Showing posts with label Skull and Bones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skull and Bones. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Skull and Bones Accepted Hegel's Dialectic Theories


Freedom Through Order
The philosophy which has dominated the Western world since the mid 19th Century can be reduced to one tenet—ultimate peace comes only through conflict—derived from Hegel’s dialectic teachings.  It proposes that a clash between ideologies (thesis and antithesis) is a normal historical phenomenon which always results in compromise (synthesis) that advances civilization to a higher level of order.  Conflict, in other words, is good, and peace is not necessarily desirable (or profitable).[1]

Educated men had founded governments after a period of violence and chaos, a state that would return unless members of society advanced to a higher level—acceptance of a need to abide by voluntary rules of law and order.  Once most individuals accepted the “truth” that an ordered life brings greater peace, leaders could then frame institutions by which non-conformists could be forced into their “proper role” in a peaceful society.  

This philosophy, which had risen to increasing prominence by 1860, appealed to elitist Americans studying in German universities during those decades.  Recognizing a German need at the time to unify the nation state, Hegel’s writing also looked forward to a day of universal—global—brotherhood accomplished by rejecting selfish individualism.  Repelled by the chaos of the French Revolution, Hegel taught that political democracy and individualism ultimately resulted in repression rather than liberty and that an orderly and structured society afforded more freedom than a chaotic one.  

American students in Germany who were most attracted to this philosophy believed that Western classical liberal thought upon which America had been founded, rather than being the ideal toward which America should strive, was actually the enemy of progress toward universal brotherhood. Moreover, one of those students, William HuntingtonRussell, whose family had made a fortune by selling opium in China, returned to Yale in 1832 to found a branch of a German secret society at Yale with fellow student Alphonso Taft.[2] It is this secret society, now called Skull and Bones, into which both John Kerry and George W. Bush were inducted during their junior year at Yale.

Hegel’s German idealism (categorized as such because it stressed the dominance of ideas over physical environment) would become the philosophical basis for the work of both Karl Marx  and Adolph Hitler—each of whom envisioned different ends to be achieved by the same means—control over the individual by the state. This paradox—that Hegel’s theories were used as the foundation of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, while at the same time giving a basis to the fascist movement of the 1930’s—is not so extraordinary when we realize that, as AntonySutton’s research reveals, both extreme economic doctrines were financed by the same small group of Americans, at the core of which were members of the secret society that had previously been founded by Russell and Taft.[3]  This group became clustered around the Peabody and Morgan banking institutions.

One facet of dialectics was its philosophical justification for simultaneously supporting two opposite positions on a political issue, thus allowing its members to make a profit no matter which party was in power. Talk about hedging bets!  Skull and Bones was set up as a secret fraternity of men from elite social strata within the fields of education, religion, medicine, law, science, transportation, banking and the arts.  There was a place for opposing points of view within their scheme, as long as each man agreed to maintain the established class order and took an oath to keep everything related to Bones secret.  In this way, regardless of whether political power was in the right hand or the left, depending on which way the political pendulum was swinging, power would be in the skeletal hand of Yale’s elite Skull and Bones.

Pool of Wealth—a Goose That Lays Golden Eggs
In 1832, the year the first Skull and Bones class was initiated, America was not unlike Hegel’s Germany.  A generation after the War of 1812 the U. S. Constitution was still less than a half century old and the new nation more divided than ever. The failure of the Second Bank of the U.S. in 1832 left state chartered banks free to issue their own bank notes, which could be traded as currency—resulting in financial chaos leading to the Panic of 1837. Consequently, a uniform currency, a stable rate of exchange, and a secondary market for securities had to be created in order for the American economy to have liquidity. The National Currency Act of 1863 and National Bank Act of 1864 helped to achieve these needs, replacing state chartered banks with national ones, though it would be alleged after numerous panics—in 1873, 1893 and 1907—that there was a need for a centralized control in order to expand and contract the currency when needed. 

By 1878, once the country had recovered from the 1873 panic caused by the failure of Jay Cooke’s bank, New York City had replaced London as the dominant financial center for United States capital.  American businessmen were primed to get rich. Skull and Bones members decided their time had come to consolidate the power their founders had envisioned. 

