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By October 2007, this is a new page for The Merchant Networks Project. Research and the website itself have moved into new zones and the time has come to make extra lists of merchant networks and commercial activity we'd like to know more about, in-depth - as would some netsurfers who have emailed. (-Ed)
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By Dan Byrnes
Shortly (from May 2009) this website is going to present a wide-ranging critique of a variety of US conspiracy theories in history which have grown in popularity on the Net since 1996, often using material earlier available in a variety of printed books. The writer of this critique (Dan Byrnes) would not mind so much about such misguided views from the USA, if he didn't receive annoying e-mail from followers of these theories, inquiring into views on "matters economic in history". Notable amongst the books retailing these conspiracy theories is of course, Dope Inc, The Book That Drove Kissinger Crazy, by associates of Lyndon LaRouche Jnr. (I happen to have its edition of 1992.)
This page - On Carroll Quigley as the father of today's theories
a href="http://www.merchantnetworks.com.au/gaps/gaps2.htm" -- More problems with the theories
a href="http://www.merchantnetworks.com.au/gaps/gaps3.htm" -- Revisiting US opium traders
a href="http://www.merchantnetworks.com.au/gaps/gaps4.htm" -- US ships to India and China
a href="http://www.merchantnetworks.com.au/gaps/gaps5.htm" -- How US shipping discovered opium
a href="http://www.merchantnetworks.com.au/gaps/gaps6.htm" -- US shipping and Australia - Notes
a href="http://www.merchantnetworks.com.au/gaps/gaps7.htm" -- Signers of US Declaration of Independence
In Australia, one of the reasons to take a dim view of LaRouche's ideas is because of the activity of an Australian fringe-group group which is fed views and information by his US followers, which names itself, Citizens Electoral Council (CEC, see the wikipedia entry on them). CEC made a showing as minor contenders in the 2007 Australian Federal election)
Suffice to say, and by Australian standards, CEC in Australia are a small but very annoying group. They originated with the right-wing League of Rights, (by 2007 a relatively long-lasting fringe group in Australia) which was taken over by LaRouchites led by one Isherwood of Melbourne, who brainlessly repeats LaRouche's latest opinions imported from the USA.One of the marks of Dope Inc. in its view of historical and near-present day situations is its forceful, continual, vehement, and profoundly paranoid hatred of Britain, or, British interests, since the time of the Boston Tea Party. It is as though LaRouche and his associates feel a need to keep ramping up a kind of all-American hatred, down through the centuries by now, inspired by the original tea deal of the East India Company, that in turn provoked the Boston Tea Party; a hatred that has to be fed, and re-fed, the way a pet tiger has to be re-fed.
This webpage and its sister pages from the present writer are going to pour considerable acid on LaRuche's weird anti-British outpourings. This is partly because as an Australian, I notice that there is nothing valid in LaRouche's views on British history which would lead him to notice the existence since 1788 of white or British-settled Australia. So it is diverting to wonder, what can it be about Britain, that LaRouche hates so much, that leads him to overlook an entire continent on the face of the earth? So we may as well begin in part with a taste of what it feels like for a writer to be chastised by a well-trained historian. To wit Huw Bowen (UK historian) as he chastises a writer dealing with aspects of the trading history of the commodity, tea. Not that the fact that LaRouche is anti-British is the main problem, the major problem is that LaRouche enjoys hating to the extent that he enjoys bending history to his will, a ludicrous past-time.(Cf., Huw Bowen The Guardian, Saturday 11 April 2009 in review of For All the Tea in China: Espionage, Empire and the Secret Formula for the World's Favourite Drink by Sarah Rose, 280pp, Hutchinson, £17.99 suggesting that a broadbrush approach "can produce history that is formulaic, simplistic and ill-informed, leading to inflated and unjustified claims for the significance of a particular [commodity] food or drink.)
Sarah Rose's breathless tea-tale falls into the latter [ill-informed] category. Several astonishing howlers mean that confidence in the book is all but destroyed by the end of page two. "A subcontinent of princely states" was not "united under the banner of Greater Britain, in 1757"; the East India Company did not sell opium to China for "nearly two hundred years"; and "tea taxes" most certainly did not fund the building of railways and roads in 19th-century Britain. And so it goes on, with basic errors adding to serial misconception and misunderstanding, as we are invited to share in a "wow! gosh!" version of history. Of course, as Rose herself informs us, the book is not a scholarly undertaking and this in itself is fair enough. But, in order to be credible, works of popular history do still have to be rooted firmly in fact, even in these postmodern times.
This is a missed opportunity, because there is certainly an interesting story to be told about the book's protagonist, Robert Fortune. In 1848 he penetrated parts of the Chinese interior, which hitherto had been off-limits to foreigners, as he undertook a search for tea plants that could flourish in the Indian Himalayas. But instead of simply portraying Fortune as a resourceful and determined collector working on behalf of the soon-to-be defunct East India Company, Rose transforms him into an "industrial spy" who "would change the fate of nations". Fortune was most certainly important, says Bowen, and he made sure that his contemporaries knew it, but this is overdoing things, as is the claim that he was the "crucial linchpin in the chain of events that had brought tea to its adopted homeland" [in India]. (Ends quote from Bowen review)
Historians as they work are wise to apply a sense of scepticism about history. So are their readers. And it does appear, that conspiracy theories also begin with scepticism. There the similarities between conspiracy theories and "mainstream history" part company, partly due to differences in the uses of methodology. Conspiracy theories can flourish due to naivety, stupidity, or being gulled by misinformation [on the parts of of both "researchers" and readers]. Part of the mix is distrust of authorities, distrust of mainstream historians, distrust of ordinary journalism. A popular ploy of conspiracy theorists is to complain that certain difficult business in a given society is the result of deliberate tactics designed by "rogue elements" in a government, or governmental agencies, to distract the population from any variety of other acknowledged-but-intractable evils. This is partly the explanation for the stamina of conspiracy theories about the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, the origins and spread of the disease known as HIV-AIDS, the car-accident death of Princess Diana, a wierd event such as the 9/11 jet bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York. The 2008 world financial crash is/was allegedly due to a "secret cabal of central bankers operating from a bunker at Denver International Airport". It is often claimed, particularly in the US, that the explanations for such conspiracies "go all the way to the top". As with the legend that what Australians call "the Whitlam Dismissal", the death of the 1972-elected Labor Government in 1975, was orchestrated by American CIA operatives getting rid of an Australian government they disliked and distrusted. So UK sociologist and political commentator Frank Furedi wonders if Western Society has regressed into an application of medieval outlooks to "calamitous acts" and events. Furedi notes, "Back in the Dark Ages people regarded accidents, disasters and other acts of misfortune as the work of hidden forces. Misdeeds were often said to have been caused by people who had been manipulated by evil forces. This primitive outlook is making a comeback."
Though it might be noted that the believer in conspiracy-based explanations mostly sees bad luck, disaster and calamity as due to some monolithic force(s), and something, or some group, actually retaining control [even against all the odds, as with 9/11]. Whereas the mainstream historian is more likely to attribute unwelcome outcomes to unexpected confluences of lacks of control, if not incompetence and mismanagement - the opposite of monolithic forces. (Plain bad luck of course being one form of lack of control.)
The US conspiracy theoriests considered here persist in confusing the politics of the past with the politics of the present. Allied to this is a belief (an article of faith, not a matter of fact), that particular trends in history are fixed, their deleterious effects almost never to be avoided. (Part of the anti-British bias seems to be the result of the spread of the ideas of Carroll Quigley, see below. There is little sense here of the fact that since 1945, Britain has been a declining world power, and the US a rising one, at least till 9/11 provided a shock.)
|Lyndon LaRouche, the US "history theorist" and "political commentator" who can't find Australia in British history or on the world map. Well might he ponder.|
The anti-conspiracy theory website clavius.org suggests that conspiracy theories are constructed to explain-away variations and inconsistencies in more official sorts of accounts, as well to as to provide entertainment, if not outright mischief. (And conspiracy theorists regulary regard and disapprove mainstream historians as writers of "more official accounts".)
Clavius.org suggests that conspiracy theories "are someone's ego trip, invented to make the theorist appear intelligent, in the know, on the inside with access to secret information unavailable to others." So Furedi thinks that resort to conspiracy-theory explanations involves difficulties with the identification of the causality of events, where matters of course will be more fraught if governmental authority, or the ways public life are led, are distrusted.
Here, an expert in international security at Sydney University, Peter Curson, feels that conspiracy theories are adopted by people who fear a loss of autonomy in their lives; they fear losses of control, fear being manipulated, they want answers, they want to know who is responsible, who is to blame, and who is to be scapegoated ... There are problems of people dealing with incomprehension, distrust, suspicion about motives. (Which problems were valid enough in the aftermath of the USA's reaction when Hurricane Katrina had devastated Louisiana and New Orleans (much of which was anyway, six feet below sea level!)
While today, the advent of the Internet as a way to deliver information has "upset the traditional hierarchy of knowledge and authority". Certainly, and internationally, it is easier than ever before for mischief makers to spread their brand of information. (Footnote: The above paragraphs are based on an article on conspiracy theory about the 1969 moon landing by American astronauts by John Huxley in weekend edition of Sydney Morning Herald, 6-7 June 2009, news review, page 3. See also, David Aaronovitch, Voodoo Histories: The Role of The Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History. Jonathan Cape, 2009, 390pp, hardback)
David Aaronovitch, the author of Voodoo Histories, (1) produced an essay based on his book published during the Christmas season in Australia, 2009. Updating the book, the essay detailed the latest conspiracy theory in the USA, which is inspired by President Obama's drive to improve health care in the US, but we are interested here to inspect Aaronovitch's lessons on the psychology of the retailers of conspiracy theories. The lessons come in a kind of hierarchy.
(1) David Aaronovitch is a columnist with The Times newspaper, London, and author of Voodoo Conspiracies: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History. Due out from Riverhead in February 2010. See article, “The Truth is Out There”, 26-27 December 2009, Weekend Australian, reprinted from Wall Street Journal.
<1>Not all believers in conspiracy theories are dummies. Some are highly educated and highly intelligent, some are senior university academic staff.
<2>The media today, in Russia, Iran, Arabia, in the USA and the western world where US-produced conspiracy theories reach production, stories of the lowdown on conspiracies arise during unsettling times. Today's globalisation, which causes rapid changes in scenarios such as migration, jobs, security threats, lifestyle, makes for unsettling feelings. Conspiracy theories provide clear, comforting answers. It is more reassuring to believe that someone is in charge, even if those someones have become feral to society, than to believe that no one is really in charge, and that “things happen”. The “things tend to happen” school of thought is termed “contingency theory” by conspiracy theorists, who believe that everything is organised and that little is left to chance. It is clear that the believer in conspiracy has a deep-seated need for security, reliability and confidence in their social system. Today's speed of communications means that explanations of events travel ever-faster, which for the believers only makes things more unsettling.
<3>Conspiracy theories are history for losers who look backward and fear the future. Critics of them seem to agree that conspiracy theories are adhered to and followed by people who lost their chosen political battles in the snake-pits of politics, or some argument in theology or philosophy, in any country, some ten, twenty or thirty years ago. They settle for going to extreme lengths to rationalize their lack of success, attributing much to the evil within the ranks of the winning side. (Fundamentalist Christian critics of modern life and its ills in the USA seem most of all to live in fear of the presence the Anti-Christ, who presumably would be the only agency working on a sufficiently wide scale to influence the ills of such a large country as the USA. Occultism has a long history in Russia, punctuated with legends about Rasputin influencing ruling Czarist families in pre-Communist Russia: the more the Czar failed in Russia, the worse seemed the influence of Rasputin. It is no accident that the “father” of modern conspiracy theories, the anti-semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was promoted by Czarist forces, blaming Jewish elements for the effects of structural weaknesses in Czarist Russia as Russia was assailed by a cocktail of modernist influences of the day and required to compare itself to wealthier and more influential European states.)
<4>The producers of conspiracy theories share a collection of traits and common responses to their critics. The authors of conspiracy theories especially deride “mainstream historians”, especially those resident in universities, as sell-outs to the system, often hiding the truth which the conspiracy theorists wish to expose. It is more accurate to say that the “mainstream historians” are seen as agents of the very authority which the conspiracy artists say has become corrupt. But what the conspiracy theories then have to do is conjure their own illusory “authority” by engaging in spurious scholarly work, citing others who didn't know the specific facts about a given case, or still don't know, but who remain suspicious. Here, things become entertaining.
