Page 1

SECRET SOCIETIES AMERICA'S ELITE ft

:


CONTENTS

Acknowledgments Introduction:

Born

in

ix

Blood

1

PART ONE

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

Chapter

1

The

New World

9

Order

12

Chapter 2 Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs Chapter 3 Under a Black Flag Chapter

4.

32

48

Skeletons in the Closet

68

PART TWO The Lodge and

the Revolution

91

Chapter 5 Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons Chapter 6

Franklin and the Masonic Underground

Chapter 7 The Merchants of War Chapter 8 The Bribe That Chapter 9

100

Won the War

One Nation Under the Great

122

136 153

Architect

169


PART THREE

From the Sacred Chapter

Chapter

1 1

1

to the Profane

111

0 The Slave Traders

1

79

Red Cross and Black Cargo

188

Chapter 12 Master Masons and Their Slaves Chapter 13 The Masonic Betrayal Chapter 14 The Chapter 15 Opium:

Opium Brotherhood

From the Lodge

Chapter 16 Wealth: The Legacy of the Chapter 17 The Power of the

to the

305

Index

317

228 238

Den

Opium Trade

New Skull

Notes

206

and Bones

259

276 290


Introduction

BORN IN BLOOD

and secret societies have shaped history since the beginning of

Elite

civilization.

From

the

time

Crusades

of the

the

to

twenty-first

century, a handful of families have controlled the course of world events

and have

own

built their

status

and wealth through collective

efforts

and

intermarriage.

The

greatest

Admission

needed both to

fight

(including

Knights

Templar.

and wealth that

was

wars and to maintain the organization's far-flung

agricultural

to include

maintain the needed personnel, but the the massive

an army, a navy, various real and

properties),

Admission standards changed over time

When

the

select few. Outside the core a larger force

These forces would grow

estate

of

that

to the organization often required breeding

were the privilege of a

assets.

was

society

elite

elite

to

the

a

banking

degree

empire.

necessary to

core was always in control.

Templar organization was suddenly outlawed by

the avarice of the French king,

it

did not die;

it

simply

moved

under-

ground. The survival of the underground Templars has been touched

upon by several

authors, but only recently has

brought the Templars' survival

The Templars survived

more in-depth research

to light.

militarily.

By

pledging themselves to various

powers, the military orders survived their open attack by both

state

and

church and the mass executions and imprisonments of the fourteenth century.

The Knights of

Christ, the Teutonic Knights, the Swiss

Guard,

and the Scots Guard, as well as several small but powerful military orders, outlived those

who

persecuted them. Hydralike, the orders


— 2

Introduction

survived, prospered, and multiplied. Several are alive and well in the

new millennium. The Templar organization survived and regrouped

massive Templar, Incorporated that would bring banking to

form survived by moving

to Switzerland,

The

financially. its

modern

where a handful of bankers

maintained and often controlled the massive wealth of the European

The Swiss cantons, often

elite.

the

Templar

flags, protected

by

flying flags only slightly different

from

the Alpine passes and the Swiss Guard,

took the role of the Templar preceptory. The neutral status and the preservation of secrecy would attract the funds of Europe from the fourteenth century to the twenty-first.

The Templar

ideal of

commitment

to learning, discovery,

and broth-

erhood greatly affected the world over the subsequent centuries. For example, neo-Templar organizations were responsible for advances in various sciences. Prince Henry, the grand master of the Knights of Christ,

made advancements discovery.

And

in the art of navigation

various

astronomy, in medical their

members of

arts,

the

and funded the voyages of

Royal Society progressed

in

and even in the transmutation of metals, and

accomplishments frequently became the foundation of modern

sci-

ences. Until the early 1300s, learning and experimentation were consid-

ered heretical and could easily place a scientist under the control of the Inquisition.

Later post-Templar organizations

understood the value of

secrecy to avoid religious persecution for philosophical and scientific discussion.

The Masonic brotherhood created largely responsible

for influencing

freedom, due process, lodge"

—

in

which

a

in

the

post-Templar Scotland was

American concepts of

liberty,

and democracy. The concept of the "military

non-permanent

lodge

traveled

with

soldiers

brought to America by the fighting units of Europe would further the ideals

and fight the war for independence. Secretive groups such as

those meeting

at

Saint

Andrews Lodge

Boston Tea Party, and they spread

The Caucus Club, into the

in

Boston would

like wildfire

the Loyall Nine, and the

instigate the

throughout the colonies.

Sons of Liberty would grow

Committees of Correspondence, the Continental Congress,


Introduction

and

finally fighting

militia units.

Many would

secret.

Many were

necessarily organized in

preserve their secrecy by oaths taken in Masonic

The climax was when French

fraternal lodges.

3

forces, enlisted through

Masonic channels, arrived under the command of high-ranking Masons and Knights of Saint John and defeated the British

The sworn

was an elected American president who was

result

Mason,

a

on the Bible of a Masonic lodge by the grand master of

in

new form of government. Another was

York's Masons and a

which was

capitol,

Yorktown.

at

and was dedicated

built

the nation's

by employing Masonic geometric

in a strictly

New

principles

Masonic ceremony complete with high-

ranking government members in Masonic aprons.

But there was a downside.

would

strive to

The higher

ideals of

Secret societies and the elite of mainstream society

perpetuate themselves through any means possible. liberty

and equality were compromised by the

elite,

who remained

in

control.

The breakup of

Templars was directly responsible for the dra-

the

matic rise in piracy that plagued Europe, America, and even the Indian

The

Ocean.

were organized

themselves

pirates

in

brother-

fraternal

hoods, they pledged themselves to the good of the group, they promised to share equally in the proceeds, and they

even fought under the

battle flag that

was flown by the Templar

fighting fleet. Stranger

the pirate bases

—

same still,

pirates

could

Masonic

openly dock and

cells that

Smuggling, ity.

Ports

sell

booty

their

America where

—were

too,

grew

as a

worldwide enterprise despite

from Salem and Newport

to

facilitated the trade

the

livelihood

by

grew

of their

into

labor

and

its

illegal-

Caribbean and Bermuda,

of pirates, had no qualms about

and abetting smugglers. For the same reasons

organizations

protected

extended to the courthouses and capitol buildings.

which harbored and aiding

ports in Scotland, Ireland, and

guilds

artisan

members, individuals

in

that

that

Masonic

protected

the

smuggling business

the

needed to be considered trustworthy. In Bermuda, where possibly two thirds of the eighteenth-century trade to maintain secrecy.

The

island

was and

was is

illegal,

trading partners had

a bastion of

Masonry; the


4

Introduction

Customs House government

more closely resembles

itself

Masonic temple than

a

a

office.

was

furthered

by

Masonic groups. The Knights of Christ were actually responsible

for

Unfortunately,

importation of

organizing the

industry

slave-trading

the

human cargo The

licensing the trade in the Americas.

also

Europe and

to

later

for

chivalric orders that controlled

governments of Portugal and Spain sold licenses to other govern-

the

ments, which in turn organized companies to propagate the trade. The

Europe were the ultimate beneficiaries of the business; for a

royals of

share of the profits, they granted licenses to elite merchants and busi-

nessmen who were part of sold

by

the merchants and

newcomers

to join

businessmen

merchant class

the

were

the court. Licenses to trade in slaves

to the highest bidders, allowing

—

yet connections

would super-

sede wealth. In America, democracy and free enterprise theoretically

allowed anyone to play a role in the buying and selling of humans, but it

was

a handful of elite families, connected to counterparts in

England

and France, that took over the business.

When

American

the

turned to the Masonic

history,

of France,

elite

who

the slave-trading ports

Benjamin

out,

Franklin

controlled the slave trade,

and military support. In the

to get arms, supplies,

American

broke

Revolution

first

fourscore years of

from Charleston

to

Newport

were controlled by a handful of families bound by Masonic and family ties.

They were not

tual

end to the

cantilist

like the Jeffersons

and Madisons,

institution as befitting the

capitalism

that

the

slave

who saw

new democracy;

traders

put

above

it

the even-

was

a mer-

freedom

and

trade

and

democracy.

These

seemed

to

merchants stop

would

not

relinquish

lucrative

nothing in fighting abolition. The presidency was

at

something members of the mercantile

when money

the

couldn't

elite

felt

they could buy, and

decide an election they used other means

seize control. In an effort to derail abolition, Presidents Harrison

to

and

Taylor suffered sudden and suspicious deaths that put pro-slave vice presidents in power. try

wound up

in the

When

even death failed to

most destructive war

it

halt abolition, the

ever fought. The Civil

coun-

War


Introduction

ended dered

Appomattox, where the armies of Jefferson Davis surren-

at

—but not

for the elite.

A

conspiracy organized by members of the

quasi-Masonic Knights of the Golden Circle to

kill

sought to nullify the Emancipation Proclamation and trade with England.

stained

The postwar

for the elite that

age.

The

institutions

would take

would become

on the

would

also be

as profitable in the

such as the slave trade and

their place.

the

effects

Ku Klux Klan.

Although piracy and smuggling were no longer

gal drug trafficking

its

efforts at reconstruction

by another Masonic group of "knights," the

newly independent America,

President Lincoln

The

latter

ille-

provided riches

bedrock of the American industrial

drug trade that the Americans and British united to cre-

illegal

ate in the first half of the nineteenth century

would be

a never-ending

plague. Again, a select core of families controlled the trade, and in both Britain and

America they were organized

in

Masonic

Family and

cells.

lodge connections were the only tickets to admittance.

While

it

not surprising that America's Founding Fathers

is

mostly slave owners, a legal

activity,

it

may be

were

surprising to discover that

they were often smugglers as well. Profits from drug running, smuggling, slave trading, and even piracy are directly responsible for the founding of

several of the country's

today.

New

most important banks, which are

in operation

still

England's staunch insurance business was born and prospered

through profits earned from insuring opium and slave ships. The large railroad system that

was

the nineteenth century gling.

And one

built throughout the continental

was funded with

drug smug-

illegal

money

and communications industry.

The European Knights Templar was was

from

of the greatest opium fortunes would provide seed

for the telephone

the center

profits

United States in

a massive organization, but at

a hereditary elite that controlled and reaped the rewards

of the group. Even after the reported demise of the group,

it

retained

remarkable clout and power, always behind the scenes. In

America

the influence of a core elite

was

as strong. This elite class

positioned itself to control the masses no longer for holy crusade, but rather to enrich

itself.

Rooted

in the

formed through connections made

Masonic lodge system,

at the

a

new

most famous lodges, such

as

class

5


6

Introduction

the Holland

No. 8 Lodge

in

New York

members could

Charleston, where

and the Solomon's Lodge of

control politics and legitimate busi-

ness while also enjoying the profits of corrupt and even criminal under-

world dealings.

The family wealth of Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt had been on drug running. As

built

in all

opium-smuggling families, inbreeding

was important. The Delano

side of Franklin

Delano Roosevelt was an

opium smuggler who made

a fortune, lost

and returned

ning to recoup ily

it.

Ulysses

it,

New

Brown,

New

families of

and Princeton Universities

earned in the illegal drug trade. The same

and

first

England who graciously provided funds for Harvard,

Columbia,

Yale,

drug run-

Grant married into an opium-dealing fam-

S.

with connections in Europe and America. The

York and

to

donated money

men would

build railroads

found banks and insurance companies, and keep the

textile mills,

family wealth intact for generations to come. Besides the Roosevelts

and Grant, other presidents connected by a bizarre cult

money from

the

China

powerful today as

it

—including

at

that

—were

was founded by and funded with

That organization

trade.

was two

Yale

Bushes

Taft and both

is

as secretive,

elite,

and

centuries ago.

Other presidents have been connected to piracy by their relations.

John Tyler married

into a family

whose

status

was achieved on

pirate

booty. Millard Fillmore's great-grandfather was tried for piracy. Like

opium

trading, piracy

was an

system of recognition and Island to

New York

trusted each other

City,

enterprise that

trust.

From Cape Cod and

North Carolina, and

reported to the powerful few

connections

were

New

When on

who

eastern

shelter, legal

land, the pirate cap-

protected their trade.

made and preserved through

Long

Orleans pirates

and knew those in power who provided

protection, and a market for their goods. tains

depended on a widespread

the

Masonic

These halls.

Governors, mayors, and judges licensed and invested in pirate voyages, the proceeds of

which helped build family

Pirate ships

fortunes.

were floating lodges where

ritual,

secrecy, and blood

oaths were the glue bonding the pirates. But the rank-and-file pirate brothers were not

welcome

at the

lodge meetings of the Holland


7

Introduction

No. 8 in

in

New

York, where the Livingston family toasted their success

backing pirates like Captain Kidd and were

like Laffite a

hundred years

Piracy was colonies

Mason whose

wealthy

later.

only crime on the high seas; the American

not the

through

prospered

also

smuggling.

shipowners

and

welcome

a

the path to the

Masonic lodges

foot in the elite

were

captains

Hancock was

John

would put Boston on

ship Liberty

Tea Party and Revolution. With one where

protecting pirates

still

and

another

the

in

lodges where the workingman was accepted, Hancock provided work

one

for

third of Boston.

It

was

on enforcing

Britain's insistence

The colonies

against smuggling that precipitated the Revolution.

on

their

relied

smugglers to provide food, arms, and supplies to fight Britain.

The

smuggling partners

of America's

role

Bermuda has hardly been examined by same

laws

its

Caribbean and

the

in

historians, but

was

it

vital.

At the

time, smuggling and privateering provided a foundation for

many

of America's political dynasties that remain in power today.

The Revolution put an end

the large profits

to

of the smuggling

business. Piracy and privateering also ceased to be an easy road to profits.

The

would provide

slave trade

avenue

the next

to wealth

on the

seas,

were strongholds of Masonry. From Newport

thriving in ports that

to

Charleston, belonging to a lodge meant access to funding, insurance, and finding a crew for slave trading.

It

meant access

also

to the marketplace.

But Masonic membership did not merely present opportunity in

Benjamin Franklin acknowledged

the underworld.

on

printing business hinged in

the

city

of

fifteenth

of Philadelphia. all

American

the legal profession, to the

John Jacob Astor, who once held one personal to

sons of the wealthy

hold in London, and

wealth,

joined

the

prestigious

advance his businesses. Success in

it

is

is

who

many who would

could study

at

a term that originated in the a rite of passage that

order to join the legal profession.

denied to

to

almost a prerequisite for government office, was

London. Passing the bar

in

which Masonic lodge one belonged

New York

Holland No. 8 Lodge in

ensured

just

success in the

that

the

Temple

in

Templar strong-

must be achieved today

Promotion in the military was

not be part of the military lodge, a portable


8

Introduction

home

brothers

to

that

included George Washington,

the

Marquis de

Lafayette, and John Paul Jones.

The

secret

and

structures

elite

that

have

built America's

business

empires and family fortunes have concealed their history well. In an age

when

the

qualify

from public

candidate

a

sometimes have the potential to

indiscretions

slightest

the

office,

tainted

backgrounds and

family histories of the Founding Fathers of the country and tions are remarkable.

for

slave

traders

whose

politicians

We

dis-

its

institu-

have inherited colleges and universities named

and opium dealers. families

built

patronize businesses founded

We

their

honor presidents and other

fortunes

by men whose

through

We

crime.

fortunes are rooted in

ille-

gal activity.

Many

of the families regarded as America's blue bloods, our equiv-

alent of aristocracy,

would make

have hidden

in

ancestral

their

men who

closets

today's organized criminals look cherubic.

They were not

mere horse thieves and snake-oil salesmen, nor were they con men who were ridden out of town on the great wealth. Their legacy

—and

wealth

their

power

rail.

These Founding Fathers rose

was passed on too,

which

is

to heirs

who

protected by

the

to

enjoy that

still

institutions

they put in place and ensures their participation in the future. The system, thanks to ill-gotten gains and power, perpetuates

was given

In a country where everyone

and an equal opportunity,

it

is

poor widened so dramatically

a

new

itself.

start,

a fresh chance,

curious that the gap between rich and the

after

was not by chance or hard work;

American Revolution. But

institutions

it

from Europe, often under-

ground, established a network that would ensure the success and power

of their own. The same secret societies that had been established in

Europe

for

from the

earliest days.

hundreds of years were imported into Europe's colonies

To understand how

how begin

pervasive secret and

elite societies are

they played such a significant role in recent centuries, at

one

critical

day

world had ever known saw

in its

1307,

when

downfall.

today and

we must

the greatest organization the


PART ONE

A Merry and

Piracy:

a Short Life

MEDIEVAL divided

the

than

does

lord

of

wielded

ated

over

the

not

or

when

silk

only

silk or fur

a

was

intrusive

ways

Society

role

in

point

were

Strict

that

subject

paraded

and

determining just do.

to

from

pistol-concealing

convention,

but

even

what

an

In

one

tavern

perme-

colonial

waistcoats,

the

times in Europe to the colonial

period in America, society underwent a challenge that

an

New another

to

they law.

was

indi-

clothes

the

the

Church

conventions

a privilege of the landed few.

From medieval

power the

law.

also

From

today.

man.

the

societal

classes

common not

and

more

in

the

that

life-and-death

pirates

shirts

poor

structure

king,

could

to

class

the

to

great

wore

individual

in

a

the

a

divides

that

manor

society

York,

gap

the

could

vidual

from

rich

the

played

also

HAD

EUROPE

defied

Wearing


10

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

would change

way man perceived and indeed

the

medieval times the choices for most young

men

lived

his

son and allowed the younger brothers and

In

women) were few

(and

and unappealing. Inheritance law once gave the family estate est

life.

sisters to stay

to the eld-

only

if

they

remained unmarried. Daughters were married off and sons apprenticed out or sent to study for the priesthood, as their fathers saw

War

life.

the

The Crusades meant adven-

and the possibility of bettering one's circumstances. Going to sea

same escape. Life

offered the to return

home

at

with enough

was adventurous, and enabled some

sea

money

becoming

priests

vocations.

When

many had

little

simply poverty,

Jerusalem was

escape the mundane fate of

and the Knights Templar disbanded,

lost

chance of returning to society. Fearing prosecution or

many decided soldier,

emerging

to

keep on enjoying the daredevil

life.

one choice was to become a mercenary in

from

orders

fighting

Mediterranean Sea. For the a pirate held

to

or apprentices could not even step back into those

For the fighting

newly

However,

to live out their lives.

most men who joined the Crusades

the

men

brought opportunity. Enlisting for the Crusades gave

chance to leave behind a predestined tures

fit.

sailor, the life

Scotland

the

to

of a privateer, a smuggler, or

even more promise of reward. Both mercenary and pirate

became members of a Pirates have

society within the society.

been portrayed

as

bands of swashbuckling, peg-legged

lunatics with homicidal tendencies since the days of the eighteenth-cen-

tury writer Daniel Defoe. esting.

The

Although many would

real story is less colorful live "the

Defoe's fact-bending tales called

it,

merry

life

—and more

and the short

inter-

life,"

as

others enjoyed a life expectancy

longer than that of sailors on British navy ships. They ate better, were treated less harshly, and shared in a greater portion of their gains.

Pirates

were banded together by covenants

tection than English naval law, sailor

aboard.

The

pirate

Madagascar were the

first

ship

that

provided more pro-

and were regularly voted on by every and pirate ports

like

Saint Mary's

instances of democratic rule.

in

The one-man,

one-vote system aboard the pirate ship was not duplicated until the


1

Piracy:

American Constitution. Even

A Merry and a Short Life as

democratic as was

too,

was usually more

was not

then, voting

1

pirate rule.

Care for the injured and for the widowed,

reliable for the pirate than for the sailor in the English navy.

embodied

the

most

rigid of class structures

and offered

little

The navy

in the

way

of security. Pirates

bought supplies and arms, sold

ill-gotten gains

from wool

to

jewels, and often retired to estates, or at least farms, bought with the

proceeds of their to

life's

work.

To

deal with conventional society, they had

have connections. To create such connections meant

belong to a brotherhood. The brotherhood went small group banding together. in lodges,

until the early eighteenth century,

to brothers.

more or

that

than a

less

underground

Masonry

also provided connections to a

When Freemasonry was

acknowledged, a secret oath for a Master Mason acknowledged

masons were "brothers Those who

tection

to

provided lodging, employment, food,

network, underground and often above the law. finally

much deeper

had

As remnant Templars became organized

old ties were restored. Masonry,

and even clothes

that they

in

the

to pirates

and corsairs."

sailed under the skull

ports

and crossbones could rely on pro-

and in the courts, where a secret handshake or

coded phrase required fellow Masons

to

come

to

the

aid of a their

brethren.

Fortunes built by pirates

and by those who outfitted them with

supplies and bought their goods survived the "golden age of piracy."

Dynasties

created

secret societies

times.

through

would pave

underworld the

way

to

activity

power

and

membership

that survives into

in

modern


Chapter

1

THE NEW WORLD ORDER

October

1307, would go

13,

Friday the thirteenth.

had

fought

so

valiantly

On

for

down

in history as the first

day the Knights Templar, who

that

cause

the

of

during

Christianity

were ordered arrested by the French king.

Crusades,

unlucky

the

on

Operating

orders that were sealed until the night before the arrest, the representatives

of the French crown launched

Templar properties the center of the

in the

an early-dawn raid on

the

all

realm of the king. Special focus was given

Templar organization, the Paris

treasury.

to

Within hours

both knights and servants of the order were under arrest and in custody.

Within days, interrogation under extreme torture began, and elicited confessions of

many

soon

it

of the depraved acts and practices of the

order of warrior-monks. The greatest order Europe had ever seen soon

ceased to

exist.

When

it

was formed almost two hundred years

were a military force organized the

Templars

Cistercian

coincided

order

of

with

monks

molding both organizations

before, the Templars

like a religious order.

Bernard

Saint

France.

in

taking

Bernard

The

creation of

control

of

was instrumental

to carry out the mission he envisioned.

the in

The

rules for his order of

monks were adopted by

would be

Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and the

Temple

called

of

the

Solomon.

They

would

Templar. Bernard's vision became Saint Bernard history

when

was

a

become known

reality.

member

the fighting

of an

the

that

Knights

But he was not acting alone. elite class at a

the feudal system ruled every facet of

12

as

monks

life.

time in European

This handful of


3

The

New World

Order

1

wealthy families, mostly centered around the town of Champagne and its

count,

would be responsible

for the Crusades, for the rapid growth

of the Cistercian order, and for the power of the Knights Templar. There

were

members

nine

of

the

original

pledged to the Count of Champagne.

Templar;

Knights

One of

three

were

was Andre de

these

Montbard, the uncle of Saint Bernard. The count donated the land on

which Bernard ter

abbey of Clairvaux, which would be the cen-

built the

of Bernard's power.

on the need

Fixing

take

to

back the Holy Lands from Islam,

Bernard preached a military crusade. a village,

women would

resist his call to

It

was

said that

when he reached

attempt to hide their husbands, as few could

arms. The act of seeing the world

may have

appealed to

a peasant class that was often regarded as the property of the feudal estates

ture

dominated the countryside. The Crusades offered adven-

that

—and

After thousands marched against Islam and recap-

salvation.

more desired

tured the holy city of Jerusalem, thousands

sacred

city.

The nine

original

to protect the roads for those

Templar knights went

making

to travel to the

to the

Holy Lands

the pilgrimage. After several years,

they returned to a hero's welcome.

With Bernard's flourished,

seal

of approval, the Knights Templar grew and

becoming the vanguard of Europe's

military.

Their military

exploits against Islam are legendary; their financial exploits are misun-

derstood and downplayed.

TEMPLAR, Although the

full

name of

INC.

BANKING

the organization

was

the Order of the

Poor

Knights of the Temple of Solomon, the order was anything but poor. was, in first

fact, the richest

ever

organization that Europe had even seen and the

multinational

corporation.

Templar was business, and

it

The

was conducted

business in a

way

of

the

that

never seen before. The loyalty of the order was directed to

Templars nominally owed loyalty

was more

in

It

their allegiance to the

word than

in deed.

They

Roman

Knights

Europe had itself.

The

pope, but this

actually fought against


14

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

other Christian armies and against their rival order, the Knights of Saint

John, and during the Albigensian Crusade against the

France.

pope and

The Templars'

his

some Templars even fought

genocidal purge of the Cathari in southern

true allegiance

was

to themselves, as together they

could become masters of any industry they desired.

Banking

as

we know

it

today was an institution founded by the

Knights Templar. Before the Templars there were certain individuals

who would

attend trade fairs for facilitating currency exchange, buying

Many

and selling shares in commercial enterprises, and lending money.

of the early banking groups were Italian families from Florence, Venice,

and Lombardy. The

activities

of these bankers were restricted by numer-

ous laws. In

a

world where the pope and the Catholic Church made the

rules, usury, the

charging of interest, was banned. For the Templars there

were several ways

to skirt the laws forbidding the charging of interest.

One way was simply

commission

to charge a

such a thinly disguised fee would gious members. Another

way was

still

to procure the loan, but

attract the

to call

condemnation of

usury by a different name. The

order was allowed to charge a "crusading interest" for loans.

were often the same nobility

which they received an income from the

clients

properties. Nobles, often the

kings of England and France, needed to borrow

tice not

Its

donated lands to the Temple, for

that

and the Temple was willing to lend

reli-

—

for a fee.

money

fight

to

Where usury was

wars

a prac-

allowed even for the Temple, the Temple would earn a profit by

currency changing. For instance, wool from France that was carried on

Temple change

ships and sold to a buyer in that often placed less value

England was subject

to a currency

on the payment currency.

Deposit banking was not banned by the Church, nor was the function

of acting as

a

safe

deposit.

Who

was

better prepared

than the

Templars, with their numerous fortresses and strongholds stretched over

Europe, to protect the wealth of the Continent's

elite?

The Templar bank

secured the worldly possessions of merchants, knights, and royalty alike

and held them

in

one country while allowing withdrawal

Fees were charged for each step of the transaction, and

if

in

the fees

another.

were


5

The

New World

not enough, wise Templar bankers would charge more

make

a withdrawal of

money

1

one needed to

There was always a

be earned.

profit to

The few records found actions that took place

on

the

if

the various trans-

a typical day. Entries signed

amount of

a deposit, the

and occasionally

origin of the deposit,

would be credited

Temple show

in the Paris

cashier of the day listed the itor,

in another currency.

if

Order

not the depositor's.

A

by

name of

to

Templar

the

the depos-

whose account

network of

it

houses

fortified

throughout Europe and the Holy Lands served as the predecessor of the

modern branch system of any

large financial institution. Five categories

of clients were served: Knights Templar (they often received payment in cities outside

of their homeland and were not willing to carry money),

ecclesiastical dignitaries, the king, other nobles,

records were kept in the Journal of Treasure.

mately

attract the interest

receivable

1

and the bourgeois. The

This "treasure" would

who was on

of the French king,

ulti-

the accounts

list.

TEMPLAR,

INC.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Property and estate management played a large role in Templar

of Jerusalem, the Templars

affairs.

Before the

fall

manors

had been donated to the order by Europe's landowners.

English

that

property

census

noted,

"The

number

of

thousand

nine

controlled

manors,

An

farms,

churches, advowsons, demesne lands, villages, hamlets, windmills and watermills, rents of assize, rights of

amounts of ...

are

all

types of property, possessed

astonishing."

manors and

common

In

and free warren, and the

by

the

Yorkshire the Templars

sixty smaller parcels of property.

2

Templars

owned

in

England

several

large

In Sicily they possessed

valuable estates, large tracts of land, and rights of fishery, pasturage, and cutting

wood. In Spain the Templars were "endowed with

lages, lordships

and splendid domains."

3

In

Aragon they had

cities,

vil-

castles in

several cities, were the lords of Borgia and Tortosa, and received the rev-

enue of one tenth of the kingdom.

The

list

4

of Templar property filled an entire census book; they had


16

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

lands in Germany, Hungary, and France and in the territories bordering France and

Germany. In 1180 hundreds of

were required

acres

to

support one knight in battle; a century later thousands of acres were

Templar property was exempt from

necessary.

receive them. While the

common man would

local

yet could

tithes

understand that the

fruits

of his labors provided support to those fighting the Crusades, a neighnoble

boring required

to

was not contribute

as

A common man

gracious.

and for most

time,

He

(landowner) paid a higher price.

was

this

was generally easy.

A

noble

experienced higher costs and more

challenge in finding workers, as he competed with the Templars for available able-bodied men. bor, paid taxes.

And

Templar neigh-

a landowner, unlike his

Because the Temple employees were

liable only to the

order that employed them, fugitives and felons could find refuge from the

law by working for a Templar

The amalgamation of an

estate.

international military force

and a religious

order in the form of a business never again appears in the history of the

was

world. In addition to reaping profits, the Templar order ciary of gifts that the

were meant

as

penance for

sins.

Templar order was required of King Henry

of the murder of the

Henry donated funds

more money

greatest gift to

of England as a result

Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Becket.

to equip

in his will.

II

The

the benefi-

two hundred knights a

year, as well as

The Templars had every advantage and no one

to report to.

TEMPLAR, The Templar

fleet

INC.

SHIPPING

was another source of

profits that aroused the

of the shipowners and merchants of France's port years of the Crusades, the Templars required massive

arms, and horses. states

Genoa

like

They would

cities.

envy

In the early

movement of men,

contract with merchants of Italian city-

Venice and Genoa. These merchants, especially those from

and

Pisa,

had

merchant

Mahdia, Ceuta, Tunis, and

Tripoli.

colonies

in

Barcelona,

Marseilles,

Their ships brought in wares from

China, India, and Ceylon. Because minor kingdoms would coin their


New World

The

own money,

Order

were also money changers and lenders.

the Italian traders

The bankers from Venice, Genoa, Lucca, and Florence were Lombards, and they replaced the Jews

Loan

cent for a personal loan. Templar, Inc. the Italian merchants.

away from

began

fleet itself

their

would move

to

100 per-

to take business

from

became shipowners. When they weren't using

was complaining

Marseilles

Europe's merchant bankers.

men, they would use the vessels for

ships for the transport of

and the

called

5

In 1207 the Templars

profits

as

from 15 percent for a business loan

rates could range

17

own.

6

that

to

grow

By

in size.

trade.

1233 the

The

city of

Templar ships were taking business

The Templars soon had many preceptories

in

port cities including Brindisi, Bari, Barletta, and Trani and on Sicily at

Messina.

The trans-Mediterranean

goods and animals slaves,

to the eastern

who would work

rival

European

order

Christian

in the

in Cilicia

was a center

slave

traders

in

there.

Knights

the

the

transporting

Mediterranean Sea and returning with

and the Templars established a wharf the

involved

often

Templars

for the

The Turkish port of Ayas

trade

West. for the slave trade,

The Knights Templar and

became

of Malta

and

Mediterranean,

the

they

largest

established

themselves in Venice. Perhaps the most important slave port of the

Templars was the

city of

Acre

in the

were called Muslims, regardless of the

pope

in

Rome

of Jerusalem.

Gregory was told of

this

orders, but the trade in

as part of the its

their religion; this

fleet

who

sought

to

and complained

all its

were

convert to the

the slaves

the result of

kingdom Pope

denied.

grand masters of both

avarice continued.

served both to generate profits for the order and

Templar war machine. Flying the

battle flag, the

was

all

declaring a ban on Christian slaves in the

Muslims

The Templar

Holy Lands. There

Templar

fleet

was used

skull

and crossbones

as

in military operations against

Egypt, the coast of Asia Minor, and throughout the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to transporting troops and carrying plies for their military operations, as well as slaves

the

Templars engaged in piracy. Piracy was defined

weapons and sup-

and goods for

trade,

as the act of captur-

ing another ship on the seas. But a Templar ship taking on an Islamic


18

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

warship was not considered piracy, as the two were

few ships designed

strictly for battle, as all

at

war. There were

shipping boats needed to be

armed. Thus the act of capturing an Islamic merchant ship would be considered privateering. There was a fine line between piracy and,

which meant

privateering, ruler,

and

An

later a letter

that a ship's captain

English ship engaged in plundering English ships if it

would be

shared the spoils with the English king.

an English ship took a French ship without the English king's per-

mission, the

had the permission of a

of marque, to engage in piracy.

defined as a pirate ship, even If

later,

was

it

still

permission

nations,

it

was

a pirate ship.

of the

enemy

there,

ships,

ruler, the

plunder

to

ships

the

of other

no one except the pope, who did

letters

of marque.

When

which were similar

They were

Templars cap-

the

they claimed they were acting on behalf of their

Templar

the

not,

pope. But the ships of the Templar order did not stop

and often the ships of other Christian kings were

Most of

Coast.

to

a privateer ship.

according to record, issue

nominal

however, an English ship sailed with

king

English

The Templars answered

tured

If,

fleet

to those

was

originally

fair

the

game.

low-lying galleys,

used by the Muslim pirates of the Barbary

ideally suited for the coastal trade and equally suited

for piracy, as they could

maneuver

and were not

into shallow waters

forced to depend on the winds. The Atlantic fleet of the Templars used the

sail,

which allowed

it

to navigate the

Christian Europe and

oceans as well.

Muslim Africa and Asia were

dreds of years, but on a cultural basis

Simon Dansker,

a Flemish adventurer,

war

for hun-

many connections were made.

showed

the use of the long-range sailing ship in piracy in the

at

the North African pirates

Dansker

started his career

French port of Marseilles but soon changed sides and names. As

Dali Rais, which means Captain Devil, Dansker switched to the side of the Barbary pirates and captured Christian ships.

Muslim

Under

pirates extended their range into the Adantic.

even sailed

to Iceland,

where the

pirates took slaves

his tutelage the

A

fleet

was made up of whatever

fleet

and plundered. But

Dansker changed sides one too many times and was hanged

The Templar

Muslim

in Tunis.

ships could be built or


9

New World

The

bought or captured from

enemies. The range of the Templars' sailing

With no

and pilgrims from

carried goods

ships

Templar

to

the

Holy Lands.

when

in piracy

profit

who manned

For those

the

jump from

privateer for the order to pirate for

early Templar-turned-pirate

was Roger de Flor.The son of the

fleet,

own

One

Italy

Templars engaged

fear of reprisals, the

could not be made in legitimate ways.

one's

1

extended from the North Atlantic to the eastern Mediterranean.

ships

The

its

Order

the career

gain was small.

Emperor Frederick

falconer of

on as a cabin boy

in the

II,

Roger was taken

the eight-year-old

Templar port of

Working

Brindisi.

through the ranks of the Templar navy, he soon assumed ship bought

from the Genoese. He named

final stronghold

by charging eventually

his ship to raise

to rescue "ladies

fell

money

way up

command

of a

When

his ship the Falcon.

new

of Acre was being besieged, de Flor learned a

He used

extortion.

his

the

skill:

for his future career as a pirate

and damsels and great treasure."

7

De

Flor

out of favor with the order and his ship remained in

Temple hands, but he had earned enough money Through piracy and

mercenary work, he

later

to

buy a new

built a fortune

ship.

and an

army. The renegade Templar even earned the hand of the niece of the

Byzantine emperor. It

was not only renegade knights who would

orders, the

resort to piracy; both

Templars and the Order of Saint John, profited from loot

and merchant

Mediterranean ports

ability

to

Muslim

fleets profited

from

ships,

just

their

as

the

their capture of Christian ships.

For hundreds of years different ports around the world played host to

pirates

and resisted or ignored the authority of any governments.

Ports such as the pirate the only

European

kingdom of

government was pirates

that of pirates in exile or hiding,

who preyed on

India. In the Americas, Tortuga

periods as pirate refuges.

Saint Mary's in Madagascar, where

the silver ships

of the Moghuls of

and the Bahamas would enjoy shorter

Even where

they were often ruled by those

served the

who

ports had an official government,

supported piracy, such as those in

Port Royal, Jamaica.

One of the

greatest pirate ports of the medieval period

was Mahdia,


20

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

on the North African

coast. In the three

hundred years

Knights

that the

Templar fought the Islamic conquerors of the Mediterranean Sea, there were numerous periods of truce during which Arabs and Christians

exchanged

ideas.

The Europeans learned about

history, religion (includ-

ing their own), science, mathematics, and medicine from their enemies.

The greatness of such interchange of

had an enormous effect on Europe. Academic knowledge

the Crusades

was not

the

all

culture cannot be measured, but

Templars learned; they also picked up new military and

naval skills and a tolerance for their Islamic counterparts. that

many ex-Templars simply

pirates.

Author John

mahabone

is

Bon (Marie

J.

the

itary land

result

was

switched sides and joined the Barbary

Robinson suspects the Scottish "Mason's word"

a corruption of

Mahdia

Good) survives

Templar sea power

The

is

the good, just as the French

in English as marylebone.

downplayed

often

in

comparison

maneuvers. The Templar navy and merchant

acquainted with the Baltic Sea, the British

Isles,

Marie

le

8

to their mil-

fleets

were well

large portions of the

African coast, the Mediterranean Sea, and even the Black Sea. They sailed as far as their

Norman

was not

predecessors, and their purpose

only trade and plunder; supplying food and munitions, carrying troops

and pilgrims, and playing host

and

to kings

their

goods were important

in the long conflict against the Islamic nations.

When

the

war with these countries abated,

should possess Acre.

The

Genoese and Catalan merchants joined by the Templar

9

fleet.

Hospitallers to fight the

came

to

the

aid

of the

navy of Venice, which was

Despite the fact that one of the Templar

rules forbade killing a Christian, turf

fellow Christians

war between the

1256 two Christian factions formed over

Christians filled the gap. In

who

the

wars existed and the act of killing

was "absolved" by the necessity of preserving the

wealth and power.

THE TEMPLAR WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN In 1291 Acre fell to the armies of Islam. just sixteen years before

it

too

would

fall.

The Templar order would have

The knights had already

lost


1

The

now

Jerusalem, and

their last fortress

New World

was captured by

Order

2

their rivals. Public

opinion quickly turned against the order. In the eyes of the world the

Templars had

lost their

of

landlords,

creditors,

"Haughty

as a

mission and were

and

now

simply a

with

competitors

its

back on

attitude

Sir

Walter Scott. His

its

by

arrogance, and,

founders.

became

icated to poverty and obedience, the Templars

to

boot.

Once ded-

guilty of pride,

the beginning of the fourteenth century, possessing

more wealth than European

commander

an

Templar" was a phrase coined by

novels describe an order that turned

organization

fat

kings.

Pope Nicholas IV,

the

theoretical

in chief of the order, publicly directed his anger against the

Templars, blaming their squabbling with the rival Hospitaller order as the reason that the last Christian bastion in the

Islamic hands. terested

The Templars allowed themselves

protecting

in

Holy Lands was now to

in

be viewed as unin-

most sacred possessions of the Christian

the

world.

A

war against Islam was

tive cil

Church council had decided

that the only

way

have a unified force of

to

to fight an effec-

its

own. The coun-

proposed merging the fighting orders, but the orders refused. The

Teutonic Knights of

Knights Cyprus.

of

Saint

Germany and

John

moved

to

Prussia returned to Marienburg.The

Malta.

The Templars

Although the Templar order had abandoned Acre,

abandon

its

own

on a crusade only

To an

possessions.

to protect their

In a watershed event that Affair,

died. his

moved

to

10

a knight

When

widow

who pledged

the order

came

outsider, the

it

would not

Templars seemed

to

be

enormous wealth.

would become known

as

the Eperstoun

half his wife's estate to enter the order

to claim the

murdered member's property,

refused to leave. Templars were sent to evict the widow, and

they had to literally drag the

woman from

the doorpost of her house, the knights

her home.

As

chopped off her

she clung to fingers.

Even

before public media, this was a "media" event so compelling that

reached the ears of King Edward

I.

When

it

he heard about the treatment

of the widow, he interceded to restore her property. Not yet compre-

hending the concept of public relations, the Templars would go so

far


22

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

as to kill the

widow's son for revenge

11

and seize the property

after his

death.

Set against a backdrop of military losses, the transgressions of the

order

much

were becoming too

Clement V, was

elected.

defend.

to

1306 a new pope,

In

Before becoming the pope he was Bertrand

de Got, the Archbishop of Bordeaux. His elevation to the highest rank in

the

Church was engineered by

who was

brother Beraud,

his

the

Archbishop of Lyon. In June 1305, when the kings of France, England,

who

and Naples had representatives bickering over pope,

came down

choice

the

to

the

should be the next

objectionable

least

person

12 ;

Bertrand de Got had achieved that distinction. The French king certainly did not object to de Got,

never

He was

France.

left

and to the dismay of the

papacy

Italians believed that in establishing his

that he

was simply

related

grand

on

in an

On

the

other

appeared more threatening. ing decisions.

It

is

the wall that told his orders.

awkward

position.

His

and the

Avignon he gave proof

hand,

He would

first act

to ask the

one hand, he

the

power of

the

as long as

he could in mak-

V

French

king

already saw the writing on

that unless he took action

was

the

stall

possible that Clement

him

On

de Blanchefort, a Templar

his mother's side to Bertrand

master.

at

ineffective,

he

a puppet of the king of France.

The new pope was was

weak and

considered

Italians,

he would lose both of

new grand master

of the Templars

and the grand master of the Knights of Saint John for a written sum-

mary enumerating

the reasons for and against a

merger of the orders.

Jacques de Molay, the leader of the Templars, answered the pope, and

may have been aware

that the ultimate goal of the

head a united order as the rex

French king was to

ballator, the warrior king.

Molay knew he would be out of the number one

At the very

least,

position.

Despite the less-than-satisfactory answer, the pope hesitated to take action.

He was

not unaware that agents of the king of France had been

responsible for the death of Boniface VIII and possibly the death by poi-

son of Benedict XI, according to rumor.

King Philip of France decided the time was ripe impasse. Because France was the

home

to

remedy the

base of the Crusades and had


The

New World

23

Order

borne the heavy cost of war, Philip was impatient to repair his finances.

had often cleaned out a town of

Earlier preachers such as Saint Bernard its

men, inspiring them

to take

up the crusade. The orders had been the

The Church had declared

beneficiaries of thousands of donated estates.

men

that the state should not tax the fighting

The

net result to the French king

was

a depleted treasury.

from the Templars the management of

his

How

the

took back

finances in 1295, creat-

then debased the currency

banking families were connected to the

Italian

may never be known. They

Knights Templar

He

banking families.

Italian

close

own

He

ing the Royal Treasury at the Louvre.

and turned on the

or the estates of the order.

played a role in

initially

financing the Crusades and in transporting the crusaders. In Florence,

where the

city

minted

its

own

coins, they

would pay respect

to the

patron saint of the order, Saint John the Baptist, on one side of the coins.

The other

Florence

is

side depicted the

one of the very few places where an octagonal baptistery

stands. This unusual style of baptistery

and taken

Drogheda

hinting at a royal bloodline.

lily,

to

many Templar

in Ireland, these

was borrowed from Jerusalem

strongholds.

From Tomar

in Portugal to

structures represented the original baptism

of Jesus Christ by Saint John. The baptistery in Florence was dedicated to Saint

John the Baptist.

After maneuvers against the Lombards, Philip the Fair would prove

himself to be anything but ury.

He

fair

when

it

came

forced the Jews out of France in an attempt to seize their prop-

erty and restore his wealth.

But the Jews hadn't been as prosperous as

he thought, and the move accomplished debt

to replenishing his treas-

—and mostly

to the

little.

Philip

to fix the situation than to seize that

On

1307, Philip's forces descended on

13,

preceptories in France.

in

Templar bank.

What better way October

was deeply

The pope was dismayed;

jurisdiction over the Templars.

But

bank? all

the

Templar

technically, only he

had

Philip's forces threatened the pope,

so he quickly went along with the king. Philip would soon be dismayed as well.

Templar

commanded

spies

had gotten wind of the impending

arrests.

Having

a large fighting force, a large navy, and a large merchant


A Merry and a Short Life

24

Piracy:

fleet,

and having possessed the world's largest bank, through which they

were close

and

to aristocrats

operations

intelligence

that

around Europe, the Templars had

clerics

were certainly

superior

those

to

of the

French king. Jacques de Molay called in the order's books and had them burned.

Many

went underground. And perhaps most

knights

second most desired possession of

cantly, the treasure held in Paris, the

King

signifi-

Philip, vanished.

The combination of

meek

the missing treasure, the burned books, and the

surrender of the Templars

is

why

stood that arrest was imminent,

back? The only explanation

fight

target

was

strictly

intriguing.

is

If the

Templars under-

didn't they all flee or prepare to

that the order believed that Philip's

monetary, and that once deprived of the Templar

bank, his suppression of the order would be short-lived.

conclusion

If this

is

members of

correct, then the

the order

who

were simply unprepared for the incredible horrors

stayed behind

which the arrested knights would be subjected. Under

to

torture

that

included the rack, the strappado, and the burning of fat-smeared

feet,

the

Templars confessed

no

arrested had

the extent that

permanent

The

to anything.

Normally

right to counsel. it

would accomplish

its

torture

would be allowed

goal but not cause mutilation or

was "carried out with a barbarity which even medieval

men found

shocking."

and

accused

water,

13

Confined

of the

suicide,

to

dungeons, sustained with bread

most heinous

beyond endurance, many knights

lost

their

perversions, ability

to

and

reason,

look forward

bound

to

other than their death. In

fifty-four Knights

fields near the

several

Templar

to

little

to

May

1310 the soldiers of

carts

and brought them

to

convent of Saint-Antoine outside Paris, where they were

stripped, tied to stakes,

and burned

The king of France broke treasure.

tortured

and most confessed to anything.

Those who survived the two years of imprisonment had

Philip

to

For the Templars, however, an exception was made.

injury.

torture

committed

Because the charge was heresy, the

He was

further

to death.

the order but failed to confiscate their

disappointed by the reaction of his fellow

kings; instead of the other nations suppressing the Templars within their


New World

The

Order

25

borders, they had to be goaded into taking any steps against the knights.

Edward

In England, the

Roman

II

was very slow

new king was simply

pope. The

uninterested, as his focus

on the continuing war with Scodand and on

Edward made

pressure from the pope,

cumbed

demand

Church's

to the

demands of

in reacting to the

was

his lover. After persistent

a handful of arrests and later suc-

which was forbidden by

for torture,

English law. Edward did not shield the Templar organization and allowed its

property to be seized.

To

the disappointment of the Church, however,

the property seized did not revert to the

uted by

Edward

own

in his

most

fashion,

Church but instead was

likely to his creditors

and

distriballies.

Scotland finally agreed in principle to an inquisition of the Templars.

The country had continually fought excommunicate both the king and in Scotland

was minimal, with

few

arrests

the nation.

a total of

In Spain and Portugal the the kings. After a

the pope,

who would

The degree of compliance

two knights questioned.

Templar fighting force was important

the Portuguese king.

to

to

and seizures, the Portuguese quickly rein-

now

corporated the order into the Knights of Christ, which

only

eventually

reported

In the parts of Spain controlled

Inquisition there were arrests and torture, but the order and

its

by the

men were

soon incorporated into several other orders of the Spanish military. In

Germany marched

rately,

lenged

the

the Teutonic Knights, the court at

into

court

to

bring

which had been formed sepa-

Metz armed

to

the teeth and chal-

They were

charges.

Templars

not

but

presented their case to head off similar charges. The court assured the order

its

existence

Although

was not

all this

in danger.

frustrated Philip, his greatest frustration

appearance of the treasure from the Paris Temple Bank.

been loaded on a wagon

and crossbones, from which

of the French Templars

ments and gruesome

it

many

armed group of men

fleet,

again flying the

many

captured suffered long imprisonothers,

outlaws, used the Templar fleet as their large,

had reportedly

disappeared once more. While

who were

tortures,

the dis-

raced for the port of La Rochelle.

train that

There the treasure was placed aboard the Templar skull

It

was

who were now

home

to escape detection

base.

on

It

was

regarded as

difficult for a

land, but the ships


26

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

provided a mobile hideout as well as a place to

supplemented

treasure

with

piracy,

live.

Templars

the

their

immense

who had

escaped

With

France survived.

The

final act against the order

The four surviving

officials

was committed on March

of the order

1314.

—

the grand master, the visitor,

—were

and the preceptors of Aquitaine and Normandy island in the Seine River in

18,

burned on an

view of the Royal Gardens.

THE RESURRECTION OF THE TEMPLARS While the arrested French Templars suffered imprisonment, often

execution,

remnant Templar organization became

the

mythical Hydra; one head was cut off

The new organizations

in

at the

and

torture,

the

like

neck and others sprouted.

Germany, Portugal, and Spain were

all

vari-

ous Templar reincarnations. In

Germany

the Teutonic Knights

needed

and they quickly found one. They turned

own

their

their attention

raison d'etre,

from the armies

of Islam, which were apparendy too strong for Europe, to the more easily

conquered pagan Lithuanians.

A new

northern "crusade" found the

well-equipped Teutonic Knights doing battle with the Lithuanian peasant farmers and converting or killing

them

in short order. This

new

cru-

sade was less an instrument of the Catholic Church for converting the

world than a weapon

in the

German war of expansion.

In the Iberian Peninsula the

war against Islam was

conflict.

The kings of Portugal and Spain needed

muster.

Spain's

most

sacred

pilgrimage

spot

all

still

an active

the help they could

was

James

Saint

of

Compostela. The order of the Knights of Santiago (whose name was derived from the Spanish Santo Iago, or Saint James) performed activities that

were similar

to the original efforts of the

Templars:

It

protected

pilgrims along the world's second most important route. In neighboring Portugal the

"new" Knights of Christ were allowed

properties and preceptories of the former

to

keep the

Templar order and even the

Templar banner, a red cross on a white background. The order has vived in that form to the present.

sur-


The

In England the Templars'

New World

would not be

survival

English version of suppression united the Templars order,

the

the Church, but according to

The

of

France,

Alpine

the

regions

ing routes were not

reach Italy and

by

would

that

later

When

become

their tradto

merchants had used for more than

that other

The order had

a thousand years.

a cha-

Templars used the same Alpine passes

sea, the

Germany

was

it

for years.

Switzerland provided refuge to the Templar knights.

tons,

simple.

with their rival

some sources

Templar property was administered separately

East

27

Knights Hospitaller of Saint John. This order pleased the

demands of rade.

as

Order

fortified preceptories in various can-

and the power of the order soon grew. Three months

after the fall

of Acre, three of the cantons formed a military alliance. They were quickly joined by others, and the unified state of Switzerland would

on many of the

take

for having a fierce

German

characteristics of the order.

army

states to the north

knights' reputation

grew

known, was contracted

defended

that

They were respected

itself against

the expansionist

and the avaricious France to the west. The

rapidly,

and soon the Swiss Guard, as

to defend the Vatican, just as the

it

became

Templars had

defended the Catholic religion.

The banker

of course,

Swiss,

to the world. In

soon

earned

The Warriors and

and Stephen Dafoe point out

that,

another

reputation:

the Bankers authors

that

of

Alan Butler

although the treasury in Paris might

have been the Templars' greatest central bank, the order would certainly not have kept

all

valuables in one location.

its

importance because of tral

bank of

its

the world.

political neutrality

try

its

position as the cen-

While the bank would no longer have the advan-

tage of state and religious backing,

geographical location.

and

Switzerland grew in

Few would

possessed a very advantageous

it

underestimate the ability of a coun-

with a well-trained military and the access of the Alpine passes.

Anyone who has had

to deal with

an Alpine banker might be reminded

of the "haughty" description of the Templars given by Sir Walter Scott, as

more than one

discipline

them

trait

was passed from

the Templars to the Swiss.

The

and secrecy maintained by Swiss bankers, however, allowed

to achieve

dominance both

for their

bank and

for their currency.


28

Piracy:

The Swiss

A Merry and a Short Life

franc took

on a mantle of

was possibly second

stability that

only to gold. Butler and Dafoe refer to the survival of the Templars as well as

world banking industry. The authors

Switzerland's inheritance of the

observe the stunning resemblance of the Templar red-cross motif to the

emblems of Switzerland

—

the country as well as

cross has been simply reversed in color to

Switzerland, and other variations would

cantons.

its

become

become

The Templar

the flag of a united

the canton flags.

THE TEMPLAR UNDERGROUND Most

dramatically,

the

huge

underground

organization.

Templar order took the form of a

post- 1307

form developed

This

where the resurrected French Templars who

Normans.

In France, the

St.

Clair family had been one of the handful of elite

families that were instrumental in founding the

branch of the

Scottish

spelling of

its

themselves

surname

St.

to Sinclair,

also

new Templar

order.

The

which had Anglicized the

family,

Clair

would preserve the

with Robert the Bruce,

whose name had

family,

with the Templar

sailed

Anglo-Norman cousins of

treasure fleet to Scotland reunited under the the French

north

the

in

of the French

order.

They

allied

Norman de Brus

been Anglicized. At Bannockburn, Robert

defeated the English in the most decisive battle the Scots had ever expe-

came

rienced against their oppressors. The victory force of

Templar cavalry charged onto the

battlefield.

But the Templars remained underground end of the knights

War

in Scotland,

of Scottish Independence.

continued their careers

as

shortly after a fresh

Some

mercenaries.

even

after the

of the more noble

Evidence shows

that

twelve years after the Battle of Bannockburn the Scottish mercenaries returned

Norman

to

France

under

the

employ

of

D'Anjous,

the

family that helped found the Templars.

under Joan of Arc in a war that history has done Others,

more often

and engineering

to

work

the rank and in the trades.

file,

As

There they fought

little to

put their

another

explain.

skills

of construction

a military force, the

Templars


The

spent

more time building than

building trades

they put these

fighting.

by constructing houses, skills to

work

New World

29

Order

Thus the knights learned the

bridges, and castles. After 1307

in building

many

of Europe's finest mon-

uments, including cathedrals.

French Templars had

was spoken

little

in the British Isles

trouble fitting in, as the French language

and was for years to come the language

of the court. French Templar words were corrupted into their British

Remnant Templars, while

counterparts.

building

working

or

bridges,

in

the

fighting

as

paid mercenaries,

remained organized in

trades,

underground lodges. They often employed secret words and handshakes to recognize

each other and came to one another's

would keep up

Their sons, too,

aid.

the tradition.

The term Freemason entered

the English language in the

tury that the Knights Templar, as an order,

was

same cen-

officially dissolved.

The

term was another corruption of the French language; the Templar knights

What was

originally referred to each other as brother, or frere in French.

macon

frere

in

became

traveled they erected quarters, and these the French loges.

was

ings

cuts."

When

France became Freemason in English.

The guard posted

at the

lodges, so

Templars

named

after

door of the lodge during meet-

from

the tyler, in English, derived

the

meaning "one who

tailleur,

But the term Freemason soon took on a new meaning. Unlike most

of the populace, which was shackled to the land by the feudal system that prevailed in England and France, the former Templars

craftsmen

who were

free to travel to find

At a construction lic

building, the

site,

became working

employment.

which could be a cathedral, a

masons would band together and

castle, or a

erect a lodge.

pub-

Most

lodges were not permanent, but would be built to protect the property

of the traveling men. Masons promised that them, they would find

him work,

give

if

a brother

him money,

ready to leave, direct him to another lodge.

Why

mason came

and,

would

to

when he was

this

be such an

important charge for Freemasonry? Because in a feudal system, finding a

home was

nearly impossible for the remnant

order. All their old ties to

—

certainly not

back

members of an outlaw

were broken and there was no home

in France.

Freemasonry was created

to return

to protect


30

Piracy:

those

whose

A Merry and a Short Life lives

were threatened because of

their association with the

Knights Templar.

A

Masonic

initiation specifically states that the brothers are there to

feed you, to clothe you, and to protect you from your enemies. The tiation also enigmatically states,

"We

keep your

will

4

ini-

Why

secrets.'"

a

simple stonemason would attract enemies and have secrets that needed protecting

questionable. But

is

for secrets and protection

The building and

not so hard to understand the need

is

it

from enemies for an outlaw Templar. were an opportunity for ex-Templars

trades and crafts

The name Lewis came from

later for their sons.

a term

meaning

"son of a mason," a status that was usually the only requirement needed for entrance into a lodge.

It

was

employment. In

also helpful in gaining

The Hiram Key, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas

we

any shadow of a doubt, that the

are certain, without

of Freemasonry was the construction of Rosslyn Chapel."

was ily,

built

on Sinclair property under the direction of the

members of

whom

would become

now home and building was

Some ex-Templars

did not

starting place 15

This chapel

Sinclair fam-

For many former knights,

their trade.

into the

fit

"Now

the hereditary grand masters of

the crafts and guilds and orders of Scotland.

Scotland was

write,

new way

of

life.

Not

all

the

former Templars were masons and craftsmen; some took to the high-

ways

as brigands

bones,

the

same

and some to the seas as battle

flag

that

pirates.

The

skull

and cross-

had been used for piracy by the

Templars, remained the flag of choice for pirates after the Crusades. The skull

and bones announced the ship was a pirate

religious significance, to the elite order to instill fear in the hearts of those

was not

to

it

also

under

attack.

It

Jolly

from the French

Roger was given

The black

skull

joli

had a

that there

was not heeded,

many of

have been derived from French, the

called the Jolly Roger,

name

warned

If that

an all-red flag declared no quarter to be given. Like that

it

had a more practical use:

be any other action except surrender.

Templar words

While

ship.

rouge (pretty

the Scot

battle flag

was

red). Later, the

to both flags.

and crossbones flag would come

as an indicator of a pirate ship.

The

skull

to

be recognized

and two bones, however, had


1

The

a

much deeper meaning Their

flag.

to the original

represented

insignia

Templars believed, contrary bones needed

to

to

Order

3

Templars who sailed under the

resurrection.

man was

taught that the resurrection of

New World

The

Church

Catholic

a bodily resurrection. But the

the Church, that only a skull and

two

be buried in order for a person to be admitted into

heaven. The skull and crossed bones became a popular motif on Templar graves. lives

To

to

those

who had

Templar

the

Templar organization

was

particular,

king and the

alive

the

order, itself

It

and bones

suggested

the

that fleet,

in

had survived the army of the French

and would conquer again.

Templars had used military organization during the long

war against Islam, they now used enemies.

skull

had been resurrected. The Templar

and well.

Roman pope

Just as the

dedicated their wealth and committed their

Upon coming

bones would be raised.

military organization against their

new

contact with a ship, the skull and cross-

into If this

was not enough

to

make

the pursued ship

surrender, the Templars raised the red flag, the Jolly Roger,

meaning

that

"no quarter," or no mercy, would be granted. The message was quickly learned by the captains

Few would The the

who

plied the seas with the wares of merchants.

wait for the red flag.

skull

and crossbones continued to rule Europe's seas long

Templar order was

be threatened by the

officially in the grave.

skull

New World

and crossbones, and well

independence the remnant Templars would

and power.

The

still

exert

after

their

after

too would

America's influence


Chapter 2

BROTHERS TO PIRATES

AND CORSAIRS

Under

the

roamed

and

skull

the seas.

resented resurrection

crossbones,

The menacing

now

to the

who

had rep-

itself.

in

The

Rome,

the order

traveled,

now

ships that were once

now

threat-

transported goods, or traded on the high

Rarely was retaliation considered. Even more rare was the capture

of a pirate ship;

it

was

said that in that event, a flash of a secret signal

might allow a pirate ship a pass from to

pope

knights and sworn to protect religious pilgrims

ened anyone seas.

ex-Templars

the

flag that to the Catholics

served mostly to preserve and enrich

manned by

of

fleet

represented the resurrection of the outlawed

Lacking the same allegiance

order.

the

its

captors.

Templar power was not

be underestimated.

The fragmented Templars had succeeded At

the order.

the

same

time, the pirates

keep alive the Templar ideals of their

own.

and the protection of

Templar ship ran the ship

Templar preceptory, a model

Cistercian chapter house.

have in

liberty, equality,

would

the seas

would become

American democracy.

Pirates aboard a former

a

who ravaged

Ironically, the ideals of a corrupt organization

the basis of

ion as

in the goal of resurrecting

What

was based on

same life

fashin

a

did monks, pirates, and Templar knights

common? Democracy. While

ocratic nation at that time

that

in the

there

was no example of

a

dem-

and writers such as Voltaire, Jefferson, and

Rousseau would not be born for another four hundred 32

years,

Templar


Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs

pirates

and Cistercian monks practiced democracy. Within the confines

of the monastery, elected

33

by

their peers

and the pirate

preceptory,

the

leaders

ship,

and could be removed by them.

It

was a concept

foreign to a feudal system, where birth and property determined

and position.

No

were

title

one person was absolute; leaders were expected to act

in the interest of the group.

The

Cistercian monks, ex-Templar pirates, and

Templar knights had

by

other interesting similarities. In a world dominated

used taxes and duties to force

that

the Cistercian

monks, and the

dreds of years. This

is

a feudal order

wealth to the top, the Templars,

all

common

pirates held wealth in

not to be confused with a

vow

for hun-

of poverty or even

with socialism. Rewards such as greater amenities were given to those

who

A

exercised more responsibility.

pirate captain

was often

entitled to

a double share of booty, and the quartermaster might get a share and a

half for his role.

was

It

of merit. The failure to lead or a

strictly a result

propensity for greed could bring

down

a knight, an abbot, or a pirate

captain.

The ultimate irony

is

that

feudal powers. In this

new

appointed power were

all

benefit to

all.

The

democracy arose within orders created by

social

experiment,

title,

family name, and

secondary to the ability to lead and bring

and

ideals of liberty

fraternity surfaced despite the

intentions of the feudal rulers.

Of

not

course,

all

pirates

were Templars, and the order did not

invent the art of robbery on the high seas. ever,

were very

distinct

The ex-Templar

from other organized

pirates.

pirates,

The

pirates

how-

who

served aboard the ships of Islam, or even on the ships of the rival order

of Saint John, had more in captain of the ship, birth or favor,

men were

common

who was most

with the later English navy. The

often appointed as a result of high

common

sea-

better than the galley slaves

who

would get the majority of

often treated only a

served the fleets of

little

the spoils; the

Rome.

Life aboard the pirate ship

was democratic, but

it

was

world on the shores of the civilized world. Pirates were

still

still

a feudal

forced to

deal with this reality. For example, ships were enormously expensive,


34

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

and therefore piracy was an

man. In a world

the average

were few ways tured,

it still

to

was generally not open

institution that

that

knew no form of

accumulate the funds to buy a ship.

capitalism,

to sell

there

was cap-

If a ship

had to be allowed to land in a safe port and

to

its

captured

wares. This meant having the right connections. In the world of the for-

mer Templars, connections often came

form of

in the

elite families that

served to assist the remnant Templars and benefited from the role played

behind the scenes. Both the Templar version of piracy and the non-

Templar version of piracy depended on hidden guardians. The tion of piracy

as long as

it

was allowed

to exist

by

the various states and

could be officially denied and

monarch who had domain over

the pirate's

it

home

institu-

kingdoms

provided a benefit to the port.

MEDIEVAL PIRACY often enjoyed the lackadaisical

Pirates archs.

Well before becoming the

approach of the various mon-

ruler of the high seas,

England had one

of the poorest defense forces. Dutch, Flemish, and Breton pirates raided the English

Channel from the twelfth through the sixteenth centuries,

simply because tle

it

was frequently easy

by wasting resources

to protect the

to do.

The king would

the

merchants.

would

1

piracy

the

various

lit-

Templar order, Henry

III

goods of merchants.

Prior to the arrest and prosecution of the

ignored

benefit

French

states

English pirates were given carte blanche to plunder

offer a share in the spoils to their corrupt

repeated

itself in the

American colonies centuries

A share in the spoils Edward

I,

the

was usually enough

to

successor to Henry

merchants easy pirates letters

by

land,

Welsh and

the

when governors

later

made by

III,

of reprisal. Such

I

at the time.

the Scots,

who

He was

alter-

considered English

war against

instituted the practice of issuing

letters

pirates.

attempted to attack pirate

targets. Failing in his attempt to fight a

Edward

they

buy clemency.

bases by land, as England had no real navy

war against

if

monarch. This pattern

turned not a blind eye but a greedy eye on the profits

nately at

upon English

inflicted

the

marques, or

granted a merchant or shipmaster the


Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs

right to attack the pirates or their

home

port

if

the merchant or ship-

per could claim to have suffered a loss at the pirates' hands.

would then have

2

Other ports

monarchs issue the same type of documents,

their

which allowed them

35

plunder an English port should they be the vic-

to

tims of an English pirate.

Edward's lack of

was matched by

ability to rule the seas

his inepti-

tude at ruling on land. His interference in the morass of bloody politics that

was Scotland

many

led to

The wars against Scotland and the

wars.

lack of centralized order in England

would allow Scotland

to flourish

as a pirate haven.

