©1997 by Gerry Rough <politico8@maplenet.net>

This is the second of a three-part series on the conspiracy theorists”
claims regarding the second Bank of the United States. Part three will
examine Andrew Jackson’s veto message on the recharter bill, often cited
by the conspiracy theorists.

G. Edward Griffin makes the following paragraph on page 348 of his text,
The Creature from Jekyll Island:

      With the ability to control the flow of the nations credit, Biddle


      soon became one of the most powerful men in America. This was brought out


      dramatically when he was asked by a Senate Committee if his bank ever took


      advantage of its superior position over the state banks. He replied: “Never.


      There are very few banks which might not have been destroyed by an exertion


      of the powers of the Bank. None has ever been injured.” As Jackson publicly


      noted a few months later, this was an admission that most of the state


      banks existed only at the pleasure of the Bank of the United States, and


    that, of course, meant at the pleasure of Mr. Biddle. [1]

Astounding, isn”t it? Biddle answers one question, then both Griffin and
his erstwhile ally, Andrew Jackson, twist the answer to mean something
that was neither said nor implied. In case you”re wondering, Andrew Jackson
did, in fact, mention this interpretation in his veto message on the recharter
bill. But let’s also notice the transparent hypocrisy of the entire lot
of conspiracy theorist and Jacksonian alike. Catterall cites the following
letter from Treasury appointment Kendall:

This boasting giant is now but a reptile beneath the feet of the
secretary of the treasury, which he can crush at will

      . It exists by


      his forbearance, and will, for the next forty days; and great forbearance


      will it require to save it from destruction.”- [Treasury Appointment] Kendall


      in a letter to the New York


    , Oct. 9, 1833. [2]

In sum then, according to the conspiracy theorists among us, it is perfectly
fine for the Bank of the United States to exist at the forbearance of the
Jackson Administration, but eternal damnation for the State Banks to exist
at the forbearance of Nicholas Biddle.

Conspiracy theorists have indeed given voice to hypocrisy!!

Griffin states again:

      As Commanding General of the pro-bank forces, Biddle had one powerful


      advantage over his adversary. For all practical purposes, Congress was


    in his pocket. [3]

Further down the page, Griffin then cites the following from Galbraith
to prove his point:

      Biddle was not without resources. In keeping with his belief that banking


      was the ultimate source of power, he had regularly advanced funds to members


    of congress when delay on appropriations bills had held up their pay. [4]

It might seem as though Griffin has indeed found a true charge against
the bank. To this charge, among others, Catterall has made an exhaustive
study and found that most of the frequent charges against the Bank by its
enemies were found to be either groundless or mitigated. Catterall’s study
can be summed up in the following two circumstances:

      It must be admitted that the bank was accustomed to give drafts for


      the salaries of congressmen, payable at points distant from Washington,


      without charging exchange….Such a practice was certainly open to the


      objection of being in the nature of granting favors to those from whom


      favors were to be expected.



Other charges of indirect bribery were those of paying excessive fees
to lawyers and making donations of the bank’s money for political effect.
Nothing of the kind was discovered. The fees to lawyers were not excessive.
No cases of bribes by donations were known by the committee of 1834, and
the subject was carefully investigated by the committee of 1832 with the
results favorable to the bank. [6]

While it must be admitted that Biddle did indeed make temporary loans to
Congressmen that were later found to be questionable, the real rub here
with Griffin’s charge is that those loans were to Congressmen as part of
some global New World Order plot. The answer to this charge is simple:
Biddle made these loans to both friend and enemy alike. Hardly evidence
for a conspiracy, Galbraith’s charge of political obtuseness is the more

Thomas D. Schauf, author of The Federal Reserve, states:

    When the 1816 charter expired in 1836, Andrew Jackson vetoed its renewal.[7]

The 1816 charter renewal was vetoed in 1832, not 1836 as Schauf implies.
J.R. Church commits a similar glaring error of history. Church writes:

      Congress then refused to renew the charter for the national bank, driving


      it into bankruptcy. In 1836, when the charter of the bank came up for renewal,


    Jackson managed to get it defeated. [8]