<4a>The authors/promoters of conspiracy theories feel themselves under threat from “shadowy powers”. They are followed, their phones are bugged, their research material is sieved by unknown parties, they are persecuted by agents of “a corrupt elite or a stifling orthodoxy”. They have what psychiatrists call, “ideas of reference”. But oddly, and ironically, they almost never come to harm, unlike many people living in the more real world of events. Their world though is one of “corrupt elites”, of highly unscrupulous players, merciless systems, ruthless corporations and suborned, untrustworthy subordinates. Of “rogue CIA agents” in the US, feral officers of MI6 in Britain, “officers of the former regime” in a host of also-ran countries where the current regime is a puppet manipulated by the former regime.
|Lyndon LaRouche, the US "history theorist" and "political commentator" who can't find Australia in British history or on the world map. Well might he ponder.|
<4b>The authors adopt a pose of being highly perceptive if not prescient, able to divine precedents in uncanny ways (that is, to see what is coming, as it has happened before albeit in a different guise), and have a tendency to make heroes of themselves, able to see where the masses have been misled, willing to make sacrifices to impart the truth.
<4c>The authors suffer a “violent innocence” as well as over-confidence that they have found the answers. Call it naivete, and lack of an educated sense of history too. Allied to this, and point <1> above, is a tendency to exaggerate the power and authority of their enemies, the promoters of the event which has become subject of a conspiracy theory. To all of which, the mainstream historian might well suppose that the followers of conspiracy theories have an inadequate grasp of methodology in history and an inadequate reading of history. But a publisher's assistant might well argue that there are different tastes in storytelling, and that conspiracy artists merely service those who have different tastes, and require a different kind of romanticism, a different explanation for evil-in-the-world. And the publisher's assistant might well add that the followers of conspiracy theories will not agree with Marx, who said that when “history” happens first, it is tragedy, when it happens a second time, it is farce. For the followers, it is tragedy perpetual, life is a moral paradise ruined by purposeful evildoers, certainly not be be lived with quiet (or cowardly) desperation. Not a patchwork guilt of the good, bad and indifferent. No, it is the ordinary man and woman versus any number of Great Satans! A mostly unfair fight, and so on, ad nausaeum.
In The Swinging Sixties, a minor American academic, Carroll Quigley, decided not to swing at all. Instead he prefered to try to educate the American public in politics and ended in producing a decided tragedy for American public education. As follows ...
A great problem with the American conspiracy theories referred to here, which on today's Internet flit so conspicuously like well-meaning bats out of hell, is a large book by Carroll Quigley, the father of post WWI conspircy theories. Who in his 1966 book (Tragedy and Hope) allegedly predicted many key events to occur for what seems to be US foreign policy - as though events had been pre-determined, and therefore not as mysterious as they seem. (Note:)
Note: Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. New York, Macmillan, 1966. (Second printing, 1974.) We might add, that Quigley as a writer on Economics is overly sensitive to the fact that in Western Capitalism, bankers are allowed, if not encouraged, to create credit. This aspect of bankers' activity had bedevilled discussion of American trends in politics and finance since the end of the American Revolution (it is sometimes termed, “fear of the money interest”, and due to which fear two American presidents have issued warnings -- Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln). We'd like to point out that anxiety about credit creation by bankers can visit any society. An Australian book expressed high anxiety about such matters by 1992. Paul McLean was a Democrats (minor party) senator in the Federal parliament. Various parties had advised him of the outcomes of, allegedly, dirty tricks they had suffered at the hands of several major Australian banks. McLean decided to take action, but was disappointed to find he had little support from the two major Australian political parties, or his own. McLean's later-published book ends with a spirited listing of remarks made throughout history, motivated by fears of usury, bankers' tricks, “fear of the money interest”, including remarks from senior politicians, and/or senior bankers. Such fears come and go in any variety of societies, and it seems from history that neither bankers nor economists can allay such fears to anyone's satisfaction. Credit creation, it seems, remains a conundrum of human society. See Paul McLean and James Renton, Bankers and Bastards. Hawthorn Victoria, Hudson Publishing, 1992.
In the 1960s, US politicians tended too often to be advised by academics with a fondness for perceiving “stages” in human history/development. (It rather seems as though these stages can only be believed-in by those who already believe that the fruits of the American Revolution are the pinnacles of human achievement and perfectibility, which they certainly are not!) Quigley's book is rare to find, though it has been remembered too well by a variety of later-written political-popularist books in the USA. The copy consulted here is from Dixson Library of University of New England, Armidale, Australia. Oddly, someone has closely underlined material from just one section of a 1348 page book, from p.1249, a section on the disintegration of the American middle classes, especially the petite-bourgeois. (Odd that Quigley uses such a standard Marxist phrase!) Quigley suggests, that in 1964, the Republican party had been hijacked by its extreme right wing, which fielded Barry Goldwater in a presidential campaign. A desire for social change was rank in the air, just as the 1960s pop music still sings on golden oldies radio. The extremist petite-bourgeois were (p. 1248) driven to “near-hysteria” by the rise of elements they considered objectionable; Catholics, Negroes, immigrants, intellectuals, aristocrats real or pretended, scientists and the well-educated, big city people and Easterners, internationalists and worst of all, liberals who believe in inclusive diversity in politics and society. The fear was that the middle class outlook was not just being changed, it was being destroyed. (Actually, the section begins at p.1234 with a treatment of “the Middle-Class Crisis” in the US.)
This diagnosis by way of a stinging contemporary critique is odd in a book which aspires to be a measured work of world metahistory, set in a Tooynbeean framework of concern about the rise and fall of civilizations, or as Quigley puts it, the evolution of civilizations. And as metahistory, Quigley seems invalid. He was a devotee of American Exceptionalism, But he did suggest that a shift in the American interpretation of human nature was going on, which shifted about entire sets of interpretations of the play of evil in society. (p. 1239, the Orthodox versus the Puritan). Out of that theological debate came a political debate about the role of government intervention in providing relief from social evils. Otherwise, Quigley drew attention to the existence of what he called the Anglo-American establishment, and a set of Anglo-American (but British-inspired) interventionist adventurers on the world stage. (The Round Table Group, the Cliveden set, and he enthusiastically lists the participants in such ambitious, power-grabbing, behind-the-scenes work.) He also critiqued the appearance in American financial life since the late nineteenth century (pp. 530ff) of powerful groupings of American names, sets of family interests, corporations, who if they didn't run things, wanted to.
There were serious implications for American life. Financiers would be able to infiltrate and subvert left-leaning groups, enhancing financier control. The delights of American Exceptionalism would be neutered by a cynical internationalism dominated by financiers (some, eg Rothschilds, being Jewish in background). Certainly, American Isolationism was on the ropes, while after the assassination of President Kennedy, American Manifest Destiny was sailing much rougher seas. (The insidious workings of the these powerful western-internationalist groups are outlined in at least three different sections of a large book as the plot is unfolded.) Quigley did feel he had something to warn about. An untrustworthy, financier-driven kind of guided internationalism, which had probably sold out to World Communism, would remain an enemy of, for want of a better term, “ordinary patriotic Americans”. The role of the American Eastern Establishment was especially meretricious.
In all, Quigley evoked what is today called the politics of identity in an atmosphere of felt crisis due to social change and widespread politico-social unrest about a Cold-War inspired, ideologically-driven US war in South-East Asia. In short, the politics of the American WASP (white anglo-saxon protestant) were feeling the application of the pesticides of social diversity and a taste for wider inclusiveness in politics and society. (These issues in American life run all too deep and virulently, they can be seen in the trials in 2010 of President Obama, who took office just after the US had been sadly implicated in the 2008 crash of the world financial system.)
|Lyndon LaRouche, the US "history theorist" and "political commentator" who can't find Australia in British history or on the world map. Well might he ponder.|
One of the major flaws of Quigley's approach is oversimplification. He wanted to categorise major trends in world history into too-neat boxes, and then file them on shelves for systems inferior to The American Way. Especially, his approaches to the rise of Western Capitalism (driven by “stages”, p. 38) seems overly simplistic.
And there are oddities with Quigley's book. He fails to index Australia, opium trading and Thomas Jefferson, although he does note the British East India Company (Quigley could not overlook India, it was necessary to any mention to be made of modern Pakistan, China, Russia, or Persia/Iran.) His ponderously-slow critique of US 1950s-60s socio-political trends contrasts with his quick and comparatively unsympathetic mentions of changes in social and political systems in many countries during many phases of world history. All one can think is that his mentions of changes for society in non-American societies should serve as extra warning to 1960s Americans, and their children, about the dangers they faced.
This website makes much on other webpages of the dense intermarriedness of the nineteenth-century British financial establishment, which added considerable cohesiveness to the British Empire,and has still not been fully plumbed. Had Quigley been more aware of this kind of social density in key sections of British society, he might have been less surprised when Americans of the late nineteenth century began to mimic Britain's successful use of such groupings. Quigley also seems to overlook the foundering of the British Empire after World War Two. Instead, he regards the founding of the British Commonwealth of Nations (which was actually in 1931) as suspicious because it might have recruited Americans into its folds, before American entered World War I.) In British history, the outlining of tactics for managing the often-turbulent ambitions of powerful groupings in society is a commonplace for explaining “the British genius”, and it must be said, the always-evolving British parliamentary system since Magna Carta is an ideal forum for managing change – as long as the monarch will devolve more powers, and the voting franchise be extended, that is.
One of 2010's liberal American netwriters says Quigley's book is a failure, written just as the American liberal consensus began to fail. This understates the case. Quigley published as it was becoming evident that the US would have to engage in much agonised soul-searching about the conduct of the Vietnam War (which the North Vietnamese unsurprisingly called, The American War.) This netwriter suggests, Quigley got a place in “the pantheon of paranoia” due to his effort to outline and explain dire changes in a contemporary social context (“the 60s”). For what happened is that of all American historians writing since WWII ended, Quigley is the only one who has inspired consecutive generations of lesser-educated and fundamentalist-minded American commentators, now so strident on the Internet. Their fundamentalism is of two basic types, religious or political, the two strands often dovetailing in the right-wing of the US' Republican Party since Goldwater's time. Hence today's discussions of faith-based politics, conducted ironically while the Western World laments trends to theocracy in contemporary World Islam.
This trite fundamentalism is also the explanation of why these American commentators mix the politics of left or right so promiscuously, to the despairing confusion of the non-American observer not preoccupied with the dogmas of American Protestantism and its traditions, its “historical experience”, which is presented also with today's genealogical websites. Many books, not so hard to obtain in second-hand bookshops, re-present and embellish Quigley's theory to extraordinary lengths. (I have chosen four to comment on. Anton Chaitkin, Lyndon LaRouche, Ralph Epperson and John Coleman.)
Anton Chaitkin, Treason in America: From Aaron Burr to Averell Harriman. New York, New Benjamin Franklin House, 1984. Dr John Coleman, Conspirators' Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300. Carson City, NV, America West Publishers, 1992. Ralph Epperson, The Unseen Hand: An Introduction to the Conspiratorial View of History. Tuscon, Arizona, Publius Press, 1985. Thirteenth printing of 1992.
As follows ...andit must be asked, why do these writers all read and rewrite from the same script? The names to be feared and confronted are repeated ad nausaeum. Especially, Rothschild, Barings, and America's nineteenth century opium traders.
Chaitkin's 1984 book carries an advertisement for the writings of LaRouche. The blurb reads, "Everything evil in America from Aaron Burr to Henry Kissinger, is a product of America's oligarchical "first families". Especially, the Boston Brahmins. The blurb adds - "Anton Chaitkin is a founding member of the National Caucus of Labor Committees. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1943, the son of Jacob Chaitkin, an attorney who spent the 1930s fighting Nazi Germany's corporate and legal collaborators in the United States. Anton Chaitkin … in 1978 began a study of the history of the US' "Eastern Establishment" after becoming incensed at inaccurate historical material presented in The New York Times."
