Barbara Villiers: History of Monetary Crimes - Alexander Del Mar

The Crime of 1868

Previous to the Presidential campaign of 1868 the following facts relative to the position of the New York World were very generally known or believed.

I. That Mr. Manton Marble was not the sole or even the principle owner of the paper. This is established among other evidence by his own averment in the suit of George Opdyke vs. The World.

II. Among those known or believed to own shares in the paper were August Belmont Senior and S.L.M. Barlow. Samuel J. Tilden was also regarded as possessing some proprietary interest in it. Mr. Belmont was looked upon as the principal owner. Between Mr. Belmont and Mr. Marble the strongest ties of interest and friendship were known to exist. Mr. Belmont was understood to be the purse and Mr. Marble the brains of the newspaper.

III. Mr. Belmont was and had been for many years the agent for an European banking Syndicate. This Syndicate was the owner of a large amount in American War bonds and had acted as the agent and banker of numerous other European houses interested in the same bonds. These bonds by the terms of their issue (Act of Feb. 25, 1862), were payable in greenbacks; and, although this view of the law on the subject was disputed in after years by the holders of the bonds or their advocates, it was from the legal point of view probably the correct one. This view is supported by the speeches of Senators Collamer, Wilson and others during the passage of the Act through the Senate (See Congressional Globe 1861-2); by the speeches of Messrs. Spaulding, Stevens, Pendleton and others in the House when the bill was before that body; and by the fact that the bonds when issued were subscribed and paid for in greenbacks, and thus fetched but half-price in gold coin, while at the same time other American bonds, payable specifically in gold, or about the terms of the payment of which there was no dispute, commanded full price. Among these were the 5 percent bonds of the State of Massachusetts.

Whatever was the precise legal bearing of the terms in which the Five-Twenties were made payable it was evidently of the highest importance to those who had purchased them at half-price to procure them if possible to be made payable at full price. This was only to be done by an Act of Congress which should explicitly make the bonds payable in coin and remove all doubt about the terms of payment. On the other hand, it was, by the same token, against the interest of the people of the United States to make any alteration in the law covering the bonds. If there was any doubt about the terms of liquidation, the country would only increase its burden of payment by removing it; if there was no doubt, no legislation was needed.

The nominal sum of the Five-Twenty bonds which were in dispute and had been sold at half-price on account both of the terms of emission and of the doubt as to their terms of payment, was, as the writer is now informed, about $550,000,000. The government had received but about $275,000,000 in gold for them; and the profit (besides the double interest, semi-annually in gold coin, all along), which the holders might very certainly count upon realizing, in case they could obtain the legislation they desired, amounted to $275,000,000 more. It will be admitted that this was a stake worth intriguing for; perhaps the greatest reward which ever tempted men to conspire and betray.

Down to the winter of 1867-8 Mr. Belmont had exhibited very little interest in the bond question, or, indeed, any other question that then interested the Conservative party. He had been appointed Chairman of its National Committee at a time when the fortunes and prospects of the party were very low and chiefly on account of the liberality with which he contributed to its beggared finances. Down to the election of 1868 he is believed to have contributed about $25,000, of which $10,000 were in one sum. But neither by his own utterances nor through those of the newspapers, which it was believed he in great measure owned and controlled, did Mr. Belmont manifest any active interest in politics. It was quite evident that he regarded the Conservative party, as for the present, quite dead; and that he had sought its leadership less for any practical results which it might then promote, than for what such leadership might be worth to him, or the Syndicate he represented, in the future.

This future came in the Fall of 1867. Down to that period the New York World, through Mr. Marble, had been specifically pledged to support Mr. Pendleton for the Presidency. (See letter of "Buckeye" in Cincinnati Enquirer of about August 20, 1874.) All of a sudden its course was changed with reference to Pendletonism, the bond question, legal-tenders and everything else connected with the subject.

Mr. Marble explains his sudden conversion from Pendletonism and the greenback theory by the fact that he met a Man on a mountain in New Hampshire; (See New York World August 24, 1874;) but those who know the circumstances best believe that the Man was in Paris and operated through an agent in Wall Street, New York.