THE TEMPLARS AND SCOTLAND A

simple act would serve as the catalyst for

England and Scotland. Alexander

III,

1284 he was killed

neutrality, but in

But Edward

hostility

the Scottish king,

—not

in battle, but

his horse after a night of partying. Six guardians

the successorship,

new

ceed Alexander.

had preserved

from

falling off

were appointed

to ease

and for a brief time these guardians ruled Scotland.

of England exercised his right to choose

I

between

Of

who would

suc-

the handful of claimants to the Scottish throne, the

leading candidate was John Baliol,

who was

supported by the powerful

Corny n family. The other main candidate was Robert the Bruce, who 3

had the support of his country. Edward's court picked

When

Baliol and the

Robert

conflicts,

Comyns would

would

support

Baliol.

not back

which

Edward,

Edward gave

in internal

Robert

the

opportunity to reclaim his lands from Baliol and the Comyns. After the

Wallace Revolt, Scotland was controlled by the triumvirate of Bishop

William Lamberton

Comyn.

Comyn

On to

of

February

meet him

10, at

1306,

the

he was safe from violence.

Robert the Bruce eliminated

and leaving him

to die

on the stone

Comyn floor.

the

the

other,

the

Bruce,

Greyfriars

hallowed

in

John

and

somehow managed

Robert

Church of

While neither side trusted the

Comyn assume

Robert

Andrew's,

St.

to

get

Dumfries.

sanctuary

made

He was wrong. in the

church by stabbing him

There are several versions of


36

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

what transpired, but

When

it

very likely that the attack was spontaneous.

is

Robert ran from the church and told

had done, the man ran into the church. Seeing of the

care

Comyn

Comyn was

stabbed him again until he was sure

already in the

wounded man and

confederate rushed to the

the

friars,

confederate what he

his

dead. Robert then had

Abbey Church

himself sworn in as king by Bishop Lamberton in the

at

Scone.

Despite

the

Church made sure several years he in the

coronation,

official

England

both

and the Catholic

Robert the Bruce would not take a throne. For

that

was an outlaw

king, pursued first

by Edward, who died

campaign against Robert, and then by Edward's

son,

Edward

II.

Robert spent the early years of his reign living in caves and traveling in disguise.

He was

not only outlawed

by

was

the king of England, he

also

excommunicated by the pope. Robert's exile did not last forever. His salvation Battle of Bannockburn, but events

away from papacy

took place hundreds of miles

that

made Robert an outlaw of

the

and the remnant organization

fleet

from La Rochelle

The same

only official religion in

Europe had also declared the Knights Templar

St.

realized at the

the battlefield helped tip the scales in his favor.

that

Templar

was

to

be outlaws.

managed

that

to

escape

the nick of time found refuge in Scotland.

in

The

The

Clair family of France, a powerful force behind the Templars, had

most

likely negotiated an alliance with Robert through

its

Scottish side

of the family, the Sinclairs.

The French had probably been arming Robert since smuggling arms into Ireland and then into Scotland. At

smuggled an

entire

army

another

at

the

hands

armies, the Battle of battle,

of

much more

is

riddled with one defeat after

Bannockburn was

He had

at

his

battle at first

disposal

knights on horseback,

who

and

organized

seemed

better-equipped

the exception. In this

which was contested on June 24,

Templar knights, the

point they

While the history of Scotland

to aid Robert.

both before and after Robert the Bruce

this

1310 by

1314, to

a

historic

sacred day to the

go well for Edward's army.

twenty thousand soldiers and three thousand fought against a force less than half their


37

Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs

But just when victory seemed

size.

came charging from

knights

hand,

at

contingent of

fresh

a

the rear of the Scottish force to

soundly

and spectacularly beat Edward's troops. The remnant Knights Templar

which made Scotland

led Scotland to victory over the English army,

independent of its overlord.

An in

elite

group that was

France and Scotland prior

At the heart of

afterward.

Europe they

as

started

core of the Knights Templar existed

at the

part

the arrests, and they

to

this

changed the face of the continent. The

Clairs and their

St.

and they

in

settled

where the king handed over great amounts of land allowed to keep the

being

Normans

Under William

rest.

that

Norse coun-

northern

France,

exchange for

in

Conqueror,

the

members of

the

the

successfully invaded England. This resulted in

In

Clair.

St.

Norse wave of conquerors

of the

trymen were called Normans,

remained united

group was the family of

Clair family being granted tracts of land in England and Scotland.

St.

The

St.

Clair

branch

eventually

changed

its

name

to

the

more

Anglicized Sinclair, but the family connections in France, Scotland, and

even to a degree

The

St.

in their

Norse homeland remained

Clair/Sinclair family

became

intact.

a very strong presence in the

of both France and Scotland. Although they preferred a sec-

politics

ondary role in the public eye, they often controlled the

politics

from

behind the scenes. The loyalty of a strong military was one component of their power. After Bannockburn, Henry Sinclair, a descendant of the French noble St. Clair

family, organized the remnant Templars into military units and

guilds.

They would become

in turn

would become

to

Pope John XXII

the integral force of his

their guardian. In

1320

Sir

power

base, and he

Henry signed a

asserting the independence of Scotland. This

letter

was

a

unique document in the history of the world, predating the American Declaration of Independence by more than four centuries. While Sinclair

never played the leading role, he ruled quietly from behind the scenes,

and the remnant Templars were united, and

cemented

his

"big

stick."

their loyalty to their benefactor.

They would remain


38

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

THE GUILD AND THE LODGE In times of peace the ex-Templars used their skills as masons, carpenters,

bridge builders, and merchants. The guild brought together a single trade.

As

became

the guilds

specialized, the

Templars who had

been seamen under the Templar flag now organized

manned

the Sinclair fleet,

which was among the

sea remained a gateway to riches, often

more so

members of

group

that

largest in Europe.

The

into a

in turbulent times.

A fleet

needed merchants, and the merchants themselves were also organized in

which were the models

guilds,

The concept of

guilds

for later companies.

was originated by merchants and craftsmen.

Their work often included secretive operations, as they had to deal with the prying eyes of the tax

same

craft,

that a

person

by

who bought something was

the guild system

with the intention of selling

cast out of "God's Temple."

employ workers

the guilds to

for the purpose of meeting to

by one

in the

and even the Catholic Church. The Church had declared

a higher price

ated

man, the competition of other guilds

and

its

buy and

4

Towns were

it

actually cre-

in the manufacturing process sell their

secrecy prevail.

wares. In

Some towns

are

at

modern

still

and

Italy,

dominated

industry, and workers in that industry will reveal absolutely

no

information to an outsider.

Guilds

grew

larger

into

merchant

"companies"

licensed

to

sell

goods abroad. Because Scotland and Europe exported wool, shipown-

would transport

ers to

continental

the

Europe.

pirates attacked ships

merchants In

this

who wanted

less-than-golden

to carry the products

age

of

freebooting,

even for such mundane cargoes. Therefore, mer-

chants needed a strong ship or fleet of ships to navigate the pirateinfested

waters.

The Templars,

inheritors

of a military organization,

provided the strength.

Post-Bannockburn, the seas of commerce were anything but conducive fleet

to

—and

trade.

The Dutch

pirates

often under letters of

The English king Edward

II

would attack the English wool

marque issued

in their

own

country.

had temporarily stopped issuing such

vateering papers, instead opting not to patrol the Scottish shores.

pri-


39

Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs

Unrestricted piracy against Scotland grew, but

more

ing the illegal business

Low

had the effect of makand pirates from the

lucrative. Privateers

Countries, from the Hanseatic League, from France, and from the

Channel Islands tions

it

now

regularly attacked English ships. Because the rela-

between Scotland

England were

and

at

best

Low

the

tense,

Countries could also be counted on to provide military equipment and

food to Scotland, an act that the Scots regarded as necessary trade and the English considered smuggling.

The

history of Scotland

even more

so, as it

was

in

murky

is

no one's

at this

Edward

II

had

Sinclair

and naval history

interest to record piracy.

of Sinclair in the post-Bannockburn years of Europe's greatest;

time,

his

at

known

is

to

The

fleet

have been one

command more

ships

than

of England. The same irregular coast and innumerable island

hideouts had protected and hidden ships for hundreds of years before the reign of

Edward

II,

and

1919 the German

after. In

it

continued to do so for hundreds of years

fleet

was

ern islands rather than surrender from

The

Sinclair

fleet

scuttled at its

underwent a major change

Bannockburn. Sinclair ships had been relations, light

and

in

the

flexible.

thin,

built like

But Sinclair

now had

He

now

of the Sinclairs was

to

years

after

those of their Norse

made them

and

defend her

own

thicker-planked

built

5

so strong that

defend possessions of the king of Norway,

was "too weak

the

built a castle in Kirkwall, in the north-

warships to accompany his Orkney galley ships.

that

in

to react to the heavier style of

ern islands, imported the necessary lumber,

fleet

in the north-

overlapping oak-planked style that

ship being built in England.

The

Scapa Flow

hiding place.

who had

a

it

much

was used

to

smaller fleet

coasts against pirates."

6

At

this

time Stockholm had been seized by a pirate navy called the Victual Brothers, or the Victualleurs.

They soon raided

the

Norwegian coast and

sacked the city of Bergen.

The Templars who had come Robert Sinclair's

in

the

Bruce

and

neo-Templar

Henry

fleet.

newly formed land fighting

Scotland

Sinclair

They units

to

to

found

the

protection

employment

of

aboard

also served in their military tradition

—and

for the

same

elite

masters.


40

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

THE RELIGIOUS WARS The backlash

power of

against the wealth and

movement was

started long before Martin Luther. In France the Cathar

and avaricious bishops. The Church quickly moved

and sent Saint Bernard, the Templar proponent,

the heresy

Cathar

the

sect.

He

by indolent

"pure" Christianity not obstructed

a desire to return to a priests

Church had

the Catholic

discovered the

Church thought, and he

also believed

movement it

to

stamp out

to

to investigate

be larger than the

to

be a most Christian example

of living. The Church disregarded his report and sent Simon de Montfort of Leicester, England, to lead an army against them.

The viciousness of

Rome

regarded the

threat.

to recognize the Cathari.

his

own."

7

war may be evidence of

the

severe

At Beziers the papal legate was asked how

He

God

will

know

brutality personified, burning

many

responded, "Kill them

Simon de Montfort was

at the stake

how

just

all,

and blinding or cutting off the noses of those he allowed

to

live.

The order of was not only

members Montsegur

the Knights Templar,

visibly absent in the

fought

on

the

side

sworn

to

obey only the pope,

war against the Cathari; of

the

in

Rome.

against

heretics

sixty knights served against the papal army.

some cases

The

At

Cathari, like

the ex-Templars in the next century and the Freemasons thereafter, had

and words

secret signs

to

recognize their members.

would end

"We have

the knights

was "Have you brought

arrived in Cathar territory the password

hatchets?"The answer was

When

eleven, freshly honed."

in defeat for the Cathari, but the

the

Montsegur

anti-Rome sentiment sim-

ply went underground.

The Templar organization had

Rome would ample

reason

turn against to

harbor

it.

less than a century to survive until

The Templars may have had more than

anti-Church

sentiments,

remain underground from the time of the

battle at

but

these

Montsegur

would

until the

Templar persecutions.

The Reformation

that

would

thrive

as a reaction to the all-powerful Catholic

in

Germany and Switzerland

Church was based on

religion,


Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs

41

but the bitterness of the hundreds of years of the Inquisition, merciless taxation,

and numerous wars against any non-Catholic people played a

The Reformation

role.

political

As

also divided the former

Templar knights on both

and religious grounds. the

Reformation

took

hold

Scotland,

in

the

original

core

Templar group remained Catholic, including the Sinclair family, which

was described

as ardently Catholic

where the church and

state

and suffered

as a result. In France,

had persecuted the Templars the most,

mer seaport stronghold La Rochelle would become, ports,

Huguenot

—

that

Protestant.

is,

The

like

for-

many French

religious wars pitted brother

against brother, as did any civil war.

The Freemasons,

surviving ex-Templars, would remain under-

the

ground, the lodge system not yet in

official (post-1717) period.

its

The

symbols of the anti-Rome movement among the Cathari and the symbol of the French Protestants in the north of France were often shared.

The dove cross,

(the

and

the

symbol of personal enlightenment), the eight-pointed

would grace

hatchet

equipment of

and

apparel

the

Huguenots and Freemasons. The wars also divided the ex-Templars and

members of

Masons along

political lines, placing

on both

The English king Edward

sides.

against Catholic France in

III

the descendant orders

managed

to pit his country

what would become known

as the

Hundred

Years War. Some of the original founding Templar families acted for the Catholic side. The Scottish-French alliance created by the family connections behind the Templars set the ex-Templars and their heirs alongside

the

French

in

seagoing warriors. the

Templar

fighting

On

England.

But not

ex-Templars were

all

land the Scots Guard became the inheritors of

tradition.

In 1445, one hundred years after the Templars were abolished and the French the in

Templars fled

Compagnie des Gendarmes French military adventures.

Robert the Bruce Continent. to

to Scotland, the

—

Sinclair

neo-Templar Scots Guard, or

Ecossis, returned to France to intervene

The "auld

alliance"

power base brought Scotland

The Templar descendants often took

whom they pledged

renewed by the

the

to

war on the

names of

the

themselves in feudal Scotland, but generations

men


42

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

kept their language and their patriotic leanings to their

later they often

homeland. In France they were organized under French names. They

were paid

And

in livres toumois.

often invited into a

When

their officers

new knighthood,

the French dauphin

Order of Saint Michael.

the

was ready

the tide in

A

France and

to flee Catholic

allow the victory of newly Protestant England, intervened.

and commanders were

it

was Joan of Arc who

vanguard of Scottish soldiers helped Joan's armies reverse

one spectacular victory

after

The Scots Guard,

another.

a

neo-Templar organization, would become the King's Guard and the King's Bodyguard, and play important roles in both military and state affairs for

almost another two hundred years.

The Hundred Years War was

may have never

and England

a particularly difficult time in Europe,

seen a century of such lawlessness.

On

land petty thefts were innumerable; on the seas piracy reigned. Bribery

and juries

secured judges

and the ever-present tax

alike,

palms could be greased. Greed was the most significant poets like Chaucer,

The

effect

disruption.

In

rebellion that

Wat

who once denounced

would go down

in history as

tailleur,

Tyler's Revolt.

meaning "one who

was designated

often claimed that

in his Birth of Britain

mob

Wat

Tyler was actually Walter the Tyler, a Masonic

clothes, the tyler

the

8 it.

England the fourteenth century ended with a massive

Freemasons had an appointed

is

and even

force,

now practiced

of the avarice was widespread poverty and economic

from the French word

it

greed,

collectors'

mob

tyler,

to

cuts."

and unlike the

name

Each lodge of

tailor

who

cuts

guard the door with a sword. While

violence

is

spontaneous, Winston Churchill

and author Barbara Tuchman agree

violence was organization.

derived

that

By whom? The answer

is

beneath obvious

according to some, as "no single group suffered losses comparable to those inflicted over the next few days on the Knights Hospitallers,

seemed

to

be on an especially aggressive

Three generations

was

still

after the

hit list

Templars had been

who

of the rebel leaders."

9

officially dissolved, they

taking revenge on their rival order.

The Crusades were

over, yet the Templars remained a force both in

the public eye and underground. History records the achievements of


43

Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs

the military units such as the Scots Guard, but history leaves uncovered the

of the ex-Templars in various

role

craftsmen to pirates.

And

the

forms,

from merchants and

Templars were not the only order

to

engage in piracy, although they were the only order to use the skull and crossbones as their battle

flag.

RIVAL The main

rivals of the

ORDERS AS PIRATES

former Templars, the Knights of Malta and the

Teutonic Knights, also turned to piracy to finance their orders. In the period just after the Battle of Bannockburn, pirates

when

Scottish and English

ravaged the wool trade, the Hanseatic League turned to the

Teutonic Knights to protect

England who were sent

to

its

shipping.

meet with the

The envoys of Henry VI of order's

grand master to dis-

cuss a truce were actually captured by Hanseatic pirates. England then

turned to the Knights of Rhodes, later the Knights of Malta, as they

were known

to

provide assistance with negotiations. Oddly, two orders

common enemy

had faced a

that

during the Crusades were

now

ene-

mies with each other.

The Knights of Rhodes had been organized by merchants from Amalfi.The order was created before the Knights Templar with the goal of providing medical assistance to the crusading knights and the

grims in the Holy Lands. The Knights of Rhodes

first

dedicated

pilits

order to Saint John and was called the Order of the Hospital of Saint John, or the Hospitallers. After the

fall

of Jerusalem, they went to

Cyprus. In 1306 the master of the order, Foulques deVillaret,

been the knights'

With

their

first

combined

admiral, joined forces with a fleet

who had

Genoese adventurer.

they captured the island of Rhodes. The tiny

island that had served as a nest for Greek, Italian, and Saracen pirates

became that

the order's privateer base.

Jerusalem was

Muslim

shipping.

lost.

It

But the order had

little

to

do now

protected Christian shipping and attacked

10

The Knights of Rhodes developed sea, using grappling

a distinctive style of warfare at

hooks and powerful soldiers

to lock together ships


44

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

and immediately board them,

pirate-style. Little better than pirates, they

launched an attack on Cairo. The

stop

first

was

where

in Alexandria,

twenty thousand men, women, and children were killed before the conquest erupted into an orgy of pillage and rape.

11

Many

of the military

contingents refused to go any farther because they enjoyed the spoils of

war and "some Brethren turned

From Rhodes

the Hospitallers continued to harass

by

until three successive sieges

moved from

then

12

pirate."

Muslim

shippers

the Turks dislodged the knights.

port to port operating as pirates

—even

They

to the point

of allowing the "brethren" to share in the booty. In the sixteenth century the Hospitallers

resumed

from Malta. They

their naval operations

harassed Islamic shippers. They were at war, so in their eyes the piracy

was just

privateering.

The Knights of Malta was very Italy,

and was often

became known

with other states to carry out raids.

allied

word

as corso, a

Their sea caravans

pirate.

money) obtained slaves,

in

the

close to the various nation-states of

that later

was Anglicized

enriched the order through

of the

sale

Members

to corsair, or

spoglio

goods they captured,

(prize

including

and through ransoming captives.

Both the underground Knights Templar and the legitimate Knights of Malta continued their piracy on the high seas

Americas. in the

It is

French settlements of the Americas largely remains

The Knights of Malta, which

is

IN

active today,

American Revolution. In 1632 de

the

Razilly,

organized

the

secret.

AMERICA was

influential in the set-

New

tlement of Canada, in early colonization of the

Isaac

in

surprising that the role of these religious military orders

THE KNIGHTS

in the

and even

World, and even

a knight of Malta,

expedition

to

Commander

Acadia and Quebec.

History records Samuel de Champlain as one of the earliest explorers

but pays

de

little

Chateaufort

attention to his top lieutenants,

and

Charles-Jacques

Champlain's death, Chateaufort and then

Huault

Marc-Antoine Brasdefer de

Montmagny

Montmagny. served as gover-

After


45

Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs

nor of

New

France. Other French-Canadian knights

would

also play

was

the Order

significant roles in the early history of Canada.

The counterpart of

the Knights of Malta in France

Abbe Jacques

of Saint-Sulpice. Founded by the

Olier, the order invited

wealthy patrons to form another group, the Society of Notre Dame,

which would

in

become

turn

founding Seigneurs of Montreal in

the

Canada. Serving the same role

as

the

Cistercians

Knights Templar, the Order of Saint-Sulpice

powerful behind-the-scenes

by

the

vow

role

at

international

in

in

relation

times played a very affairs.

Unhampered

of poverty, the order grew in wealth and power.

named

Montreal's streets,

for luminaries of the Sulpicians,

when

zens of the order's key position. In the 1660s,

One Hundred

Montreal, the so-called

the

to

Many

remind

of

citi-

the overlords of

Associates, proved themselves to

be absentee landlords inclined to tax the

the Sulpicians

city,

expelled and took over the governance of Montreal.

To

had them

their

credit,

wealth has been committed to good works, and the order remains

their

as wealthy today as

it

was

three centuries ago. In France the order also

remains wealthy, powerful, and able to play a political role from backstage.

The Knights of Malta

also

colonized

the

—

Tortuga, Saint Croix, and Saint Barthelemy into the

Caribbean,

including

islands that later passed

ownership of the French West India Company.

Another knight, Admiral Francois-Joseph-Paul de Grasse, delivered the

coup de grace

Caribbean just

were that

to the British at

in full retreat.

The

arrive,

British, waiting for reinforcements

The admiral was

manship

skills

the

from the

who

and supplies

surrendered to George Washington and ended

the war.

battled

fleet arrived

time to trap Cornwallis and the British army,

in

would never

Yorktown. His

a Knight of Malta, and he learned his sea-

under the tutelage of the order. Of the French ships that

British,

several

were

commanded by members of

the

Knights of Malta, including Admiral de Grasse's chef d'escadron

at

Chesapeake Bay, Jean-Louis-Charles de Coriolis d'Espinousse. After the war fourteen of the twenty

fought for the American cause became

elite

Knights of Malta

members of the Society of the

who


46

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

Cincinnati, a closed group 13

cers.

formed by George Washington

for his offi-

Despite criticism that the order was a version of European

tocracy,

membership was limited

to

aris-

and future membership

a handful

required that an individual be a descendant of a

member

of the found-

ing group.

The French Revolution and

the

subsequent Napoleonic Wars saw

Napoleon seized

the Knights of Malta defeated in battle.

home

the

base

of Malta in 1789 because the French knights had provided Louis XVI, his

with funding. The Russian czar Paul

rival,

new

refuge and asked them to create a

Napoleon immediately ended

I

offered the knights

order that would answer to him.

income from

the order's

French prop-

its

and evicted the knights, forcing them into a brief sojourn in

erty

Russia. In 1834 the order protection.

moved

The pope restored

The order slowly

again to

Rome

and came under papal

the office of grand master in 1879.

rebuilt itself in the twentieth century.

of Malta order survived and grew to the point that

it

The Knights

became

a very

powerful, albeit secretive, force in modern world politics. In 1921

two hundred knights and 1,800 members of

grades.

all

14

it

had

Today

the

Palazzo Malta on the via Condotti in Rome,

group

is

and

has a worldwide network of nine thousand knights and thousands

it

headquartered

at

more lower-grade members. orders, and although

it

15

It

is

the

most

elite

remains behind the scenes,

it

of the

Catholic

has great power.

While the Knights of Malta does not own any property outside Rome, the order

is

recognized as a sovereign

state,

complete with

its

own

pass-

ports and stamps.

The European aristocrats, but

table

it

works and

press often regards the order as an old boys' club for is

actually active

political action. In the

Sovereign Military Order of Malta the leadership of

on several continents

New

in

both chari-

United States, a branch of the

(SMOM) was

started in 1927,

York's Cardinal Spellman. Since

its

under

founding, the

group has included the likes of Joseph Kennedy, Joseph Grace of

W

R.

Grace, and presidents of companies such as General Motors and U.S. Steel.

roles

The from

SMOM its

has an influence in politics and has taken activist

earliest days, starting

with opposition to the

New Deal of


47

Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs

War

Roosevelt. In post- World the right,

SMOM After

II politics

the group has always leaned to

sometimes to the extreme. In supporting the right wing the

has not shied away even from assisting Nazi war criminals.

World War

II

the order granted

its

highest honor to

German army

general Reinhard Gehlen, which might sound shocking but less

in

line

with

supporting

a

monarchist

membership and does it

Although

agenda.

Sovereign Military Order of Malta does nothing to hide

nonethe-

is

its

the

existence or

to disguise its right-wing political agenda,

little

receives almost no recognition in post-Crusades history texts.

The

rival order

secretive entity.

of the Knights Templar, however,

Because

its activities.

Nevertheless,

much more

forced to stay underground, the order goes

its

existence and membership and to disguise

it

has survived.

The Americas presented factions.

a

is

it

to great lengths to conceal

is

great opportunity to the remnant

For many of the rank and

place to survive the religious wars and

file,

the

start a

new

new

Templar

lands represented a

life.

Jacobin Catholics

from Scotland, Huguenots and Catholics from France, and various senters

And

from England found peace and brotherhood

the wealthy

who had found power

in the

criminal activity from their secret positions.

the

Americas.

changing feudal hierar-

chy of the old order also found new types of power handful of these people pulled the strings

in

dis-

in the Americas.

and enjoyed the

fruits

A of


Chapter 3

UNDER A BLACK FLAG

Execution by

hanging was a gruesome

affair in the

days of Captain

Kidd, and for the convicted pirate there was no reprieve. In the

which Kidd had lived while attempting

city in

to secure his privateer-

ing commission, he undoubtedly passed the execution dock at

numerous times. Had he ever thought

his

Wapping

own neck might end up

in a

noose?

were fascinating

Public executions

and eighteenth-century England. In order see the law exercise

its

ultimate

people would flock in from

all

the people

to

of seventeenth-

have the opportunity

to

power over man,

the

power

to take life,

over London. The poor arrived on foot

and the wealthy by carriage to see the wretched plead for

No

to

their lives.

pains were taken to spare the public the crudeness of the death

penalty.

most

A

particularly barbaric highlight

likely a large

was having

the executioner,

specimen of a man, actually carry the condemned up

a ladder to the noose. There the hooded figure would place the neck of the

condemned

nity to

in the noose.

speak his

last

words, to plead for his

Or he might simply have dropped to If

ately

The victim might be given an opportulife,

or to ask forgiveness.

the rope tightened around his

neck and be

1

his death.

he was lucky, the convicted felon's neck would break immedi-

and he would be spared the horror of suffering a slow choking

demise. If the convicted was able to manage tioner beforehand,

it,

he might

tip his

execu-

ensuring that the executioner would use a longer

rope and thus hasten the death.

If the

condemned 48

didn't

have any


Under a Black Flag

money, he might have family or friends present who could rush pull

hanging legs so that his suffering would end

on

his

In

all,

the night before outside in the streets. In the

Newgate Prison

faster.

They would gather

sit

all

in a

the while cheering or jeering

The wealthy would pay

the unfortunate criminals. sterling to

and fornicate

to drink, dance,

morning the crowd followed the condemned

parade through the streets of London,

pounds

in to

hanging was wonderful entertainment. At Tyburn the weekly

hangings drew two hundred thousand spectators.

at

49

much

as

as

ten

ringside and eat and drink during the execution.

This event, which might be the ancestor of the modern tailgate party,

was so popular

it

became known

as the

Tyburn

Fair,

and the rulers made

a very unpopular decision in finally ending such spectacles in the mid-

nineteenth century.

A

criminal. pirate

worse than

pirate could expect treatment

On

that

down

occasion the executioner quickly cut

and disemboweled him while he was

be burned before

and

his eyes,

drawn and quartered.

Women

if

still

of the

alive.

common

the hanging

His entrails would

he survived any longer, he could be

were spared from

this

indecency because

they were considered the "fair" sex. Instead they were burned to death.

On

May

Friday,

23, 1701,

entertainment; the stairs

body could be displayed Kidd had no plans he told

Members of fitted his

for all those

that

listen

the elite ruling class

ship and helped

who

and no plans

to repent

who would

all

was William Kidd's turn

it

Wapping would be

at

him

traveled the

to ask for

he was a

on both

at

None of

home

in

The

Thames

mercy.

To

to see.

the

end

pawn of wealthy men.

sides of the Atlantic

had out-

get a commission, and they were due a

share in his gains. But none of his wealthy backers

judge.

to provide the

his place of justice.

was

called before the

his elite partners stood before the executioner. All

were

landed estates, breathing a sigh of relief that they would not

be tarnished by

their role in Kidd's crimes.

Kidd himself was once

a

man

what would become the financial

2

of property, an owner of real estate on

capital of the world,

Wall

Street.

He was

not a career criminal, although he was certainly not without blame.

simply thought his

ties to the

men who

pulled the strings of colonial

He


50

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

New York

government allowed him

Company caused

the East India

his

The

power play

for booty, a

Company above

the interests of the East India

adventurers. Pressure

many who had been

trouble for

While Kidd plied the seas

scapegoat.

the

had turned. Piracy against the Muslim trading partners of

political tide

holders.

away with murder. But

to get

was applied

to those

who

in

share-

London put

those of other would-be

Kidd was

interfered.

the

he relied on to protect him instead cut him loose. To

ties

Kidd was separated from those who commissioned him.

surprise,

Now a convicted pirate,

Kidd was

at the

dock

in

Wapping.

Those who came for a show were not disappointed. Kidd arrived drunk and unrepentant. His

who

testified against

him.

last

words were a speech against the

He was

liars

carried to the hangman's noose and

dropped. The rope broke. Dazed by the

fall

but

still

alive,

Kidd was

quickly carried up the ladder again by his executioner. This time the

fall

killed him.

The legend of Captain Kidd has grown out of proportion with ity.

Kidd was no swashbuckler; he was

a

its

real-

businessman pursuing wealth

in the fashion of the day.

New York

City in the 1690s could be equated with the Wild West.

The governor, Benjamin tary.

He

minor

arrived in

tyrant,

trolled the

Fletcher,

New York

in

was appointed

August 1692. As

Fletcher attained his wealth

exchange of real

estate,

to office

by

the mili-

befitting a fat, greedy,

by being

corrupt.

and real estate was the

first

He

con-

source of

wealth in the colony. In a short period of time citizens understood that to favor the

governor with a bribe earned them his favor. Fletcher allied

himself with Philipse

Stephen

by giving them

van Cortlandt,

William Nicoll,

and Frederick

large pieces of land.

Fletcher soon turned his attention to another opportunity. In 1696

England passed the colonies' ability to

of America's

first

of a series of ill-conceived laws limiting the

engage in commerce. Defying such laws

greatest

fortunes

and

started

a

tradition

built

some

of giving the

wealthy the right to be above the law. Smuggling quickly became an


1

Under a Black Flag

accepted

and

all

scarcely

way

to earning a living.

With

European countries

the

5

war

at

shipping in danger of encountering an enemy, smuggling was

more dangerous than honest shipping.

Pirates

and smugglers were always

when

at risk

landing in a foreign

port.

Their cargoes were subject to seizure and the pirates and smug-

glers

were subject

all

who were

to arrest.

willing to

wheel of commerce, and

from anywhere

Governor Fletcher provided a

pay his personal

New

haven

This bribery greased the

tax.

in the small port city offered

goods from exotic places around the world. Items such as teak Oriental

ture,

carpets,

for

Yorkers were able to get imported goods

Local shops

in the world.

safe

furni-

and Madeira wine could be found beside the

simple homespun goods of colonial

New

York. Currencies of European

and Asian countries were exchanged by the English, Dutch, French, Jewish, Irish, and Scottish settlers in the

city,

which was already a melt-

ing pot. Elsewhere the British, French, and Dutch men-of-war preyed

on the smuggler and legitimate shipper

New York

alike; in

City, all

who

paid Fletcher's fees were safe. Fletcher, torial graft,

crime

who

and

at sea.

"undertook to mine

is

on record

as

way

to profit

from

at his table

their ill-gotten

sell

his

wares.

(In

all

to

attack

enemy

forms of

aspects of pirate

to

pirate

be allowed

com-

Edward Taylor to land in

New

modern purchasing power, ÂŁ1,700

would be about $250,000.) The privateer who applied commission

all

while their crews swaggered

money. The

having paid Fletcher ÂŁ1,700

York City and

veins of guberna-

on some new ones," backed

merce. The pirate captains dined

around town spending

known 3

to stake claims

Fletcher found a

the

all

to Fletcher for a

shipping would then attack anything he

could defeat. Such a commission could be procured for five hundred

pounds; the pirate John Hoar

commissions. The merchants

is

on record

who

supplied

as having

New

goods bought from pirates and often had a stake

An example

bought one of these

York's shops with exotic

in their

voyages as well.

of Fletcher's liberal interpretation of his powers

his relationship with

Thomas Tew. The legendary

pirate

is

in

was from an

English Quaker family that had settled in Rhode Island. His history has not been recorded before his arrival in Bermuda, a smuggling capital,


52

in

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

Tew was

1692. According to sources,

already enriched

by

piracy.

There he bought a share of a ship called the Amity with gold he carried

in

pockets.

his

of the governor's council.

Tew

received a privateering commission from

Governor Ritchier and headed

On

Tew

the way,

They headed in the

Richard

Hall,

John Dickinson, and William Outerbridge, who was a member

Gilbert,

ships.

were Thomas

Other shareholders

kingdom of

returned home.

He

attack slave

to

"turned pirate," with the backing of his crew.

Red Sea and

for the

French West Africa

for

attacked Arab shippers before settling

Madagascar. After several adventures,

pirates,

sold his Indian textiles in

headed to Newport, sent for

New York

City and then

and divided the spoils

his partners,

Tew

—some

of which was buried near Newport and the rest in Boston.

Tew's Bermuda backers reportedly received fourteen times their investment.

4

Tew's share amounted

to

eight thousand pounds,

Tew

to provide a high-style retirement. For a while

good

Rhode

life in

Kidd hanged. But

Island, untainted

the

same crimes

that

the governor of Massachusetts denied

commission,

privateering

by

he

so

applied

to

the

enough

took part in the

would see

Tew

governor

another

Rhode

of

Island and for five hundred pounds received his papers.

The the

first

Philipse

order of business was sailing to family.

Frederick

was

Philipse

was

to

meet with

seventeenth-century

the

He provided

equivalent of a venture capitalist. for a pirate voyage, and in turn

New York

the

equipment needed

entitled to a share of the gains. His

only risk was monetary and he hedged his bets by making numerous

Those who came

investments.

Frederick Philipse's backing,

one

that

to

Tew

would immensely benefit

him

risked

outfitted his

life

and

liberty.

With

second pirate expedition,

his patron.

Tew's second adventure found him capturing ships of the Great

Moghul and keeping one hundred unmarried After a sojourn in Madagascar, the quiet

life.

pirates

as well as treasure.

and his crew headed home again for

This time his treasure was said to be more than a hundred

thousand pounds. Philipse, the

Tew

girls

who

who

risked only money, in comparison to

risked their lives,

would earn more than

thousand pounds backing numerous voyages.

a

hundred


Under a Black Flag

Tew's weakness was

commission,

vateering

John

Island,

Fletcher of

New

Tew

mouth of

the

the French

new governor of Rhode then

applied

Tew was

that

commissioning him

Tew's reputation, but that the at

sought another pri-

Governor

to

a well-known sea

to sail against the French.

defending his actions, Fletcher claimed he did not

later

French

Tew

knew

He

retire.

from the

refused.

York. Fletcher

rover, but felt justified in

When

time

this

who

Easton,

could not

that he

the

Canada

were nothing unusual. But

outfitted

his

River.

Tew saw the

attack

to

of the

situation differently.

and adventurers for

pirates

know

Such commissions against

New York

and then sailed between

ship

Boston recruiting fellow

had planned

"stranger"

53

his

and

Fletcher

fleet.

claimed the commission was for attacking the French in Canada, but

Tew

openly acknowledged there was more money to be gained in the

Indian Ocean and that this area was his destination.

Thomas Tew made reportedly had

some

may have pushed

On

voyage

his final

to the Indian

Ocean, where he

early success against Indian trading ships. But he

his luck.

He was

never again seen in

occasion, Fletcher had to

make

New England.

a token charge against a pirate

or smuggler to confuse his enemies. In 1694 he seized a ship that had

returned from a Caribbean voyage. The ship was

of

New

beat the charges, but also sought a time.

owned

in part

by one

York's wealthiest men, Robert Livingston. Livingston not only

way

would take four years and the

It

this early

to get rid of Fletcher at the

efforts of

two partners.

It

same

was

into

version of the "world trade center" that Captain Kidd sailed.

THE WORLD OF CAPTAIN KIDD Born

in

Greenock, Scotland, in 1645, William Kidd climbed up the

career ranks as a tral after

the

seaman and

Templar

fleet

finally a captain. Scotland

pirates

or fish

centuries.

were more

—but

Before

likely to

certainly

not

pirate cen-

had sought shelter there centuries before, and

the country, along with Ireland,

another two

was

would be regarded the

so-called

as a pirate

haven for

Golden Age of Piracy,

be found capturing ships loaded with wool capturing

the

Spanish

treasure

fleet,


54

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

plundering the ports of the Golden Main, or chasing the fleet of the

Moghul of India. But As Templar

was a

piracy, like smuggling,

soldiers

service as mercenaries,

and

their descendants

Templar

sailors

and

living.

remained in the military

their descendants

spawned

a

culture of both legal privateering and illegal piracy. In the seventeenth

many

century,

Scottish

seamen were commissioned

who preyed on

attackers

Later, after

English

one more attempt

battle

to

and Scottish shipping and fishing.

to attain

independence, Scottish Jacobites

swelled the ranks of the pirates in Europe and the Caribbean.

wonder

that

the best pirate

Dutch

literature

was

also

spawned

It is

in

little

Scotland;

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the classic Treasure Island and fellow Scot J.

M.

Barrie wrote Peter Pan.

Participation in piracy and smuggling

was

a frequent occurrence in

Scotland, despite laws that called for the highest penalties against these offenses.

The laws were only sporadically enforced and convictions were

An

nearly impossible to achieve. not necessarily hereditary, but

it

underground society prevailed;

was so prevalent

that

it

was not

ened by a justice system. From the days of the Templar demise eighteenth century, the lodges of

occupation enforced their

own

men

it

was

threat-

until the

dedicated to a specific craft or

codes and often exercised power that

reached to the highest levels of government. These guilds of lawyers, sea craftsmen,

captains,

Masonic parlance, in

ways

and soldiers were individual

it

was

cuss anything that went on in a Masonic meeting.

the

Apple Tree Tavern

in

later,

when

Irish,

as public societies. There

no

is

power had

in

A

London

dis-

major event took

to

form the Grand

French, and Scottish lodges emerged

satisfactory reason

for the secret organizations

to reveal themselves. Scotland's

truly a secret

membership or

why Masonry came

out of the closet, but the most plausible explanation those in

one another

four of England's lodges met at

Covent Garden

Lodge. Shortly afterward the

was

it

a violation of oath to admit

place less than twenty years

in

brotherhood would never suspect.

Freemasonry was not yet public. Before 1717

which

or lodges

that operated independently yet assisted

that those outside the

society in

cells,

Masons hid

is

that the distrust

encouraged the orders

a vast underground of


— Under a Black Flag

55

smugglers, pirates, and revolutionaries. Rather than risk being accused

of plotting against the king of England, the English lodges welcomed

and toasted the health of

royalty

Masonry was of

Bonnie

Crusaders

the preserve of such people as

Prince

Scottish

Andrew Ramsay,

the tutor

spoke

publicly

of

former

the

up Masonic lodges upon returning from the wars.

setting

The lodges survived underground.

Ramsay

Charlie.

and queens.

kings

their

And

Templars by remaining

persecution of the

the

Bonnie Prince led a revolt by the

the

Scottish

against their English overlords.

The

Masons had

Scottish version of the

strong political overtones,

while the English version, which had distanced

itself

from

not present such a threat. Because of this threat, the

politics, did

Scottish secret

organization needed to remain underground.

Kidd

was

a

Scotsman

Livingston, and both years, Livingston

family

is

still

and

was

men became Masons

was very public with

known

active

as

course, did not have even a

with

partnered

his

as

well.

Scotsman

fellow

After a few short

membership

in the guild.

proponents of the Masons.

few short

His

Kidd, of

years.

The massive immigration of Scots

to

America and Canada was

resented by the earlier colonists. This Scottish "invasion" of America was a direct result of constant

war with England, and

cally after the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion.

existed

from Massachusetts

A

it

increased dramati-

prejudice against Scots

to Virginia, although these

immigrants

still

had a significant role in the formation of the new country. In 1776 a play produced in Philadelphia was dedicated to "Lord Kidnaper Pirates and Buccaneers, and the innumerable clans of 5

The dedication was

.

.

.

Macs and Donalds

upon Donalds

in America."

ment was

and the Scots-as-pirates stereotype was not helped by the

real,

prominence of Captain Kidd In August 1689

in jest but the senti-

in pirate lore.

Kidd had been on

the island of Nevis in

of a sixteen-gun privateer he had taken from the French. later, in

another English expedition, his

—mostly former

men

command

Two

pirates

years


56

had

Piracy:

him

left

A Merry and a Short Life

received another

By

command

the time

He

him.

to take

Kidd arrived

helped build the

William

Street.

command

ashore, and he lost

in

first

on the French.

New

Trinity

York, his reputation had preceded

Church and bought

man-about-town,

Kidd,

Dutch widow, Sarah Bradley Cox Oort. riage;

in fact,

of a ship. Later that year he

the marriage license

married

then

6 It

was

well-to-do

a

just days

after

new

John

dowry

Oort, her second husband, died. Sarah Oort brought a nice the

on Wall

wife's third mar-

his

was received

a lot

to

marriage, including a house on Wall Street and another on

Pearl Street.

Kidd must have

felt that

he was a worthy catch, and

titled

himself "Gentleman" on their application. Oort and Kidd lived in the fashionable part of town, their

home complete with

were imported from Asia. Kidd could have remained simply a

pets that

gentleman, but he

didn't.

As luck would have

it,

the acts of piracy committed around the

emerging British empire were bringing complaints

William

furniture and car-

III.

Fletcher

Especially irritating to the court

was playing

in

was

to the ears of

King

Governor

the role that

North America. King William met with

his

Privy Council and Richard Coote, the Earl of Bellomont.They decided that

Lord Bellomont would be sent

to

New York

to replace Fletcher as

governor and stamp out the pirate haven he had created. Piracy was a worldwide problem for empire-building Britain. In Asia the

same countries

plaining about

that

American

England was trying

to trade

with were com-

pirates attacking their shipping,

and they held

was carried on through

the British responsible. All the legitimate trade

a

royal-sponsored monopoly called the British East India Company.

At the end of the

Company was

seventeenth

century,

royal monopoly, the average dividend

of

European

the

century.

traders,

But

this

trying to develop,

it

II

monopoly

new market

and

East

in the

last

jealousy.

company had

a

ten

Other

were hin-

even pirates

the British East India

also did not help that the

With

until his death.

inspired

India

The company had

was 25 percent

American merchants,

drances to business. In the

was

British

trying to further establish itself in Asia.

been doing well and had the favor of James

years

the

Company

little


Under a Black Flag

the customer wanted.

own

introduced cheap opium, and tried to hold

It

its

against invaders and pirates. in

Ironically,

newly declared war against piracy Kidd was

this

enlisted to fight for the cause of the British.

New

York's

While

visiting

England with

most respected merchant, Robert Livingston, Kidd was

who

introduced to Lord Bellomont,

desired the job of

New

York's gov-

and Bellomont plotted to get rid of Fletcher.

ernor. Livingston, Kidd,

For

57

his part in the deal,

Kidd was commissioned

to fight against the

pirates.

Pirates

New

out of

sailing

York, commissioned by Fletcher,

fre-

quently attacked the Moghuls' ships. John Hoar actually attacked the British East India fleet and captured and burned

Tew's attacks on the Indian

two company

caused rioting in the

fleet

ships.

streets.

The

account of Henry Every's pirate crew kidnapping and raping Indian

women, some of whom committed the offices of the East India

suicide rather than submit, caused

Company

in Surat to

be attacked by mobs.

key employees were imprisoned, where they received harsh

Several

Moghuls

treatment during the six months of negotiation between the

and the British East India Company. Several did not survive.

Whatever the

plan was

Livingston

of Kidd, Livingston, and Bellomont,

the real intentions

capture the pirate Tew.

to

first

would be

entitled

to

Kidd, Bellomont, and

whatever goods were taken in the

process.

THE BIRTH OF AN AMERICAN DYNASTY Robert Livingston built a dynasty as could.

He was

a

Scot

who had

learned the Dutch language. the

Dutch

still

controlled

owned by Nicholas Van

He

New

fast as

lived

in

sailed to

he could and

in

any way he

Rotterdam for a time and

America

in 1674.

At

that time

York, and the largest patroonship was

Rensselaer,

who had

joined

another

very

wealthy Dutch family through an arranged marriage to Alida Schuyler.

Van Rensselaer was

the son and

namesake of

the

man who had

received the grants of land and built the family wealth. Like

many

actually

sons


58

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

Van

of ambitious men,

Rensselaer had no interest in the business or his

He

upstate lands; instead he fancied himself a mystic.

hired Livingston,

an obvious go-getter, to run his empire.

A

trader

by profession, Livingston caught on quickly and acquired

the ability to speak the Iroquois language

have.

He

In 1678 Nicholas

He

rapidly.

nosed.

Van

also helped build the

was only

—an

many

ability

traders didn't

Rensselaer fortune.

began aging

in his early forties, but he

took to his sickbed with an illness that could not be diag-

One day he decided

end was near and called for a servant to

the

bring a pen and paper for his will. Instead Livingston appeared. "No, no,

send him away; he's going just before he died.

7

If

my

widow," cried Van Rensselaer,

ever a will was composed,

But some have suggested still

marry

to

that "if

circulated to this day, Nicholas

was never found.

it

you believe a Van Rensselaer rumor,

was poisoned."

8

Nicholas the mystic had been right: Within eight months Alida and

Robert Livingston were married. Livingston acquired his boss's widow

man

and became the wealthy

he had designed to become.

Kidd, Livingston was the wealthiest

man

in

New

When

he met

York. As a Scot,

Livingston was embroiled in the religious wars that raged back

and

that

spilled over into the colonies.

Earls of Callendar and Linlithgow,

what

became

because

of

the

the

Glorious

religious

Huguenots were forced

home

His relatives in Scotland, the

had fought on the wrong side of

Revolution.

upheaval,

was

It

and

to leave the country.

many The

a

precarious

Scots

and

time

French

hostilities did not

end

once the immigrants reached America. In

New York

the

war was between Jacob Leisler and the Catholics.

In his frantic effort to keep the

seized

the

city.

attempted to

When

defend

Britain

New York

sentiment ended with his

evidence admitted in

pope from controlling

trial

trial

later

sent

a

against him.

new

New

9

York, Leisler

governor,

Leisler

His rabid anti-Catholic

and that of five confederates. The same

freed four

and sentenced two

to

hanging.

Jacob Leisler was hanged on the land where the Manhattan side of the

Brooklyn Bridge would be

built.

A bit of jury tampering may have helped the four who were

acquit-


Under a Black Flag

One of

ted.

these possible beneficiaries

subsequently dropped the

Delanos.A

last

letter

59

was Peterse Delanoy. His family of their

name and become

the

through marriage would result in the Delano-

later alliance

Roosevelt family.

With

Leisler out of the way, the

power vacuum allowed Huguenot

among

families such as the Delanoys and their allies

now

including Livingston, to prosper. Livingston was

base,

He

position to expand his empire.

owned

outright or

owned

Dutch power

the

whomever he could and

traded with

shares in several merchant ships.

returned 500 percent in one

prime

in

One of

1694 voyage alone. But success had

downside: Through a customs agent of the mayor of

New York

Livingston was charged with the crime of trading with the French. possible that the charge

was

The case was brought before not

It is

known

grand jury,

the

its

City, It is

voyages yielded

correct, as not all legitimate

such high returns. But the mayor simply wanted a share in the

William Kidd.

these

profits.

whose chairman was

case also involved jury tampering,

if this

but Livingston was spared. Jury chairman Kidd refused to indict.

Kidd and their

his

fortunes.

new

friend Livingston

The deal

that

went

government

Chancellor;

circles.

Edward

The

England

to increase

was struck with Richard Coote, Lord

Bellomont, involved several other figures

and

to

list

who moved

included

John

Russell, the Earl of Orford,

in

Somers,

who was

commercial the

the First

Lord

Lord

of the Admiralty; Henry Sidney, the Earl of Romney; Charles Talbot, the

Duke of Shrewsbury; Edward

Harrison, a director of the East India

Company; and Richard Blackham, who would bribery and currency manipulation.

later

King William

be imprisoned for

III

was destined

to

claim 10 percent of the return in exchange for his blessing of Kidd's pirate -hunting enterprise.

10

Livingston and Kidd were the core partners of the agreement, and together they were required to put up six thousand pounds to purchase

and fifth

refit a ship

named Adventure

Galley. This

was approximately one

of the funds needed for the voyage, and in turn the partners would

receive one fifth of the prizes captured and get to keep the ship.

men who

signed on as crew

members were on

a no-purchase, no-pay

The


60

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

contract. This type of contract that

stated

it

if

was used by whalers and

Kidd and crew were commissioned

was

the

commission added any and

Kidd

in hand,

way he

New

was

tion

new

home base

King Samuel. The

him with slave

gifts.

ports

Madagascar a

New

—not

New

much

York. Along

of a catch, but

men

for

his

adventure

The

1696.

5,

and

destina-

where the large island of Madagascar was

The onetime French

of the pirate

pirate

to

crew.

the Indian Ocean,

the

London

planned voyage on September

actually a pirate nation."

become

sailed out of

York, Kidd recruited more

finally started his

Island and two

freebooters, and sea rovers.

all pirates,

captured a French fishing ship

perhaps practice for his In

capture pirate ships. Their

to

Thomas Wake and William Maze. For good measure

pirates,

Commission

great.

Thomas Tew of Rhode

papers specifically targeted

the

and

no prizes were obtained, no pay would be given.

Therefore, the inducement to capture something

York-based

pirate ships,

station Fort

Dauphin had

Abraham Samuel, who was

king welcomed other pirates

who

called

presented

His kingdom and other pirate strongholds, as well as

run

by

merchants

with

no

national

made

affiliation,

truly wild locale.

LIBERTALIA Saint Mary's pirates

was

a small island off the coast of

formed a democratic nation called

the world's first true democracy, in It

happened

just

Upon

to

Libertalia.

Land was

free,

thirty,

many of

vote.

and the locals were not

able to return to his

home

the pirates

exotic Polynesian-African hostile. Plantations

and trading posts were established. Even though each

on the

may have been

which each man had an equal

reaching the mature age of about

plentiful,

It

be a pirate nation.

retired to Libertalia.

were

Madagascar where the

port with a small fortune,

women

were started

man might be

many chose

to live

island.

It is

a mystery just

why Kidd

sailed into Saint Mary's if

by

this

he did not intend to "go pirate." As a pirate hunter, he apparently had

time


1

Under a Black Flag

no intention

new men. But once he

and recruit

ship

A

worse. ease.

On

cumbed.

instead he landed,

attack the pirate port;

to

enemy than

greater

landed,

one

He took on new members,

intended.

grew

situation

his

all

of

than

whom

dis-

of the crew suc-

fifth

men

even more

replace

to

repair his

to

would attack Kidd's crew:

the English

the small island in the Indian Ocean,

Kidd needed

6

he

originally

were most

likely

experienced pirates.

The major a piece right

to

separating

distinction

from the

privateer

the

was

pirate

of paper. The commission that gave the privateer captain the take

certain

made

prizes

actions

his

whereas

legal,

seizing

bounty without such a commission was an offense punishable by hang-

Commissions

ing.

would

would expire because of at

sea had

voided

truce

that

hostilities

Another

commission.

his

sometimes

and

honored,

end of a war. Unfortunately, the privateer

the

way of knowing

little

be

occasionally

had ended and

between

difference

that

privateers

and pirates was the conditions in which they lived and worked.

was chosen by

privateer ship the captain

and able

to

make

decisions, but

difficult

The men on both merchant tle

by

pay, were treated as inferior

and

more

men

He had

he also had

to

of

died

the

whim

owners and

officers,

a

be tough

to

be

On

intelligent.

ships and privateer ships received very

subject to physical abuse at the legal,

the owner.

a

lit-

and were

of their masters. Such abuse was

being

flogged

than

died

in

battle.

Alexander Falconbridge, a surgeon

who

served aboard the ships of the

Royal African Company, reported

that

one captain flogged a

death for losing an oar. Another captain forced

roaches

for

his

entertainment.

Falconbridge

such cruelties to both seamen and slaves in

is

men

to

eat live cock-

to

quoted

man

extensively

Hugh Thomas's The

for

Slave

Trade and Patrick Pringle's Jolly Roger, the Golden Age of Piracy. The slaves aboard such ships often were of more value to the captain than his

own

crew. The average mortality rate for slaves in the seventeenth century

was 25

percent;

The

it

officers

was often

as high as

40 percent

for the crew.

of the British navy treated their

own crews

just

harshly. It

was no wonder

that

when

a pirate ship attacked a merchant ship,

as


62

the

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

crew was eager

who came

The

to surrender.

aboard were treated as equals.

some were simply impressed by ter.

Four hundred years

tem spawned

after the

man

each

signed.

man, one

fashion: one

them

Many were

their lifestyle, but all

Templar

On

The

ship's rules

The men voted on such

vote.

lodge sys-

duties.

a pirate ship the captain

was elected by

it

women

too could cause

the entire crew. Like a

He had

On

voyage.

high-ranking

pirate

and privateer ships would

sail for a

were greater than the crew's.

was shared

in a fairer

On many

could get a share and a half.

member

who was unable

and hardships he endured. Some took

to the farm.

remained together

was

Life

to return

mount a

of ports.

One

their shares

Sometimes an agreement was struck so until

every

man had

a certain

enemy

shipping.

Very

rarely

profit

and went

that all sailors

amount of money.

potentially dangerous for the pirate, but the dangers

not in attacking ing to

injured pirate

had a better chance of making a windfall

pirate ship

for the risks

back

An

pirate

might be given a greater share to aid his retirement. The average

on a

sailor

share

way. The captain and the quar-

termaster might get a double share; a highly proficient crew

to sea

ensure

the privateer ship the captain's share and that of the

officers

ships all bounty

to

deter-

members of the crew.

all

The crew on both in the

be well

to

mined, and the job of the captain and the quartermaster was equal shares to

aboard,

crew could simply unelect him. Shares were

as his

arti-

rules in a democratic

Rules included not taking

and spelling out tasks and

too,

were treated bet-

were determined by

privateer captain, he had to be tough and intelligent. liked,

invited to join,

fleet left France, the

as they could cause friction; not discussing religion, as conflict;

Those

better.

Templar preceptories and Cistercian monasteries was

in

alive aboard the pirate ships. cles that

pirates treated

was

were

a merchant ship will-

defense, and few pirate ships were ever captured outside

pirate historian reports that brothel casualties

were higher

than battle casualties. The greatest risk a pirate might endure was expulsion

by

his fellow sailors.

Marooning, or expelling a pirate from a crew,

took place on a desert island or sometimes on a sandbar that would disappear

at

high

tide. Pirates

were usually marooned only for the worst of


Under a Black Flag

offenses,

which included abandoning

maroon was coined from what

63

The term

their posts during battle.

the Spanish called Cimarrons, the group

of people created from the marriage of escaped black slaves to native

Amerindian women.

was equally dangerous

Life at sea

legitimate privateer, as the

death

common

—did not favor one type of

against Spain

was

imprisonment, and

For example, a privateer

sailing

was a

little

for their offenses,

punishment. The difference was that

the pirate stood a better chance of

making

a profit.

As

a result, pirate

problem defeating better-armed naval

chant ships, and privateer ships.

was happy

injury,

Both could suffer equally

common

and death was the most

ship

a criminal in the eyes of the Spanish crown, as

pirate operating anywhere.

ships often had

threats

sailor.

and the

for the criminal pirate

Many

to join the pirates

see a cruel captain subject to his

own

mer-

ships,

times the crew of the captured

—and

they were often delighted to

medicine.

CAPTAIN KIDD AND THE PIRATES Kidd knew the the

risks

Adventure Galley

and the rewards of piracy. What happened aboard induce the captain and crew to "go pirate" will

to

probably never be known. But Kidd was low on supplies, had trade,

months

to

and had a crew that was most likely unhappy with the long sea and his harsh leadership and lack of profit.

at

ership and

judgment

prising that he set

little

in question

was able

and

With

his lead-

reward system poor,

his

to recruit veteran pirates.

However he

it

is

did

sur-

it,

he

out from Saint Mary's as a pirate.

Twice Kidd brought

his

British-protected shipping,

ship

Word

Kidd soon took Merchant

distance

of

flying the English colors. that

he was already

traveled quickly.

three

more

ships, his

new

Company

ship.

in January 1698.

and attacked an East India

Bombay

Kidd found out

the ship's captain,

considered a pirate.

threatening

and twice he was turned away. Finally he

captured a lone trading ship from

Upon meeting

within

to

With

Quedah

including the valuable fleet,

He

he

left

now

broke

all

the rules

the coast of India


64

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

with his prizes and headed for Madagascar, where he spent six months before heading back to North America.

hard to believe that an experienced captain such as Kidd would

It is

think that he could return to

New York

and escape punishment because

of his connections, but that appears to have been the case. The Earl of

Bellomont,

men

New

governor of

the

The governor

defense. his

now

York, actually came to Kidd's

said he received reports that

to act as a pirate.

Kidd was forced by

But Bellomont was in an awkward position.

Having replaced Fletcher, who had given a commission

Thomas Tew, Bellomont had same

light.

He

also

was

a pardon. Kidd, however,

The capture of

be careful not

to

entitled to a large

had gone too

commission should he issue

The company was already blamed

emperor's court. This news eventually reached

rioting

Company

for any

in

maintained

the its

of European

acts

member

but this time the ship belonged to a

piracy,

cast himself in the

Quedah Merchant had caused

the

the pirate

far.

of Surat, where the British East India

streets

offices.

to

to

of the Indian

New York—well

before

Kidd.

Bellomont had to distance himself from the situation and cut his

The governor of what

losses.

is

now New York and

never seen Boston, and he traveled there on time.

appeared to his

It

partner Kidd, north.

Bellomont

later

just

cases,

reached Delaware

26, 1699, for the first

way

to

arrest, as

New York

meet his

pirate-

Bay and was heading

explained that he wrote Kidd a

posely did not threaten his

Joseph Emmot, a

he was on his

critics that

who had

May

Massachusetts had

letter that pur-

he didn't want to scare Kidd away.

lawyer whose specialty was admiralty

advised Bellomont that Kidd had treasure aboard and had

treasure

behind in the Caribbean.

Emmot

also

left

two passes

delivered

granted by the French that Kidd had taken from the Moorish ships he captured.

These documents were evidence

those ships, at least, was not piracy. trial,

he

might

have

been

Had

acquitted.

that

the

these passes

But

act

made

to

it

to Kidd's

somehow Bellomont

another backer of the voyage allowed the passes to disappear.

While he was conspiring

of capturing

12

have Kidd convicted, Bellomont sent

or


Under a Black Flag

two men Block

from the

to get a statement

Bellomont.

They met with Kidd

pirate.

Afterward Kidd seemed confident he could

Island.

He

set sail for a tiny island off the coast

He unloaded

Island called Gardiner's Island.

booty and then sent for John Gardiner,

65

still

off

trust

of eastern Long

three or four small boats of

whose care Kidd placed

in

a

chest for Bellomont.

Long

Gardiner's area of eastern

summer;

pirate places to anchor in

Long

Island

was one of

Island

the other

the

was across

two

the

favorite

mouth of

Sound, on the islands between Cape Cod and Martha's

Vineyard. Both were locales where ships, both pirate and merchant,

could rendezvous to trade and exchange cargo and supplies. illegal floating

market

would mean drawing

As Kidd

sailed

New York

name of Thomas

Island.

When

and Boston, but docking a

the attention of the navy.

One

stash

who

Paine,

the governor of

was delivered

lived

Rhode

an old pirate by

to

on Canonicut Island off Rhode

Island got

wind of

searched Paine's house, but the gold was not there.

been moved back

also

around the eastern end of Long Island, he dropped

treasure in various places.

the

was an

The mouth of Buzzards Bay was

at times.

passed by ships cruising between ship there

It

to Gardiner's Island, but

It

the story, he

may have

already

proof against the Gardiner

family was not to be found. Kidd's plan was to hedge his bets. If he hid enough treasure before

meeting the authorities, gain.

As

it

would be something

Kidd's real history grew into legend, people would

him dropping

his treasure as far north as

China Sea. But

the South

it's

the Caribbean he hid around

Kidd was

knew

after

meeting with

New

the ships returning to

ners

more

Long

Nova

likely that

Emmot

what he did not leave

that the situation

was

was

Bellomont, in

fact,

and

down on

were being seized, and the

Livingston

had much

in

a

very

dealt.

He

vastly different

complicated

piracy,

ships' cap-

and crews were being hunted and arrested. Kidd had put

Bellomont

in

Island Sound.

York. The British were cracking

New York

of

tell tales

Scotia and as far east as

also attempting to deftly play the cards he

since he had left

tains

to use in striking a bar-

his part-

position.

to gain either as Kidd's friend or as the


— 66

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

arresting

of

officer

the

Both

court.

him

allowed

scenarios

be

to

rewarded either financially or in reputation.

Not having

Kidd employed; the temptation

strategies

was one of

the treasure available for confiscation

all

the

have more would serve as

to

an inducement for Kidd's apprehensive partner. Kidd's second play was delivering to Lord Bellomont's wife an enameled

he hoped

might

it

scale and

tip the

make Bellomont back

But Bellomont did the math. Allowing false

—and

and pardoning him

box with four jewels; his partner.

Kidd's charges might be

that

thereby keeping his legitimate share

could equal a thousand pounds. But seizing Kidd and claiming his

legit-

imate share as arresting governor gave him thirteen thousand pounds.

Bellomont's advisers warned him not to go against the British East

company

India

Bellomont

decided

The

arrested.

and

against

other

He

Kidd was

if

his

company

the

onetime

Robert

partner,

Bellomont's decision. nothing

powers

the

stood to gain

arrested.

Kidd

partner;

Livingston, all

if

Thus

represented.

was

was

to

be

dismayed

by

Kidd was pardoned and

Livingston had posted a bond

In fact,

guaranteeing Kidd's behavior. Bellomont alleged that Livingston threat-

ened Kidd's

him,

saying

treasure

make up

Livingston

that

Bellomont

if

didn't

would

take

return

the

bond.

Did Bellomont

Or

accusation to distance himself from the crime?

this

from

reimbursement

as

Bellomont might have feared, were Kidd and Livingston, brother Scots, involved in a conspiracy against him?

Both Bellomont and Livingston had opinion. In

America

the arrest

a political event as well.

India

was an

The Tory

Company, wanted Kidd

trial

the

partners,

and

obtained

from the Moorish

(The passes

his

instructions

exciting event; in England

convicted.

book

bear the weight of public

The Whigs,

The

letter

whom

in a corner. In the end, all but

listing the

owners of Kidd's

Kidd

ship, his

vital

passes

which might have acquitted him.

were discovered two hundred years

records office.)

several of

was missing. So were the ships,

was

it

party, closely tied to the British East

were backers of Kidd's voyage, were got their way. At the

to

from Bellomont

to

later

in

a

London

Kidd was also missing.

There were only two eyewitnesses against Kidd: Robert Bradinham


Under a Black Flag

who

and Joseph Palmer. Both were military deserters

Today an American lawyer might point out be credible witnesses,

as they are not

men

It

turned pirate.

that such criminals

may

not

of reputation, and they were

very obviously testifying against Kidd for their

dons came days

67

own

reprieve. Their par-

after Kidd's conviction.

appears that a deal had been struck, one that convenienced

all

except William Kidd. Kidd was the scapegoat and, as such, was hanged. Livingston was cleared of role in arresting Kidd.

all

was enriched

charges. Bellomont

The other Whig

partners were unsullied

might have been a scandal, although they

for his

by what

lost their stake in the ship

and

any proceeds they might have expected. For England and the ruling class,

the

bottom

line

was

that

Tory shipping was safe from Whig

upstarts.

Livingston back,

made

out better than he thought.

He

received his bond

although remarkably he was forced to pay off fellow partner

Robert Blackham for his stake in the venture. The members of Captain Kidd's crew were mostly pardoned, and

Sarah Bradley

Cox Oort Kidd, was

Bellomont's order. Oort was

known

to

some died

jailed

in jail. Kidd's wife,

and her house seized on

have some of Kidd's

was never found. She was eventually released and married

loot,

but

it

a fourth time.

Those who had received the treasure were targeted by Bellomont,

who

stood to gain a share of the recovered valuables.

amount of with an

treasure

enemy

was on Gardiner's

part of

Long

The

greatest

Island. Threatened

landing on his tiny kingdom, John Gardiner presented

Bellomont with bags of gold and those associated with

silver.

him prospered.