Chaitkin in his book has LaRouche in a preface excoriating the American Dulles family, E. H. Harriman's influence over the Democratic Party, Schroeder's Bank, which allegedly helped bring Hitler to power in Germany, Henry Kissinger, as a tool of “the Eastern Establishment”. Chaitkin himself excoriates: the British East India Company, treason in America, as with Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr, whose step-sister Peggy Shippen married Arnold; Adam Smith's theory of free trade, Albert Gallatin who instigated the Whiskey Insurrection (originally from Geneva) see above in the Ledyard genealogy), Gallatin's friendship with Etienne Dumont, who tutored the sons of Britain's Lord Shelburne, and translated the work of philosopher Jeremy Bentham (who was a Satanist); fur trader John Jacob Astor (noted as a senior New York Mason), the Pultney Association buying American land, Henry Dundas (Lord Melville), the Holland Land Company, Burr's encouraging of the “British spy machine” which “nearly destroyed the USA” early in the nineteenth century, pro-English policies in general in America, pro-British merchant families, the “treasonous core-group of the British-Swiss secret service in America” (with many of the alleged agents listed); the leading merchant and banker families of The Boston Brahmins for forging the Federalist Party in New England, known as The Essex Junto formed from 1807 if not earlier; the Cabots, Lowells and Higginsons of Boston; the institution of slavery in general and the machinations of its major operators, American involvement in the opium trade to China (Elias Haskett Derby and Thomas Handasyd Perkins, and so the firm Russell and Co. which was comprised of the names Perkins, Russell, Forbes and Sturgis), the rise of financier names such as Peabody and J. P. Morgan, “the Scottish Rite conspiracy of Freemasonry” in American affairs to the 1980s, the Swiss and the Jesuits (and their dabbling with the legacies of the earlier roles of Venice and Genoa in formulating a new style of banking (Lombard banking) from the tail end of The Crusades, with influence of course from Catholicism; the instigators of the Civil War; the developers of the Confederate Navy; the “Scottish fascist” Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) and his circles in Britain; the later nineteenth century eugenics movement and its promoters.
Chaitkin also says (misleadingly), p. 51, that the Barbary pirates, by 1801 or so, were maintained and supplied by Britain “as a terrorist auxiliary to the British navy”. [At the time, the Barbary pirates had been harassing American shipping ever since it had first appeared in the western Mediterranean.]. Chaitkin misleadingly suggests that the British-China trade was financed almost entirely by Barings bank in London (which is ludicrously not true, though two sons of Sir Francis Baring were deeply involved).
In short, we are told, and it must be profoundly comforting to have a scapegoat so easily available, America's Eastern Establishment is responsible for most of the evils to be found in American life. And in fact, America's powerful Eastern Establishment came packaged in families, complete with family histories. Something unexpected happened for the Chaitkin/LaRouche approach, with its tendencies to name names, to list power groupings, that had earlier preoccupied Quigley, which greatly assisted Quigley's devotees with their critiques of American trends. The advent of the commercialized Internet (1966) soon made increasingly useful swathes of information available on American genealogies, all the way back to the Mayflower. It became easier to examine the background of the Eastern Establishment. Almost automatically, America's fundamentalist protestors (in print and online) have tried to use this innovation in genealogy to buttress their critiques. The tactic overshot dramatically, since the conspiracy artists almost uniformly fail to consider the long American colonial, or pre-Revolutionary period, which allowed the production of Loyalists during the main Revolutionary period. But there was anyway with enthusiastic American family historians a well-developed tendency to drive their genealogical research back as far as possible, into pre-Cromwellian Olde England, Europe, including Mediterranean regions, as far back as Charlemagne's time, if possible, or if interesting, along with celebrating the American Revolution with fresh fervour. And gradually, a variety of xenophobe-minded American fundamentalist commentators have felt moved to hijack this tendency with genealogy to mention “the Merovingians”, a variety of European Crusaders in Palestine, a variety of members of subversive groups in more modern European life (Freemasons or The Illuminati) as dreaded sources of infection for The American Way.
Coleman (claiming to be an ex intelligence officer) excoriates: (1) the slightest possibility of the rise of any one-world government cum new world order, the Eastern Establishment families (those noted by Quigley, LaRouche and Chaitkin) involved in the nineteenth century American-China opium trade, Barings bankers of London, British merchants in the opium trade to China such as Jardine-Matheson, Cecil Rhodes for his activities in Africa, Henry Kissinger for destabilizing the USA via involvements in three wars (Middle East, Korea, Vietnam), pharmaceutical drugs (modern, re biochemical mind control), a variety of institutions through which social control/social engineering is cleverly exercised (many are named). Today's drug trades (heroin etc). The plutocracy controlling British banking prior to 1939. The British occupation of India and the Anglo-Chinese opium wars. Abandonment of the gold standard (which allegedly protected society against the insecurities of merely paper money). Money launderers (many are named). “The Committee of 300” (a supposedly invisible government with ambitions of world-domination ).
Coleman's book, so badly written, is a classic populist conspiracy theory, waxing indignant about post-1800 drug trading by US and British East India Co. merchants and the long-term implications (admittedly dire, witness Mexico in 2010) for modern social history of the trades in illicit drugs.
Epperson's book seems to present views typical of this ilk in today's USA. In particular, Epperson's bibliography seems a mini-encyclopedia on paranoid US writings which are mostly untranslatable to other cultures for reasons best known to the American psyche which reside in areas west of the eastern seaboard. That seaboard which of course, allegedly houses the manipulative, over-wealthy and politically-stealthy Eastern Establishment, whose adventures in international trade have been untrustworthy since the Boston Tea Party. And more so if they have trucked with the British since 1789. Epperson, more a writer for the US Protestant Religious Right, cites the allegedly pioneering work of Dr. Carroll Quigley, a one-time Professor of History at Georgetown University, who in 1966 published a 1300 page book claiming the existence of a secretive Anglophile network which “ran things”, to which Quigley did not necessarily object to, but which he thought should be less than secretive Epperson himself excoriates: power mongers (on the basis that as Lord Acton suggested ... that holding power will corrupt the holder), teaching of evolution in education, forces anti Right to Life, closet communists, what is called in the USA, “big government”, the little understood powers of banking establishments, the US' (or, Roosevelt's) abandonment in 1933 of the gold standard for currency, secret societies (The Illuminati, Freemasons, etc); Marx as the father of communism and an enemy of Christianity and Judaism; the Rothschild bankers; the banking problems of the US, problem of the USA's Federal Reserve, that is, a central bank which is allegedly “privately owned”; distrust of organisations ostensibly promoting non-violence; The Skull and Bones Club at Yale University as exposed in Esquire Magazine in September 1977 in an article by Ron Rosenbaum; promoters of anything like a new world order (the Bilderbergers).
And amid so much palpable hatred, the reader wonders what happens in the USA to well-done history? LaRouche in Dope Inc. (seemingly inspired by the Chaitkin father-son team writing earlier) excoriates the following list of evil influences:
today's drug cartels; the legacies of the Venetian-Genoese banking interests (since the tail-end of The Crusades), the old fondi (trust) funds inspired by the Bavarian Wittlesbach dynasty, the ancient Italian family Orsini, the Jesuits in China as the original middlemen who linked Indian opium producers and Chinese consumers via Portuguese then British activities. British PM Lord Shelburne (William Petty, allegedly “the man behind William Pitt The Younger”) who allowed into power the British factions behind the Asian opium trade (Shelburne's plan being to use “the free-trade trade banner” to drag Britain from the money-morass it was in due to losing its American colonies, to profit from the opium trade via India and to subvert American interests). The “opium trade apologist” Adam Smith (the writer on economics). Britain's apostles of free trade (Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, James Mill, John Stuart Mill). British opium dealers Jardine-Matheson (and later the Keswicks and the Swires). Adherents of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Barings (as British bankers). John Jacob Astor an American Anglophile and from 1816 an opium trader to China. The Boston Brahmins (especially Forbes and T. H. Perkins, the firm Russell and Co.). Britain's opium wars on China, from before 1846 (and its later alleged narcotics war on the USA since about 1951). British merchant interest in shipping Chinese (opium-addicted?) coolies to the US West Coast from gold rush times. British influence on the southern US cotton trade (re the Civil War). J. P. Morgans by the later nineteenth century. Rothschilds bankers. Cecil Rhodes and the establishment of Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs (all a la Quigley). Bulwer-Lytton in Britain. The founders of P&O shipping line (Mackay/Inchape). The failure of the US' Prohibition Era (and the booze-bootlegging activities of the father of the later President John F. Kennedy). Britain's Hambro Bank. The Anglophile Sassoon family, formerly India-based opium traders to China. The US' United Fruit Company (“rum and Coca-Cola”, its activities in South America). The post-WWII Bretton Woods agreements made in England re the creation of International Monetary Fund (IMF), Canada (a British Commonwealth country) as a major conduit, due to the very old Hudson's Bay Company, for the entry of heroin into twentieth century US. The Golden Triangle area south of China as a modern drug-producing region (and re the Vietnam War); the oligarchs behind modern politics, those behind the development of “the counter-culture” from the 1960s (LaRouche's very own war on pop music since Elvis Presley, but following Quigley's 1966 diatribes). US secretary of state Henry Kissinger (“a British agent of influence”) ... and a vast variety of modern events, names, places, outcomes ...
In short, LaRouche and his ilk apparently desire to see an Isolationist America bothered by no neighbours at all. We can arrive at some conclusions about Larouche's outlook. His treatment is remarkably free of modern medical knowledge on the human propensity to become addicted (to anything). And that is what he often complains of, addictions being fed. And regarding the LaRouchian hatred of Barings, we find that from 1793, Barings were first invited to manage an official account of the US Govt (for Bank of United States), having taken it from Bird, Savage and Bird. Barings were invited in by Rufus King, which is how Barings were later involved in eg., The Louisiana Purchase. The first Barings connection to America was made via Robert Morris (“financier of the American Revolution) in the Revolutionary period. It seems from Dope Inc. that LaRouche is unaware of these aspects of Francis Baring's career housed deep in the ordinary history of the American Revolution and its aftermaths.
Meanwhile, regarding contemporary US conspiracy-theories-in-history writers on the Net since 1996, the outraged, stridently anti-British tone of voice (never forget the Boston Tea Party!), is that of a paranoid conspiracy theory. So we must ask, what kind of writer's ego here, feels itself to be under such threat? From whom?
A great many US writers of "paranoid conspiracy theories" have been active on the Internet since 1996. They have become trapped in their own terminologies, in their own code and buzz words (such as New World Order, in whcih only they believe) and reading history backwards, not forwards, and remain uninterested in either updates of historical information or originality of approach. They often repeat each other's formulations, which mostly seem a matter (as history is read backwards), of growing hatred of Britain, Jews, Catholics (the Papacy, Jesuits), plus a highly-emotional, quite unrealistic view of "American patriotism". Underpinning these prejudices and biases are a variety of types of fundamentalism. Populist-political fundamentalism (which feeds off "resentiment" in society generally, as explained here later). Protestant religious fundamentalism, or misunderstood Puritanism, which vastly fears moral contamination (from foreigners), not to speak of the works of "The AntiChrist". Where the code word for The AntiChrist is very often, "New World Order", of which the UN is today merely one untrustworthy expression. These writers, often virulent, are not however merely laughable. Their writings are unhistorical, and a-historical. They are sworn enemies of the thoughtful life! They are certainly the enemies of useful method in historical analysis and discussion.
As they strive to improve public awareness on matters historical, the conspiracy writers fancy themselves as being able to correct mainstream historians. So the present writer, an Australian, took just one modern American book on noted personnel of the American Revolution, as a start point, and discovered more on one of the first mistakes the conspiracy writers make – which is to imagine that “the American Revolution” was more pure in facts, in outcomes, and in implications, than it really was.
The book was: Joseph P. Ellis, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York, Vintage Books/Random House, 2002 edition. Where we find a good deal of ...
The blurbs/reviews of Ellis' book include remarks such as: “how a group of greatly gifted but deeply flawed individuals – Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington Adams and Madison – confronted the overwhelming challenges before them to set the course for our [US] nation “ ...
“The United States was more a fragile hope than a reality in 1790” ...
Ellis captures the revolutionary passions of the Founding Fathers/Brothers. Ellis unpacks the real issues, “revealing the driving assumptions and riveting fears that animated Americans' first encounter with the organized ideologies and interests we call [political] parties.
