly, under the name of "The Professor's Story," in 1859.

[2] Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, Nina J. Easton, John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best (Boston Globe 2004), p. 49.
[3] Highly recommended is Kai Bird’s biography of the Bundys:  THE COLOR OF TRUTH--McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy: Brothers in Arms, Simon & Schuster, 1998, reviewed in Business Week .
[4] An excellent article with enlightening funding chart entitled “ALTERNATIVE MEDIA CENSORSHIP: SPONSORED BY CIA's FORD FOUNDATION?” by Bob Feldman can be read online.

[5] Two of Blair's sons, Edward and Bowen, joined the Blair firm in 1946.  The senior Blair, who served from 1938-58 as trustee of the Groton School, was in the same Skull and Bones group as Samuel F.B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, whose company eventually ended up under the control of AT&T, a communications company controlled by elite Massachusetts families. For more information on the Blair family, see the corporate history: “Meanwhile… William Blair had entered Groton School in 1897 for its six-year program, graduating in 1903 and entering Yale. There he lettered in crew and coached fresh-soph football, helped in that by the grandfather of Harvey Bundy [III], a William Blair and Company partner since 1976…”

[6] According to the New Republic on January 25th, 1933, as a result of the bankruptcy in 1932 of Lee, Higginson:  "Three-quarters of a billion dollars was made away with.”

[7] The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, formed in 1879, hired the Morgan bank to raise enough funds for it through the sale of stock to the public to buy its competitors in 1902.

[8] Bundy’s roommate at the then-new Jonathan Edwards College was Stan Resor, son of the CIA-connected J. Walter Thompson (JWT) advertising agency; Resor was appointed Secretary of the Army by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, where he would have exerted his family’s ability to use psychological selling techniques to continue the war. This influence did not end with Johnson, however. H.R. Haldeman, who had been an advertising executive at the JWT company since 1949, used his training while in the White House to assist the Nixon Administration in its “war on crime,” forerunner to Bush’s “war on drugs.”

[9] Robin W. Winks, Cloak & Gown:  Scholars in the Secret War, 1939-1961 (New York:  William Morrow, 1987), p. 37.  “In World War II and after there were masters who were known as contact points—seldom recruiters, usually simply conduits—with the intelligence community, though these masters did not displace interested faculty, the odd administrator (usually a lesser dean), or the occasional coach. Six maters were particularly influential in this regard.  …Robert Dudley French, ’10, professor of English and first master of Jonathan Edwards College—indeed, the first master of any Yale college—ran the only High Table at Yale that could hold a candle to Oxbridge.  He was an outspoken supporter of the English cause throughout, differing sharply and publicly whenever he could with his classmate and frequent visitor, Senator Robert A. Taft.”  [quoted from p. 38]  Harkness, a railroad financier, was the son of a former partner of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. in the firm of Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler and subsequently one of the six original stockholders of the Standard Oil Company.

[10] A generation later, another group house was set aside in Arlington, Virginia, for the clerks who worked for Dean Acheson’s law firm. Acheson was a frequent guest, as were Justices Hugo Black, Stanley Reed, Frank Murphy, Harlan Stone and Felix Frankfurter. It was in this home, called “Hockley House” that Eugene Meyer’s son-in-law (Phil Graham) lived while he clerked for Frankfurter.

[11] This group had a charter from James I that was part of the concession to the London Colony and the Virginia Colony, joint stock companies given certain commercial rights in an exclusively defined territory in exchange for remittance of a percentage of revenue derived from the area back to the King.  In 1620 this charter was reorganized into the Plymouth Council for New England; the charter was surrendered back to King Charles in 1635.

[12] Their religion is now known by the churches which are its offshoots--Congregationalist, Baptist, Methodist and, to a great extent, Presbyterian denominations.
[13] Vernon L. Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Cabot Family, 1475-1927, privately printed, Boston, 1927, Vol. I, p. 196.].
[14] Ferris Greenslet, The Lowells and their Seven Worlds (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1946). 

[15] Before 1881 the president of the CB&Q railroad was John Murray Forbes, while the vice-president was Charles E. Perkins.  The two men disagreed as to whether the two railroads should be merged.  In 1883 Bostonians owned 547,000 of the 569,100 shares in ATSF which was only listed on the stock exchange in Boston.  Keith L. Bryant, Jr., History of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (New York:  Macmillan), pp. 74-75.
[16] Robert Charles Winthrop served as speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Then he was elected as a U.S. representative, serving as Speaker of the House from 1847 to 1849. He became the U.S. senator from Massachusetts from 1850 to 1851, filling the term of Daniel Webster, when he became secretary of state under Millard Fillmore.

[17] Mary Caroline Crawford, Famous Families of Massachusetts, Vol. I (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1930), p. 64.

[18] In Ron Chernow’s book, The House of Morgan:  An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance (New York:  Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990), the author titles the chapter on Peabody “Scrooge.”  Though Peabody is always referred to as a great philanthropist, he was never generous to his employee, Junius S. Morgan.  It also seems his alleged generosity may have been a desire to get rid of assets he preferred not to have to try to collect after his health began to fail. The southern education fund was endowed with Mississippi and Florida bonds with a $1 million face amount which were in default, allowing the trustees to collect if possible.  In 1857 he began endowing the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, and in 1862 started transferring funds to a trust fund for housing the poor in London—deeding 5,000 shares of the Hudsons’s Bay Company, which at the time were virtually worthless.  In June 1863 Hudson’s Bay shares went on sale to the public.  The International Financial Society, a company created by Thomas Baring of Baring Brothers and George Carr Glyn of Glyn, Mills bank capitalized at 3 million pounds—divided into 150,000 shares—all of which were bought by the important London banking firms, which then sold shares in the company in smaller blocks.  By 1916 the Keswick family of Jardine Matheson had secured controlling interest of the Hudson’s Bay Company, as noted in the previous article on John Forbes Kerry.

[19] Richard Sullivan appears to have been the brother-in-law of Thomas Winthrop’s daughter, Sarah Bowdoin Winthrop, who was married to George Sullivan.  Richard had married Sarah Russell, daughter of Thomas Russell, in 1804.
[20] Emerson, p. 483-484.

[21] By 1951, Bell helicopters were in service around the world, in both commercial and military roles. In 1956 Bell Helicopter Corporation was purchased by Textron—the first corporate conglomerate—previously a textiles company created by a merger in 1955 between various cotton, woolen and rayon mills in New England and the South.  Shortly before Textron acquired Bell Aviation, which owned the Young patents, the company had moved to Texas.  By 1958, though sales had declined 4%, earnings had risen by 24%!  During the years of the Vietnam war, net profits were in the millions.  At this point we have found no family connection between the stock ownership of Textron and other members of the Forbes family.
[22] The sisters also had a brother named Robert Mason Forbes—also a diplomat who before World War II was assigned to the legation in Rome.

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