What Russell and Taft envisioned by creating the Russell Trust was a network of men who could use surplus wealth (“golden eggs”) produced from the lucrative China Trade as a venture capital pool to acquire equity in business entities to be created by American entrepreneurs. The pool could be repaid with interest while helping the entrepreneurs become rich, with new pools of wealth springing up to seed new ventures. Each new pool of money is like a goose which lays golden eggs.

The idea was that Bonesmen would quickly advance to the top of their chosen profession in order to accumulate an endowment of surplus for investment, to be managed by fellow Bonesmen. As pointed out by Antony Sutton, Bonesmen, such as Daniel Coit Gilman and Andrew Dickson White, founded Johns Hopkins University and Cornell, respectively.  Similarly, those who chose careers in  religion, medicine, law, science, transportation, banking and the arts also controlled trust funds or handled large pools of money, which added to a huge pool ultimately managed by the same bank establishment, headeduntil his death in 1913by J. Pierpont Morgan.

NOTES:

[1] Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831),  a German professor at the University of Berlin from 1817 until his death in 1831, deduced from his study of European history that mankind had made a transition from a natural life of savagery to a state of order and law.  Hegel asserted, “What is rational exists, and what exists is rational.” Following from that, events of history are not accidents, but instead, manifestations of the universal divine idea. While human conditions continuously change, Hegel believed, each change moves the world closer to the universal goal of history: the achievement of human freedom. Thus, history is the story of the progress of humanity toward true freedom.  Hegel explained the ongoing, progressive path of history through his “law of the Dialectic”.  “According to Hegel, every age is governed by a dominant idea, which he labels the spirit or the "thesis" of the age. In time, this thesis is challenged by a new concept, its ‘antithesis,’ which is incompatible with the "thesis." To resolve the conflict between the ‘thesis’ and the ‘antithesis,’ a blending of opposites occurs, thereby producing a higher ‘synthesis,’ which becomes the new dominant idea, or thesis, of the next age. History consists of the constant flow of ideas and their opposites, which when reconciled, reach purer forms. The new synthesis does not come without strife, but conflicts, commonly regarded as tragedies, to Hegel do not demonstrate the triumph of evil. They are necessary steps forward toward the universal goal, human freedom. To Hegel, however, the highest form of freedom was not the absence of self-restraint, for the true ethical unit was not the isolated individual but the state in which the individual lives. Consequently, the movement of history is not toward individual freedom but toward the freedom of the community as a whole. Therefore, Hegel's philosophy exalts the state because only through it can humankind find meaning and be truly free.”  Quoted in “Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,”  World Eras, Vol. 9: Industrial Revolution in Europe (1750-1914). Gale Group, 2002.


[2] After his graduation from Yale, Russell would found a prepatory academy in New Haven called the New Haven Collegiate Institute with Stiles French, which later became the Russell Military Academy. 



[3] WALL STREET AND THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION and WALL STREET AND THE RISE OF HITLER (1974 Arlington House; 1999 Buccaneer Books).

Monday, September 30, 2013

Who was Alexander Brown?

A Protestant in Ireland, Alexander Brown had worked as an auctioneer in the linen market in Belfast, which after 1785 was conducted in an impressive building owned by the Earl of Donegall. The building's lease was bought by John Brown, founder of the Bank of the Four Johns in Belfast, but who does not appear to have been a close relation of Alexander. Although his auction business was profitable in Ballymena, after visiting a brother, Stewart Brown, in Baltimore, Alexander decided to settle in that city on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Another brother remained behind in London to work with him in an import-export business. By 1811 all four of his sons were partners with him in Alex. Brown & Sons, headquartered in Baltimore.

The British Browns

William Brown, his eldest son, returned to England in 1809 and set up a brokerage firm that would operate first as W. and J. Brown, renamed in 1839 as Brown, Shipley & Co., in Liverpool. William’s role in the business, among other duties, would be to find wealthy investors to buy the paper issued in America.

Finding such investors required that he create a network around himself of powerful society members with whom to socialize, possibly one of the reasons he first stood for Parliament in 1846. Twenty years later he was created a baronet, Sir William Brown of Beilby Grange (a mansion near Leeds) and Richmond Hill (near Lancaster). His descendants are set out in Burke's Peerage. (See also website, The Peerage).
Sir William Brown
It is a truism in banking families that they frequently marry not-too-distant cousins and relations of their father’s business associates, helping to keep the money—and the secrets—within the family. Researching genealogies is, therefore, a very useful tool in understanding confidential financial relationships.

