Nov 122013
 

john davisI. “Aren’t We All Rich Now?”

It is one thing to commit crimes against property, and a vastly different thing to commit crimes in behalf of property.

Gustavus Myers, History of the Great American Fortunes

It could not be claimed that, in terms of their political-economic beliefs, there were striking differences between the Presidential candidates of the two major parties in 1924.

The Democratic Party candidate was the handsome, soft-spoken, Wall Street attorney, John W. Davis, former U. S. Solicitor General and one-time Ambassador to Great Britain, whom the King of England had characterized as “one of the most perfect gentlemen I have ever met.” Once regarded as an outstanding Liberal, Davis — now a director in the United States Rubber Company, the National Bank of Commerce, the Santa Fe Railroad and other such concerns  —had this to say of himself:

I have a fine list of clients. What lawyer wouldn’t want them? I have J. P. Morgan & Company, the Erie Railroad, the Guaranty Trust Company, the Standard Oil Company, and other foremost American concerns on my list. I am proud of them. They are big institutions and as long as they ask for my service for honest work, I am pleased to work for them. Big Business has made this country what it is. We want Big Business . . .

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Apr 162013
 
ColonelCForbesforbes

Charles Robert Forbes (1878 -1952) — First Director of the U.S. Veterans’ Bureau

V — I. “The Real Old Times”

One month after the inauguration of President Harding, a certain Colonel Charles R. Forbes showed up in the nation’s capitol. He was a ruddy-faced, hard-drinking, swaggering adventurer, with a penchant for spinning extravagant yarns and an easy way with members of the opposite sex. During the war he had been decorated with the Croix de Guerre and the Distinguished Service Medal. His chequered career had also included desertion from the U. S. Army, crooked ward politics on the West Coast, shady operations as a business contractor, and several years of lucrative underhand dealings as a public official in the Philippine Islands.

The reason Colonel Forbes came to Washington in the early spring of 1921 was that President Harding himself had summoned him . . .

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