Thus, Kidd was killed, and

all


— Chapter 4

SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET

The

lifeless

body of Captain William Kidd would join

other captured and convicted pirates into

left to

do

greet those

who

sailed

London's port. The hanging criminals served as a warning for

prospective sea rovers that crime did not pay.

was

the bodies of

that

crime did pay, and

it

The

real message,

however,

rewarded those who could pay others

to

their bidding.

The feudal system

that

gave birth to the Knights Templar gave rise

to noble ideals such as liberty, equality,

power,

however,

corruption

ruled.

and

fraternity.

Among

those in

Freemasonry developed from the

noble ideals of the Knights Templar, and the lodge system was created

underground

—

to

protect

ebrated than others,

its

members. Some lodges became more

cel-

and membership in the more prestigious lodges

offered greater rewards. While Livingston

would survive

into

days of

public Freemasonry, Bellomont would not. Almost twenty years passed after Kidd's lic.

body hung over

From London

to

Boston,

the

Thames before Freemasonry went pub-

New

tem separated those who pulled

York, and Philadelphia, the lodge systhe strings

from those who were

left

hanging. Through the right connections family dynasties could survive

and build on fortunes made from nefarious crimes. Profits from piracy

became investments in

in

seventeenth-century

more acceptable crime

were

twenty-first century.

68

the

enterprises,

bedrock

and fortunes made for

wealth

in

the


69

Skeletons in the Closet

THE GARDINER DYNASTY Among

who

those

from

benefited

criminal

the

"expendable" was the Gardiner family.

It

of

activities

the

hard not to suspect the

is

Gardiners of running a sort of pirate bank on their tiny kingdom. They

owned East

Gardiner's Island itself and larger tracts of land stretching from

Hampton

Smithtown on Long

to

The progenitor of

who was born

the family

He came

1599.

in

builder of fortifications,

a

was an Englishman, Lion Gardiner, 1635

in

as

a soldier, a

and a fighter against the Indians. white child born in what would

first

what

the state of Connecticut. In

War, Gardiner was instrumental

America

to

trader,

Gardiner's son David was the

become

Island.

now known

is

in enlisting

opposing

as the

Pequot

to join a

tribes

small English force that sought to exterminate the Pequots. Gardiner's principal ally

agreed

to

was Wyandanch,

a

sachem from Long

with Wyandanch's

trade

group

Pequots" that came to him and "send friends

the

Gardiner's

Montaukett

Island,

a

tribe,

3,500-acre

.

.

.

would

he

1

their heads."

Gardiner island

if

bought

kingdom

"kill

From

Long

enemy

Island holdings

tribe;

the

all

his

new

self-named

the

of modern-day

(part

He added

East Hampton), for cloth, a gun, some gunpowder, and a dog. to his

Gardiner

Island.

by rescuing Wyandanch's daughter from an

for this feat he

was given the land

that

would become

Smithtown, bringing his holdings to a hundred thousand acres. Rights to Gardiner's kingdom were confirmed by King Charles

I.

In the seventeenth century and later, Gardiner's eastern holdings pro-

vided a great haven for pirates and smugglers, and evidence appears to indicate that the early Gardiner heirs

were more than simply willing

accomplices. In 1672 a report indicated that a Massachusetts pirate

Bradish set

sail for

named Joseph

Gardiner's Island with his loot. In 1692 the governor

of Connecticut reported that pirates were anchored off East

and engaging in izen

and

trade.

In another report, a prominent Connecticut cit-

was accused of receiving it

was noted

Hampton

stolen property and selling

that the shore of eastern

Long

Island

was

it

in Boston,

the haunt of


70

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

and smugglers.

pirates

Still

another report stated that a pirate ship called

Sparrow had taken on eighteen passengers under an agreement

the

made

in the

Caribbean. The master, Richard Narramore, then carried

where they disembarked, chests and

the passengers to Gardiner's Island, all.

As

few accused men who appeared. He confessed

was

a pirate, but he

was able

to obtain a pardon.

The Gardiner family has maintained by

turies

to

be

were brought before a magistrate. Christopher Goffe was one of

pirates,

the

unnamed men, who were suspected

the story spread, the

the

right

connections

its

wealth throughout the cen-

England

to

suspected, he

that, as

2

prior

War

the

to

Independence and by more secret connections that lasted

to the

mid-

While many Whig families were able

dle of the nineteenth century.

of

to

avoid losing their lands after the American Revolution, the Gardiners,

neighbors and often partners

like their

who had been

thin line

and were not subject to the postwar land grab.

families

showed

some of their

their

walked a

Tories,

Many

of these

reluctance to break from mother England, and

actions bordered

on

The War of 1812 became

treason.

a second

had never ceased treating America

war of independence, a

as

as Britain

Her navy regularly

colony.

impressed American seamen. Her army armed and incited native border tribes against her lost colony.

found themselves

New

families had prospered through

with British firms, and such pro-British

their relationships lies

Many

at

odds with President Jefferson.

A

Whig

fami-

handful of

England merchant families, who had survived the Revolution and

even prospered, proposed loyalty

was not

that

New

England leave the Union. Their

to their country but to their mercantile interests,

which

were often shared with British counterparts. In the decades before the Civil War,

with secession,

American had

this

history

is

America was again threatened

time from several southern that the

tried to leave the

Union

same

New

earlier

states.

One

great secret of

England merchant families who

were joined by

New York

merchant

families in aiding the breakup of the Union. Despite this treasonous activity,

few of the powerful families were held accountable. The Gardiner

family was one such family that straddled the two sides of the Civil War.


71

Skeletons in the Closet

The Gardiner

family, while always flying under the radar of public

comment, was a power base

in

New York

The Whig party was divided on many

Whigs

who by

the nature of their business, cotton, remained close to

English banks and merchants. interests

and the so-called Cotton

issues,

themselves with the powerful families of Virginia and the

allied

Carolinas

and part of the Cotton Whigs.

When

Gardiner interests merged with the

of the planting families of Virginia and South Carolina, the

Gardiner family

itself

merged with the Tyler family of Virginia.

While American nineteenth century his vice president.

politics

has evolved over the centuries,

was not unusual

it

As

the result of

be

for a president to

the

in

odds with

at

compromise within the Whig

William Henry Harrison and John Tyler ended up on the same

party, ticket.

Harrison was regarded as a politician in the mold of loyal Virginia lead-

Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, and so was against the

ers such as

divisive politics of South Carolina, the Union. Tyler

was based

at

ber of the

Whig

was

which was

to threaten leaving

in Virginia that

the College ofWilliam and Mary. Although he party, he

had no inclination

agreed with admitting Texas as a slave Harrison and Tyler

tion.

first

movement

part of the secessionist

still

managed

to support

state,

was a mem-

Whig

policy.

He

and he was against aboli-

to take the

White House, using one of

the slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler too"; this motto referred to

Harrison's triumphs over the Indians.

assumed the presidency on March

Harrison

month and

he died. His death was attributed

later

later to

a

and

one

to intestinal illness

war hero and sturdy farmer was somehow brought down

head cold. After

rain, the

1841,

pneumonia, though no autopsy was performed. Described

as robust, the

by

first

4,

his long inaugural speech,

apparently healthy president

became

which was given

ill;

many

in the

believe that his

cold turned into pneumonia. InVictorian times arsenic poisoning as

poisoning

usually

it

was not uncommon

"gastric poisoning," started

with

as

for doctors to misdiagnose

the

gastrointestinal

symptoms of disorders

arsenic

including

abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. But both of the president's physicians were suspected of pro-British sentiment. Dr. Frederick

May


72

Piracy:

was

trained

A Merry and a Short Life by

Freemason Dr. John Warren. May's son was an out-

the

spoken Tory and close friends with Benedict Arnold. The other physician, Dr.

William Eustis, was also trained by Warren. He had been

by President Madison because of

War

his actions in the

fired

of 1812. Dr.

Eustis helped plan the defense of Detroit with General William Hull.

On

way

the

Hull was ambushed. His supplies gone and

Detroit,

to

morale low, he surrendered Detroit as soon as he reached believed the British had been tipped

off.

When

the

conceived a plan to attack England's supply base in

would not allow

it

to happen.

With Harrison dead,

Madison

it.

War Department

Nova

Scotia, Eustis

the pro-secessionist

Tyler was elevated to the presidency in 1841; John Tyler was the president of the United States to get to his post without election.

Harrison was the started

what was

first

later

first

3

president to die in office. His suspicious death

called

the

"Twenty-year Curse" or the "Zero

Curse," which postulated that every president elected in a year ending

with a zero would die in office. The "curse" lasted 160 years before

it

was broken by Ronald Reagan. Reagan, however, barely missed being by

assassinated dent.

Some

warrior

the mentally disturbed son of a friend of the vice presi-

said the curse

whom

was put on Harrison by Tecumseh,

the president

had defeated. But

it

is

more

the Indian

likely that the

death was engineered.

Caleb Cushing, whose political leanings were influenced by profit potential,

was no

He was

a

thirty-third-degree

Mason could pro-British

stranger to political manipulation and subtle bribery.

rise,

to

the

highest

level

to

which a

and an opium smuggler. His fortunes were tied

mercantile

Cushing wanted

Mason,

smugglers,

slave

traders,

and drug

to the

traffickers.

hold a government office.

Tyler claimed he was not a party

man and had

accepted his nomi-

nation reluctantly. But after Harrison's death, Tyler immediately repudiated most of the

House. As a

Whig

result, the

platform that had brought Harrison to the White

new

president

was not popular;

in fact,

he was

derided as "his accidency." Tyler's

first

order of business was pushing for Caleb Cushing to

become Secretary of the Treasury. The Senate

rejected his nomination


73

Skeletons in the Closet

three times, with the third ballot securing only three votes for Cushing.

Tyler then proposed sending Cushing to China. This

because

heartily, possibly

ernment

it

was

the farthest place

that the devious politico could

was

death

Harrison's

the

first

be

move was

from the

much

Virginia

of

during

three

Tyler's

Gardiner,

the

Gardiner,

was

spoiled

with

a

merchant

northern

family.

Julia

daughter of the wealthy and prominent David

Tyler's target.

Washington

two Supreme Court

She met President Tyler

officer.

became

social whirl, dating several congressmen, includ-

ing the future president James Buchanan,

and a naval

in

Laetitia. Tyler

After returning from a grand tour of Europe, Julia Gardiner part of the

stay

time grieving; instead he opted to unite his

family

plantation

seat of gov-

sent.

Washington. The second death was that of Tyler's wife, did not spend too

greeted

at a

White House

Justices,

party,

and

he invited her to return. Although she was thirty years younger than the president, their first date

House.

He wasted no

stood in the

was not

a

way of

ended with him chasing her around the White

time in proposing to Gardiner, but her mother

the marriage.

good enough catch

She was concerned

for a Gardiner.

that the president

The Virginia farmer and

owner simply had no money when compared with

plantation

Gardiner fortune.

the

4

Tyler was not one to give up. The deaths of "Old Tippecanoe" and Tyler's wife

had paved the way down

would allow Tyler

The wanted

because of

gun was

was

stage to

to get set

display a size.

its

fired

new

his

path, and a third death

what he wanted. aboard the

USS

Princeton,

new cannon, which was dubbed

where the navy the

Peacemaker

Several important personages were aboard and the

numerous times. David Gardiner,

the

New York

ter,

Julia, to witness the scene.

the

enamored president belowdecks

a friend of Tyler's

and

State senator at the time, brought his attractive daugh-

She quickly became bored and invited for

a

glass

of champagne.

The

overheated gun was to be fired one more time as a salute to George

Washington

as

it

passed

his

Mount Vernon home,

but

it

exploded and killed Secretary of State Abel Upshur, Secretary of the

instead


a

74

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life

Navy Thomas W. The

president

fifty-four-year-old

Julia Gardiner

They

Gilmer, and Julia's father, Senator David Gardiner.

later

became

and

twenty-four-year-old

the

engaged shortly

secretly

5

after her father's death.

married privately. The huge difference in age presented more

won

fodder for public opinion and the media, but Julia Gardiner Tyler the hearts of the public

even as her husband was the butt of their jokes.

During Gardiner's "reign" the formality of

as First

Lady, as she called

she revived

it,

White House receptions, which had gone out of

She welcomed guests

with

plumes

in

her

style.

surrounded by

and

hair

6

twelve maids of honor dressed in white. She also instituted the playing of "Hail to the Chief." Gardiner bore several children with the president:

David Gardiner Tyler, John Alexander Tyler,

Julia Gardiner Tyler,

Lachlan Tyler, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Robert Tyler, and Pearl Tyler.

As

president, Tyler's

major accomplishment was repaying the favors

of his chief promoter, Caleb Cushing,

managed

to

to reap the

treaty

with

rewards of the British

sorts,

sending him to

Opium War. The

New England

Tyler was booted out of his

of his

Daniel Webster, call.

cabinet

resign.

who was

own Whig

and

He

Cotton Whigs.

China kept the American opium traders

trade that benefited a handful of

beck and

the

make Cushing an ambassador of

China

member

among

signing of a

business

in

—

New York families.

party and had

all

but one

The remaining cabinet member was

deeply in debt to Caleb Cushing and

Tyler was even impeached for not signing a

at his

tariff bill,

although the impeachment was eventually defeated. His lack of favor in

Washington went so deep

that

dent's inauguration. Tyler left

he didn't attend the succeeding presi-

American

government, making Tyler the

politics to join the

American president

first

Confederate

to

bear arms

against the federal government. After his death in 1862, Julia returned to

New York and

worked

to

promote the Confederate cause.

The Gardiners survived prosecution vived pro-British sympathies

after

rebel sentiment during the Civil

manor

still

the

for assisting pirates,

Revolution,

had

sur-

and survived pro-

War. Today the sixteenth lord of the

defends his preserve from more modern dangers, such as

taxes and disrepair. Gardiner's Island

is

the oldest

family-owned

estate


75

Skeletons in the Closet

of

kind in America. The Gardiner estate

its

eighty-eight-year-old

between

time

estates

Robert in

now

is

divides

his

Palm Beach and East Hampton. With

the

exception of having to comply with taxation, he

manor, just as a lord from another century. to take part in a hunt to

For the

first

who

David Lion Gardiner,

hands of

in the

He

is

lord of his

the

regularly invites guests

reduce the island's deer population.

time in the Gardiner family history there

no

is

direct

Robert Gardiner's niece, Alexandra Creel, married into another of

heir.

America's

first

families,

and will

the Goelets,

inherit the

The

island.

Goelets have been in America since 1676, and they built their fortune in real estate, along with the Philipse

founded

Goelets

Chemical

The Goelets and

Roosevelt.

manor has

a

grandfather

have been

Theodore

of

and

rivals for years,

recently been quoted as saying

not happy to see his ancestral lands end up in Goelets province.

is

The

Bank with

the Gardiners

the last lord of the Gardiner

he

and Roosevelt families. One of the

Gains's Philistines at the

quotes

was covered extensively

Gardiner-Goelet feud

bitter

are

in

Steven

Hedgerow, and some very colorful anti-Goelet

on peconic.net,

the

newspaper covering the long-

local

standing feud.

While both families maintain a high degree of secrecy, Robert Gardiner recently opened up his of the media.

Historians

and

his struggle to the prying eyes

and reporters alike were treated

glimpse of the island, visiting Captain Kidd

life

it

to

a

rare

aboard a Gardiner estate boat, the

III.

THE LIVINGSTON DYNASTY Robert Livingston, another of Captain Kidd's partners, was for the most part unscathed

by Kidd's

arrest.

The Livingston family would go on

play a major role in the politics of port base

and the nation, and

was Freemasonry, which allowed members

from behind the scenes. piracy, theft,

below

New York

Several

and smuggling, but

the surface, allowed

them

to

early their

scandals

to

also

connected

its

to

sup-

operate

them

to

power, which was always just

grow and prosper

to

modern

times.


76

Piracy:

A Merry and a Short Life was breathing

Just as Robert Livingston

was

to the family,

new

Kidd

Margaret married a Scotsman,

in the noose, Livingston's daughter

her cousin Samuel Vetch. The

a sigh of relief that

son-in-law brought more notoriety

which apparently was not a concern for the Livingston

clan as long as the notoriety

was matched by

enterprise.

The Vetch fam-

ily

and the Livingston family had already been connected by marriage

in

Scotland. Reverend John Livingston brought Samuel Vetch's father

into the Presbyterian Church.

William Livingston, the older brother of

Robert, had also married a Vetch. Samuel Vetch was despised in Scotland,

and

is

it

unlikely that the Livingstons and anyone else in

Scotland were unaware of his criminal

7

activities.

In Scotland a project had been created to found a

America. The Scotland

by many

Company Trading

new colony

in

Africa and the Indies was

to

June 1695 with the goal of bringing to Scotland what the

formed

in

British

East

Company brought

India

money

books, which allowed anyone with pany, were rapidly

filled

England.

to

to

The

buy stock

subscription in the

com-

with the names of merchants, shipowners, and

wealthy individuals from physicians to widows. The plan was to buy ships and bring Scottish settlers to their in Darien,

on the coast of Panama.

that the land

own

colony, which would be

was given

Little attention

was claimed by Spain, and

the

company was

to the fact

not really in

the favor of England.

The

project

was plagued with

Ships packed

disaster after disaster.

with soldiers and colonists were provisioned poorly and would see forty

dead before reaching the

New

Panama they were

starving,

barely be tolerated. ity,

nearly

More were

the desire, or the

their

other ships attempted mutiny and

colonists

it

half

its

many simply

few had

crew.

One

deserted.

no trade established, and a government of in

the abil-

ship hit a

Crew members on

By

were no plantations planted, no

There were, however, two hundred graves

reached

worm-ridden food could

to build a settlement.

rock in harbor, sank, and took with

erected,

as

the

sick than healthy, and

knowledge

the first rainy season, there

When

World.

the end of

fortifications

five quarreling

New Edinburgh.

After ten months the colonists were ready to give up their settle-

men.

8


77

Skeletons in the Closet

Two

ment. Over one third had died.

York City

of

he

ships. In the East River

act of piracy that he

would explain was

came

Robert Livingston

New

goods and buy provisions. Samuel Vetch was

in order to sell

on one of the

ships left the colony to sail to

tried to seize another ship,

Vetch's

to

Thomas Wenham were Livingston

by

his right

charter.

Stephen

aid.

friends

Delancey

who had

associates

Two

an

and

fortunes

built

financing the pirates of Madagascar. Livingston had to maintain a

low

however, as he was already under suspicion from his partnership

profile,

with Kidd. Vetch, like his cousin Robert Livingston, was not likely to pass up

He

a lucrative opportunity.

was meant

buy provisions

to

Livingston helped him

Of

sell

the

starving

the

colonists

Darien.

in

the stolen goods.

would cause

fiasco

below the Highland or friend to haunt

line

them

in

riots

would not have

Edinburgh. Hardly a family

member

the loss of a family

as a result of the ill-conceived expedition.

second voyage saw three hundred of 1,300 dead before reaching

Few made

the devastated colony.

would

for

course, Vetch could not return to Darien or to Scotland; the

news of

A

decided to keep the shipload of goods that

likely

back

it

to

Scotland. Because Vetch

be hanged on the sands of Leith along with several other

criminals related to Darien, he decided to stay in ried Livingston's

young couple

daughter, and the

wedding present

as a

New

York.

He mar-

magnanimous Livingston gave a house that

was once

the

the property

of Captain Kidd.

Samuel Vetch and John Livingston went together.

They bought

to import

a ship and

named

French brandies and wines.

it

On

smuggling business

into the

Mary, then sailed their

smuggling cargo onto eastern Long Island, not

far

second

trip

to

Canada

they were

from Gardiner's island

kingdom, when they encountered problems. This early version of the

gang

couldn't

that

anchoring

it

shoot

and then took

swept away by the cargo, logs, and

No one was

all

straight"

off,

tide to

their

left

presumably

ship

beached

to find assistance.

Montauk, where

it

was seized

The

without ship

was

—complete with

the evidence required to bring charges against the pair.

hanged;

all

were

let off

simply with the loss of a ship


78

Piracy:

and

A Merry and a Short Life The

cargo.

its

incident did, however, bring

who was

Robert Livingston, Livingston

over.

Cornbury,

who

called

still

in

hoping the Kidd

against the younger Livingston and Vetch dropped.

Not

women's

clothing.

Unlike

had the charges

He

also repealed the

and Vetch to keep

mismanagement, and even attending

their cargo.

parties dressed

9

Samuel Vetch learned from merchant.

Lord

Cornbury's six-year rule was highlighted by accu-

coincidentally,

sations of bribery, in

would blow

affair

took over for Governor Bellomont,

Bill of Confiscation, enabling Livingston

attention to

Edward Hyde,

and

markers,

his

unwanted

his

new

and soon become a wealthy

his cousin

however,

in-laws,

luck did

his

not

last.

Fortune caught up with him and he died in debtor's prison in London.

Robert Livingston would do Livingston's

life

much better.

took an odd turn

plead the case of the Iroquois tribes in

was accosted by French mercy

was

privateers,

the backer of the world's

short-lived,

as

the

when he

New

traveled to

York.

who had no

most infamous

On

the

London

way

to

his ship

idea they held at their pirate.

Their advantage

sudden appearance of a British man-of-war

turned the tables.

The immense amount of land held by value

little

to

if it

change the

idle lands to profitable lands to

He had been warned on

was

German

the starving palatines

were

in

government refused

a

may

new

governor.

not have been

both sides of the Atlantic about

It

to provide a place to settle

came with

be honest, he

dealing with Robert Livingston.

English

was of

could not provide an income. In 1710 the opportunity

While Robert Hunter was reputed too smart.

the Livingston family

mattered

little

to Hunter,

whose task

refugees. After the first winter,

open rebellion against

their landlord.

them permission

leave,

to

and

The

Robert

Livingston admonished his wife, Alida, for wishing to give them bread.

A

second freezing winter found the

in the

hope of escaping

settlers

fleeing across the

Hudson

their feudal lord.

The eighteenth century was marked by wars between

the British

and the French and ultimately between the colonists and the For the Livingstons the century was marked by uprisings by

British.

their ten-


79

Skeletons in the Closet

They used

ant families.

the French

and Indian Wars

to

increase their

wealth after being appointed to the lucrative position of provisioning the

British

troops.

When

American Revolution came,

the

straddled the fence for as long as possible.

home

the

family

Then some members went

Scotland and others fortuitously gambled on the side of the

to

Revolutionaries.

One of

Livingston.

He played

Robert

of

great-grandsons

the

was

Livingston

Robert

R.

a pivotal role in politics and in the Freemasons,

New York

of which he was the grand master for the

30, 1789, he swore in the country's first president,

On

branch.

George Washington.

new gov-

Livingston had hoped for an appointment to Washington's

ernment but none was forthcoming;

April

was possible Washington recog-

it

nized the Livingston clan as playing both sides. Several Livingstons had left

New York

married

for the

West

Valentine

to

Livingston kept his

Indies. Alida Livingston Gardiner,

had

Gardiner,

own power

left

at least as

New York Holland No.

Masonic lodges he reached

wed

most

in

Van

in particular,

was the

in

London.

When

City, he used his marriage to a

member

of the

both his

home

mayor of

Germany and

in

to the

made connections with New York's

Stephen

But Masonic

and powerful lodge

influential

Brevoort family to gain entrance

later

a Roosevelt.

Jacob Astor was aware of the power wielded by the

New York

nephew and

R.

important.

State's

8.

Robert

as one Livingston married John Jay,

another married an Astor, and another

were

who was

base behind the scenes. The Livingstons'

power grew by dynastic marriages,

ties

England.

for

10

New York

Holland No. 8 Lodge. There he governor,

City,

De

George

his

Witt Clinton, land baron

Rensselaer, and the Livingston family."

was an ardent Mason, and among

Clinton,

De

Witt Clinton,

the offices he held

were

lodge grand master, high priest of the Grand Chapter, a grand master of the Great

Encampment of New York, and grand master of

Templar of the United

States.

remain the Holland No. 8 Lodge.

Clinton's

power

base,

the Knights

however, would


80

Piracy:

When

A Merry and a Short Life

Robert Livingston was grand master of the Holland No. 8

Lodge he founded

ten other lodges;

still

the Holland lodge

New York

the

most powerful. The old guard of

the

Masonic order and the Holland lodge grew

was firmly

in control as

Many would

power.

in

remained

advance their careers through Masonic connections, including Charles King, former president of Columbia University; Cadwallader Colden,

grandson of the provincial governor; and John Pintard, the secretary of

Mutual

the

Company.

Insurance

Masonry rewarded

family well, and the family did not turn ing

on West Twenty-third

New York

was

a

Street in

power center

ence was not limited to that

administration, but during

for the Livingston clan, but

James Monroe on a mission

New

of

Talleyrand,

whole?"

influ-

Jefferson's administration he did join

They went

were

they

Napoleon's minister, asked,

—meaning

its

an appointment in Washington's

to France.

and

Orleans,

main-

Robert R. Livingston was disap-

state.

Thomas

is

New York City.

pointed because he did not receive

chase

the craft even dur-

unpopular years. Today the Livingston Masonic Library

its

tained

away from

Livingston

the

to negotiate the pur-

reportedly

"What

you give

will

when

surprised

the 825,000 square miles offered for sale.

12

for the

Without

permission and without the time to contact Washington, the two

men

offered fifteen million dollars. Livingston later assumed full credit for

was given the

the purchase, altering his journal entries to say he

days

three

before

earlier,

Monroe reached

France.

offer

The government

issued a vigorous denial and published Livingston's real itinerary, and the disgrace cost

The area

him whatever

that

to

the

city

might have been due.

was open thanks

early equivalent of the

close

credit

Wild West.

was

a pirate

to the Louisiana

New

Purchase was an

Orleans was the gateway. Very

kingdom second only

to

one in

the

Madagascar a hundred years before. The new Libertalia was called Barataria,

and Jean Lafitte controlled the

territory

India to the Caribbean, Lafitte's career stood out his

navy was so large

protective estuaries,

it

could not

became

his

sail into

home

base.

any

like

among

port, his

a king.

From

pirates.

Since

kingdom, with

At Barataria the

pirate cre-

ated a marketplace where pirates, smugglers, and legitimate traders


1

Skeletons in the Closet

could buy and

sell silks,

had been taken

at sea.

wines, spices, furniture, and slaves,

The

market

pirate

Barataria

at

8

of which

all

became so

large

it

threatened the merchants of New Orleans.

Weeks

after the

Louisiana Purchase was

nor William Claiborne, escort to

assume

The

In

goaded

a

short

was

with

in

in saris

Italians,

— and

bounty for Lafitte and

own bounty

two

blacks from Haiti and

the brothers Lafitte.

Grymes

captured, District Attorney John R.

13

was

area

his brother, Pierre. Lafitte

Governor Claiborne.

for

gover-

military

a

time the newly appointed governor of the

into offering a

posted his

Hindus

new

city turned out for the occasion:

thousand Americans, French, Spaniards, silks,

official a

was appointed. He rode

his office.

Jamaica, Orientals in

made

When

Pierre Lafitte

quit his job. Instead of

prosecuting Lafitte he would became the pirate's defense co-counsel.

Robert Livingston's brother Edward, an active Mason and the mayor of

New York

City,

left

New York

to join

the

The two

defense team.

defenders were allegedly offered twenty thousand dollars.

Edward Livingston had which had something

to

several reasons for leaving

do with money,

New

specifically

York,

his

all

lack of

of it.

Livingston's land speculations and other ventures had left

him

in debt.

His position as mayor was not as lucrative for him as

was

for past

mayors.

New

Orleans would be the

Moreau de Lassy, whose family was

life.

He

quickly mar-

Louise D'Avezac de Castera

a nineteen-year-old French widow,

ried

new

of a

start

it

the

owner of

plantations in Haiti

and had been driven out by the slave insurrection. As grand master of

New far

York's grand lodge, Robert Livingston had influence that spread

beyond the

state borders.

of the Louisiana lodge upon

Edward Livingston became grand master

arrival.

Jean Lafitte was no ordinary

whose parents the

lost their lives

Reign of Terror,

14

Said to be a French nobleman

pirate.

under the blade of the guillotine during

the swashbuckler

was

also an educated

man who

could speak four languages. Called "the gentleman pirate," Lafitte was described as

tall,

black-haired, and sporting a black mustache.

France aboard a privateer ship that he would

and he began indiscriminately

to raid ships

of

later take

all

from

its

He

left

captain,

nations. Lafitte started


82

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

where he bought a boatload of slaves

in the Seychelles,

way

the

them

to sell

in India he

was chased by

for trade.

On

a British frigate. In des-

perate need of supplies, he captured other British ships, including one

of the East India Company's. The privateer soon had a

grew

Lafitte's reputation

ship in

manned by

to battle a very large, forty-gun British

four hundred sailors. Lafitte's forty men, with daggers

mouths and bandanna-clad heads, boarded the ship

commandeered

cannon and aimed

a

deck, threatening

From

them with

They

him

rebelled and authorized

navy had

was given

fifty ships

all

surrendered.

navy

the Indian Ocean, Lafitte and his

in a frenzy. Lafitte

men who remained on

the

at

certain death.

port of Cartegena, where he

Lafitte's

he used one

to gigantic proportions after

men

of his ships and forty of his

fleet.

sailed to the Spanish

The

a commission.

to attack Spanish shipping.

and one thousand pirate

city

had just

At one point

sailors.

From

there

he built his kingdom in Barataria. Derived from the Spanish word

name

barato, the the

refers to the part of the

poor for luck.

Lafitte's pirate city

house, and warehouses.

sell their

would

New

join the Americans in the Battle of the

legal

another noted

rewarded

down.

When

of lawyer

protection

Mason would come

Lafitte's

his

crew with

Mexico and was not heard from

The Livingstons, of

York, tics.

New

the

is

was

and Lafitte

their old

Livingston,

Andrew Jackson

aid.

to

tried

settle

ways, Lafitte sailed to

would be heard from

remembered

Clinton

Mason Edward

again.

course,

Livingston, the sixty-third ily tree,

New

of

governor and went on to

to the pirate's

citizenship,

Jersey, and Louisiana.

During

sail to the port

Orleans in 1812. Besides hav-

and

crew could not give up

Livingston dynasty

to facilitate ships,

merchandise.

Lafitte survived the prosecutions of the

ing

gambling

cafe, a bordello, a

He would widen waterways

dig canals, and even build barges that

Orleans to

winnings a gambler gives to

had a

in the

And

names of

the family

administration,

man named

for

is

again.

Today

locations in still

the

New

active in poli-

instance,

Robert

L.

Robert in the Livingston fam-

a candidate for the job of Speaker of the House.

of the tenth generation, descended from the

first

lord of the

He

manor

in

is

part


83

Skeletons in the Closet

New

York. Other members of the Livingston clan

of land in

New

who makes

home

his

vast tracts

York. Modern-day relations of the Livingstons include

Bush family and Thomas Kean,

the

own

still

the former governor of

in Livingston township,

New

Jersey,

New Jersey.

THE MORRIS FAMILY The Livingstons were not

The progenitor of

start in piracy.

have made

the only landed family to

made

the Morris family also

their

his for-

tune capturing ships and used the proceeds to obtain vast tracts of land.

Locale names

still

exist

New York

on the maps of

and

New

Jersey that

recall the extent of the Morrises' property.

Lewis Morris was allowed him

a

pirate

who had

that

split his prizes

with

nephew, also named Lewis Morris, was involved

the crown. His

Between running sugar

gave him an

lucrative trade

later

estate

end products

back

rum, Morris's

like

The younger

in the colonies.

be a signer of the Constitution.

The younger Lewis Morris was

in the

plantations in Barbados and using

the labor of imported slaves to create

Morris would

commission

king's

prey on shipping in the colonies and

to

triangle trade.

a

15

also part of an unusual rivalry that

developed into an important American historical landmark. In the early 1730s Morris served as the chief justice of the three-man Supreme Court in

New

York.

A

fellow wealthy merchant

had become governor and then

retired

his

post.

The new governor,

He demanded

Colonel William Cosby, was as corrupt as they come. that

case

van

Dam

made

return his salary as governor and give

Morris's court,

to

it

Dam

named Rip van

it

to

Cosby. The

where he cast the one vote

in

three

denying Cosby his claim.

Cosby, in control of the relentlessly

backed a

went

rival

iate in print.

after

state publication,

both van

Dam

the

New York

and Morris. Friends of the pair

newspaper and hired John Peter Zenger

Cosby

threw Zenger in

jail.

Gazette,

as editor to retal-

didn't like playing the role of editorial victim

After a lengthy and

acquittal started the process that later

much

publicized

trial,

and

Zenger's

developed into the freedom of the


84

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

one of the other two

press. Coincidentally,

was merchant and

men on

the Morris court

financier Frederick Philipse.

THE PHILIPSE DYNASTY The

Philipse family

Philipse

was

New

was one of

York's landed aristocracy. Frederick

way; he

also a pioneer in another

He had

supplying pirates with goods and money. before

business

Fletcher's rule

Fletcher

New York

And many knew

assumed

grew

the

Philipse of

New

Philipse

who had

it is

already been in the position,

but under

haven and Philipse

about Philipse's business.

York,

near twenty years."

governor's

as a pirate

Reverend John Higginson once wrote

built the family fortune

A

profited.

Salem minister named

in a letter to his son, "Frederick

reported, has a pirate trade to

Madagascar for

16

was well acquainted with Kidd and hired Samuel Burgess,

sailed with

Kidd

as a privateer.

Burgess was recruited out of

retirement to sail to Madagascar with goods for the pirates. Clothing,

and ammunition were the imports of choice on

liquor, naval supplies,

Saint Mary's. These goods were in turn exchanged for slaves, one of

Madagascar's only exports.

Another employee of Philipse was the pirate

was

for a while

Adam

one of the pirate kings of Saint Mary's. While

did not entitle Baldridge to rule in a monarchal way, the

number one fence

tion.

Baldridge,

for items stolen

Baldridge bought goods

ships to Frederick Philipse.

at

by

pirates

—

attractive prices

He would

it

did

who

his title

make him

a very lucrative posi-

and put them aboard

also serve as a travel agent, assist-

ing retiring pirates in making their return passage to England or the

North American colonies.

With

the pirate king Baldridge

back and

forth to

ing empire.

did

little

Ocean

The

New

pirate

on Saint Mary's and Burgess

York, the aristocratic Philipse had his

Thomas Tew was

to hide his role in piracy.

Frederick.

own

trad-

also in his employ, and Philipse

One of

his ships that sailed the Indian

for slaves and contraband and to engage in piracy 17

sailing

was named

the


85

Skeletons in the Closet

But

would not always

life

simple

stay

Bellomont was on the prowl for

arrest,

two hundred

pirates

was thicker than expensive

The

friendship.

—owned

was an

fee charged to each ex-pirate

men were most

of their personal wealth; the

from

money

he decided

ship,

aware

New York

to

18

pounds, but presumably that was the

fifty

Kidd's

and he was not above

pirates,

were being given passage

Madagascar on a Frederick Philipse

After

Philipse.

When Bellomont became

turning on acquaintances like Philipse. that

for

of the iceberg

tip

booty

likely loaded with

intended to provide for them in their retirement years. Luckily for both Philipse and his cargo, Bellomont intercept

Next

was

would not survive long enough

to

it.

Philipse's

number one

was captured

captain, Burgess,

the second time for Burgess,

who had

at sea. It

previously survived arrest

being pardoned by Bellomont. But that was before the backlash against piracy started by the British East India

Company and

the arrest of Kidd.

This time Burgess was brought to London, where he was condemned to death.

worked

To

his credit, Philipse

London

sent to

for three years to save Burgess

his son Adolph,

from suffering the same

who

fate as

Kidd. Burgess returned to sea, and later lived out his retirement years in

London

as a consultant for the British East India

Unlike

and the Gardiners,

Livingstons

the

Company.

power and wealth was divided

Philipse

the

after the Revolution.

They had

colonies as part of the landed aristocracy of the

the

which

them

entitled

favorites of the royalty Pell,

Philipsborough

Cortlandt

to

back the

patroon

system

in England:

Philipses,

to the

Van

tracts

leased

Manor

extremely large

the

to

that

started in

Hudson

granted

Pelham Manor

Morrisania

family's

to

Valley,

lands

to

for

Thomas

Lewis

Morris,

Cortlandts.The families in control of these

farmland to tenant farmers,

who were

often kept in poverty and indebted to their land. In actions

1766

the

Philipse

tenant

William

Prendergast

mob

along the Hudson that would affect both the Livingston clan

and the other patroon families' holdings. At that he

started

was charged more

Philipse tenants.

It

for his small

didn't matter.

his

trial

Prendergast said

farm than were

He was found

all

the other

guilty of treason and


86

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

ordered hanged, drawn, and quartered in the feudal fashion of the lords

of the Hudson manors.

When no

one would come forward

the execution, Prendergast received a stay

King George

and

finally a

perform

to

pardon from

III.

King George disappointed the Philipse family a second time by

War

ing the

contingent

of Independence. The Philipses were part of a declared

that

of Dependence.

Declaration

loyalty

their

to

Frederick

the

and

king

Philipse

was

III

los-

New York signed

the

arrested

by

Washington's troops and so he fled his home. Washington confiscated the lands.

The Morris family somehow ended up with one

original grant.

Tenant farmers were allowed

to

buy

third of the

the farms

on the

other two thirds after the Revolution.

Some

of the Philipse heirs fared better than Frederick. Like the

Livingstons,

some

to avoid being

fled to

England

after the war, while others

managed

branded as Tories and stayed in the colonies. Also

like the

Livingstons, at least one Philipse heir would marry into the Roosevelt

Another Philipse

family.

heir,

Jacobus Goelet, started his

own

landed

dynasty that eventually united with the Gardiner family's.

Jacobus Goelet had been raised by Frederick Philipse, the lord of the manor. Peter Goelet, the grandson of Jacobus, established himself in

business and in politics during the Revolution. Instead of being arrested or

deported,

power the

to

Peter Goelet

remain in

New York

controller,

city

used his

close

relationship

with those in

and prosper. Goelet's relationship with

Benjamin Romaine,

allowed

the

Goelet

clan

to

acquire real estate as favorably as had the Astors and other large-scale investors like the Rhinelanders, Schermerhorns, and Lorillards.

Romaine was an early ternal

member

charity

a failed schoolteacher

of the

for

Tammany

Revolutionary

who found

which was founded

Society,

War

his true calling as

veterans

in

as a fra-

1789 shortly

after

Washington was inaugurated. Washington's Society of the Cincinnati

was

for officers only

and

later for those

The Tammany Society was meant it

to

with aristocratic family

be for

men

of

all

lines.

classes, although

quickly emerged as a corrupt organization that helped only a hand-

ful to loot

government

coffers.

While the history of New York points


87

Skeletons in the Closet

the finger at

Boss Tweed and others who were the most corrupt, the

major beneficiaries, such larger fortunes,

little

as

criticism,

New

York's

and no criminal or

emerged with

families,

first

penalty for their

civil

roles.

two

Goelet's

married

sons

Thomas Buchanan and

of

daughters

furthered the family's

founded the Chemical Bank of antibanking sentiment in

New

New York York.

It

The younger Goelets

rise.

time

at a

merchant

Scottish

the

when

was an

there

was nearly impossible

to get a

charter for a bank, so several companies got a charter for a certain type

New York

of business and then later amended the original charter.

Chemical Manufacturing Company was a small company formed produce dyes, paints, and drugs. One year business

it

became

a bank.

to

after getting a charter for this

Chemical Bank counted several generations

of Goelets on the board of directors.

The next Goelet generation would $100

million

mark when

Avenue, appreciated. Families

became "Old fortune

New

grew with

When

fortunes

collect

like the Goelets, Astors,

much

York," as they owned so

property.

Newport, Rhode Island, began

Thomas

to the Livingstons,

Robert

alty.

1870

married

attract

to

the

J.

their

well,

including

own

marriage

the

of the

likes

mansion.

of

Russell Gerry. Goelet-Gerry descendants

Hannah

made

ties

Harrimans, and Gallatins, as well as to British royyacht

Goelet's

Vanderbilts, and the In

And

the population of the city.

daughters

Goelet to

the Fifth

and Rhinelanders

Astors and the Vanderbilts, the Goelets too built their

Goelet

topping

Union Square and

their lands, including

J.

P.

Pierpont

rivaled

yachts

the

Morgan founded

his

Astors,

the

P.

Morgan's

own

elite

society,

which

like that in the private clubs to

which Morgan's father belonged, was limited J.

the

Morgans.

he called the Zodiac Club. Membership,

white men. Pierpont,

of

father,

included the pirate Morgan, and to drive

to

had claimed the family

home

yacht the Corsair and flew the Jolly Roger.

twelve Anglo-Christian tree

the point he called his

One hundred

years after the

Zodiac Club was founded, Robert Goelet shared one of the coveted chairs with eleven of the mid- Atlantic's

most powerful businessmen.

19


88

A Merry and a Short Life

Piracy:

Despite the dilution caused by marriages, the wealth of the secretive

Goelet clan Equitable

Trust,

Trust,

and

Pacific Railroad

Museum

of

far-reaching.

is

the

They have been involved with Guaranty

institutions

History

Natural

Central

Illinois

New

Through

York.

Corporation the family has interests in mining,

oil,

tal

New

of the world, entrance to this club

New York

is

highest

the

New York

York. Because

Goelet

the

and gas.

The Knickerbocker Club once represented wealth in the city of

Opera and the

the Metropolitan

like

in

and the Union

Railroad,

of

level

a financial capi-

is

no longer simply for

pillars

of

society such as the Goelets and the Astors. In 1965 the ranks

of the Knickerbocker included the

Aga Khan, Giovanni

Agnelli,

C.

Douglas Dillon, the du Ponts, the Goulds, the Huttons, the Ingersolls, the Rockefellers, Alfred Sloan, and

William Vanderbilt.

20

PIRATES TO PATRICIANS When

Templar were disbanded

the Knights

they had

core a handful of wealthy and noble families that had

at their

always acted from behind the scenes. Although the

Molay was burned The majority of

at the

the rank-and-file

illiterate

Templars also survived

They were protected by

families in France that held

power

protected by their sworn loyalty to one

Jacques de

remained alive and well.

stake, the elite core

estates in France but in hiding.

Norman

fourteenth century,

in the

On

And

they were

land

some

Templars found work as mercenaries and others in the building

They

network

unemployed each other

As

best

ex-

trades.

established a system of secret passwords and handshakes and a

lodge

there

in their

the heirs of the

in Scotland.

another.

—not

that

in a feudal world.

until

would be

created

in

Freemasonry

is

them from disclosure and from being

They were sworn

to

feed and shelter

work could be found.

there had

known

protected

been a handful of core families behind the Templars,

a handful of core families behind the ex-Templars.

the Sinclair family of Scotland.

the

and

aftermath the

of

Sinclair

the

Templar

family

was

The

The network of lodges downfall

named

its

emerged hereditary

as


89

Skeletons in the Closet

Former Templars were employed on land by

guardians.

the

Sinclair

family as construction workers and on the sea as sailors on the massive Sinclair fleet. flag as

The same men who

sailed under the skull-and-crossbones

Templars continued to ply the

The Reformation played

seas.

harmful role in dividing the Catholic

a

Stuarts of Scotland, England, and other elite families the

Templars

warfare,

who had backed and massive

in France. After a century of displacement

Europe experienced a breakdown

in

America was

morality.

populated alternately by whatever religious group was out of favor in

known

Europe. The French Protestants

Huguenots, the Catholic and

would meet

Protestant Scots, and Englishmen

cases continue the wars started

as

in

America and

some

in

home. Masonry, however, would serve

at

to breach the religious divide.

Masonic lodges provided a refuge for many and were places where the

of tolerance and brotherhood prevailed amid

ideas

world. For

many

out of the caste

Democracy

in

equality existed

where. The ety

if

it

the lodge system offered the possibility of breaking

system.

its

pure

among

The

community went

pirate

brotherhood,

form,

the pirates in a

Kingdom of

way

mutual that

was

had not been colored by pirate

wealth was held individually, and

had signed

only was each

articles that did not

further:

and

protection,

rarely seen else-

model

soci-

and tainted by

fiction

all.

all

men had

Crime against fellow

man armed and

any man who caused disruption law or

step

its

a vote,

provided for the community. The

all

old and infirm were provided for by rare; not

a

Libertalia might have served as a

prosperity being linked to stolen goods. In Libertalia

was

an intolerant

pirates

dangerous, but also each

allow for such activity. The presence of in the

community was not

tolerated in

in practice.

At the same time both the Masonic lodge and the gripped by the same evils that pervade the

greed guaranteed that some were

at

human

pirate life

were

condition. Pride and

a higher level than others.

While

equality might exist within an individual lodge, the lodges soon separated, with the sea captains

dockworkers and

ship's

and shipowners belonging

crews belonging

to another.

to

one and the


90

Piracy:

As

A Merry and a Short Life

in the earliest days of the Knights

were able

to use

sailed under the

pirates

who

Templars needed to rely on the

elite

and discard the rank and

same

few who could walk

flag as the in

Templar, some core families file at will.

The

both worlds. Like the Sinclairs in the Old

World, the Livingstons, Gardiners, and Philipses in the

New World

could operate and profit through their connection to the underworld.

At

the

same time they could

retreat to their

manor houses while

the

Kidds and the de Molays bore the blame.

Although the seed of a democratic society had formed aboard the pirate ships

and among the Templar fighting

units,

the remnants of a

feudal society remained. Ex-Templars and elite families continued their

symbiotic relationship in America in the years to come. Family wealth

would be

built

through secret societies. Profits would be made from

and even the opium-trafficking business,

smuggling, the

slave

where the

of the China traders would

fleets

crossbones. the

As

trade,

still

sail

in the fourteenth century, the risks

under the skull and

were often borne by

many, while the gains were enjoyed only by the few who could

exist in both worlds.


PART TWO

The Lodge and the Revolution

HUNDRED

FOUR order

was

alive

in

still

form

of

numerous

the

eighteenth

could

that

orders

its

Templar. that

could

survived

Masonry

remnant

Templar

Ancient Lodge.

century

claim

direct

Among exist

in

in

group,

the

The

it

day,

self-protection.

By

open secret

was would

several

from

groups

these

Scotland

and

descent

survival,

of

the

were

there

order

the

included

powers

still

being

Despite

Europe,

of

of

was

it

entities.

brotherhood

underground.

ground

authority,

religious

Templar

the

which

goals,

overbearing

conspiratorial

early

Knights

of

papal

squabbles

religious

many the

to

a

tions

that

the

retained

and the

by

by

resistance

AFTER

outlawed the

fractured

YEARS

and

the

later

original

were

military

secret

societies

society the

institu-

most call

of

under-

authentic itself

the


The Lodge and

92

the Revolution

The underground lodge system had been Templars; for decades

helped

it

many

became more open, and

more public Freemasonry. The world and

birth to the

would then become divided

No

longer would every

of the ex-

refuge

survive and evade arrest. Through

the centuries, however, the lodge system

ics.

the

gave

Masonic lodges

the

and econom-

as a result of religion, politics,

Mason be welcomed

it

in every lodge.

Europe and Masonry would be torn apart by the revolt against the papacy. The conflicts that had started in Europe found their the Atlantic, as did the solutions.

The

way over

Church led

revolt against the

to a

revolt against the aristocratic system that kept the majority in a peasant

economic revolt gave

caste. This

middle class in which anyone

rise to a

could participate provided he could find a means. Secret societies and

law breaking provided the Europe was to protect

tition out.

economic prosperity.

with conspiracies great and small.

rife

Men

conspired

themselves from the horrors of the constant wars over

They conspired

gion.

fastest route to

to protect their

They conspired

foster

to

there

was conspiracy,

there

industry

by keeping compe-

break a multitude of trade laws that did

much

trade and

little

to

own

reli-

to

enrich the kings.

And everywhere

were places for conspirators

to meet.

The

lodge system provided that refuge.

Not in

all

conspiracy could be considered bad. Joining a secret society

America provided

means

the

to raise one's

station in life,

to

find

work, to belong to a community, and to transcend the religious squabbles of the Europeans.

At the same time,

wealth through breaking the law, and

mobs

against

crown

started, secret societies

work and

the

enemy

the hostilities

against

the

allowed the colonists to create a spy net-

in the

most unsuspecting way.

The American Revolution began smuggling. Those

also provided avenues to

bred dissent and stirred the

weak government. Once

to strike the

down on

it

it

whom

a reaction to Britain cracking

as

the British declared smugglers

were

considered by the Americans simply to be merchants, although these

merchants

needed

had

something

connections

to

lodges. While smuggling

in

common.

survive.

This

Like

pirates,

the

meant belonging

was done by individual merchants,

to it

smugglers the

required

right


The Lodge and

93

the Revolution

a support system that was anything but small. Merchants buying even basic commodities from any of the numerous European possessions in

New World

the

were almost always breaking the law.

A

system of

trust

evolved through a secret society: Masonry.

The American Revolution was fought by

a

network of

spies, diplo-

mats, smugglers, Freemasons, and slave traders. Although they were rarely

—and

united politically, they did share an interest plish their interest.

New

England,

make

Masonic

from London

the

sent

among

to Paris

hedonistic

a

activities

entity

and

to stir dis-

from the Netherlands, and

From

known

as

ulti-

Franklin enlisted

Britain,

the

is

that

circles

and Nantes. Franklin was able

mately bring the French into the war.

orgiastic

through Masonic

freely

New

One prominent example

scenes.

the British, bring in supplies

members of

accom-

common ground

York, and the Carolinas to find a

Benjamin Franklin, who moved stretched

to

allowed conspirators from England,

ties

moves behind

critical

means

the

Hellfire

would shock even modern Britain

to

Club,

whose

muster public

support against the war and for the Sons of Liberty. Through a smuggling

network

operated

that

the

in

Bermuda

from

Caribbean

and

from

Europe, American sea captains supplied the Revolutionaries with munitions.

Masonic connections

Franklin's

who

Huguenots,

often

traders,

in

operated

France through

were wealthy slave lodge

systems

reached everywhere their ships sailed. Friends were also found aristocratic class in France, with

the royals

In

Masonry again paving

the

that

among

way

the

—even

as

were ardent Catholics.

a most

move, a wealthy French family bribed the

audacious

British admiral heading the

war

effort to

deny support

to Cornwallis at

Yorktown. At the same time the French contingent led by the Knights of the

Sovereign

Order of Malta supplied the American

American Revolution was won not on secret meetings

the battlefield as

much

side.

The

as in the

of numerous conspirators like Benjamin Franklin and

his lodge brothers.

With a

the

war won, the

government

founded an

steeped

architects of the

in

aristocratic society

Masonic

new

republic gave birth to

symbolism,

while

Washington

where breeding and heredity were the


The Lodge and

94

most important

the Revolution

one

tickets for admission. Strange? Yes, but less so as

understands the maelstrom of the eighteenth-century world, in which the old

ways of

and

religious

were being chal-

authority

aristocratic

lenged on a regular basis.

The dramatic changes

that affected everyone's daily life created a

new

nation while also fostering a

promoted an

The new

elite,

unfortunately,

long after the independence that allowed

attitude

elitist

elite.

criminal activity, as long as they were the ultimate beneficiaries.

John Hancock might serve

Mason who became With one

example of a well-connected sake of his

a great patriot for the

to

that

was

his trademark,

seized.

when

The event and

Hancock and

to

yet he

who

American

that the

Hancock, the Liberty, was

a ship belonging to

the actions that followed connected the wealthy

working

his lodge to the

ous other lodges, and

around

thousands of hardworking dockworkers

the

depended on him for employment. One could argue Revolution started

lodge,

s

a well-appointed carriage

in

aristocratic purple

in the

a hero

fortune.

himself as a champion of liberty and a

Hancock rode

prince of industry.

Boston clad

to present

own

workingman

foot in an elite lodge and the other in a

he somehow was able

would be

as the best

who belonged

class,

numer-

to

Sam Adams.

John Hancock was born into a wealthy and connected mercantile family.

He became one of

the wealthiest merchants through inheritance

from an uncle. He understood from early on connections, and one very important

way

that

lodge in Canada.

By

the

a

Mason

in an aristo-

being admitted to a lodge in one city he

could then attend lodge gatherings in other

would attend

needed

to develop those connections

was through Masonry. Hancock's uncle became cratic

a merchant

cities.

In Boston,

meetings of a working-class lodge

known

Hancock as

Saint

Andrew's.

Masonry was undergoing England had seen a dilution of erty and equality.

ent in the

shared

new

much

While

a great change. its

liberty

class system.

The

original values,

was prized by

What would be

craft in

America and

which had included

all,

equality

was not

called "modern"

lib-

pres-

Masonry

with the rising mercantile and professional classes that


a The Lodge and

formed the English Whig party

in the political arena

economy. With new Masons accepted by

in the

the Revolution

95

and a bourgeois class

common

invitation and

agreement, individuals in the lower echelons of the changing society

stonemason, for example ation of the

Masonic

—were not always welcome. This was

ideals,

and the effect was that an

—

a repudi-

elite class

was

allowed to develop and service the careers of its members. Politics

and religion were

inseparable, and the

still

Masons were pro-Parliament and very much the world

was

its

when

kings and queens.

June 24, 1717, representatives from four English lodges met

Goose and Gridiron alehouse

the

Protestant at a time

fighting a constant series of wars over the religious

still

leanings and marriages of

On

Modern Lodge

By

Lodge.

London and

in

created

known

going public the Grand Lodge, also

as

at

Grand

the

Mother

the

Lodge, ended centuries of underground operations. Instead of being a

where members of the same trades could meet and

craft guild

serve one another's interests, no longer for

membership. Masonry

tive"

masonry;

modern

this

of a working craft and

was

a particular trade required

Grand Lodge

in the

into mystical symbols.

four major lodges in England that went public

Lodge. They had been meeting for years, so at the

but as

time. Within

many

When

two years

the

Grand

was not much of an event

number of lodges increased

tenfold,

1

these lodges met, they toasted the Hanoverian king and sang

patriotic songs.

Because

Scottish rebellion, the

distance

the

it

and tools

There were

create

to

had been already in operation.

as twenty-six

became "specula-

style

interpretation eliminated the titles

made them

act to

them from

this

just a short time after the

Modern Masons hoped

the Scottish

The establishment of institution served

was

going public would

that

Masons and help them avoid

the English

suspicion.

Modern Grand Lodge

more than one purpose:

It

most recent

as a public

allowed English masons to

publicly distance themselves from Jacobite Masons, and

it

also

may have

forced the Scottish and Irish lodges to go public. In a very complicated

world where the change of the monarchy would often lead to war, these

lodges

were

ostensibly

pro-Catholic

England they were the basis for the Tory

party.

and

But

at

pro-monarchy;

the

same time

as

in


The Lodge and

96

the Revolution

these lodges were accused of being reactionary, they actually held the finer

Masonic

ideals to

be

true.

Although they often religious wars, the

fell

Entered Apprentice,

Scottish Rite the

the Catholic side of the never-ending

Grand Lodge had more

than adherence to the papal degrees:

on

authority.

to

do with Templar

tradition

The Grand Lodge had

three

and Master Mason.

Fellow Craft,

Masonry claimed higher degrees and

direct descent

The from

Templar organization.

VI of Scotland became James

In 1603 James

and

Stuart,

France,

was connected

his family

who had been

instrumental

I

of England. James was a

to the Guise-Lorraine families of

in

creation

the

of the

Knights

Templar. The old Templar sword and the trowel of the master builder,

which were so important

now

part

to the roles

born hundreds of years before, were

of the Stuart heraldry. The Stuart ascension to the throne

attempted to undo the losses of both Scotland and Catholicism. Noble Scottish families played a strong role in England's affairs, and lies,

the Hamiltons and the

Ulster Plantation.

2

James

I

Montgomeries, moved

was Catholic and

two fami-

to Ireland to start the

a Freemason, and in the early

seventeenth century his status would politicize Masonry. James constantly

fought with Parliament, which tried to increase

its

influence in matters

such as taxation, foreign policy, and religion. The Stuart rule would not last the century;

Charles

I,

ment of 1640

power

it

ended with the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

the son of

James

I,

ascended the throne in 1625. The Parlia-

however, declared that

to 1641,

to tax. This threat to the king's

and

and not the king had the

power might have

rebellion in Ireland against the Protestant rule. ally Anglican, his wife

it

his Stuart family

While Charles

I

was

actu-

were Catholic. Parliament saw

the Irish rebellion as a conspiracy; they felt the king lion to raise troops to

led to the 1641

was using the

rebel-

form a counterrevolution against Protestantism.

Parliament attempted to end the king's power to raise troops, but the king

ordered soldiers to arrest certain members of Parliament. Civil war broke out,

and

it

ended with the Stuart king being beheaded.


The Lodge and

The

alternative

to

Charles's

actions

was

Commonwealth

as well. His

many

brother,

James

sects of Protestants

was put on

II,

the throne. Charles II

who

sister,

Mary, who had married the Dutch

named Mary, who was

also strengthened the family

bond with

marrying the son of the Prince of Orange, William

Nassau, a region bordering on the state of Hesse.

come

to

It

the

a

Dutch by

The Dutch House

III.

German House of

of Orange was united from earlier times with the

ignation Nassau-Orange and

its

in the Glorious Revolution.

prince of Orange. James also had a daughter

German

his Catholic

took the throne the old religious bugaboo reared

II,

Charles and James had a

Orange.

when

of the privileges of the monarchy, but

head again. James was dumped

Protestant and

with

did not last the decade, and, remarkably, the

son of the beheaded king, Charles abolished

however,

worse,

Cromwell attacking not only Catholics but extremist

97

the Revolution

would shed

the des-

be called simply the House of

families were especially adept at the art of strategic

marriages, and after the hard-won struggle to get the English throne, the Stuarts

A new Mary, but

would

lose

it

to the

Bill of Rights it

House of Orange.

was established under William of Orange and

did not resemble the later American Bill of Rights, as

banned Catholics from the throne. The gave

rise to the

Tory and Whig

factions.

rule of

it

William and Mary also

The Whig

faction

was made up

of several powerful English and Scottish families and was based in Protestant Holland,

A

which was under the

rule of the

House of Orange.

brotherhood modeled on Masonry was established and called

the

Order of Orange.

in Belfast,

members.

When James

II,

It

was

anti-Catholic, and

legacy lives on today

where the no-longer-secret order has one hundred thousand

3

William died (years

after

Anne, took the throne.

Mary passed away),

When Anne

relinquished the throne to the rulers of the

From

its

itself

that

point

died, the

German

the daughter of

House of Orange state

of Hanover.

on the Hanoverians provided England with

monarchs, though they did change the family name

House of Windsor

to appear less

much

all

her

later to the

German. Anne was succeeded by the

grandson of Elizabeth Stuart and Friedrich, Count Palatine.


The Lodge and

98

The

the Revolution

Stuarts clung to the belief that they could regain the throne.

For the purpose of putting a Stuart heir back on the throne, a new branch of Freemasonry was created by Michael Ramsay, a Scottish mystic

and the tutor of the children of James

He modeled

the old ideals.

new branch

the

His plan was to resurrect

III.

Knights Templar,

after the

time in three hundred years he would publicly claim

and for the

first

what many

in Scotland

and Ireland had kept

Masonic

that the

secret:

organization was the direct heir of the original underground organiza-

One of Ramsay's

tion.

co-organizers,

the

Earl

of Derwent

Water,

claimed that the authority to create the Knights Templar lodge came

from the Kilwinning Lodge, Scotland's oldest lodge.

The Kilwinning Lodge was Templars.

It

by

dates to 1120, and

ticing speculative

Lodge

arrest of the

the seventeenth century

Masonry, meaning

history of the Kilwinning

formed before the

actually

it

The

wasn't simply a craft guild.

complicated, as

is

was prac-

it

was

it

first

inde-

pendent, then joined, then separated from, and then joined again the

Grand Lodge of Scotland. Following the creation of the new lodge, a

of pro-Stuart

series

Jacobite uprisings of the early eighteenth century began, which culmi-

nated

in

the

horrible

Culloden was meant tle

to

defeat

at

be the

Culloden in

last

the

English,

attempt by Scotland. After the bat-

were hunted down and

the survivors

To

1746.

killed.

Their families, too, were

prosecuted, and a massive Scottish emigration ensued

—much

of

it

to

the Americas.

Events in the not-so-United

Kingdom

affected the

many ways: European wars became American

tinent in

American con-

wars, Protestants

increased their suspicions of Catholics, and the displacement of populations

and

religious

intolerance

caused

waves

of

Puritans, Huguenots, and Scotch and Irish Catholics.

forever Scotland,

changed as

the

ancient days of

Masonry. craft

Henry

Masonry

was

linked

migrations

by

These events also to

the

Stuarts

in

had developed and lodges had met since the Sinclair's

guardian

status. It

was

Jacobite conspiracy, as lodges met in England as well Jacobite, pro-Whig, pro-Parliament system that

was

not,

however, a

among

in power.

the anti-


The Lodge and

America

In

Though

Grand (Modern)

the

remain

records

accurate

Lodge

New

Jersey the grand master

established

one

undiscovered,

appointments was by the Duke of Norfolk, Daniel Coxe of

was

who

of

the

99

early.

earliest

1730 granted

in

for

title

the Revolution

New

to

New

Jersey,

York, and Pennsylvania.

1733 Henry Price founded a Grand Lodge in Boston.

In

Oglethorpe,

known

in

American history

as

4

James

the founder of the colony

of Georgia, established and became master of his colony's lodge in

Savannah. His family included active Jacobites, and his siastic

command

By 1738

less than enthu-

of English forces led to his court-martial.

were established lodges meeting

there

York, Philadelphia, Charleston, and Cape Fear, North Carolina. attracted

New

Boston,

in

5

They

and admitted the merchants and shipowners while excluding

was not the

the average worker. This

intent of Scottish

Masonry, which

stuck to the principles of an egalitarian society. In Boston and Philadelphia

new

lodges sprang up, seemingly with-

out any authority. The most celebrated

Boston, which met

at the

is

Lodge

the Saint Andrew's

Green Dragon Tavern.

It

received

warrant

its

from the Scottish Rite Lodge rather than the Grand Lodge, and a sure

was created

American Masonry. The ancient lodges

in

made up mostly of

handful of the merchant class but were artisans,

carpenters,

Saint Andrew's ter,

and

shipwrights.

in

fis-

attracted a

craftsmen,

The notable exceptions

in

the

Lodge were Dr. Joseph Warren, who became grand mas-

and John Hancock. Both men served important roles

in the early

conflicts that ignited the war.

Masons played

roles

on both the English and the American

the conflict. In the confusion, a revolution started

by

sides of

the Boston

Whigs

operating out of a lodge chartered by a Scottish lodge system found as

opposition the Catholic Scots that had remained Tory. brother

and

neighbor

either side of the

fought

brother fought

Masons too would

neighbor,

fight

on

American Revolution.

Masonic influences

started the war,

and Masonic connections tipped

the balance toward the Revolutionary side.

Masonry played

As

the single

most important

When

the

war was

role in creating the

finally over,

new

nation.


Chapter 5

SMUGGLERS, PATRIOTS,

AND MASONS

An

|

November

16,

1776, the

first

salute

acknowledging the sover-

eignty of the United States of America was fired.

been

fired

ers for the

was next been

just days

American

might have been

colonies.

by any number of European

Britain suffer a setback in

The

It

shot

was

fired

its

by

fired

by Spain, which

is

might have

it

see

wasn't.

Dutch possession of Saint Eustatius,

the tiny

hardly

it

countries that wished to

conquest of the world. But

an island in the Caribbean that was captains and traders, and

might have

joining the fight-

and being wooed by American agents. Or

in line

fired

away from

by France, which was

It

unknown

at that

known today

time except to sea

despite the Caribbean's

appeal to travelers. The shot was fired in reply to a national gun salute

by

the

tiny

American brig Andrew Doria. While few have even heard of the

island

commonly

called

Statia,

American Revolutionary War and,

The Golden Rock,

as the island

it

was pivotal

as a result,

was

in

the

and

century

that

provided

also called,

guns

the

American independence.

was

the central head-

quarters of a massive smuggling operation that had gone

out

deciding

and

on through-

ammunitions

to

the

struggling Continental army.

At a most

critical

Admiral Rodney was

been instructed British

to

were dug

in

in

time of the American Revolution, the British

command

of a fleet of British warships.

rendezvous with Cornwallis

at

Yorktown, where the

and waiting for reinforcements and supplies.

