18TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES - ULYSSES S. GRANT - LACKED THE SKILL NECESSARY TO OPERATE AT AN ELITE LEVEL IN THE LANDSCAPE OF POLITICS
Ulysses S. Grant had a very successful military career before he was elected as the 18th President of the United States. Unfortunately, his military leadership experience did not prepare him for the challenges he would face in politics. Although Grant’s honesty and integrity was never doubted, several of the people he chose proved to be dishonest and corrupt.
September 24, 1869 – which became known as Black Friday – was the first devastating scandal that tarnished the name of President Grant. The foiled plot was intended to manipulate the price of gold for profit. Conspirators, Fisk and Gould, enlisted the help of Grant’s brother-in-law Abel Corbin to gain access to the President and convince him to halt the sale of Treasury gold.
U.S. GRANT's OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - OWNED & USED BY HIM - THIS PRESIDENTIAL CHINA IS A PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
After consulting a trusted businessman, President Grant realized that restricting the sale of Treasury gold was harming public confidence. Without realizing the domino effect it would have, he ordered the immediate sale of government gold valued at $4 million, causing the U.S. gold market to crash. Conspirators Fisk and Gould were never held accountable for the resulting financial ruin of many and the long-lasting effect on the United States economy.
New York Custom House Ring
Another unfortunate development that happened during Grant’s presidency involved the port at New York harbor. The U.S. Treasury Secretary was informed that the New York Custom House was bringing more revenue than any other U.S. port.
A congressional investigation of the situation revealed that two corrupt collectors, both appointed by President Grant, had been storing unclaimed goods in private warehouses for exorbitant fees. It was discovered that three additional associates of Grant’s were profiting from this scheme.
ACCOMPLISHED WAR HERO - GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT
Although reforms were implemented to correct the import abuses, many in government were still skeptical. In 1872, one U.S. senator alleged in a speech that the corruption in the customs house continued. A second congressional investigation was unable to confirm this allegation.
Perhaps the most shocking scandal involved President Grant’s private secretary. The allegations claimed that Midwestern distilleries had been cheating the federal government out of millions in liquor tax with the assistance of federal agents.
The distillers bribed federal agents to deter them from collecting the $.70/gallon of tax which equaled approximately $2 million per year. This scheme had been going on since the Lincoln administration and was therefore widespread. Of the 350 federal indictments issued, 110 resulted in conviction and $3 million of tax revenue was recovered.
PRESIDENT GRANT FINISHED HIS BEST SELLING MEMOIRS SHORTLY BEFORE HIS DEATH FROM THROAT CANCER
During the investigation, it was alleged that President Grant’s personal secretary was directly involved in the whiskey ring. Grant took the unusual action of providing a deposition in his defense, which secured his acquittal but further damaged Grant’s reputation.
After the astounding accomplishment of President Grant’s military career it was tragic to see multiple scandals tarnish his image. Few men have held such a significant role in the evolution of our young nation. His experiences were recorded and published by Mark Twain during the final months of his life. U.S. Grant's well written Memoirs became a major best seller and even today are considered to be an excellent read.
RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - NATIONALLY KNOWN COLLECTOR OF AMERICAN HISTORICAL MEMORABILIA
Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has been an avid collector of American artifacts for more than 30 years. He is proud to include personal items owned by President Ulysses S. Grant in his collection of museum-quality items.
Among these historically significant items are a handsome mahogany pocket cigar case with a brass shield monogrammed "USG 1862," a lock of President Grant’s hair encased in a brass oval frame, one of his straight razors, and an epaulet from Grant’s major general uniform. These items are to be sold by RRAUCTION.COM on September 17th & 18th, 2014, live in Boston, Mass.
And other select pieces in this collection may soon be available for sale. If you have a serious interest, please fill out the contact form below. Mr. Amyx would appreciate the opportunity to engage in a confidential discussion with you about a topic or item of interest.