Black friday Scandal 1869
Early in Grant’s first term, two gold speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk hoped to buy gold at $130 per ounce and sell it at $160 per ounce. They tried o corner the gold market. They went to Grant, who had no understanding of monetary issues, and convinced him to tell Treasury Secretary George Boutwell to stop selling gold. The price rose to $162 per ounce before Grant realized what he was tricked into doing. Grant ordered Boutwell to release $4 million in gold. The price plummeted and ruined many investors including Gould and Fisk.
Credit Mobilier Scandal 1872
Credit Mobilier was a construction company that helped build the Union Pacific Railroad. The company was owned by some union Pacific stockholders who gave the construction company huge contracts. They were funneling money from Union Pacific, a company that they owned little stock, into Credit Mobilier, where they owned a majority of the stock. With Union Pacific receiving government subsidies and funds, the investors were stealing government money. To avoid a governmental inquiry into the transaction, the investors gave Credit Mobilier stock to members of Congress. A congressional investigation in 1872 revealed many congressmen, high ranking republicans, and vice-president Schuyler Colfax took stock in the company. The scandal marred Grant’s first term. Schuyler was replaced for the election in 1872. This began the uncovering of several scandals.
The Whiskey Ring 187
A national tax evasion scheme where indictments were brought against 86 government officials, including the chief clerk of the Treasury Department as well as President Ulysses S. Grant’s private secretary. A group of distillers was falsifying reports and cheated the government millions in tax dollars. Many of Gran’t appointees were involved in the scandal.
Belknap Fraud 1876
In 1876, Secretary of War, William Belknep, was under investigation for accepting bribes in connection with the Indian Agency. He resigned as congress was voting on his impeachment. A few months later, Navy Secretary, William Robinson, was investigated over grain contracts that he had signed. He also was faced with impeachment but never resigned due to Grant’s inaction. Over the course of Grant’s presidency, all of the executive departments came under investigation.