Shortly after this and acting probably in pursuance of instructions from the Man in Paris Mr. Belmont went to Washington, where he entertained at a banquet the Members of the Democratic Congressional Committee and other leading Democrats in and out of Congress; and availed himself of the occasion to persuade them to change the place of holding the National Convention from some Southern or Western city, which they had previously expressed a decided preference for, to New York.

The first steps in the Conspiracy were taken none too soon. The Conservative party, which had previously been drifting about in search of an anchorage not too near the dangerous and wreck-bestrewn coast of Africa, had come upon the promising island of Greenbacks and after much careful reconnoitering determined to land there and intrench itself. This situation became so popular that vast numbers of the people adopted it, until at length and for the first time in many years it seemed possible for the Conservative party to succeed in a general contest with its great Republican adversary. To induce the Conservatives to abandon this position before it grew too strong and to persuade it to choose a battle-ground on other territory, was obviously the first move of the Conspirators. From this time forth the World became a "hard money" paper.

On the 13th of March, 1868, Baron James Rothschild of Paris wrote to Mr. Belmont a letter which was exhibited by the latter to several gentlemen in New York. This letter had evidently been prepared for the purpose of being shown to leading members of the party, in order to influence their opinion on the bond question. It contained a long argument against the then pending proposition to make the Five-Twenties refundable for 50-year 4 percent bonds without changing the original terms of payment, declared this a compulsory measure tinctured with "repudiation" and concluded with warnings of ruin to those who might oppose the payment of the bonds in coin, or who might advocate their liquidation in greenbacks.

On July 4, 1868, the Democratic National Convention met at Tammany Hall, New York, with Mr. Belmont as chairman. On the 7th of July and to the complete chagrin of the conspirators it passed the following resolution:

"Where the obligations of the Government do not expressly state upon their face, or the law under which they were issued does not provide that they shall be paid in coin, they ought in right and in justice, be paid in the lawful money of the United States."

It will be seen from this resolution that, notwithstanding the efforts of Belmont and Marble during the Winter of 1867-8 and the following spring, to influence the opinion of the Conservative party on this subject, it had deliberately followed its own course, heedless of these intriguants. Further than this it showed an evident determination to nominate a candidate for the Presidency who was especially the exponent of the views expressed in the above plank of the party platform. This was George H. Pendleton. He was nominated on the first ballot, receiving 105 votes, which were increased to 156.5 (211.5 or 2/3 of 317 being necessary to a choice), a number not exceeded by any candidate, until, on the 22nd ballot and with Pendleton's own previously written permission to warrant the act, Gen. McCook of Ohio suddenly withdrew Pendleton's name, in its place nominated that of Horatio Seymour, an advocate of coin payments and elected the latter as the Candidate of the Convention on a single ballot.

It was rumored at the time that the use by McCook of Pendleton's generous "permission" in the form of a "request" and the unexpected nomination of Seymour, were the fruits of the intrigue of which Belmont and Marble were even then suspected. But the writer's purpose is not to repeat rumors. He intends to confine himself to what he knows about the betrayal of the Conservative party in 1868; and what he knows relates not to the Convention nor to its proceedings, but to what occurred before the Convention met and after it adjourned.

This last mentioned event occurred on the 9th of July. On the 4th of August Mr. Seymour's letter of acceptance appeared and the campaign began. It has been stated that Mr. Seymour was an advocate of coin payments. So he was. In accepting him for its candidate the leaders had indeed changed the party flag, but the masses had not left their Island; nor were they inclined to do so. It soon became evident that, Pendleton or no Pendleton, the Conservative party were determined to stand by greenbacks; and the most popular badge of the campaign was an imitation greenback dollar-note with the portrait of Seymour on its face and the legend "This note is a legal tender," etc. on the back. It is true that in the event of a Conservative victory the conspirators had counted upon Mr. Seymour to approve of a bill providing coin payments for the Five-Twenty bonds and greenbacks; but the position of the Convention was that but few Conservative members of Congress would be likely to vote for such a measure so long as the constituencies were manifestly opposed to it. In short the conspirators were baffled.

