Reconstruction Scandals Essay

The tweed ring was a tiny group of men put together by William M. Tweed who composed New York City’s finances. Tweed was condemned of stealing up to 200 million dollars. With the rate of inflation that would be up to 8 billion dollars today. In 1873, Tweed was sentenced to twelve years in prison which was diminished by a higher court to only one year. After he was discharged from prison he was condemned again on civil charges and sued for 6 million dollars by New York city. He was taken to a debtors prison until he could pay 3 million dollars for bail. Tweed ran away and went to Spain and got a job as a seamen on a ship. He was then recaptured and put back in prison where he passed away 2 years later. At meals Tweed would measure three inches from his stomach to the edge of the table and would not stop eating until his stomach was touching the table.

The Credit Mobilier company was established by George Francis Train who was the vice president. George Francis was in charge of publicity for the Union Pacific Railroad. The company was created to reduce the liability of its stockholders and to maximize its profits. The company gave unexpensive or free shares of stock to representatives of congress who would support further funding. The scandal was transfered to the publics consideration by Henry Simpson McComby in 1872 . He stated that $72 million in contracts had been given to the the mobilier company to build a railroad that cost only $53 million to build. The investors where left pretty much bankrupt and it destroyed the reputation of a lot of the congressmen who had approved the bribes including James A. Garfield, Schuyler Colfax, James W. Patterson, and Henry Wilson. At the time of the investigation they identified that the mobilier company had given stock to more than thirty members of both of the parties.

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Black Friday also known as Deadly Friday also known as the Fisk-Gould scandal was at a time James Fisk and Jay Gould tried to manage the gold market on the New York gold transaction. During the American civil war the United States Government gave away greenbacks that where backed by nothing but credit. Most of the people trusted that after the war the government would purchase back the greenbacks with gold. Fisk and Gould tried to contribute off of this by cornering the gold market. They employed Ulysses S. Grant’s brother-in-law Abel Corbin to get convenient to grant to bicker against him when they where having a conversation about the government selling gold. His brother-in-law persuaded Grant to assign Daniel Butterfield as the United States apprentice treasurer. Butterfield had approved to tell Fisk and Gould when the government was planning to sell its gold. They bought large amounts of gold and put it up generating gold prices to become more exspensive in 1869. But then grant discharged the government gold into the market and prices started decreasing. Later investigation into the scandal was limited because Grant’s wife and brother-in-law could not testify.

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