William T. Still, another conspiracy writer, contradicts both Church and

      Supporters of the Bank were angered by Jackson’s veto of a renewal


      of the Banks charter after it passed both houses of congress in the summer


    of 1832. [9]

Still is correct. Just to set the record straight, President Jackson”s
veto of the Bank charter essentially killed it in 1832, although the charter
did not run out until 1836. The Bank would continue until 1839, chartered
by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Thereafter it suspended payments and
later was declared bankrupt. [10]

Wickliffe B. Vennard, author of The Federal Reserve hoax, states:

      In 1828 Andrew Jackson, the hero of New Orleans, was elected President


      of the United States and immediately showed hostility to the United States


      Bank. He authorized and directed that the money of the government be deposited


      in other banks (State Banks) instead of the United States Bank. In 1831


    a bill was introduced in Congress”[11]

The last partial sentence was inserted to verify context. Vennard has made
the grossest of historical errors by stating that the deposits were taken
from the Bank of the United States in 1828. They were not. This action
did not start until 1833, five years later.

Vennard also makes an even worse historical error just two paragraphs
later on the same page. Vennard writes:

      It is now generally believed that any candidate for state or national


      office who attempts to carry education and information on the usury subject


      to the people, and opposed usury, would stand no chance of being elected


      and that it would ensure his defeat. The same applied at the time Jackson


      was a candidate for re-election in 1832, with the usurers in control, a


      national bank with branches, and considering the population at that time,


      it was apparently as dominant as the Federal Reserve Bank is now with all


      its member banks profiting by the usury system throughout the United States.



Even worse than implying that Jackson lost his re-election, which is foolishness
itself, Vennard is farther out on a limb than you might imagine. There
are no other conspiracy writers who would dare make this
claim, considering that Andrew Jackson is the greatest hero of the conspiracy
movement. His war with the Bank of the United States and subsequent re-election
is one of the most cited eras of American history to conspiracy theorists.
For Vennard to fail this test of historical accuracy contradicts virtually
everything the conspiracy theorists have said of central
banking for several generations. One less enamored with conspiracy theory
would have to ask which theory we should follow.

As a digression to the background of all of this, there is an 8-page
pamphlet written in 1964 by Vennard which still circulates on the far right.
Vennard states the opinion of virtually every conspiracy writer on the
history of central banks and especially of Andrew Jackson:

      1832 – President Andrew Jackson, the Greatest of our Presidents, in


      my considered opinion,


      renewal of the Second Bank of the


    United States. [13]

The conspiracy theorists” admiration of Andrew Jackson is certainly commendable,
although most serious presidential historians consider President Jackson
to be one of the worst presidents in our nations history. The date cited
above brings up another issue cited earlier. If Andrew Jackson had not
been re-elected, as Vennard implies earlier, financial history would have
been completely rewritten. The bill to recharter the second Bank of the
United States won a clear majority in both houses of Congress and Henry
Clay would most certainly have signed the recharter bill. The Bank War
cited in part one of this series never would have taken place, and the
conspiracy theorists would have to look elsewhere for a favorite hero.

In 1969, Vennard published a much longer version of the aforementioned
pamphlet; this being a 60-page Chronological History of Money Since
. In the citation regarding the second Bank of the United States,
Vennard adds the following:

      The bankers told Andrew Jackson if he vetoed the old United States


      bank bill they would ruin the business of the country. He vetoed it and


    someone tried to assassinate him; he well knew what for. [14]

As expected, the bankers never said anything of the sort. There was an
occasion referred to in The Life of Andrew Jackson, By Robert V.
Remini, among other noted historians, in which a delegation of bankers
visited the White House, but far from any mention of the bankers threatening
to ruin the country, the bankers feared their own insolvency. Remini picks
up the narrative:

      As the Panic of 1833-1834 intensified, delegations of businessmen visited


      Jackson in the White House to beg him to rescind the removal order. One


      such group of “great bankers and great merchants” brought a petition bearing


      six thousand signatures….The deputation came right to the point. They


      described their distress. They begged him to intervene and restore the


    deposits. They said that they feared insolvency. [15]