Included is the matter of Franklin's attempt to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery, while Madison blocked him ... The conspiracy writers display highly ambivalent feelings about the USA as its displays both its faces - domestic and
international. At issue here is a problematical sense of American life that appeared – according to Egnal's work, very soon after 1783, although it was shared differently by spokesmen from what were now the American states – the sense of America's Manifest Destiny, which conflicted with views on what might be, or should be, American Isolationism, or, aloofness from the ways Europeans conducted their affairs.
(See Marc Egnal, A Mighty Empire: The Origins of the American Revolution. London, Cornell University Press, 1988.)
Ellis remarks, (Ellis, pp. 3-4), “On the inevitability side, it is true there were voices back then urging prospective patriots to regard American independence as an early version of manifest destiny. There were “early premonitions” of Manifest Destiny. Yet after treason, things American, Independent, and Revolutionary had not yet “congealed”. This “congealing” and how it happened was and remains important.
Rhetoric is one thing. How political events pan out in practice, what effect they have on the future, can represent significant departures from the original content of any rhetoric used. (Or as the Anglo-American poet T. S. Eliot said, "Between the dream and the reality falls the shadow".) And it might be better here to speak of multiple futures, as perceived by the people of the 13 new states in question. Their individual state futures had to unfold in ways yet unforeseen: their collective, federal future had to be invented, and would be tinged differently by successive presidents. Washington had ended as something of a “republican King”, and anything like that had to have its “kingly” elements eroded, and replaced by the ways of a workable republic. The northern states and the southern had quite different perceptions of their future, the northern having a mercantile and later more industrial outlook, the southern states, particularly Virginia, a more agrarian view of the future. (Initially, as they had long done in pre-Revolutionary times, the northern areas had used their faster running rivers to power industrial productions.)
Treason? From a British point of view, America's Founding Fathers/Brothers had committed individual and collective treason. Their avoiding punishment was an outcome of their military success, which was greatly owed to Washington. (Ellis, p. 5), Benjamin Harrison once said to Elbridge Gerry, “I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing. From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air for an hour or two before you are dead.”
This mordant joke fix etc etc. And as it was, during the revolutionary war, apart from the British taking away large numbers of slaves whom they encountered, various Declaration Signer names (and/or their family members or property), for example, were specially targeted by British forces – such as ... Thomas Jefferson (Monticello ruined), Josiah Bartlett (housed burned), Lyman Hall (plantation destroyed), John Hancock (house ruined), Thomas Heyward (home destroyed, slaves taken away), Francis Lewis (wife harrassed, lost all his Long Island/NewYork property), Arthur Middleton and Eward Rutledge (both captured by British and kept at St Augustine, Florida), Richard Stockton (home destroyed). And Robert Morris (“financier of the Revolution”, British interests after 1783 finally punished him by unplugging his main line of credit established decades before in London).
[But on the domestic front, of the Signers, Carter Braxton (who was pro-debt repudiation,on which see below) was dudded financially by “the new nation” (as was the ironmaster Mark Bird fix more).]
Regarding an attitude to Britain generally, Ellis remarks, (Ellis, p. 5), “In the long run, the evolution of an independent nation, gradually developing its political and economic strength over the nineteenth century within the protective constraints of the British Empire. was probably inevitable.” That is, Britain's punitive (and obviously disappointed) attitude gradually eased away, though it resurfaced with the War of 1812 (which was partly a trade war). The economic aspects of the American Revolution took longer to re-organise than the political/military aspects. But in fact, one of the European realities that Americans had to recognise and deal with was the world-wide commercial eminence of Britain, which at the time (1812) was, externally, trying to shore up its share of empire in India, retain the West Indies, and terribly stretched by dealing with Napoleon's rabid new European empire, and internally, engaged in the throes of an Industrial Revolution. None of which, today's US conspiracy theorists wish to deal with. Nor do they wish to recognise the new settlements Britain had established in the Pacific-- in what is today known as -- Australia
Initially, politically, the separate American nation did not evolve, it had erupted in revolutionary fashion. With what might now look wonderfully foreordained, Ellis finds that it (Ellis, p. 5 ) “was in reality an improvisational affair in which sheer chance, pure luck – both good and bad – and specific decisions made in the crucible of specific military and political crises determined the outcome.” Before 1800 there were spasms of “enforced inspiration and makeshift construction”. And this is important for the conspiracy writers, who wilfully insist that from 1783 even to the present, Britain did everything possible to stymie a successful outcome for the American Revolution. And it is true, that initially, and commercially, Britain did spitefully and deliberately attempt to stymie American re-entry into the West India trades, which Americans were eager to resume.
Here was an anti-American enemy the US conspiracy writers would have done well to ponder more deeply. Lord Sheffield, who with an extremely protectionist viewpint tried to preserve the old British Navigation Laws to exclude American shipping from trading with the British West Indies. (See Lord Sheffield, Observations on the Commerce of the American States. London, 1783. Sixth edition, 1784.)
Who was Lord Sheffield? He was John Baker Holroyd (1735-1821), first Earl Sheffied, an Irishman, and an arch British Tory somewhat fanatical about the Navigation Laws, which he thought the Americans had scattered to the wind.
His daughter Louisa Dorothea (by his first wife) married General Sir William Henry Clinton, (1769-1846), son of General Sir Henry Clinton, (1720-1795), once the Commander-in-Chief of British land forces in North America. Sir Henry (died 1795) had a sister Augusta Clinton who married a West India Nabob, MP Henry Dawkins (Dawkins-Pennant), who was related to the Pennants (Lords Penrhyn). In the 1780s, Lord Penrhyn is credited with leading some of the pressure which led to the voyage of HM Bounty to find breadfruit for Caribbean slaves at Tahiti, prior to the notorious mutiny on that ship.
The first Earl Sheffield's third wife was Anne North (1764-1832), daughter of former British PM Frederick North (1732-1792). Her son the second Earl Sheffield married Hariett Lascelles, daughter of the second Earl Harewood, the Lascelles being a family with old and lucrative links with the British West Indies since the 1720s. (See Stanley of Alderley Barts. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage for Newcastle and for Sheffield. See GEC, Peerage, Chichester, p. 196 and Sheffield, p. 663. Lord Sheffield was a friend of Gibbon the historian. He was a model farmer of his day, and violently opposed to the abolition of slavery, which pleased his Bristol constitutents. As a Conservative MP, he helped suppress the 1780 Gordon Riots in London.)
Senior British merchants also noticed American desires to trade in the Mediterranean, where it became obvious that American shipping would be harrassed by pirates from the Barbary States. These British merchants maliciously joked that the effects on American trade were so bad, that if no Algiers existed, it would be useful to invent it, and fund it, so that the Americans remained embarrassed. When Americans could with relative ease resume trade with the West Indies, the British abolition of slavery had changed the West Indian complexion somewhat. While American (federal) ambivalence about slavery continued as an American embarrasment.
Ellis (p. 6) says, “The very term 'American Revolution', propagates a wholly fictional sense of national coherence not present [at the time -- 1775++] and only discernible in latent form by historians engaged in after-the-fact appraisals of how it could possibly have turned out.” Ellis here stresses the relative values of a near-sighted or a far-sighted use of the benefits of hindsight.
The Washingtonian or Jeffersonian view gives the farsighted-hindsight view of affairs. The more nearsighted view is that the very arguments used by the rebellious revolutionary elite (Ellis, p. 7) “also undermined the legitimacy of any national government capable of overseeing such a far-flung population, or establishing uniform laws that knotted together the thirteen sovereign states and three or four distinct geographic and economic regions.” Here were the contradictory American problematica. The revolutionary argument at its core, as used to discredit British parliamentary [and royal] power had (Ellis, p. 7) “an obsessive suspicion of any centralized political power that operated in faraway places beyond the immediate supervision or surveillance of the citizens it claimed to govern.” The fear was of any “central authority empowered to coerce or discipline the citizenry”, since any such would be a duplication of (Ellis, p. 8) “the monarchical and aristocratic principles that the American Revolution had been fought to escape.”
Somehow, the thoughtful American met a self-checkmating situation here, from which their politicians had to winkle themselves and their constituents. The issues expressed themselves in how to handle Shay's Rebellion, and “the Whiskey rebellion” (arguments about taxation), in arguments about a federally-supervised banking system. In a Rhode Island argument about extending the franchise forvoters. Ellis (p. 8), combining his nearsighted-and-far sighted hindsight, finds a central paradox to the American Revolution, when long-term prospects seemed marvellously enticing, but short-term prospects for survival seemed bleak indeed.
There is also the phenomenon – a question of whom the elites chose to NOT represent - of class warfare being conducted on American territory during and after the Revolution. (See Gary B. Nash, The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America. London, Pimlico/Random House, 2006.).
Ellis writes, (p. 8), “the fifty-five delegates [to the Constitutional Convention] were a propertied elite hardly representative of the population as a whole. “ So he feels, the constitutional settlement matters of 1787-1788 should be regarded “as a second phase of the revolutionary movement”, Ellis (p. 9). Phase one introduced independence, phase two introduced nationhood, where, the incompatibility of the two phases is seen in “the divisive character of the scholarship” on phase two. (One might also in social life see the Founding fathers/brothers as some of the first American celebrities, their esteem was the start of American celebrity worship.)
In the midst of an often unacknowledged class warfare (that he himself does not seek to emphasise), (Ellis, p. 9), Ellis sees the word “democrat” as it was initially used an epithet, a pejorative term, which also implied a dangerous tendency to populism.
(Ellis p. 11), Ellis refers repeatedly to fears of government, hot language -- the Declaration of Independence tended to “stigmatize” all concentrated political power and even, in its most virulent forms, depicted any energetic expression of governmental authority, as an alien force that all responsible ought to repudiate and, if possible, overthrow” ... (While they furiously disparage Britain, this is what today's US conspiracy theorists furiously worry about and distrust even more -- the very fact of the exercise of governmental authority, while mistakes they will not forgive or forget.)
There is also the problem of American aristocracy, the existence of whom (or, which) is an existential problem for the self-styled American Ultra-Democrat. For Ellis (pp. 13-14), the founding brothers/fathers were in many ways a “natural aristocracy”, and America's first natural aristocracy. They guided matters when Americans had no common political or other experience or precedents to guide them. They had insufficient vocabulary for discussing such matters, especially where disagreement was deep. Increasingly influential was the Jeffersonian interpretation of the Revolution, as a liberation movement, including, a liberation from government itself. In the 1790s, the rise of the Federalists was seen by many (despite the Federalists' similarity to Washingtonian views on government) as “a hostile takeover of the Revolution by corrupt courtiers and moneymen [Hamilton is the chief culprit], which is eventually defeated and the true spirit of the Revolution recovered by the triumph of the Republicans in the elections of 1800.”
Ellis notes, (p. 14), that via Marshall's five volumes on Washington, the American Revolution is seen as “an incipient national movement with deep, if latent, origins in the colonial era.” (And genealogically, of course, this is a perfectly correct and useful way to approach matters!)
The Federalists during the phase two noted above saw themselves as more conservative than the Republicans, but as the true heirs of the revolutionary legacy, collectivists, not individualists. And here is the rub, the present writer suggests -- the Virginians and other Southerners, planters, were more "republican", more individualistic, they who needed the non-individualism of other people, their slaves, for their economic survival. And so, Jeffersonian Republicanism was a movement promoting the individualism of the elite. Part of the rub here is not just the question of views arising for or against slavery, it is a question of the extension of the franchise to the individuals composing the population ... That is, just who were the voting population? Arguably, both the Jeffersonian and Federalist positions were less-than-inclusive in outlook, in assumptions; albeit in different ways (no universal suffrage). And Ellis (pp. 15-16) concludes that neither side won the argument entirely. So, Ellis finds, the USA is founded on a contradiction.
Ellis (p. 38), with the Federalist Hamilton as killed in a duel by the untrustworthy vice-president, Aaron Burr, and rather melodramatically, would Hamilton be viewed as a martyr to the dying cause of Federalism? Later, Burr made secret contact with the British with a view to seizure of parts of the trans-Mississippi region to be under British control, probably with himself as governor. (A situation which became just one very good reason for Jefferson to later approve the Louisiana Purchase, which was achieved with the help of British financiers.) Ellis (p. 44), but did the Federalists (the more extreme of them?) really agitate for the dismemberment of the Union? Some believe that the New England Federalists wanted to establish a British-influenced sphere north of New York, which would even take in parts of what is now Canada. Rather than view this is a bizarre bluff, today's US conspiracy theorists in a fundamentalist kind of way prefer to take such allegations literally, simply because the allegations re-fuel their fires so helpfully.
