Miller, Nathan. (©1976) The founding finaglers /New York : D. McKay Co.,MLA Citation
Miller, Nathan. The Founding Finaglers. New York : D. McKay Co., ©1976. Print.
The founding finaglers /
by Nathan Miller.
|Published:||New York : D. McKay Co., ©1976.|
|Topics:||Political corruption. | United States -- Politics and government. | Political corruption.|
|Regions:||United States - Politics and government. | United States.|
|Author:||Miller, Nathan, 1927-2004|
|Physical Description:||ix, 399 pages ; 22 cm
|Includes:||Includes bibliographical references (pages 376-387) and index.
|More about this Title:||Jacket title: Founding finaglers, and other scoundrels in a fascinating history of corruption in America from Jamestown to Teapot Dome
|Summary:||Corruption is as American as apple pie. From the Founding Fathers to the daily headlines, it runs through American history like a scarlet thread. Most Americans prefer to ignore the fact that the grafting politician, the corrupt business tycoon, and the crooked labor baron are prominent fixtures in their national folklore. But long before Watergate and its accompanying horrors, the people of the United States have been alternately chagrined and entertained by the venality of their elected leaders. In The Founding Finaglers, journalist Nathan Miller re-creates this fascinating series of spectacular schemes and colorful personalities, beginning with the first American settlement and continuing through Watergate. Graft and chiseling were old hat to those who settled the English colonies in America in the seventeenth century. Officials of the Crown were paid inadequate salaries and made up for it in gratuities and bribes. Peerages and titles were for sale to the highest bidder. In fact, the title of baronet was invented simply to be sold. Royal governors sold off the most valuable lands in their colonies and pocketed the proceeds. In 1617 Samuel Argall, the governor of Jamestown, appropriated most of the colony's supplies and crops and sold them for his own profit. Another of these notorious offenders was Governor Benjamin Fletcher of New York, who was in league with the pirates prowling American waters and shared in their loot. Miller goes on to unveil George Washington's finesse as a land speculator, how corruption helped bring about the American Revolution, the variety of "opportunities" that came along with America's Westward expansion, the Credit Mobilier scandal involving two vice-presidents and several congressmen, the Whiskey Ring in which President Ulysses S. Grant's own secretary was implicated, and the gold panic conspiracy that entangled Grant himself. But wholesale corruption went beyond the federal government. The entire Georgia legislature was bribed by one gang of looters who made off with the Yazoo claim--which became the states of Alabama and Mississippi. And in New York, Boss Tweed stole over $200 million from the city within a few years. The Founding Finaglers is the story of foul play in America--one that most history books fail to recount. It entertainingly reveals a seldom-seen side of the American character and provides insight and perspective on the scandals that continue to taint every level of government.--Fom dust jacket.