100

He had


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

Rodney was responsible and instructing the

for bringing help to Cornwallis

New York

fleet in

more

to bring

from

help.

101

his fleet

Had Rodney

reached Virginia, the combined ragtag war-weary Americans and their

new

allies

may

not have succeeded.

Rodney decided

He

instead to punish the tiny island of Saint Eustatius.

by claiming, "This rock of only

later justified his action

length and three in breadth has done England

six miles in

more harm than

the

all

arms of her most potent enemies, and alone supported the infamous

American

Rodney took

his

of

Instead

rebellion."

toward

speeding

Admiral

Virginia,

time in attacking and then looting the island's hun-

dreds of merchant ships and stores. The tiny "free" port, the

home

of

smugglers of several nationalities, paid the price for aiding the American cause.

when

wasn't until 163 years later

It

States, Franklin Roosevelt,

a

the president of the United

Dutchman by descent who was born

a family that was no stranger to the smuggling business, the

Dutch island and

Eustatius

this

first

salute.

A

governor, Johannes de Graaff,

would honor

plaque honoring Saint

who had

ordered the

was presented.

salute, It

its

for firing

into

is

very possible that Saint Eustatius managed to play two roles:

being one of the key supply depots of the war and providing Admiral

Rodney with Rodney

to miss the

Revolution

—

The

a diversion.

most important

as well as the

wealth and prestige

actions of the island

intact. It

role he

ability to

may have

might have played in the

emerge from the

was no accident

caused

that

battle with his

Rodney was not

pres-

ent to save the war.

There

most

critical battle

British,

war.

no question

is

that the Battle

of Yorktown was the single

of the ten-year war. After Saratoga was lost by the

the English public

began

Yorktown cinched victory

to

lose

its

appetite for a protracted

for the Americans,

and

it

was a

defeat of the British military, thanks in no small part to the French

and navy.

It

band

as the

army

disheartened the English populace and finally tipped the

scales in the Parliament.

the tune of

true

The surrender of Cornwallis accompanied

to

"The World Turned Upside Down," played by the military

army turned

in its

weapons, marks the beginning of the end


The Lodge and

102

the Revolution

of the war, although the peace treaty would have to wait another two years.

also

It

marks the recognition of American independence.

But the war haven also

that

ended with the diversion provided by a smugglers'

started with an attempt to curb smuggling.

LIBERTY SEIZED

May

In

1768 the Liberty, a sloop carrying a cargo of wine imported

from Madeira, entered Boston Harbor. The captain told the customs agent,

Thomas

agent

knew

It

was, after

decided

to

Kirk, that

that the ship could carry

a ship belonging to

all,

much more

cargo than declared.

John Hancock. The customs agent

look for himself.

Once aboard

men who

contained twenty-five casks of wine, but the

it

the Liberty, Kirk

was shoved

into a cabin

by

a

gang of

then nailed the door shut. While the agent was locked on

When

board, the ship was unloaded.

by another captain

that his life

Kirk was released he was warned

and property were in danger should he

ever open his mouth about what happened.

except that the British warship

He might have

Romney had

also pulled

Harbor. Kirk filed his report, accusing one of the

city's

complied,

into

Boston

most prosperous

merchants of smuggling.

The captain of towed her out

to

Romney

the his

own

ship.

landed troops, seized the Liberty, and

He

underestimated the anger of the

Boston mob, however. One thousand men made the ambitious firm run

armed with

by

the

Hancock

clubs. Their first targets

family.

their living

They took

his

own

boat at the

which the mob burned. While the crowd stoned the customs

wharf,

house, the Madeira wine of John

Hancock was

safely

removed from

the

1

It is

the

to the streets

were the customs agents. Several

were beaten by the mob. One, Joseph Harrison, had

docks.

because of

no coincidence

that

Boston would become the headquarters of

American Revolution. Boston's economy, and

in fact the

of the entire eastern part of Massachusetts, depended on interests.

The king of England depended on

the

its

income he could

economy maritime


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

103

siphon off the business of trade, and he passed laws that hindered the profitability

of trade.

As

a

Boston was also the epicenter of

result

American smuggling.

The

resistance

was financed by

a handful of

men

including John

Hancock, Josiah Quincy, Elbridge Gerry, James Bowdoin, and Richard

Derby

2

Smuggling served

problem.

and the solution

as both the cause of

What would be regarded

New

as free trade for the

to the

England

merchants was actually smuggling under the laws of Great Britain. The

economic

of the colonies depended on breaking the laws. America

life

became so adept

smuggling

at

that

it

was

the primary

means of supply-

ing itself for the long war. Britain had passed a series of laws over the course of the previous

hundred years,

starting in

commodities.

tain

1660 when the king put

Tobacco was

the

smuggled item,

first

on

restrictions

and

cerlater

molasses continued a lively business. In 1707 Parliament forbade any

commerce

that did not sail

In 1733 the Molasses

ship.

through Britain and

sail

Act closed the loopholes

out on a British that allowed the

Caribbean trade, as well as trading with the French. Virtually molasses was illegal under British maritime trade

all

trade in

although they

rules,

were rarely enforced.

A commodity such as

sugar cost 30 percent more from a British

island in the Caribbean than in a French-controlled island. In fact, the

available sugar produced for export in the British

enough

to

keep the Rhode Island

enough of a market among the British

Dutch and French was a necessity made

The Molasses trade,

appeared to

aid the British

New England

islands.

illegal

by

West

was not

On the

would not

Trading with the

regulation.

Act, which specifically targeted the

New England

Indies

distillery business supplied.

other hand, a ship loaded with lumber from find

West

rum and

sugar

merchants as intentionally designed to

Indies plantations at the expense of the

New

England merchants. But from the English king's viewpoint, he was merely treating American merchants equally. ripe for the plucking. In fact,

He

regarded merchants as

American merchants were possibly better

protected at sea than were English merchants at home.


The Lodge and

104

the Revolution

The merchants of

steadily accept

smugglers as the law became entirely counterproduc-

their positions as

Those who complied were soon out of business; those

tive to business.

who

newly formed colonies would

the

defied the law succeeded. For the people seeking freedom from persecution,

religious

such changes.

brought

necessity

were already persecuted by the very nature of

on the wrong side of the trade laws mattered

The Huguenots in the ranks of the

in

The

colonists

their religion, so being

little.

Europe had already made a very strong presence

merchant

They were often French, but under

traders.

constant threat of the Catholic monarchy, they were a mobile popula-

Exiled

tion.

years

for

Walloon-speaking

in

the

peoples,

Netherlands,

and

they became they

together

migrated

with

allied

across

the

Atlantic.

The

anti-Rome

reaction

that

became

later

known

as

the

Reformation began long before Martin Luther. The Cathar movement in the south of France

represented.

had been more of a threat

The Cathari believed

in a purity in

to

Rome

than Islam

which man and

shared in directly relating to God. This purity was

made

woman

possible with-

out a patriarchal hierarchy of priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes. the

papacy the

revenue

threat of losing

produced by

power and

Church taxes

To

the implied threat of loss of

were

more important than

the

armies of Islam. The purists Cathari took as their symbol the dove,

which even

in

sentiment was

Catholic

art

represents

knowledge. The same Gnostic

shared by the Knights Templar. Their worship of an

alleged severed head called

Baphomet was

wisdom, or sophia

Greek

in

the

some Templars confessed of

its

actually an appreciation of

translation.

Although under

to worshiping a severed head, there

is

torture

no proof

existence.

When sade, he

the

had

pope decided the Cathari would be the victims of a cru-

to get support

from England; the Templars of France had

refused. Ironically, the Templars,

who were supposed

to take direction

only from the pope, fought against their master. The end for the Cathari

came

at the siege

of Montsegur, where Templar knights defended the

Cathari until their surrender.


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

While both the Templars

105

and the Cathari were victims of the

Church, the tradition of a more humanistic Cathar religion continued.

The blood of

the Cathar defenders

when

western France, and centuries later,

it

watered the

Templars and the Cathari carried

became

three

those lands. Both the

fruit in

ideas

their

Switzerland, and this group of cantons the reform

was planted

the seed of the reformers

bore the most abundant

of southern and

soil

into

exile

nearby

into

a country that protected

movement.

Although Martin Luther of Germany and John Calvin of France,

who were both Reformation,

exiled

Switzerland,

to

had begun

it

Hughes Besancon,

earlier

among

They were

descendants of the earlier attempts

at

populace

the

may have gave

a preacher,

the Reformation, the Huguenots. itual

were better known

his

name

often

for

the

of France.

to the

people of

more than

just spir-

reforming Christianity. The

Templar eight-sided cross became the cross of Languedoc and subsequently the Huguenot cross.

Combined with

symbolism of the cross and dove

the descending dove, the

hard to miss.

is

THE TEMPLE AND THE CROSS As

a large contingent of French

become Switzerland, under leaders

same time

like

it

is

Templars had survived

in

what would

not surprising that the Protestant Reformation,

John Calvin, would find refuge

that the religious revolution

in Switzerland at the

was spreading rapidly through

France and into England. Within twenty years of Calvin's proselytizing,

Huguenots were established Islands;

and

in

the

New

in France; in Kent, England; in the

World. The reaction

to

equally swift. In 1545 Protestants were massacred stake

—

in

twenty-two towns.

starting all

It

seemed

the

Channel

conversion was

—often burned

at the

like the anti-Cathar crusade

was

over again. The powers behind the original Knights Templar

were often found on both sides of the reform movement. The Guise family,

which owned the border

The due de Guise

state

of Lorraine, were militant Catholics.

instigated anti-Huguenot massacres

peaceful initiatives that the French king attempted.

and toppled any


The Lodge and

106

When

the Revolution

IX became king of France,

Charles

Queen Mother,

the

Catherine de Medici, controlled France. While she was allied with the

Guise family, there was no peace. Through the century the Christian-

by high-level assassinations

versus-Christian wars worsened, highlighted

and ultimately the

St.

Bartholemew's

Day Massacre, where

tens of thou-

sands of Huguenots were slaughtered. Finally Henry of Navarre became king.

He owed

his

remain Catholic

survival to the

political

He

be king.

to

peace and religious tolerance

Huguenots but needed

to

could appease both groups by bringing

France with the Edict of Nantes in

to

1598. Religious freedom was granted in degrees to Christians in seventyfive towns.

hold,

By

this

was now

was not

a

time the port of La Rochelle, once a Templar strong-

Huguenot stronghold. Reportedly

came

cross of Lorraine and the eight-pointed Maltese cross

represent both sides of the religious conflict.

To

the

To

the Catholic orders,

same cross represented

Saint John, the

to

Huguenots the cross

God

with a descending dove represented the freedom to seek individual knowledge.

mass

La Rochelle.

said for forty years in

The

the Catholic

through

such as the Knights of

the feudal order in

which the

Edict of Nantes was

suddenly

Church and the king were the masters.

The protection granted under revoked a century

later,

and

fifty

the

thousand families fled France for their

safety.

The Huguenots were

a mobile population, but they

highly

organized

or

industries,

ufacturing. traders.

in

lodges

such as thread and lace making, glassmaking, and cloth man-

With no homeland, many took

many

Huguenots

They would dominate many

guilds.

As merchants they were under

customs;

to the sea as

ports

merchants and

threat of both piracy

and English

turned to piracy, to smuggling, and to the Americas. The

were

among

the

largest

groups

to

Canada and English America. From Nova Scotia the

were also

of the

Carolinas,

and

even

south

to

to

settle

both

Boston, Florida,

New

French York,

Huguenots

escaped the volatile climate of Europe.

The colonies of

the

New World

did not always offer the freedoms

desired, but religious and social prejudice

was minor

the repressive religious wars of the Continent.

in

comparison to

Economic repression


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

became

laws designed British

newfound

the threat to the colonists'

The

prosperity.

107

series of

to raise the king's taxes or protect his friends,

such as the

—some

more than

East India Company,

affected

colonies

the

others.

MERCHANTS AND SMUGGLERS For Virginia the laws weren't much of a detriment, as the

New

ucts were shipped directly to markets in England.

was

including Boston,

eral,

England

to build

was.

The most common currency

New

in

Spanish dollar, the famous piece of eight. While hands, including

they were

all

money from

and trade

how

important

who

understood

their

business

British documents.

On

to secure the necessary

From

documents showing

Saint

Kitts

he

his

then

in false

take

was sold the

in a

cargo

to

commodity.

smuggling was just a natural consequence. The

New

England

that

restrictive laws, enacted

another, were hardly enforced, as Britain did not have the

means. Customs agents in general were receptive

many

the

pay a cash-only fee

that his cargo

would

from

which specialized

Trade with foreign nations was so ingrained in

after

and Portugal,

typical starting point

Saint Kitts a captain could

whichever foreign island paid the best for

one

the

currencies traded

profited

A

rules.

the British-owned island of Saint Kitts,

port.

many

France, the Netherlands,

unworkable policies and unenforceable

British

England was

valued against the Spanish dollar.

Merchants

was

in gen-

ships

with the world. The currency of the time reflects just trade

prod-

comparison, a mercantilist

self-sufficient in

had the materials and manpower

entity that

state's

officials.

restricted items

The numerous

ships of the

to

bribes,

as

were

Boston merchants carried

such as gunpowder, paper, and luxury goods along with

bulk commodities like sugar, molasses, and

spirits

aboard the same ships

as those carrying legal commodities.

The damage done was twofold. The rules that

were apparently designed

the interests of others.

British

presented

to sacrifice the interests of

arbitrary

some

The Americans, an apparently principled people,

to


The Lodge and

108

the Revolution

were developing a deeper disrespect for the law. By the time of the

way of life

Revolution, smuggling had been a

John Faneuil, whose name

was

for

immortalized in Boston's Faneuil Hall,

is

Huguenot whose fortune was

a French

He was

laws of the absentee government.

most Masons belonged

two generations.

a

on disobeying the

built

Freemason

time

at a

were composed of people

to lodges that

when

in sim-

lodge consisted of sea captains and merchants. John

ilar trades. Faneuil's

Hancock was another merchant, shipowner, Mason, and smuggler. John Hancock was born

was seven when

he was sent

his father died, so

to live with his uncle

Thomas. Thomas, an apprenticed bookbinder, had married

New

He

Massachusetts, in 1737.

in Braintree,

into

one of

England's wealthiest merchant families, and as a result became rich

While he claimed he was

himself.

much

than

better

other

in

the whale-oil business,

commodity merchants.

legal

he did

The whale-oil

business was one of the few legal trading businesses in which a person

could

Britain and get cash, in the

sell to

trade credits,

took on whale in the

exchange and sailed for England. Others, however,

oil in

same

ships carried foodstuffs to Newfoundland, then

trade,

and because of the

these commodities, the merchants

had a larger house, dressed chants, and

sail

secret

He had

island that

in a

was rapidly building

Hancock's Eustatius.

than

sterling, rather

which depended on the solvency of other houses.

Thomas Hancock's

engaged

form of

came

was

his agents in to

would not always do

more dignified a small

he

that

volatility in the prices

Hancock

style than his fellow

navy of trading

was

well.

of

mer-

ships.

importing

tea

from

Saint

England, in the Netherlands, and on the

be called the Golden Rock.

A

Hancock

ship

would

south to the Dutch port on Saint Eustatius with legally exported

items and return with contraband.

Hancock maintained

a high degree

of secrecy aboard his ships to avoid attracting attention. His

men were

cautioned never to speak of their business, and were not allowed to write

home

As

a

to their wives.

smuggler,

Hancock was

also

a

visionary.

Most

received news of Europe through his agents in various ports.

came

to the conclusion that

war

in

Europe would spread

to the

likely

he

When

he


— Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

colonies, he anticipated the profits

109

could bring from importing arms.

it

3

During the French and Indian Wars, the poorly supplied British troops

came

Hancock's firm

to

Hancock's sudden

and

to

buy munitions.

illegal trading practices

contemporaries

were

John,

not.

$100

Today

million.

4

Thomas died

While not yet 5

thirty,

He emulated

home, he rode

ostentatious

issue.

nephew

his firm, his

1764, and John inherited the

in

estimated

is

John Hancock was

more than

at

helm of

at the

a

every way; he valued his

his uncle in

and he made

in a fine carriage,

his

money

smuggling business.

One of

the goods

Hancock smuggled was

tea.

With

trade in China, Americans, like their British cousins,

The

the exotic beverage.

the opening of

became addicted

colonists drank an estimated six million

of tea per year. In 1773 Hancock supplied one million pounds. course, gal.

his

governor,

the

But finding proof was another

the value of his inheritance

thriving business.

in the

While

he adopted, was sent to Harvard and graduated to a part-

nership in the company. business.

attention.

by Hancock's wealth,

Thomas Hancock and

to the wealth of

whom

sound business practices

to

—eventually brought him

mystified

Thomas Hutchinson, was Thanks

wealth thanks

rise in

good business, but although

The

business, and as coincidence

would have

ing governor of Massachusetts,

linked to

The

all

his capital to

how much British

was very

it,

company

a

it

was

shares.

6

monopoly over

in the

ille-

the tea the act-

company. In

In addition, his

pounds was, of

also

Thomas Hutchinson,

was an investor

fact,

he

pay was

tax he collected on the tea.

East India

Company was

financial institution, second only to the

near bankruptcy, as

The company

profitable,

Company was given

British East India

committed

it

It

to

it

second largest British

Bank of England.

had not managed to addict China of tea

set the price

with the two shillings

the

a

pound

at three shillings a

set

by

the

to

It

was

opium

also yet.

pound, compared

Dutch. The company so

important to the British aristocracy then had the British government

ban

all

other tea.

It

was

a

move

that served only to

make smuggling

profitable and to pit the governor of Massachusetts against her wealthy citizens,

who

rose to the occasion.


The Lodge and

110

the Revolution

Hancock remained

when he

a

member

of the Grand Lodge for a year, and

received his inheritance he returned to a Grand Lodge, min-

newfound merchant

gling with people of similar

status.

His business,

however, depended on the labor of the dockworkers and shipbuilders,

warehousemen and

common men

from the

pletely

Sam Adams, who had

Hancock prospered. Carefully

when

necessity, and self

of Boston. Hancock remained close to

and the British law, Hancock If

way

treading his

came time

it

worker populace on which

of the

ear

the

com-

so he could not separate himself

carpenters,

to putting his

was a

in both circles

workers between him-

didn't hesitate.

Hancock's motivation for rebelling against the crown seemed

only monetary, he was fortunate to meet

men whose

motivations were

political.

SAMUEL ADAMS Sam Adams was the

born

in Boston.

community and was

owned

a brewer, and he

were used

as

aversion to

sin;

brothels.

However, young

was

a pillar of

a merchant

was an investor

him above

property. His high status did not keep

Sr.,

He was

called the Deacon.

was

a wharf, he

His father, Samuel

in land

who and

renting houses that

Sam had grown up

with an

he didn't smoke or drink. Born into a family of twelve

children, he enrolled in

Harvard

at

age fourteen and placed

fifth in his

graduating class of twenty-two scholars.

High standards did not mean Samuel

Sr.

had

of a currency leave school. left

the

lost

position

ÂŁ1,000 to

one third of his money in the early 1740s

crisis.

He

great fortune for the son of the Deacon.

Sam

Jr.,

who was

waited tables.

studying law

He went

to

work

by mutual consent with

start a business,

but

it

failed

the

as a result

at the time,

it

to

in a countinghouse but

owner.

He borrowed

and the debt remained.

then went to work in his father's brewery. But

had

appeared that

Sam

Adams Jr.

was

not career bound; he dressed badly, often wearing the same clothes for days.

He had no money, and whatever money

got to carry with him.

He had few prospects.

he occasionally had he for-


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

Adams political

did have a strong sense of values, in both personal

When

affairs.

which dominated Club appealed

political affairs, he started his

own. While the Caucus

wealthy shipowners and merchants like Thomas

to the

club allowed in the dockworker and the mill

who would manipulate

worker. Within his circle were the Loyall Nine,

mobs, sometimes by simply putting up signs

mobs

out the circles

and

he was not allowed entry in the Caucus Club,

Sam Adams's

Hancock,

life

111

the next day.

Sam Adams was

over Boston

all

to bring

not a Freemason, but his

overlapped with Masonic groups and his

own

secretive cells.

He

manipulated Masons, dockworkers, shipwrights, and shipowners for his cause.

When Sam

was twenty-six,

Jr.

brewery, as well as enough

money

enough

money

Checkley. But the idyllic

next

life didn't last

long.

of the brewery caused the firm to

Adams was that

would

career.

last until

own

property

many unemployed,

yet

although

When

wharf, and had a

one

to

remained

solid.

Adams was

to enslavement.

wife,

was rocky

count them as having paid.

still

was

a

being

kindhearted,

poor handler of money.

at least solvent

enough

two

children, and a

to

marry

at

Newfoundland dog

He would

War

best,

never back

Adams's

political

down from

leaders modified their

had been achieved. He wrote

that

in a British uniform. If his personal

thesis

believed the loss of a single liberty was the

other Revolutionary

liberty,

that kept

1764 he owned a home, received income from the

new

He

was, however, not a pleasant

biographer,

had acquired a hatred for anyone status

Adams's poor management

His failing was his inability to collect

Adams would

Elizabeth died,

a second time. In

erty

It

same time he was considered

financial

Elizabeth

Boston had suffered severe recessions

according

at the

also had

of malfeasance, sued several times, and almost

at auction.

as

crime,

wed

he

year

He

fail.

he was forty-seven.

from many people,

His

his debts.

inherited the

elected tax collector of Boston a short time later, a job

He was accused

lost his

pay off

to

Sam

father died.

the

married;

get

to

his

that every

and property, as well as the right

this ideal,

own

first

step

even when

thinking after lib-

man had

to support

always

the right to

and defend such

life,


1

The Lodge and

12

the Revolution

While most of Boston's merchants were going around the laws

rights.

of England,

Adams

the Liberty

was seized

believed in confronting the laws. Three years before

started a letter-writing

in Boston's port,

campaign

Adams and John Hancock had

to fight the

Stamp Act.

The meeting of Adams and Hancock may be one of

of the war for independence. Hancock provided the

ical events

keep Adams's

to

most

the

political clubs afloat while

Adams

crit-

money

validated the ideals

and enlisted the mobs that would make sure everyone heard about them. Following the Stamp Act, an Adams-incited

Then

records. earlier

home

turned on the

it

mob from

Admiralty Court and attempted

attacked the

front

father.

A Sam Adams

the water-

destroy

editorial the next

to

all

who

of Justice Hutchinson,

had outlawed paper money, bringing ruin

Adams's

to

many

its

years

including

day condemned mob

violence and pointed out the unfairness of the Stamp Act. In the edi-

mobs

he called the

torial

naming them

the Sons of Liberty,

after

a

speech in the English Parliament by Isaac Barre sympathizing with the

American cause. Chapters of

the

Sons of Liberty were then started in

every city in the North.

When telling

the Liberty

was

seized,

Sam Adams

again aroused the mobs,

them, "If you are men, behave like men."

ebration to

commemorate

7

He

three years of resistance to the

Free beer flowed thanks to his brewery. But even as sible

for inciting the

negotiated peace.

goods

Townshend

in

Stamp Act.

Adams was

respon-

mobs, he and a handful of patriot leaders

Hancock was

mobs went unpunished. This British

also started a cel-

later

acquitted of smuggling charges and the

rebellion, along with a general boycott of

Boston and Philadelphia, led to the repeal of the

Acts, but Britain

would

still

quarter troops in Boston.

Although the situation quieted, the mobs were given plenty of fodder for future

riots.

Tory homes, the Bar brawls and

While the

officers of the British

common man had no room

street fights

were

started

were welcomed

for the

common

in

soldier.

among commoners, and many

British soldiers deserted as a result of the harsh treatment and the hostile

daily

Two

life.

years after the Liberty affair, a

mob armed

with snowballs con-


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

went

taining rocks

The

after the British.

the redcoats, and four Bostonians

were

113

from

fight resulted in gunfire

killed.

As was Adams's

style, the

confrontation was orchestrated; three days before the incident, posters

appeared informing that the British would be attacking townspeople.

Adams's

newspaper

had

been

publishing

boys

of

incidents

being

roughed up by soldiers and of rape committed by the occupying army.

The day of

the massacre church bells

ple that something

over Boston rang

all

was happening. Adams would dub

Boston Massacre, a name

to alert

peo-

the incident the

that has survived in the history books.

Remarkably, the patriots again brokered the peace. John Adams,

who had defended John Hancock

defended the

in the Liberty incident,

captain of the British soldiers in the Boston Massacre.

The confrontations worked, but even

after repealing the

Townshend

Acts, the king of England decided not to lose face and keep the exclusive right of the British East India

would

The

by

responded

boycotting

America.

to sell tea to

which agents could import the

also appoint just

colonies

Company

tea in America.

Consumption

tea.

He

of

tea

dropped dramatically. In 1769 the colonies had imported tea costing 900,000 pounds

sterling, a figure that

ling three years later. This

British

East

India

dropped

237,000 pounds

to

ster-

drop of almost 75 percent did not help the

Company, which was nearly bankrupt. The king

decided that the tea would be forced on the colonies. In

October

1773

was

Philadelphia

appoint a committee to challenge the British

East

resign.

In

action,

but

India

the

colonial

in

hold

meetings

the

British

Boston attempted

governor was opposed

to

to

and

king and the

authority of the

Company. They forced

November meetings

to

first

agents

tea

to

force a similar

their

resignation.

Three ships sailed into Boston Harbor, and despite the colonists' refusal to

unload them, Governor Hutchinson demanded that the city pay the

tax

on the

tea aboard the ships,

Sam Adams

other groups,

if

they sailed

away unloaded.

addressed a crowd of eight thousand to rally the oppo-

sition to the tea tax, but that

Dragon Tavern,

even

later called

some

was

just part of the plan.

At the Green

Freemasons Hall, Saint Andrew's Lodge and

clandestine,

would meet. While the Masonic groups


1

The Lodge and

14

the Revolution

were aboveboard and signed the

in at every meeting, other groups such as

Committee of Correspondence, the North End Caucus, and the

Sons of Liberty (with always afford

to

core group, the Loyall Nine) could not

their

be so open. The Freemasons, which was an ancient

order-chartered lodge, had the largest and most open membership, and often

membership overlapped between

it

and other organizations. The

North End Caucus consisted of the wealthier shipowners; the Masons

were more a working-class group.

Adams and and

board

the

Sons of Liberty decided

his

British

tea

pounds' worth of Darjeeling tea and night of the event, which

dumped

became known

a regular lodge-meeting night.

Only

five

it

as the

as

Mohawks

ten

thousand

up

dress

to

They cracked open

ships.

into

the

The

water.

Boston Tea Party, was

members showed up

for the

meeting, however, signing their names and leaving a notation in the

book

the

that

attendance.

opposed

to

meeting would not be held on account of the lack of

These members were most the

planned

activity,

and

likely their

signatures

serve as alibis. At least twelve of the thirty Saint Andrew's

Tories or were at least

would possibly

known "Mohawks" were

Lodge members, although Sam Adams was

not,

twelve more would join the lodge after the Tea Party. At a time the

Modern Lodges were

lodges were more Tory,

often

Whig and

Protestant and the

and

when

ancient

and often even Catholic, the

Stuart-leaning,

ancient lodge of Saint Andrew's defied the classification of

American

Masonry.

Sam Adams was it.

the one to be contended with, and the king

Adams was

In a late attempt to stop the resistance,

visited

knew

by General

Gage, who, on behalf of King George, offered Adams a deal he wasn't supposed

to

be able

to refuse.

king and be paid for backing

Adams's reply was, the

The choice was

down

"Sir, I trust I

to

make peace with

the

or to risk the wrath of the king.

have long since made

King of kings. "The Sons of Liberty

sent

New

my

peace with

England horsemen

south to the other colonies, posting handbills with a skull and cross-

bones warning them of the British reaction.

Adams, while not

a

Mason, displayed

8

the traditional ideals of the


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

craft: liberty, fraternity,

who

elitist

and equality. Meanwhile Hancock, a Mason, an

favored a class structure even within the

craft,

of both a modern and an ancient lodge.

attendee

Masonry was

115

A

was an

active

brand of

third

also developing in the Americas: the Military Lodge.

THE MILITARY LODGE Shortly after the Grand tury,

Lodge went public

Freemasonry began

grow

to

in both the colonies

army. Within the army the "lodge" was

Masonry

nalia of

was

carried

by

in the early eighteenth cen-

and the English

now mobile and

the parapher-

The commander of

the regiment.

typically the master of the lodge, and both officers

and

common

were brought together by the brotherhood of the lodge.

soldiers

a unit

It

often

allowed the common-born to advance in rank to officers, an option not available before

were

becoming

a

lodge brother. Commissions of officers

purchased, but the

still

commander would

frequently lend the

candidate the funds for his commission.

The

Grand Lodge, not

Irish

the military field lodges. In

the religious

way

hostilities in

Ireland.

to

immigra-

The new lands offered an escape from

war and from post-Culloden persecution, and provided

to increase one's standing in the world.

tary specifically for the social advancement,

a

Many

served in the mili-

and

was no

—and

being admitted into a lodge was the ticket

mon

as

Europe. The population of

had been growing by leaps and bounds, due

from Scotland and

tion

Grand Lodge, authorized

1754 the French and Indian Wars began

a result of French and English the colonies

the English

it

secret that

not just for the

com-

soldier.

Jeffrey

Amherst began

his career in the military during the

War

of

Austrian Succession. His military prowess earned him recognition, but

by

the

end of

that

war he was

a middling officer without the prospect

of advancement. Although he had been aide-de-camp to General John Ligonier,

Amherst was serving

as

a procurement officer.

of war gave Ligonier the chance to tion, yet

Amherst did not have

recommend

the funds to

buy

The outbreak

his protege for a posi-

a commission.

The


1

The Lodge and

16

the Revolution

were loaned by Lionel Sackville,

funds

two sons were very active

Sackville's

founded

lodge

a

in

was

and

Italy

would

become

later

close

siege of Louisbourg in

Nova

and Ticonderoga and his

Dorset.

of

Francis

Sir

a regimental lodge master

in charge of the

Amherst's victory

Scotia.

who

Grand Lodge. With

Amherst was put

efforts in attacking

commander of all

Duke of

friend

the grand master of the Irish

the help of friends in high places,

position of

First

Masonry; Charles Sackville

in

a

Dashwood, and George Sackville was

the

at

Louisbourg

Montreal led him to the

the British forces in the colonies.

Wherever Amherst served he established

a field lodge,

and

his influ-

ence grew because of his military exploits. Amherst was one of the ear-

commanders

liest

work well picking

to establish the different fighting

in the Americas. Instead of

away

at

that

would

two opposing regiments simply

each other, the new tactics of sharpshooting, camou-

wooded

skirmishing, and scouting were employed in the heavily

flage,

New

of Pennsylvania and

hills

methods

York. Under Amherst's

War

of America's prominent Revolutionary

command many

heroes received their train-

These included Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, who fought

ing.

who

Ticonderoga; Israel Putnam, Hill;

Charles Lee,

New York

who

Schuyler.

and finally Montreal

Ticonderoga,

would be

9

in

the

hero of Bunker

on Montreal; and the

participated in the attack

Philip

patrician

later

at

Amherst captured Louisbourg, 1760

the

in

coup

that

would

cause France to admit defeat and sue for peace.

Amherst was not

the only high-ranking military officer to spread

Freemasonry throughout the English

forces

command

John

was and

Louisbourg

Colonel

Lieutenant

Quebec.

the

West

who became grand army

that

further

St.

the provincial grand master for

America and

down

the

who

fought

his at

master of

all

10

Rite.

command,

Clair of Rosslyn. In 1757 the Scottish lodges in

all

He was succeeded by Augustine

Indies.

were Scottish

Young,

Under

Young had been appointed deputy grand

master of the Scottish Lodge by William

Young was

America.

in

the

the warranted lodges

From Amherst Temple and

how junior officers have been promoted and

to

the

in

the

Prevost, British

Young, Prevost, and

Lodge systems show

subsequently put in


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

117

charge of lodges that would later dominate Canadian provinces.

When

American

the

Masons refused

British

Sir Jeffrey

colonists.

broke

Revolution play

to

a

role

defeating

in

Amherst turned down

many

out,

high-ranking

American

the

command. Because

a

the

Freemasons fought on both sides of the war and Tory-leaning Masons even attended the Green Dragon Tavern

in Boston,

not possible to

it is

reach the conclusion that a massive Masonic conspiracy was responsible for the defeat of the British. However, numerous minor conspiracies swirled that certainly thwarted the British military effort.

Between that

Tea Party and

the Boston

Samuel Adams created

from the inner there a militia

built

up a

the outbreak of war, the groups guerrilla

movement

that operated

and spread to other

core, the Loyall Nine,

was created and munitions were obtained

From

cells.

in secrecy

and

kept hidden. English intelligence was active too, and soon the English

decided to seize the munitions and the patriot leaders. They sent troops into the countryside.

ing ily

The famous "one

was given by Paul Revere,

if

by

two

land,

by

if

a descendant of a French

sea" warn-

Huguenot fam-

and a master craftsman and a Mason.

War alerted

broke out on April

19,

by Revere, attempted

to

1775,

when

the Massachusetts militia,

head off an advance guard of British

Lexington and Concord would go down

troops. This first battle of

weeks

history as "the shot heard round the world." Three

Allen and

York

to

Battle of

Mason Benedict Arnold

obtain badly needed

Bunker

"won" the

Hill

battle

at

reinforcements

and

didn't,

American forces withdraw

The American brought into battle bles, there

inadequate

was

and

General

a lack of discipline

where they were needed.

many

The

British

to question the

Howe,

who had

the

let

intact.

own

at critical times, the

or

leading

sides.

could have cut off the Americans from

forces had their

supplies

and ammunition. In June the

supplies

a tremendous cost,

who

New

captured Fort Ticonderoga in

exposed the weaknesses of both

motives of General Gage,

in

Ethan

later

doubts as well.

command

among

inadequate

Among some

was

structure

were not a

the soldiers, and there

means of of the

Men

getting

the

militia, officers

shamwere

supplies

were

to


118

The Lodge and

elected,

and

the Revolution

moments

at critical

the soldiers huddled together to decide

their plan.

Two

days

the

Adams

John

Hill,

decided

the

that

needed a "Continental Army" and a commander. His choice

colonists for

Bunker

before

was George Washington. Within days the Continental

latter

Congress appointed Washington general and commander

in chief of the

American army. George Washington was 1752,

at the

Masonry on November

into

initiated

age of twenty, in the lodge

at

4,

Fredericksburg, Virginia. His

entrance fee was a steep twenty-three pounds sterling, an amount the aver-

age

man would be

man, and although

unable to afford. But Washington was not an average his lodge

was an ancient lodge,

of greater means. George Washington's

modest

landowner

when

1752,

until

looked up to his brother, Lawrence,

under

command

the

Mount Vernon)

seemed

life

his

brother

who had

to fight the Spanish.

George had

died.

sailed to the

West

Indies

namesake of

(the

When Lawrence

men

for that of a

set

Edward Vernon

of Admiral

attracted

still

it

suggested George

take a seaman's job, their mother prevented him. His brother's family,

however, was soon

cumbed

to

hit

with tragedy:

Lawrence's three children suc-

tuberculosis.

George went

to

Barbados with Lawrence

in

the hopes of alleviating his brother's condition, but the climate change

did not help and Lawrence soon died too.

Through inheritance George's landholdings grew Through marriage he would add another 17,500 his wealth

and

his social standing.

He

2,500 acres.

acres, increasing

11

both

rose quickly in his lodge as well,

Master Mason within a year. But

attaining the rank of

to

it

was an ancient

lodge and not particularly influential.

From

his brother

George had stood

to inherit a military rank, that

of the colony's adjutant general. The position was divided into three,

and George was forced the

position

as

a

against the French.

promoted

to

starting

On

lobby for a lower rank. point

intended to use

and quickly volunteered for action

his first expedition against the

to lieutenant colonel,

for another expedition.

He

French he was

and he was made second

in

command

The driven young commander, who constantly


— Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

set

119

plans and rules for himself in writing, had broken from the rules of

his family.

He was

a natural leader because of his impressive bearing

and

understanding that keeping a certain distance encouraged respect

his

from

men. From

his

his earliest time in the military

Masonic brothers

his

Dutch

from

interpreter

against

the

to

Washington down

on

his Fredericksburg lodge

This

French.

Masonic

to

He brought

a

of importance.

positions

fill

George looked

would

however,

brother,

after the loss of Fort Necessity.

his next expedition let

12

Negotiating the terms of surrender of the fort was difficult because

command-

of the language barrier between the French and American

The

ers.

interpreter rushed through a

was poorly

translated,

it

document

in the rain,

and since

it

appeared to frame the English not only as the

provocateurs but also as assassins. The French had already claimed the

English were the aggressors, and Washington's

initial

foray was unpro-

voked. Washington was then put under review and demoted.

went

to

instead

war he would go back

becoming

When

he

to the Fredericksburg lodge only once,

active in the military lodges.

Before long, another engagement in the French and Indian Wars allowed Washington's bravery to shine through and restored his briefly tarnished reputation.

The war had spread

one million military

casualties.

distressing to England,

sary taxes at home,

which raised

ship,

and

Europe and claimed nearly

loss of

pounds

taxes.

Unable

would lead

to the

possibly because

elected to the

of his

is

John

from years

House of Burgesses on

engagement

to

evidence that

this is

earlier.

to live the life of a country

the

his third try

wealthy widow Martha

Dandridge Custis. Her 17,500 acres did much standing, and there

to collect the neces-

beginning of revolution in Boston had their

Washington returned home from war

He was

was equally

to the seizure of the Liberty,

roots in the actions of the French and English wars

gentleman.

sterling

Parliament turned to the colonies. The series of

repressive measures that

Hancock's

The

to

to

increase his

social

what the young military

offi-

cer sought in a marriage. Just before settling down, he visited another

young itors

heiress, Eliza Philipse, for the last time.

She was one of the inher-

of a real-estate empire built by the profits earned from supporting


The Lodge and

120

the Revolution

Washington had been courting Philipse for a while before her

piracy.

Tory stance distanced them from the Washington family, which

family's

was decidedly Whig.

common

While Boston's ancient lodges often represented the more working man, Virginia's lodges usually leaned toward the

Washington himself was no exception.

elite.

John Parke Custis attended Kings College with the faculty

—

Washington's stepson

New

in

York, the boy ate

a privilege not granted to any other student.

After Washington

was appointed

ately set out to create a real army. tia

When

military

He asked

aristocratic

13

commander, he immedi-

the

men

of the various mili-

groups to commit to an enlistment of one year, only to discover that

few were

willing. In fact, the entire Connecticut militia decided to

home. Washington wrote, "Such a

He

dirty,

mercenary

then turned to his Masonic brethren for officers.

spirit

head

pervades."

He hoped

14

that the

unity found in the lodge system could be brought to the ragtag continentals.

According

pendent

command

to Lafayette,

who were

officers

to

Washington "never willingly gave indenot

twelve of the generals in Washington's army were Masons.

Washington

first

looked

for

At

Freemasons."

from

candidates

least

15

own

his

Fredericksburg Lodge, later called the No. 4 Lodge, from which he

appointed Virginia,

several

who would

Fredericksburg

member

also

die of

Lodge.

Mason

a

affiliated

who was

commanders.

his

wounds

Brigadier

at Princeton,

General

Hugh

General

Mercer

was a Mason

William Woodford

of the same lodge, while Brigadier General George

was made was

of

a

at the

of

in the

was a

Weedon

Port Royal Kilwinning Cross Lodge, which

with Fredericksburg. Brigadier General Paul Muhlenberg,

member

of the Royal Arch Lodge No. 3 of Philadelphia, was

from Virginia.

The

Why

British gave

Washington a year

they had not pursued the

England

is

to put together a fighting force.

weak and nonunified

colonials in

New

one of the major questions of the American Revolution.

Instead they abandoned

New

England and made brief inconsequential

forays elsewhere in the colonies. Washington anticipated that

New York

City was where the British would attempt to get serious, and he was


Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons

A

right.

massive fighting force of thirty-two thousand troops, the largest

the colonies

had ever seen, was on

Washington had a

force

that

fortified

threatened

to

its

way

to

New York.

Brooklyn Heights, only end the war in one

Washington made a mistake by positioning water, fishermen and sailors

to the

men by

121

ferrying

them

to

to

fell

be faced with

While

swoop.

backs

his troops with their

from Massachusetts rescued 9,500

Manhattan. At the same time, General

Howe

stopped his advance and sipped tea for two hours in Murray Hill at the residence of Mrs. Robert Murray. Washington continued his retreat to

White

Plains, then across the

Jersey.

The

The

Hudson

to Fort

Lee and west across

British followed slowly.

British clearly

had the advantage: a superior land army com-

plete with nine thousand foreign mercenaries, a large navy, plies,

a large treasury to

population, the Tories, inferior force,

Their

own

buy more

who

supplies, and

no navy, inadequate

even a large

loyalist

supplies,

and no means

to

buy more.

population had divided loyalties, as did their leaders. So

efforts of a handful of

by

ample sup-

aided their efforts. The Americans had an

did the Continental army defeat the British?

united

New

The war was won by

men, often bound by Masonic

ties

how the

and sometimes

religious events, often operating illegally and almost always

acting in a self-serving way. In the end the crowning achievement, vic-

tory at Yorktown,

was not

was accomplished by an audacious

atypical of the times.

act of bribery that


Chapter 6

FRANKLIN AND THE MASONIC UNDERGROUND

One

of the

involves

greatest

the

untold

behind-the-scenes

European cohorts. Had

and

his

the

colonials

stories

it

intrigues

of Benjamin

Franklin

not been for Franklin's efforts to keep

and funded and

supplied

American Revolution

of the

to

bring French and Spanish

aboard, the war might not have turned out the same. Franklin

allies

operated through Masonic groups in England and France, and his partners in the pro-American nists, occultists,

war

effort

were more often than not hedo-

Rosicrucians, slave traders, and spies.

Franklin had

made

by

his fortune

a

young

age, mostly through his

ownership of newspapers and Poor Richard's Almanack.

He was

a

Quaker

but also had occult tendencies. Franklin could be called a pioneer of the

New

Age, as he meditated every morning and evening, occasionally

practiced vegetarianism,

and was concerned with

the possibility of reincarnation.

who

He was

life

a self-assured,

happy extrovert

popularized hard work and frugality while enjoying the high

and a

liberal

sexual

code.

He enjoyed

the

wrote about the joy of sex with older women. Franklin was a joiner and a founder

create the United Party for Virtue craft

employed

him because of its

company of women and

who would

start his

And

it

own

polit-

He planned

when he was introduced

the ideals that Franklin valued, and

esoteric roots.

to

to

Masonry.

also attracted

being a Freemason had a practical

122

life

1

ical club, the Junto, as well as the Philosophical Society.

The

death and

after


Franklin and the Masonic Underground

was able

side; Franklin

Masons

to other

had no social

how

to observe

barriers, the craft did place

How

already elite gentlemen of the city. tice

jobs and contracts were awarded

New

and neighboring

in Pennsylvania

123

While

Jersey.

it

an emphasis on assisting the else could a printer's appren-

meet the Penns and Shippens of Philadelphia? Franklin

became

city;

captains.

2

in fact,

presses

printing

drafting the

75 percent of

jumped

Franklin

in with

promote

to

bylaws,

lodge's

the

in

Lodge of Saint John

The lodge was made up of

Philadelphia in 1731.

of the

Freemason

a

its

the leading merchants

members were merchants

two

feet,

Masonry,

in

or sea

using his intellect and his

pro-Masonry

writing

and printing the

articles,

Masonic book

first

America. Masonry brought him contacts and contracts, and he

in

attrib-

uted his being awarded the contract as assembly printer to his "friends in the

3

House." His fortunes soared in the ten years

As an independently wealthy

after his initiation.

publisher, Franklin

was ever

the stu-

He

rose to

"majoring" in philosophy and "minoring" in politics.

dent,

master of his province.

and shortly afterward to grand master of the

lodge

He was among

the first to speak out against taxation without

representation and went to England in

Franklin

who drew up

representatives.

1754 for

that purpose.

It

was

a plan of union that included a large house of

4

Franklin established firehouses, hospitals, libraries, and street lighting.

He was

occasionally self-serving, and his post office was started in

so his newspapers could be delivered for free.

part

newspapers in places from

New York

to Antigua, including a

language newspaper in Pennsylvania. In retired

from the newspaper business

politics,

to

is

remembered

proverbs, another side of

him

is

1748,

devote his

although he never stopped writing.

While Franklin

at

esoteric

Rosicrucians,

move

secrets

of

occultists,

freely around

all

eight

German-

age forty-two, he

life to his

science and

5

for his public

works and

practical

generally ignored. His world straddled

both the practical day-to-day existence among the the

He owned

science.

His

connections

and especially Masons

sides of the conflict.

new to

allowed

colonies

and

philosophers,

Franklin

to


The Lodge and

124

the Revolution

THE HELLFIRE CLUB Among was

men

the

Franklin met on his pre-Revolution travels to England

Dashwood was

Dashwood.

Francis

Sir

exchequer and also the founder of later

own

his

of

the

society, the Dilettanti,

and

the

chancellor

another semisecret group called the Friars of Saint Francis or the

Monks of Medmenham. gious order.

Dashwood

Neither group bore any resemblance to a s

parties

were infamous and were said

included prostitutes dressed as nuns, satanic

rites,

to

reli-

have

goddess worship, and

orgies.

Dashwood was

the son of a wealthy businessman, a

initiated in Italy at a

very early age and

Dashwood

House of Commons

sat in the

Mason who was

who

married into aristocracy.

for

more than twenty years

and held numerous posts, including chancellor of the exchequer, urer to

King George

and postmaster general. This Mason's money

III,

allowed him to rebuild his family's ancestral a

way

that

would make Caligula proud

Greek and Roman

deities,

and even a lake created the building

Dionysus

was

and

ceiling

to stage

home

in

West Wycombe

—complete

with

in

in

of

statues

murals inspired by ancient Rome,

mock

The west wing of

naval battles.

a re-creation of a classical temple to Bacchus,

Ariadne

leopard-drawn

Dashwood's mansion was designed theme extended

treas-

like

a

chariots.

with

Another room

in

Masonic temple. His pagan

with erotic depictions of classical gods

to the garden,

and goddesses in stone.

Nearby was modified

into

the

pagan

a

entrance advising, its

Abbey of Medmenham, which Dashwood

"Do

monument,

as thou will."

statues of the Egyptian

and

Roman

with

a

carving

over

the

also front

The dining room, however, with gods of silence, advised

visitors

not to speak about their adventures. His strangest conversion was in

excavating a network of caves under West said

that

his

fellow

Black Masses

Having been

that

Hill,

"monks" could pair off with female

underground inner sanctum for

Wycombe

it

is

where guests.

is

An

believed to have served as the setting

were part of the entertainment.

initiated in

it

Masonry and dabbled

in the

black

arts


Franklin and the Masonic Underground

while founding one society after another, highest circles in England, which

He

Dashwood moved

became known

within the

as the Hellfire Club.

member

was, however, too strange for some. Once a

order founded in

125

6

of a druidic

1717 to revive the Celtic religion (members also

included the poet William Blake, a druid and the grand master of a

Dashwood was

Rosicrucian order),

Wycombe

West

activities spread.

was

In 1758 Franklin

Dashwood met admitted

expelled as the stories of the

to

the

into

England and West Wycombe, and he and

in

Hellfire

Club,

was

Franklin

discuss their vision for the colonies.

where he mingled with luminaries

such as John Stuart, the Earl of Bute; John Wilkes, a radical politician,

member

of

Montagu,

Parliament,

of

Earl

the

and

later

Sandwich;

Mayor

Lord

son

the

London;

of

of

John

Archbishop

the

of

Canterbury; and the Prince of Wales.

John

Stuart, the third Earl of Bute,

was born

in

Edinburgh and was Eton and the

the first Scottish-born British prime minister. Educated at

University of Leiden in the Netherlands, Stuart married

Mary Wortley

when he met

the Prince of

Montagu. His

Wales

at the

was elevated

status

became

races and

a

further

member of his

card-playing clique.

Frederick Louis, the Prince of Wales, was the son of King George II,

who was

then the ruler of England. George

wanted anything

the queen, and neither that he

was

to

II

detested his son, as did

do with him, despite the

heir to the throne. Young Frederick

was

small,

frail,

fact

and ugly,

with a low receding forehead, bulging eyes, baggy eyelids, and a flabby

double chin. In Princess

effect,

Augusta

of

he was a Hanoverian.

Saxe-Gotha,

were

7

Frederick and his wife,

from

evicted

Frederick found refuge in the weeklong orgies

at

Princess Augusta would give birth to George

III,

Kensington.

West Wycombe, and boy who would

the

be king during the revolution in the colonies.

John Wilkes, the young Parliament member, was, the son of a malt distiller.

Mary Meade,

He

married a

for the convenience

her

much

older

money

large estate at Aylesbury, although Wilkes spent

he lived the

lifestyle

of

many English

like

woman,

offered. little

Sam Adams, the heiress

She owned a

time there. Instead

aristocrats: as a rake

and a gambler.


The Lodge and

126

Wilkes soon

the Revolution

and then separated from her and

wife's fortune

lost his

turned to politics. Despite his active participation in the Hellfire orgies,

he came

and the Earl of Bute.

to hate the English king

When

the earl

was made prime

minister,

were unhappy,

Bute was considered incompetent. Wilkes in particu-

lar

as

a large

turned on his old friends

number of members of Parliament

the

at

Hellfire

Club and went public,

speaking out in Parliament against the monarchy and for a constitutional

government.

In his most famous speech, published in issue 45 of the North Briton,

a journal he distributed, Wilkes declared: "The prerogative of the crown is

to exert the constitutional

to

it

in a

wisdom and judgment.

favor and partiality, but of

have

powers entrusted

.

their prerogative." Interpreting the last line as

olution,

.

way, not of blind .

The people too

an invitation to rev-

the king had Wilkes imprisoned in the Tower,

although his

Parliamentary immunity soon earned his freedom. After returning to

Wilkes continued to

Parliament,

and

write,

his

later

writings,

which

mixed obscenity and power, earned him expulsion. In England and 8

America, however, Wilkes was viewed as a hero. In 1774 he was elected

Lord Mayor of London. The active Freemason served as a

American Sons of Liberty and raised money

representative of the the Continental

secret British

Army, which would be passed through

for

Franklin.

Another member of the Hellfire Club was the Earl of Sandwich,

John Montagu. Educated active

member

gambler.

He

is

at

Eton and Cambridge, well traveled, and an

of the Royal Society, Montagu was also a rake and a

rumored

to eat, instead placing

to

have refused

meat between

the sandwich. His personal life

was

seventeen-year-old

with

Ray

for

singer

seventeen

deranged clergyman

Montagu

illness.

as tragic as his public life

had

left

met.

years,

until

the

Admiralty of the English navy.

even

was

full

of

suffering

His mistress, Martha Ray, was a popular they

several

tables

him while she was

when

who wanted

gaming

of bread and thus inventing

slices

accomplishments. His wife, Dorothy,

from progressive mental

to leave the

to

marry

military

He was

Montagu shared singer

his

home

was murdered by

a

her.

appointments

including

Lord

responsible for modernizing the


Franklin and the Masonic Underground

navy, but his navy

and

French

their

sponsored

the

Montagu was almost immortalized when he

allies.

in the

who

Cook,

Captain

of

discovered

the

middle of the Pacific. The islands would

later

expedition

"Sandwich Islands"

Revolution to upstart American fighters

lost the

still

127

undergo a name change, however, to Hawaii.

Sandwich met Dashwood

Sandwich met Benjamin

and the Order of Saint Francis.

Dilettanti

when he headed

Franklin

1740 and became a member of the

in

enjoyed the parties

Montagu

the navy,

mutual friend

at their

and

heading

Franklin

Correspondence, the

men were

s

Dashwood

in charge of the navy,

system,

and they became

fast friends, as

both

West Wycombe home. With in

charge of the English mail

Committee

the

of

Secret

an odd threesome.

At such an early period of the mail system, postmaster would also

mean

"spymaster,"

as

the chief

postman had access

to

all

the

mail.

Franklin had been in England for years as an agent of Pennsylvania and later as

spokesman

for America, and he

ordered before the Privy Council

news of

the

was brought up on charges and

the

time England was receiving

Boston Tea Party. Franklin was charged with attempting

American

create an

at

to

republic, but he suffered only the loss of his office

as postmaster for the colonies.

The spy was

also being spied on, his

own

mail being opened and read.

FRANKLIN The

contributions

to

intelligence

went

two

into fronts.

German figures

keep

FRANCE

of Franklin and the anti-Tory support in England

cannot be overestimated.

launched

IN

From behind

English

public

the scenes a propaganda

opinion

divided.

When American

got wind of the hiring of Hessian mercenaries, action.

He worked

war was

Franklin

with Jefferson to fight the Hessians on

In Europe Franklin

penned a

letter

allegedly written

by

a

prince to his American commander,

arguing that the British

Hessian dead were too low,

and that he was being

for

the

cheated out of his payment for each of the dead soldiers.

aged the officer

to allow the

wounded

to die, rather than send

He

home

encour-


The Lodge and

128

the Revolution

crippled and thus burdensome wounded. In America Jefferson distrib-

uted notices offering Hessian deserters land grants in the colonies. In

more than

the end,

avoid

Franklin

hanged

being

War

Revolutionary

with the

dined,

entertained,

backstage involved.

to

Admiral

Lord navy's

British

Howe

be

established

his

would

cause

frequently

embarrassment

Franklin's acquaintances, Caroline

getting

Howe,

in

efforts

command

a

Richard

who had

the

was

in

and Franklin together, a move

fought

America.

already

colonies.

and the

with each other

acquainted

of General Sir William Howe,

rumored

He soon

traitor.

—helped

and boarded by the aristocracy. The high-born of

intrigues

One of

low ones

in

French people; instead they were wined and

and England were well

France

a

as

— and

headquarters in Paris. Franklin and family did not

common

traffic

ter

thousand Hessians deserted.

possible that friends in high places

is

It

five

those

to

Howe, was

the sis-

Quebec and was

at 9

Another brother,

commander of

the

General Howe's

sister

the

brought

that led later to accusations against

General Howe. Franklin understood the value of the people trade. tion,

They were an were

they

because almost

all-important

all

plied the seas in

means of supply and communica-

supportive

generally

who

of

cause

the

of

liberty,

and

of them routinely broke the ever-changing series

of trade laws, they operated in secretive brotherhoods. Masonry ruled the

seas,

and even Franklin needed an entry

to

gain

the

trust

of

the merchants.

In France such connections were

made through

Sieur Montaudoin

of Nantes and Dr. Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg of Paris.

reached

France,

Nantes.

The busy

intention

headed

port

straight

for

the

Masonic

Franklin

stronghold

of

was controlled by merchants, and few had any

of following the rules that hindered trade. They communi-

cated through their cabal.

the

he

When

a

series

of codes that kept outsiders from penetrating

—France's

Nantes was also a slave-trading port

triangular

trade

that

brought

slaves

and

munitions

largest to

depended on the Caribbean merchants, who were often Americans.

—and

America


Franklin and the Masonic Underground

The

129

between French and American smugglers would be very

relations

important in the fight for independence. The French slave traders were heavily armed and often carried letters of marque that allowed them to take a British ship. Franklin's

new

American cause; Dubourg bought were carried on Montaudoin's

were valuable

friends

badly needed

the

assets to the

which

supplies,

ships.

In Paris, Franklin's wartime acquaintances were

Masons, and they

all

helped gain him membership in three Masonic lodges. The most prestigious was the Lodge of the Nine Sisters. Franklin was rapidly admitted into the lodge,

which was a nest of

political activity.

The lodge had com-

mitted itself to the politics of the reform of French society. goals

was

control

to provide an alternative education system,

from the Catholic Church. Public and science

religion,

Masonic

at

the

with

its

which would take

were given on

history,

One

lodge-sponsored College of Apollo.

even credits Franklin

writer

lectures

One of

creating

the

Apollonian

Society to further his goal of uniting science and religion. Later revolutionary zeal caused the college to

Members included

the

American Constitution

who would

sail

Edward

itself the

due de La Rochefoucauld, into

French,

10

Lycee Republicain.

who

the

translated

Captain John Reinhold Forster,

with Cook, and the philosopher Voltaire. Franklin, in

would be present Dr.

rename

at the initiation

fact,

ofYoltaire into the lodge in April 1778.

Bancroft, a friend of Franklin's as well as an agent for Lord

Auckland, the head of the British spy network, was another member. After the war, John Paul Jones was admitted into the order.

The

intrigue that assisted Franklin in building his support

France defies

Lodge of Church.

full

the

Many

understanding. At once the high-ranking

Nine

Sisters

network

Masons of

appeared to be both pro-Church and

of the members met

at

the

interests.

Adams and was

cle

anti-

also the target of Franklin's

who was amorous

Her salon was regularly attended by members of Catholic

gious orders and by

would have

men

similar

the

salon of the wealthy and

eccentric Anne-Catherine de Ligniville d'Autricourt Helvetius,

despised by John

in

of business and science. Such an ambiguous

government and religious leanings.

reli-

cir-


The Lodge and

130

the Revolution

Franklin, ostensibly a deist (a nonallied believer in God),

with the aristocracy in France the

who had

was

active

move from

desired a gradual

monarchy. The most suitable form of government, they believed,

was a

constitutional

monarchy

that maintained a king, as well as a strong

relationship with the Catholic Church.

The headquarters met the

Here

refused

for

be

later

Saint-Sulpice

at

who

they allied themselves with the Knights of Malta,

by

selves threatened

Saint-Sulpice

mob

the

and

state

would one day be

later

dAyen

to

of the

at

home

after the war.

new government became

Paris.

they

Instead,

also found them-

A

cure of

the

wife

of the

de Noailles. Lafayette

had fought for freedom from the tyrannical monarchy found new problems

state.

by Napoleon.

confessor

the

Marquis de Lafayette, Marie Adrienne

in

because

ostracized

Revolutionary (anti-Catholic)

the

to

was

intrigue

who would

priests

allegiance

this

England but

in

His refusal to take the oath

a dividing line that forced the Lafayette

family to take a stance. They sided with the Catholic Church and paid the price.

Many

aristocrats

and Church leaders

heads as a

which was as much against the Church as the

result of the Revolution,

But Saint-Sulpice and

monarchy.

literally lost their

secret

its

Company

of the

Sacred

Sacrament survived. After the French Revolution, an order of the com-

pany called

dAyen

the Ladies of the Sacred Heart enjoyed the support of the

family. Their duty

was

a constant devotion to the sacred sacra-

ment, an unveiled host. Every hour a in the perpetual vigil.

Even

this

sister

would replace

the last sister

order of sisters was forced to operate in

secrecy.

Such

steadfast devotion to the mysteries of faith contrasted with the

practical realism of

men

of science, but this was not an issue to Masonic

cabals like the Nine Sisters and religious centers of influence such as Saint-Sulpice.

them

Whatever

to himself.

for the

He had

struggling

Lodge of

Franklin's opinions a role to play,

colonies.

For

this

Saint Jean of Jerusalem, the

terious conclave called the

might have been, he kept

namely

the securing of supplies

reason Franklin also joined the

Loge des Bons Amis," and

Royal Lodge of the Commanders of the

a

mys-


Franklin and the Masonic Underground

Temple West of Carcassonne. Such connections were helped

Mason-owned

needed

badly

procure

supplies

were

that

and

invaluable,

on

shipped

then

which was named for

ships such as the Jean Baptiste,

Masonry's greatest

131

Ninety percent of the gunpowder used by

saint.

Washington's army originated in France.

Through the

efforts

of Franklin and his Masonic collaborators in

Europe, other traders and even pirates joined the American war

When

the

among

the merchant underground, the

a nation they the

English.

happy ing

of

participation

had

French

the

Dutch were quick

command

lost their

to follow.

The Crommelin House of Amsterdam was more than

gunpowder

the

for

Dutch

neutrality,

ships

Americans.

12

tea for the

American

ships.

To maintain

directly

sailed

where they would unload

Eustatius,

As

of the seas and their colonies to

tweak the nose of the English king and make a

to

known

became

merchants

effort.

When

the

to

their

the

profit secur-

appearance of of

island

tiny

Saint

cargoes of ammunition and

British ships posted themselves in the

Netherlands' waters and British spies uncovered their mercantile plots, the

Dutch used Portugal

a

as

go-between.

Goods were shipped

to

Portugal and then reshipped to the Caribbean. The British soon under-

stood the problem, but they had no solution. Rather than risk a further

breach in relations and face a war as

at

home, they

Dutch ships were repainted, changed

flags,

sat

back and watched

and transported

their car-

goes to the Americans.

The try

British

had larger problems than stopping the

was concerned about

colonies.

It

the revolution and the

may have been

American colonies

to

Bermuda

war spreading

all

coun-

to other

only the relative distance from the original

some of England's other colonies

revolution from spreading.

outpost of

trade; the

The West

had

their

Indies,

own

that kept the

Canada, and the isolated

interests,

and

was

their loyalty

never a sure thing.

The Masonic underground bound Americans

Hancock needed maneuver around

that united

to their English cousins

to maintain a certain

one smuggler with another

on Bermuda.

Men

amount of secrecy

like

John

in order to

the customs ships of the English, as well as the series


The Lodge and

132

the Revolution

of constricting laws. Masonry provided the protection of a wide-ranging

To be

brotherhood.

from Bermuda

make connections

able to

Barbados,

to

connect to those he could

a

The Masonic brotherhood

trust.

needed

captain or merchant

ship's

on the high seas allowed many

in the far-flung islands

to straddle religious

and

to

that existed

political con-

and survive. The Tuckers of Virginia and Bermuda are one exam-

flicts

ple of

how

duplicity,

questionable loyalties, and blatant crimes didn't

—providing

impede prosperity

the right connections

were

in place.

THE TUCKER CLAN The

history of

Discovered

Bermuda

first

by

is

very

much

linked with American history.

the Spanish in 1503, the Isles of the Devil, as they

were called by Juan de Bermudez, remained unsettled for a hundred years.

King James

Company. tlers.

In

From

I

awarded a land grant

1612 a group of

sixty

to the islands to the Virginia

Englishmen became the

the earliest days of settlement the

first

set-

economy was based on

smuggling and piracy, tobacco trading and whaling. Freemason lodges

on Bermuda recently celebrated

their

two-hundred-year

but the craft was established on the island for the

Lodge Saint George

The Earl of Strathmore,

officially received

its

at least fifty

anniversary,

years before

warrant in August 1797.

the grand master of the English lodges,

had

appointed a provincial grand master for the islands around 1544. Lodge Saint

George

is,

however, the oldest continually working Scottish lodge

operating outside

The prevalence of Masonry

of Scotland.

even today where the Customs House

Masonic temple more than an

With an estimated one sidered smuggling,

it

existed between the

delegation Philadelphia.

from

official

Saint

Bermuda con-

that very strong connections

American colonies and Bermuda. In 1775 attended

from providing

a

government building.

was no small wonder

Bermuda

visible

George resembles

third of all trade in colonial

Bermuda remained

stop the residents

at

is

the

Continental

a small

Congress

in

loyal to the crown, but that did not

assistance.

The Tucker family of Bermuda and Virginia represented

the leader-


Franklin and the Masonic Underground

ship of the resistance

movement. The Tucker dynasty

traces

its

133

history

from the Norman invasion of William the Conqueror. Seven hundred years later, as Britain expanded

its

role in the

New

World, the clan again

played a role in the invasion. The Tuckers landed in Charleston, South Carolina, Virginia, and Bermuda, where they rose to

Henry Tucker was

Colonel

American Revolution.

the

1775

July

In

agent

power and

Bermuda during

for

the

gave

Congress

Continental

the

privilege.

permission to trade foodstuffs for gunpowder. Washington told the con-

army would desperately need

gress that his

dents of

two

Bermuda

gunpowder, while

desperately needed food. In August of the

rendezvoused

ships

patriot

the

with

Colonel

Bermudians helped the Americans break

own

same year

The

men.

Tucker's

into their

resi-

Fort William

one hundred barrels of gunpowder, which were quickly loaded

to steal

on Bermuda whale ships and then transferred

gunpowder

American

to

thieves were never apprehended, as England

populace was looking for an excuse

to join the

ships.

was

The

afraid the

American cause.

