PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
[GARFIELD, James (1831-1881)]. Investigation into the Causes of the Gold Panic. Report of the Majority of the Committee on Banking and Currency. March 1, 1870. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1870.
8° (221 x 142 mm). (Some occasional staining, lower corner of p.377 torn away with loss of a few letters). Original cloth (front joint cracked, spine faded); half morocco folding case.
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY JAMES GARFIELD on the flyleaf: “Respects of J.A. Garfield.” Garfield's report, as chair of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, of Jay Gould's and James Fisk's notorious attempt to corner the gold market, including transcripts of Gould's and Fisk's testimony before the committee. In the fall of 1869, the two financiers tried to monopolize the nation's gold supply, hoping to reap a windfall profit when the government needed to buy gold and redeem the paper "greenbacks" issued during the Civil War. They also convinced Grant's brother in law Abel Corbin to aid them. Corbin lobbied Grant to appoint another Fisk-Gould confederate, Daniel Butterfield, as Assistant Treasurer of the United States. Butterfield promised to warn Gould and Fisk if the administration ever decided to thwart their scheme by selling off gold reserves, and thus breaking the speculators' stranglehold on the market. Grant eventually caught on to what was afoot, and did indeed order the market flooded with government gold on September 24, 1869. Apart from Corbin's involvement, Congressional investigators found no evidence of knowing complicity on the part of Grant or his wife in the scheme.