When William returned to Britain in 1809, his younger brothers were still being educated by a country minister at Catterick in North Yorkshire. Initially, William went to Ireland to work at the market where Alexander had started his career. There he met and married the daughter of his father’s Belfast linen supplier, Andrew Gihon. Although they had eight children, only two lived to become adults, and none of those survived him.
  • Grace (1812-1849), in 1831 married John Hargreaves, whose family owned the calico print works at Accrington—midway between Leeds and Lancaster. Grace Hargreaves' son John continued with the calico business, while her son Thomas pursued a military career.
  • Alexander (1817-1849), married James Brown’s daughter, Sarah Benedict Brown, during a visit to America in 1838, thus uniting the English and American house of the brokerage company and the bank in which the brothers were all partners. Their children were as follows: William Richmond Brown (1840-1906); James Clifton Brown (1841-66); Louisa (1842-63), who married Capt. Alexander William Cobham; Alexander Hargreaves Brown (1844-76).
William's grandson, Alexander Hargreaves Brown, became a Member of Parliament in 1863 and served until 1902, while during that time becoming a partner of the Brown Brothers bank in 1875, later serving as senior partner in the London office on Pall Mall.
These two branches of Sir William's descendants continued to marry their children to their cousins and thus perpetuate the financial connections on both sides of the ocean.
James Brown was the only one of Alexander Brown's sons who married a native American girl. In December 1817 he married Louisa Kirkland Benedict, youngest daughter of Dr. Joel Benedict, and his wife Sarah McKown Benedict. Her father has sometimes been confused with Dr. Benedict's nephew and namesake, Rev. Joel Tyler Benedict, a Presbyterian minister who was working at a branch of the American Tract Society in Philadelphia when James arrived in that city, having been tasked by his father to  assist his brother, John A. Brown, in starting a branch of Alex. Brown & Sons there, and it is possible he met her through this relationship since the Brown family had long been Presbyterian rather than Episcopalian.

James Brown of New York

Eliphalet Nott
Connections to church hierarchies

In 1817 James Brown, Alexander Brown's youngest son who had recently relocated from Baltimore to Philadelphia, married Louisa Kirkland Benedict, youngest daughter of Dr. Joel and Sarah McKown Benedict.

Her parents' eldest daughter, Sarah "Sally" Benedict, was already 21 years of age by the time Louisa was born in 1795.  Union College was founded that same year in Schenectady, New York, and Dr. Joel Benedict's student and new son-in-law, Rev. Eliphalet Nott, was named the president of the college.

The eminent Potter family

Although Sally Benedict Nott died the year her husband ascended to that position, she left behind a daughter, Sarah Maria Nott, with whom Louisa was quite close. Seven years after James Brown became part of the Benedict family, his wife's niece married Rev. Alonzo Potter, her father's foremost divinity student at Union College. He also became a professor at the college (1831-45), after which he was named Bishop of the Pennsylvania Diocese of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Louisa Brown died in 1829 and her niece followed a decade later. James Brown waited two years before marrying Eliza Maria Coe, the orphaned daughter of another Presbyterian minister, Dr. Jonas Coe of Troy, New York. Alonzo Potter married, after the death of Sarah Maria Potter, the daughter of her brother Robert, who was also named Sarah Benedict, and with her had three more sons.


The daughter born to James Brown and Louisa Benedict in 1827 would grow up to marry Howard Potter, the second son of Louisa's favorite niece, Sarah Benedict Nott and her husband Bishop Alonzo Potter. After their marriage, Howard Potter became a partner in the Brown Brothers & Co. investment bank in New York, although he spent many years as manager of the London office. It will be recalled that James Brown's eldest daughter, Sarah Benedict Brown, had married her first cousin Alexander, whose father was Sir William Brown of the Liverpool and London offices. Two of their siblings--Grace and William--were lost aboard ship in 1854 as young adults. The youngest sibling, Margaretta Hunter Brown, married James Couper Lord, a son of the firm's attorney, Daniel Lord and his wife Susan DeForest. The Lord family, as has been mentioned previously at this blog, is one of the most significant families involved in the Skull and Bones secret society.