It

also

helped that Colonel Tucker's son was the governor of Bermuda, and despite his potentially treasonous after

Britain lost her colonies.

Tucker, Henry India

St.

actions,

In

he remained governor well

addition,

the

grandson of Colonel

George, became the chairman of the British East

Company.

During the Revolution, American diplomat Silas Deane had rec-

ommended

Bermuda be used

that the island of

as a supply port

and a

harbor that could keep America's very small navy provisioned and protected.

In exchange,

provided St.

the

the

Bermudians would receive food. The island

Americans

with

ships

fast

George Tucker was a Virginia

made of Bermuda

relative of the

Tucker clan with strong

Bermuda

to

Yorktown

as

business ties to the island, and he suggested a takeover of

George Washington interpreter for

in 1780.

Rochambeau;

the battlefield, however,

13

St.

George would serve

his help

cedar.

at

was apparently more valuable off

where the French commander needed help

in

meeting women.

The combined

efforts

of the

Tucker family

in

the

Revolution,

which may have been considered treasonous from a British standpoint,


1

The Lodge and

34

did

little

named

Henry

for

Governor's Council president

Tucker,

months

man

as

Henry

St.

them

to

and

treasurer

in 1775, is a part of the

a current tourist attraction.

prestige and connections helped

Henry,"

it

in Saint George,

colonial

the

who purchased

Bermuda National Trust and

"India

The Tucker House

to tarnish Tucker's prestige.

was

which

the Revolution

The Tuckers'

survive almost any scandal.

George Tucker was known, spent

committed while he was chair-

in jail for an "attempted rape"

of the British East India Company.

14

John Randolph, the son of the prominent Virginia statesman

named

six

(also

John), and his wife, Nancy, were charged with the murder of

their infant child.

Related to the Tucker clan, they too had the charm

any scandal.

of surviving

The Randolph "dream team" of lawyers

included Patrick Henry, Alexander Campbell, and John Marshall.

15

The

Randolphs were acquitted of the murder.

America

In

married

He

clan).

the Tuckers married well. In

widow of John Randolph

the

1778

(of

the

St.

George Tucker

Jefferson-Randolph

received 1,300 acres on the Appomattox River.

Ann Tucker

married Lyon Gardiner Tyler, son of the president and heir to the owners of the pirate refuge at Gardiner's Island.

Wherever

the

Rite Masonry. In

ing

the

Scottish

Tucker family was prominent,

Bermuda Rite

the

Freemasonry

where

the

mercantile wealth, secessionist

imported Scottish

Tucker clan was instrumental to

prominence

Lodge Masons. In Charleston, where belonging the ticket to

it

orbited

And

around

William and Mary, the Tuckers, the Tylers, and others roles in the Confederate side of the Civil It

may have been

Scottish Rite

the

Grand

to the right lodges

Scottish Rite ruled.

movement

over

in bring-

the

who

in

was

Virginia,

College

of

played key

War were prominent Masons.

Masonry

that

allowed the individual

Tuckers to avoid the ultimate penalty for treason against the British from their

Bermuda base during

the Revolution and again in the Civil

War.

For example, Nathaniel Beverly Tucker, serving as the U.S. consul in Liverpool, used his office to start constructing Confederate ships for use against the government that paid him. During the

"Canadian cabinet"

war he was

that instigated draft riots in U.S. cities.

part of the

Tucker would


Franklin and the Masonic Underground

even be indicted for playing a role in the Lincoln assassination.

somehow

the charges were dropped, and

when Tucker

1

135

But

returned to the

United States, he served with the Pennsylvania Railroad as a lobbyist.

From Medmenham

men who were

the

to

Nantes and from Bermuda

forces

behind

motivated by pure or singular unquestionably law breakers,

interests.

many

rupt as those they fought against. rank-and-file Masons,

however

the

Revolution

Of

of these

questionable

men were

The power of

justified,

political landscape of the eighteenth century.

to

elite

Boston, the

were not always morals

and

at least as cor-

groups as well as

served to forever change the


Chapter 7

THE MERCHANTS OF WAR

While

it

is

surprising that those

war abroad had smugglers for support, like

was hardly

Sam Adams, George

liberty,

Masons,

to turn to

it

who

played major roles in the

back

in the colonies.

Men

Washington, and Patrick Henry would risk

life,

and property for the cause, but the motivations of others were

not as pure.

When war

with England became a

reality,

merchants lined up to make their fortunes. People

from the

importation

Livingston clan, Girard, Boston's

of

arms

and

supplies

many American

who

included

built fortunes

New

Marblehead's Elbridge Gerry, Philadelphia's

Thomas Cushing, and

Virginia's

Committee. Gaining an appointment to or at least to overcharge.

the

made up of merchants who knew

own

ing the colonies supplied.

was getting

own

1

as the Secret

a license to steal,

the ropes and

firm,

merchants and members of the

it

was

were not above break-

These men were responsible for keep-

gain.

The

newly formed Congress, and

first

chairman of the Secret Committee

the business partner of Robert Morris,

contract went to his

Stephen

The Secret Committee was supplied with an

immense amount of funds from

ing the laws for their

it

York's

Benjamin Harrison.

Benjamin Franklin put together what became known

was

and

occultists, slave traders,

different

Thomas

Willing.

The

first

which raised an outcry from the other

new

Despite the criticism Morris,

Congress. at

age forty-one, became the greatest

supplier of military goods in the war.

He was born

in Liverpool, the

son

of a Chesapeake merchant. After his father's death he joined the firm of Willing and Company; he later became a partner. The firm of Willing 136


The Merchants of War

and Morris had a

meant

they

fleet

1

37

of merchant ships in the West Indies, which

participated

underground

the

in

economy

thrived

that

under a mass of complex and ever-changing rules and regulations. The partners both had reputations for being clever and honest, as smuggling

was not considered

a dishonest

While Franklin realized

act.

the

that

combination of the firm's experience in the Caribbean trade and

their

network of agents around the world made Willing and Morris capable of transacting the business, Congress estimated that the firm would be

making an exorbitant gain

at the

same

powder

associate remarking that he stored

delivering in

making

it

to

Congress.

2

until prices

improved before

Merchants did not see any moral dilemma

a profit while defending the country.

did not help that the very

It

time. Morris, in fact, wrote to an

first

assignment went badly. The com-

missioned ship, the Lion, reportedly could not find any goods to be

bought in Europe and returned empty

was highly suspicious

It

that a

seasoned captain would return with an empty hold from such a long voyage. Morris offered to return the thirty thousand pounds (eighty

instead a

thousand

American

new assignment was

dollars)

given.

The second assignment went bought in England, shipped colonies.

The firms taking

to

advanced by the

sterling

Congress,

but

3

better.

Ammunition and powder were

Saint Eustatius,

and then sent

to

the contracts were entitled to 2 1/2 percent

both the exported goods and the imported supplies.

It

was

the

on

actually a

very small commission considering the risk that the ship's owners were taking. This did not stop the

own

their

learn

firms, to friends,

committee from handing the contracts

and

to family.

which angles could maximize

profits

Robert Morris was quick to

and minimize losses

as shipping the firm's goods alongside goods that Congress for aboard

to

American warships. Morris and Willing

are not

—such

was paying on record as

ever having paid the freight for their company's exports of indigo and rice to France.

Having Congress pay the insurance

for the entire cargo

of the ships was an opportunity Morris could not pass up. Franklin, with his great experience as a Philadelphia business leader

and

his connections with English

and American merchants, was quick


The Lodge and

138

the Revolution

to recognize the talent

and administrative

would soon come around

comes

It

as

which included

to accept

no surprise

Silas

Morris as the best

that

of Morris. Congress

abilities

man

members of

other

had.

it

committee,

the

Deane of Connecticut and Robert

R. Livingston,

New

York, gave the

John Alsop, John Dickinson, and Francis Lewis of assignments to themselves or to friends.

The Browns of Providence

increased their slave-trading fortune by war profiteering. Samuel Otis,

Thomas Cushing, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts

also

partici-

pated in profiteering. Arthur Lee, a Virginia planter, was the biggest of the commercial side of arms procurement, in part because he

critic

mistrusted merchants. His brother William, however, took part in the

double-dealing with speculations of his own. But the greatest amount

of

mud

being slung

at the profiteers

was directed

Deane.

at Silas

DEANE AND LAFAYETTE Silas

Deane was born

in

Island Sound. His father

1737

was

in Groton,

an early seaport town on Long

a blacksmith. Deane, however,

managed

to

put himself through Yale and was admitted to the bar. Teaching school in Hartford while also practicing law, Deane's career path took a dra-

matic turn

when he

settled the estate of

Joseph Webb. Whether

it

was

opportunity or love, the young lawyer met and married Webb's wealthy

widow, Mehitabel. Her family was active

Deane gave up teaching and

West

to the

married

in the

the law. Instead he

West

Indies trade, and

began making voyages

Indies and learning the trade. After his first wife died, he

Elizabeth

the

Saltonstall,

granddaughter

of

a

governor

and

daughter of a general. While her family had also been active merchants, their

political

into politics.

was

influence

A member

was greater and of the

the

opportunist

new Congress and

in the right place at the right time to get

Deane went

a merchant,

Deane

assignments as a muni-

tions supplier.

When Deane fellow

lost his congressional seat

Connecticut

delegate

Roger

because of a dispute with

Sherman,

Morris found a better assignment for him:

He went

Deane's to

Europe

close as an

friend


The Merchants of War

envoy

French and a merchant, and

to the

French in the American cause, or

By some

war.

Congress not only failed

war supplies department, where he

commission. At home his enemies grew and

entitled to a 5 percent

pay

to

commissions but also charged him

his

with misappropriating funds. His

letters to a British

gesting a negotiated settlement of the

When Deane

treason.

to procure supplies for the

accounts Deane exaggerated his accomplishments with

the French, but he did well in the

was

39

mission was to enlist the

his

at least

1

finally

war earned him the accusation of

Europe

left

correspondent sug-

to

home,

return

was

he

gripped with a violent abdominal attack that led to his death within hours.

Dr.

was believed

It

Edward

that

he was poisoned by the British double agent

Bancroft.

Whatever

truth

is

of Deane's

accusations

the

in

he

detractors,

deserves credit as well. Early in the war Deane contracted for thirty rifles,

four thousand tents, thirty mortars, and clothing for the

He was

responsible for the introduction of more than one young

thousand troops.

French aristocrat to the American cause. One of Congress's problems with Deane was his giving of contracts to French officers high ranks

officer

was Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-

Born

Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette.

was

a battery

only two years

killed in the battle of

commanded by at the time,

later

bombed

future

at the

1757, Lafayette's

age of twenty-seven by Lafayette

was

but he was destined to get revenge. Twenty-two

where General

a

battery

in

Richmond,

Phillips reposed.

Virginia,

and

4

major general was raised by his mother and grandfather,

but they too met an early demise

however, one of the wealthiest looked

Minden

in

the English general Phillips.

commanded

he

a house

The

desired

and believed they were getting them by enlisting in the

American cause. One such

father

who

after his

when

men

in

He

was,

France and had advisers

who

Lafayette was thirteen.

numerous holdings. At fourteen he was committed

to

an arranged marriage with his 12 1/2-year-old cousin, Marie Adrienne

d'Ayen de Noailles, and they soon

De

Noailles's family

set

up home

in Paris.

was equally noble and of ancient

grandfather was the Marechal due de Noailles, which gave

him

lineage.

a

Her


The Lodge and

140

the Revolution

own

hereditary right to maintain his

cavalry regiment. Lafayette and his

met

brother-in-law, the Viscount of Noailles,

Duke of

with the In

moment

candid

a

who was

Gloucester,

against England.

The marquis and

their plan to join in the fray. their family, quickly

rushed to the

The young marquis had he sailed

to

The

trio,

home

into the

dAyen

third

dubbed the Three Musketeers by of Silas Deane to

enlist.

when

America. Described as an overgrown boy stuffed into a

moment

loved her; the

I

on a

family, with

red-haired, and already balding and

had a long nose. He supposedly proclaimed, "The moment

I

hos-

the rank of captain of the reserves

handsome uniform, he was pudgy,

America,

in

new

to start

the viscount called

comte of Segur, who married

relative, the

III.

insurgency

the

that

America could actually escalate and provoke France tilities

King George

the brother of

announced

duke

the

August 1775

for dinner in

I

I

heard of

heard she was fighting for freedom,

burned with desire of bleeding for her." Such sentiment, as well as a of munitions

shipload

and

supplies,

especially to General Washington.

been endeared

also

brother-in-law,

fighting

units,

the

command

Soissonnais.

to

Lafayette

also

him

at

as if he

Brandywine,

was

my

son."

Revolution,

the

Washington instructed the

major

a

When

he was

surgeon,

"Treat

When

a long friendship,

the marquis's ideas

and equality backfired in a faction-driven madness that

the French

to

5

and Washington lived to repay the favors.

release

came

was commissioned

The meeting of Washington and Lafayette began

liberty

and

one of France's legendary

general, one of the highest ranks in the Continental army.

wounded

Congress

brought with him: His

Louis-Marie de Noailles,

Viscount

to

Washington and Congress may have

to the family that Lafayette

and was second in

colonies

endeared him

is

on

called

only funds from America bought Lafayette's

from prison.

Although Lafayette served with distinction and earned the respect of the regiment he was given to command, not teers

few

all

such foreign volun-

were welcomed. Massachusetts was a closed society

to

its

cliques.

While

New York

that admitted

City was an open society

at the

close

of the eighteenth century, Boston was always English. Prejudice against


— 1

The Merchants of War

and

Irish

Italian

immigrants would arise

later,

1

4

but in the colonial period

simply being from Scotland was a barrier. Masonry would overcome that hurdle.

JOHN PAUL JONES John

Paul

Jones

odd

an

is

He was born John

hero.

when

Kirkcudbright, Scotland, in 1747, at a time

who

of opportunity awaiting those

dener

who

was

married

employed on the real father

housekeeper,

and

Many

William Craik.

estate of

was James Craik,

was not

there

in

a world

stayed home. His father was a gar-

a

to

Paul

they

were

both

believed John Paul's

the son of William. Craik

and John Paul's

mother, Jean, got married a day apart to other people, and Craik pro-

vided Jean with a cottage to

Samuel Jean's

Morison points out

Eliot

relationship

birth a cloud

with

new

her

start

Craik's

that

him was

family.

Even biographer

activities

"suggested"

more than housekeeper.

as

hung over John Paul because of

6

From

his unclear parentage.

At

age fourteen he started his career aboard a ship engaged in the Barbados

By

trade of rum, sugar, and humans.

on a blackbirder, the term for a slave sea.

He would

sail

ship,

having proved himself able at

aboard slavers for another two years before quitting

the "abominable" trade. his sensibilities as

age seventeen he was a third mate

it

It

was not

was the

sometimes hundreds of

as

smell.

much

A

the morality that assaulted

slave-trading ship that confined

men and women

in

its

hold without sanitary

could be smelled for miles away.

facilities

Upon

sailing

home from

Kingston, Jamaica, the master and mate of

back the ship on

Paul's ship died, so he brought

his

own. In doing so

he earned the appointment of master, a great achievement age of twenty-one. Paul did

all

he could to

live the part.

at the early

He

tried to

drop his rural Scottish accent and he learned to read and write well in

better than his peers.

fact,

He

dressed the part of an officer and

sought out the company of other officers.

At

five foot five inches

for Paul.

Over

tall,

He

also enforced discipline.

command

the course of his career, he

did not always

would more than once

come easy


The Lodge and

142

the Revolution

single-handedly quell a mutiny. Discipline, however, had

its

risks.

On

an

early voyage as captain, Paul ordered the son of a wealthy merchant

whipped

was

three separate times.

but

acquitted,

Scotland.

him

The

The man pressed charges, of which Paul aboard

died

later

another

heading back to

ship

had

father then pressed further charges against Paul and

Again Paul was cleared, but he came

arrested.

understand the

to

value of connections.

Within days of his release from the Tolbooth

jail,

Lodge

of

was

accepted

a

Bernard

Saint

the

to

As

Kirkcudbright.

member

Paul applied and

Freemasons

of that lodge, he was welcome to

in

and

visit

sometimes find accommodations in other lodges around the world. He

made connections

also

even save

and

his career

Paul was again charged with murder. His version

later,

mutinous crew was about to

that the leader of a

when he

would advance

his life.

Three years

was

in the lodges that

man

ran the

hit

him with

a club

through with his sword. The incident occurred

on Tobago, where the small population of whites was mostly Scottish and the lieutenant governor was a chose to

He

flee.

Virginia with the

However, the young captain

friend.

disappeared for two years and then turned up in

new surname

Most

Jones.

North Carolina, where he had a hometown

moved

then

to

where

Virginia,

Robert's

likely he hid in Edenton, friend,

James,

brother

He

Robert Smith. also

from

Kirkcudbright, was a shipowner and an officer in the local Masonic lodge.

With a new name and in Scotchtown, Virginia.

Joseph

Hewes,

a

new

life,

Jones found safety and acceptance

Smith was a partner

who would become

Jones's

in

a shipping firm with

patron

who was

Revolution. Another friend was Dr. John K. Read,

Ben

Franklin's wife and

was

Henry and would compete marriage.

When war

Kirkcudbright Mason,

broke

also active in for out,

the

the

related to

Masonry. Jones knew Patrick

hand of Dorothea Dandridge

Jones called on

David Sproat,

throughout

for

Hewes and

Before meeting the enemy, Jones had

another

an appointment in the

American navy.

many battles

to fight.

He

in

first


The Merchants of War

New

encountered hostility from the

England bluebloods who resented

a Scotsman; in fact, they resented anyone a

Winthrop who rose above his

Winthrops, received

caste.

command

who was

not a Saltonstall or

Incompetents such as Dudley

who was descended from

of Silas Deane,

Saltonstall, brother-in-law

143

instead of an upstart like Jones.

It

the

was

only after others proved their incompetence that Jones received choice

Another

ships. it

battle

was finding men. The American navy paid

did to sailors aboard the privateers.

When

a prize

was

less than

taken, a priva-

teer sailor could get twice the share.

Jones overcame his

such

Thomas

as

Masons

like

first

hurdle by lodging with Boston Masons

Abraham Livingston and Portsmouth

and

Russell

John Wendell. Wendell was a member of the very impor-

tant Saint John's

Lodge of Portsmouth and introduced Jones. Jones David Wentworth Wendell, cousin

return hired Wendell's son,

John Hancock and John Adams,

as a

in

both

to

midshipman. Repaying Abraham

Livingston would be tougher, as Livingston "ordered" twelve cases of a

claret,

Chinese

tea

set,

tableware,

decanters,

almonds,

glasses,

anchovies, capers, and olives from Jones's voyage to Europe.

The second hurdle was overcome by "impressing" them

into

service

Elizabeth Islands. arrest in

It

at

pirate

didn't

hideouts

win him

Tarpaulin

like

friends,

and in

sailors,

Cove

fact almost

Providence until he pulled his sword on the local

forcing in

the

caused his

sheriff.

Jones made his career in Europe, shocking England with attacks on her ports and ships. Timing lent.

is

everything, and Jones's timing

was excel-

France was beginning to question the American chance

pendence when news of Jones's exploits

When

hit.

at

inde-

Jones landed in

France he was the toast of the town and was accepted in France's most prestigious

Mason

group,

the

Lodge of

the

Nine

Sisters.

Benjamin

Franklin and Voltaire were also brothers of this mysterious group, which

met

at

Saint-Sulpice.

Jones spent his time in France accepting medals, dining with his

new Mason

brethren, and shopping for

war supplies and tableware. After

having denied Virginian Arthur Lee passage

mous baggage and

retinue of servants, Jones

home because

made

a

of his enor-

new enemy. Once


The Lodge and

144

home he had

to

the Revolution

answer

to charges of delaying the

needed war supplies.

His hero status allowed him to answer in an abbreviated

mention of anything but the condition of his

ship.

The

several

war

was

being

then

fought

on

style,

avoiding

Washington's

fronts.

Continental army went from one defeat to another, retreating across the rebel country, while the British took advantage of the loyalist Scottish

Tory factions

in

the

south

to

demoralize

American

the

forces.

In

Europe, American agents like Franklin and Deane labored behind the scenes to find America friends.

And

at

home

a handful of wealthy elite

took advantage of their appointments to build fortunes.

BENJAMIN HARRISON Benjamin Harrison was a Virginia

aristocrat

whose family had pros-

pered most likely from both being politically connected and being one of the

first

families in Virginia.

landed, the family

was represented

House of Burgesses, By

the

From

in Virginia's

time

was

first

a

Harrison

governmental body, the Harrisons'

kingdom within

wound

one-and-a-half-mile road bisecting the property

fields

the

Revolution the

of the

property, called the Berkeley Hundred,

A

when

1632,

the state.

past tobacco

and slave quarters before reaching the great Harrison mansion.

Benjamin

Harrison

was

by

this

time

related

every

to

aristocratic

Virginia family, including the Lees, the Carters, and the Byrds. Besides

being a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a governor of Virginia,

In

7

he was also a secret partner in the Willing and Morris firm.

1776, with the war just starting, Harrison the planter and Willing

and Morris the merchant traders bought most of the American tobacco crops.

The

prices

were low because everyone believed shipping the

product to Britain for sale would be impossible

at

a time

was happening. But Morris and Harrison understood

that

when at

the

a

war

same

time that prices were falling in Virginia they were rising in England.

Tobacco represented half the value of America's exports, and

the stakes


The Merchants of War

New

were huge. Morris hired ships from

remarkably, in London, and they set

England, Deane insured them,

rich during

against the Secret Committee,

Harrison

was

Harrison,

who became

time

a

the

children,

to

go

far;

market. This helped

when he was competing

on which he served.

seven

fathered

They did not have

sail.

the free-trade market in Saint Eustatius

make Morris extremely

145

8

Henry

William

including

War

the ninth president. William's record in the

of 1812 and the family's patrician status helped him gain notice. The publicity

surrounding

involvement

his

skirmish

small

the

in

called

Tippecanoe might have gotten him elected, but Harrison wasn't really a

war

He had marched

hero.

his

thousand-man force against a Shawnee

village half the size in a punitive measure. Despite his force being twice

army

the size and his

losing

more men

in battle than did the

Harrison claimed victory. The media took his word for

it,

Shawnee,

and he was

considered a hero. His campaign for the presidency was not going so well until he

came

hauled off to

jail

Harrison's

Richmond on

to

a stop. There a pickpocket being

"Tippecanoe and Tyler too," which became

yelled

campaign slogan. Harrison was soon elected America's

term president.

shortest-

9

Harrison's administration lasted only one month, as he

became

the

of two presidents to cross the Cotton Whigs. Both Harrison and

first

Zachary Taylor died of stomach Harrison's death,

blamed on

his

first

distress

after

very

public

events.

declared to be from a stomach ailment, was later

catching a cold during the inaugural address. Taylor's

death was blamed on his eating cherries and drinking milk. Both deaths

conveniently

paved

way

the

to

significant

policy

changes

in

Washington.

The family wealth and

status remained,

Declaration signer Benjamin Harrison,

would become its

president.

and the great-grandson of

who was

At the time, Harrison

s

also

named Benjamin,

party

was

divided. At

convention the party went through seven ballots without a leader. At

the critical

moment James

the previous president,

cable

from Scotland

Blaine,

who

has been credited with putting

Grover Cleveland, that read,

"Take

in the

White House, sent a

Harrison." Because

he

was


The Lodge and

146

man who

perceived as a

of

Secretary

the Revolution

could be manipulated, Blaine got the job of

Benjamin Harrison,

State.

like

March

deliver his long inaugural address in a

his rain,

accomplishments are few. His pet causes were high

would

grandfather,

but he survived. His tariffs,

banning Asian

immigration, and overthrowing the government of Hawaii in order to

annex the

territory.

ELBRIDGE GERRY Elbridge Gerry was one of the Marblehead aristocracy. In a time

when

and a place where merchant shipping paved the way to wealth, Gerry's

was

father

was

mother

a wealthy and politically active merchant shipper. His

Marblehead was known more

the daughter of a British merchant.

as a fishing port,

and a great deal of the Gerry business was shipping

codfish to Barbados to be used as food for the newly imported slaves.

Before the war Marblehead rivaled Salem in importance, and Gerry was

one of its richest

As

a

citizens.

man of

who was dependent on

wealth

trade, legal or other-

wise, Gerry did not agree with the growing anti-British feeling build-

ing in Boston.

He was

outraged by the Boston Tea Party and

low-level political job as a result. Under the influence of

however, Gerry returned

to politics.

But

like

often designed to increase his pocketbook.

Hancock,

He

his

left his

Sam Adams, motives were

served as the chairman

of the Committee of Supply, a post that suited him perfectly. In addi-

he

tion,

sat

on a congressional board

that regulated

Congress was stingy in doling out money

walked

demands

out.

He became

for better

considered

luckier.

they

left

around

The

finances.

"soldier's

friend"

for

British closed the

colonies

harbor of Boston, yet

donated

goods

for

Boston

and

somehow as patriots

Gerry shipped

them.

Haughty and

his

During the war Gerry could not have

Marblehead alone. Marblehead's importance soared the

When

suppliers like Gerry, he

equipment and supplies, although he did nothing in

the debate for soldiers' pensions.

been

the

to

aristocratic,

Gerry was never popular among the


The Merchants of War

own

Massachusetts voters. His interest had always been in his

147

wealth

and property. The night of the British march against Lexington and Concord, Gerry hid

in a cornfield in his nightclothes.

Before the Battle

of Bunker Hill he tried to persuade Dr. Joseph Warren, the president of

from joining the

the Provincial Congress,

"Dulce

et

decorum

10

battle.

pro patria mori," meaning

est,

Warren

"it is

said to Gerry,

a sweet and glori-

ous day to die for one's country." Warren then went to his death. Gerry didn't.

Although he was publicly for independence, Gerry had about signing the Declaration.

Benjamin Harrison joked with Gerry

about the danger of signing, saying his quicker death

at the

own

weight would ensure a

gallows than the slender Gerry's." Gerry

taken this to heart, as he was absent

when

the Declaration

he put his signature on the document months effort in the Provincial ters

his doubts

later.

may have

was

signed;

Gerry's strongest

Congress was getting the Congress

to issue let-

of marque. This allowed shipowners like him to legally capture

British ships

and

profit

from the goods

To keep himself and

seized.

his favorite politicians in office,

Gerry redrew

the lines of various districts to manipulate the effect of the vote. district

was drawn

One

resemble a salamander, and the term gerrymander

to

entered the vocabulary.

THECUSHING FAMILY The Cushings represented was an

active

the

merchant and a

American political

aristocracy. ally

Cushing, whose nickname was Death's Head, politics

from

"gods."

He

profit.

As

a

Sam Adams's

saw no need

businessman he attempted

gathered intelligence information on the

sometimes reluctant to share conflict,

of

12

and checking the

Thomas Cushing

it.

He was

"violent

to

father.

to separate

serve

Tories

but

both

was

equally reluctant to elevate the

designs of others"

was

his

goal

before the war.

The men of allowing

in charge of supplying the military

themselves

excessive

commissions

might today be accused

and

profits.

In

the


The Lodge and

148

the Revolution

eighteenth century friends

made

would use

was almost expected

it

their posts for personal gain.

fortunes in the

war

ing of marking up goods

wrong

who

500

The smaller merchants saw

percent.

and

their

While Cushing and Gerry

supplied them thought noth-

in

little

overcharging the French,

entered the war to save the colonists' efforts.

The Cushing clan

men and

effort, those

in selling to the British as well,

who had

these

that

13

raised self-interest to the most treasonous levels.

After making profits during the war, the Cushings, led by Caleb Cushing,

method

acted in a step-by-step

to defeat the interest of the

United States

and to enrich themselves. Caleb Cushings mentor was John Lowell, served as an agent for

many

who

of the wealthy British forced out of Boston.

He would go on

to play a leading role in

which attempted

to incite the

New

England's Essex Junto,

region to secede from the newly formed

United States because the merchants did not like the policies of Jefferson. Shortly after going to a leading

work

member of the

for Lowell,

secessionist

Cushing married the daughter of

movement.

Cushing became a power broker and apparently would stop

He was

nothing to turn a

profit.

thirty-third-degree

Mason of

a

one-man Masonic conspiracy. As

at

a

the Scottish Rite, he used his influence to

enrich himself, bring his country to war against China and Mexico, and finally lead the

United States to the breakup of the Union. Publicly

Cushing was an

abolitionist,

yet at the

same time he fought

for the

annexation of Texas, which most of the northern states feared would tip the

lem

balance in the conflict. Cushing, as a Cotton Whig, saw no prob-

Union

in a divided

trade with England

if

depended on cheap cotton cheap labor. Soon

after

it

as a

was

secure. That trade

key export; cheap cotton depended on

became obvious

that President Harrison

had

no intention of furthering the cause of annexation, he was dead. Not everyone believed

A

book

titled

it

was from

natural causes.

The Adder's Den was published

John Smith Dye, claimed

in 1864.

The

that the agents of the pro-slavery

author,

South had

poisoned Harrison to put Tyler in the White House. Harrison had been a farmer,

months

had served

at a time,

in the

army, had marched through wilderness for

and had fought as a

soldier. It

would seem unlikely


The Merchants of War

that

1

49

spending two hours in the rain could lead to his death. After the death of President Harrison, the accidental president John

suspicious

Tyler

Caleb

appointed

Cushing

be

to

Secretary

of

Treasury.

the

Cushing, however, was not liked or trusted, and the Senate rejected his nomination. Tyler then appointed him as a commissioner to China. Cushing's family was

made wealthy by

the

opium

trade in China.

Shortly after the British began a war against China to impose to

sell

humble China. His next

enter Canton with guns blazing to further to

the

Union

right

country opium, Caleb Cushing ordered American ships to

the

was

its

push for war against Mexico. Admitting Texas and other "slave states" helped slavery to continue.

as

and the Brahmin families depended on the South

The cotton could then be spun

cheap cotton.

s

New

ability to

into

states to

England provide in

textiles

act

New

England's mills, of which Lowell was the preeminent force.

When the

support was needed to rally certain Southern states against

movement, Cushing dispatched other

abolitionist

to the South. Albert Pike,

from Cushing's home base

Massachusetts, was sent to Arkansas.

in

Englanders

Newburyport,

too would be raised to the

degree in the Scottish Rite, and he played a key role in for-

thirty-third

mation of the York,

He

New

was

Ku Klux

sent

to

Klan. Another friend, John Quitman of

Mississippi,

where

he

started

New Rite

Scottish

Freemasonry and a secessionist movement. After the war against Mexico, Cushing invited his Mexican war generals,

including

Jefferson

Davis,

Massachusetts,

to

where

he

informed them that he wanted Franklin Pierce to be president. Zachary Taylor had been the hero of the Mexican

War

but had alienated the

Cotton Whigs by opposing the extension of slavery into California. Nevertheless, he

was

elected. After sixteen

ticipated in the decidedly

the ries

months

Masonic dedication of

in office, Taylor par-

the obelisk

Washington Monument. He allegedly became sick

known

as

after eating cher-

and drinking milk and died shortly afterward. Again a war hero

who had down by

survived both the travail and the rigors of war was brought a simple problem.

Cushing

still

played

a

strong

behind-the-scenes

role

in

the


The Lodge and

150

the Revolution

Buchanan White House, and once war became Lincoln. Despite the fact that he had planted

way

the

inevitable he supported

men

in the

South

was never enough

to secession, Cushing's duplicity

to lead

keep him

to

out of government.

STEPHEN GIRARD Stephen Girard started his career as a pilot of a French ship in the

Caribbean trade. His

voyage was aboard the Pelerin

first

Port-au-

to

Prince in Saint Domingue.This slave port was one of the capitals of the Slaves were brought from Africa to

triangle trade.

when

almost two hundred years, pilot

was the man

carte blanche

Selling

the sugar

Sugar was the return cargo, having been produced there for

plantations.

The

work on

by

sugar

the

in charge of the trading,

owner

the ship's the

to

many of

the Portuguese built

to

make

the mills.

and he was often given

a profit in any

way he

could.

American colonies brought higher prices

because the trade had been outlawed by the British. Girard

On as

made

six

voyage from France he decided he had done poorly,

his last trading

commodity

such voyages before being promoted to captain.

prices had dropped. Instead of returning to France with

a less-than-profitable stake for his backers, he simply sold the goods and

kept the money. With the ill-gotten proceeds he took on a cargo of sugar and brought the

New

Orleans

it

to

New

trade,

finally plant Girard

in

warm toward

become

Mason

lodge

would

serve

Wanamaker and

An

ugly

in

its

an

British

blockade that would

The City of Brotherly Love was

Masonic brothers, and Girard, who had

Charleston, as

was the

old

quickly joined his boys'

club

for

city's

merchants

lodge. like

his will.

John

at

with one bad eye, Girard married a penniless Irish age twenty-seven. Five months into the marriage he

caught her cheating with a British colonel. His brother visited and

him with

The

ship captains like Girard.

man

maiden, Mary,

it

Philadelphia.

especially a

but

York. There he joined Thomas Randall in

a black concubine called

His wife was committed.

Hannah,

whom

left

he would name in


1

The Merchants of War

1

5

During the Revolution the wealthy merchant and shipowner added to his fortune

by

American

acting as a privateer for the

side while also

trading with the British. Girard had taken an oath of allegiance to the colonies, but his allegiance

had been

first

and foremost

to himself.

His

treasonous trade with the British, his participation in the slave trade, and his later role in the

ever.

opium

trade

made him

the fourth richest

American

14

After the war Girard hired a wife,

who was

still

in the

fortune

grew,

new

eighteen-year-old mistress. His

asylum, gave birth to a daughter he never

would meet. Girard's

as

he was a pioneer in the China trade.

Biographer George Wilson says, "He eventually derived more profits

from the China trade than any of those who were 15

floor."

from

When

the

Girard's took

British

opium

smuggling

up the

on the ground

were banned by the Chinese government

into

the

country,

American

trade. Girard raised capital

such

ships

as

through a British bank-

ing house, Baring Brothers, to finance his entry. trade

in

From both

legitimate

and smuggling Girard became one of America's richest men.

During the

War

the country

of 1812 he put up half of the sixteen million dollars

needed

to get

through the conflict, charging his country a

10 percent commission.

At age seventy-seven Girard hired and mistress. those

He

lived four

who worked

more

his fourth

and

last live-in

years. His will provided generously for

for him; housekeepers, servants,

Masonic

and sea captains

received

lifetime

incomes.

thousand

dollars.

The orphans of Philadelphia received

Girard's

house and educate them that remains will is

still

maid

lodge

to this day.

more than two hundred million

received

Today

a

all

twenty

school

to

Girard's living

dollars.

The American army marched from one defeat

to

another

and was

forced to subsist on minimal rations and without proper uniforms or

even shoes. At the same time the American procurement the hands of Cushing, Gerry, Girard, and other profiteers

who

effort

was

thought

in


152

The Lodge and

the Revolution

nothing of cheating and overcharging their

own

side.

The

British side,

however, had no shortage of self-serving and inept politicians and military leaders

who managed

several occasions.

The

to steal defeat out of the

responsibility

was then

particular a small circle of French aristocrats scales.

left to

jaws of victory on the French, and in

and Masons,

to

tip

the


Chapter 8

THE BRIBE THAT WON THE WAR

The

story of

American

the

for

how one French

aristocrat

moments. The

first

was

never

has

victory

The American Revolutionary War

is

may have been

tale

ond was the surprise crossing of the Delaware starving

army

American

defeated

equipped Hessians. The climax came

and

their

new

allies,

the

French,

at

at

told.

of victorious

the remarkable turning point at Saratoga,

served as the catalyst for bringing in America's potential

ragtag

been

before

an illustrious

responsible

allies.

which

The

sec-

Christmas, where the

the

well-

well-trained,

Yorktown, where the Americans

surrounded

the

army of General

Cornwallis.

Students of the war, however, see another side. victories

They

see the few

weighing against the multiple losses of the Americans through

Brooklyn,

White

and

Manhattan,

Washington from one defeat

Plains;

the

English

chasing

another; the starvation and deprivation

to

of untrained continentals, and their subsequent desertion and mutiny.

The army of freedom finished off

ulated

by

fighters

buy

by many who were not

cattle.

in battle

starvation and sickness, but the colonies

the population of eastern to

was half destroyed

New

Long

loyal to the Island,

new

and nearly

were

still

pop-

cause. Tories dominated

where the British army was able

Jersey was mostly Tory and provided food for the

English army while Washington starved across the river in Pennsylvania.

Tory landowners dominated the Carolinas, 153

their loyalty often to their


The Lodge and

154

personal

the Revolution

which were

pocketbooks,

closely

Americans, while loyal to the cause of tunes

denying

first,

food

to

liberty, still

Washington's

Many

England.

to

tied

put their personal for-

army and refusing

the

Continental as a currency.

Despite the state of the economy, the constant defeats in skirmish

and the loss of most of the American army to disease, cap-

after skirmish, ture,

The

and desertion, the outcome of the war was an outstanding victory. serious student might be led to

There

is

fields

His

statement

England's future leaders were trained. Fraser tle

when

discussing

was

possible. stranger. Sir

"The Battle of Waterloo was won on the

said,

of Eton."

this

seem even

a third side of the story that might

William Fraser once playing

wonder just how

how

It

refers

may be

the Revolutionary

the

to

where

school

valid to paraphrase

War was won: The

bat-

of Yorktown was lost on the playing tables of a London gambling

house known as White's.

HIGH SOCIETY IN LONDON At a time where the sun never

may have been

at its

set

on

most decadent.

It

Britain's empire,

was the

London

society

largest city in the

world

and England, of course, was the master of the ocean. While the poor starved in the

streets,

the

upper crust of society delighted

drinking, wild gambling, practical jokes, and

world's largest port city, there could be as in the

Thames

at

bawdy

many

behavior.

As

the

as eight thousand ships

any one time. The number of drinking houses and

brothels to serve the thousands of sailors and officers

The upper

heavy

in

classes distanced themselves

was staggering.

from the lower classes even

in

partaking of London's vices.

From an

establishment called Shakespeare's Head, a Covent Garden

tavern popular with sea captains and directors of the British East India

Company, John where

Harris

published a

their services could

London

society, there

be found.

list 1

of the better prostitutes and

But for those

at the

pinnacle of

were gentlemen's clubs.

The fashion of eighteenth-century London gentlemen was

to


The Bribe That

Many

belong to one or more of the gentlemen's clubs.

from place

were anchored

to place; others

Won the War

of them

155

moved

in a specific tavern or hall.

A

handful of the clubs were as spectacular as modern-day casinos, and

becoming

member was

a

everything to the aristocratic class. Almack's,

Brooke's, and White's were

ballroom

fashionable

young

Gaining

dandies.

social scene,

the top clubs. Almack's had a large

accommodate

could

that

among

hundred

seventeen

admittance

was important

of

London's

to

London's

and the Duke of Wellington was once turned away

because he arrived in trousers rather than the required knee breeches.

Women

were admitted

London's most

The main time not

when

Almack's, and

at

a marriage mart for

clubs

was gambling. At a

attraction of the gentlemen's

wage earner was paid

the average

uncommon

to

see

ten

on anything, and

pounds

thousand

strictly

was gambling. They kept an open

ruined

became

eligible.

Brooke's and White's were

loo, faro,

it

pound

a

sterling

betting

seats at the card tables

of England's young

politics,

and

was regarded included

Whig

Duke

the

were occupied

all

night. Whist,

size of the

wagers

members divided

American Revolution Brooke's

club and White's a Tory club. White's

of

table.

elite.

in the years before the

as a

on the

book where one could wager

White's and Brooke's would occasionally attract

by

was

it

men's clubs, and the chief amusement

and hazard were the favorite games, and the

many

a week,

Devonshire

and

the

Earl

of

members

Rockingham.

Brooke's members included Charles James Fox, Lord Robert Spencer,

and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Charles

Fox may epitomize London's macaronis. Born with

proverbial silver spoon, Fox's wealth brought

of

Commons

at the

election to the

House

age of nineteen. At the time of his election he was

traveling throughout the Continent,

of a campaign. In

him

the

fact,

so he did not suffer the

according to his

a bout of the clap in Nice.

Back

in

own

letters,

boredom

he was laid up with

London, Fox would spend days hop-

ping from Brooke's to White's to Almack's to other clubs, where a bad night might cause a loss of ten to fifteen thousand pounds and a night might see

its

return.

good


156

The Lodge and

the Revolution

While the Fox family fortune supported such excess, the same could not be said of

all

A

James Club scene of London.

gaming

tables of White's in

whose

role

would

who made up

of the young dandies

be

massive gambling debt incurred

London

so

the Saint at the

man

led to the bribery of the one

pivotal

the

in

outcome

final

of

the

Revolutionary War: Sir George Brydges Rodney.

Born

Somerset family that traced

into a

Rodney

erations,

studied at Harrow. Like

he

ers of his day,

left

school

profit did not

handsome

Rodney was pay off

inherited wealth to

many

command-

other naval

an early age, twelve, to train in the navy.

at

But prestige and figure,

lineage for twenty gen-

its

always go hand in hand.

An

elegant,

a rake and a gambler without any of the

The young dandy

his losses.

lost his family's

fortune on the playing tables of White's.

Even worse than

his

losses

were the debts he incurred. Rodney

planned to go to sea in order to share in the booty that was promised to the

commanders. In one early action

would disappoint him as much as

Rodney

West

was able

Indies he

While the income bought him time, the

to partially repair his finances.

sea

in the

the

gaming

tables

of White's.

spent his remaining funds to get into Parliament, but even this

campaign

failed.

His debts were

all

men

too often to

in office,

and

his

connections soon became a detriment to his career.

Unable

was forced

to stay

to flee

away from White's

London and

or regain his finances,

his creditors.

While

in exile in

Rodney

France he

heard that he had been picked to head the British navy. But he

French creditors as well, and was told he would have before he

left.

enough money

pay off

The prospects were gloomy indeed. Even to

get out

of France, he could

debtors prison in England before he even

Taking

to

command

tunnel. In his darkest

saw

still

if

owed

his debts

he found

be thrown in a

a warship.

of the navy was the light

at the

end of Rodney's

hour Rodney was approached by a representative

of one of the wealthiest families in France. Rodney would be provided with enough

money

to

satisfy

his

monumental

required for such a favor was equally monumental.

debts,

but what was


The Bribe That

Won the War

157

MASONIC BROTHERS FROM ABROAD The winter of 1777

to

1778 was particularly hard for the American

army under Washington's command. Many

soldiers

had

little

more than

blankets to keep out the cold, as their shirts and pants were in

Shoes were a luxury, and many soldiers

on sentry duty stood

cold. Often those

warmer. The food was so scant

feet

lost their feet

in their hats to

that the

tatters.

and legs to the

keep

Thanksgiving

their bare

treat

was four

2

ounces of rice cake. At the same time, German farmers in nearby Valley

Forge were driving

cattle to Philadelphia for the British.

Washington himself had

to

contend with the constant excuses of

Congress when he pleaded for food, clothing, funds, and medicine. a handful

called

the

Conway Cabal

plotted against Washington.

And The

army was undernourished and poorly clad and had been forced retreat

were

from one defeat

to

be had,

it

to another for years.

would be

reality with the arrival of assistance

The board

It

appeared that

a miracle. That miracle finally

if

to

victory

became

a

from Europe.

efforts

of American agents in Europe brought the French on

allies.

Early in 1778, while Rodney was hiding in Paris, the

as

French had signed an alliance to join the Americans. They would not actually declare

war against England

conflicts featured the

until July,

however. One of the

French navy and the English

fleet

first

near the island

of Ushant. The two forces were equal, but the English were used to winning.

When

the French fleet

commanders somehow confused

move

that

America,

it

was forced

to retreat, the

signals

their

two English

and also retreated. In a

was very reminiscent of the numerous land

battles fought in

appeared that the English refused to press the advantage.

Because the

battle

was so close

to

home

for the English

ure was so public, the citizens rioted in the streets of

commanders were

court-martialed.

Each blamed

and the

fail-

London and both

the other for the fail-

ure to exact a victory.

The English army appeared unable as well, although the public Atlantic.

was

less

to press its

advantage on land,

aware of what occurred across the

There had been worse blunders. After the war Sir William


The Lodge and

158

Howe,

Sir

the Revolution

Henry Clinton, and Lord Charles Cornwallis were blamed

The famous

for incompetence.

defeated

the

likely

Continental

who had

Howe

sipping tea while letting

army escape Long

plagued him. But

Amherst,

story of

Howe was

the values of guerrilla fighting.

He was

commander who had fought

at

one

most

that

served with

commanders and Howe

alike

a knowledgeable battle-hardened

did

and

Louisbourg,

Montreal,

Howe

is

He had

competent.

taught the American

before the American Revolution.

Island

make

Quebec

serious mistakes.

He

had allowed Washington, whose army spent the night in the rain without tents and low on ammunition, to escape

Howe

not the last time

Long

And

Island.

allowed the American army to escape.

lowed Washington across

New

this

was

He

fol-

where desertions reduced the

Jersey,

small force to less than ten thousand. With victory again simply a day

away,

Howe

When

allowed Washington to cross into Pennsylvania.

winter came, Howe's army was

Howe

miles of the Americans, but ter in a

camped within twenty-five

had no desire

camp. Instead he headed back

to

New York

Elizabeth Loring, kept the general warm.

tress,

sent

by Howe

to

per

accusing

the

to shiver

of ineptitude

where

his mis-

Her husband had been

Boston to watch over the prisons. general

City,

through win-

A

London newspa-

was brought

to

Howe. He

decided to turn in his resignation, and while he waited for

to

it

be

accepted, he and Loring enjoyed dinners, concerts, and ballroom danc-

ing in Philadelphia.

When

Franklin was asked by the French

had taken Philadelphia, Franklin replied General Howe. Sir at

that

Philadelphia

a military

man

as well.

the age of thirteen in the Coldstream Guards,

missioned as a lieutenant.

When

Howe

had taken

3

Henry Clinton was

rapidly rose

if

He

He

started his career

where he was com-

also distinguished himself in battle and

through the ranks to become a major general in

he took over for Howe, he was more interested in being in

York than

in

commanding

was called on

to

his troops in the field. After the

explain

his

failure

as

a

1772.

New

war Clinton

commander. He blamed

Cornwallis and the other generals, even going as far as writing a book

about his actions.

He claimed

that three times his

army was

in

danger


The Bribe That

Won the War

159

of starving, although compared to Washington's forces, starving was a

With twelve thousand pounds

term.

relative

cover his salary and

to

expenses, Clinton's provision orders included brandy in ten-gallon beef, veal, mutton, fish, sweetbreads,

New York was

He

and he also had a mistress in the

commander born

his father

was

the first

into

had been awarded a

a wealthy and prestigious family. His grandfather II,

his life

city.

Cornwallis was a very well-trained military

baronetcy by Charles

lots,

held four houses in

he claimed, were used for hiding because

City, which,

in danger,

and eggs.

4

Lord Cornwallis,

mother was the daughter of Lord Townsend and was related

to

his

Prime

Minister Robert Walpole. Charles Cornwallis likely chose the military at

He

an early age.

enrolled at Eton, where the younger classmen were

the object of harsh treatment

on

thrived at Eton and went

bought an

officer's

by older classmates. Cornwallis,

commission

to

be tutored by a Prussian

in the Grenadiers Guards.

a

tall

man,

officer.

At age

He

eight-

een he took a tour of Europe with his Prussian tutor and then enrolled in the Military

young

officers

Academy

combined

curriculum.

their

of Turin.

Over

It

military

the

was one of Europe's

finest,

and the

with ballroom dancing in

strategy

course of Cornwallis's career, his training

helped him serve with distinction in the Seven Years War, in Ireland, and in India. After he married he took a brief respite

enjoyed the estate

George

III

but

at

lifestyle

with his bride.

from the military and

He was

same time counseled against

the

favored by King

the harsh measures

exacted by the king against his colonial subjects. Cornwallis's loyalty

was never

in

question,

command

teered for his

however, and when war broke out he volun-

against the

American

rebels.

Cornwallis lost heart soon enough. His wife

had taken him.

ill,

at

home

in

England

and his commanders, Clinton and Howe, disappointed

Cornwallis had outflanked Washington on Long Island only to

Howe

watch

Brandywine Clinton,

in

allow

his

escape.

Cornwallis

beat

the

Americans

at

1777 and Monmouth in 1778, and was then sent south.

with Cornwallis as the field commander, effectively stopped

the resistance in the South, so Clinton headed for

New

York, leaving

Cornwallis in charge. The war heated up as Cornwallis fought several


The Lodge and

160

major

the Revolution

and worked

battles

way

his

From New York

north.

Clinton

ordered Cornwallis to find an area where his army could position to

be supplied.

He chose Yorktown, which by

sion as the French,

turned out to be a fatal deci-

and the Americans, by land, surrounded him.

under siege ended the

days

Eight

sea,

itself

war.

Cornwallis's

actions

the

in

Revolution did not hurt his career for long, however, and he went on to serve with distinction in India

and

to quell rebellion in Ireland.

Baigent and Leigh's The Temple and the Lodge examines

Howe

fighting

Mason may have hindered

the

determination.

had served with Amherst, where most of the officers were broththe

in

ers

Mason

of

effect

how

Twenty-nine

craft.

of

the

under

regiments

thirty-one

Amherst's

command had

ments

had military lodges. His brother Edward had served as well,

that

field

Cornwallis served in two regi-

lodges.

and was the founder of a lodge in Nova Scotia. Clinton served

de-camp

to Ferdinand,

Masons of to

his day.

5

Duke of Brunswick, one of

field

until,

the

is

like

every turn, instead simply con-

at

America's Vietnam War, the soldiers in the

the secret behind defeat, then the final battle

stage. Nevertheless,

planned for anything

man would

less

there is

no evidence

than victory. But there

a

the efforts of the

French

American

ofYorktown

that Cornwallis is

If

had

evidence that one

serve to destroy the chances of the British.

BEHIND THE SCENES As

influential

and the citizens back home despaired of ever seeing victory.

conspiracy

was

war

most

Three seemingly capable British commanders chose

avoid making the coup de grace

tinuing the

the

as aide-

fleet

effort

IN

FRANCE

Americans Franklin and Deane

and French

headed

soldiers

the troops, the arms, the food, and the

money

America.

to

was exhausted, France stepped

in France paid off,

When

in to provide

the

most of

to fight the final offen-

sive of the war.

The commander Rochambeau was one of important figures of the French

effort.

troops of Count William Deux-Ponts,

He was

who

the

first

and

most

quickly followed by the

led a regiment

from the


The Bribe That

Won the War

161

Saar Valley; the Viscount de Noailles, from whose regiment in France

Napoleon would

become

who would

Count Mathieu Dumas,

emerge;

later

Marquis Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon;

a hero at Waterloo; the

and the Duke de Lauzun. All had been enlisted through the diplomatic

and Deane and had supplied clandestine aid before

efforts of Franklin

France officially committed to war with England.

Rochambeau and Rhode

his troops

were

They stayed

Island in July 1780.

funded army enjoying the good allies

they

came

to save.

The

life,

by seven

transport ships to

for a brief time, with the well-

but they were shocked with the

The Americans overcharged them

openly traded with the British sion shot at them.

ferried

first

Yorktown; however, when

it

who blockaded

for supplies,

and on occa-

their coast,

French troops did not see any action

came time

for action, the

until

French impressed

both the Americans and the English with their order and discipline.

6

General Jean-Baptiste-Donatien deVimeur, the comte de Rochambeau, was a career military others,

wanted

the

second

break their

was

to

XVI

French king Louis

Continental Congress, his

His

with a mission. He, like Lafayette and

to see the rebels

When

England.

man

first act

send

over

at

the

of Maastricht

siege

Succession,

a

in

a

s

officers

was

recruited

the

the military at age seventeen and fought in

Holland during the

War

of Austrian

their

It

Many

was

sailed

wives and children, and

Other military leaders

his servants.

Yorktown. One unit was

of Rochambeau, this thousand-

from Germany.

Ludwig von Closen, brought

when he brought over

fifty-five

command

were often adventurers.

accompanied by

called

French expedition against Minorca, and during the

Deux-Ponts. Under the unit

army

command.

three regiments to fight the decisive battle at

man

signed a treaty with the

six-thousand-man

Seven Years War. Rochambeau was

the

with the monarch of

of assistance was to supply America.

Expedition Particuliere under Rochambeau

Rochambeau had entered

ties

a typical unit in that the

aboard the French at least

one

officer,

fleet

Baron

7

who commanded

interested in the social experiment that

troops in America were

became

a

new

country. Saint-

Simon's cousin became the founder of French socialism. Like Lafayette,


The Lodge and

162

the

the Revolution

due de Lauzun was very interested in the

iment. His desire

was

be present

to

for the cause of liberty. Like the noble class fighting for

New

at the birth

many French

called

first.

As was

new

of a

age, to fight

nobles, the contradiction of

democracy did nothing

asm. Lauzun was from an ancient family that had the Crusades.

World's social exper-

dim

to

titles

his enthusi-

from the time of

tradition in such a titled military family, adventure

At age thirteen Lauzun became an ensign

in the elite

French

Guard. At eighteen he married into another French royal family. Lauzun

went

to Corsica

and proved himself in

battle.

He was rewarded

with the

of colonel of the Legion Royale. But peace bored him, and he was

title

among

the first to volunteer to aid the

Lauzun

sailed

from France

American cause.

as part of the fighting force that joined

Rochambeau. Lauzun's cavalry and ments of the French

military,

infantry joined

ancient

the

regi-

Bourbonnais, the Deux-Ponts, the

the

Saintonge, and the Soissonnais, and they marched to Yorktown.

Lauzun's Legion, as

it

was

called,

was made up of men from

vari-

ous European countries. Most had come from the Alsace-Lorraine corridor

between France and Germany; others came from Sweden,

Italy,

Poland, and Russia. They spoke eight different languages, and by tradition they

would curse

adventurers; thieves.

in

Hungarian. They were volunteers, and often

many were from

They were

noble families, others

were rakes and

the predecessors to another French fighting force,

the French Foreign Legion.

For the due de Lauzun, the American Revolution was just one

more adventure. His

exploits in both the battlefield and the boudoirs

of Europe were legendary.

woman first

He was

said to have

made

love to every

he met in France and Newport, Rhode Island, where he was

headquartered. His

men

followed his example, and despite their

prowess against the British they also achieved the dubious distinction of fighting the most duels

Lauzun continued

to

among

themselves, typically over

have great adventures

after fighting

including becoming Marie Antoinette's lover. While

of his rank and his importance

—he

America,

Lauzun was aware

was even privy

and Washington's discussions of strategy

in

women.

to

Rochambeau's

—he may not have been aware


The Bribe That

that his presence in the

war was

the single

most

Won the War

1

factor in

critical

63

its

outcome.

While the Marquis de Lafayette, the due de Lauzun, Count William Deux-Ponts, Count Mathieu Dumas, the Marquis de Saint-Simon, and the

other

nobles

Rochambeau, debated that

a

move

awaited

eagerly

strategy

Rochambeau argued

their

supreme commander,

with Washington.

New York

recapture

to

battle,

Washington thought

would advance

the

war

effort.

that a decisive victory against the English in the

Chesapeake Bay would end the war. Rochambeau's logic won, and the

commander who was

focus was turned on beating the one

Rochambeau

Cornwallis.

contender:

marched

Washington

and

a serious to

Virginia to catch Cornwallis while both the Americans and the English

were depending on the navy After

the

Cornwallis's

to arrive

of

Battle

on time. Courthouse,

Guilford

command were low on

supplies.

under

forces

the

At Yorktown, Cornwallis

spent three months digging in while waiting for his rendezvous with

Admiral Rodney. The British posed

to

fleet

commanded by Rodney was

sup-

be the most important factor in the outcome of the show-

down between

the

British

army

and

combined

the

forces

Americans and the French. Supplies and reinforcements were brought by Rodney;

this

was

of to

the

be

marched

far-

when he had

the

the reason Cornwallis hadn't

ther north.

Rodney had

other plans. Instead of sailing north

advantage over the French, he launched a vicious attack on tiny Saint Eustatius.

noose

that could

troops,

time

While Cornwallis's army had

its

head in an ever-tightening

be relieved only by Rodney's

Rodney stayed

confiscating

ships, supplies,

to loot Saint Eustatius. His

everything

island. In fact, he instructed his

from almost every

men

to

go

and fresh

army spent valuable citizen

of the

tiny

as far as looting graves, claim-

ing that valuables had been buried.

Meanwhile, Washington and Rochambeau used the three months well, coordinating their cross-country

march and

the arrival of the


The Lodge and

164

French

the Revolution

Lafayette used a small force to block an English retreat,

fleet.

Washington and Rochambeau rushed

to

cover five hundred miles, and

Admiral de Grasse sailed up from the Caribbean with twenty ships and three thousand fresh troops.

Francois-Joseph-Paul,

de Grasse, had joined the also

known

nal order

fleet

de

Grasse-Tilly

and

Comte

of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem,

Knights of Malta,

as the

known

Marquis

the

at

age twelve. This was the origi-

as the Hospitallers of Saint

John of Jerusalem, and was

established even before the Knights Templar. While both orders were

may have had

ostensibly Catholic, the exposure to different faiths

ing effect on the Templars,

who

a last-

supported the Cathari during the papal

crusade and were accused of heresy. The Hospitallers had no such sis

of

faith,

but they needed a reason to exist after the Crusades.

took refuge in the Mediterranean,

cri-

They

where they waged endless wars

against the Barbary pirates to protect Christian shipping.

After six years of training, de Grasse was attached to the French

navy. Like his fellow Knights of Malta, de Grasse had an interest in the

American cause of the

After

effort.

Cincinnati. retiring

8

He was

liberty.

the

joined by nineteen other knights in

Washington's

fourteen joined

war,

Admiral de Grasse became part of the French Revolution,

when

the excessive bloodshed stained the cause of liberty.

Admiral de Grasse had overnight become a key figure Revolutionary War. in

March. His

9

fleet,

the world, guided a the

war.

of

Society

With

a fleet of twenty ships, he sailed

the

in

from France

including the Ville de Paris, the largest warship in

convoy of 150 merchant ships carrying supplies

De Grasse reached

Martinique in

ships with troops and supplies to

late

for

April and sent thirty

Rochambeau. The resupply included

the infantry of Marquis Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon, and the ancient

regiments of Agenais, Gatinais, and Touraine.

De

Grasse's fleet found

action almost immediately after landing the merchant ships. In late April, de Grasse encountered the British navy. This action

was

first

brief

later described as indecisive, but the British lost six warships,

which had a

lasting effect.

De

Grasse had outmaneuvered the

Admiral Hood, which was under the command of Admiral Rodney.

fleet

of


The Bribe That

Hood blamed ships;

it

was Rodney's second mistake but

navy reached the French

and five

65

his

certainly not his last.

Five weeks later Rodney again ran into the French

Rodney's

1

on Rodney's incorrect positioning of

early loss

his

Won the War

counted

fleet,

On

fleet.

June 5

twenty-four

ships

and chose to do nothing. Rodney had the advantage

frigates,

he failed to pursue de Grasse, allowing the French admiral

of

size, yet

to

head north

to Virginia.

But Rodney was aware of the

crucial impor-

tance of French naval and military support in determining the outcome

Yorktown.

at

he failed to give priority to stopping or even slowing

Still,

The most

the French assistance.

engagement of the war was

critical

decided on which side was more prepared for the

The American

battle.

and French side needed Admiral de Grasse; the British side needed

Admiral Rodney. There

ample evidence

is

commanders

that both naval

were aware of their importance.

Admiral

American

De

de

pilots

was

Grasse

who were

scheduled

rendezvous

to

thirty

necessary for navigating Chesapeake Bay.

Grasse supplied his food stores in a hurry and chartered fifteen

merchant ships to carry food. Not wishing he paid for the supplies with his

While

seems

it

that

to wait for letters

Rodney had

in

New

Graves

that

Admiral Graves

way.

He

told

of credit,

failed to understand the implica-

He

dispatched a warning

York, stating that the French navy was on the both

needed to link up

fleets

to

prevent the

French navy from supplying Rochambeau and Washington. The

message was intercepted; the second arrived days had already destroyed part of Graves's wife that he would attack the French the "fate of England

of Rodney's

and

sail

home with

hardly be

time

letters,

that

deemed he

it

his loot

his

how

actions,

French

Rodney even wrote

first

fleet

to his

given the opportunity, and that

if

from Saint

a mistake;

Admiral Graves, of just

after the

Given the evidence

the event."

shocking that he chose to then

abandoned

Yorktown. Rodney's

fleet.

may depend upon is

new

own money.

tions of his delay, his actions prove otherwise. to

with

split his forces

Eustatius. This final action can

Rodney deserted mission,

important

combined with

his post.

Rodney it

was

warned to

At the same his

charge,

bring the fleet to

the lack of timeliness of


The Lodge and

166

the Revolution

American and French

his warnings, contributed to the

victory.

Historians have pointed out that Rodney's errors attributable to

problems with

Yorktown

tory at

is

which was allowed

But the true cause of the vic-

his health.

Admiral Rodney allowed himself

that

on purpose. In doing

may have been

so,

to repay a

he

be defeated

French-American victory,

ensured the

monumental

to

debt.

THE MOTIVE As mentioned prison.

10

earlier,

in

1774 Rodney fled

The gambler was

in Paris in

still

to Paris to escape debtors

1778 and

still

an admiral,

though he did not have a post. Rodney had been put on a half salary

by

his superior, the Earl of

at the

was at

Sandwich. The Earl of Sandwich, when not

gambling tables himself, served

also a friend of

Lord of the Admiralty. The

as

Benjamin Franklin's through

earl

their shared adventures

Wycombe. After nearly four years in exile,

being recalled to active duty.

It

Rodney was informed

was an opportunity

tune and his career, but because of

new

down-and-out admiral could not return

was

that he

to rebuild his for-

debts incurred in France, the

England

to

mand. Even worse, he could not rebuild

to

accept his com-

his fortune without the

com-

mand. Then, seemingly out of the blue, a French noble and commander of the French

Guard offered

offered Admiral

assume

his

Rodney

to help

the

command. Some

Rodney. The Marechal due de Biron

money needed

historians call

it

to

pay off

his

debts and

a loan; others call

it

a

gift.

In either case, the implications are staggering. It

seems

that could

that at least

one of the two parties was committing an act

be deemed treason. While Rodney's reasons were evident,

one must wonder, What was the French commander's motivation?

When

the offer

was made,

the due de Biron's

Louis de Gontaut, the due de Lauzun.

It

the due de Biron actually wished to help

is

nephew was Armond

unreasonable to think that

Rodney

take his post; in doing

so the duke would be aware that he might be contributing to his


The Bribe That

Won the War

167

nephew's defeat or even death. Apparently the well-timed loan or

gift

one way the due de

his

to

Rodney was

the

nephew's success. The loan was a bribe.

Rodney upheld

And

fleet,

When

When

he chose to defend Tobago.

Yorktown, he decided

it

was time

could

won

that bribe

his part of the bargain.

sued the advantage, he chose to wait.

French

Biron

ensure

the war.

he could have pur-

he could have stopped the

When

he could have raced to

to punish Saint Eustatius. Finally, he

simply headed home.

THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN Rochambeau and Washington continued

the

tighten

to

siege

around

Yorktown. Lafayette had been reinforced with the fresh troops of SaintSimon.

Meanwhile,

thousand

four

British

troops

Harbor and Rodney's partner Graves waited. arrived, the Brits set sail.

It

Yorktown; when the British

When

was then two days fleet

sat

in

New York

Rodney's message

after the surrender at

was informed of Cornwallis's

defeat,

they simply turned around. After losing the war, Britain would go through a long series of

blaming people. While others pointed

their fingers at their fellow

com-

manders, Rodney seemed above the fray. The reason was that before any charges of incompetence, cowardice, or treason could be leveled against

him, he returned to the West Indies to

become

a hero.

Despite the surprising victory at Yorktown,

it

would

still

than a year before Britain ended the hostilities. Clinton in still

had a standing army during

sue the French

fleet.

ing for Jamaica; the prior to

French

He

this lull,

that he

three days

avoided meeting

Rodney followed

the

he was in position in the passage between Dominica Saints.