While the problem of slavery was wished away. The issues ranging around the continuation of the institution of slavery (Ellis, (p. 94) were swept under the new federal carpet, making it, politically, a taboo subject, not to be spoken of in public. Ellis finds that (Ellis, p. 115), one reason to make it taboo was that to speak of slavery exposed the contradictions in the Virginian outlook. There were (Ellis, p. 116) constitutional ambiguities ranged about slavery. Did Congress have the power to abolish slavery? If not, why not? If it did not have such power, what other powers did Congress not have? If Congress could abolish slavery, should it do so? Out of principle? When to do so would probably harm the economy of slave-using areas? On it went.
Ellis treats (Ellis, p. 122) Washington's Farewell Address (which was co-written by Alexander Hamilton) with special feeling. It was a goodbye unique in American history.
The present writer asks, was it an argument for an isolationist foreign policy? Is this partly why the phrase later arose amongst historians, that initially, US trade was conducted as “trade without diplomacy”. (A phrase which deserves wider inspection than it is so far given by American historians. American trade in the western Mediterranean meant a war with Tripoli in 1804 despite Jefferson having made a treaty with the Barbary states in 1786.)
One can also observe that all American debates were conducted in the absence of any experience or prognostication of any impending Industrial Revolution, which when it arrived, would change the complexion of employment matters – and the class wars, as well as change the terms of opportunities as perceived by entrepreneurs. The assumptions of agrarianism (including the use of manual labour) ruled under the aegis of Jeffersonian Republicanism.
Ellis (Ellis, p. 123), refers to the founding brothers as they retired, into “bucolic splendour”, to “rural solitude”, to “the natural rhythms of one's fields or farms”. The implication is that urban life does not present “natural rhythms”. This bad press for city life is a bucolic fantasy as old as literature; a fantasy implicit in the Old Testament, a fantasy which defies the world history of urbanisation since the days of ancient India, Mesopotamia and Egypt, and in South America during the Second Millennium. (Mayans and Incas lived in cities). Ellis (Ellis, p. 140) says that Jefferson feared Hamilton as a city-based, arch counter-revolutionary. Hamilton's financial schemes seemed to assume the operation of a consolidated Federal government possessing many powers over states that the British Parliament had earlier exercised - anathema. Hamilton, Jefferson feared, sought to recreate the political and economic institutions that the Revolution had destroyed. Hamilton's idea for a National Bank was a major sign of such corruption.
(Is it easy to imagine George III or the British prime minister kindly taking Jefferson aside by the elbow and asking him, “My dear fellow, just what did you think government was about, then?” Something like running a string of plantations, without owning ships to transport what you produce? Who do you expect to call in on you, then?”)
Jefferson saw “a full-blooded conspiracy theory in which bankers, speculators, federal officeholders and a small but powerful congregation of closet Tories [would be] permanently alienated from the agrarian majority ['They all live in cities', Jefferson wrote, or complained].” But in thinking any of this, worrying about “a financiering class”, Jefferson did not directly confront Washington's views, fearing also that Washington's views plus the plans of Federalists would sink his Republicanism.
Ellis (Ellis, p. 133) sees Washington as probably unique amongst the Founding Brothers, as he'd never travelled in England or Europe, he didn't understand cosmopolitanism. This is another reminder that the American Revolution had nought to do with the economic, social or political implications of any Industrial Revolution. Whereas the British Industrial Revolution is dated from 1760 (by T. S. Ashton) or 1780 (by Eric Hobsbawm) to about 1850. The US' Industrial Revolution could be dated as beginning at perhaps 1794 (when Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin)? Or with Samuel Slater (1768-1835) who went into textiling on Rhode Island from 1793? Or from 1810 around Uxbridge Massachusetts, and the Blackstone River, where Daniel Day worked with mechanised wool carding? To be followed by Newburyport merchant Francis Cabot Lowell, who after 1812 began with textile machines (as a wikipedia page notes). But a more general overview date given for the American Industrial Revolution is 1820-1870.
What Washington, who had good powers of foresight, did see very correctly, was that Americans would move west as they inherited most of their continent. He also guessed that Britain and France would fight it out and so decide the fate of Canadian areas north of America's states.
Ellis, (Ellis, p. 136), There is also mixed-in with Washington's Farewell, an allusion to the repayment of English creditors, the “debt repudiation” question. (Here, see an article by Dan Byrnes, A Bitter Pill.) The debt repudiation question is fascinating, since as traditionally treated by American historians it remains a matter which engages views on the moral integrity of the Founding Fathers. The general finding is that if the debts were repaid in part or in full (a matter decided by the terms of the Jay Treaty, 1794), the morality matter was also decided, the Founding Fathers then being suitably exonerated. (A conclusion agreed with by the present writer, but an ethical matter of international diplomacy never mentioned by today's US conspiracy theorists!)
What is interesting here is that by tradition, it seems, American and British historians almost never mention the 205-plus British merchants whose interests were so successfully scattered by the outcome of the American War of Independence. (Lists of the merchants are given in: Katharine A. Kellock, ’London Merchants and the pre-1776 American Debts’, Guildhall Studies in London History, Vol. 1, No 3, October, 1974., pp. 109-149.)
The indebted British merchants can be named, their American creditors can often be named, but both British and American history remain quiet about the collectivity so named. American historians confine themselves to arguing about generalities arising due to the Jay Treaty. (Here is a deep irony for Americans: Signer Carter Braxton, who did not recommend debt repayments to Britain, once loaned a significant amount of money to his new Federal government, which was never repaid, so that he died quite embarrassed, a matter his descendants seem to wish to hush up.)
Ellis, taking a longer rather than a shorter view, comes down as pro the Jay Treaty, but the treaty was contentious in that claims were voiced that it made too many concessions to British interests. Jefferson (Ellis, pp. 138-139) refers to “the Anglomen” in America, as sympathisers with Britain. Jefferson promoted the French Revolution as "revolutionary", but a wiser Washington had guessed that Britain would finally trounce France, so that regarding European affairs, it would be better for Americans to express less animosity to Britain, and seem neutral to France. Which to Jefferson seemed like “a betrayal of the American Revolution”.
Ellis (Ellis, pp. 140ff) remarks on the Jeffersonian drama enacted versus “the counter-revolutionary character” of phase two, as arguments raged with the Federalists. Ellis (Ellis, p. 147) thinks that Jeffersonian fears of pro-monarchists, Federalists and moneymen were so widespread amongst [agrarian] Virginians that they [the Virginians] had “lost all perspective” on how conspiratorial their own words seemed to those with visions of establishing a useful Federal government. There of course, and more so if slavery was mentioned, lay the dangerous seeds of the later American Civil War.
The issue of slavery would not go away. In public, most of America's significant revolutionary figures preferred to remain silent on slavery. The Americans most willing to speak against slavery were Quakers, who might not be trustworthy anyway, since they were pacifists. About 90 per cent of America's black population was enslaved. And the political views of the non-enslaved 10 per cent were non-surveyed, irrelevant (when they might at least have formed an interesting set of alternatives?).
Good ideas came and went. Ideas for a useful federal/national banking system were scuttled (twice). Washington wanted to see, and did not get, the establishment of a university in what would become the national capital, which he did not know would be called Washington, but the naming of which seemed to most to be a foregone conclusion. (Yet Jefferson later assisted the creation of University of Virginia.) Washington sensibly wanted an expanded navy to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Washington saw little future for Native Americans, and thought that they would be suicidal if they tried to resist American (white) movement westward.
And as the post-Washington years wore on, Americans were naïve enough to not deliberately establish a system of party politics which could accommodate, organise, discipline, train and guide any already-expressed differences of opinion, which were many. (They let things grow in front of them like mushrooms and then, when they realised the implications, complained about the existence of mushrooms!) Ironically, the American party-political system grew unsupervised, whereas in Britain it had grown with a sense of royal resignation; whereas in France, party politics erupted with far more ferocity and bloodletting than had occurred in America.
Adams became president before Jefferson did. Adams and Jefferson get the last word in Ellis' book as --old men complaining of old age -- they renovated their old friendship, which had gotten lost in revolutionary arguments. Retirement was on the agenda, taking rest from public attention, if not basking in bucolic splendours. Americans found that their politicians had no concept yet of their government having a legitimate opposition. (Ellis, p. 186), “The very idea of a legitimate opposition did not yet exist in the political culture of the 1790s, and the evolution of political parties was proceeding in an environment that continued to regard the word 'party' as an epithet.”
Ellis, and speaking of the essential messiness of the American Revolution as a work-in-progress, sees John Adams as quite an emotionally mercurial and impulsive figure, somewhat personally insecure. Once Washington was off-stage, Adams feared the development of Jefferson's reputation as a major figure. Adams also saw that Jefferson was misreading the events of the French Revolution (for which Jefferson later apologised to Adams). As second president, Adams was also meat in the sandwich between Washington's more Federalist views and the Republican views of the third president, Jefferson.
Amid such divisions of opinion, Adams by 1798 was fearing the rise yet again not just of more Federalists, but what became known as the Essex Junto, pre-revolutionary-style ultra-conservatives, if not actively pro-British Tories, a cabal of arch-Federalist counter-revolutionaries who mostly lived in Essex County, Massachusettts. (For more on this so-called Junto, see The Myth of the Essex Junto.) The worst that might be on the minds of the “Essex Junto” was secession, and a plan to leave planterdom to planters and to unite areas from New York north (as an economically viable region), possibly including even areas of what is now Canada, into a separate conglomeration that was more friendly to Britain than Southerners and Republicans were. (Adams meantime saw the Virginians as being as clannish as Scots were reputed to be.)
Adams as a kind of mild Federalist became the lightning rod for what was non-negotiable between the more conservative Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans. In time, Adams (Ellis, pp. 230-231) saw society splitting into party political factions as something inherent in human nature, something due simply to temperaments, something drawn from time immemorial. (Even before Americans began to move westward, Jeffersonians wanted to strengthen the popular branches of government, the Federalists wanted to strengthen the more permanent features of government. Just what, then, should the elites have been doing as they tried to govern their 13 American states?)
There arose in the later [1813-1814] correspondence between Adams and Jefferson a mini-debate about “the aristoi”, the role of aristocrats. Not the long-corrupted aristocrats of Britain and Europe, but the “natural aristocrats” who had arisen, or would arise in American society, men with political skills, public virtues, talent, ability and useful convictions? (Adams, like Washington, foresaw that Britain would gain pre-eminence over France in European affairs, Jefferson disagreed.) The Federalists wished to speak most for the views of the elite few, the Republicans for the populist many. The Federalists (who also knew a great deal about the ways of international trade) wanted a more “organic” sort of society, one perhaps based on the British experience, where habits of deference to elites were thought to guide a population's views of its own energies and legitimate aspirations. Jeffersonians were far less mercantile, less outward-looking, more populist, more agrarian (and Francophile) in their assumptions. Politically, and sequentially following Washington, Adams was probably more interested in what worked best (while-ever slavery was kept off public agendas).
And so the American Experiment continued, somewhat uncomfortable with the existence in politics of the kinds of divisions of opinion that Washington had transcended, that Adams had accepted as inevitable; differences which Jefferson dissolved in his moralistically grand visions so that everyone (except slaves and Native Americans) could drink more freely of freedom, in greater numbers. And today, on the Internet, it is mostly the extreme forms of Jeffersonian Republicanism that have been adopted as guidelines for the views and activities of a great many US conspiracy theorists treating American life and history, to whom we now return with a view to inspecting the uncompromising ways they find to loathe and hate what they see as British interests in the context of the Adamsian accomodations with the tribulations of domestic American political work.
What many of today's conspiracy theorists of America can't see, is precisely what Ellis remarked on early in his book regarding an American attitude to Britain generally, (Ellis, p. 5), “In the long run, the evolution of an independent nation, gradually developing its political and economic strength over the nineteenth century within the protective constraints of the British Empire, was probably inevitable.”On the world stage, and trade is conducted on the world stage, Americans from 1783 forward had little choice but to deal with British interests. This however is not good enough for today's American conspiracy theorists on the Net. And any non-American has to wonder, just who these writers imagine they are writing for? Most certainly, not for anyone with a knowledge of the relevant histories!