Vennard’s charge is wholly indefensible. Also in the above from Vennard
is the charge that Jackson was the victim of an assassination attempt by
the bankers. Griffin, among other conspiracy writers, also makes the same
charge as Vennard, complete with the same style of innuendo:

      [T]he President had earned the undying hatred of monetary scientists,


      both in America and abroad. It is not surprising, therefore, that on January


      30, 1835, an assassination attempt was made against him….Later, he [Richard


      Lawrence, the would-be assassin] boasted to friends that he had been in


      touch with powerful people in Europe who had promised to protect him from


    punishment should he be caught. [16]

It is worthy of note that neither Griffin nor Vennard had the courage of
their respective convictions to make the charge of who planned the attempt,
who was directly responsible for hiring the assassin, or any other verifiable
data. It is amazing what you can do with innuendo. As to answering Vennard”s
charge that somehow Jackson “knew well what for,” it is most instructive
that Vennard’s charge is again wholly undocumented. As well is Griffin”s
foolish assertion that Richard Lawrence’s story was anything more than
that of a card-carrying kook. Even more instructive is the two relevant
paragraphs on the subject of the sanity of Richard Lawrence, and the possibility
of a conspiracy. These come from the footnoted source near the end of the
paragraph cited above in Griffin’s text. Note Griffin’s apparent gullibility
even when the context clearly indicates that Richard Lawrence was a lone

      The would-be assassin turned out to be one Richard Lawrence, an unemployed


      house painter. He was quickly hurried off to “civil authorities” and incarcerated.


      When the House sergeant-at-arms asked him why he attempted to assassinate


      the President, Lawrence replied that Jackson had killed his father three


      years ago. He also muttered something to the effect that he was the legitimate


      heir to the British throne and that Old Hickory had impeded his succession.


      Inasmuch as his father, an Englishman, had died a dozen years before it


      seemed clear to the authorities that Lawrence was deranged. “There is nothing


    but madness in all this,” said John Tyler.

But some Democrats, including Jackson, believed that Lawrence was a
political assassin, commanded by Whigs. And they had some justification-or
so they thought. During a medical examination, when asked whom he preferred
as President, Lawrence answered: “Mr. Clay, Mr. Webster, Mr. Calhoun.”
“It seems he has been a furious politician of the opposition party,” wrote
Francis Scott Key, “& is represented by some as a very weak man, easily
duped or excited.” Blair suspected an assassination plot and openly insisted
that “a secret conspiracy had prompted the perpetration of the horrible
deed.” These fears intensified when Judge Cranch, the chief justice of
the District, set bail at a paltry $1500. “There is much excitement among
our friends,” Taney was told, “on account of the smallness of the sum required.”
But as soon as it became clear that Lawrence could not meet his bail the
tension among democrats quickly dissipated. Lawrence was subsequently brought
to trial. On April 11, 1835, he was found not guilty because “he was under
the influence of insanity” when he attempted the assassination. He was
immediately committed to an asylum. [17]

As if all of this were not enough, Griffin once again falsely cites his
source, deliberately fabricates the story that Lawrence told “friends”
of his connections in Europe, then omits the part of the story that doesn”t
fit the theory. Griffin cites The Assassins, page 83, as the source
for Richard Lawrence’s claim that he was in touch with powerful people
in Europe. The true origin is page 75, not page 83. Note as well that the
passage Griffin cites directly contradicts his own assertion that Lawrence
“boasted to friends” in Europe. Robert Donovan, author of The Assassins


      After the scuffle at the Capitol, in which no one was injured, Lawrence


      was treated humanely. He cautioned the authorities that he not only had


      a political party in the United States ready to espouse his cause but that


      he had been in touch with the powers in Europe, which had promised to intervene


      if any attempt was made to punish him.



But the story doesn”t end there. Lawrence also makes many other claims
that Griffin omitted because they don”t paint the picture of a sane Richard
Lawrence, all of which are found in close proximity to Griffin’s citation.
Donovan writes again:

      Lawrence….interrupted the trial frequently with assertions such as


      that he was sovereign and not subject to the jurisdiction of the court.