He had

the French fleet of thirty-three, and the battle

which ships form a

tain, Sir

to pur-

sighted the French fleet under de Grasse sail-

and Guadeloupe known as the

tle in

New York

and Rodney returned

same French commander

Yorktown he now chased. For fleet until

be more

Charles Douglas,

line

and

thirty-six

was

fire directly at

ships against

a standard line bat-

each other.

recommended Rodney break

A

fleet

the line after

cap-


The Lodge and

168

the French left a

the Revolution

gap in

their formation.

Instructions, the British navy's rules of

But

this

was against

engagement, and

was a gamble

it

could result in a court-martial or even a firing squad

that

Rodney was

not even sure his captains

would follow such an

Years of gambling, however, inspired Rodney bet,

the Fighting

if it

order.

to take

such a great

and he won. Five ships followed him and he circled several French

ships

to

fire

upon them from both

largest fighting ship, fire

by

war

in the colonies.

the British.

so his motives

sides.

Even

exploited gaps in the French line.

His

Of It

course, this had

did serve to

no

effect

captains

its

crew, and set on

a hero, however, and

after the war.

the due de Biron and the indebted Admiral

Rodney worked out very well

for both

men. Admiral Rodney had his

fortune back, and despite abandoning Cornwallis at Yorktown, still

also

on the outcome of the

make Rodney

would not be challenged

other

the Ville de Paris, the world's

was overtaken, abandoned by

The deal made between

was

failed.

Rodney

regarded as a war hero for the naval battle he chose to win. The

due de Biron's nephew was

safe,

for the time being, and

was now

re-

garded as a hero in a war against England. However, the due de Lauzun's status

would not save him from

He would go

to the guillotine,

a glass of wine.

The deal

that

the terrors of the French Revolution.

but not before offering his executioner

allowed Rodney's gambling debt

repaid also allowed America to win independence.

to

be


Chapter 9

ONE NATION UNDER THE GREAT ARCHITECT

Even

though the war ended in February

almost ten more Paris.

months before the peace

The new nation then turned

From

1783,

the very beginning of

to

it

treaty

would

still

was signed

be in

winning the peace.

American

history

it

was evident

that a

handful of Masons would exert a powerful influence both in the open

and in

The Declaration of Independence was drawn up by

secret.

non-Mason Thomas Hancock, and on

Jefferson.

its

first

was

It

vote

—

approved by nine of the

states

reached twelve, with the

New York

had predicted

that July

signed by a Mason, John

first

on July

the

1776,

1,

a clear majority.

the

document was

The next day

the vote

delegation not voting. (John

Adams

second would forever be celebrated as the day of

On

independence for the American colonies.)

the

fourth

New York

voted and the Declaration was signed by the president and the secretary of Congress, not by Hancock or any of the other fifty-six signers, which

would come the signers

later.

acknowledged

day.

It

marked

as such.

the rising of Sirius,

and

at least

Isis; as

of

July 4 was held as a sacred

in ancient religions

god Thoth, who brought knowledge

star in the sky, it.

which

to forty-one

of these Masons were pub-

all

Among Masons

ered the guardian to the goddess

to

was signed, up

the Declaration

were Masons, even though not

licly

to the

When

to

such

man. it

was

It

was

the

was

related

also consid-

most important

seven major Egyptian temples were oriented

The Fourth of July was now sacred

to the

new

1

nation, as well.


The Lodge and

170

The

the Revolution

—including

Masons

was

Constitution

drawn

also

Washington,

by

influenced

included

the

Bacon,

Francis

Sir

Jefferson. All of

movement

philosophical

ingly promote a

non-Mason

was one of

was not

Jefferson

Mason, although

a

Rosicrucianism,

found among connected

his writings.

There

Adams

the forty

men who

brothers

and

Masonic lodges claim activities,

The

way

with

the

was the most

Masons

them

his efforts

create the aristocratic

spread fear of a Jefferson

were

that

was

is

centered

in

no shortage of evi-

affiliations.

become

would

many were Masons

already

afterward.

did.

as

new

immediately

most

secretive and possibly the

members did

not

make headway

Washington spoke out against and

"self-created"

But Washington could

and despite

who would

his flirtation

Jefferson.

condemning

Freemasonry.

Masonic

that nearly all the signers at least participated in

Illuminati group

4

was

that

signed the Constitution,

conspiratorial entity in Europe, but

group,

at

codes

Rosicrucian

certainly there

others

as a

it

but most historians agree that several were not Masons,

Madison and

the colonies the

attendance

his

some evidence of

group

dence of Franklin's numerous Masonic

including

believed Masonry

stronger evidence that Franklin

is

Rosicrucian

the

to

3

is

some

including

Germantown, Pennsylvania. And

Masonic

to will-

2

meetings has been documented. There

those

The Founding

the greatest moral and political evils, and regarded

conspiracy of the few against the many.

roots,

and

John Adams, on the

military, but

in the

other hand, wrote several anti-Masonic tracts.

lodge

by

Europe

Washington was known never

that spread these philosophies.

Of

—and

them had been

swept

that

and Voltaire.

Rousseau,

influential

however, had ambiguous feelings toward the secret societies

Fathers,

with

several

Randolph

and

Franklin,

non-Masons John Adams and Thomas

by

up

trace his

own

unrelated

in

that to

family's aristocratic

on behalf of a democracy, he was an

elitist

Society of the Cincinnati, which admitted only

backgrounds. aristocracy,

distrusted

This

elite

society

caused

wide-

and even fellow Virginian Thomas the

institution.

stepped back from the aristocratic leanings of the group.

Washington

later


One Nation Under

On

was

was

New

Freemason,

General

Morgan

General

as presi-

York's Grand Lodge. The marshal of the

Freemason,

another

171

was administered by Robert Livingston, who

office

the grand master of

day

was inaugurated

April 30, 1789, George Washington

The oath of

dent.

the Great Architect

Jacob

was

Lewis,

Yet

another

Washington's

escort.

Morton.

Washington, the master of the Alexandria lodge, took

on the Bible from Saint John's Lodge of New York.

his oath of office

5

THE NEW ORDER OF THE AGES Soon

the

new

nation's

was

capital

laid

The

out.

location

was

in

a

wilderness more suited for hunting grouse than for administering the

new

country, but

would serve

it

as a

had

its

advantages. Washington feared that

bad example and allow the money men

to control the country, and he did not

want

New York Hamilton

like

to place the capital there.

Jefferson enjoyed the proximity of the

new

was blueprinted

designed by the French

in

a

Masonic

Pierre-Charles L'Enfant,

was

close

who had

Washington

to

plan,

and

The

a

member

of

of

Society

the

city

Mason

volunteered to fight for liberty.

The ceremony commemorating

Cincinnati.

capital to Virginia.

6

He the

laying of the Capitol's

the

cornerstone was strictly a Masonic event. Washington served as master,

wearing the apron and sash of his lodge. Members from lodges

Maryland and Virginia were

Masonic

regalia.

over

all

attendance and accordingly dressed in

in

The ceremony

itself

with baptism by corn, wine, and

was

a

oil to signify

Masonic

ritual

performed

nourishment and refresh-

ment. Masons were also called on to design, plan, and build university buildings,

state

consecrated with their corn,

oil,

and wine blessing.

The Capitol building and

way

The dome of

is

.

.

.

the Capitol

ues to

modern

times. In

new

city

were

to correspond with the arc of the sun.

"a

symbol of the half-arc of the

where the equinoctial and

dition of incorporating

7

the east-west axis of the

oriented in a complicated

heavens

and war memorials, which they then

houses, bridges,

solstitial points

meet."

8

visible

The

tra-

arcane geometry and esoteric symbols contin-

May

1974 Senator Joe Biden of Delaware


— The Lodge and

172

made an

the Revolution

official inquiry into the astrological

the Senate post office and the Civil Service

The Great Seal of had been proposed

It

new

seal,

Committee Room.

was designed

the United States that Franklin,

symbols on the ceiling of 9

same

at the

time.

Adams, and Jefferson design

the

but their suggestions of heraldic devices, twin goddesses, and

the illuminati eye of

God

in a triangle

were

rejected.

Two new

design

committees would be employed before the designs were acceptable all.

The

Great Seal

final

The bald eagle

is

also full of arcane symbolism.

who

said to represent Scorpio,

is

to

is

associated with

death and rebirth. The eagle holds a scroll that depicts the thirteenletter this

E

motto

pluribus

motto represents one nation arising from the thirteen colonies, but

others believe that a

unum, meaning "one out of many." Some believe

Masonic

tenet.

mon Masonic colony.

Its

ber that

is

it

refers to the concept of

The reverse of

the seal

is

God

one

over

all

a truncated pyramid, a

face has seventy-two bricks, representative of another

Veda

sacred in religious writings from the Rig

said to be the loss of

to

wisdom by humanity because of

of the Church over knowledge. This symbol

money. The

com-

symbol. The pyramid has thirteen steps, one for each

bol that can be traced back to ancient Egypt. resents the goddess Isis,

who

is

its

cap

the long reign

appeared on colonial

first

seal also depicts the all-seeing eye,

num-

works of the

Babylonian Berosus to the Finnish Kalevala. The pyramid without is

gods

which was a

Many

cult

sym-

believe the eye rep-

also regarded as a personification of

knowledge.

Another

Aeneid and

thirteen-letter motto, is

a prayer to the

taking. In Virgil's letters,

teen

work

Annuit Coeptis,

pagan god Jupiter

the prayer

is

is

taken from Virgil's

to bless the

new

under-

annue coeptis, which contains twelve

but the spelling was purposely modified to give the phrase 10

letters.

In addition the Great Seal contains the words

Seclorum, meaning "the

new

order of the ages."

taken from Virgil, and in modern times the

nous meanings, although

its

1

thir-

Novus Ordo

This phrase too

'

New World

is

Order has omi-

Masonic meaning was a breakaway from

the religious intolerance of Europe.

The eighteenth-century Masonic

architects of the

American nation


One Nation Under

The modern

did not stop using arcane symbolism with the Great Seal. one-dollar

bill

includes the same Masonic symbolism of an unfinished

topped by

pyramid

173

the Great Architect

American currency

an

all-seeing

The

eye.

eye

all-seeing

was on

as early as 1778.

A MASONIC FAITH There

numerous claims regarding

are

how many

just

of America's

Founding Fathers were actually Masons. Washington and Franklin were

documented

and

Jefferson and

—

ever

members

active

Adams were

a variation of faith

They

not.

known

of all

Masonic

while

organizations,

shared a

common

belief,

how-

as deism.

Adherents of deism believed that a superior power created the

world and established nature as

power was

his law.

Masons believed

the great architect of the world, and his

and revealed by science. The

G

symbol, which

the

supreme

law was reflected

so often debated,

is

in

may

simply be representative of the science of geometry. Deists, especially eighteenth-century followers, held in contempt the

the

Christians in

Men

which people were

killed over

of science, treated with suspicion by the Church, also held dear

the respect

Masonry held

for science. This

new

religion, the deist reli-

gion of the Masons, found a conciliation between the

wars between

minor points of doctrine.

G symbol was revered as

God and

science,

and

a sign of this progress.

The ranks of American Revolutionaries

that

held

deist

beliefs

included

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson,

Thomas

Paine, Ethan Allen, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and

John Quincy Adams.

Age of Reason Episcopal

is

12

an

Paine was one of the most outspoken, and his anti-Church

Church but usually

left

treatise.

before

Washington attended the the

communion. Jefferson

regarded Christianity as a tyranny over the mind of man. Franklin, as a

member

of the Nine Sisters Lodge, was a brother to Voltaire, who, along

with Jean-Jacques Rousseau,

is

given the credit for being the leading

proponent of this "natural" religion.

Deism

did not require a structured religion, nor did

it

oppose


The Lodge and

174

adherence

the Revolution

Although Franklin

one.

to

Convention

Constitutional

its

members

were

both

it,

the

at

transcend the divisions of

to

At the same time, there

religious pettiness and unite with each other.

was a dark

prayer

for

opposed

Hamilton

and

Masons. Masonry allowed

called

still

side to Masonry.

Like organized religion, Masonry preached equality and practiced elitism.

The American government

democracy

For example, the right

to vote

Those "inalienable people.

When Thomas

was formed not so much

as a

organization that could bar representation.

a hierarchal

as

itself

was

men

typically limited to

of property.

1776 were not a desire of

rights" declared in

Mason pushed

Jefferson and George

all

for a Bill of

Rights for individuals, they had to overcome the staunch opposition of

men such

as

the

Alexander Hamilton. George Mason believed

elitist

slavery to be a crime and an abomination, but there were to

any attempt

Virginians

ending that

at

Henry

Richard

Lee

institution.

Madison

James

and

many opposed

But Mason was joined by in

overriding

Hamilton, and the Bill of Rights was accepted.

Masonry had been born tion

in the feudal

a small por-

of the population had life-and-death control over the people in

their realm. Liberty

and equality were ideals

by those higher up

the

achieved a result that

somehow eluded

its

Dark Ages when

food

chain.

that

The

were not always shared

great

American

gamble

countries that chose to follow

example. Writers like Franklin and Jefferson had seemingly declared that

challenging

by

government

ignited throughout

violent

means

was

acceptable.

Revolts

Europe and South America and were mostly led by

Masons. In some countries, new republics were formed quickly and without violence, such as in the Netherlands, in Switzerland, and

among

the various states of Italy. In Italy, the grand master and thirty-third-

degree another

Mason Giuseppe Mason,

Victor

Garibaldi

Emmanuel

fought II,

on

to

unify

the

Italy

throne.

13

and place In

Russia

Freemasons were the primary leaders of the Decembrist Revolt, which

was planned

in

Masonic lodges. In Latin America, Freemason revolu-

tionaries included

Simon

Bolivar, Jose de San Martin, and Benito Juarez.


One Nation Under

the Great Architect

175

In France, where Rousseau and Voltaire inspired freethinking and

Masonic

ideals,

the revolution took bizarre and bloody twists, turning

the country into a

mob

bent on murder and destruction. Sadly,

many

of the champions of the American cause suffered dearly, including the

marquis de Lafayette and the due de Lauzun. In America,

ophy allowed

elitist

concepts and an "end justifies the means" philos-

a handful of

men

to steer the

product of such organization would rear ized criminal activity. the elite

From

its

membership of lodges. The ugly head in massive organ-

the slave trade to Asian

would prosper while the rank and

file

opium smuggling,

took the risks for them.


PART THREE

From the Sacred to the Profane

THE

IN of the

No

events. as

its

of

serve

Scotland,

The

soon

both

the

that

the

Portugal,

orders. states

been

had

the

secret

prior

in

world

government

as

organ-

but

despite

states

were

1307,

to

order,

force

powerful

a

arrest

of their

dissolution

the

the

its

frac-

power had not diminished. European

Several control

was

longer

had

it

tiousness,

and

became

society

secret

ized

Templar

Knights

the

FOLLOWED

THAT

CENTURIES

as

the to

knights

of

Spain,

and

examples. orders

be

military

and

countries

various

In

other

exercised

tradition

descended

Banking, international trade,

of

and

from

the the

statecraft,

German

united

countries,

control

cantons

united

yet

over

direct

ex-Templar

surviving

not

the

in

most the

Switzerland institution

Templar

merchant guilds,

of

notably military.

preserved

banking

organization.


From

178

the Sacred to the Profane

and even the average worker's job would soon come under the

influ-

ence of organizations that were typically closed to outsiders and often

above the law.

While these

which included the Knights Templar,

secret societies,

had rebelled against autocratic government, the power and misrule of the Church, and the hostility of the organized religions to science, they

were becoming the new establishment. As such they would be

as cor-

rupt and powerful as those they sought to change.

Piracy and smuggling were more often the province of the wealthy

and powerful than of the colorful individuals that history portrays. The

same

is

true of the institution of slave trade

and the trafficking of drugs.

In both cases, the religious orders have played a role in the creation of

these institutions, and lodges and merchant guilds continued the trades

well after they ficking took

became

illegal.

on the world

is

The

toll that

the slave trade and drug traf-

well known. The fact that both institutions

were controlled by a handful of wealthy individuals whose names were often carved in marble in libraries and at universities

is

America's dark-

est secret.

The that

so-called pillars of society were such a force to reckon with

even the president of the American nation was disposable when his

programs threatened the

While there acy, at least

is

profits

of those with more organized power.

no denying the assassination of Lincoln was a conspir-

two other presidents would

fall

victim to the cabals that

desired to control the government as well as they controlled the most profitable trades.


Chapter 10

THE SLAVE TRADERS

was barely out of

Antigua

sight

when Captain Hopkins,

the leader

of the brig Sally, realized there was a problem. The small crew was getting sick with the flux, a disease later

ened live

state

of the

men was

known

as dysentery.

The weakwas a

alarming, as belowdecks in the hold

cargo that outnumbered the skeleton crew. The cargo was a boat-

who had been

load of African slaves

captured or sold into slavery in

Africa, branded, and then delivered to a coastal port for export. Beaten,

underfed, and bound in chains, the slaves usually were placed aboard a British ship for the transatlantic passage.

ney. Those

who

enough

to

did not survive the jour-

did survive were then placed in holding pens in another

There they were fed and bathed,

port.

Many

make

the

as the smell of

confinement was

neighboring farmers complain. The slaves were

then brought to market to be resold to an American trader, beginning the process of confinement at sea yet again.

When it

the

was never

Sally,

crew was outnumbered by

safe to allow the Africans

as

much

as a

hundred

to one,

on deck. The condition of the

however, was becoming desperate. Captain Hopkins decided to

take a chance; he allowed a handful of his slaves to be brought topside in order to

augment

the efforts of the crew.

The Africans quickly

real-

ized they had the advantage, and they began freeing the others in an

attempt to take the floating prison. killed or

wounded

The captain was armed and quickly

several slaves and

overboard. After eighty

men were

began ordering the others

to

jump

forced into the Atlantic, order was

restored.

179


1

80

From

the Sacred to the Profane

The owner of

the ship, Nicholas

notified of the loss,

The

insurance.

Company,

the

which

Brown and Company, was

had the foresight

it

Company,

Newport Insurance

guard against with

to

the

New

Insurance

Bristol

Mount Hope Insurance Company, and

panies that dominate the

quickly

com-

other large

England economy got

their

from

start

marine insurance. One modern insurer, Aetna, recently issued a public

apology for

its

role in insuring the lives of slaves.

sound unlike modern

insurance,

the

difference

is

that

does not

the

that

slaves

1

were being insured

A

life

While

as property.

myriad of rules on just what could be collected from the insur-

ers often put a

A

burden on shipowners.

cargo of very sick Africans ren-

One

dered worthless by their passage was not covered.

enterprising

captain decided to throw his sick passengers overboard, as cargo lost at sea

would then be covered. The Supreme Courts

in

Louisiana and

North and South Carolina regularly heard cases in which a shipowner's claims were denied because of mitigating circumstances. In Aetna's poli-

such exclusions included slave suicide, slaves being worked to

cies,

death, and slaves being lynched.

was owned by two prominent

In 1781 the slave ship Zong, which

merchants from Liverpool, carried 440 slaves from Sao Tome. The captain,

Luke Collingwood, erred

took longer than expected.

in his sailing directions

When

and the voyage

disease hit the ship, sixty slaves died

and almost half of the ship became

sick.

The captain ordered 132

slaves

thrown overboard in order to capitalize on the insurance. The insurance

company,

Gilbert, et

Zong brought

al.,

how

down

the insurers to court.

was thrown overboard legitimate.

turned

to

the claim and the owners of the

The shipowners argued

that cargo

save the rest of the goods, making their claim

The Zong's owners won. Even

the judge

was surprised

easily the jury accepted the concept that sacrificing the slaves

no different from In

hedge

New

that

Nicholas

they had been animals.

was

2

England owners of slave ships took any means available

their bets;

companies

if

at

to

they organized and invested in the marine insurance

would provide

for such losses.

Brown and Company was

also in part responsible for the


— The Slave Traders

New

development of another

early

company played allowed

a

in

its

own

to finance

it

England business: banking. The

establishing

role

which

Providence Bank,

the

and out of

ships,

181

mod-

this institution the

ern Fleet Bank, one of the country's largest banks, developed.

The Brown family began England whaling business,

ascent to fame and fortune in the

its

which ships sometimes had

in

to

New

be out

at

sea for years with the goal of transforming whales into spermaceti can-

Needing funds for

dles.

—

Guineaman the

name given

a

Mary, for the slave

mean

to

trade. In

head

as the supercargo, or first

his business, Nicholas

fitted out the first

a slave ship trading with Africa

1736

trader,

Brown

his

Brown

son Obadiah

on what would become Providence's

venture into the slave-trading business. Obadiah soon

own and trade.

and

out another ship, the

fitted

The young man then brought developed

Revolutionary

colony-wide

a

War

signed on

Wheel of Fortune,

came

into his

to join in the

the entire family into the business

reputation.

Virginia

planters

statesman Carter Braxton wrote to

requesting to participate in a joint venture with the Browns.

the

like

company

3

For the Browns, wealth led to greater power, and John Brown

became

a

congressman representing Rhode

Island;

fellow slave trader

James De Wolf represented the

state as a senator. Profit

brought

wealth.

all

Quincy Adams

visited the

Today

the house

where

it

that

operated by the

fact that the

Rhode

Brown

American

to

be

former it

have ever seen on

Power

mentioned

President

John

the "most

mag-

this

continent."

Street in Providence,

Island Historical

Society,

4

which

as little as possible.

family fortune was

a matter of historical record. In

first

I

stands at Fifty-two

like the family's slave trading

The is

is

still

When

Browns' home he called

and elegant mansion

nificent

would

of

trappings

the

from the trade

made

in the slave trade

August 1797 John Brown became the

tried in federal court for violating the Slave

Trade

Act. Brown's legal

maneuvers and favors from cohorts did not save him

from reaching the

court, as his brother

charges.

Moses had seen

Moses was

the person pressing

firsthand the horrors of the slave ship and sub-

sequently quit the family business and became

its

greatest opponent.

His efforts stopped the importation of slaves into Rhode Island, and he


From

182

the Sacred to the Profane

helped enact a federal law against

A

it.

bill

freeing the children of slaves

and completely banning the trade would have succeeded, but William Bradford of Bristol removed the clause on the ban. His rum business

depended on the slave

trade.

De Wolf, depended on trade

was banned

The

profits

it

James

son-in-law,

his

more. John Brown died in 1803, before the

forever.

from the slave trade helped the Brown family reach

Near the Power

immortality.

The business of

house stands Brown University.

Street

Because the Browns were such great benefactors, the school originally

known

Rhode

as

by changing

tude

University

it

was

name

monument

New

England.

John Brown

to

Fleet

become

Financial.

Finally

is

the Fleet Financial

when

the founders in 1791

merged with Samuel

Island

bank changed

Colt's cre-

its

name

again

merged with the Bank of Boston

seventh largest financial holding

the

of the Browns' slave

underwent a name change to Industrial

Rhode it

It

Although Brown

University.

Brown was one of

National Bank. In 1982 the to

the family the ultimate grati-

to the profits

called the Providence Bank. the Industrial Trust, and

ation,

Brown

to

known monument

trade, a lesser

Group of

its

the great

is

showed

Island College

company

in

the

to

United

States.

NEW ENGLAND AND THE SLAVE TRADE There are many secrets surrounding the slave

human cargo

dealing in

New

The

profits

American, and particularly

bound by Masonic

ties

and intermarriage. The same fam-

have inherited fortunes and inherited power that dominate the

still

economic landscape. While being a Mason was often a necessity hired

by

to get

a shipowner or a shipbuilder, the lodges that the workers

welcomed

An

from

England, industry. The trade brought together a handful of tightly

knit families ilies

built a great deal of

trade.

into

elite layer

were not the same

as the lodges that the

had once again risen to the top of

owners joined.

society, just as

it

the feudal period.

The French Normans did not invent

the feudal system.

were

The

elite

had

in


The Slave Traders

Normans, however, did

omy. They exported

by controlling every aspect of

thrive

type of

this

economy

to

ulations

order to

in

economy

to

establish

estates.

They brought

entire

pop-

feudal

the

where Norman armies had wreaked more

well,

as

Italy

their

the econ-

England, Scotland, and

where Norman overlords impoverished and evicted

Ireland,

183

havoc than the Celts had a thousand years before. The same Norman families that had

amassed huge

estates

which became Freemasonry. Yet ization

had

feudal

aristocracy,

economy would

organization.

liberty

and fraternity within the organ-

bounds; membership in the powerful lodges was centered

its

on the

first

had created the Knights Templar,

and only when industrial society replaced the

come

a professional class

The rank-and-file

levels in both public society

to

power within

the

trade lodges, in turn, remained at lower

and Masonic

society.

Entry into the upper crust of society could be accomplished by marriage, but

more often members of one shipowning family married mem-

bers of other shipowning families. Only the captains of the ships had a

chance of being upwardly mobile,

as they shared in the profits of their

voyages. The captains started as members of the lodges that included

dockworkers, carpenters, wrights, and

sailors.

Unions, which came

much

did not invent the closed shop. The unions, however, built on the

later,

concept of the union hall and joined together in quasi-Masonic groups like

the

Knights of Labor. Being admitted was the all-important

first

step.

Being accepted by the captains who did the hiring was the next

step.

For

this a laborer

had

to

be considered trustworthy and focused on

the goals of the captain and his masters, the shipowners.

The

terminology

geometric

employed

by Masons

important as a secret handshake. Being regarded as

meant

"on-the-square"

that

a prospective

hire

was

was

just

as

"on-the-level"

or

a

lodge member.

This showed the owners that they had the employee in their control as surely

as

if

they

were feudal lords

in

fourteenth-century

France or

Scotland. Being included meant having a job and surviving the harsh

economy of could

the

eighteenth

and nineteenth centuries; being excluded

mean being homeless.

The irony

is

that

where the populace had played such a

critical role


1

From

84

the Sacred to the Profane

in igniting a

were

elite

war of independence and creating

a democratic society, the

power behind

able to retain their roles as the

still

omy. Masonic principles of brotherhood and equality were

Masonic organizations gave

the econ-

lost as the

a handful of masters the ability to control

their organization.

Americans today have a particular view of history England the moral high road. The Pilgrim myth

made

landed,

them

Native

the

Thanksgiving

celebrate

to

with

friends

after

tells

that grants

how

New

the Pilgrims

and soon invited

population,

a particularly harsh

year.

The

Pilgrim reality was that the Pilgrims landed in the wrong place, fought

among themselves,

nearly

Native

The Natives

population.

books and films

—

would not stop

The Puritan ing

—not

the

and were rescued by a

savages

portrayed

later

in

instructed the Pilgrims in the science of agriculture.

The survivors then repaid that

starved to death,

their hosts

until the "savages"

culture

by subjecting them were confined

to a land grab

to reservations.

thought to have steered America into creat-

is

but religious freedom and tolerance were not hall-

a democracy,

marks of the early Massachusetts colony. Citizens were placed

in stocks

minor religious

for dancing, sent fleeing to other areas because of

dif-

ferences, and frequently burnt as witches not for any religious reason

but instead to that

New

feuds with neighbors. While

settle

cannot be denied

it

England, and, one could argue, Boston, was the cradle of

American democracy, the region soon became the Federalists,

who

of a merchant-class

the

high

command

of

replaced the values of the Revolution with those elite

that introduced

slavery,

furthered smuggling,

invented child factory labor, and nearly overturned the Bill of Rights in a short-lived attempt to

end dissension.

The American dream was unquenched Brahmins

thirst

into

for

slave trading,

Brahmin-like class, societies

between lies.

The

England

elite class

that led

opium

the elite

by

those

trading,

members preserved

that excluded

New

money

tarnished

their

the

unbridled power and

we now

call

the

Boston

and labor abuse. In status

this

through Masonic

average worker and through intermarriage

and occasionally

aristocratic English fami-

had access to both financial and

political

power


The Slave Traders

because of the enormous wealth the trade brought. The same

185

elite class

exists today.

The

basis for

be traced

many

of the fortunes of today's political leaders can

to a handful of

were

inal conspiracies that

They plowed

Founding Fathers. They

and immoral then as they are now.

as illegal

the profits into factories and railroads.

were threatened, they became

way

built fortunes in crim-

When

and lawmakers.

politicians

their

And

empires

along the

they decided that there was value in public relations, and so they

endowed schools from Brown

to

Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

THE SUGAR PLANTATION The world of

would never have existed a

more powerful but

developed

their

if

lesser

act

of

opium

to

its

trade.

known

family, the Perkinses.

industrial

Perkinses went even further.

Brown

not for the slave-trading

empire on the slave

most remarkable

England

Boston Brahmins

the Cabots, Lodges, and the rest of the

By

trade,

The Browns

on banking, and through the

piracy,

the

textile

industry.

The

took

New

starting as slave traders, they

highest level of wealth

by introducing

The Perkins family united

family and

the

the region to the

Whitneys, the Tafts, the

Roosevelts, the Cushings, the Appletons, the Bacons, and others in the criminal enterprise that

would form

bedrock of

the

New

England and

were

in the slave

American wealth. It

is

little

wonder

that the Perkins family roots

trade, specifically in Saint

teenth

Domingue, an

island

and

century thirty thousand white planters

trolled a half million black workers.

treatment, and this control

ostensibly governed

by

made

the

where

in the late eigh-

their

con-

soldiers

Control was maintained by harsh

Saint

Domingue wealthy. While

French, the island was

was

it

made up of

eight

hundred sugar plantations that were often owned by Americans. The island,

which would one day become

Haiti,

thirds of all France's overseas trade. Saint

agricultural

the

exports of the

was responsible

Domingue outranked

Spanish Indies combined.

mother country employed a thousand ships and

fifteen

for all

Commerce thousand

two the

with


From

186

the Sacred to the Profane

Cotton from Saint Domingue kept the cloth mills of France in

sailors.

estimate

Historians

operation.

that

depended on the overseas trade

was

envy of

the

maintained

a

Caribbean.

One

the

all

third

person

five

in

employment. This staggering wealth

European countries.

degree

higher

for

one

France,

in

of profit

5

The Haitian

plantations

any other island in the

than

of the plantations returned to their owners

12

percent each year, compared to an average of 4 percent in the British-

owned

islands.

The media of

day often supported business against

Adam

happens today. While

as

tors,

the

ment of plantation workers by

through four times

its

it.

detrac-

Smith wrote of the superior

the French, 6

mortality rate of slaves proves

its

was

it

a fantasy,

One survey shows

original slave population; this

treat-

and the

a plantation going

means

that the act

of killing 80 percent of one's workforce through harsh treatment was

somehow

acceptable in sugar plantation economics.

Workers were poorly housed and underfed. The food

for slaves

was

often the stock fish brought in

on the four thousand or more American

Saint

Domingue. The American ships were

ships

that

registered

New

mostly from

American

in

England and returned with sugar and molasses. The

ships also traded slaves. Industry in

prospered as those

who engaged

into the factories, the railroads,

New

in slave trading

England and France

plowed

their profits

and the mines.

In order for a small population to control such a large population,

violence was commonplace. For a minor infraction, whipping and the application of salt and pepper

on the wounds was

mutilation, and death were typical as well. to

Branding,

runaway slave could expect

be hamstrung. The act of eating sugarcane was punished by being

forced

to

recourse.

by

A

typical.

wear

off,

man by

muzzle. exist in

Women

could

be

raped

without

which disobedience was curtailed

the ear to an object.

And

in

one case a

slave's ears

cooked, and forced upon him as food.

Common wax

metal

Documented cases

nailing a

were cut

a

slave

tortures

included spraying the

slave

with boiling

or cane syrup, sewing the lips together with wire, binding

glazed with molasses in the paths of ants, and sexual mutilation. Death

men


The Slave Traders

was

a blessing to

many, and hundreds committed suicide

burned alive or hanged by the planters and

The Perkins family

Dominguan

plantation.

their overseers.

to avoid

187

being

7

plantation might have been typical of any Saint

Although lucrative for the owners,

work

ing hell for those forced to

for them. In the

Handasyd Perkins, Thomas Perkins spared

it

was

a liv-

Memoir of Thomas

future readers the details of

sugar plantation business and his participation in the slave trade.

the

Instead his

memoirs simply mention

that

the

Perkins brothers had a

"house," or company, in Haiti, but found the climate not agreeable and so returned to Boston.

8

The "climate" Perkins

referred

to

slaves against their white overlords, in

were

was

killed or forced to flee

the third in the

series

was a revolution of the black which two

thirds of the whites

and one third of the blacks were

killed. It

of revolutions starting with the American

Revolution, which then spread to France and to Saint Domingue.The Perkins family and

New England The

New

its

heirs survived the carnage

and became

pillars

of

society.

slave trade

was not invented by

England merchants. Instead

it

the Perkinses or even

had existed

in

by

the

Europe, Africa, and

Asia for thousands of years. Europe's involvement in the African trade, however, did grow and thrive after coming under the control of the post-Templar military orders.


1

Chapter

1

RED CROSS AND BLACK CARGO

Modern

history

trade in

attributes

America

beginning of the European slave

the

to the Portuguese.

The Knights Templar,

rein-

corporated in Portugal as the Knights of Christ, were under the control

of Henry the Navigator, the Portuguese grand master

nomic opportunity developing

became master of

it

He developed

ilization.

new

lands, just

as

number of other commodities. He

a system in

could collect royalties from

didn't invent

But Henry did modernize slavery so

into his quest for

incorporated the trade in a slavery.

Henry

was already thousands of years old when he

it

his order.

he could incorporate

eco-

as the reconquista, the reconquest of the

Iberian Peninsula, pushed the Arabs out of Iberia. the institution of slavery;

who saw an

it.

that

he had licensed

which the trade would grow and he

Yet slavery as an

institution is as old as civ-

Prince Henry and the Knights of Christ "improved" the trade

and institutionalized the business, but neither Henry nor the Knights can shoulder the blame for inventing slavery. Aristotle Plato,

who

wrote that humanity

is

man

believed no honest

made up of

slaves and masters.

could ever be rich, saw nothing dis-

honest about the slave trade and believed only in regulating the

marketplace.

Pre-Christian

the proverbial salt mines,

Roman

Christianity

Caesar's decisions

did

was

still

Rome employed

slaves

in

its

role in

galleys

and

where they worked under horrid conditions.

not

question the

the rule.

slave

trade,

as

yielding

The barbarian Alaric raided Rome 188

to


Red Cross and Black Cargo

189

with the aid of forty thousand captured slaves. Later Anglo-Saxons and

Vikings traded white slaves

who had been

captured in raids and war. In

Ireland slave girls were an actual unit of exchange or currency, and were

valued more highly than male slaves. ment, Venice was one of the

1

In an early version of enlighten-

first city-states to

ban

slavery, in

A.D. 960.

THE MILITARY ORDERS AND THE SLAVE TRADE Slave trading prospered

all

Europe participated

the

slaves

in

way through

the

from European lands

age-old

the spread of Islam.

institution,

While

used mostly white

it

had been conquered rather than African

that

more

international.

When

the tide turned against Islam, the Italian merchants

and then the

fight-

slaves.

The Arabs simply made

the slave trade

ing crusader orders stepped into the trade. In fact, Italian shipowners

had a reputation for simply trader.

Such

acts led to

selling a boatload of passengers to an

Templar ships being considered

more

passengers' viewpoint, as the Templars were

Arab

from the

safer

likely to protect their

pilgrim passengers. Later the Templar orders and the Knights of Saint

John joined the slave trade

to

fund their operations.

In Iberia, the Arabs used black slaves to cultivate the land and to fight against the Christians.

During the reconquista, much land was given and Aviz

to the military orders, including those of Calatrava, Alcantara,

of Spain and the Knights of Christ in Portugal. Estates were also given to the Cistercian order of

monks, who saw no moral conflict

vating the land with slave labor.

2

With

the

in culti-

Arab invaders mostly pushed

out of Europe, the Templars' chief business became business.

When

the

Templars were suppressed, the order underwent both a name change and

a

management change.

Knights Templar cartel

with the

explorers

at their worst.

Knights

of

They became an

approval of the government.

understood

the

opportunity

lucrative slave-trading business. ties,

The

to

They then

Christ

re-created

international business

Henry and

profit

the

his

intrepid

by taking over

the

licensed the trade for royal-

and ships of the order and ships owned by others but licensed


From

190

the Sacred to the Profane

through the order soon plied the seas from Angola to the Slave Coast,

buying or stealing slaves from the Arab merchants.

Henry the Navigator had third son of

King John

Henry was given

the

the

of being highborn.

benefit

title

of grand master of the Knights of Christ. The

the remnants of the Knights Templar,

of which were

all

which had been disbanded by the

king of France and the Catholic pope. While the French

efforts of the

knights were arrested, tortured, and burned knights simply changed their ing of Pope John XXII.

at the

stake, the Portuguese

name and were born again with

The knights kept

their regalia: a red cross

on a white

the bless-

Portugal,

He

did,

however, pilot

where he gathered

field. little

order from a castle in Sagres,

his

the

all

and

their wealth, their status,

Although he was called the Navigator, Prince Henry did very navigating.

the

of Portugal and Queen Phillippa of Lancaster,

I

Knights were one of four military orders in Portugal,

even

As

nautical

wisdom of

his

day.

He

improved on the nautical instruments, gathered maps and perfected the art

of cartography, developed

graceful,

two-masted ship

new

vessels such as the caravel (a small,

built to navigate shallow seas

distance crossings), and trained would-be mariners to

and make long-

sail.

Henry's navigators, possibly with the aid of ancient maps,

soon

rediscovered Atlantic islands such as the Azores and Madeira and then set

their

sails

—and

Africa

Africa.

toward Africa.

returned

Black

tribes

with black

were

slaves.

Henry's

The

first

caravel

reached

was not new

trade

to

Moors then took over

the trade.

costs of outfitting a fleet and a world-class university at Sagres

great,

defray

1441

had enslaved each other for thousands of years. The

Islamic Berbers and Arab

The

In

and the sugar trade with Madeira and the slave trade would

some of

the high costs of maintaining both.

cultural projects,

but he was

still

dye works, soap

factories, fish pools,

forced to borrow money.

neered the rest of Europe followed. Parrots and

monkeys were

Henry

3

also

and coral

Where Henry's

had

agri-

fisheries,

ships pio-

Lions were brought to Ireland.

carried to Bruges.

The king of Denmark was

given the tusks of an elephant, and an entire expedition was launched


Red Cross and Black Cargo

191

with the goal of capturing a live elephant. The expedition was never heard from again, but Europe's fascination with Africa only increased.

4

Anticipating the future criticism of capturing, buying, and selling

human

was given

beings, the Knights of Christ

spiritual jurisdiction

of

Guinea, Nubia, and Ethiopia. As "Master of the wealthy Order of Christ

which had inherited the riches of the Temple," Henry now had a mis5

sion.

Europe's entry into the African slave trade became official and

was placed under

the elite order that not only

exists but also flour-

still

ishes today, with the president of the Republic of Portugal as

its

current

grand master. Portuguese were responsible for bringing the black slave

If the

more than equally responsible

industry to Europe, the Spanish were

for

expanding the trade. Columbus had finally sailed for America in 1492 after years

of negotiating for a sponsor. The marriage of Isabella, queen

of Castile, and Ferdinand the conquest of Granada,

modern Spain, today

call

the

king of Aragon, united

II,

government was quick

to

target

was

The Islamic conquerors were

was

heretics

major

Even before

place,

its

to

go.

tolerant Islamic rule

the

1492 capture of Granada, the

goal to drive out pagans and Christian

By 1492 Dominican

alike.

cities.

in

first

be educators, merchants, and bankers. The third

the heretics.

Inquisition

now

is

employ what we would

Next were the Jews; they had thrived under a more to

of Spain. In

which unified a great deal of what

ethnic cleansing.

and were allowed

much

tribunals

were operating in eight

Christians and conversos, the converted Jews, were regularly

consumed by flames

in city squares.

Columbus

was the

left

Spain,

August

2,

1492, the day before

final deadline for all

Jews

to convert or

leave.

When Canary

Spain ran out of people to expel,

Islands.

There the

Spaniards

it

sent an expedition to the

met a culture they called the

Guanches.With an armed expedition, the Spaniards went

to

war against

the isolated people and eliminated the entire population of two hun-

dred thousand.

would happen

6

The Canary adventure served

in the Americas.

as

a blueprint for

what


From the Sacred

192

to the Profane

THE MYSTERIOUS CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS Columbus himself

explorer. His first biography,

even

man

of interest more as a

is

written

by

of mystery than as an

son Ferdinand, questions

his

surname. Columbo, meaning "the dove," was a chosen name,

their

says Ferdinand, as Baptist. Saint

was the symbol of wisdom and of Saint John

it

John was sacred

Columbus's

first

Good King Rene.

to the Templars.

was

service outside commercial expeditions Little

the

7

was written regarding

the

for the

Columbus-Rene

d'Anjou connection. The book Holy Blood, Holy Grail claims that Rene

was

a grand master of the Priory of Sion, the secret organization that

was behind

the formation of the Knights Templar. Certainly

Rene was

involved in some very select chivalric orders, including the Order of the Crescent, the Order of the White Greyhound, and l'Ordre de la Fidelite. It

is

known whether Rene played

not

to the secret orders.

More

likely the circuitous route that led

a connection with the resurrected

In 1477 settled

Columbus

a role in introducing

Columbus

Columbus

to

Templar order was through marriage.

sailed north to Iceland,

where the Vikings had

hundreds of years before, and used the area as a way station

between Greenland and the Americas. He

Galway Bay

"flat-faced" natives, leading

sailed to Ireland,

Columbus

where

to believe they

in

were

Asians, had washed up dead. These were possibly Inuit from Greenland or North America.

Columbus

also

sailed

the

to

port city of Bristol,

England, which was once a stronghold of the Knights Templar and

later

a stronghold of the English slave trade.

Columbus was more than well extraordinaire.

Cardinal

Pierre

At his bedside was a book

filled

its

with notes.

8

He

true size.

And

who

the adventurer read Aristotle

will

come when Ocean

sail

will

Marinus of Tyre,

Columbus found sup-

estimated the world

believed the Indies were just a few days'

Seneca wrote, "An age

a scholar

Imago Mundi, by

also read

divided time into twenty-four hours.

port from Strabo and Pliny,

than

titled

was

which Columbus had read and reread and

dAilly,

whose margins he had

who had

read; for his time he

at one-third less

and Seneca, who

from Cadiz.

9

In

Medea

break his chains, a


Red Cross and Black Cargo

huge land

Book

Columbus

be revealed."

will

Marco Polo and an

of Ser

also

owned

a

193

copy of the

Italian translation of Pliny's

Natural

11

History.

Like the other famous Genoese explorer John Cabot (born Giovanni Caboto), Columbus married well. After being shipwrecked in Portugal,

he settled in Lisbon and attended mass

Columbus reached

the time

widowed

the

The

hundred years before

as merchants, traders,

By

and adventurers.

Portugal, the family had achieved wealth and

Felipa Moniz.

was twenty-seven. Within

How Christ

a

Saints.

had also endowed the Conventos dos Santos, where Columbus

status. It

met

work

settled in Portugal to

Church of All

come from Genoa

Moniz-Perestrello family had

and

at the

the son of a

mystery

a

is

Bartholomeu

Dona

Felipa was twenty-five;

a year they married.

weaver married has

that

Perestrello,

Columbus

was

into a family of the Knights of

never

been

by Henry

trained

Moniz's

solved.

father,

the Navigator at Sagres

He

Castle and had taken part in the exploration of the Atlantic islands.

was given

the

title

of governor, or capitano, of Porto Santo, where he

received the revenue from ited the

trade and

all

commerce. His son

later inher-

the position, and the revenue.

title,

Columbus and panied by his

new

his

new

bride

honeymooned on Madeira, accom-

mother-in-law, Isabel Moniz. Her family also had a

long distinguished history with roots in the Algarve. Although marriage Moniz-Perestrello

the

into

Moniz

gave

explorer: the

Columbus

family

brought

something

even

Columbus more

status,

Isabel

by

appreciated

the

books and charts of her husband. The successive discovery

and rediscovery of the Canaries, the Azores, Madeira, and the Cape

Verde archipelago revealed an ocean written. to the

known

12

Armed

Columbus The

of islands just as Plato had

with the knowledge of geography that was available

few who could read, to a

full

as well as the

maps and

charts of the Atlantic

few and protected by the secrecy of the Knights of

Christ,

sailed west.

New World

was not

as

Columbus expected.

First,

it

was not

China, then called Cathay, or anywhere else in Asia. There were no spices,

which were

at that

time as valuable as gold. There was some gold,


From

194

but

was around

it

who

the Sacred to the Profane

the necks of the particularly warlike

Arawak

tribe,

greeted Columbus. In search of gold they were convinced

first

could be found somewhere

else,

Columbus's expedition searched the

Caribbean Sea.

Along the way they discovered

Arawak group on

Taino natives of the larger

that the

the island of Canoa, a province of Hispaniola,

had

seagoing vessels that could hold forty-five people. The Spanish called these dugouts "canoes," but they were actually as long as a European

and

galley

eight

wide.

feet

13

In

comparison,

Columbus's expedition held ninety people

An Arawak sailed to

make

the

on

ships

three

total.

who

group known as the Lucayans were active traders

Guatemala for beads, jade, and quartz, which they used

pottery.

The

were also capable of smelting gold,

natives

silver,

to

and

copper.

The the

newcomers, from

natives discovered the "thunder reeds" of the

wrong end of

island later split

the rifle barrels. In

March 1495

in Hispaniola,

between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the

the first

was pitched between the Spanish people and the native popula-

battle

The

tion.

1558.

would be reduced from 250,000

island's population

to

500 by

14

NEW WORLD SLAVE TRADE complicity in the slave trade started with Columbus bringing

Spain's

slaves

from the

natives,

New World

who were brought

to Spain. to

At

first it

was

a handful of Taino

Spain almost as a curiosity.

By

the time

of Columbus's fourth voyage, the Spanish might have brought as

many

white or Moorish slaves as blacks. In 1505 fifteen black slaves were

brought to

Hispaniola,

15

but

was reduced by smallpox

at

shortly

afterward

the

native

population

such an alarming rate that replacement

workers were needed. The Spanish viewed a black as being worth the labor of four native Caribbeans and with better resistance to disease.

The

early Spanish slave trade

may have been

half white and half black.

Jewish captives in the continuing war against Moorish

cities

and


Red Cross and Black Cargo

Muslim

slaves were sold in the Valencia market. Black Africans

accompany

was given the

in Spain,

wheat

in

distinction of being the first

European

to plant

16

Mexico.

the flood-

and licenses were granted even to the Catholic holy orders to

—sometimes

import slaves

by

hundreds. Bartolome de Las Casas,

the

scion of an old French family in Spain, life

that

saw

firsthand the destruction of

Spain was causing among the natives and recommended that

work

blacks be put to

in

America

instead.

17

Soon both white Europeans

and black Africans were making the dangerous crossing

new

slaves for the

ruling class of the Americas.

Two

work

to

hundred and

thousand white Englishmen were transported against their will

on the plantations of the Caribbean. their survival

When

was

until

slavery

is

the

after

18

such

it

fifty

work

to

Their treatment was as harsh;

discussed today, race it

is

usually emphasized. But

was, would not become a racial

American Revolution. Prior

to

this

time slavery

more often involved peoples who were captured or subjugated fare; as

as

short.

slavery, as horrible an institution as

issue

fact,

born

free black

The Native American population collapse soon opened gates,

would

men. In

the Spanish explorers both as slaves and as free

on the Cortes exploration of Mexico, Juan Garrido, a

195

may have

taken on a cultural focus, but

it

in war-

was not along

the lines of color. Whites enslaved whites, blacks enslaved blacks, and the

conquering armies and navies of Islam enslaved Europeans and Africans as opportunity allowed.

The blame

on any

for slavery cannot be placed

one particular group, as the practice was nearly universal.

The

early slave trade

The Portuguese and then

nity.

captains of ilies

was an

Genoa bought

from France

and

mounted

effort of the

as a

the Spanish licensed the trade.

the licenses.

to Flanders lent the

the

Old World

expeditions.

commuThe

The banking and merchant fam-

money

Slavery

that paid for the licenses

was

an

equal-opportunity

exploiter; everywhere, the powerful could enslave the less powerful.

early trade

them.

was

sea

The

a matter not of capturing slaves, but rather of buying

The Africans themselves were an

integral

part

of the

trade;

remarkably, Prince Henry's slavers even found a market for black slaves


From

196

the Sacred to the Profane

among black gold.

chiefs,

who

accepted the slaves in payment for ivory and

19

The Wolof

tribe

the value of seven

Europeans

the

Senegambia was as the

who

at least as

The 1520 through

came

Conversos,

who came

Jewish

or

way

saw

the trade

to the Iberians

much

to heightened pro-

conversion

and then

owned

role. Jesuits too

From

to the

European Danes

the northern

who could

build and

was

in the silver

buy

the ships and

mines of Peru and Cuba. The

worked these mines before but not under

among

the natives.

ers felt the Indians died too often, blacks

the harsh condi-

Domingo and

to a

Because the slave own-

were brought

in to replace

them. The black slaves were destined to work the sugar plantations

first

then in Puerto Rico. Between 1529 and 1537

crown granted 360

licenses to import slaves to Peru alone,

and most of these licenses went to Francisco Pizarro and

his family.

other licenses were doled out to friends of the crown,

who

them

New

and Arabs in the south, the business was con-

greater mortality rate

the Spanish

to

slaves,

imposed by the Spanish. The cruelty of the conquerors led

in Santo

in

Americas were invaded by the Spanish conquistadors, an

early use for forced labor

tions

empire

or employ the slaves.

the

Indians had

grow

to the Netherlands,

ducted for the profit of those

When

Songhai

who claimed

families

traded slaves, and ran plantations.

sell,

less complicit

to buy.

World, where some would play a large

and Dutch

The

buy.

to

rich

sophisticated in trade, currency, and social

the 1540s

escape death, found their

capture,

who were

Portuguese. Their markets were as developed and often

older than those of the traders

portions.

Europe, Salic law

that in

soon became rich in horses, and they were no

in slaves,

status

men. They also understood

of a slave as equal to one horse. The Wolof,

set the price

than

of Senegal understood that in Africa a horse had

to bankers. Selling the licenses

was

often sold

as lucrative as actually

slaves in Africa and crossing the ocean to sell

them

in the

The

buying

New World.

Although every ethnic group and numerous countries participated in the slave trade, perhaps

of a few

elite countries.

most of the blame can be

Those who could afford

laid

on the doorstep

to exploit others did,


Red Cross and Black Cargo

and in whatever form possible. Often the people

were

still

in the best position to participate in these activities.

The Portuguese ex-Templar the trans-Mediterranean trade

They

later

could afford to

had powerful connections. The remnant crusader organ-

exploit others izations

who

197

the

order,

Knights of Christ, started

of Africans to finance

its

explorations.

brought the trade across the Atlantic. The Spanish crown,

acting through a host of military orders, licensed the rights to explore,

conquer, and subjugate foreign peoples and lands. in place in a

licenses

sell

licenses first

new

region, the government took

granting others the right to

went

to the elite families

Once an empire was

upon

buy and

who

itself the right to sell

slaves.

These

financed and led for-profit

expeditions to the Americas.

THE FRENCH ENTER THE SLAVE TRADE France was separated by the destructive wars between the Catholics and the

Protestants,

but both sides

would soon follow

in

Caribbean

the

sugar and molasses trade. Both Catholic and Protestant participated in the slave trade as well, though usually

from

While the

different ports.

French Protestants, or Huguenots, conducted business through a more

modern system

that

gave great power to individual mercantile leaders,

the Catholic military orders that survived acted as one great like the

company,

Knights Templar had before 1307.

Saint

Christopher,

the

first

Caribbean island to be colonized by

France, was bought by the order of Saint John of Jerusalem in 1653.

The order soon added holdings. trade

was

The

the islands of Tortuga

knights, however, did not enjoy the slave trade.

a physically dirty business and

the order's mainstay of piracy. its

Caribbean islands

order paved the

way

vidual companies run

France was

pope

in

Rome

and Saint Barthelemy to

still

to

for

most

The order soon

the French

its

slave

likely less profitable than

transferred ownership of

West India Company.

21

French participation in the Atlantic

by Catholics or Huguenots

The

20

filled the

After the trade, indi-

vacuum.

a Catholic country and followed the lead of the

in justifying the trade. Edicts

beginning with those of


198

From

the Sacred to the Profane

Alexander in

1685

II in

instructed

Somehow

XIV

1493 and the Code Noir of the French king Louis slaves

that

be baptized

the convoluted reasoning

aboard

slave

the

ships.

allowed the conquerors and slave

merchants to believe they were "saving" their victims. They were either

But the com-

killing the "heathen godless pagans" or converting them.

bined military and religious conquest had an unintended religions

of the Africans, as

well

as

own

their

The

result:

were

"lodges,"

elite

brought to the Americas.

SECRET AFRICAN SOCIETIES AND THE SLAVE TRADE While the

elite

European military and

slaves, transporting them,

societies played their part in

selling

them

American

to

African societies played another role. Secret and

planters, elite

elite societies

even run the other side of the business, procuring slaves Europeans. In The Serpent and the Rainbow, tured victims of the western

the river to

at the river's

exchange for

The Efik were

ideally suited at the

to

pay a duty

that

anchored

to the Efik chiefs in

Order was maintained by a secret

slaves.

the Niger and

meet the Europeans. The slave ships

mouth were required

may have

to sell to the

Davis describes cap-

Yoruba being brought down

delivered into the hands of the Efik.

mouth of

Wade

buying

society, the

Egbo,

the head of an

Egbo

or leopard society.

The Efik

chief,

called an obong, often

group that maintained discipline through

The weapons of

was

fear.

Europeans were guns

the

and organized

first

gion second. The weapons of African societies were similar;

first

the vic-

tim population was conquered and enslaved by force, and later subjected to religion. Religion in early Africa in superstition, as that

it

utilized

it

more

was

was most

in the rest of the world, but

drugs.

One of

the

it

likely

was

it

was

grounded

different in

weapons of subjugation was

Calabar bean, a source of datura, a psychoactively violent herb. use

reli-

22

the

The

of such psychoactive drugs was carried to America to maintain

order.

On

the

surface

it

appeared that the

elite

of the

New World

required only their weapons and the martial powers of the military and


Red Cross and Black Cargo

But religion did serve a purpose;

the military orders to maintain order.

keeping order,

in addition to

199

provided justification for the act of con-

it

And

quering the American Natives.

provided an excuse for the cru-

it

elty of enslavement.

The

slaves

forget their

—blacks

own

and Indians alike

—did

not,

religious beliefs. Their religions,

of course, simply

which were often the

products of numerous nations, regions, and languages, blended with the

The

Catholic iconography.

was

result

The

gions built on a base of pagan beliefs. Santeria in

Cuba and Puerto

in Haiti (Saint

The glue ety

was

later in

in Brazil.

that Catholicism

actually supplied in a

hybrid

religion of the saints

New

reli-

became

vodun (voodoo)

Rico, obeah in Jamaica,

Domingue) and

Mexico, and Candomble

new

a multitude of

Orleans, Curanderismo in

23

was supposed

way

for

to

have provided for soci-

which the Church and the slave

owners were not prepared. The same shamans and members of secret African societies structure to the

Cuba and

who

New

On

They

cohesive

the islands of Hispaniola, Jamaica,

these groups escaped into the mountains, led

their core elite.

own

survived the passage brought their

World.

by

and

religious leaders

inspired others to escape and join, and they

roused enough fear in others that secrets were kept. Assassinations were

even conducted by group members who could move around

The voodoo-inspired revolution

chased the likes of the Perkins

that

Boston was as deadly as the

family back to

invisibly.

terror

of the

French

Revolution.

The white Atlantic. Just a

traders

and planters brought Freemasonry across the

few years

after lodges

colonies, they spread south.

Jamaica

own

in

when

in

in the northern

Caribbean lodge was established in

first

The prosperous

the next year,

The French time

1739.

The

were established

island of Barbados had a lodge of

and by 1749 Saint Domingue too had

Saint

Domingue allowed blacks

the growth of

vodun was

brought whites and blacks to

New

into

at its greatest.

own

lodge.

their lodges

The

at

a

rebellion that

Orleans from the Caribbean intro-

duced both the European lodge system and the vodun into the United States.

its

its

The American vodun

religion, with

secret societies

its

symbolism,


From

200

the Sacred to the Profane

and mysterious doctrines, appears to be an amalgama-

ritual clothing,

Freemason, and Catholic influences.

tion of African,

The black

slave insurrection

both

Toussaint-Louverture,

independence

declared

tion

thirty

active

Masons.

Saint

Domingue

had

Toussaint-Louverture

and

1791,

in

Napoleon Bonaparte, attempted

France's emperor,

were

for

was led by Jean-Jacques Dessalines and

although

suppress

to

there

it,

thousand whites among 465,000 black slaves. The popula-

had seen an increase of forty thousand blacks

in the

three years

preceding the revolution. The independence movement eventually suc-

ceeded

under

French part of the island

Haiti,

1794 there was a reign of

terror as revolutionary blacks

and the mystery of voodoo

Boukman's

a

had

their

the

tortured,

and

own

network of voodoo

ritual to incite the revolution.

were raped,

whites

rule,

renamed

then

an Arawak name. Between 1791 and

Boukman. Boukman used

version of Robespierre, priests

who

of Dessalines,

leadership

the

killed;

Under

plantations

were pillaged; and property was burned. In three years ten thousand whites and an

unknown number of

thousand whites were

killed,

blacks fled, mostly to Louisiana.

which was one

Ten

third of the population.

HUGUENOTS IN THE TRADE As

Catholic France paved the way, the Huguenot slavers and smugglers

played

an even bigger role

American the

From

colonies.

fourteenth

the

century,

Huguenots organized into

in

the

commercial

same ports

like

La

secret

that the

Rochelle,

groups

activity

of the

new

Templars once held the

in

sixteenth-century

from which they supported

each other against often larger enemies. These groups were organized through a series of Masonic lodges.

Much

of the English and Scottish participation in the slave trade, in

smuggling, and even in piracy was organized in lodges and cells whose

members

protected

one

another.

Masons

enjoyed

protection

that

extended to the highest levels in power. Although slave trading today statutory piracy,

it

used

Duke of York organized

to

is

be the prerogative of the English crown. The

the English

monopoly of the

trade,

and the


Red Cross and Black Cargo

largest shareholders

were the members of the royal families

201

—who were

often at the pinnacle of the secret societies.

The

Protestant French did not always have the

same blessing from

The

the royals as did their English competitors or the Catholic slavers.

Huguenots were among the

up quickly. In 1691 a Huguenot

Company became

the

France three ports control of

but they caught

last to enter the slave trade,

Domingue.

governor of Saint

—Nantes,

French Senegal

in the service of the

24

Bordeaux, and La Rochelle

At home

—ended

in

up in

70 percent of the slave-trading business.

Nantes, which

is

up the Loire River from the Atlantic

controlled 50 percent of the trade

intermarried

Protestant

families

by

Michel, 25

Drouins, Bertrands, Grou, and Montaudoin.

soon

thanks to the tightly knit,

itself,

of

coast,

Luynes,

Boutelhiers,

Islands in the Loire pro-

vided suitable harbor for importing cotton and other goods, the final

product of the trade that started with African slaves. The house of Rene

Montaudoin emerged as the

single

largest

company, controlling the

majority of the trade in Nantes, the largest slave-trading ily

city.

The fam-

business outfitted 357 ships in the eighteenth century, almost dou-

ble the

amount of the Luynes family,

Rene Montaudoin was

a

the next closest competitor.

member of

the

Royal Academy of Science

and also a Mason. His home base, Nantes, was a Masonic stronghold

imbued with

the

close friends with

ideas ofVoltaire

and Rousseau. Montaudoin became

Benjamin Franklin and helped supply the American

cause against the British. But the rights of the principal business of Nantes

The

role of the French

man had

in the slave trade is a

of the divisive goals of Masonic groups and of the

1789 there were more than

six

humans.

the buying and selling of

Masons

application in

little

elite

prime example themselves. In

hundred Masonic lodges in

ranged from the craft worker and social groups

to the

Paris.

more

They

restrictive

lodges with nobles, priests, and even brothers of the king. Prominent lodges included the leaders of the Enlightenment. The Lodge of the Nine Sisters

was one such lodge; founded by

the astronomer Lalande, the lodge

was joined by Condorcet, Chamfort, Houdon, Danton, and Benjamin Franklin.

They adhered

to

no religious doctrine outside of the

deist belief


202

From

the Sacred to the Profane

supreme

that there is a

They

architect of the universe.

acted against the

Catholic religion, however, and were instrumental in expelling the Jesuits

from France. They were pledged ation,

to

mutual assistance and religious

which conversely allowed them

the Catholic religion

were

There

on

toler-

and force

to control the slave trade

slaves.

also

Masonic

liberal

whose

groups

membership

included Lafayette, his in-laws the Noailles, Mirabeau, the due de

La

Rochefoucauld, and the due d'Orleans. Lafayette worked to end slavery and experimented by buying Jesuits

and educating

his

own

two Suriname plantations from the

slaves in preparation for their freedom.

Perhaps the greatest irony

is

Masonic-inspired revolution

that the

backfired against the membership's nobles and

elite.

Reign of Terror would count thousands of heads

A

decade before the

lost to the guillotine,

Masonic-linked families like the Montaudoins came to the aid of the

new experiment Rene

in

democracy.

example

Montaudoins

Montaudoin donated money

much

of

imitators,

wealth

his

Members of

financing

the

their

provided

textile

an

industries.

where

factories

was

cotton

processed.

family of Bristol, Rhode Island, were classic industry

textile

New

of

England

with

the

in the slave trade.

Although the motive of the French profit,

have

build the Nantes hospital and plowed

to

into

De Wolf

the

money earned

might

enterprise

American captains of the slave and

the

to

family

actions

took

on

in the slave trade

political

and religious

French Huguenots had numerous enemies,

was primarily

overtones.

The

and the Catholic Church

presented the greatest threat. French Freemasons brought blacks into the lodges as a

When

Britain

way of keeping

went

opportunity to hurt

its

to

from becoming Catholic.

the groups

war with American

long-term enemy.

colonies,

France

saw an

27

THE ENGLISH SLAVE TRADERS The English were latecomers

in

the

exploration of the

After a very brief effort employing John Cabot to

sail the

New

World.

coast in 1497,


Red Cross and Black Cargo

more than

the English waited

Elizabeth

hundred years,

a

until the

Queen

before conducting further exploration. Elizabeth was sur-

I,

who

rounded by a court of adventurers and alchemists,

queen

time of

203

advised the

to participate in the conquest.

Mary

queen

Henry

VIII,

Mary's

I.

and

Catholic

began shortly

reign

Elizabeth's

Protestant

death

had

factions

after

the

ended

a

over the

death tense

throne.

of the

Catholic

struggle

between

Elizabeth's

father,

had an unusual propensity for marrying and then dispens-

ing with his wives.

One of them, Anne Boleyn, was

Elizabeth's mother.

Boleyn was accused of the crime of fornication and was beheaded,

making Elizabeth ily

Duke of Northumberland, who wanted

of the

duke and

his

of

instead

That status was not important to the fam-

illegitimate.

a Protestant ruler.

The

group attempted a coup to put Elizabeth on the throne

Henry's

daughter,

other

Mary.

The

Dudley

so-called

Conspiracy ended badly for the twenty conspirators; they were sent to the

Tower, some to be executed and others to be imprisoned. Elizabeth,

however, remained physically unharmed, but the

affair

made her almost

paranoid.

A

few weeks

after

Mary's death, on a precise day (January 15, 1559)

picked by Elizabeth's astrologer, Dr. John Dee, Elizabeth was made

queen of England. She had been drawn and

it

was one commonality she shared with her

friend and

two

father.

Her long-term

rumored lover Robert Dudley introduced Elizabeth

Dee had been to his

to the occult since childhood,

by

hired

the

Duke of Northumberland

to Dee.

to teach science

sons.

when

Dee's reputation as a sorcerer grew from his school days, the middle of a itate

Greek play

a large scarab.

cerer.

The

short

at

Cambridge he displayed an

ability to lev-

The year he graduated, he was imprisoned

imprisonment did

not

hurt

his

in

chances

as a sor-

at

gainful

employment; he soon found himself a favorite of Elizabeth's court and

was given

a

home

called Mortlake.