One great oversight of such writers is to fail to notice that the American War of Independence involved one if not two civil wars in the American colonies. One fiercely between Loyalists and Patriots. One milder, more difficult to distinguish, between elite Americans and their lesser orders. Where the point is that the elites had control of propaganda, their lesser brethren, who might have disagreed on various American questions, did not. Which is to say, that the kind of "patriotism" espoused by these writers, regarding situations prevailing from 1775, and more so from 1783, did not enjoy the kind of unity and harmony that the writers assume had existed. Their very first premises (about harmony in the new American republic) are awry concerning the outcomes of the American Revolution.
Often with such writers, notable US merchants, or their networks of associates, more so regarding British associates, are presented as being inimical to the ideals of the American Revolution and the purity of the republic; not in ways merely amusedly-competitive, but deliberately, continually and maliciously inimical. Instead of the production of a dispassionate overview of the growth of US trading patterns, a sense grows of a passionately self-absorbed political denunciation quite unconcerned with the actualities of the economic, social or cultural history of any nation at all – except the USA. The focus becomes the ills of the American political system. Of all such writers in the US, LaRouche is perhaps the most articulate and complex, which is why he is given such attention here.
To move deeper into Lyndon LaRouche's territory, where historians' evidence fears to tread for fear of rape, if we were believe LaRouche, one would agree that the greatest-ever spoiler of life in the USA has been, and remains, Britain. It was not good enough that Britain lost the American War of Independence, for it seems that Americans since 1783 have been so politically and socially immature, so vastly impressionable, that when British interests as much as sneeze, all American states soon suffer influenza.Of course, and closer to reality in terms of the world's experience of international trade since long before the American Revolution, from 1783 the infant United States as a group of thirteen former British colonies had to carve new pathways through and into international trade. The American whaling industry had to be resurrected, and American ships had to make their way to Britain, France, Spain, the Mediterranean (confronting the Barbary pirates), the Baltic/Russia, parts of the Pacific Ocean, to India and China. American ships began making their way to the infant colony at Sydney, Australia, by 1790-1792. Many historians' articles can be listed which note when a ship flying an American flag entered particular waters or ports for the first time.
It is also the case that after 1783, British mercantile interests - including individally name-able merchants - acted deliberately to try to stifle the emerging commerce of the new United States. Old trade that the pre-Revolutionary Americans were used to with the West Indies was prevented. In London even by about 1786, it was well known that American ships entering the Mediterranean were striking trouble from the notorious Barbary pirates. As noted above, the cruel London joke was that to annoy the Americans, if there were no Barbary pirates, it would be worth London's while to invent them. British interests took a range of measures to try to frustrate American merchants. This has never been a secret to ordinary history writers, or their readers, but American conspiracy writers tend to work as though they have only recently discovered such British prejudices. Being unclear about what prejudices existed, then eased, the conspiracy writers provide a range of misleading impressions.
(If Lyndon LaRouche was discussing Olympic athletes, we would find ourselves introduced only to athletes using steroids, an approach guaranteed to prevent us from meeting all the honourable athletes!)
Given that such deliberately negative British views were expressed, commented and reported after 1783, it is curious that American conspiracy theory writers do not cite such material, which ought to serve their propaganda purposes ideally, but they do not cite it. In particular, inveighing with this hatred of Britain, the LaRoucheites concerned with the greater part of the nineteenth century harp continually on the evil influences in American life and politics of the London-based bankers, Barings, or, Barings Bros. It seems, though, from re-reading Dope Inc., that LaRouche's followers do not seem to know know one relevant set of facts concerning what gave Barings an "in" on a variety of American business. From early in the nineteenth century, Barings obtained an official agency as bankers for the Government of the United States. It would be very surprising if this status - official bankers - did not give Barings' agents (of all kinds) a little more confidence in dealing with American business interests. So why then would the LaRouchites be surprised (!?) that Barings had a variety of roles to play in nineteenth century American affairs?
One of the chief problem with LaRouche's conspiracy theory outlook is that it is basically Isolationist (and/or trade protectionist ). The trials and tribulations of international trade are so vexing to LaRouchites, it seems they prefer to remain xenophobic. When of course it is well-known to history that Isolationist-xenophobic societies invariably fail (China from the Middle Ages, Japan, present-day Zimbabwe.) Isolationist-xenophobic societies that become expansionist end up delivering even worse examples to history (Eg., Hitler's Germany.) There is a great deal to be said for nation-state neighbourliness. For periods from 1783, however, the collection of US conspiracy theories to be discussed below indicate that their writers vastly enjoy excoriating ("flaying alive"), a great number of American's nineteenth century international traders sending ships to trade with Britain, Europe, China (less so, India).
Of course, where they are correctly named (which is not always the case), these US traders all worked in terms proposed by their merchant networks - which terms changed across the decades - a phenomenon a little too complicated for the US conspiracy theorists to pay attention to. In fact, by the time of the first Anglo-Chinese Opium War, the major reason that US traders in China had largely fallen into the laps of British financial interests was because they had almost no other option, as their Chinese counterparts insisted on being paid in silver bullion (specie, best handled as Spanish dollars). It was difficult for Americans to find enough silver to conduct their trading, and one easy option was to deal more in straight finance with the British (using bills-of-exchange drawn in London in dollars-pounds).
The result for the Americans was that they had to react to two important magnets in international trade; the trade magnet of China (which included sale of smuggled opium), and London as a financial magnet. While the US conspiracy theorists may well wish to disagree that this should have happened, it is quite another thing for them to mislead their readers so persistently about how it happened. It was due to what economic historians usually term, "the silver hungriness" of the Chinese economy. (Early British reactions to counter some financial effects of the Chinese silver hungriness are discussed in Dan Byrnes' article on this website, The First Bank at Canton, which refers to the first "bank" operated by East India Company merchants at Canton from the early 1770s.)
And so it happens that the present writer wishes to point out how fundamentally misleading, discussions of international traders can be, if, when and where they are not discussed in terms of merchant networks. Which is to say that with any sort of popular history that could possibly be made available in today's USA, the US conspiracy theories could hardly be a worse introduction to the USA's longer-term economic history. Which is not at all to deny that the American nineteenth century gave birth to a great many rapacious, unscrupulous, predatory capitalists, it did. But there is no point to chronic misunderstanding, either.
The story of how Barings came to gain the "official" American government account is still not well told. Matters quickly become complicated if we try to tell the story. Barings were preceded in this role by a little-known British firm (which had useful links to as few as two Americans of the Carolinas), Bird, Savage and Bird (BSB).
It is not surprising when BSB had the business, that because the US government itself was conducting its business in somewhat unsophisticated ways, BSB had a shaky career and finally failed. By the time they failed, Barings were poised to step in. And at this point, we have to interpolate a good deal of genealogical information, in order to pre-prepare material for the discussion of the merchant networks which became involved, networks which even unofficially, the US Government of the time could not entirely overlook. (This article article is continued at a next file in regular series.)
The name Merttins:Descendants of MERTTINS
Sir George Merttins was Lord Mayor of London in 1724. A goldsmith, and historically a relatively low-profile Lord Mayor, Merttins was an alderman by 1713 and by 1722 a Sheriff of London.
The name Bird:
Descendants of BIRD
1. BIRD Progenitor http
sp: BNOTKNOWN Miss
2. BIRD William
sp: BNOTKNOWN Mary
3. BIRD John (b.1688;d.1771)
sp: MARTYN Rebecca
4. BIRD William (b.1721)
4. BIRD Elizabeth
4. BIRD Ann
4. BIRD Charles
4. BIRD Frances
4. BIRD William
4. BIRD Pattee
4. BIRD John
4. silk merchant BIRD John (c.1780)
sp: WILBERFORCE Judith
5. MP silk trade BIRD William Wilberforce (b.1758;d.1836)
sp: WHEELER Penelope
6. BIRD Catherine (d.1861)
sp: EICo Bengal Civil Service BARLOW Robert (b.1788;d.1845)
6. BIRD George
sp: CORRIE Laura Elizabeth
7. General Sir BIRD George Corrie (b.1838)
sp: MANNING Emily Allen (b.1840)
7. BIRD Agnes (b.1851)
sp: DOUGLAS John
6. BIRD John
sp: DODSON Georgiana Mary
7. BIRD Charles James (b.1812;d.1879)
sp: WEBSTER Emily Honor
8. BIRD Laura Emily (b.1868)
5. BIRD Mary
5. BIRD Hanna (b.1757;d.1846)
sp: Rev SUMNER Robert (d.1802)
6. SUMNER John Bird
6. Rev Dr BIRD John Sumner (b.1780;d.1862)
sp: ROBINSON Marianne (m.1805)
7. BIRD Charles Richard (b.1790;d.1874)
sp: DE MAUNOR Jennie (m.1816)
6. SUMNER Humphrey (b.1792)
6. SUMNER Maria (b.1794)
5. BIRD Lucy (b.1764;d.1884)
sp: BIRD Robert (m.1786)
6. BIRD Robert Merttins (b.1788;d.1853)
sp: BROWN Jane Grant
7. Major BIRD Robert Wilberforce
sp: CLOETE Elizabeth Marie
8. BIRD Henry Rudolf Cloete (b.1846)
sp: WARD Esther Dudley
6. BIRD Mary
6. BIRD Henry
6. BIRD Edward
6. BIRD Lucy
6. BIRD Roberta
6. BIRD George Merttins
sp: BROWN Sarah Robinson
7. BIRD George William
6. BIRD Elizabeth
6. BIRD Henrietta
6. BIRD Catherine
5. BIRD Rebecca
5. BIRD Anna Maria (b.1767;d.1847)
3. BIRD Thomas (b.1690;d.1746)
sp: MARTYN Elizabeth (b.1695)
4. BIRD Robert Senior (b.1723)
sp: MERTTINS Mary
5. London financier of Bird, Savage Bird BIRD Henry Merttins (b.1755)
sp: MANNING Elizabeth Ryan (b.1760;m.1778)
5. Financier, Bird Savage Bird, BIRD Robert Jnr (b.1760)
sp: BIRD Lucy (c.1788)
5. BIRD Benjamin Savage
5. BIRD Catherine
sp: Banker, Bird, Savage SWABEY, Maurice
6. SWABEY Catherine (b.1790)
6. SWABEY Maurice II
6. SWABEY Henry Birchfield
sp: PRESCOTT Caroline
7. SWABEY Henry Birchfield
sp: JENKINS Eliza Katherine
8. SWABEY Alice Maria (b.1870)
8. SWABEY William Louis
7. SWABEY Frederick
6. SWABEY William (b.1789;d.1872)
sp: HOBSON Marianne
6. SWABEY Elizabeth
5. BIRD Robert
sp: BIRD Lucy (b.1764;m.1786;d.1884)
6. BIRD Robert Merttins (b.1788;d.1853)
6. BIRD Mary
6. BIRD Henry
6. BIRD Edward
6. BIRD Lucy
6. BIRD Roberta
6. BIRD George Merttins
6. BIRD Elizabeth
6. BIRD Henrietta
6. BIRD Catherine
As will be noted from the name Wilberforce, the Birds had some connections with the family of parliamentarian William, Britain's famed anti-slavery crusader. On the other hand, Elizabeth Ryan Manning was daughter of a noted slaving merchant, William Manning. (Manning (died 1791) is noted briefly in R. H. Gardiner, Memoir of Benjamin Vaughan, Maine Historical Society, Coll, Series 1, Vol. VI, pp. 85-92.)
