History of America’s One Percent – Episode #13

hogaf-logo-wip2In this podcast series we dive into the long and shadowy history of America’s ruling elite through the works of authors who were either silenced, suppressed, or forgotten, to discover the origins of the 1% and from where their power and wealth was, and still is, extracted.

Each recording will be approx. 1 hour in length to allow for easy consumption of the material.  The narrator will only interrupt the reading to provide insight, spell names, read informative footnotes, or provide definitions for archaic words.

In this episode – Continued reading of History of Great American Fortunes by Gustavus Myers.  Includes Part II, Chapter VIII:  Other Land Fortunes Considered.  The Goelet Fortune.  Deep Family Links To Notorious Briber Frederick Phillips.  Large Grants of Land From Corrupt Romaine Administration.  Allowed To Pay For Land In Installments.  Links To United States Bank By Marriage.  Founders of The Chemical Bank.  Bribery Charges Swirl Around Chemical Bank Charter.  The Crimes Of One Generation Become The Glories Of Another.  Masters of The Art Of Miserliness.  The Rhinelander Fortune.  Great Land Holdings Acquired From Trinity Church.  Land Acquired From Corrupt City Officials. Land Acquired Through Marriage.  The Schermerhorn Fortune.  Their Land Also Acquired From Corrupt City Officials.  Their Interests In The Bank Of New York.  The Longworth Fortune In Cincinnati.  Longworth’s Vagaries.  The Longworths Go To Congress.  Marriage Into The Roosevelt Family.  The Field Fortune and Levi Leiter In Chicago.  Fields Early Dry Goods Business.  High Prices For Shoddy Materials During The Civil War.

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Click Here for a complete list of episodes in this podcast.
You can also stream the episodes from Archive.org
For more information on the author of this book Click Here.


[1] Some of this land and these water grants and piers were obtained by Peter Goelet during the corrupt administration of City Controller Romaine. Goelet, it seems, was allowed to pay in installments. Thus, an entry, on January 26, 1807, in the municipal records, reads: “On receiving the report of the Street Commissioner, Ordered that warrants issue to Messrs. Anderson and Allen for the three installments due to them from Mr. Goelet for the Whitehall and Exchange Piers.” — MSS. Minutes of the [New York City] Common Council, 1807, xvi :286.

[2] “Prominent Families of New York”: 231.  Another notable example of this glorifying was Nicholas Biddle, long president
of the United States Bank.  Yet the court records show that, after a career of bribery, he stole $400,000 of that bank’s funds.

[3] At this very time his wealth, judged by the standard of the times, was prodigious.  “His wealth is vast — not less than five or six millions,” wrote Barrett in 1862— “The Old Merchants of New York City,” 1 : 349.

[4] “The Railways, the Trusts and the People” : 104.

[5] See Part III, “Great Fortunes From Railroads, Trusts, Banks, and Other Sources.”

[6] “Kings of Fortune” : 172.

[7] Census of 1900.

[8] Eighth Annual Report, Illinois Labor Bureau : 104-253.

[9] In those parts of this work relating to great fortunes from railroads and from industries, this phase of commercial life is specifically dealt with. The enormities brazenly committed during the Spanish-American War of 1898 are sufficiently remembered.  Napoleon had the same experience with French contractors, and the testimony of all wars is to the same effect.

[10] So valuable was a partnership in this firm that a writer says that Field paid Leiter “an unknown number of millions” when he bought out Leiter’s interest.

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