There was but one way for them out of this dilemma and that way was to treacherously destroy Mr. Seymour's chance of being elected, by suddenly creating a panic on the eve of the contest.

The successive steps of the conspiracy now began to appear. 1st. The sudden abandonment by the World of the support of Mr. Pendleton and Pendletonism. 2nd. Its attempts to persuade the party to commit itself to the policy of coin payments. 3rd. Mr. Belmont's cajolement of the Washington leaders into changing the seat of the National Convention to New York, in order to bring its members and proceedings under the more immediate influence of himself, the World and the other instrumentalities of the conspiracy. 4th. The snap election in the Convention of its presiding officer and against his own wishes. 5th. The delegation by the National Convention of its entire power and authority and that of the Executive Committee, the State Committee and the Auxiliary Committee, acting directly or indirectly under it, into the single hand of Mr. Belmont, the agent of a colossal banking Syndicate, with ample experience in court and state intrigues. 6th. The foisting of the World, one of Mr. Belmont's instrumentalities, upon the party, as the acknowledged and accepted organ and exponent of its policy and views; and 7th, The use of the World for the purpose of suddenly and on the eve of Election (and when it was too late to put up other candidates) betraying and abandoning the ticket, throwing the party into confusion and converting a victory into defeat. Four of these steps have been already described. The writer now proceeds to relate the history of the remaining three.

The withdrawal of Pendleton, who was a candidate of enthusiasm, and the substitution of Seymour, who, distrusting his nominators, had evinced but little warmth in the contest, had weakened the prospects of the ticket; but the unexpected impeachment of the Radicals, made in my official Finance Letter of September, 1868, had so improved these prospects that in the early part of October the election was generally conceded to the Conservatives. The Radical party had been successfully arraigned as violators of the Constitution, corrupt, extravagant and responsible for a condition of the finances which had demoralized the public and exposed the country to the gravest dangers. The fortunes of the Radical party had never appeared so low as at this juncture; and already suggestions were being made for the cabinet which President Seymour would soon find it necessary to call to his aid in the administration of the Federal Government.

In the midst of this promise of success to the Conservatives and appearance of defeat to the Radicals, quite unexpectedly, without previous warning or intimation of any kind, and like a bolt shot from a summer sky, the New York World of Thursday, October 15, 1868, published a brief but portentous editorial article, in which, falsely and basely premising that success could not possibly await the Conservative party with Horatio Seymour at its head, it treacherously and perfidiously advised that the name of this honored statesman should be withdrawn and some other substituted in its place for President of the United States.

Remember that the World had claimed to be and had been fully trusted as the organ and mouthpiece of the party; that it was believed to be owned and controlled by men presumed to be interested in the success of the party; that the prospects of the party had not for many years seemed so brilliant; that not a word from any quarter had been intimated against Mr. Seymour; that the Convention had been dissolved for over three months; that it could not be reorganized in less than one or two months; that no provision had been made to organize it again that year; that without it, no one had authority to change the Presidential Candidate or withdraw his name from the ticket; and that it was now within a fortnight of Election day.

The treason of Dumouriez, who plotted with the enemy to overthrow the French Republic, which had placed him in supreme command of its armies; the treason of Burr "who permitted himself to be used by his political opponents in order to defeat the candidate of his own party whom he himself had supported" and who then attempted the subversion of his country through a secret alliance with Mexico—these treasonable attempts were petty in comparison with that of Marble. Dumouriez and Burr were both suspected men and the confidence reposed in them was by no means unlimited; in regard to Marble there was no suspicion whatever. Dumouriez was fired upon by his own soldiers; Burr exposed himself to capital punishment in a trial for high treason. Marble ran the risk of no penalty save the execrations of his betrayed countrymen. The law protects his life as it does that of any other man and his skin is as safe today as its triple covering of brass can render it. Dumouriez and Burr betrayed their countries for the sake of ambitions which could be gratified with nothing less than absolute and ungoverned control; a passion which has at least the merit of greatness about it. Marble's motive for betraying the party will appear as we proceed. Dumouriez and Burr both failed in their treachery; Marble not only succeeded, but has since had the unparalleled audacity to demand and accept a position of trust from the party that he betrayed.