      “I desire to know,” he demanded, “if I, who claim the crown of the United


      States, likewise the crown of Great Britain, and who am superior to this


      court, am to be treated thus?” Once he told the jury, “It is for me, gentlemen,


      to pass judgment on you and not you upon me.” At another time he said,


    “Rome will protect me.” [19]

William Guy Carr, author of the conspiracy tome, Pawns in the Game,
cites the following on page 52:

      Andrew Jackson said: If Congress has a right under the Constitution


      to issue paper money it was given to them to use by themselves, not to


      be delegated to individuals or corporations.” These outspoken comments


      warned the International Bankers to expect serious opposition when their


    charter for the Bank of the United States ran out in 1811. [20]

Carr’s statement is ridiculous considering that Jackson made the comment
during his presidency which started in 1828. Carr also makes another colorful
statement regarding the vote on the original charter bill in 1816:

      In 1816 The United States Congress granted the renewal of the Charter


      for the Bank of the United States as requested. There are many authorities


      who state quite frankly that the Members of Congress were bribed, or threatened,


      into voting for the legislation which put the American people back into


    financial bondage. [21]

Dr. R.E. Search even makes the same claim. [22] That the charge is historically
indefensible is obvious. Father Charles E. Coughlin authored a book entitled,
Money!: Questions and Answers. The entire book is in question and
answer form and covers some of the history of money in America as well
as the principles of banking. Coughlin’s statements on the history of the
second Bank of the United States are as follows:

      Did a second privately owned bank regain the right to coin and regulate


    the value of money?

Yes. After the War of 1812, a charter was given to “The Second Bank
of the United States” in the year 1816, to carry on as did “The First Bank
of the United States.” Through connivance against the Government, the Treasury
Notes, then circulating as money, were funded into bonds owned by the bank.
Against these bonds, this private bank issued private bank notes,
thus enabling the owners of “The Second Bank of the United States” to draw
interest on its money in circulation. [23]

No, actually. Neither the first Bank of the United States nor the second
ever gained the right to coin and regulate the value of money. That right
was given exclusively to Congress in the Constitution. The rest of the
above historical account is easily confusing even to the informed. Nonetheless,
the Treasury Notes mentioned were not used as the statement suggests. Margaret
Myers mentions that only two percent of the total outstanding Treasury
Notes were still in circulation in 1817. Further, almost all of the Treasury
Notes of the time period in question (Treasury Note issues of 1812, 13,
14, 15, and the reissue of received notes in 1816) were used to pay taxes
or for subscriptions to seven percent bonds, which had nothing to do with
the bank. [24] The initial capital of the Bank consisted of specie (gold
or silver coin) or the funded debt of the United States. [25] The Bank
was required at the beginning to raise a minimum of seven million dollars
in specie.

The Bank did issue notes against bonds actually owned by the Bank, but
hardly “connivance against the Government,” these were part of the initial
capital, as expressly stated in the charter. The notes were issued against
the capital of the Bank and limited by the charter not to exceed the capital.
These bonds were owned by the Bank, but were not purchased or traded on
the open market, since the Bank was forbidden by its charter to deal in
anything but the following:

      bills of exchange, gold or silver bullion, goods pledged for money


      lent, or in the sale of goods really and truly pledged for loans, or of


    the proceeds of its lands. [26]

Father Coughlin writes again:

      Were the owners of “The Second Bank of the United States” successful


    in collecting all the Treasury Notes outstanding?

No. With some outstanding Treasury Notes, a citizen attempted to pay
legitimate bills. The Notes were refused by the creditors. Thus, in the
famous case of Veazie vs. Fenno (8 Wallace, 549, U.S. Supreme Court, 1824)
the United States Supreme Court pronounced it within the undisputed power
of Congress to provide a currency of the country consisting largely
of Treasury Notes
. [27]

It is difficult to imagine how Father Coughlin could have reached such
an obvious misrepresentation of fact. The facts of the case are briefly
as follows, according to Veazie vs. Fenno:

      Congress passed, July 13th, 1866, an act, the second clause of the


      9th section of which enacts: “That every national banking association,


      State bank, or State banking association, shall pay a tax of ten per centum


      on the amount of notes of any person, State bank, or State banking association,


      used for circulation and paid out by them after the first day of August,


      1866″”.Under this act a tax of ten percent. was assessed upon the


      Veazie Bank, for its bank notes issued for circulation, after the day named


      in the act”.The bank declined to pay the tax, alleging it to be unconstitutional,


      and the collector of internal revenue, one Fenno, was proceeding to”.collect


    it. [28]

The case cited had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with
the second Bank of the United States, collecting Treasury Notes, a citizen
attempting to pay legitimate bills, the refusal of the creditors to accept
Treasury Notes, the year 1824, or providing a currency of the country consisting
largely of Treasury Notes. The entire citation, pure and simple, is a deliberate,
fabricated fraud.

As a laughable sidelight from the usual conspiracy fare, Dr. Search,
author of Lincoln Money Martyred, writes both of the following which need
no refutation. Note as well the simplistic and uneducated language, typical
of many conspiracy theory writings (text effects are exactly as appears
in the original text):

      And just to show you how well the first “Bank of the United States”


      functioned, and how much money had been made with its special privileges,


      and how much of the Nations supply of money they had been able to get hold


      of through their

special privilege interest racket

      , and hoard and


      hold out of circulation and cause a panic with, they were able to and did,


      charter the second “Bank of the United States” for, not ten million dollars,


      The president of the “Bank of the United States,” Nicholas Biddle,


      had gone to President Jackson in 1832 to try to get a law passed giving


      them permission for his bank to establish branches in principal cities


      of the Nation; explaining to the President that if they could get these


      branches established, they could soon get enough prestige to be able to


    control the policies of the whole country. [30]

Bill Still, author of, On the Horns of the Beast: The Federal Reserve
and the New World Order
, writes on page 46:

      The Bank’s 20-year charter didn”t come up for renewal until 1836, so


      Jackson had to content himself with routing out the minions of the Bank


      from government. He and his closest advisor, Secretary of State Martin


      Van Buren, fired 2,000 of the government’s 11,000 employees and introduced


    the “spoils system,” rewarding his supporters with government jobs.[31]

Still’s history is sorely lacking here. First, the Bank of the United States
was a privately owned corporation, being completely out of reach of the
President of the United States. For Still to not know this is beyond reason.
It is obvious that Still is deliberately making up his facts as he goes
along. Second, The spoils system was not introduced by Jackson, it was
introduced during the early years of our country, and used particularly
during the Jefferson administration. The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia


spoils system

      , in U.S. history, the practice of giving appointive


      offices to loyal members of the party in power. Used by the earliest presidents,


      particularly Thomas Jefferson, the spoils system became extensive during


      the administration of Andrew Jackson. The corruption and inefficiency bred


      by the system reached staggering proportions under U.S. Grant; reaction


      led to the creation of the civil service Commission in 1871. The spoils


    system has, however, continued for some federal and many state offices.[32]

Still continues the next paragraph:

      The Bank’s supporters counterattacked by wrongly accusing Jackson of


      having an affair with the most beautiful woman in Washington, Peggy Eaton,


    the wife of his Secretary of War, John Eaton. [33]

Again, Still’s ignorance is breathtaking. The alleged affair, never proven
by the way, was with John Eaton prior to their marriage; it is nowhere
stated that the affair was with President Jackson.

Dr. Martin Luther King said it best:

      Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious


    stupidity. [34]

1For an extensive study of the charges against the Bank, see Catterall, p. 243-284

2An interesting footnote to this is that James Wardner, author
of, The Planned Destruction of America, made the same mistake Griffin
did in citing p. 183 of Donovan’s text. No doubt Wardner never checked
his own citation for accuracy either. It appears that both are equally
sloppy since both books are copyright 1994, making it difficult to make
a case that one copied the other, statistical ramifications not withstanding.
Yet a third conspiracy writer, Bill Still, author of, On the Horns of
the Beast: The Federal Reserve and the New World Order,
continues the
stupidity by citing the same page number as Griffin and Wardner. Still
most certainly copied Griffin’s error, hock the house, despite the fact
that he cited Donovan’s text directly. 1) Neither Wardner’s text nor Donovan”s
text is cited in Still’s bibliography, 2) Still draws heavily on
Griffin, so much so that large portions of historical content are mostly
paraphrases of Griffin’s text; phraseology is obviously similar and citations
are identical. The author has in his possession a signed first edition
copy of Donovan’s text, copyrighted 1955. Please see the update
to this footnote.