It has also been mentioned at this author's blog, Quixotic Joust, that the DeForest family were connected to some high-level members of the Episcopal Church, such as Dr. Horatio Potter, who became acquainted with Frank G. Wisner shortly before he was chosen to become head of a select arm of intelligence in the United States. We will soon discuss how all these connections interlink with the Brown Brothers investments.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Seeing the World Whole

When I first began to write historical research articles about financial subjects for Sanders Research Associates early in 2004, I was quite intrigued by the fact that voters that November would have a "choice" between two candidates for President, each of whom had been a member of a secret society that had existed at Yale University since 1832. (Note: Skull and Bones has been discussed at this blog several times. (Use the search engine provided to the right to locate that previous research on this blog or click Skull and Bones in the labels list.)

What are the odds in a "democracy" of almost half a billion people in the United States, we end up with only two candidates, two years apart at Yale, each chosen by the same secret society which adds only 15 new members each year? What class of people is promoting these two men, I wondered. Wouldn't any discerning voter with an ounce of curiosity have similar questions? As I have revised this original research almost a decade later for publication on this blog, I have finally begun to realize what class that was. It was the same class of ancestors Franklin Roosevelt was accused of betraying by his policies, as you will learn below, for, surprising to me, was the fact that Kerry and Roosevelt were hewn from the same cloth!

Indeed, the world is not what it seems. A decade ago, an image arose in my mind of Lewis Carroll's Alice, perched upon a mantel, peering through a mirror into what was not her reflection, but into a totally different world--an alternative universe not recognized by most people. Catherine Austin Fitts referred to my attempt to merge the two worlds into one as "seeing the world whole," refusing to accept either world alone as reality. 

My research proposed to look behind is the hagiographic biographies of our governing elites and delve instead into the source from which their wealth was derived. That is always my focus, much as Oliver Stone's movie version of Woodstein's fictionalized Watergate tale reminded us: Forget the myth the media has created... Just follow the money!

This research was previously published at the website, Minor Musings, as part of a series styled "Election 2004: Can We Handle the Truth?" and titled "John Forbes Kerry: Globalists Through a Looking Glass." 

by LINDA MINOR © 2004 (Revised 2013)

As the 2004 election approaches, the American electorate nestles dreamily in Wonderland, pondering what changes John Kerry might bring—unaware of the heritage which brought him into being. Kerry’s roots lie, however, in another world—a world that, once seen, destroys that “golden gleam” of childhood and innocence. Once we pass, as Alice did, through a looking glass, we will see another John Kerry, leading us into a maze, each entrance of which opens into a path of mystery and intrigue.
Alice, stepping through the mirror into a different world.

In a Wonderland they lie, 
Dreaming as the days go by, 
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam 
Life, what is it but a dream?
― Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass



On this side of the looking glass, Kerry portrays a liberal, Democratic exterior, though it is well known that he has been cultivated all his life by persons of wealth. The maze of his heritage—through all its twists and turns—reveals much more about how the world works than it tells us about the man John Kerry would like to be.
Maze of mystery

It is apparent that he has already been chosen to replace George W. Bush. [From the author: Boy, was I wrong in my prediction!] The world we will see as we enter through the looking glass may help us understand who made that choice. Step through the looking glass, into the maze, and see for yourself the world John Kerry was born into.

John Kerry's Mother and her Roots

Rosemary Isabel Forbes Kerry
John Kerry's mother, Rosemary Isabel Forbes, has a fascinating ancestry from both her Forbes and Murray roots from her father's side. She was born in Paris in 1913, and through some strange accident of fate, or perhaps a lapse in parental supervision, would become the wife of Richard John Kerry—grandson of a Jewish brewer who emigrated from Austria. Her husband's father worked in Boston as a shoe merchant and committed suicide in 1921. These were not the best ancestors a Forbes would hope for their son-in-law, even though he was a graduate of Yale and of Harvard Law. What is known about Kerry’s father has been disclosed in the Boston Globe series of articles, particularly one published February 2, 2003, which can be read here and here. Also see my additional Kerry research, "Very Different Personages.")

The first of Kerry’s Forbes ancestors bearing that name to arrive in America was Rev. John Forbes of Strathdon, Scotland, who, as a young graduate from Aberdeen, was appointed in 1763 to be a judge in the British Admiralty at St. Augustine, East Florida. That was the same year the Treaty of Paris, ending the French and Indian War, ceded the French territory in Florida to England. Rev. Forbes, arrived a few months after the appointment, in 1764, with the colony’s newly appointed governor—a Scotsman named Sir James Grant, who was allegedly related to Forbes’ mother. 