At Mortlake the

cabalist,

alchemist, and mathematician amassed a

library of four thousand volumes, the largest in England. Dee's library

would be used by two of England's

greatest chroniclers, Hakluyt and


— From

204

the Sacred to the Profane

To Dee

Holinshed.

there

was no divide between science and magic. He

displayed a magic mirror that mystified to reveal

what he or she had

cloud of bees

seen.

A

all

but would not allow anyone

maid reported

swarm downstairs from

his

that she

had seen a

chambers, plainly familiars of

the doctor.

Dee introduced Elizabeth

to Francis Kelly,

to transmute metals into gold. Elizabeth hired

who claimed him

be able

to

to avoid taxing her

subjects.

Dee persuaded Elizabeth the

New World

was

that she

entitled to

enormous

areas in

based on claims that the Saxon version of the Greek

conqueror Alexander, King Edgar, had made. Her Majesty was also a direct heir of that Britain

to Dee.

Dee convinced Elizabeth

as Britannia

and that as an island the

King Arthur, according

had a destiny to rule

He

country needed a great navy.

told her that the

Americas were

to

be

the new, Greater Britannia, the virgin continent for the Virgin Queen.

Now

the quest

was on

for the

new Avalon. Having been confined

her palace, Elizabeth lived her Dr. Dee, emotionally through the In 1577

Dee wrote The

Christopher

Hatton,

life

vicariously

men Dee brought

intellectually through

to her.

Perfect Art of Navigation and dedicated

who

financed

the

maritime

it

adventures

Elizabeth's court. Elizabeth gathered together Sir Francis

Drake and

Walter Raleigh. Drake changed the name of his ship

to

Hind, which was the heraldic device on Hatton's family

was then

set

Elizabeth.

He brought

and a share

loose to plunder the Spanish

in the

to

the

of Sir

Golden

crest.

Main and claim

to

Drake

lands for

her an emerald-studded crown, a diamond cross,

235,000 pounds' worth of plunder from Spain. Her

share alone exceeded her annual royalties.

Drake

is

regarded as one of the greatest English sea captains of

all

time. His exploits as a navigator brought Britain into the world-encircling role of Britannia, the empire.

Nova

Albion, and claimed

a pirate with permission

it

Drake declared northern California

be

for Elizabeth. His exploits as a privateer

—helped

the coffers of the English

to

finance further voyages and added to

kingdom. The Virgin Queen was quick

catch on to the ways of the world. She licensed trade, conquest, and

to


Red Cross and Black Cargo

The

piracy.

205

were small, unless one includes war with Spain. The

risks

Spanish were indignant over the raids on their shipping and encroach-

ment on

their

new

and so they threatened

lands,

is

believed to have brought bad weather and the English victory.

who

Elizabeth gave licenses to Dr. Dee, all

invade England.

John Dee, put a hex on the Spanish Armada,

Elizabeth's chief conjurer,

which

to

American lands

of

north

at

50 degrees

one time had the patent latitude.

The queen

to

also

licensed explorers John Davis and Walter Raleigh to find a northwest

passage to China and India. Sir

Walter Raleigh was a maverick. Alternately in and out of favor

with the queen, Raleigh was renowned for his bravado, energy, and intelligence.

For Elizabeth and the glory of Britannia, Raleigh searched

South America for the legendary treasure of El Dorado. that

was not

a source of gold

called the River of the

Red

far

Cross, a reference to the Templars. Raleigh

Red Cross

nization

in

down

New

the

imprint the queen's

Knight, a fig-

28

Queene by Edmund Spenser.

Raleigh did go

believed

from the Orinoco River, which he

believed he was meant to play the role of the ure in the Faerie

He

in history as the first to briefly attempt colo-

which

World,

name on

the

He

failed.

New World,

on the

least

at state

managed

to

of Virginia.

John Hawkins, a cousin of Sir Francis Drake, introduced the English to the African slave trade.

Other English captains before him had been

to Africa, violating the exclusive trade claimed

by Spain and

Portugal.

But Hawkins was given express permission by Queen Elizabeth for

slaves.

Hawkins's

backers

included

Gonson, the treasurer of the navy, and

Mayor of London.

Sir

Thomas Lodge,

Benjamin the

Lord

29

Hawkins had no qualms about capturing ing or stealing

father-in-law,

his

to trade

them from

the Portuguese. His

success, but his subsequent voyages

was knighted. His new

the slaves himself or buy-

crest included a

made

first

voyage was a mild

great profits, and for this he

female African figure.


Chapter 12

MASTER MASONS AND THEIR SLAVES

From

castle

his

Hudson by

New

in

From New York

River, his highway to riches.

the Dutch-born entrepreneur sailed around the

come

America

to

were not brought selling

to bear

ships

1

to the pirates.

owned

the laws

that

on those who held the wealth. He

gunpowder and rum

the

world. Philipse had

1647 and immediately recognized

in

down

York, Frederick Philipse looked

started

Then he moved on

by

to pro-

viding financial backing for the pirates' voyages. Finally he graduated to

become one of became

family

a

of the

pioneers

the

with

business,

America from Madagascar on

American slave son

Philipse's

a ship full of slaves.

trade.

Adolph With

the

piracy and the slave trade, the Philipse family bought what

It

soon

arriving

in

money from was once

a

Yonkers plantation and established more than one mansion on the Hudson.

Despite

respectability

member

business

his

and wealth.

of the Council of

He

Frederick

interests,

that

many

bound

New York.

Sam Adams there

was

a

created

society

there

exploit

to

was

Thomas

Old World prevailed

to

America seeking

religious

sought economic opportunity. Loosening the

also

immigrant needed

achieved

held political office and was a long-standing

While many of the early colonists came freedom,

Philipse

opportunity. others

to

Not every

better

Perkins. in the

The

institutions

New World. The 206

freedom-seeking

himself.

a Caleb Cushing, and for every

ties

But for every

Thomas

Jefferson

and alliances made in the

system of an

elite

group


Master Masons and Their Slaves

masses had existed from feudal times, and although

that controlled the it

was

altered

by mercantilism

Abraham Lincoln would

There

no dividing

is

the system

predominated.

still

Men

like

carry the banner for equality and individual

would perpetuate

rights while others

207

the status quo.

line to say

where English slave trading ended

and the American trade began. Tracing the

of slavery in what

start

Hugh Thomas,

author of The Slave

Trade, found a letter from the Reverend George

Downing of Harvard

would become the United

was

that

The

States,

written to his cousin John Winthrop, governor of Connecticut.

importing

suggested

letter

slaves

into

New

England

and held

British-owned Barbados as an example of the profits of slavery. George

Downing's

Emmanuel

father,

Winthrop suggesting the same. that the trade

was

Downing,

New

Salem,

of

also

wrote

to

England merchants had discovered

a lucrative business,

even though the area

itself

had

need for imported labor. Massachusetts had only about a hundred

little

slaves in the seventeenth century.

firms would

move

The most

But ships owned by Massachusetts

tens of thousands of slaves for profit.

successful

American slave

traders

had relationships

in

Europe. As the slave trade grew in Europe, the English port of Liverpool

went from a fishing

village to a first-rate seaport.

Four families domi-

who had

nated the trade; the wealthiest was Foster Cunliffe, that sailed for Africa

was

elected mayor.

four ships

each year. His wealth grew from the trade and he

The American headquarters of

the Cunliffe trading

business was at Oxford, Maryland, where Cunliffe's American agent was the

father

of

Robert

Morris,

the

chief

financier

of

the

American

Revolution. Just as

many American

fortunes are founded

running, and smuggling, so are in leaps

many

trade,

opium

of England's. The slave trade grew

and bounds in Britain and two

became hot

on the slave

spots for the trade. Bristol had

cities,

Bristol

and Liverpool,

become an important

seaport

during the Crusades, and Templar ships controlled the industry there.

When

the slave trade exploded as

an economic opportunity, Bristol's

business increased, with her merchants responsible for the yearly transport

of seventy thousand slaves. Liverpool's history was shorter;

it

evolved into


From

208

the Sacred to the Profane

a seaport as a result of the slave trade. Prior to Liverpool's entry into the trading business, the

sugar,

cotton,

population numbered five thousand. After entering

its

and slave-trade

builders, textile mills,

and

its

triangle,

such as

businesses

ship-

and supporting industries enlarged the tiny port

surrounding towns to nearly one million people.

who

Prominent English families

controlled the trade included the

Leylands, Ingrams, Cunliffes, Tarletons, Claytons, Bolds, Kennions, and Banastres. These families started the city's banks and industries, 2

which survive today. Not much was done even the Liverpool

to conceal the

many of

ugly business;

city

exchange building depicted African heads and

first

slave-trading ship

elephants.

New

England's

Marblehead, but

was

it

came from

the seaport city of

Salem and was registered

built in

there.

The

Desire did not pioneer the trade to Africa but simply sailed to the West

and returned with slaves for sale

Indies

in

Connecticut.

and Salem were capitals of a sea-trading empire

Those who took part

seas.

Masonic lodge system. In

Masonry

China,

to

where

Marblehead

spanned the seven

were firmly connected by the

in the trade

Marblehead lodge carried American

a

fact,

that

3

in

heyday

the

of

opium

trading

Massachusetts had a beachhead.

The lodges of

seamen were often

the Massachusetts

would admit shipowners and common

laborers,

became wealthy, they often

to

gravitated

Within a generation or two they frequently moved

Masonry rose above it

first

the Cabots, and the Waldos.

He was

trader.

tries to

historians

downplay

its

to

Boston. Colonial

4

pointing the finger at

commerce

Mason

joined by the Belchers,

New

Englanders.

Modern

role in the slave trade, with Massachusetts its

neighbor Rhode Island. Historian

Samuel Morison claims, "The 'Guinea tant line of

lodges.

While the customers of the slave trade were

southern plantations, the shippers were

Boston

prestigious

families soon entered the trade. Peter Faneuil, a

and a Huguenot, was an active

the

owners

as

the divisive factors such as religion and color, but

reinforced the barrier between the rich and the poor.

Boston's

and

the

but

more

fraternal

in Massachusetts,"

trade' 5

had never been an impor-

yet at the

same time he


Master Masons and Their Slaves

admits that Salem had a regular trade with Africa, selling

palm

for gold dust,

and ivory.

oil,

rum and

fish

surprising if the occa-

shipmaster did not yield to the temptation," notes the author.

sional

who was from

Morison, readers

a prominent

New

6

Brahmin family, equally warned

exaggerating the opium trafficking.

against

denying that the bedrock of

many

would be

"It

209

7

But there

is

no

England's wealth, including that of

of today's most successful corporations, was funded with the pro-

ceeds of both the slave trade and the opium trade. Despite Massachusetts's claims to the contrary, trade almost as far

colony's

first

back

promoters,

as Virginia was.

it

was involved

in the

Samuel Vassall, one of the

on record complaining about the monopoly

is

of the Guinea Company, an English institution, in the lucrative trade in 1649.

8

A

1724

letter

from

Irish

merchant Thomas

Amory

were predominantly from

the shippers of the slave trade

suggests that

New

England.

Other historians also conclude that the slave trade's contribution to the industry of

New

England

authors of

New

in blacks

was done on

is

much

greater than

England and the Sea claim

New

England

that

most

will concede.

30 percent of the

The

traffic

Furthermore, the tobacco

ships.

and rice plantations, fueled by slave labor, were the biggest customers for

New

England's exports: timber, rum, and

"The coffers of some of

New

with profits from this trade."

As

the authors put

England's proudest families were

it,

filled

9

Massachusetts might have been the involved in the trade, but as slavery business

fish.

it

devoted

was soon eclipsed by

first its

New

England

state to get

attention to China, the state's

that of its

neighbor Rhode Island.

RHODE ISLAND AND THE TRADE New

Englanders like to claim the slave trade was centered in Rhode

Island,

and they are not completely incorrect in assigning the blame.

Rhode

Islanders, in turn, like to point the finger at the Jews,

also in part correct. In

fearing a

new

brief time they

which

10

is

1654 a handful of Portuguese Sephardic families

Inquisition left their country for the Netherlands. After a

came

to

America. Rhode Island, founded by Roger


From

210

Williams,

the Sacred to the Profane

freedom.

offered religious

more revolutionary

something even

offered

also

It

group of families: economic freedom.

to a small

This handful of closely related families learned quickly, and soon

came

to represent

most of the slave-trading business of the

Sephardic families including those of Aaron Lopez,

Abraham

tiny colony.

Abraham Redwood,

Pereira Mendes, Jacob Riveras, Jacob Polock, and the

William Ellery, Henry Collins, Samuel

joined English colonists like

who

Vernon, John Canning, and Joseph Wanton, the trade.

The

or Huguenots.

slave trade It

did,

De Wolfs

was not

made money from

also

the province of Jews, Episcopalians,

however, pay

band together and operate

to

in

secrecy. Christian or Jewish, the slave traders had to be connected, at least to

each other. Religious

was often

affiliation

But not every slave trader was from a persecuted For

this

reason

it

was very important

to

The lodge system, which was composed of

the tie that bound.

sect.

be accepted into a lodge.

the elite shipowners,

navigating the treacherous waters of both the Atlantic

England

political

life

Ocean and

made

New

The Newport Lodge was founded by

easier.

merchant from Boston, and once

it

was established

it

a

was populated

mostly by Jews from Portugal and the Caribbean. Moses Seixas served

Rhode

as grand master for

Island

from 1791

to

become one of the founders of the Bank of Rhode

among Newport's

Intermarriage as

did

it

among

mean marrying one's caste.

A

from the same

the

first

Boston merchant

within one's race or religion;

station in

life.

Island.

families tightened the bonds,

elite.

Protestant could marry a

1800"; he went on to

Jew

But intermarriage did not it

meant marrying within

as long as they

were both

Shipowner, sea captain, and merchant were

three titles within the higher caste of

Rhode

Island

life.

In America, Jews in general did not suffer the degree of hostility that

they encountered in Europe.

rejected Jews, and at least one

them. tal

Moses Michael Hay,

his

in

many

does, in America

countries

Masonry

to

deputy grand master.

founding the Bank of Boston.

Masonry

Masonry welcomed

a Portuguese Sephardic Jew,

in bringing Scottish Rite

Huguenot, was

still

While

was instrumen-

America, and Paul Revere, a

Hay was

also instrumental in


Master Masons and Their Slaves

Not

of the

all

Sam Adams,

were Masons.

met

means of

as a

men who were

getting

instrumental in fomenting rebellion

for example, used the taverns

mob

He was

support.

slave trade and refused the gift of a slave.

any slave trade

who

many

allowed

to

critic

where lodges

much

very

John Adams,

entered his house was a free man.

and was an outspoken

211

against the

too, declared that

He was

against the

of Masonry; the cronyism

bred

it

be above the law.

Among Rhode

Island's

Jewish merchants, Aaron Lopez was possi-

new

bly the most famous, with thirty ships to his credit. After fleeing a

wave of

inquisitorial zeal in Portugal,

Lopez arrived

1750s with a second group of Sephardic Jews. idly in Boston, Charleston,

New

in

Newport

He made

in the

contacts rap-

York, and Jamaica, and began trading

rum, furniture, candles, and slaves. In 1775 he was the single biggest taxpayer in the

state

and had an

Antigua as well. This was

estate in British

Newport's golden age of trade, and Lopez was Newport's most suc-

famed

cessful merchant. His family takes credit for building Newport's

Touro

Synagogue

and

introducing

for

sperm-oil

the

industry

to

America. Before his ships went to Africa in search of black slaves, his fleet plied the

oceans hunting for whales.

A

collection of his papers,

including ship's manifests, receipt books, and various records,

volumes and

Rhode

is

147

preserved today.

Island

has

been called an American Venice, a tiny area

unsuitable for farming but try

fills

by nature

a trading mecca.

would benefit from the slave trade

the center of the

rum

on the triangular trade and slave businesses

in other ways.

business, with thirty that

all

rum

depended on African

The It

state's

may have been

distilleries

slaves.

depending

The rum,

sugar,

evolved around each other, which kept Rhode

Island prominent in the slave trade. Author Jay Coughtry in his

The Notorious Triangle

indus-

book

estimates that a hundred thousand Africans were

taken aboard more than nine hundred ships registered to

Rhode

Island

owners.

Many

families

family documents

descended from slave traders would and

alter

others

to

later

destroy

absolve the family from

Their wealth and power were never diluted, and

many prominent

guilt.


From

212

names

built

Wanton fourth

the S acred to the Profane

their

the

triangle

trade.

included

the

as the

governor of Rhode Island; Abraham Redwood, benefactor of

John Bannister, owner of Bannister's Wharf;

Library;

Samuel and William Vernon;

One

Philip Wilkinson; and Stephen d'Ayrault.

family that was extremely wealthy and prominent because of

was

the trade and thus could not erase the past to

Traders

whose Joseph Wanton would be remembered

family,

Redwood

the

fame on

Rhode

Island through the Caribbean.

the

De

Wolfs. They came

Marc Antoine De Wolf, whose

migration started in Portugal and proceeded to Holland, Guadeloupe,

and

finally

Bristol,

Rhode

married

Island,

immigrant

English

the

Abigail Potter. Bristol was the namesake of England's largest slave port,

and there

De Wolf was

introduced to the trade as a captain on the ship

rum

of his brother-in-law, Simeon Potter. Potter traded slaves and Caribbean, and

With

De Wolf learned

quickly.

his eight sons following

extended family

may have been

Island's slaving expeditions.

De Wolf

into the slave business, his

responsible for a quarter of

Not everyone

in his family

the business, however; his youngest son, Levi,

slaving voyage that he resigned

in the

was happy with

was so disgusted

from the family

firm.

Rhode

after

one

But others showed

no signs of dissension. One of Levi's brothers was famous for throwing a slave

who had smallpox

Rhode

Island

actions against the

into the ocean.

had attempted to stop the trade and took several

De Wolf and Brown

clans.

confiscated, the slavers united to help the auction.

When

the

government sent agents

were hauled away or beaten. cial prosecutor,

De Wolf,

a

When

John Leonard,

Rhode

When

owner

to

a slave ship

buy

it

the federal

government sent a spe-

to try a slave trade case against

and

rigged

to correct the abuses, they

Island jury failed to convict the trader.

case was not enough, though,

at a

was

De Wolf

sent his

James

Winning

own

the

agents to

Washington, D.C., to deliver a message. They beat Leonard on the courthouse steps.

The

Bristol and

James De Wolf quit

Newport

trade

it

was

George continued

until

went on long

in 1808, but his brother

after

illegal.


Master Masons and Their Slaves

213

1820, twelve years after the national ban. James married the daughter of

William Bradford, who owned a rum

He

Senate.

owner of

put his

slave trade profits

into

is

currently part of a Dutch

The De Wolf family would

New

first

also

England insurance

slave ships and the "cargo."

Today

and served mills

textile

in the U.S.

and became

Company, which survived

the Arkwright Manufacturing

modern times and

of the

distillery

into

company.

be remembered for founding one

The firm insured both

firms.

the

De

the

Wolfs' imposing mansion,

Linden Place in

Bristol, is a tourist attraction.

General George

De Wolf, who moved

It

was

built in

Cuba and

headquarters to

his

1810 by

continued growing his fortune in plantations, the slave trade, and West

when

Indian piracy. In 1825,

abandoned

his

the

sugar crop failed in Cuba, George

mansion and skipped out of Rhode Island ahead of

his

creditors.

The family home changed hands

De

different

Wolf. Theodora

several times, but each time to a

De Wolf

married Christopher Colt, the

brother of the famous handgun manufacturer, and had six children with

him.

Theodora's

After

Samuel Colt bought out

and remained in the house. Samuel Colt

interest

founding

the

Industrial

National Bank,

banks

death,

New

in

now

Trust

Company,

called Fleet

is

his

brother's

also credited with

which merged

with

Boston Financial, one of the

Fleet largest

England. Samuel P. Colt, Samuel Colt's nephew and

Theodora's son, became a prosperous lawyer in dled the Vanderbilt estate.

He

is

also

New

remembered

England and hanfor

merging small

rubber companies to create U.S. Rubber, which later became Uniroyal.

Rhode was

Island remained a closed society long after the slave trade

history.

Membership

in a

Masonic lodge appears

requirement for political office in the

state.

to

have been a

Governors David Russell

Brown, Norman Case, Robert Livingston Beeckman, William Gregory, Charles

Kimball,

Masons,

as

Herbert

Warren Ladd, and Frank Licht were

all

were and are numerous Rhode Island senators, congressmen,

and other officeholders.


214

From

the Sacred to the Profane

PATRIOTS AND PROFITS It is

often said that

hurt

by the

New

England was the core of the Revolution. Those

restrictive trade

covenants of the mother country were the

merchants and traders. The early stages of rebellion are traced to the

Stamp Act and other mercantile raise the price of sugar

edicts.

when

In 1764,

Britain tried to

and molasses, the merchants and shipowners of

Such commodi-

Massachusetts banded together to oppose the action. ties

were essential

to the slave trade,

which was

New

vital to

England

commerce. Colonial shipping employed four thousand seamen

in

New

England and was responsible for thousands of peripheral occupations.

The Cabot and Russell pers.

two of the

families of Boston were

largest ship-

George Cabot was an Anglophile and a staunch Federalist whose

He

family wealth was built on merchant shipping.

from Massachusetts and was appointed the declined the post. Although

to

secretary of the

first

of those

who

navy but

sought independence

were made wealthy through the slave

for the colonies

opposed

many

served as a senator

trade, others

were

it.

The success of

may have depended on

the Revolution

and connections of the merchants, but

whose

the merchants

politics

its

ideals

would carefully

money

the

were not dependent on straddle

the

proverbial

fence until a decision was forced.

NEW YORK IN THE TRADE The numbers of to those of the

who

slave ships sailing

New

England

states.

prospered through the trade

restricted

to

the

elite

from

New York

But the wealth of the

is

at

least

as

New

The

great.

families that had often been

overlords from the colony's earliest days. that

were small compared

among

Yorkers

trade the

The intermarried

was

feudal

elite

core

brought the Scottish Livingston family together with their Dutch

neighbors the Schuylers was joined by the Philipses, Lewis, the Beeckmans, the Marstons, the

Van Homes,

Thomas

the

Francis

van Cortlandts,

and the Walters. Until the American Revolution, the wealth of the


Master Masons and Their Slaves

philipse family might have put

them among

215

the top ten in the colonies.

Frederick Philipse had arrived with Peter Stuyvesant as a master builder for the

of native

West India Company.

wampum, bought

and invested in trade from the begin-

land,

may have been among

ning. His backing of pirate voyages

would even marry

ventures, and he

trader. Philipse's slave trade

was

Philipse exploited the valuations

widow of

the

his greatest

another transatlantic

one part of his vast operation.

just

By

1693 the Philipse lands stretched twenty -one miles along the Hudson, for a total of ninety-two thousand acres.

Philip

an heir to Frederick's

Philipse,

Marston,

thus

powerful

another

linking

Marstons owned land on Wall Street a country estate near

what

is

were a mercantile family, and their

Manhattan

depicts

in the

China

him with

The

own.

The Marstons too

Eighty-fifth Street.

would keep slaves on

as slave traders they

portrait in the

his ledger

Museum

New

of the City of

book, a reference to his participation

trade.

New

after slavery

his

huge Prospect Farm,

as well as the

Although the volume of ships owned by that of

to

buried in the family vault in Trinity Church, a

is

Manhattan landmark. His

York

family

Margaret's father, Nathaniel, was active in the

estate.

Anglican Church and

now

married Margaret

fortune,

New

Yorkers was

less than

Englanders, their role might have been just as great. Even

was made

illegal, ships

owned by New Yorkers were found

conducting an Africa-to-Cuba business. In 1859 eighty-five ships from

New York

City were supposedly working in the

Cuban

The

slave trade.

proceeds were used to add "to the treasuries of political organizations"

and "carry elections"

Only

a

in

nearby

few of those

12

states.

in the trade

Livingston was one of these people.

York while

owned

As

slaves themselves. Robert

the elected speaker of the

provincial assembly in 1718, business kept Livingston in his

wife,

Alida,

managed

their

plantation.

One

New

Albany

letter

Robert

received from Alida requested that he find old shoes for the Palatines

and slaves,

New

who were

Yorkers

who

barefoot.

Robert Livingston

is

one of the few

actually tried farming with black slaves, and

the experiment did not

work

when

the Livingstons kept the slaves as servants.


216

From

Another

As

the S acred to the Profane

shows Robert buying a Negro

letter

Madagascar, then Barbados, and finally Virginia. In the sev-

enteenth and eighteenth centuries, there was

even in the melting pot of

station,

was

the ticket

New

aristocracy of

owned by first

Dutch ship

early as 1690 Robert Livingston had an interest in a

that sailed to

Scots,

son Philip.

girl for his

to

New

marry

prejudice against the

still

York. In order

into

to rise

above one's

Dutch family, comprising the

a

York. At the peak of the slave-trading business

Philip Livingston, Robert's son, the merchant

endowed

Yale's

professor's chair.

Alexander Hamilton, the illegitimate son of a Scottish plantation

owner by

Freemason

low

fame and fortune

in the Caribbean, followed Livingston's road to

marrying

birth

a

woman,

Dutch

for the connections

was completely

Elizabeth

offered. After the

it

forgotten, as he

He became

Schuyler.

became

a

war

a

the fact of his

member

of the

elite

Society of Cincinnati.

Hamilton became the

model

role

owned

for

what Thomas Jefferson held Like

country-in-formation.

the

tion

was

the

money

to

as a city of

who

the

Hamilton

the

announce

that the

first

most

secretary

power.

George

of

treasury.

debts of the

the

Hamilton and

debt as possible

at

was

his cohorts

a rate of pennies

wealthy when these were paid.

His

built

appointed

act

first

be paid.

to

controls

was It

to

was

on an early version of

bought up as much of the war

on the

Many

who

Washington

new country were

ostensibly a noble idea, but one that insider trading.

tar-

money-grubbers, Hamilton's lifetime ambi-

found a bank. Hamilton understood that he has

as a

Hamilton

Jefferson,

slaves and called for their freedom; unlike Jefferson,

New York

geted

antithesis of

They were made

dollar.

cried

foul

at

this

action,

yet

Hamilton was a proponent of power without limitation and despised the checks-and-balances system.

Hamilton then founded York,

in

New

1784 and brought

Another early

New York

in

York's three

Scots

other

bank, the Manhattan

by Aaron Burr, who promptly loaned himself

Company was

bank, the

first

seized in a hostile takeover

to

Bank of New fill

the

board.

Company, was founded

a fortune.

by Hamilton's

The Manhattan

allies

—

the


Master Masons and Their Slaves

Livingstons

ended

in the

the Stock a day.

—who

ousted

infamous duel that

Exchange

A

Burr.

left

(the Tontine

The bank survived

217

war between Hamilton and BunHamilton dead, Burr a

Coffee House,

the scandal and

is

and

time) closed for

at that

and well today

alive

still

fugitive,

under the new name Chase Manhattan. America's Scottish immigrants were tightly knit through Masonry

and other connections and were particularly adept nections

to

organize

syndicates,

Scotsman and merchant, Archibald Gracie, in

New

He had

York.

and

companies,

the Gracie

ors.

Neighbor

men

New

New York whose

in

mansion serves of

home

as the

Washington

Irving,

fortunes could rival his.

of

New York

New York as

Scotsmen played a key

farm-born Scotsman

by

and

New York

glit-

Fenimore

as the

many Scotsmen

and

Cooper, is

in

banks in Europe

often

as well.

1694 by William Paterson, a

a vision of a world banking system con-

central banks. That system is in place today. Paterson

remembered

self

who had

may-

a seaport.

role in establishing

The Bank of England was founded

trolled

James

City's

Crugers,

were frequent guests. In addition, Gracie

given credit for developing

cit-

and there were proba-

Rhinelanders,

Astors,

the

Alexander Hamilton,

including

bank

York's wealthiest

Schermerhorns, Gracie's parties were legend, and the terati,

Another

institutions.

emigrated from Dumfries in 1784, and within

izens. Gracie is described as fabulously wealthy,

Today

using these con-

started the first savings

two decades the sea trade made him one of

bly fewer than five

at

promoter of the

ill-fated

also

is

Darien scheme, in which

died (see chapter 4), which Livingston would find him-

connected to by marriage. Another son of Scotland, John Law, was

born around the

same time

France, where he started the perity to France as

it

proverbial shirt in his

made

as

Paterson

and

left

his

homeland

for

Banque Generale. The bank brought prostrade

more

own American

viable.

adventure.

Law, however,

He combined

lost his

the

bank

with the Mississippi Company, which he established to develop the

Louisiana territories in America. The venture ended in bankruptcy and with

Law

fleeing for his

life.

Scots even brought the

word

dollar into the English language.

King


218

From

the Sacred to the Profane

James VI introduced a

thirty-shilling coin that

became known

as the

sword dollar because of the design. The Scots used the term dollar

from

distinguish their currency the south.

neighbor

that of their overbearing

The word took on an

to

to

anti-English, independent connotation

which the Scots brought with them

to the Americas.

PENNSYLVANIA The

first

most important port

colonies'

many

Continental Congress was held in Philadelphia, one of the

While Pennsylvania was not a plantation

in the slave trade.

and Philadelphia was not as active chants did participate.

was one of

The meeting was attended by

cities.

Thomas

some

in the trade as

colonies,

its

state

mer-

Willing, of the Willing and Morris firm,

merchants in attendance. His partner, Morris, repre-

the

sented one of Europe's largest slave merchants, Foster Cunliffe. Philip Livingston,

whose

slave ship the

Wolf

plied the Atlantic, also attended.

Present from the South were plantation owners including future presi-

dent Madison, George

Mason of

Virginia,

and Henry Laurens of South

Carolina. Philadelphia's Society of Friends, also called the Quakers, did not

approve of the trafficking of human

Quakers did make ing

profits

William

included

Philadelphia, as well as Norris.

Even

the

However, some individual

trade. Friends involved in slave trad-

Frampton,

who

carried

the

slaves

first

to

James Claypole, Jonathan Dickinson, and Isaac Benjamin Franklin, who was a

always -industrious

Montaudoin family, considered entering

friend to the

He

from the

lives.

the

slave trade.

also entertained the idea to breed slaves, rather than import them,

in Florida.

The City of Brotherly Love was founded by William Penn, whose Quaker

beliefs

Penn fought

earned him the enmity of his

for religious toleration

of London. There he penned his text his jailers they

had better issue

change his philosophy. After

own

father.

and was imprisoned

No

his

his release,

Cross,

In England

in the

No Crown and

Tower advised

death sentence, as he would not

Penn continued

his fight

and


Master Masons and Their Slaves

was

jailed several times.

start a

colony in the

He

New

219

finally petitioned the king for a charter to

World. The king, no doubt relieved

to

be get-

ting rid of the trouble-stirring Penn, granted the man's wish.

Penn was where

a paragon of religious toleration and envisioned a land

were

all

free

to

practice

their

faith.

Ben

Voltaire,

Franklin's

who

brother in the Masonic Nine Sisters Lodge, called Penn the one

could

of

boast

bringing

a

new Golden Age

Pennsylvania paradise Penn wrote that

men were

to

From

earth.

"born with a

his to

title

perfect freedom." Sadly, followers of this paragon of toleration and free-

dom were

on the issue of

silent

be counted among the

later

Quakers would

slavery, although the

first abolitionists.

VIRGINIA Virginia was a planter state, and as such the state's aristocracy was

up of people who had great expanses of land and slaves plantations.

1606

Sir

Thomas Smith,

From

the son of one of Raleigh's financial backers.

the earliest days, life in Virginia

the powerful

who

Company

London's leading merchants, including Richard Hakluyt and

in

to

to maintain the

history starts with the chartering of the Virginia

Its

made

was tough and the

actions of

handful that constituted the authority might shock those

accept religious freedom as the reason for the colonization of the

Americas. Blasphemy and sacrilege were crimes that were subject to the death penalty, as was the crime of killing a chicken. meal, one

chained

man had

to a tree

and

elite

left to die

members of the

The Virginia Company which allowed

For stealing oat-

a needle driven through his tongue

of starvation.

inhuman treatment of each other extend to the

14

for

the

15

and was then

But the white

pettiest

of crimes

colonists'

did

not

colony.

charter

included the

Virginia's founders, like

island

of Bermuda,

Lord Robert Rich,

to

make

a

fortune in piracy as they sailed from safe harbor in Virginia to safe har-

bor in Bermuda. Slave labor would simply replace one cruel system, servitude, with another.

work

Men

earned transatlantic passage by agreeing to

for the planter families, often for an indefinite period of time. The


From

220

the Sacred to the Profane

planters took advantage of the system and extended the length of serv-

London's poor and troublesome were disposed of by workhouses

ice.

prisons, the gallows, the military, and this

Black slave labor came whites.

A

head of

new

to replace the

option, Virginia. indefinite

servitude of the

worth five pounds in Virginia was worth

cattle

twenty-five pounds in Barbados, and that island would be a great source

of slaves for the Virginia plantations. Unlike the sugar industry, in which the

way

was working

to profits

one's slaves to death, the tobacco busi-

ness featured easier work, and slave families were imported to maintain the plantations for a longer term.

Despite the nature of tobacco planting, which was easier than that

of the sugar industry, legal recourse. In

was

life

still

who had no

dangerous for people

1669 the Virginia assembly passed a law allowing the

murder of a slave

as discipline for

bad behavior.

When

Robert Carter

applied to the court in order to be allowed to dismember two disobedient slaves, his application

Virginia

s first

was

granted.

16

families, like the Ludwells, the Byrds, the Carters,

and

the Spencers, shared the spoils of office and a series of well-placed mar-

riages to

become

a

new

aristocracy.

They

built

huge mansions on

their

landed estates: The Harrisons built Berkeley; the Lees built Stratford; the Carters built Sabine Hall, built built

Nomini

Hall,

and Carter's Grove; the Byrds

Westover; the Randolphs built Tuckahoe; and the Washingtons

Mount Vernon.

Masonry united

the Virginia aristocrats, and important

members of

high society were lodge members as well. Although lodge records often did not survive the centuries, the membership of George Washington,

George Whyte, and George Mason that future presidents

is

without doubt. There

Monroe and Madison were

Masons do not claim only one of

Virginia's

also

evidence

is

Masons, and the

aristocracy,

Benjamin

Harrison, as a lodge brother.

James Madison, a scion of the planter role

in

the

Constitutional

Convention.

aristocracy, played an active

Like

fellow

planter

George

Washington, Madison had doubts about the concept of slavery and

worked toward sending

the black slaves

back

to Africa.


Master Masons and Their Slaves

Benjamin

Harrison,

the

of

ancestor

Henry

William

Presidents

221

Harrison and Benjamin Harrison, and a cosigner of the Declaration of

Independence, was the descendant of

who was most

likely a

Bermuda

another Benjamin Harrison,

still 17

planter.

The Tucker clan

started with

William Tucker, a sea captain who arrived in Virginia before 1620. He

was entrusted with trading on behalf of

Pamunkey

cluded a treaty with the their

tribe

with poisoned wine.

18

the colony. In doing so he con-

Indians by killing two hundred of

The Tuckers

Bermuda, with plantations there and

had one foot

also

in

in Virginia dating to the early days

of the Virginia Company.

THE DEEP SOUTH North Carolina had a plantation-driven economy, although only one Constitutional

was

Convention member from

that

a plantation owner. Like several other signers, he

a Freemason. Blount the respect of

many

was

William Blount,

state,

also a Revolutionary

War

was

a lawyer

hero

who

and

earned

in battle.

Blount started anew after the Revolution as a land speculator. His threatened finances, however,

induced him to take a subversive role

designed to lead the country back into war.

He wanted

to see the

new

country defeat the Spanish and open the West. For this reason Blount

became

part of a conspiracy that attempted to turn over Florida to the

British.

He was booted from

friends, including fellow

had many

the Senate as a result. Blount

Mason Andrew

Jackson,

whom

he had

named

attorney general of the Tennessee Territory. These friends in high places

and important lodges prevented Blount's impeachment from hindering his family's political dynasty, which

would prosper

into the next

century.

In South Carolina the elite caste,

slave trade and plantation industry, in

much

the

same way

which

built its

fortunes in the

was all-powerful and ran

as the Caribbean states

the colony

were run. The

first

ernor of South Carolina was Sir John Yeamans, a Barbados planter

founded Charleston and introduced slaves to clear

his

own plantation.

gov-

who


From

222

A

the Sacred to the Profane

hundred years

state,

was

later the planter aristocracy

even though the country was

Henry Laurens, who was

at the

at

in full control of the

doorstep of democracy. Philadelphia Convention,

the

partner in the firm of Austin and Laurens.

The company was

was a

the largest

of twelve firms in Charleston, capturing 25 percent of the slave trade.

19

Laurens held some of the largest plantations in the colony and was one of the biggest merchants, handling

indigo, rum, beer, and wine.

rice,

Slave traders usually earned a commission of 10 percent of the sale price of their trades, and the slave trade was big enough that the greatest mansions of Charleston

were owned by the merchants and slave

traders.

Henry's father, John Laurens, was a Huguenot from La Rochelle in

He was

France.

Huguenot wave of immigration

part of the

that fled

Catholic France because of religious war and persecution. John would

send his son Henry to England in 1744 to be trained as a merchant. Henry's education was furthered in South Carolina by making the right friends.

trained

the

in

Crokatt.

20

other

a

tropical

important

Stephen

in

being

Girard

of

this influential lodge.

family trade, importing

rum and

other

and indigo, and buying slaves from British

and then selling them

own

to

South Carolina planters.

He was soon

ships to Africa to eliminate the British middlemen.

profits

from

owned

eight plantations.

his trade

were invested

He

later in increasingly

made, Henry brought cation.

very

businessmen.

Masonry through

started the

exporting rice

sending his

and

and

merchants

was

goods from the West Indies, bringing manufactured goods from

England, traders

of the Solomon's Lodge and was

lodge

the

in

Philadelphia had also joined

Henry Laurens

member

by another wealthy Charleston merchant, James

craft

Membership by

accepted

He became

The

and by the Revolution he

in land,

also entered politics, first at the local level

important positions. In 1770, with his fortune

his son to

England

to arrange for his son's edu-

There Henry became involved with the American contingent

protesting

grievances

to

Parliament.

Once

Carolina, he withdrew from the merchant

This did not stop him from keeping his

bered three hundred.

life

own

he

returned

to

and from the slave

slaves,

however,

South trade.

who num-


on

While

mission

a

Netherlands, Henry Laurens teen months in the to

life.

When

223

from

the

arrange

to

was captured by

a

loan

the British and spent

fif-

Tower of London. He

returned to South Carolina

by

so he resigned

find his business ravaged

public

Europe

to

Master Masons and Their Slaves

the Revolution,

from

asked to join the Constitutional Convention as a rep-

new

resentative of South Carolina, he declined, instead sending his

son-

in-law.

when England's

After the battle of Yorktown, protracted

the

willingness to support

war was over, Laurens's English connection, Richard

Oswald, was sent to negotiate the peace. Oswald, a Scottish slave trader

who had

appointed Laurens as his American agent, was sent by Lord

Shelburne to Paris

was an

caste

minority,

it

was

From New England

exclusive.

norm of

elite

meet with Benjamin Franklin. As the merchant

to

a

better:

wealthy

He

Carolinas intermarriage was the

to the

owner,

plantation

Mason. Young Charles followed one

best interest to keep the group

its

Charles Pinckney was the son of Colonel Charles

the times.

Pinckney,

in

married

a

and

Mary Eleanor

along

with

Pinckney he represented the

state

Carolina,

and

prominent

a

in his father's footsteps but did himself

Laurens. Shortly after Pinckney's

He became

marriage, his career and his wealth soared.

South

lawyer,

his at

Charles

Cotesworth

Constitutional

Convention.

cousin

the

the governor of

Cousin Charles was also the son of a plantation owner and was trained as a

merchant and a lawyer.

Cincinnati.

South

He

Carolina's

too third

was

in Washington's elite Society of

and

fourth

delegates

were

also

planters and lawyers.

Pierce Butler

was

America because of

the son of a the

institution

member

of Parliament.

of primogeniture,

He came

to

which did not

allow him to inherit the family estates as he wasn't the eldest son. In

1771 he married owner. They

Mary Middleton,

moved

the daughter of a wealthy plantation

south, with Butler resigning his military

sion in the British army.

He was outspoken

in

making sure

commis-

the interests

of the slave owner in South Carolina were represented and served in

both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention.

John Rutledge was born

in Charleston

and was sent

to

London

to


From

224

the Sacred to the Profane

study law

Middle Temple. He returned

the

at

He

plantations and slaves.

war he was nominated

to

amass a fortune

served as governor of his

state,

and

in

after the

Supreme Court. The Senate rejected

to the U.S.

appointment because of what was perceived as declining mental

his

health and an anti-Federalist position.

James Oglethorpe, the man who founded Georgia,

He became

with the Royal African Company. pany, whose charter gave

black

slaves

—

for

a

thousand

who was

the

largest

shareholder,

years.

England and Oglethorpe's

James, the

Duke

Lord Shaftesbury,

Lord

company included some powerful gentlemen, such of York,

com-

a director of the

the right to import gold into

it

Americas

the

into

started his career

as

Craven, Sir George Carteret, and Sir John Colleton. All were involved in

business

plantation

the

landowner

way

one

in

or

Barbados before he bought land

in

in the Carolinas.

shareholders included John Locke, the philosopher erty obviously did not include

whose

a

Smaller

call for lib-

all.

Mason

Oglethorpe was a

was

Colleton

another;

England, and he organized the

first

lodge in Georgia in 1733 without the benefit of a charter for the

first

two

years.

in

The Grand Lodge soon came around and warranted

lodge, even assisting

it

financially.

his

Most of Oglethorpe's family were

Jacobins and supporters of the Stuart cause. Oglethorpe was placed in

an awkward position in 1745; as a military commander for the English

he was supposed

to help put

down

the rebellion led

by Bonnie Prince

His lack of concern earned him a court-martial, although he

Charlie.

was eventually

acquitted.

21

FLORIDA Florida

still

the state

belonged to Spain during the American Revolution.

was admitted

slave states in that

The

polarization

it

to the

Union,

allowed blacks

it

had a unique

many of

the

same

of early-nineteenth-century politics

status

When

among

rights as whites.

would eliminate

those rights.

The

first

the

black slaves were brought from Spain, not Africa, where


Master Masons and Their Slaves

225

they were employed in mines and in agriculture. Spanish slaves had

unique rights; they were able to hold property, buy and

added up

initiate legal suits.

These

dom. Free blacks

sailed with the Spanish to

rights

goods, and

sell

to the ability to gain their free-

America and were part of

slaving expeditions against the Taino Indians. After 150 years of being part of Spanish Florida, black militias and black fortresses free blacks developed.

and

gave them the

this

Many

blacks,

Members gained

status

ability to acquire titles

Prince

including

amount of requests

in the militia,

and privileges. used

Witten,

achieve a high degree of status in Florida. a large

by serving

made up of

He and

such

activities

to

his wife, Judy, fielded

to act as godparents to children in the

com-

munity, and they evolved into a sort of royalty, with Judy having a slave

of her own. The slave revolt in Saint Biassou,

who commanded

Domingue was

led

by Jorge

an army of forty thousand. Biassou's brother-

in-law, Jorge Jacobo, married Prince Witten' s daughter Polly,

Unking

a

leading Florida family with a leading Haitian family.

Juan Bautista Collins was another northern Florida black whose achievements stand out among both the free black community and the white Florida colony.

He became

a merchant

and built a mercantile

firm in Saint Augustine that developed trading links in South Carolina, Saint

Domingue,

Havana,

Florida. Collins's agents

New

were able

Orleans,

and

to trade

among

central

the

and

western

Seminole nation,

which became an amalgamation of the Creek Indians and the runaway blacks. Collins raised cattle, bought and sold livestock,

owned

property,

and, like the upper-caste Spanish, kept the Catholic faith and served in the militia.

In 1763 the British took Florida from the Spanish. British colonies,

by armed blacks so

especially the neighboring Carolinas, felt threatened

close to home, and the rights and status enjoyed threatened.

King George

III

gave

his

by

favorite

free blacks

prime

Scottish Earl of Bute, the charge of picking Florida's ernors; both a colony

were

aristocratic Scots.

The

first,

first

became

minister,

British gov-

James Grant, conceived of

where massive plantations, owned by absentee Scottish

crats like him,

would employ black slave labor

the

to raise cash crops

aristo-

such


226

From

the Sacred to the Profane

as indigo. Grant's

own

plantation

was created

in 1774, three years after

from the governorship, and produced one quarter of the

his retirement

entire state's indigo production.

In

1763 American and British investors united

breeding

Glasgow and

started his career in

Benjamin Franklin island in the

to

Gambia

(who brought

estates

later

teamed

community,

slave-trading

Oswald,

Richard

experiment.

form a slave-

to

Caithness-born

a

trader

who

became a member of London's

up

with

Henry

Laurens

and

import and breed Africans. Oswald owned an

Ramsay family

Paver, married into the Scottish in

Jamaica into his

his

started

portfolio),

own

holdings in Virginia near the James River, and by 1764 had a huge

home

built for himself in Ayr, Scotland.

Britain's designs

on Florida did not

last long, as the

Paris returned Florida to Spain. Freed blacks

Caribbean islands returned confirm their

status.

Such

who had

1783 Treaty of

emigrated to the

Florida and went into Spanish courts to

to

was

status

attainable until the U.S. flag flew

over Florida in 1821. The years between Florida's becoming a the

Union and

War

Civil

the

witnessed

racism become

state in

a

reality.

Independent Spanish Florida did not require that economic status be accorded by color; American Florida saw blacks as a blacks

soon

watched

their

status

disappear.

blacks

All

and free

threat,

were

soon

accorded the status of slaves.

The

institution

of slavery was not inflicted on the world because of

was not

white Europeans, black Africans, or Islamic traders.

It

sive province of Freemasons, Huguenots, Jews, or

Muslims. The blame

for

any

institution that allows the rights of

by another

class can rarely

be assigned

one class to be taken away

any group or

to

an organization religion can lead the way

to elitism.

religion, but as

The handful who

believed they had the right to profit from slavery caused to feel that handful

was an abomination

freedom. Ultimately the blame

dominate through the

institutions

lies it

in a land built

in the

the exclu-

ability

of the

many

others

on individual elite

could manipulate and control.

class to


Master Masons and Their Slaves

227

Although most American dockworkers and shipwrights were not smugglers were.

As

or

slave

traders,

their

livelihood

depended on those who

a lodge, union, or congregation, the rank

and

own

with whatever they needed to in order to ensure their

advance the greater good of the group, or simply status quo.

Thus the world begets blacks trading

to

file

went along incomes, to

remain a part of the

in black slaves, signers

of the Bill of Rights owning slaves, and freedom fighters willing to enslave others. Still,

the worst

was

yet to come.

Many who

fought for an American

nation, an experiment in individual liberties, a refuge

from the tyranny

of royalty and religious leaders, would commit to criminal conspiracies to tear apart the nation. Assassination, murder, conspiracy,

lash

of racial hatred

and a back-

were unleashed upon America because of the

manipulations of a few people. This led to America's most deadly war

and

to the

murder of American presidents.


Chapter 13

THE MASONIC BETRAYAL

New York

1826 the

In

Freemason William Morgan decided

public with the secrets of the order. Morgan's "brothers" had arrested

on bogus charges, imprisoned, and taken by force

to a

go

to

him

Masonic

was murdered. Prosecutors brought charges against

lodge, where he

a

handful of the conspirators. The jury was packed with Masons, however,

and the accused were acquitted. After a special prosecutor was brought a

in,

few of

the

longest sentence the country,

Mason murderers were

was

lost

the

that

but the

months. As an anti-Mason backlash swept

thirty

membership was

The conspiracy

convicted,

actually

and lodges disbanded.

American public had feared had simply

gone underground. Prominent Freemasons controlled the slave

trade,

the plantations, and the cotton industry, and through their wealth they

controlled

The

American

history

politics

books

led the United States

did not

own

work of

the

tell

elite

the North to the

the path to Civil

or trade slaves, or even slaves.

Deep

South.

us that the issues of slavery and states' rights

down

The average

that processed the cotton

of

—from

own

War. But most Americans

the plantations that required

citizen also did not

own

the textile mills

produced on the slave plantations.

and wealthy people

did,

and they

stirred

A

handful

the public to racial

hatred and the Civil War.

The southern United still

States

was one of

the

few remaining areas

practiced slavery, as did Portuguese Brazil and Spanish Cuba.

causes of the war are studied,

North were opposed

it

As

that

the

appears that the "free" states of the

to the "slave" states

228

of the South. The lines were


The Masonic Betrayal

not always

An

geographical.

movement

abolitionist

229

did exist in the

North, especially in states that enjoyed no commercial benefits from

The

slavery.

abolitionist

movement

existed in the South and the

West

as

well.

some people

did benefit from the slave trade, and as a

formed some odd

alliances that fought against the tide of

In the North result they

emancipation in the twenty years prior

was

that

of

Anthony Quitman

Cushing

Caleb

Northerner

to

the war.

two

and

One such

Webster,

Massachusetts,

degree his

Mason

John

Southerners,

governor of Mississippi) and Jefferson Davis.

(the

Although Cushing was an active and high-ranking Mason, Daniel

alliance

him

advised

home because

move

to

of

out

his

Newburyport,

of his unpopularity. But the thirty-third-

controlled the plantation trade and the

mansion and had friends

his mentor,

opium

trade

from

in high places.

Cushing's coconspirator John Anthony Quitman was born in the

Roosevelt territory of Rhinebeck, to

become grand master of

New

that state's

York, but

moved

to Mississippi

Masonic hierarchy. He was the

grand master for seventeen years. His power in the lodge and the capitol

building of Mississippi gave

him unbridled ambition, and he was

very active in determining the fate of Texas. Quitman, the admission of any

new

and marching west

to

from Mexico.

It

states as "free" states,

conquer the new

was an

act of treason

who was

proposed raising an army

had been taken

territory that

that

against

caused Quitman

to

be

brought up on charges of violating American neutrality laws. The other coconspirator,

Confederate

The into

the

Jefferson

Davis,

would

later

become

president

of the

states.

three conspirators joined forces to get General Franklin Pierce

White House.

Zachary Taylor,

The enemy of

who had assumed

the

this

alliance

presidency

in

was President

March

1849.

Taylor, a slaveholder, had wanted the southwestern states to be admitted as free states. In February 1850 the

new

president called a meeting

of Southern leaders and told them he would hang secessionists

took arms against the Union "with deserters and spies in Mexico."

It

less reluctance

who

than he had hanged

wasn't the last time he threatened


From

230

the Sacred to the Profane

who committed

hanging. Taylor again publicly spoke out against those acts of treason.

He

specifically referred to

Quitman and

his cabal, threat-

ening to see them hanged for their deeds.

The very next to

day, July 4, 1850, the president took

The day was

ill.

be a celebration of both the independence of the country and the

Monument.

consecration of the almost finished Washington

much

a

Masonic

celebration,

as

was everything surrounding the

When work was

tion of the obelisk.

was very

It

started

two years before, the

archi-

wore George Washington's Masonic apron. The stone was quarried

tect

from a quarry owned by a Mason. Twenty-one lodges were dance

at the

atten-

in

monument's dedication.

who was surrounded by

President Taylor, his

erec-

days were numbered. Later some would

had blazed through Mexico

in

much

insist that the general

brought on because Taylor drank too

much

who

win a war could

greater heat to

of Washington. His death,

not handle the climate

quantity of cherries

enemies, did not realize

was

it

was

said,

cold milk and ate a large

during the celebration, which allegedly causes a

stomach inflammation.

Many

believe that Taylor

was

Numerous peo-

the victim of a plot.

ple survived the July 4th picnic. Investigative techniques

been

as

developed back then

known poison poisoning

the

in

include

century.

a well-

The symptoms of

arsenic

abdominal

vomiting,

Taylor exhibited these symptoms, yet

not have

was

as they are today, but arsenic

nineteenth

nausea,

may

somehow

pain,

and

diarrhea.

was an

the diagnosis

overdose of cherries and cold milk. Arsenic can be easily discovered in the body, as

it

is

deposited in the fingernails and hair.

of the president was exhumed in 1991 to

was

detected, although not in a large

test

was done 140 years

test

death,

body

the

for arsenic, the poison

enough quantity

after Taylor's

When

to kill him.

The

however, rendering the

results inconclusive.

John Quitman and

his cohorts

were not hanged

had threatened. Instead Quitman was elected spirators

succeeded in getting their

Franklin Pierce was sworn

in,

man

to

as

Zachary Taylor

Congress, and the con-

into the

White House.

Caleb Cushing was rewarded with the

When


1

The Masonic Betrayal

23

post of attorney general and Jefferson Davis became secretary of war.

Governor Quitman was exonerated of criminal charges.

COTTON WHIGS Whig

In those critical years, the

party of the North relied on the lead-

who was

of the aristocrat Robert C. Winthrop,

ership

movement was

with the slavery issue. Although the antislavery

among

common

the

voters,

the people in Winthrop's

and railroad builders

pers, merchants, insurers,

not concerned

class

—

—

strong

the

ship-

on cheap

relied

labor.

But instead of relying on blacks for labor, Northerners exploited the immigrants and the average

Deep South and

of the

The Whig

citizens.

the

English

ties

banking

with the plantations

establishment,

which

financed the cotton trade, were strong.

Georgia

and

planter

Mason

Democrats. Cobb was an aristocrat

the status quo.

The

spoiler

was

led

who owned more

Between Cobb and Winthrop

slaves.

Cobb

Howell

there

Southern

the

than a thousand

was an attempt

to maintain

a party called the Free-Soilers, an anti-

slavery group that had a poor showing in the presidential election but

was

riding a groundswell of abolitionist opinion.

The

fateful

ten

destruction of the

years between Pierce

Whig

playing to the Southern

party, as elite.

As

it

and Lincoln witnessed the

became obvious

group was

that the

movement grew,

the antislavery

the

Republican party replaced the Whig party, and the antislavery move-

ment

finally

As more

the

had a candidate: Abraham Lincoln.

movement

against slavery grew, the opposition to

violent and secretive.

was founded by Dr. George

The Knights of

W L.

the

Golden

Circle,

membership from Masonic lodges. The Knights of attempted to create one huge slave

state,

and

funding from England and

its

the

which

a

It

drew

its

Golden Circle

largest

its

came from Texas, where Governor Sam Houston was its

became

Bickley in Ohio, had secret passwords,

handshakes, temples, sworn oaths, and supreme councils.

With

it

membership

member.

push toward secession, the

group would be, in the eyes of Abraham Lincoln, the greatest threat

to


From

232

the Sacred to the Profane

the United States. Lincoln

members

thirteen thousand

himself being

Bickley

with

disloyalty,

had

charged

arrested for 1

with

spying.

The

Knights of the Golden Circle were then led by General Albert Pike, a

often

the border

in

Native American

He

Mason.

thirty-third-degree

too

recruited

among Masonic lodges

and Ohio. Pike also recruited among the

states

spring of 1860 Pike raised to thirty-sec-

tribes. In the

ond degree Peter Pitchlyn, the chief of the Choctaw Nation; Holmes Colbert, national secretary of the Chickasaw; and Elias Boudinot of the

Cherokee s. Before the war, Pike was a

which

party,

the

member

commonly known

is

of the Democratic American

the

as

Know-Nothings. He joined

Confederacy and was among the numerous Masons picked by

low Mason Jefferson Davis

to

run the Confederate

which he was the chief Masonic lodges, and

in

disbanded

Ku Klux

Klan, in

justice. This organization also recruited

some

areas the local

Masons. Though the Klan was

ited to

After the Civil

states.

War, Pike was the driving force of the Knights of the

after three years as the

fel-

among

Klan membership was lim-

started in 1866,

it

wave of violence and

was

officially

riots incited

by

the organization created a backlash.

In 1905 Walter L. Fleming wrote a pro-Klan

book

featuring the late

Pike on the cover. The organization started up once more, again drawing

membership from Masonic lodges. Somehow Pike, who had

its

been charged with treason for

his role in the Civil

War, has been hon-

ored with a statue in Judiciary Square in Washington. While there have

been modern protests against the strong

movement

to

keep

it

statue's presence,

there

is

an equally

there.

THE REVENGE OF THE SLAVE TRADERS The

Civil

final act

killed

War

did not just end with the surrender

of the war took place

by an assassin who was

Booth, the shooter, was a

Golden

Circle.

at Ford's Theater,

at

Appomattox. The

where the president was

part of a very large conspiracy.

Mason and

a

member

The conspiracy, of course, was much

John Wilkes

of the Knights of the larger than Booth.


The Masonic Betrayal

Four members of the organization were hanged for went

eral others

to prison, but

The conspiracy

port.

as the

Kennedy

After

assassination

a

had

hundred years

as

many

an

Assassination

Andrew Johnson had played

if

mysteries

later.

formed

Congress

death,

determine

to

would

and sev-

their roles

a wider circle provided financial sup-

in the Lincoln assassination

Lincoln's

Committee

still

233

a role in the

murder. Booth had visited Johnson's residence hours before the shoot-

The

ing.

even

met with the future president

assassin reportedly

when he was

earlier,

was one of

the military governor of Tennessee. Johnson

three presidents

Masons. He was the

first

Johnson was also the

1864 and

in

come from Tennessee;

to

all

were

three

president to receive the Scottish Rite degrees.

and because the clergy had

target of anti-Masons,

spoken out against him, he

requested that no clergy be present

later

at

his funeral.

had

Lincoln

ignored

basically

Inauguration Day, and his wife,

claiming

friend

that

Johnson

Mary Todd

since

the

president's

Lincoln, wrote a letter to a

Johnson had a hand

her husband's

in

murder.

Congress, however, was no more able to find evidence of a conspiracy

was a hundred years

than

it

from

office

Years

managed

by

later

when

President

Kennedy was removed

a bullet.

after the

Warren Commission determined

to kill President

Kennedy with an

antique

that a lone assassin rifle,

a

new

theory

emerged: Kennedy had attempted to have Fidel Castro eliminated, and

Kennedy's actually

was

assassination

did

instigate

Richmond and

kill

a

the

plot

to

retaliation.

Coincidentally,

attack

Confederate

the

Lincoln

capital

the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis,

at

and his

cabinet.

Colonel Ulrich Dahlgren was handpicked by Lincoln to lead the

Dahlgren was killed

attack.

body pointed to kill

of

in

the

to the plot's origin in

attempt,

and papers found on his

Washington. In

retaliation, the plot

Lincoln was hatched by none other than Davis and his secretary

state,

Judah Benjamin.

Benjamin was a unique individual who government

as attorney general

and

later

started in the Confederate

became

the secretary of state.


— From

234

Born

the Sacred to the Profane

in the British

West

Indies of Sephardic Jewish parents, he

was

part

of a large and active Jewish community that thrived in the Southern pre

War

Civil

was John

an influential

Slidell,

Southerner. Because slave

states,

pushed

first

et

was

it

New

period

expand the

and Whig leader Caleb Cushing

both Democrat Slidell

war on and then

to declare

War

Yorker who became a transplanted

in the interest of slave traders to

connections were very

Slidell's

ter

Benjamin's mentor in the pre-Civil

states.

much

annex Mexico.

to attempt to

tied to

Europe, where his daugh-

married into the prestigious French-Jewish banking house Erlanger Cie.

even

more

Rothschild

prestigious

The

Bank.

Benjamin develop connections

helped

who

married August Belmont,

niece

Slidell's

in

represented the

of

friendships

Europe

Slidell

benefited

that

the

South during the war. One of these benefits was the floating of a war

bond by Erlanger

in

Europe

to raise funds for the

Confederate

Benjamin also became the head of the Confederate established operations in Canada, where the South had in an ally against the

money and

useful in getting

was held

lion dollars

House and

kill

assassination, is

little

Union. This

for the

Benjamin dispatched John

indication that

More

Benjamin knew

to bring

than one mil-

attempt to attack the White

Two weeks

or kidnap the president.

hoped

He

but the Canada connection was

failed,

in running operations.

Canada

in

states.

intelligence.

before the Lincoln

While there

Surratt to Canada.

Surratt

would play

a role in the

conspiracy, the Confederate secretary of state helped destroy any evi-

dence by burning ticed

law.

was

Benjamin

government never

papers and fleeing to England, where he prac-

all his

the

to return to the

of his

of

second inauguration,

likely

when

five

planned from of the

Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt, David Herold, John

—were

Spangler

Confederate

at least the

coconspirators Surratt,

and Ned

photographed together. Booth was a guest of the inau-

guration courtesy of

Lucy

Hampshire and Booth's Just

the

United States.

The murder of Lincoln was most time

member

only

Hale, the daughter of a senator from

New

fiancee.

what precautions,

prior to the assassination

is

if

any, were taken to protect the president

unknown. There was no Secret Service


The Masonic Betrayal

detail,

although Lincoln had a bodyguard, John Parker, a

Washington Metropolitan

showed up

late

and took

Police.

235

member of

the

Apparently not very diligent, Parker

box

his seat outside the president's

at the the-

Since Parker could not see the play, he decided to find a better van-

ater.

point

tage

and simply

left

his

post.

Parker then invited two

other

Lincoln employees, his footman and coachman, to join the bodyguard for

a

drink in a nearby tavern. Investigators have never discovered

where Parker actually was when the president was

killed.

There was no question where John Kennedy's security

many

the previous night in a nightclub run

by a

Ruby, Pat Kirkwood. Ruby sent over strippers from entertain the

A.M.

2

A

Secret Service men,

who were

telexed warning that the president

Dallas was ignored, and the parade route

shot and

detail,

moved

Kennedy's

larger Secret Service

Carousel Club

still

drinking at 3:30

would be assassinated

again only after the third.

much

friend of Jack

his

was changed

and not secured. The driver of the president's car first

was

years later in the hours leading up to his assassination. Nine of

them spent

to

detail

3

at the last

hit the

in

minute

brakes after the

Like Lincoln's security

was not held accountable

for his death.

Mortally wounded, President Lincoln was brought to the

home of

William Peterson, where several doctors, including Charles C.Taft, were Dr. Taft wasn't able to save the president, but he reportedly

present.

saved some of his Roosevelt

at his

hair,

which ended up

inauguration.

in

What went on

a locket

worn by Teddy

at Peterson's

house

to history, but another mysterious death occurred shortly after:

is

lost

William

Peterson later committed suicide.

The mortally wounded John Kennedy was brought and

Hospital

later

to

Bethesda

Naval

Hospital

in

to

Parkland

Maryland.

The

Parkland doctors completely disagreed with the inexperienced Bethesda

4

exits.

wounds and

the directions of the bullets' entries

and

Yet the Dulles-controlled Warren Commission ignored the

dis-

doctors about the

crepancy,

5

instead claiming that the Bethesda doctors were right and the

Parkland doctors had agreed with Bethesda's findings.

The

killers

of both presidents were soon found and killed. There


From

236

the Sacred to the Profane

were persistent rumors the

body of

Booth actually survived

that

was used

a patsy

gruesome deaths.

Booth going

to give the illusion of

Other guests of the Lincolns

grave.

his shooting, while

Ford's

at

Theater also met with

Henry Rathbone's

For example,

to the

Clara,

wife,

was

reportedly stabbed to death by her husband before he tried to end his

own

life.

Ten

He would be

Mary Todd Lincoln would

years later

Her son Robert was

ted to an asylum.

was

father

in Buffalo

placed in an insane asylum.

in the

shot, with President Garfield in

when

also find herself

White House when his

1881 when he was shot, and

McKinley was shot

President

commit-

For a while

in in 1901.

Robert Lincoln had been business partners with some of the people connected to his

father's death.

Later Robert was shocked to discover

documents implicating others who survived the

He

plot.

is

said to have

destroyed the papers.

The conspirators of Lincoln's assassination find help for Booth, soldier

who was wounded. The

fled the scene, first to

group, which included the

Boston Corbett, was caught. Corbett shot Booth, and was

later

declared insane and sent to an asylum.

Mary

Surratt,

another arrested conspirator, was the

woman condemned Anna

daughter, get

clemency

Anna

Surratt.

by hanging.

to death

Surratt,

Two

was evidence

Edwin

that the

Stanton,

were

The

bullets

around

his

neck and jump-

Lane shot himself months

later.