The name Manning:
Descendants of MANNING Progenitor
1. MANNING Progenitor
sp: MUNKNOWN Miss
2. Slaver, London merchant, MANNING William (c.1775;d.1791)
sp: MNOTKNOWN Miss
3. Australian Agric. Co. investor, MP, Gov Bank of England, slaver, West Indies merchant, MANNING William (b.1763;d.1835)
sp: Wife2, HUNTER Mary (d.1847)
4. Cardinal, MANNING Henry Edward (b.1808)
sp: SARGENT Caroline
4. Royal Page, MANNING Charles
4. MANNING Harriet (d.1828)
4. MANING Anna Maria
sp: ANDERDON John
4. MANNING Caroline
sp: Wife1, SMITH Elizabeth Bessie (d.1789)
4. MANNING Elizabeth Ryan (b.1760)
sp: London financier of Bird, Savage Bird BIRD Henry Merttins (b.1755;m.1778)
4. wife2 MANNING Miss
sp: South Carolina, SAVAGE John (c.1780;m.1778)
5. Of Bird, Savage, SAVAGE Benjamin (b.1750)
3. MANNING Sarah (b.1754;d.1834)
sp: Merchant, Mincing Lane, London VAUGHAN Benjamin (b.1751;d.1835)
4. VAUGHAN Harriet (b.1782;d.1798)
4. Farmer, merchant, shipowner, VAUGHAN William Oliver (b.1783;d.1826)
sp: AGRY Martha
5. Merchant, supercargo, VAUGHAN William Manning (b.1807;d.1891)
sp: WARREN Ann Tryphena (b.1810;d.1889)
6. VAUGHAN Emma Gardner (b.1835;d.1844)
6. VAUGHAN Benjamin (b.1837;d.1912)
6. VAUGHAN William Warren (b.1848)
4. VAUGHAN Sarah (b.1784;d.1847)
4. VAUGHAN Henry (b.1786;d.1806)
4. Commercial career in London, Lt Maine Militia, VAUGHAN Petty (b.1788;d.1854)
4. VAUGHAN Lucy (b.1790;d.1869)
4. VAUGHAN Elizabeth Frances (b.1793;d.1855)
3. MANNING Martha (b.1755;d.1781)
sp: soldier, LAURENS John (b.1753;d.1782)
4. LAURENS Frances Eleanor
sp: HENDERSON Francis
were American merchants sometime resident in London about the time of
the American Revolution. In 1786
had an address at Mincing Lane (where Francis Baring and Duncan
Campbell also lived), and
they were visited there by Thomas Jefferson in 1786 when Jefferson was
in London as US plenipotentiary minister, making a variety of treaties.
Samuel Vaughan had
properties on Jamaica and in Hallowell, Maine, USA. Samuel Vaughan
(1720-1802), a London merchant and Jamaican sugar plantation owner,
married Sarah Hallowell (1727-1809) of Boston in 1747. The couple had
ten children: Benjamin (1751-1835); William (1752-1850); Samuel
(1754-1758); John (1756-1841); Ann (1757-1847); Charles (1759-1839);
Sarah (1761-1818); Samuel (1762-1827); Barbara Eddy (1764-1820);
Rebecca (1766-1851); and Hannah (1768-1770). Samuel Vaughan died in
1802, his wife Hannah died in England in 1809. Their properties in
Jamaica and Hallowell, Maine were divided among their children.
William Oliver Vaughan, the son of Benjamin and Sarah (Manning), was a gentleman farmer, merchant, ship-owner, and colonel in the Maine Militia, and active in town affairs. He married in 1806 Martha Agry (d. 1856). The couple had seven children: William Manning (1807-1891); Harriet Frances (1809-1846); Mary (1812-1814); Mary (1815-1816); Anna Maria (1817-1832); Henry (b. 1823); and Caroline (b. 1825).
Vaughan, the son of Benjamin and Sarah (Manning), was a merchant and
lieutenant in the Maine Militia. He went to London as a teenager to
work with his uncle, William Vaughan, and returned later to spend most
of his commercial career there.
(The above notes on Vaughans have been adopted almost verbatim from a genealogy website.)
This article is continued at a next file in regular series.)
The name Savage: An American name which appears as a small appendage to the main names Manning and Vaughan:
Descendants of SAVAGE
1. SAVAGE Progenitor
sp: SUNKNOWN Miss
2. Of South Carolina, SAVAGE John (active 1780)
sp: wife2 MANNING Miss (m.1778)
3. Of Bird, Savage, SAVAGE Benjamin (b.1750)
The name Vaughan:
1. VAUGHAN Progenitor
sp: VUNKNOWN Miss
2. Of Mincing Lane, London, West India, Planter, VAUGHAN Samuel (b.1720;d.1802)
sp: of Boston HALLOWELL Sarah (b.1727;m.1747;d.1809)
3. Merchant, Mincing Lane, London, VAUGHAN Benjamin (b.1751;d.1835)
sp: MANNING Sarah (b.1754;d.1834)
4. VAUGHAN Harriet (b.1782;d.1798)
4. Farmer, merchant, shipowner, VAUGHAN William Oliver (b.1783;d.1826)
sp: AGRY Martha
5. Merchant, supercargo, VAUGHAN William Manning (b.1807;d.1891)
sp: WARREN Ann Tryphena (b.1810;d.1889)
6. VAUGHAN Emma Gardner (b.1835;d.1844)
6. VAUGHAN Benjamin (b.1837;d.1912)
6. VAUGHAN William Warren (b.1848)
4. VAUGHAN Sarah (b.1784;d.1847)
4. VAUGHAN Henry (b.1786;d.1806)
4. Commercial career in London, Lt Maine Militia, VAUGHAN Petty (b.1788;d.1854)
4. VAUGHAN Lucy (b.1790;d.1869)
4. VAUGHAN Elizabeth Frances (b.1793;d.1855)
3. London merchant, VAUGHAN William (b.1752;d.1850)
3. VAUGHAN Samuel (b.1754;d.1758)
3. VAUGHAN John (b.1756;d.1841)
3. VAUGHAN Ann (b.1757;d.1847)
3. Of Hallowell, Maine, VAUGHAN Charles (b.1759;d.1839)
sp: ABTHORP Frances Western
4. VAUGHAN John Apthorp (b.1795;d.1865)
4. VAUGHAN Charles (b.1804;d.1878)
4. VAUGHAN Hannah Frances (b.1812;d.1855)
4. VAUGHAN Harriet (b.1801;d.1843)
3. VAUGHAN Sarah (b.1761;d.1818)
3. Jamaica merchant, sugar planter, VAUGHAN Samuel II (b.1762;d.1827)
3. VAUGHAN Barbara Eddy (b.1764;d.1820)
3. VAUGHAN Rebecca (b.1766;d.1851)
sp: Tutor, MERRICK John (b.1766;d.1862)
4. Of Hallowell, Maine, MERRICK Mary Harrison
sp: FLAGG John P.
3. VAUGHAN Hannah (b.1768;d.1770)
Before departing the above genealogy, we need to know if any more lineages are relevant. Yes, the names Warder and Vaux in Philadelphia, John Henry Cazenove, and maybe Andrew Craigie, Edward Darrell and Co.,
The name Warder: London-Philadelphia merchants:
of WARDER Progenitor
1. WARDER Progenitor
sp: WNOTKNOWN Miss
2. Merchant of Philadelphia-London, WARDER Jeremiah
sp: WNOTKNOWN Miss
3. London merchant to Philadelphia, WARDER John (b.1751;d.1828)
sp: Of Philadelphia HEAD Ann (b.1758;d.1789)
4. WARDER John Head (b.1784;d.1843)
sp: HOSKINS Abigail (d.1832)
5. WARDER John H. II
4. WARDER William S. (b.1791;d.1831)
4. WARDER Mary Ann
sp: BACON John
5. BACON George Vaux
sp: KIRKBRIDE Sally Ann
4. WARDER Elizabeth
sp: JANNEY Israel
4. WARDER Caroline (b.1801;d.1868)
sp: CADBURY Joel Snr (b.1799;d.1870)
5. CADBURY Sarah
5. CADBURY Caroline Warder
5. CADBURY Joel Jnr (b.1838;d.1923)
sp: LOWRY Anna K. (b.1846;d.1923)
6. CADBURY Benjamin (b.1873;d.1953)
6. CADBURY Emma Jnr (b.1875;d.1965)
6. CADBURY William Warder (b.1877;d.1959)
6. CADBURY John Warder (b.1880;d.1948)
6. CADBURY Henry Joel (b.1883;d.1974)
6. CADBURY Elizabeth B. (b.1871;d.1952)
sp: JONES Rufus M.
The name Vaux:
of VAUX Progenitor
1. VAUX Progenitor
sp: VNOTKNOWN Miss
2. Quaker Dr MD, VAUX George
sp: Quaker OWEN Frances
3. Philadelphia mechant, Quaker, VAUX Richard (b.1751;d.1790)
sp: Quaker, ROBERTS Ann (b.1753;d.1814)
4. Philadelphia merchant, VAUX Roberts (b.1786;d.1836)
sp: WISTAR Margaret
5. VAUX Richard (b.1816;d.1895)
sp: WALN Mary (So far untraced - but see the name Waln listed above)
5. VAUX Thomas Wistar (b.1819;d.1887)
4. VAUX Susannah Jnr (b.1787;d.1812)
3. Dr MD, VAUX George II
3. VAUX Jeremiah
3. Emigrant to Philadelphia, VAUX James (b.1748)
sp: WARDEN Susannah
4. VAUX Frances
4. VAUX George
3. VAUX Susannah
Philadelphia merchant Richard Vaux was a cousin of John Warder and of a London merchant (his chief financial backer) John Strettel (who died 1781) who was maybe part of the firm John Strettel and John Brickwood. When young he worked in the Philadelphia house of Samuel Sansom. He became a Loyalist. Vaux began trading on his own in tobacco, corn, wheat, sugar, molasses, coffee. Later he had a partner, John Nancarrow. In 1781 he became a Freemason at Jerusalem Free Mason Lodge. In 1781 he insured ships (maybe with John Wilson) for Captain Watson's command. A relevant article on the Net is: James Farley, The Ill-Fated Voyage of the Providentia: Richard Vaux, Loyalist Merchant and, and the trans-Atlantic Mercantile World in the late Eighteenth Century. Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies. (Details lacking.)
John Henry Cazenove. Active by 1800. The Cazenoves were part of the often-influential Huguenot networks which spread from France to avoid religious persection. Some of them became part of networks excoriated by conspiracy theorists who tend not to realize the style, size, scale and scope of Huguenot networks, nor how they operated, and so tend to misunderstand them.
See S. R. Cope on Bird, Savage and Bird, p. 211. The Winterarthur Library in UA has in its Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera, the Cazenove-Lee Family Papers (1617-1970). The Cazenoves stemmed from the 15th Century in the South of France, and were Huguenots who first went to Geneva, Switzerland, after France's Bartholomew Day Massacres. They became active in international commerce. Family members settled in England, Italy, Spain, the USA. One settling in Alexandria Virginia was Anthony Charles Cazenove (1775-1852), whose grand-daughters multi-married into notable families; Lees, du Ponts, Hendersons, Gardners.
And what we find is, something moderately simple to understand ... The last thing apparently that LaRouche and his associates seem to be able to understand about international trade ... is any definition of the respondentia convention of maritime trade which has prevailed in the Aegean Sea since the time of Jesus if not before. A definition can be taken from Cope's entertaining article:
S. R. Cope, 'Bird, Savage and Bird of London, merchants and bankers, 1782 to 1803', Guildhall Studies in London History, 1981., pp. 202-217. This is the only clue on Bird, Savage and Bird that the present writer has ever been able to find.
Follows from Cope's article on Bird/Savage, p. 216, Note 22, “Respondentia bonds are given to secure a loan on goods loaded on board a ship which are to be sold or exchanged on the voyage, the borrower pledging the goods and the returns for them, whether in money or in other goods purchased abroad with the proceeds. The money is to be repaid to the lender, with marine interest, on the safe arrival of the ship in port.”
Just two of the problems posed by the conspiracy theories under discussion are: (1) The writers refuse to try to measure the activities of the people of the past by the codes, standards and times of those people. Pictures and judgements of the past are drawn in terms of the twentieth-century writer's attitudes, experiencce and views - a writerly approach which is unfair to both readers and to the people of the past.
(2) Genealogies - failures to address the implications of more-complete genealogical information. If periods are being discussed, where family members were involved together in mercantile pursuits, there is little point in avoiding such information. This is relevant in the case of the Cazenove Huguenot network noted above.
Conclusion: For all their vehemences, furies, hatreds, passions, the last thing the US conspiracy theorists can understand about international trade, is the basic convention of olden-days international maritime trade - the respondentia loan. Which convention is not and never has been especially based on based on politics, or nationalism, or ethnicity, but which is very much prey to worry about the weather and the current state of trade; and what one experienced eighteenth century London merchant one day termed it, [Duncan Campell, 1726-1803] himself an ex-ship's captain, "the risks that all run on the sea".
What the respondentia loan did was spread the risks of any trading voyage between all interested parties. One problem with the LaRouchite outlook is an assumption that the US capitalists they discuss, felt that they had relatively few risks to run. Which is plainly unrealistic. Risk-spreading is just one of the forms of glue which bind merchant netorks togther.