Nothing could exceed the consternation produced by the World article of October 15, 1868. It was as though the general of a division had gone over to the enemy on the eve of an assured victory. The article was telegraphed all over the country on the morning of its appearance and by noon of the same day it was believed, in all the principal cities and towns throughout the country, that the Conservative party had been betrayed and abandoned by its chosen leaders, Belmont, Tilden, Schell and Marble: for no one supposed for a moment that Marble would have dared to publish such an article without authority from the chief representatives of the party in New York.

Such at least was the impression produced in Washington, where the writer resided at the time; and the Washington leaders of the Conservative party were experienced men and not likely to draw an erroneous inference from any writing in plain English.

The famous article was received in Washington at about 10 o'clock on the morning of its publication in New York. It was seen at noon by Mr. Jonah D. Hoover, chairman of the Congressional Committee and publisher of the Express, an afternoon Conservative newspaper. Mr. Hoover was astounded with the appearance of the article and hesitated about republishing it in the Express. The graver question, though, was with regard to the Committee of which he was chairman. What action should the Committee take in the matter? Should it ignore or repudiate the newspaper article and endeavor to rally the party around the ticket? Yet if the article was the deliberate act of the party leaders in New York, this course might prove to be the merest folly, and what chance had any such provincial rally against a desertion so open and public, done at the radiating point of a thousand printing-presses and telegraph wires, done at the seat of the party convention, at the residence of the chairman of the Convention, in the State whence the Presidential Candidate had been chosen, and by the trusted newspaper organ of the party and mouthpiece of the party owned wholly or for the most part by its leaders?

Mr. Hoover decided upon calling a meeting of the Congressional Committee and party chiefs that night at the office of the National Intelligencer, the principal conservative newspaper of the District; and the writer hereof was one of those who were invited to attend.

Meanwhile Mr. Hoover telegraphed to Mr. Belmont at New York demanding to know the meaning of the World article, and whether the National Committee was responsible for it.

It is necessary to explain here that the Democratic Convention, when it adjourned, adjourned sine die, and left in charge of its affairs a National Committee composed of one member from each state of the Union. Of this National Committee, whose headquarters were in New York, Mr. Belmont was Chairman. This National Commitee appointed an Executive Committtee of ten members, with Mr. Belmont as Chairman and a Washington Congressional Committee of eleven members (who afterward added three adherents to their number) with Mr. Hoover as Chairman. There was also in New York a State Committee, of which Belmont, Tilden, Schell and others were members and an Auxiliary Committee composed of Belmont, Tilden, Schell and others who were members of one or more of the other committees, and still others who were not. Thus the business of the Convention was entrusted to the National Committee; that of the National Committee to the Executive Committee; that of the Executive Committee to the Auxiliary Committee, and that of the Auxiliary Committee to Belmont, who left the formal and clerical portion of it to Tilden and Schell, and kept the vital and important portion of it to himself.

Tilden and Schell opened an office for the distribution of documents and like business, at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Seventeenth Street. Belmont went to New York, where he remained all summer, with the National Convention and all its Committees in his breeches pocket; and there sat down with his friend and faithful follower Marble to exchange cable telegrams with the Man in Paris and plot the betrayal and defeat of the Conservative party.

The meeting at the Intelligencer office was appointed for 9 P.M. of the same day on which the World article was published. Down to the hour of meeting no reply had been received to Mr. Hoover's telegram. There were present at the meeting Hon. Alex. W. Randall, Postmaster General; Hon. Richard T. Merrick; Hon. Alex. Del Mar, Director of Statistics; John F. Coyle, Esq., one of the proprietors of the Intelligencer, and his partner Mr. Snow; Mr. W.W. Warden, one of President Johnson's private secretaries, Colonel Whitely, Marshall Hoover and several others.