Dolly Murray Forbes
Only five years later Rev. Forbes would marry the daughter of James Murray, another Scotsman loyal to the British Crown, and his wedding to Dorothy Murray was celebrated on the 300-acre Brush Hill estate in Milton, Massachusetts, which belonged to Dorothy's aunt, Elizabeth Murray Smith. Seven years prior to the Declaration of Independence, war against England already loomed on the horizon, and a revolution against the mother country to which the Murrays remained loyal, threatened all their hard work as well as the connections so important to the lifestyle they had achieved in America.


The Murrays

Dorothy's father was James Murray, who, as we learn from a book called The Loyalists of Massachusetts by James H. Stark (p. 255):
settled at Wilmington, on the Cape Fear River, and purchased a house in town and a plantation of 500 acres and Negro slaves. He was also appointed collector of the Port, and in 1729 he was appointed a member of the Board of Councillors. In 1737 Mr. Murray received news of the death of his mother. This necessitated a journey to Scotland to settle her estate. On returning he brought with him his younger brother and his sister Elizabeth, not quite fourteen years of age. She was installed as his housekeeper, and then began that affectionate intimacy between them which was perhaps the most vital and enduring element in the life of each. James Murray prospered as a planter and merchant. He imported from England such goods as the colonists required and in exchange sent to England naval stores, tar, pitch, and turpentine.
In 1744 he returned to Scotland with his sister Elizabeth, married his cousin, Barbara Bennet, and remained in England and Scotland for five years. On his return in 1749, accompanied by his wife and daughter and his sister Elizabeth, their ship put into Boston, and he returned alone to Wilmington, leaving his family in Boston, because, as he wrote, "they had an opportunity of spending three of the most disagreeable months of this climate in that poor Healthy Place, New England—their health they owe to God's goodness, their poverty to their own bad policy and to their Popular Government." His sister Elizabeth remained in Boston and married Thomas Campbell, a Scotchman, merchant and trader. Their married life was short, for the husband died in a few years.
William Stevens Powell, editor of the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, wrote that in 1755 James Murray was deputy paymaster for British troops on the Ohio River during the French and Indian War under Col. James Innes. In 1757, Governor Dobbs made accusations that Murray had "illegally issued unlimited private paper currency that was to be accepted by the colony in payment of quitrents," and he was temporarily suspended from his position on the Governor Dobbs' Privy Council. The allegation seems to be supported by the fact that he made use use of a young cousin he brought from Scotland and installed to Murray's own advantage, apparently with the help of "his political patron," Governor Dobb's predecessor, Gabriel Johnston (who died in 1752) and Murray's relationship with Colonel James Innes:  
Murray provided a home for him [his cousin and protégé, John Rutherfurd] in his own house in Wilmington, and put him to work in his store; where he learned to keep accounts and sell goods. He does not seem to have enjoyed any educational advantages prior to coming to America, but he was taught by his cousin, who was a fairly educated man, and it was not very long before he began to get the benefit of Murray's influence with Governor Johnston and others in authority, and to be advanced to official position. He [Rutherfurd?] was appointed Recorder of Quit Rents in 1750 and in 1756 was a member of the Council, but having displeased Governor Dobbs by not agreeing with that disputatious and obstinate old gentleman, was removed from the latter position in 1757, and again restored to it by the Crown in 1763.
Sources: 
  • See Janet Schaw's Journal of a Lady of Quality--full title: "Journal by a Lady, of a Voyage from Scotland to the West Indies and South Carolina, with an account of personal experiences during the War of Independence, and a visit to Lisbon on her return 25 October 1774—December 1775," regarding Murray and Rutherfurd's closeness to James Innes. 
  • See footnote on page 22 of A history of New Hanover County and the lower Cape Fear region: 1834-1912, by Alfred M. Waddell, published 1909, with reference to Johnston's "most discreditable act" in appointing Murray to the Council; and at page 62 where Murray was described thus: "as the editors of his letters say, 'although public spirited, never a true American,' having been, from his arrival in the Province until he left it and removed to Boston in 1765, an unwavering Loyalist." 
  • Waddell also relates at page 62, as to James Murray's property at Point Repose in N.C.: "His property was all confiscated and sold by commissioners appointed for the purpose in 1783, and the deed is recorded in New Hanover County. It was all bought by his nephew, Gen. Thomas Clark, a gallant Revolutionary officer, who was his largest creditor, and General Clark took up his residence at Point Repose." He goes on to state at page 63:
    Gen. Thomas Clark's father, Thos. Clark, Sr., married James Murray's sister Barbara in 1737, and in 1741 was made Sheriff of New Hanover County for two years, and was also appointed Collector of the Port of Wilmington, in place of Samuel Woodward, deceased, by Dinwiddie, Surveyor General of the colonies. He died in 1748 or 1749. His son, Gen. Thos. Clark, was born about the middle of August, 1741, in Wilmington. He was sent to England and there learned the watchmaker's trade, which, on his return, he practiced for a time in Boston, but abandoned it in 1767 and came back to the Cape Fear to take charge of his uncle James Murray's estate, of which his elder brother James had previously been manager. He seems to have been a favorite of his uncle because of his unusual intellectual capacity.
  • See also the Laws of North Carolina, 1782, showing Point Repose was conveyed to Clark, to whom Murray was indebted.)