1) G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island (Appleton:
American Opinion Publishing,

Inc., 1995) 348

2) Ralph C.H. Catterall, The Second Bank of the United States
(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1903) 299

3) Griffin, p. 351

4) Griffin, p. 351

5) Catterall, p. 252-253

6) Catterall, p. 255

7) Thomas D. Schauf, The Federal Reserve. This booklet
circulates on the far right.

8) J.R. Church, Guardians of the Grail…and the men who plan
to rule the world!
(Oklahoma City: Prophecy Publications, 1989) 179
9) William T. Still, New World Order: The Ancient Plan of
Secret Societies
(Lafayette: Hunting House Publishers, 1990) 148

10) John Kenneth Galbraith, Money: Whence It Came, Where It
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975) 82. See also Margaret G. Myers, A Financial
History of the United States
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1970) 98

11) Wickliffe B. Vennard, The Federal Reserve Hoax: The Age of Deception
(Palmdale, CA: Omni Publications, no date given) 64

12) Vennard, p. 64

13) Wickliffe B. Vennard, Chronological History of United States
. This 8-page pamphlet is available through Omni Publications,
P.O. Box 900566, Palmdale, CA 93590
14) Wickliffe B. Vennard, Chronological History of Money Since Babylon,
p. 11. This 60-page booklet is available through Omni Publications, P.O. Box
900566, Palmdale, CA 93590

15) R.V. Remini, The Life of Andrew Jackson (New York: Penguin
Books, 1988) 266-267

16) Griffin, p. 357

17) R. V. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy,
(New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1984) Volume III, p. 229

18) Robert J. Donovan, The Assassins (New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1955) 74-75
19) Donovan, p. 78

20) William Guy Carr, Pawns in the Game (Boring, OR: CPA Book
Publishers, 1958) 52

21) Carr, p. 53

22) Dr. R.E. Search, Lincoln Money Martyred (Palmdale,
CA: Omni Publications, 1989) 41

23) Rev. Charles E. Coughlin, Money! Questions and Answers
(no publication data given) 98 This book is available through Omni Publications, P.O. Box 900566, Palmdale, CA 93590

24) Myers, p. 77

25) John Jay Knox, A History of Banking in the United States (New York: Bradford Rhodes & Company, 1903) 55
26) Knox, p. 56.

27) Coughlin, p. 98

28) 8 Wallace, 534-535, U.S. Supreme Court, 1869

29) Search, p. 41-42

30) Search, p. 43

31) Bill Still, On the Horns of the Beast: The Federal Reserve and
the New World Order
(Winchester, VA: Reinhardt & Still Publishers, 1996) 46

32) The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, Copyright © 1995 by Columbia University Press

33) Still, On the Horns of the Beast, p. 46-47
34) The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, Copyright © 1993, 1995 by Columbia University Press.

Additional Sources
W. H. Brown, The Story of a Bank (Boston: Richard G. Badger;
The Gorham Press, 1912)

J.M. McFaul, The Politics of Jacksonian Finance (Ithaca: Cornell
University Press, 1972)

B. Hammond, Banks and Politics in America: From the Revolution to
the Civil War
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957)
R.W. Hidy, The House of Baring in American Trade and Finance: English
Merchant Bankers at Work 1763-1861
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1949)

M. St. Clair Clarke and D.A. Hall, Legislative and Documentary History
of the Bank of the United States
(Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1832;
reprinted August M. Kelley, Publishers, 1967)

W. Greider, Secrets of the Temple (New York: Simon and Schuster,

H. J. Viola, Andrew Jackson (New York: Chelsea House publishers,
Q. Pollack, Peggy Eaton: Democracy’s Mistress (New Rochelle,
New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1931)

W. B. Smith, Economic Aspects of the Second Bank of the United States
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953)

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