Marshall Hoover stated the object of the meeting. The World article, evidently inspired by the leaders of the party at New York, had virtually deprived the party of its Chieftain on the very eve of election and the moment of suceess. He had telegraphed to Belmont and Tilden, but had received no answer. The abandonment of the ticket was being telegraphed all over the country and every moment was precious. What was to be done? Accept the situation and endeavor to keep the party together by at once nominating another candidate on their own responsibility, relying upon the urgency of the occasion and the influence of the Intelligencer and the Southern press (which would probably endorse its action), to ratify their nomination; or, wait another twenty-four hours, until demoralization and defection had spread far and wide, and unity of action was no longer possible? Knowing that in such an emergency every hour was precious, he said that Messrs. Belmont and Tilden's delay in responding to his telegram was in the highest degree censurable.

Another gentleman said that he took it for granted that nobody present doubted that the World article was authorized. (No sign of dissent from anybody present.) If it was authorized, there was no use in telegraphing to Belmont about it or in awaiting an answer from him. It was quite plain that the party leaders in New York had determined to abandon the ticket; though what their motive was, consistent with any regard for their honor or probity, or what they expected to effect by it, exceeded his comprehension. He feared that there was foul work beneath it. But the country must not be allowed to suffer from this great act of treachery. The blow that had been struck was a base, but not a fatal one. Seymour was now out of the field, but he thought that with prompt action the party might be induced to unite upon another candidate; and as every hour's delay urged it further upon the rocks of anarchy and ruin, he had consulted Chief Justice Chase with the view of obtaining his consent to run. Judge Chase had replied that it was too late: that such a movement was impracticable and useless; that no one had authority to act; that the National Convention must he called together again. The speaker had, however, inferred from Judge Chase's remarks that in case the party made an authoritative demand for it, the Chief Justice would allow his own name to be used on the ticket, provided Mr. Seymour and all parties assented. In the hope that this measure could be effected the speaker had prepared an article for insertion in the Intelligencer, proof-slips of which he then handed around.

The writer has one of these slips now. It rehearses the World, accepts the situation, and nominates Chase for President, with Hancock, Adams, Hendricks, Ewing or Franklin for Vice President.

Another gentleman then got up and remarked that although there could be little doubt that the World article was authorized by the party leaders in New York; although the crisis was momentous and every hour of delay fraught with new danger; yet they could not be sure that the World article was authorized. They had better wait until next day before putting forward Judge Chase's name. The suggestion as to the omission of Judge Chase's name prevailed.

Another speaker contended that the Intelligencer could not ignore the subject. In deserting Mr. Seymour the World had abandoned the political principles which Mr. Seymour represented. If the Intelligencer accepted the situation it would also desert those principles; and unless it substituted other principles in their stead, the party would be left without a rallying cry; and not only would the party fail in the election, it would disintegrate and break up entirely.

This suggestion also prevailed and the proposed article was modified, not only by omitting Judge Chase's name, it exhorted the party to rally around the Constitution of 1789, and insisted upon the preservation of the Union under its organic law: mere generalities. Proof-slips of the article, as revised, were then handed to Mr. Warden for the Associated Press and in a quarter of an hour's time it had flown to the four quarters of the Continent.

The meeting broke up at 11 o'clock, and everybody felt that the campaign was over and lost. Too much power had been delegated to Belmont and he had shamefully and fatally abused it.

After midnight Marshall Hoover received the following dispatch from Mr. Samuel J. Tilden.

New York, October 16, 1868.
Jonah D. Hoover, Esq., Washington, D. C.

No authority or possibility to change front. All friends consider it totally impracticable and equivalent to disbanding our forces. We in New York are not panic-stricken.

S.J. Tilden,
August Belmont,
Augustus Schell.

This dispatch was put upon the wires in New York nearly twenty-four hours after the World article appeared; whereas, if the World article was unauthorized, it should have been given to the country instantly upon the appearance of the article. The dispatch merely said that a change of front was impracticable and omitted to state with sufficient explicitness whether any consultation had been held with the World in reference to the publication of its treasonable editorial. It was therefore still more uncertain whether the World article emanated from the Committee or not. At all events the telegram was received in Washington too late to change the course of the Intelligencer. The article which the Congressional Committee had concluded to print had already flown all over the country and it therefore had to be printed in the morning issue of the paper.