Follows a precis of Cope's article, a rare source of information. Bird, Savage and Bird operated only from 1782 to 1803. Henry Merttins Bird was the senior partner of Bird, Savage and Bird, not a well-known firm. H. M. Bird by inheritances from 1776 came into management of properties in Barking and Dagenham in Essex, including a manor hosue, Valence, which he used for the following 27 years. In 1777 he joined forces with Anthony Francis Halidmand, whose son William would later be a director of Bank of England. Their partnership worked from Haldimand's address, 51 St Mary Axe, London. Bird had a separate business, H. M. Bird and Co., also addressed in St Mary Axe.
Their pursuits at first were mercantile, but later became financial. Bird in 1778 married Elizabeth, daughter of the West India merchant, William Manning. The Haldiman-Bird partnership ended in 1782, when H. M. Bird joined with his brother Robert, and Benjamin Savage, to form Bird, Savage and Bird. (He also continued with H. M. Bird and Co. till 1790, when it disappeared.) William Manning figured with the Savage connection, as a sister of Manning had married John Savage of Charles Town South Carolina in 1778, as a second wife. John's son Benjamin Savage was trained in William Manning's counting house, then joined the Bird brothers, now at 14 St Mary Axe.
BSB used two main bankers in London, Bank of England and Smith, Payne and Smiths. Smith, Payne and Smith was a highly discreet merchant bank with a fascinating career, where Payne was a lesser name.
Note: J. A. S. Leighton-Boyce, Smiths the Bankers, 1658-1958. London, National Provincial Bank Ltd., 1958.
In particular, the Smiths had been in banking since the time of Cromwell, and had become a very large family with family-branch concerns in London and north provincial England. As such a large banking family, by the end of the eighteenth century they were well-poised to loom influential during the nineteenth century, when an astonishing number of English families with banking and financial industry connections densely intermarried. (Two of the Smith family became governors of Australian colonies, and one, after 1900, governor of an Australian state.)
BSB seem to have aimed especially for the trade of the Carolinas and Georgia in rice and indigo, and with making exchanges of manufactured goods. Carolina after 1783, with the end of the American War of Independence, re-established trading links with British merchants rather rapidly, while Carolina merchants developed many new partnerships, one of which was Smiths, DeSaussure and Darrell, who were influential in Charles Town politics and affairs. DeSaussure et al opted to deal with BSB via Edward Darrell and Co. of Charlestown, mostly using American-owned ships. As things turned out, DeSaussure et al were in a less-than-healthy financial condition, rice and indigo crops failed in 1784-1785, and South Carolina's merchants became slow to repay their debts to British merchants. Nothing was helped by 1793 when war broke out between Britain and France (while the USA remained neutral). For a time, the BSB connections using American ships could enter both British and French ports. Trouble set in when one of their ships, Laurens, Captain White, was captured by a French privateer. Protracted negotiations were expensive. At one point, Edward Darrell and Co. wanted to deal via parties in the West Indies, a tactic which made BSB feel dubious. The doubts were well-based, and slow-payment trouble set in. By 1798 or so, with the deaths of Daniel Desaussure (1798) and Edward Darrell (1797), the operations of Desaussure et al had all unravelled. BSB suffered. The Carolinas had not been a good investment.
Still, BSB in November 1799 created a new operation in New York at 158 Greenwich Street, as Robert Bird and Co. During the 1790s they had begun dealing with New Yorkers Murray and Mumford and Lessingwell and Pierpont, partly in fabrics. Isaac Clason of New York sold them American stock to be re-sold in London. Though it is not clear how, BSB interests spread from New York to Vermont, and they became involved with General Ira Allen, "land speculator, politician and founder of the state of Vermont". Allen's story alone is complicated, but some of the situation was establishment, or re-establishment, of part of the US-Canadian border.
(Note: Netsurfers reading this article will find that many names mentioned here can fruitfully become subjects of an quick Internet search. Many such searches will almost certainly find websites which are based on a variant of one of the US conspiracy theories under review here.)
Allen and BSB were introduced to each other by Rufus King, and it so happened that BSB funded Ira Allen for weapons purchases. an affair which Cope says, only ended in enriching lawyers. But by 1801, BSB felt confident enough broaden mercantile pursuits from New York to elsewhere.
In 1801, BSB made a deal with Captain Jacob Smith (American) for the ship Semiramis to sail to the Far East. Smith was in Canton by 1802, from where a different captain took Semiramis to Acapulco, Mexico, then to Manilla in the Philippines (by March 1803). (Possibly, seeking supplies of silver specie? English textiles and liquor were handled.) Smith's business deals did badly, but still, BSB had sent three other ships, Indus, Sally and Catherine. (Arrangements here were made by Robert Bird and Co. of New York, while BSB arranged marine insurance at Lloyd's of London through one Alexander Maxwell Bennett (not a well-known name at Lloyd's at all.)
(Note: The present writer feels obliged to say that information on any such voyages to the Philippines by Capt. Jacob Smith by this time, are not mentioned in any American-written material read so far.)
All this activity engrossing H. M. Bird of BSB was unremarkable mercantile activity, and some of it seems unimaginative or non-innovative as well, for its times. It seems Bird was unaware of how the American "new nation" was faring in more purely financial matters - badly. The "financier of the American Revolution", Robert Morris, had been unable to leave his new nation with a wealthy treasury; the US was almost bankrupt. The debts of the states had to be serviced, the new nation's Federal debt had to be refunded. Many matters were resolved by 1790 with an American Act which made provisions for debt-handling. (Government debt, and financial operators found the Act assisted financial dealings. Hardly surprising, international speculation soon began in "American stock".)
American matters of 1790 did though come to H. M. Bird's attention, and he wrote to Presdent Washington offering his firm's services for the purposes of negotiating a loan in Europe or to pay interest on American debt to European creditors. It was possible that Manning and Vaughan could also assist endeavours. However, nothing happened, and no one was appointed to deal with American debt in Europe. Undeterred, H. M. Bird tried to establish his firm as a leading London house dealing in American stock, acting as BSB and with John Warder and Co. of London (who had long-term links with Philadelphia.) At one point, H. M. Bird thought it useful to suggest to Jermiah Wadsworth, a director of Bank of United States (BUS), that Bird became a paying agent for BUS in London. Whereupon, somehow, and it is a little-told story, Barings trounced BSB for such business. BUS in June 1793 announced in London that its agents in London would be John and Francis Baring and Co., and John Henry Cazenove, Nephew and Co.
H. M. Bird was trounced, and probably outclassed. He continued to try to deal in American stock, but he was still weighed down with costly old business in the Carolinas. Bird did for example sell some American (government) stock to Smiths, Payne and Smiths. But by the late 1790s, he was outpaced by the Barings and Cazenoves as a dealer in American stock. Persistent, Bird in 1792 had tried to talk to Thomas Pinckney, who was a new American Minister in London. Pinckney was from South Carolina and probably knew those with whom Bird dealt there. Pinckney evidently did help Bird conduct some American business, but he was replaced in four years or so, by Rufus King (shades of the General Ira Allen affairs). Bird also saw Rufus King and managed to find the work of handling some American accounts (such as a Barbary Treaty fund, a British Treaty Fund), and they even ran a private account for King. King was also agent for New York, and BSB handled that account. But to little avail, Bird was to be outlcasssed by the Barings and Cazenoves. At one point, Bird was reduced to the more mercantile business (during wartime) of trying to sell ships' anchors.
By March 1802 BSB had to be rescued, for 27,000 pounds. The rescue party consisted of William Manning's firm (including P. P. Anderdon and Charles Bosanquet), John Savage of South Carolina the father of Benjamin. London MP Henry Christian Combe. Maurice Swabey, who had married H. M. Bird's sister, Catherine. And one John Collins. The rescue was insufficient, and amid a deal of correspondence and a variety of annoyances, Rufus King looked over the likes of McKensie, Glennie and Co., who had done some American (government finance) business. Bird, about to be disappointed, himself recommended that King use Smith, Payne and Smiths. King chose Sir Francis Baring and Co. Bird was driven to taking out loans from family, and selling his manor house property, Valence. BSB were declared bankrupt on 10 June, 1803. Their failure caused little upset in London; and Robert Bird in New York had bankrupted by 5 December 1805, the end of him.
Cope writes of the BSB failure (p. 216), that H. M. Bird's "major contribution to the merchant banking of his day was not in mercantile affairs, but in opening an active market in London for American stocks, the beginning of that export of British capital [to America] which lasted into the twentieth century. Others followed, and outdistanced him, but his pioneer role must be recognised."
(Note: Finishes a precis of Cope's article. This article is continued at a next file in regular series.)
It appears then, that Barings in London got their first "in" on American business directly from the hands of Rufus King. Stories of pioneers often engage a theme of suffering, and the H. M. Bird story is a dismal one. BSB had tried usual mercantile business with South Carolina, and arrangements there, also involving some dealers in the West Indies, ended more or less frozen. BSB had failed to successfuly operate a branch from New York trying to trade with the Far East, and from its London base, BSB failed across a decade to impress the US government with its financial prowess. Unfortunately, just how much BDB might have dealt with American land speculators, from either America, England, or Europe, or not, remains a matter unclear. What new research might turn up on this question is anyone's guess.
But the BSB story is also one available story about how and why, and so early, Barings of London were allowed to enter the financial services sector in America at such a high level. It is not a story retold by America's train of political conspiracy writers of the twentieth century, and one would like to ask - why not?
The manifold hatred in LaRouchian writings of Barings as a symbol of British financial interests involved in American affairs is as conspicuous as it is rabid, but it also fails to tell an accurate story. As we find further ... meanwhile, it does seem as though if it is a theme to be traced, the involvement of British capital in American affairs after the close of the American War of Independence, then the US' conspiracy writers have asked questions which have misled them historically, proceeded in fruitless directions, and mixed one kind of alleged financial conspiracy with too many other conspiracy theories. (Rufus King is not even indexed in the LaRouche influenced book, Dope Inc.) The general literature of the rise of banking and financial services in the new United States of America itself (1783-1812) is still in an untidy condition, and amid that untidiness, US conspiracy theorists have been enjoying new field days in cyberspace.
All of which leads us in the decade while BSB was slowly failing, to another story about a major conspiracy theory in US popular culture, a story potently retold, and still apparently misunderstood, on many of today's American websites, the problem of The Essex Junto. It seems, a great many American-produced websites now on the Internet are based on The Myth of the Essex Junto, which arose about 1798.
(This material on US conspiracy theory writers is continued - now click to the next file as below)
This material on US conspiracy theories is continued at a next file in regular series.
Who was financier, seemingly for Austrian dynastic government of southern Netherlands, Charles Prioli? Son of one Pierre Prioli. Charles perhaps had the title of Count? The situation of his father remains unknown. In the 1770s Charles Prioli was one of the major backers of the controversial entrepreneur in "the East", or, about India, William Bolts (originally a German) who was active in the 1770s-1780s. There seems by 13-April 2007 to be nothing on Prioli on the Internet. This website would be grateful to hear from anyone knowing anything at all about Prioli. - Ed
friend of the webmaster, quite a reader of history, who knows his
Australian folk music and folklore, wishes to know from anyone in
England, (partly tongue-in-cheek), why is it that:
we read so little on the English wool trade, right back to the final days of England's export-trade base at Calais, France? What about the use of sheep meat in English life, re traditional food recipes? Re shearing as a skill, as a kind of work? What happened to all of England's shearers? Does England have any interesting folk songs on sheep-shearing as work? Who were the biggest/wealthiest sheep-farmers? Does it matter? Why the apparent silences on such matters in English folklore/history? Does it matter? Since we all know, Australians can never keep quiet about "wool growing". While on the other hand, all we know about sheep-herding in the USA's Old Wild West is from a range-war movie, cattle versus sheep, the name of which we can't remember, which we saw as youngsters, starring Glenn Ford. (Oh yes, The Sheepman, ; now regarded as a US western-comedy classic .)
Re Merchant Networks through the Ages: See Mrs Aubrey Richardson, The Doges of Venice. London, Methuen, 1914. Also on the Doges of Venice, D. S. Chambers, The Imperial Age of Venice, 1380-1580. London, Thames and Hudson, 1970.
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