When Barbara Bennet Murray gave birth in 1756 in Wilmington to another daughter, they named her Elizabeth for her aunt (variously called Betzy, Betzey or Betsey in Murray's letters), who had set up a shop in Boston with a supply of millinery and dry goods, which she restocked from English sellers, but becoming increasingly wealthy with each successive marriage. 

In 1760 Elizabeth was remarried to a wealthy sugar refiner, James Smith of Brush Hill near Milton. James Murray's wife had also died, leaving him unable to care for his daughters, whom he called Dolly and Betzey, and they were sent to Boston to live with their aunt. After their father remarried a widow named Mrs. Thompson in 1761, the Murrays began planning to move to Boston, awaiting only an announcement from the Crown concerning the lieutenant governor appointment, which Murray had a vague but unfulfilled hope of receiving.The post was instead filled by William Tryon in 1765, and the Murrays soon joined the rest of their family in Boston

James Murray worked in the sugar refinery of John Smith, the second husband of his sister, Elizabeth, and it was Smith's retirement in 1765 that gave James the opportunity to move to Boston, even though he still needed to see after numerous properties he owned in North Carolina. That same year, however, protests against the Stamp Act resulted in an inability to import raw sugar from the West Indies, and the business suffered until the act was repealed a year later. In the meantime, Murray had entrusted his estates in North Carolina first into the care of his nephew, John Inness Clark and later to his brother Thomas Clark. These lands would be confiscated by the new government after a hearing in 1778 and awarded to Thomas, as shown above.

Dolly met Rev. John Forbes who must have visited Boston prior to their marriage in 1769, and he took his bride back to the British colony of East Florida  to her family's great chagrin.
At that time Mrs. Smith (by then a widow once again) took her younger niece to England and Scotland to visit family, and she conveyed the Brush Hill estate she had inherited from Smith to her brother, James Murray, in trust for her two nieces. While in Great Britain, she visited her brother, Dr. John Murray, of Norwich and also went to her birthplace, Unthank and other parts of Scotland. 

Murrays' fear of the American Revolutionaries
During the time there, she arranged for John's children, John and Mary (later joined by their sister Anne), to travel to America, each with a stock of merchandise provided by her brother James, just as she had made her start years earlier. One letter she received from home in late 1770 makes clear the Murrays' sentiments concerning the upcoming revolution. (See the inset to the right.) In other letters, in addition to calling the patriots the "mob," Demons and similar epithets were used.

Elizabeth (variously spelled Betzy, Betzey or Betsey) Smith returned home in the summer of 1771 to look after the affairs of her Boston shop, and in September suddenly married a third wealthy but retired merchant, Ralph Inman, of Cambridge.

Inman had been the agent for Sir Charles Henry Frankland, collector of the port of Boston since 1741, while Frankland's father had been governor of the East India company's factory in Bengal. Being named baronet upon the death of an uncle in 1746, Sir Charles Frankland was able to purchase a large estate in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, west of Boston, and some time later bought the three-story Clarke mansion in North Boston.