On the next day (Friday) one of the Washington conclave was requested by the Committee and also by President Johnson to call upon the members of the Auxiliary Committee at New York and clear up all doubts as to the real position of affairs.

At this juncture the disorder was intense and the Washingtonian's ride to New York was, like Phil. Sheridan's ride from Winchester, to retrieve a lost battle.

The Washingtonian arrived in New York on Saturday morning. He at once went to Mr. Belmont's. Mr. Belmont was out of town—at Newport, it was stated. He then went to Mr. Tilden's office, 12 Wall Street, then to his house in East Twentieth Street. Mr. Tilden had gone out of town—not known whither—supposed northward. He then went to Mr. Augustus Schell's in West Twentieth or Twenty-first Street and saw Mrs. Schell. Mr. Schell had gone out of town—did not know where—perhaps north—perhaps to Utica.

The Washingtonian then sought Mr. John T. Hoffman, who was the mayor of New York. Mr. Hoffman was in his office. He said he knew nothing about the World article or its origin, deemed it very unfortunate for the party, and could hardly believe that the Committee had authorized its publication.

The Washingtonian then telegraphed the result of his enquiries and researches to Washington and went to see Mr. Benjamin Wood and other Democratic leaders in New York, from none of whom, however, could he learn the origin of the World article. Then, assuming that Tilden and Schell were with Mr. Seymour at Utica, he telegraphed to them there, requesting an interview on the morrow (Sunday) at Mr. Tilden's residence. Finally, as a last resource, he concluded to call upon Mr. Marble and ask him, point blank, what had induced him to adopt the course he had taken. He called at the World office on Saturday, October 17th, at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and saw Mr. Marble, when the following interview took place:

Washingtonian—"At the request of President Johnson and Marshal Hoover I have visited you for the purpose of asking you some questions with reference to the leading article in Thursday's World. Of course you are aware of the unfortunate disorder it has created. We deem it of the utmost importance to know in the first place whether that article was authorized or suggested by the Democratic National Committee, or any of its representative committees, or any member thereof."

Mr. Marble (flushed and nervous )—"I do not admit the right of the President or the Chairman of the Congressional Committee, or yourself, or anybody else, to put any questions to me regarding the course of the World. Respect for them and you, however, induces me to say this much: that the Committee had nothing whatever to do with the publication of the article."

This was in some measure avoiding the question. The Washingtonian, without noticing this fact, proceeded:

Washingtonian—"Then let me ask you what was your motive in publishing so extraordinary, uncalled-for, and disastrous an article?"

Marble (getting excited)—"Sir! This newspaper is my property and is not amenable to any man or set of men for the course it may choose to pursue."

Washingtonian—"Your declaration surprises me. It was generally understood that Mr. Belmont and others of the party owned a controlling interest in the paper and that it was the organ of the Democratic party. It was certainly trusted as such, and it certainly invited such trust. In view of these facts, I think I have a right to ask you for an explanation of the course of the paper."

Marble (thoroughly excited)—"I tell you this paper is my property; my property, do you understand? It has been my property since the first of this month, and I have neither partners nor shareholders. The World is not the organ of the Democratic party nor of any other party. It is an independent sheet, and is entirely at liberty to pursue any course, or print any article it pleases."

Washingtonian (persistently)—"Such may be the position of the World now; but it certainly was not its position a short time ago. No intimation was given of the change; and the public was permitted to regard it as still the organ of the party. Such being the case, I again ask you why you printed that article?"

Marble (lashed into fury and losing control of himself)—"Do you want to know why I printed it? Well, you shall know. I printed it to please myself. I printed it as a sensation article, to give eclat to the paper and increase its circulation all over the country. Already, the sale of the paper has doubled."

Washingtonian—"That will do, Mr. Marble. No further explanation is needed. What you have already said satisfies my inquiry."

And with this the Washingtonian walked away.

To abandon and betray a great political party, that is to say the political principles upon which may rest the fate of a State, for the profits of a newspaper sensation! The motive confessed was worse than any which had been imputed or suspected.

On the following day (Sunday) the Washingtonian repaired to Mr. Tilden's residence and there found assembled Messrs. Tilden, Schell, Church, Hoffman, Seymour, Jr. (a nephew of Horatio) and Col. North, a gentleman to whom had been committed the distribution of campaign documents issued by the Committees.

The Washingtonian explained his mission. It was to obtain from the Democratic National Committee, or their representatives, an explicit and unequivocal declaration with reference to the World article. Members of the party throughout the country were at this moment uncertain whether the committee and leaders of the party had authorized or connived at the article, or whether they had determined to abandon the ticket or not. If the Committee were not responsible for the article they should say so unequivocally, and at once.

Mr. Tilden remarked that the Hoover dispatch signed by himself and Messrs. Belmont and Schell was supposed to be explicit enough.

The Washingtonian replied that it was not; that leaders of the party at Washington still believed that the World would not have ventured to publish such an article without consulting with the Committee; that the dispatch had been sent too late, and that the Committee should end all doubt upon the matter by explicitly repudiating the World article.

Mr. Tilden intimated that he did not like to make an enemy of the World.

Whereupon Mr. Hoffman got up and said very emphatically that that was not the point. The point was that the party throughout the country needed to be unequivocally assured about the origin of that article so that it might be guided in the course it was to pursue. The gentleman from Washington was quite correct in his views and fully justified in his demands. Messrs. Tilden and Schell, who were the representatives of the Committee, should draw up and sign such a paper as the gentleman had suggested.

After some further objection on the part of Mr. Tilden, who gave way to the Washingtonian's suggestion with evident reluctance, it was agreed that the latter should draw up a dispatch addressed to Mr. W.F. Storey, representative of the Democratic National Committee in Illinois, setting forth unequivocally that the World article was without authority or knowledge of the National Committee, or any of its members or representatives; that a change of front was out of the question; and that victory was still assured if the party held together.

The Washingtonian sat down to draw the paper. As he did so, Col. North whispered to him, "I'll venture to say that you will never carry that paper out of this room." To which the Washingtonian replied with confidence: "Oh, yes, I shall get it, and when I do get it, I shall at once put it on the wires."

The Washingtonian completed the paper and handed it to Mr. Tilden, who made some trifling alterations in its diction and passed it to Mr. Schell. It met with the latter's concurrence. Mr. Tilden then signed it; then Mr. Schell signed it. Then the Washingtonian took it up and with a look of triumph at Col. North started toward the door saying: "Gentlemen, I'll just put this on the wires and return."

His hand was on the door knob and he was in the act of turning it when Mr. Tilden, running hastily around the table, (this was in the front reception room at the house in East Twentieth Street), seized him by the arm and declared the dispatch ought not to go out without Mr. Belmont's name being attached to it. Mr. Belmont, he explained, was Chairman of the Committee, and it would be slighting him to send the dispatch forth without his signature. He knew that Mr. Belmont would sign it. Mr. Belmont was in Newport. He (Mr. Tilden) would agree to procure his signature to the dispatch and send it to Mr. Storey. It really must be left in his hands until he could see Mr. Belmont.

What could the Washingtonian do? Mr. Tilden was not a stranger to him. He knew him well and confided in him. He laid the paper upon the table and shortly afterward the meeting broke up, with the express understanding that Mr. Belmont's signature should be procured to the dispatch by Mr. Tilden and that it should be immediately afterward made public by transmitting it to Mr. Storey in the form of an official message.

That paper never was signed by Mr. Belmont; never was published; and to this day the Conservative party has nothing to show that the World article of October 15, 1868, was unauthorized by the Committee. The leaders of the party and the masses throughout the country felt that they had been betrayed, but by whom, whether Belmont, Tilden or Marble, they could not feel sure. In this state of uncertainty and confusion the party went to the polls, leaderless and demoralized. Even in this condition it polled 2,648,830 votes for Seymour against 2,985,031 polled by the Radicals for Grant; and it only failed of a majority vote by 337,000 or less than 6 percent, of the whole number of votes cast. This 6 percent, was the reward of Marble's treachery.