STAMP COLLECTOR ATTACKED BY THE MOB
Shortly after his sister's third marriage, James Murray was, unsurprisingly, appointed inspector of the port at Salem. He then visited Dotty in East Florida, attempting to convince her to move back to Boston's healthier climate. The capital of St. Augustine was considered to be as unhealthy a climate as the Cape Fear plantation, so Dolly was often found in Boston with one or more of her three young sons, leaving her husband to fend for himself, according to their correspondence from that time. 

It was a harried time for both Dolly and her aunt, residing respectively in Brush Hill and Inman's house in the Cambridge countryside, warding off the mob of demons, as they called those who protested the Stamp Act. James Murray and Inman were safe in Boston, writing letters back and forth to Elizabeth Inman and Dolly, who now had her three young sons with her, was attempting to keep all their household goods and crops out of the hands of marauding rebels. The letters between the Inmans evidence considerable misunderstanding between the couple, and Elizabeth was not above intense sarcasm, while pretending deference to her elderly spouse. Shortly after February 1776, Murray and Inman were evacuated to Halifax by General William Howe and never saw the women and children again.  

When Elizabeth Murray Smith inherited the Brush Hill estate in Milton from her second husband, the sugar-baker, James Smith, she conveyed in trust for her two beloved nieces, the daughters of James Murray:
  1. Dorothy ("Dolly") Murray Forbes, wife of Rev. John Forbes
  2. Elizabeth ("Betsy") Murray Robbins, wife of Edward Hutchinson Robbins
Edward Robbins' grandmother (Lydia Foster Hutchinson) was the sister of Sarah Foster (Mrs. Thomas) Hutchinson, the last Royal Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and his father was Rev. Nathaniel Robbins, pastor of the church in Milton, whose family went back several generations in Harvard's oversight. The Foster girls were daughters of John Foster, a partner with their husbands' father, Elisha Hutchinson, in a salt monopoly established in Boston in 1695.

Catherine Robbins Delano was Dolly Forbes' great-niece.
Edward H. Robbins, a lawyer and politician from the Harvard's class of 1775, and his wife were parents of 
  • James Murray Robbins (1796-1885), who became a European partner of Dorothy Forbes' son John Murray Forbes, who would die in South American in 1831. He acquired the Brush Hill estate inherited from James Smith and conveyed in trust to their mothers; and
  • Anne Jean Robbins, who married Joseph Lyman.
    • Their daughter, Catherine Robbins Lyman, married Warren Delano II (1809-98), a partner in Russell & Company.
      • The daughter of Warren Delano II and his wife, Catherine Robbins Delano, was Sara Delano, the mother of President Franklin Roosevelt.

To be continued....

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fortune Was His Middle Name

Thomas Fortune Ryan
We know that William C. Whitney (paternal grandfather of John Hay "Jock" Whitney) was ready for retirement by 1900, and that Thomas Fortune Ryan, his "pump and dump" associate on Wall Street, was then still on the move, having purchased the Equitable Life Assurance Society in 1905. The New York Times on May 19, 1907 said of Ryan,

quoting:
"the closest financial friend that Ryan ever had,... the late William C. Whitney: 
'He is the most adroit, suave, and noiseless man that American finance has ever known.' " 
America's richest man, it was speculated, would also soon be ready for retirement. Who would succeed him? Without answering that question, the Times moved on, reciting for posterity Ryan's vast wealth of properties: 
120 Broadway, Equitable Bldg.
  • The Equitable Life Assurance Society, with $434,000,000 of assets; 
  • the Washington Life Insurance Company, with about $20,000,000 of assets; 
  • the National Bank of Commerce, with $35,000,000 capital and surplus and nearly $200,000,000 of deposits; 
  • the Morton Trust Company, with $6,500,000 capital and $880,000,000 of deposits; 
  • the Mercantile Trust Company, with $8,000,000 capital and surplus and $70,000,000 of deposits; 
  • the Equitable Trust Company, with $12,000,000 capital and surplus and $50,000,000 of deposits; 
  • the American Tobacco Company, with $300,000,000 capital and bonded indebtedness and annual net earnings of $25,000,000 or more; 
  • the Interborough-Metropolitan Street Railroad system, with $225,000,000 capital stock and bonded debt issued and authorized; 
  • the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, with $125,000,000 capitalization.
Continuing in this line, the article succinctly summarized how the syndicates with which Ryan had been associated up until 1907 had operated:

How a syndicate really works?
In street railroad affairs it was first, William C. Whitney, then the Whitney-Widener-Elkins syndicate, then more recently August Belmont through the merger of Mr. Ryan's Metropolitan with Mr. Belmont's Interborough. In the Consolidated Gas Company the Standard Oil group of capitalists are more widely interested than any other. In the Southern Railroad Reorganization it was Morgan and Co.; in the Seaboard Airline, Blair & Co. with Morgan "willin'." In the Bank of Commerce the "life insurance interests," as they were known in the old days, were the co-participators, while the American Tobacco Company, as it is called to-day, represents a wide variety of financial affiliation. Only in the purchase of the Equitable did Thomas Ryan go it alone, as Mr. Harriman has had occasion to remark on several notable occasions.
The Vision Thing

In the midst of all his ability to work compatibly with certain of his competitors, Ryan was said to have suffered one memorable defeat, which he eventually turned into an advantage.  Throughout the twenty years or so of activity in building and reorganizing his various businesses, Ryan had the advice primarily of William C. Whitney, Elihu Root, and attorney Paul D. Cravath.

These men had bet their future wealth on the advancement of a public-sponsored system of electric street railways without having a vision of individually owned petroleum-powered automobiles. Thus their short-sighted vision for the future is now notable only as fanciful history, which disappeared in the great stock market crash of 1929.

Leading up to that crash was a series of run-ins between Ryan, whose Irish Catholic roots in Virginia were at odds with a fellow Virginia capitalist named J.S. Williams. Back in the 1890s, Ryan had been challenged for control of the Seaboard Air Line Railway by this rival, about whom we have already written:
John Skelton Williams
John Skelton Williams of Richmond, who, with J. William Middendorf, organized a new syndicate and offered $200 a share. The Williams party planned a connection with the Baltimore and Ohio. The courts of Baltimore refused Mr. Ryan an injunction to prevent the transfer of the stock of the Williams crowd, and he appeared to have suffered defeat. Thomas F. Ryan never forgot that defeat. He had to wait—wait until the slow panic of 1903 brought the Williams group of financiers into difficulties. Then, through the banking house of Blair & Co. [operated by C. Ledyard Blair], he helped finance the needs of the Seaboard system with the inevitable result. Ryan got the Seaboard....
The question arises naturally, enough, who have been the advisers of Thomas F. Ryan during these twenty years of his participation in the larger financial doings of this town? Two of them, Elihu Root and William C. Whitney, have been already disclosed. Whitney was the close business and personal associate whose stake went in with Mr. Ryan's stake and whose profits came out with those of Mr. Ryan. 
When we follow the money, rather than the men themselves, all roads lead to Brown Brothers, the American bank which spread its daughters out like Rothschild's arrows. It's a complicated story, which we'll attempt to clarify over a series of steps.

Start with these links:
  • T.F. Ryan lost control of the Seaboard Airline Railroad in 1893 to John Langbourne Williams' son, John Skelton Williams, who was working to connect it to the railroad controlled by Baltimore's premier banking family, Alexander Brown and his son, George Brown.
  • In 1903 Ryan worked through C. Ledyard Blair, head of a bank at 24 Broad Street in New York to regain control of the Seaboard Airline.
  • During the Panic of 1907, Morgan, with the help of James Stillman of the National City Bank (now Citigroup), and a few other bankers, pooled enough money together to allow Morgan-financed U.S. Steel to purchase the shares of the "too big to fail" Moore and Schley brokerage company in a competitor steel company, with last-minute approval of President Theodore Roosevelt.
  • C. Ledyard Blair, Ryan's banker in 1903, supported Republican William Howard Taft (Yale, Skull and Bones, 1878) for President in 1908 and again in 1912, when Democrat Woodrow Wilson won.
  • Wilson selected T.F. Ryan's nemesis, John Skelton Williams, to be Comptroller of the Currency in the very year, 1913, the new Federal Reserve Act went into effect and the same year J.P. Morgan died. James Stillman had retired from City Bank in 1908, and E.H. Harriman died in 1909. There was a vacuum at the top of the big banks during this time, waiting for someone to fill.
Who would fill this gap after the big names either retired or died? A group of banking scions were chomping at the bit to make their names known.