Such is the story of the Crime of 1868, so far as the writer knows it of his own knowledge. The connection between its various members is too obvious to need further comment, and the advantages which the European Syndicate derived from it are to be measured by the following entirely gratuitous act of legislation:

"In order to remove any doubt as to the purpose of the government to discharge all just obligations to the public creditors, and to settle conflicting questions and interpretations of the laws by virtue of which such obligations have been contracted, it is hereby provided and declared that the faith of the United States is solemnly pledged to the payment in coin, or its equivalent, of all the obligations of the United States not bearing interest, known as United States notes, and of all the interest-bearing obligations of the United States, except in cases where the law authorizing the issue of any such obligation has expressly provided that the same may be paid in lawful money or other currency than gold or silver. But none of said interest-bearing obligations not already due shall be redeemed or paid before maturity, unless at such time United States notes shall be convertible into coin at the option of the holder, or unless at such time bonds of the United States bearing a lower rate of interest than the bonds to be redeemed can be sold at par in coin. And the United States also solemnly pledges its faith to make provision at the earliest practicable period for the redemption of the United States notes in coin." Act of March 18, 1869.

This was the so-called Credit Strengthening Act of March 18, 1869. It was passed immediately upon the assembling of the new Congress elected in the Fall of 1868, and was the first act passed by that body and signed by the new President, Grant. By virtue of this act the government of the United States, without any consideration whatever, improved and enhanced the value of the bonds it had issued under the Act of February 25, 1862, and its sequels, which bonds it had sold at half price because of their sale and redeemability in greenbacks. It also, and likewise without any consideration, improved and enhanced the value of the greenbacks, by promising to redeem the same in coin, whereas when they were issued they were sold at half price for war supplies largely on account of their irredeemability in coin.

The passage of this act was equivalent to the payment to various European banking houses, holders of the Five-Twenty bonds, of at least two hundred and seventy-five million dollars, over and above what they would otherwise have received in the form of interest and principal for the bonds which they held or controlled. It really amounted to more than twice as much.

The issues settled by this treacherously procured legislation can never be raised again. The Five-Twenty bonds, whose terms of payment it altered and enhanced in value, without any consideration paid to the government, are now all, or nearly all, paid off. But the men who promoted this measure and who in order to do so cajoled and betrayed a great party which had generously confided its interests to their charge, are not beyond the reach of public censure and reproach.

Mr. Marble, in his issue of the World dated August 24, 1874, said of himself:

"As the editor of a journal which he established, has long owned, and always conducted to maintain Democratic doctrines in government and which, without the assistance of National or State Democratic Committees, has nevertheless come to be everywhere esteemed as in some sense a leading organ of the Democratic party, he has not believed it to be consistent with that implied trust," etc.,

He here refers with pride to his ownership of the World a of long standing. The readers of this treatise will know how long that standing had been; for according to Mr. Marble's own confession it only began about the 1st of October, 1868. He also refers to its independence of Democratic Committees. The only Democratic Committee which had any "support" to contribute until within recent years was the Tammany Committee of New York, an organization which cared little for the Democratic party, so long as it could retain its hold upon the profits of the municipal government of that city. From this organization, as appears from the bills and receipts for advertisements, on file with the Comptroller of New York, the World received an ample remuneration. As to the National Democratic Committee it had no largess to bestow upon the World, which had betrayed and sold it and the party to foreigners. This is the sort of independence of which it boasted.

But the most important of Mr. Marble's statements above quoted is that one wherein he says that the World had come to be everywhere esteemed as in some sense "a leading organ of the Democratic party," and admits that there was an "implied trust" in the avowal and acceptance of such a position. It will be remembered that in the interview of October 17, 1868, Mr. Marble denied that the World was a Democratic organ, in any sense of the word, and that it was under no sort of trust or obligation to support the doctrines or candidates of the party. Afterwards, when he hoped his treachery would not transpire, or had been forgotten, he held that the World was a Democratic organ and as such was under an "implied trust" with reference to the doctrines and candidates of the party. And not only in his issue of August 24, 1874, but in many subsequent issues, he sought, and unfortunately obtained, the support and confidence of the party, as he had sought and obtained it previous to his treacherous act of October 15, 1868.