While

Lincoln conspiracy included his secretary

Stanton

which would proceed only sions

to

Senator Preston King would not see the year's end; he

ing off a ferry. Senator James

of war,

Andrew Johnson

men, both onetime senators, stopped

committed suicide by tying a bag of

there

American

Just before Mary's death her

attempted to see President

for her mother.

first

was involved

after those

who

in

the

investigation,

benefited from

its

conclu-

in control.

list

of suspicious deaths surrounding the Kennedy murder

is

even lengthier and has been the focus of several books. Allen Dulles, the former head of the CIA, was chosen the assassination of the

man who

fired him.

Kennedy had

to investigate

threatened to

dismantle the CIA. Dulles's right-hand man, Charles Cabell, the deputy


The Masonic Betrayal

director of the

assassination

death was

CIA, was the brother of the mayor of Dallas, where the

was staged.

named

justice, Earl

237

The commission

that investigated

Kennedy's

Mason and Supreme Court

after a thirty-third-degree

Warren. Senator Richard Russell, a Mason from Georgia,

and Gerald Ford, another thirty-third-degree Mason, joined the com-

The Warren Commission

mission.

basically rubber-stamped the findings

of the FBI, whose investigation concluded faster than one could a job application.

fill

out

The FBI, of course, was headed by another Mason,

J.

Edgar Hoover. With the detractors quickly becoming victims and a favorable

media

system

Commission was allowed

in

place,

to stand

conclusion

the

—

despite

its

of

Warren

the

glaring inaccuracy and

the sentiment of the public.

The

role of secret societies such as the Knights of the

not end with the defeat of the secessionist South.

Golden Circle did

The damage

to the

United States was already staggering: More than six hundred thousand

men had been

killed in a population of only thirty million.

debt rose 2,500 percent.

And

The

national

the divisive politics that existed before the

war did not cease. The North generated

further

hatred

through the

harsh punitive politics of Reconstruction. In the South and in states like

Ohio

that

thrived.

sympathized with the South, a

The Ku Klux Klan became

of the Golden Circle. the country that ety, the

the

7

Members

new group

a resurrected version of the Knights

fostered racial hatred even in areas of

were not previously divided by

Ku Klux Klan

ancient order's

of secret societies

race.

As

a secret soci-

claimed kinship to Masonry and recruited among

members. This time the policy of the

preached loud enough to become the voice of the mob.

elite

was


Chapter 14

THE OPIUM BROTHERHOOD

he use of the drug opium had already been around for thousands

A

of years

Arabs.

when crusading Templars were

Opium had been

cultivated

introduced to

from 6000 B.C.E.

found in neolithic burials in southern Spain dating culture

we

recognize as the world's

had a name for opium, to

An

5,400 years ago.

a long

list

to

by

the

Europe and was

4200 B.C.E. The

higher civilization, Sumeria,

hul-gil, or "joy plant," a

name

Egyptian medical text dating

that

to

was

in use

1550 B.C.E.

up

listed

of ailments opium would relieve. The Greeks, whose mystic

used opium in religious

cults

first

in

it

prescribed

rituals,

it

for

problems such as

headaches, epilepsy, coughs, and kidney stones. At the same time, they

understood getfulness.

large

it

was

addictive.

The Romans used

amounts of the drug

From

Homer

the

opium

as a painkiller

it

in the

refers to

and

as the drug of foras a poison, putting

wine of the intended victim.

Mediterranean cultures

spread east to Arabic physicians.

of Galen

Muslim peoples

and Pliny,

the

drug

not only inherited the

medicinal uses of the drug from these ancient societies but also held the

drug in high recreational esteem; in a land that prohibited alcohol,

opium was traders

a

good

substitute.

Opium

who preceded Marco Polo on

Ocean by

traveled east with the

land

Muslim

and crossed the Indian

ship.

During the Crusades, the secretive sect known

as the Assassins

the drug hashish to experience the pleasures of heaven.

enment prepared them to die for their faith.

for their missions, as they

Such

enlight-

were no longer afraid

The Knights Templar were soon aware of the 238

used


The Opium Brotherhood

239

Assassins and hashish, as well as of opium. The knights returned with tales

and

of the usefulness of these

men

motivate

to

Opium use

in

new

drugs, to give courage, as

opium

did,

in battle, as did hashish.

Europe had declined

the

after

fall

of the

Roman

Empire, only to increase again after Crusaders reintroduced the drug. After the demise of the Templars in 1307, there subject,

opium remained

but

in

demand and

to

Paracelsus called

it

During

was

elixir.

to

on the

from Vasco

Columbus and Cabot

The medieval alchemist

"the stone of immortality."

on

with

acquainted

magic

obtain the

travels

his

1

written

little

explorers

da Gama, a member of the Knights of Christ,

were instructed

is

Indian Ocean, Afonso de Albuquerque

the

opium

of

usefulness

the

and

advised

the

Portuguese king about the potential profit that existed in buying and

who was

reselling the drug. In a letter to his king,

Albuquerque wrote,

the Knights of Christ, to

be sown in

Europeans

all

the

fields

"I

of Portugal."

failed to take to heart.

It

was

the grand master of

would order poppies

2 It

easier to

was

.

a lesson that

.

.

the

buy Turkish or Indian

opium.

OPIUM COMES TO THE AMERICAS The Pilgrims understood on

their travels to

the Pilgrims'

the benefit of the drug

America

in 1620.

Laudanum was

the

with them

it

name given

to

mixture of opium, wine, saffron, cinnamon, and cloves.

The Pilgrims brought

a second

which the drug was mixed with and anise

and took

opium-based concoction, paregoric, in licorice,

honey, benzoic acid, camphor,

oil.

Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence

and a member of the Continental Congress, was the surgeon general of the Continental army.

He

did

much

to

advance the use of medicines

and his "heroic therapy," which incorporated opium. In

apy

later

fact,

this

ther-

provided a name for opium's favored derivative, heroin. Rush

prescribed

opium

for cholera, for relief of intestinal spasms,

of a mixture for enemas.

and as part


240

From

Like it

the Sacred to the Profane

all

drugs,

opium had

its

downside. Physicians

who

for a period of four days or less best understood the

An opium

poppy.

dependence goes beyond a

existence;

many prominent and

body

actually altered

one maintains a

If

properly, the drug can be part of daily

not-so-prominent people have survived is

not conducive to

Addicts experience physical deterioration,

such as

and circulatory disorders. The mental effects exhibit themselves

gastric

in a loss of interest in

both personal hygiene and anyone except one's

source of the drug. The body appears to feed on ciated

is

3

decades-long drug habits. But the nature of opium a healthy lifestyle.

the

opium becomes

chemically and cannot function without the drug.

opium

power of

habit; the

as fundamental as food and water, as the user's

healthy lifestyle and uses

prescribed

from lack of food. From

ease and respiratory disease, the

hepatitis

and

body begins

itself,

liver

becoming ema-

damage

a descent

to skin dis-

matched only by

the mind's descent. Forgetfulness, lethargy, and irritability are the daily

range of emotions suffered by the opium addict.

Today's modern "improvement" of the opium-based group, which includes morphine and heroin, renders the deadly effects of addiction

within

smoker

days.

In

the

eighteenth

on a slower road

started

Although these

effects

were

of them did not stop the trade;

fully it

and

nineteenth

that led

known,

to

centuries

the

final

the

opium

impact:

as they are today,

death.

knowledge

continues to this day.

THE OPIUM TRADE The cornerstone of

colonial trade

was the supercommodity. The com-

modity for Portugal had been the black slave; the commodity

way

grew

Spain's empire

was

trade, creating

huge demand for pepper and other herbs back home in

Europe.

Britain

silver.

and

The Dutch would lead

that

France

discovered

the

the

into the spice

commodities

that

were

referred to as food-drugs: sugar, tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages such

as rum. Colonizing the

undesirable

profit.

America was not

populations

just about finding places to

of Europe;

it

was

also

dump

about making

a


The Opium Brotherhood

was

Getting England addicted to Chinese tea

balance became more

difficult. In

to a

Six years later that figure

tea.

By 1766

hundred thousand pounds.

was becoming impossible

tea imports

easy; keeping a trade

1700 the British East India Company

imported twenty thousand pounds of

grew 400 percent

ure hit six million pounds,

became

it

241

meet with

to

silver.

the cost of

When

the fig-

would drain England

clear that tea

of silver unless something was done.

Up

until the eighteenth century,

drug use in the world was never

described as an epidemic or plague, but the British would change

The Chinese had discovered

the pleasure of

smoking opium,

first

that.

mixed

with tobacco, which was brought by the Dutch, then in a pure form.

The

British East India

ket and sold

where

try

Company

cornered the opium-producing mar-

drugs to willing Asians. In every southeast Asian coun-

its

Britain's

empire was

government was forced

the

active,

admit Indian opium. The Chinese had the most extravagance easily spread opium use.

their

money

Opium was

to spend,

to

and

expensive to

bring to market, but China had such a large wealthy ruling class that

were enough customers who could afford

there

on a regular

basis.

The

to

buy and use

Company had found

British East India

the drug a

way

to

correct the tea trade imbalance.

Today we often dismiss

way

things were."

The

the crimes of the past as simply being "the

British

and American

traders,

however, should

not be dismissed so lightly. "They were not ignorant of what sort of substance they were selling. They

was

addictive."

By 1836 China

it

was

a poison.

They knew

it

imported enough opium to make the drug the

largest revenue-producing ful

knew

4

commodity

in the world.

It

enriched a hand-

while destroying the social and political structure of China.

By

this

time the drug merchants included Americans. The great motivator, greed,

was

as

greed

is

powerful

to Boston's

blue bloods as

was

the reason the drug trade continues today,

world, specifically America and Europe, Ironically,

ism

it

it

that are

is

now

the former victims of

is

to the English. This

and why the Western

experiencing a drug epidemic.

American and European colonial-

exporting the drugs to their ex-colonial overlords.


From

242

The the

the Sacred to the Profane

American

British and

China trade often had

who took

traders

the Chinese

little

part in

what was called

were willing

to buy.

The

Chinese wanted silver and raw Indian cotton, and America and Europe

wanted

tea.

produced in

An

exception to the rule was ginseng; America's ginseng,

New

England and the Appalachian region, was regarded

as

an aphrodisiac in China. But the market for ginseng was too small to

demand

balance America's

for tea. There

were two

was opium. The Chinese were already consumers of opium a thousand years, but they

drugs,

ural

opium

the

had brewed

it

into tea. Like

did not cause

tea

opium smoking and opium

the

The

alternatives.

for almost

many

debilitating

first

other nat-

effects

that

derivatives caused. Similarly, the effect of

chewing coca leaves on the Andean population of South America had

some negative

side

but nothing

effects,

like

damage caused by

the

addiction to the refined version of the plant, cocaine. In both cases the

refinement of a natural plant created a substance that caused addiction.

The Europeans created ering

the

new commodity

duced both tobacco quickly

China;

the

opium

chests,

As

each in

trade.

filled

By 1767

the

intro-

of addiction

in his country as anything

districts

of India,

it

control greatly

company was importing two thousand

with 170 pounds of pure opium, each year.

America, the British established trade monopolies. The Indian

growers, by law, had to British love of profit

was no match sell

Company became

middleman

Indian producers

were willing

to

the

East India Company. But the

sell to the British

pany could no longer

and sold

to

to

for the

China.

Chinese

Instead,

that

bought

edict,

the

and the com-

British

the

East India

opium from

English and American merchants

the

who

run the risk of shipping the product.

In 1799 the Chinese gal.

horrors

likely

Company assumed

the British East India

over Bengal and Bihar, the opium-producing

expanded the

Dutch most

1729 Chinese Emperor Yung

to the Chinese. In

the sale and use of

When

but medicine.

to

opium smoking. The

and

became known

Cheng prohibited

Shortly after discov-

addiction.

of tobacco in the American colonies, the Dutch

pleasures

brought the

opium

the

emperor Kia King made

all

opium

trade

This very act most likely served to increase the profits that were

ille-


The Opium Brotherhood

made

in the

sumed

trade,

as

The

increased.

both the price of opium and the amount con-

Company, another

British Levant

tered business syndicate, purchased half the Turkish

brought

it

to Europe,

goods

They drug

that

where

it

was sold

were

attractive to

opium

carried the

filled chests that

to

Turkey and

Americans

to

the British

Jacob Astor's ships were among the

where they harvested the coats of tribes

in

the

by carrying

trade

and wool.

China, where thousands of pounds of the

were exchanged for

lift

opium crop and

India, like tin, lead,

tea, spices,

Another product the Chinese wanted was for the

nationally char-

as medicine.

and American ships participated

British

243

had hunted the wildlife for

This provided a lever

fur.

monopoly on first to sail to

seals

and

centuries,

the

China

trade.

John

the Pacific Northwest,

otters. it

and exotic goods.

Although the Native

took only a few years for

hunting to drive the populations to the point of near extinction.

the

This, in turn,

made

America opium, but

it

as

a

the hunt

more expensive.

nation did not sanction the buying and selling of

did not forbid

it

either.

trade did nothing illegal as far as their

The American

own

were, however, breaking Chinese law, as there.

it

participants in this

country was concerned. They

was

illegal to distribute

opium

Like the British, the Americans could rely on their country to

invoke protective policy when China attempted to enforce

its

law. Both

Britain and the United States maintained a naval presence to protect their

commerce. China, which had no navy, was unable its

coastline. British

to enforce

its

laws on

and American traders took advantage by occupying

Asian islands, where they kept warehouses. Without ships or a coast guard,

China could not approach the tion

by

a Chinese

islands. Just in case of the unlikely inspec-

mandarin assigned

to

usually kept aboard floating warehouses

—

customs duty, the opium was ships that

would not make voy-

ages but simply float off the coasts of the occupied islands.

From

warehouse ships Chinese merchants bought opium and smuggled

Canton or the

it

into

interior of China.

Remarkably, the opium trade was government,

these

but

the

prohibition

chartered British East India

officially prohibited

was

ignored

as

Company profited from the

by

the trade.

the British

government-

The


244

From

the Sacred to the Profane

partners of the

outlaw

company were and

competition

the elite of a nation that could simply

disregard

Dundas, the Viscount Melville, was a

number one goal was

political

control over the British East India

company's board from 1793

interfered with business

opium

He

who governed

Scots

to

started the Scottish

Company, which had no Dundas served

Scottish

as president of

1801. Outside the British Isles he

from America

He wrote

to Asia.

was

trade with China, and in 1809

Control of India.

boss in Scotland, and his

Kingdom he

directors prior to the eighteenth century.

for

Henry

laws.

to enrich the aristocrats. In Scotland he restored

the lands of the nobles. In the United

the

own

country's

the

the blueprint

the head of the

Board of

stocked the Indian subcontinent with friends,

all

crown jewel. The Chinese laws could not

Britain's

be changed but they could be rendered insignificant by circumventing Dundas's cronies used "country ships" carrying opium

the restrictions.

bought from British India, which were accompanied and protected by British East India the proceeds

Company

from the opium

into the marketplace,

The company would buy

ships. sales.

tea with

The company allowed Americans

and English bankers often assisted them in financ-

ing the voyages.

The Dundas family was steeped ries

into

later

Masonry, and the tradition

Thomas Dundas,

times.

became grand master

in

in

the

1844 and remained

Dundas clan brought Masonry that city, chartered in 1846,

second Earl of Zetland,

in that post until 1870.

Hong Kong, and

to

was named

car-

The

the first lodge in

for their lodge in England: the

Zetland Lodge No. 525.

LORDS AND DRUG LORDS At the same time in China,

it

took

that

England defended

to restricting the

its

right to distribute

drug business

at

ment began monitoring the pharmaceutical houses ing the use of the

illegal

profit

opium

trade

was enough

in Europe.

England went

conducted by the country's

to

home. The governthat

were expand-

war twice

elite;

opium

the

to protect

1,000 percent

to entice the country to protect the illegal trade. In


The Opium Brotherhood

were the Jardines, the

the nineteenth century the drug lords of Britain

and

Mathesons,

Sutherlands

the

—

ushered

Scots

all

The

families of the

first

became addicted

opium

in

power

trade joined together in small part-

firm of Jardine and Matheson while

Opium was

in their twenties.

still

prime business, and they published regular newsletters called the

their

Opium

which gave information about the drug's markets and

Circulars,

A

prices.

Brit posted in East Asia could pick

from Patna

and

policy,

Company

this

way

Jardine

and

Britain could claim to be adhering to Chinese

Matheson replaced

to

from the drug

India

But they were

fully

China. David Matheson, a

trade.

Jardine and Matheson's early success

cooperation with the

Company had

East India

When

1833.

East

British

partner, assured of nearly unlimited wealth at an early age, chose

to resign rather than to profit

close

the

as the largest trading firm in the empire.

aware of the horrors addiction brought

young

up a newspaper anywhere

Singapore to get the current opium prices for Bengal and

to

Patna opium. In

Matheson

its

Hong Kong

in

The

seals to ensure

and

like

a

like their

badge.

its

The

Matheson,

British

legal until

ship opium, Jardine and

by

loophole

the

Company was provided

quality,

The drug was

however.

by family and Masonic

American counterparts they wore James

working in

which was

—provide

British East India

Jardine and Matheson was controlled

names

tea,

ships did not actually carry the opium.

packaged with company

tionships,

the result of

East India Company.

monopoly on

a

—headquartered but

tea,

British

was

Britain officially agreed not to

bringing in the drug.

still

opium.

still

5

William Jardine and James Matheson formed the opium-trading

nerships.

with

to

prosperity

into

thanks to Dundas. These families built dynasties that are today, while millions of Chinese

245

cofounder

of

rela-

their family

Jardine

and

Matheson, had a nephew, Hugh, who would invest opium profits in mining. still

Hugh Matheson founded Rio

in operation today.

Barings,

Peninsula and

who

Oriental

Company, which

is

Alliances with the key banks Schroeder's and

Barings provided the ability to

The

Tinto Zinc

move on

a global scale.

were

instrumental

later

Steamship

lines,

in

were already a

founding force

in

the


246

From

the Sacred to the Profane

international trade

when

they began financing the opium trade. James

Matheson's mother's family, the MacKays, Inchcape,

until

recently

controlled

the

who

held the

board

of the

of Earl of

title

steamer

lines.

Before steam was the power of choice, opium was carried by clipper ships,

the

which were

built for speed.

Alexander Baring

American firms

and

the

various

in

Two

of the

opium

first

clippers

were

The Barings financed many

Falcon.

including

businesses,

Binghams and

the

Stephen Girard. Girard, like Astor, was an early pioneer of the China trade, but

The

he was quickly eclipsed by British

were often the

them. In this bition,

had the early lead

target of

British allowed

New England

This

activity.

is

why

the

ships to enter the trade and often financed

the British

were not directly breaking China's prohi-

but the British lenders and shippers would

their investments in the

opium and

importation of

the

Chinese legislation and

American

way

in

merchants.

American

make money from

ships.

THE PROFITS OF THE CHINA TRADE The

British families

had been benefiting from the trade for a century,

but the Americans caught up quickly.

Americans went

Turkey

to

to

To

the chagrin of the British, the

buy lower-grade opium

competed

that

with the better British-grown Indian grades. Americans proved themselves adept at smuggling and

A

recent

book

called

grew wealthy from

the trade.

The Wealthy 100 created

Americans by wealth and the proportion of the gross national product.

that

John Jacob Astor, born

a unique ranking of

wealth in relation to in 1763,

ranked

third;

Stephen Girard, born in 1750, was fourth; Elias Hasket Derby, born in 1739, was

number

38; smuggler John Hancock, born in 1737,

ber 54; and the not as well 1764, was ranked

ranked

much

number

higher,

known Thomas Handasyd

78.

Thomas

6

While opium

was num-

Perkins, born in

traders Astor

and Girard

Perkins was even more influential, as he

brought scores of American blue bloods into the trade.


The Opium Brotherhood

247

THE HOUSE THAT PERKINS BUILT Thomas Perkins deserves

credit

being one of America's

for

first

and

foremost opium dealers, as well as one of the greatest drug smugglers in history.

His amazing fortune places him ahead, in comparable dollars, of

even the computer billionaires of the 1990s. Perkins's wealth made him

man

a very influential

Boston Brahmin

American

in

Old reports

class.

and the power behind the

politics

were from Salem, which implies they made

What

not often understood

is

opium

the

in

start

Higginsons,

made

their fortunes

that these first families

The Appletons, Cabots,

trade.

Lowells,

Jacksons,

money by being

their

is

of Boston

state that the first families

Lawrences,

all

and

shipping.

made

Endicotts,

Phillipses,

Thomas

related to

in

their

Hoopers,

Saltonstalls

Perkins or by riding on

the coattails of the mercantile prince.

Not only did these ated

industries

families create wealth, but also they then cre-

survived and prospered for decades to come.

that

was insurance. The Perkinses understood

industry

ing risk; they

would often be financed

New

who wanted

England,

in part

value of spread-

the

by

their share of the area's

One

the

first

families of

most lucrative

trade,

and in part by insurance.

Marine

insurance

regarded

is

forms of insurance in America, and cargo

insuring

Connecticut was

Many

from

basic

home

have survived

the

as it

got

commodities

some of America's

to

its

modern

in

New

England

slaves

and

opium.

start

to first

intact or as parts of larger

realize their foundation

all

grandfather

of

insurance companies.

companies, though few

was insuring the drug and slave

traders in the

early nineteenth century.

Born

1764,

in

Thomas

where he would seek merchants

Domingo Elliot,

ily

and

his

whose

father

connections

older

was a

made

fortune.

his

—New England

Perkins decided early that Harvard was not Instead he apprenticed with shipping

brother,

James,

who

part of the triangle trade.

was

in

the

Thomas married Sarah

British tobacco trader, and through his

his start in business

Santo

new fam-

aboard one of Elias Derby's ships.

Derby was Salem's most important merchant, and

the shipping


248

From

the Sacred to the Profane

business

made him very

lionaire

and a trailblazer of global commerce. Derby's father started

Today he

rich.

their business importing sugar

made

illegal

by

Britain's

is

regarded as America's

from the West

restrictive

Indies.

trade acts,

Because

was

it

first

was

this

a fine

mil-

sort of

revenge that led Derby into privateering against British cargo ships dur-

many succumbed

ing the Revolution. While

to

Derby pros-

the risks,

pered. In the postwar period his ships sailed around the world, and his

Grand Turk was

the first

of Canton, in 1785.

New

England ship

Thomas Perkins

to

reach the Chinese port

sailed as the supercargo, the person

responsible for transacting the ship's business, with the ship

by Captain James Magee, who was

commanded

related to Derby's wife.

Perkins was responsible for obtaining a good price for the cargo on

board the invest

ship.

them

direct,

He would

then take the proceeds, in whatever form, and

in a suitable cargo to bring

home. The trade was not always

which made the job of the supercargo even more important.

Often the supercargo would receive instructions to buy and

way deemed

necessary to ensure the owner's profit.

captain and supercargo often conspired to abandon

order to increase the share of the profits for those

The Perkins family had of morality

—of

trade in Santo

the trade, as

voyage

to

J.

the

crew

in

who remained. lack

previous business was the slave and sugar

Domingo. In 1792

and T. H. Perkins.

some of

—or

a slave insurrection in that country

ruined the Perkinses' business, so James and nership as

any

sell in

slave ships the

problem with the morality

little

its

On

a

new

part-

did not take more than one successful

It

become wealthy, and

Thomas formed

the

many

successful Perkins voyages

made Thomas both wealthy and powerful. For the crew who traveled on a Perkins

his title

run away from school. Colonel Thomas Perkins,

by serving

China-bound four-foot

was not

ship;

in the

Massachusetts

militia,

who

com-

teenager had

received

took the boy aboard a

Thomas's brother had married the boy's

eight-inch

as

1814 Charles Tyng was a thirteen-year-old

fortable or as lucrative. In

who had

ship, life

aunt. If the

expected any benefits from being

related to the wealthy shipowner, he soon found out the opposite true.

His uncle John Higginson was supercargo aboard the ship, and the

was


The Opium Brotherhood

first

words young Charles heard from him were instructions

penter to beat the boy.

way

not knowing his charge.

Tyng was beaten

249

to the car-

daily for minor infractions, for

about the ship, and for the amusement of those in

He was thrown

hog pen

in the

punishment. Tyng was even

as

denied adequate clothing for the passage around Cape Horn, and he

was handed over

to three unusually obese

king, for their sexual

working for left

opium

amusement. Charles Tyng survived and

his uncles,

employ. Tyng

their

women, wives of

after

later,

tales

of the

the Perkinses' ship fared better, but the ship

happened on the return

The

trip.

way

the

to Canton. This

owners netted four hun-

ship's

dred thousand dollars for their efforts, or lack thereof, as they sat in

he

7

was underprovisioned and ran out of food on also

his brief stint

memoirs preserving the

trade and of the Perkinses' role.

The other men aboard

Hawaiian

being twice cheated by them

his

left

a

home

New England. While today the memoirs of

museums

New

England's

first

families and the

dedicated to those clans downplay the role of opium and

black slaves in building those trades

is

New

England's fortunes, their involvement in

undeniable. Shippers could fare well carrying tobacco

and cotton to Rotterdam and London, but fortunes were ing

opium

lacquer furniture

Marine

Hall

and Eastern

opened,

Smuggling opium had

Asian its

built

on

trad-

had grown fond of Chinese

for tea in China. Salem's wives silk

gowns,

dress

was

8

and when the East India order

the

T

rewards, and both

of

the

evening.

H. Perkins and opium

kingpin Joseph Russell became extremely prominent merchants result of their shipping businesses. Their wealth

as

a

gave them power and

access to government. Perkins and Russell traveled to France to carry

out their ventures

Monroe

and

administration.

to

act

on behalf of

During the

charge d'affaires of the United States Perkins was a principal elected to the

War

at the

member

Senate eight times.

his

country during the

of 1812, Russell was

made

Court of Saint James's.

of the Federalist party and was

He was

Boston branch of the United States Bank ceeded by a Cabot). Perkins made

their

also

(in

the

president of the

which post he was suc-

money from the opium

trade


— From

250

the Sacred to the Profane

before the drug business led to open war in China, and invested the profits

into

sawmills,

gristmills,

and the railroad business

textiles,

including the Boston and Lowell, the Boston and Providence, and other railroads farther west.

With

man

considered the wealthiest

combined

his

in

New

Perkins was soon

interests,

Many New England

England.

family fortunes began with investments in the Perkins China ventures.

As

community

a

did what

Perkins

leader,

smugglers, and robber barons would do:

His

charities

included

Perkins

the

Massachusetts General Hospital.

opium

responsibilities of

made

New

in

interests

He became

traders,

drug

a philanthropist. the

for

Institute

England,

Blind

and

he

to

European over

turned

and his

affairs

the

day-to-day

trafficking to his relatives. His children also

through

connections

slave

9

As Thomas Perkins devoted himself business

many

wedding

marriage,

Cabots,

Gardiners,

Higginsons, Forbeses, and Cushings.

THE CUSHING INHERITANCE While relationships

many

Perkins business and family were the

to the

fortunes, they

were also the

start

start

of several political careers.

of the most powerful political families that had

ties

of

One

to the

Perkinses

became

responsi-

were the Cushings. In China the Boston-based Cushing family soon

ble for operating

the

Perkins family business.

Thomas Cushing was

already an active merchant during the eighteenth century.

As

a busi-

nessman, Cushing would sometimes collect intelligence on the Tories, but he was reluctant to share feared

came

it

would

his fears

He was

against the Revolution, as he

interfere with his shipping business.

when he found

ing both the Americans profiteering

it.

that he

But Cushing over-

could make a fortune overcharg-

and the French for supplies. Such excessive

was shared by Otis and Gerry, and even smaller merchants

did not consider

it

Chief among Perkins Cushing,

wrong a

who

to

gouge the

cadre

of

military.

Thomas Cushings nephews was John

started out as the

head of the American hong, or


1

The Opium Brotherhood

house of foreign

trade,

in

would allow him access

known was

by T. H. Perkins.

John Cushing office, but

A

cation. ter

to wealth

After the early death of his mother, young Cushing

to very few.

home

Ann

Canton. John Cushing's mother was

Perkins, and her connections

raised

25

started his career in the countinghouse of the Perkins

was

sent to

Canton

at

age seventeen to further his edu-

year later he was in charge of the Canton branch, the epicen-

of Perkins's profit machine. Cushing developed an early friendship

with one of China's most powerful merchants, Houqua,

who was head

of the Cohong, the community of Chinese merchants. The friendship of

Houqua meant everything

Soon Cushing was

for a foreign merchant.

regarded as the most influential American in Canton.

Cushing stayed

in

Canton for twenty-five years and increased

his

personal wealth by buying ships and shares in ships. In 1830 he retired

from the China trade and sold

his

own

interests.

He

New

returned to

England, where he married Louisa Gardiner and built city mansions

and country estates for himself. But he never fully

retired, as

he made

investments in the Chinese voyages of others. Cushing's family wealth

was earned

and

entirely in drug trafficking with China,

his descendants

ensured that the trade did not end.

Caleb Cushing was the heir apparent.

A

graduate of Harvard

at the

age of seventeen, Caleb Cushing became a lawyer and represented the family's interests.

Caleb

Harrison in

the

also

Cushing's

Representatives,

China

He

and

1843,

as U.S.

became

a thirty-third-degree

political after

the

career

started

suspicious

death

Mason.

in

of

House

the

William

Commissioner. In China, Cushing did more interests

the interests of his country.

in

the

American

to

to represent

opium-smuggling business

than

China, beaten by the British navy in the

war, lacked the ability to stand up to the threats of Cushing.

The coun-

ships the use of five ports.

Cushing went on sionists,

Henry

Cushing was sent by the new president Tyler

Perkins-Cushing

try granted

of

to

promote war against Mexico, plot with seces-

and conspire against Zachary Taylor. The death of Taylor

elevated Cushing to attorney general of the United States.


From

252

the Sacred to the Profane

THE STURGIS FAMILY At the same time in the

The

opium

was

trade, another Perkins relative

Sturgises were one of the

descent from in

John Perkins Cushing was beginning

that

Edward

also achieving success.

families of Massachusetts, claiming

first

who

Sturgis,

his career

The family

arrived in 1630.

started

farming, but the marriage of Russell Sturgis to Elizabeth Perkins,

Thomas's

sister,

ensured the Sturgis family's fortune in the shipping

business.

Thomas

Perkins would invest with Russell Sturgis in the Hope,

and Sturgis

China.

set sail for

Sturgis,

was

manage

the storage

Meanwhile, one of Russell's sons, James Perkins

Hong Kong,

the island of Lintin, just outside of

opium

facilities for all the

gal, Lintin

nal for

As

all

traders.

to

sent to

Because opium importing was

served as what might be called a drop house

—

ille-

a large termi-

the ships carrying opium.

teamed

the Sturgis family wealth grew, Nathaniel Russell Sturgis

up with George Robert

Russell,

who

and Company, the

started Russell

A

most important opium-trafficking firm of the 1830s. headed Barings Bank, which financed the opium

trade.

Russell Sturgis

The women

in

the Sturgis clan did their part as well. Elizabeth Perkins Sturgis married

Henry Grew, and

their daughter, Jane,

married

J.

P.

Morgan's only son,

John Pierpont Morgan.

RUSSELL AND COMPANY As

the

family

China trade expanded

was Samuel

the

opium

Smyrna

to China.

by buying out

A

Russell's.

Russell founded Russell and pany's ships to

in the 1830s, the

in

latecomer

Company

Turkey

to

who

Samuel

to

the

business,

1823.

He

directed the

buy opium;

The company grew by

com-

the ships then brought

hiring the right people and

their competitors.

Russell's chief of operations in

grandfather

in

most important shipping

of future

president

contributed funds to

mount

Canton was Warren Delano

Franklin

Roosevelt.

Russell

his overseas ventures included

Jr.,

the

partners

John


who

Cleve Green,

financed Princeton,

financed construction

at

The Opium Brotherhood

253

and Abiel Abbot Low,

who

Columbia University

The Russell family had

in

10

New York.

a tremendous influence at Yale, and their

was

relationship continues to the present day. Yale

originally called the

Collegiate School. In early colonial times Elihu Yale served with the

Company. He made

British East India

became governor of Madras

away much of

a fortune with the

in India in

1687. Later in

life

renamed

wealth, and Cotton Mather

his

company and Yale gave

the Collegiate

School in Yale's honor in 1718.

Joseph Coolidge was another Russell investor, as were members of the Perkins,

Sturgis,

were soon united

and Forbes families. The Perkinses and Russells

which kept the colonial families

tied

Coolidge' s son organized United Fruit,

in a merger.

interests of

many

His grandson,

together.

Russell's cousin

England's influential

Archibald C.

founder of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Samuel

New

of

Coolidge,

William Huntington Russell

set

a Yale that created a unique organization of elite families

name of

Bones

members each

is

a

up a

trust

under the Taft.

The

a very secretive order that admits only fifteen

new

have been part of

this

the Skull and Bones. Russell's cofounder

Skull and

was

11

year.

Prominent families

that

was Alfonso

organization include the Harrimans, Bushes, Kerrys, Tafts, Whitneys,

Bundys,

Weyerhaeusers,

Pinchots,

Goodyears,

Sloanes,

Stimsons,

Phelpses, Pillsburys, Kelloggs,Vanderbilts, and Lovetts.

While the Russell shipping empire became one of the greatest and most far-reaching, there

is

still

one more

New

England family

that

played a significant role in the trade.

THE FORBES CLAN When

the Cushings left China, the Forbes family took over operations.

The Forbeses were not

the

brought drug smuggling to

first in its

the

opium

trade with China, but they

highest level of profitability and

left

legacy that extends into modern times.

The Forbes family roots reach well back

into Scotland,

where they

a


254

From

the Sacred to the Profane

can be traced to first

at least the thirteenth century. Sir

Lord Forbes, was granted lands

in

Alexander Forbes, the

1423 and was made a lord of

Parliament in 1445. Incessant warfare in both Scodand and England

made

loyalty to the king precarious. Well before the massive Scottish immigration after Culloden in

1745, the Forbeses,

who were

Protestants (and

therefore not Jacobites), were already situated in Massachusetts and con-

nected with the families that would become American "aristocracy."

with the Gardiners and others the Forbeses in

opium

trading

illicit

traders, the fortune

was invested

in land

As

accumulated by

and industry. John and

Robert Forbes would lead the way to the family fortune.

John Murray Forbes (1813-1898), the son of Ralph Bennet Forbes and Margaret Perkins Forbes, started his business career the

Boston countinghouse of

bis uncles

at

age fifteen in

James and Thomas Perkins. John

Forbes was soon allowed to travel to Canton to represent the Perkins syndicate,

and he stayed for seven years. In 1837,

at the

age of twenty-four,

Forbes returned from Canton so wealthy that he could finance the construction of several railroads, including the

which he bought unfinished and extended

to

Michigan Central Railroad,

Lake Michigan and Chicago.

Forbes became a prime mover, leading a group of capitalists could raise millions to complete acquisitions of companies.

who

Many had

previously invested with Forbes in the China trade, and they remained grateful for and loyal because of the fortunes they

had reaped. Forbes

continued to extend the Michigan Central's service, to Detroit and into

Canada, and he built other railways including the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad in Missouri and the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad, of which he served as president.

NAUSHON ISLAND Following the lesson of Gardiner, John Forbes bought an island where

he could conduct business isolated from the prying eyes of neighbors. Like Gardiner's Island, the island of Naushon, just south of the

Hole area of Cape Cod, served

Woods

as a protectorate for smugglers for as

long as Massachusetts was a colony. The shifting sandbars and the isola-


The Opium Brotherhood

New

from the active ports of the

tion

255

England coast protected many

lawbreaking merchants.

The

the Winthrops. There

ilies,

merchant

the

Puritans,

John

trade.

was the

Winthrop,

of the

first

that

The Taliban form of Islam

who came

hundred

seven

of

America. John

to

was something

it

is

leader

the

family

to

be imposed on

an apt comparison to the religious

made

vision of John Winthrop. Puritans

a crime to miss church, to

it

dance, to sing, and to celebrate Christmas; likewise, the Taliban a crime to miss prayers, to dance, to sing, and to celebrate (as

it

opposed

people with torture and humiliation.

As governor of democracy ful

made

Both fundamentalist groups punished

to observe) Islamic festival days. their

fam-

elite

evidence that they were involved in

little

is

Winthrops idea of religion was others.

one of Massachusetts's most

island first belonged to

the Massachusetts

as well, believing his

Bay Colony, Winthrop opposed

colony should be governed by a hand-

of pious leaders. Fleeing religious persecution apparently did not

mean

America's

would

Winthrop

that

first

hesitate

persecute

to

incidence of religious persecution,

others,

and

in

he banished Anne

Hutchinson from the colony. Such elitism pervaded the thinking of the rulers

up

Massachusetts

of

to

—and

—

even

after

American

the

Revolution.

The second family

to

own

the

would never enjoy the power of

island

was

the Winthrops

the

Bowditches. They

or the wealth of the

Forbeses, but the Bowditches were industrious seafarers and the family

was very well connected with Massachusetts blue bloods.

William

when

the fam-

Bowditch ily

sailed to

began making

who began

son,

its

living

in the seventeenth century,

from the

sea.

Habakkuk Bowditch,

a career at sea in the mid-eighteenth century, lost

and two sons fourth

America

to the sea

Nathaniel,

skill

would revive

two ships

and had taken up the cooper trade when

achieved long-lasting fame.

Born

in

Salem, Nathaniel enjoyed mathematics more than anything this

a son

the

family's

status.

Even while

in

1773 else,

his

his in

and

teens,

Nathaniel was renowned for his knowledge of mathematics and languages, to the point that others brought

him books

to further his


From

256

the Sacred to the Profane

education.

He spoke

French,

and German

Spanish,

and

understood

and he even studied two dozen other languages. Remarkably, he

Latin,

found an error

in

Newton's Principia.

During the Revolution a privateer from Beverly captured a ship

A

carrying the library of a noted Irish scholar.

group of merchants

bought the books and housed them in the Philosophical Library, where Nathaniel

Bowditch could continue

Despite his widespread reputation, he fortune.

Bowditch worked

huge fortune, while

his

mostly self-taught education.

still

had

He combined the

ability

his

into

Legendary

Salem Harbor during

book knowledge and

of American

merchants

book, The

New

American

for navigating treacherous

over the responsibility

Since 1802

Bowditch,

it

years later.

at several universities,

Virginia, and

West

island,

13

their

and then

came when

own

later

12

enhance country.

produced

which served

until the

his

as a tool

government took

Bowditch's premier work

sailors;

married his cousin

matics chairs

At

status

to nav-

is

remains a classic in the

it

has been reprinted in seventy editions.

who

the Essex Fire and

navigate

Pilot

American waters

fifty

his

a blinding snowstorm.

Practical Navigator,

simply referred to as "Bowditch" by field.

make

practical experience to

to

Bowditch rewrote the American Coastal

own

to sea to

same time making lunar calculations

igate without the use of a chronometer.

Bowditch navigated

go

and made five voyages and a

as a supercargo

at the

to

Mary

Ingersoll, refused mathe-

including Harvard, the University of

Point, instead preferring his position as president of

Marine Insurance Company.

14

the entrance to Buzzards Bay, Naushon, the Bowditches' private

was more of an island kingdom than

Kidd rushed around planting

his

and Gardiner's Island were his

treasure,

last

stops.

a

summer home. When

Naushon's Tarpaulin Cove In the years preceding the

Revolution, the cove served as a hiding place where smugglers could wait to unload their merchandise.

A War it

lighthouse was built on

Naushon

just before the Revolutionary

to protect the ships navigating the shoals.

During the Revolution

served as a meeting place for privateers. James Bowditch, Nathaniel's

brother, fought the government's efforts to

improve the lighthouse,

as


The Opium Brotherhood

When James

guests were unwanted.

house was erected. At

Naushon

this

more than

for

257

died in 1817, an improved light-

point the Bowditch family, which had

owned

a century, sold the island to the Forbeses. Since

then the "kingdom" has been in the hands of various Forbes family

members and

trusts.

THE FORBES FAMILY AND NAUSHON ISLAND family of

New

England

when he wed Sarah Hathaway of New Bedford. Their

five

children

John Murray Forbes married into another

included William Hathaway Forbes,

first

who married

Edith Emerson (a rel-

Ralph Waldo Emerson's) and became president of the newly

ative of

formed Bell Telephone, John Malcolm Forbes, and Mary Hathaway Forbes,

who married

a Russell.

The Hathaway, Forbes, and Perkins with Russell and

Company even

united in marriage.

Money from

families were united in a merger

before John and Sarah Forbes were

opium

the

trade and later investments

ensured the prominence of the family for generations

grandson

John

of

Murray

Forbes,

William

to

Cameron

come. The

Forbes,

was

appointed by Teddy Roosevelt as governor general of the Philippines,

and was

appointed to a post in Asia by President Harding.

later

John

Forties's brother

was known

was Robert Bennet Forbes (1804-1889), who

"Black Ben" Forbes. His historical biography notes his

as

exploits as a sea captain in the in the to

opium

business.

China, and

companies

to

at

At age

China trade but ignores

his

involvement

thirteen Robert Forbes sailed for his uncles

age twenty-four,

when Perkins and

Russell merged their

form the most powerful American house

in China,

young

Robert secured the lucrative post of running the Lintin operation. Forbes

left

China

in

1834

to

marry Rose Green Smith, and he

almost lost his fortune in the Panic of 1837. Seeking to rebuild his wealth, Forbes went back to China and played a prominent role in the

outbreak of the pered. Forbes

Green.

Opium War,

during which Russell and

Company

pros-

was made the head of the company, replacing John C.

By 1850

Forbes owned interests in more than sixty ships and


258

From

the Sacred to the Profane

was

the

American vice-consul

to

China and France. In

Forbes was noted for his contribution to the U.S.

War, and he became the

Navy

his later life

during the Civil

commodore of the Boston Yacht

first

Club.

THE SYNDICATE The

early shipping business

ship

was a

was

to "syndicate"

disaster to

was unusually risky and

some companies. Often

the

way

to spread the risk

one

the business so that merchants took shares in

and Russell syndicates,

another's companies. In addition to the Perkins a third syndicate

the loss of a single

drew

in

some important personages.

Augustine Heard was an Ipswich merchant whose father pated in the often illegal molasses and sugar trade.

He

partici-

too relished the

thought of getting revenge on the harsh and restrictive trade laws that favored the a privateer.

became

home country Heard

started

a supercargo. In

The Heard Company

expense of the colonies, so he became

at the

career in the

his

1807 he sailed

started

by

to

countinghouse and then

Smyrna aboard

selling ginseng

and

the Betsy.

otter skins but

15

soon

joined the opium trade. Heard's partners included John Forbes, John

Green, and Joseph Coolidge.

The American base of

New

England

to

the

New

moved

opium

trade

York.

Families

Connecticut became equally important in

drug-smuggling families would

attain the

south from the ports of

who

New

were

prominent

in

York. Ultimately, the

White House.


Chapter 15

OPIUM:

During

FROM THE LODGE TO THE DEN

the glory years of the

Boston

houses lined South

New York

trade,

of American

center

the

as

China

Ships

shipping.

Street's three-mile-long stretch

succeeded

and ware-

of piers a few short

blocks from Wall Street's Tontine Coffee House, which served as the center of the growing financial industry. that

spectators

came

to

The waterfront was so busy

watch the hustle of dockworkers, shipbuilders,

and auctioneers. Hammers clanged, barrels

rolled,

and thousands worked hard building and loading

was so

in

demand

that a sail

auctioneers shouted, Skilled labor

ships.

maker was paid a previously unheard of

four dollars a day.

Ships sailed from

Brahmin

families,

New York

to all ports. Similar to

many New York

trade

as

Americans had

their

It

States.

for British wares.

furs,

and opium,

their

And

for involvement in

like

the

British,

the

and the new country became the

The American

families brought to

only valued goods.

should be noted that the trade was not illegal in the United

What has become

and opium,

furs,

labeled the "China trade," which included tea

and furniture, reduces the stigma that might be per-

ceived in modern times. Not

and

many excuses

counterparts.

less to offer as exports,

dumping ground China ginseng,

British

England's

families achieved great wealth in the

drug trade. American shippers had as the

New

their activity

of the China traders carried opium,

all

was not considered

criminal.

259

The laws

that

were


From

260

the Sacred to the Profane

broken were only those of another colonial

in

expansionist

was questioned by

trade

nation's, a

common enough

attitude

Although the morality of the opium

times.

American gov-

a handful, both the British and

ernments had no quarrel with any aspects of the China trade.

NEW YORK'S WEALTHIEST CITIZEN America's richest opium smuggler was possibly John Jacob Astor. In

1800 Astor was worth $250,000 when the average American family had

When

an income of $750. almost

1

percent of the entire country's gross national product.

Astor's wealth

was a

he died in 1848 his wealth was equal to

was made

numerous ways, but

in

direct result of the British East India

China and

license to sell furs to

business was soon abandoned in

Fur

Company

actually

sailed

opium, which was then sold

German

butcher, Astor

reportedly spoke very

time in London. is

He

came

is

to

fortune

trade.

The

directly

is

Turkey

to

buy ten tons of

to

Canton.

an unlikely story. The son of a

America

in

1784

at

age twenty-one.

described as having no grace, charm, or wit; he

hands on the table linens

his

at a din-

ner party. Yet Astor's gruff manners and poor English did not stop

from rapidly entering

society.

He

married

quickly

breeding in the form of Sarah Todd of

New

into

most prestigious Masonic lodge, the Holland No. with Archibald Russell, the Livingstons,

members of New York's 8

other

De first

Lodge was founded

8.

first

the

new

and

New

2

York's

Here he mingled

Witt Clinton and George families. in

1787

with the Masons to be allowed to hold meetings in the guage. At

wealth

him

York's Breevort family.

This connection most likely prompted his invitation to join

The Holland No.

He

English, although he had lived for a short

even said to have once wiped

Clinton, and

fur

but name. In 1816 Astor's American

all

illegally in

little

opium

Company's granting him a

engage in the opium

to

Astor's rapid rise to great wealth

his

1

after negotiating

Low Dutch

lodge admitted only eight members. The num-

lan-


Opium: From the Lodge

ber 8

on the Masonic

there are eight points

knights,

New

eight prominent and wealthy

From

new

his

Yorkers in the

He

getting

cheated his

own

records

Cass.

and there were

lodge.

3

New York

from a

own workers

Indian

Astor typically cheated the

them drunk and then overcharging

for the liquor.

4

with low-paying contracts, although his

show he was more generous payment

thirty-five-thousand-dollar 5

261

connections Astor discovered the lucrative fur pelt

could fetch six times the price in London.

by

cross,

new

business. Pelts that could be bought for a dollar

Indians

Den

Masonry: There were eight original Templar

significant to elite

is

to the

to

He once made

in bribes:

Governor

Michigan

a

Lewis

In short, Astor prospered in the fur business.

Astor's proceeds

from the fur trade were invested

into

New York

City real estate during the year Washington was elected president and

New York

was

in recession.

And

Astor instinctively

knew how

to take

advantage of people. For example, when Aaron Burr shot Alexander

Hamilton

in a duel,

Burr had to

Greenwich Village home

Burr's

from the U.S.

government

flee the

for cash.

and

country and so Astor bought In

immediately

1825 Astor bought land evicted

hundred

seven

farmers. Astor's

China connections were made through

the Chinese

from

bought beaver

New York

merchant

pelts that Astor's trappers

and the Oregon

to join the

his fur business,

China

territory.

trade,

He was

as

and traders took

the first

New York

and soon he replaced the furs with

opium. In 1807

New York

Act stopped shipping.

City entered another recession as the

A

letter

Embargo

from Punqua Wingchong, a

Chinese merchant and a mandarin connected China, claimed the embargo had stranded

him

to

in

the

ruling family in

New York

requested permission from President Jefferson to be

visiting

City and

allowed

to

sail

home. Jefferson made an exception and asked on what ship he intended to sail. left

Punqua Wingchong requested

New York

the Beaver, an Astor ship.

with Punqua Wingchong and a hull

returned Jefferson discovered that Punqua

full

of

The

furs.

Wingchong was not

ship

When

it

a mer-

chant but a dockhand, and the voyage was a ruse created by Astor. The


From

262

the Sacred to the Profane

Beaver made a two-hundred-thousand-dollar

The

was put

profit

Broadway

to the

into

Hudson

in

government got even when fur capital in Astoria,

still

from the

trip.

another farm, which extended from

New

midtown went

it

profit

York.

war with

to

6

But the American Astor

Britain.

lost his

Oregon, which was worth eight hundred thou-

sand dollars. Nevetheless, Astor's drug business grew unhindered. In writing he

requested

merchant

Constantinople

a

that

"please 7

opium" for a consignment of 1,500 red fox fleets sailing the world,

into an

With

furs.

his fortune in

real estate.

By 1826

America was buying

the

returns

in

three separate

Astor made enough drug and pelt

immense amount of

who made

send

money

to dip

German immigrant

the mortgages of Irish

immigrants and foreclosing on them to add to his holdings

lower

at

8

prices.

In 1847

Yorkers.

stopped

Moses Yale Beach compiled

Some had at

a

list

of the wealthiest

a million or two; Astor towered

above them.

9

New Astor

nothing to increase his fortune. In 1848 he was eighty-four

years old and extremely wealthy, yet he

widows. He died in March of

still

that year,

Backhouse Astor, inherited most of

his

demanded

rent even

from

his

second son, William

father's

twenty-million-dollar

and

fortune.

John Jacob Astor's son learned class

New

well. In the

1860s,

when working-

Yorkers were going through a severe economic depression,

officers of a Russian fleet

for the poor.

in

New York

raised $4,760 to

William Astor, however, raised rents 30 percent.

died in 1875, he

owned seven hundred

them crammed with poor where the poor

from Queens

docked

in

starved.

buildings and houses

tenants. His legacy

Yet the Astor name

New York to

10

is

buy

fuel

When

he

—most

of

the multitude of slums

still

graces communities

Oregon.

NEW YORK'S OTHER CHINA TRADERS Astor receives the credit for launching trade, but others

soon followed.

New York

City into the

Many were New Englanders who

opium


Opium: From

moved

operations

New

to

Prominent

York.

New Bedford.

Den

to the

263

included

families

the

Lows from Salem; and

Griswolds from Old Lyme, Connecticut; the Grinnells from

Lodge

the

the

11

The Griswold Family Nathaniel Griswold and George Griswold

through their ownership of a large ports

the

III

built the

family fortune

of trading ships that called on

fleet

over the world. Originally based in East Lyme, a small port on

all

Long

Sound coast of Connecticut,

Island

the Griswold brothers ran

an empire. Their black-and-white-checkered flag was seen in China, the

West

Indies,

become

and South America. Although the Griswolds have not

a household

name

in subsequent centuries,

many

mem-

family

bers achieved prominence as a result of trading in the eighteenth century.

The Griswolds' agent

which a Griswold

relative

was

Canton was Russell and Company,

in

in

a partner.

Nathaniel Griswold was content to be a merchant, but his brother

George had greater ambitions. George was a director of Columbia Insurance,

was involved

in the

Bank of America, and dabbled

ventures including gold mining. Other family

merchant

For

connection.

married Peter Lorillard,

New York's

The Griswolds played Griswold

was

brought

House

of

Nathaniel's

first

to

the

Representatives

American

position

money.

of

Future

and

also

daughter

in other

made

the

Catherine

tobacco merchant.

a role in early

Connecticut through family U.S.

example,

members

the

politics, as

Federalist

Griswolds Senate

as

Matthew

governor served

of

in

the

politicians

for

Connecticut and Pennsylvania. John D. Lodge, the great-great-grandson of sea trader George Griswold

1951 to 1955.

Still

III,

other Griswolds

was Connecticut's governor from

became

captains of industry, bish-

ops, and college professors.

John Cleve Green

One Griswold employee who

later

was John Cleve Green, who

usually

is

achieved prominence on his

remembered

as

own

one of the major

benefactors of Princeton University. Born in Lawrenceville,

New Jersey,


From

264

in

1800

the Sacred to the Profane

an elder of the Presbyterian Church, Green began

to

room of N.

in the counting

soon promoted and

Griswold of

New York

City.

height of the

at the

opium

trade.

Green married

the

knack

for

boss's daughter, Sarah Griswold. Green's connections and his

being in the right place Russell and

the right time landed

at

Company. After

six years in

eminent opium house, Green returned to

China trade and also advanced

the

Commerce and

him

a position with

Canton working for the pre-

New

York.

He

continued in

his career as director of the

other banks, railroads, and

Bank of

New York Hospital.

Low Family

The

The Low family was

New

a group of Massachusetts merchants that

Low was

York. Seth

Mary

Porter,

moved

He moved

in 1782.

at

to

an

and a mer-

his living as a trader

children, and as the

his family to

Henry Low,

brother William

moved

Seth

that

Low

which connected the Lows with the prominent

Lord family. Seth had twelve importance, he

Ann

Cathay Helen Augur mentions

chant. In Tall Ships to

married

born on Cape

where he earned

early age to Salem,

its

He was

a supercargo and traveled to South America, Spain,

to

China

finally

L.

his career

New

Salem area was losing

York. There Seth and his

a senior partner in Russell and

Company,

helped expand the American role in the trade that Russell inherited

from the Perkins syndicate. Several of Seth Low's children were involved in the China trade, but his son Abiel

Russell and

Wars

started.

Abbot

Low

Company

He

as

achieved the greatest fame. Abiel

Low

a clerk just a short time before the

to

expand

his

wealth and power.

After acquiring

work experience and connections, Abiel decided

out on his own.

He

with

his.

returned to

money could

His A. A.

Low

New York

and commissioned the

to

fastest

and Brothers remained in the forefront and con-

when most

other companies

left the trade.

Profits

from

go

buy; only the Forbes ships could compete

tinued trading with China and Japan even

had

Opium

took over the Fortieses' position of personal secretary

and agent for Houqua, which helped

clipper ships

joined

his Abiel

Low's Asia business were invested

in the first


Opium: From

the

Lodge

to the

Den

265

Ohio Railroad.

Atlantic cable and the building of the Chesapeake and

His son Seth graduated from Columbia University in 1870 and went

on

become mayor of Brooklyn and then

to

City after

consolidated in 1898. Seth

it

the first

Low

the

mayor of

younger

is

New York famous for

donating a million dollars, supposedly one third of his fortune, to build the

Low Library Abiel Low,

named would

Columbia.

who married

who

Ellen, later

at

Ellen Almira

Dow, had

a daughter also

1869 married into the Pierrepont family

in

—which

be known as the Pierpont family. The Pierpont and Morgan

were eventually united and played a significant role

families

in

the

development of American finance.

The House of Morgan was

actually started

by China

trader

George

Peabody. Described as a solitary miser, Peabody nevertheless joined forces

Bank

with Barings

much

to get

American

pay on

their

bond

debts,

of which was in British hands. Barings went as far as to bribe famed

statesman Daniel Webster to the

states to

make speeches on

the issue.

Peabody bought

bonds for pennies on the dollar and reaped a fortune when they were

finally repaid. Like other

China trade and invested

Salem merchants, he amassed great wealth in railroads.

Because he was

heirless,

in the

Peabody

gave his money to philanthropic causes, including a library in Salem, and he turned over his company Morgan's heir was son

would

last for

J.

more than

young Junius Spencer Morgan. Junius

to

Bank

Pierpont Morgan, whose stamp on Barings a century.

12

The Grinnell Family

The

Grinnells

are

another

China-trading

whose

was an American sea captain who became

Grinnell

origins

are

Huguenot background. Cornelius

sketchy, but they most likely possess a

the

family

a privateer during

American Revolution. He married Sylvia Howland, which

estab-

New

Other

lished

the

Grinnells

Grinnells

married

into

among Rhode

England's

Island's

first

families.

Brown dynasty and

into

the

Russell family.

Joseph Grinnell, son of Cornelius, cultivated the family wealth in the shipping and whaling businesses. Grinnell collaborated with a

man


— 266

Front the Sacred to the Profane

by the name of Preserved Fish and Joseph's brother Henry

and Company. Over time Fish was dropped

the firm of Fish, Grinnell,

from the

name and

to establish

became

business

the

Minturn,

Grinnell,

Company. The company would become one of

New York

and

City's largest

shipping firms.

The Grinnell family

were

roots

the

Greek Revival mansions was

of

many

other

founded the

merchants,

in

New

first

of

built for Joseph. His profits, like those

were put

into

Wamsutta

still-in-operation

Bedford, where the

the

Mills.

textile

and he

trade,

Various Grinnells

later

financed polar explorations and rescue missions, pioneered real-estate

development and

its

in

Key West, and even found

a

—

town

Grinnell,

Iowa

local college (Grinnell College).

Howland and Aspinwall Another company

that

moved from New England

the golden years of the

opium

trade

to

New York

during

was Howland and Aspinwall. This

merger of two founding families spawned great wealth for generations to

come.

John Howland was the

first

of the clan to travel to America, where

he married a fellow Mayflower passenger. John's son, Joseph Howland, started in the

whaling business in Connecticut. Joseph's sons also con-

sidered the sea to be a road to wealth and went into shipping.

Howland

shipping would take part in the sugar and slave trade in the Caribbean

and in ventures in Cuba, Mexico, and the Mediterranean before covering the China trade. The

Howland

children

dis-

made good matches,

one daughter marrying James Roosevelt and another marrying

with

James Brown of Brown Brothers Harriman.

The most

significant

Howland marriage was

a business

merger with

the Aspinwall family. Like the Howlands, the Aspinwalls were in the

shipping business prior to the American Revolution. Around the turn

of the nineteenth century, John Aspinwall married Susan Howland. The

new Howland and Aspinwall trade,

be

and

in

firm generated great profits in the China

1837 William Henry Aspinwalls fortune was estimated

greater than

Cornelius Vanderbilt's. Post-China

trade

ventures

to


Opium: From the Lodge

to the

Den

267

included building America's oldest steamship line and several railroads, and, like most other China traders, participating in philanthropy.

Aspinwall was considered both an honest and a pious man, and has

been referred

Museum

He was

to as a visionary.

New York

of Art in

a cofounder of the Metropolitan

and led America in new adventures

around the world while he lived quietly in

New

York.

Aspinwall claimed that his Panama Railroad, which was erected before the famous canal, could be built in six months. Not having traveled there himself, he didn't realize that the

through dense jungles and impenetrable swamps

and snakes. From mosquitoes and sand

insects

other hazards, the area

was know

exploration. General Grant,

who

as a pesthole

mud up

pox, and dysentery to

—claimed

what was enacted on

was a dead Irishman declared the death six thousand.

A

lives,

from sunrise

as did harsh treatment similar

told story holds that there

tie.

Howland and Aspinwall

one thousand, but estimates actually run up to

Chinese workers, called coolies,

Many committed

insects

toiled in

cholera, yellow fever, small-

low wages, were imported. Eight hundred vived.

and

from the days of Spanish

swarming

commonly

for every railroad

toll at

alligators

belief."

—including

many

slaves.

to

flies

on the workers, who often

their toll

and disease

with poisonous

13

"beyond

to their necks, fighting off the

to sunset. Sickness

filled

visited the construction site, described

the conditions of the rainy season as

The conditions took

went

thirteen miles

first

suicide

who

did hard labor for

arrived;

two hundred

sur-

by hanging themselves, paying com-

panions to stab or shoot them, or simply drowning themselves in the ocean.

modern

Aspinwall was in

New York

at

the time,

where, ironically to

he helped created the Society for the Prevention

sensibilities,

of Cruelty to Animals.

Like their Boston counterparts,

New

York's

first

riage to ensure that their wealth and prominence

Harriet

Howland

Roosevelt's

married

great-grandfather,

James and

Roosevelt,

Mary

families used mar-

would remain President

Aspinwall

Roosevelt, the same president's grandfather. The son of

intact.

Franklin

married

Isaac

Mary Aspinwall

and Isaac Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, married Rebecca Howland.


From

268

the Sacred to the Profane

THE ROOSEVELTS AND THE DELANOS The Roosevelts and

Delanos were among America's

the

Dutch

first

Claes Martenszen van Roosevelt arrived in America before

families.

1649 and died

1660. Like John Jacob Astor, Roosevelt's only son,

in

He

Nicholas, got his start in the fur business.

New York

line,

from

which President Teddy Roosevelt was born, and the Hyde Park

New

split the

York

family into two lines: the Oyster Bay,

who

had two sons

in turn

most of

Bay branch

of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Oyster

line its

got

Hyde Park branch

wealth from the merchant business; the

invested primarily in real estate.

Membership and

Masonry,

in the elite societies of their day, including

intermarriage

increased

the

Roosevelt

family

Isaac

fortune.

Roosevelt married into a sugar-trading family, which often implied the triangular trade of sugar, molasses, and slaves. After the Molasses

Act of

1733, anyone who wouldn't smuggle couldn't survive. The Roosevelts

survived and prospered, Isaac

and Isaac's brother James joined the business.

became close with William Walton, and both were involved

New

founding the Bank of to the

14

in

York. James would also make a connection

Waltons when he married Maria Walton.

Other Roosevelts married Howlands and Aspinwalls, which they were introduced to the China trade. The families

were also active

in

building

is

how

Howland and Aspinwall

clipper

ships

and

later

in

the

steamship and railroad businesses.

By were

the 1820s the Roosevelt clan were

very

also

well

Aspinwall Roosevelt,

Morgan. engaged

James to

connected.

sat

James

more than Roosevelt,

just wealthy; they

son

of Rebecca

on boards with the Vanderbilts and

Roosevelt's

son

James

Helen Schermerhorn Astor. At

"Rosy" their

J.

Pierpont

Roosevelt

became

engagement

party,

one

of the guests in attendance was Sara Delano.

The Delanos were another of America's of a Huguenot family by the

name of de

la

first

families.

Noye, who fled Holland for

America, they arrived on the Fortune in 1621. Philip de to

America

at

Descendants

la

Noye came

age nineteen and became a Massachusetts landowner.

He


Opium: From

the

Lodge

to the

Den

269

modified the spelling of his surname to Delano and married into the

Thomas Delano, mar-

family of John and Priscilla Alden. Philip's son, ried the Alden's daughter, also

named

although the couple was

Priscilla,

fined ten pounds for engaging in intercourse before the wedding.

down

Farther

made

ther,

Delano

Franklin

President

and

Company

opium

the

in

business,

their

Roosevelt.

Annie

sister

through the

starting

Sara's

Fred

married

Dora married

sister

Hitch,

and

Russell

a

a

associate in Shanghai.

The Delano family seemed

to gravitate

Warren Delano was an

ing business.

toward the sea and the

associate of

and was a partner in Russell, Sturgis, and

Company

Russell and

sentative and

opium

grandfa-

Franklin's

Warren's daughter Sara Delano became the mother of

Grinnell firm.

Forbes,

fortune

his

Warren Delano,

the family tree,

owned

a

at

various stages).

mansion

in

James Roosevelt's father

Company

Warren was

(also

New York

known

as

China repre-

the

Macao. For a while he

trading and sank his fortune into

trad-

retired

real estate

from

and coal

and copper mines in Pennsylvania and Tennessee. In August started a

1857 the

domino

New York

failed, tens

ture,

estate,

By

the

in

end of the year, five thou-

of thousands of workers had lost their

jobs, and people starved and froze to death both in the cities

and in the coal towns. While his

Ohio Life Insurance and Trust

wiped out many banks. All but one bank

suspended specie payment.

sand businesses had

homes and

failure of the

effect that

his

workers died, Warren lived in Algonac,

complete with high-ceilinged rooms with rosewood furni-

teakwood screens, potted

plants,

and Buddhist

bells.

Although Warren Delano suffered no loss of creature comforts, his net worth

suffered dearly.

He was

desperate to keep his

status

decided to go back to China and the drug-smuggling business; the simplest

way

to rebuild his fortune.

later years that the

"It

would be denied

it

and

was

in these

opium he bought and shipped was intended

for the

tremendously profitable market provided by addicts," writes Kenneth Davis,

who mentions

specifically that

it

was opium, and not

brought wealth along with a touch of notoriety.

England drug smugglers were bringing the drug

to

15

By

this

American

tea,

time the addicts.

that

New


From

270

the Sacred to the Profane

The family was

claimed that the opium Warren brought

later

War wounded,

for the relief of the Civil

which predated the Civil War by two

in 1859,

The ment

years.

engage-

Eleanor in grandfather Warren's room, surrounded by China-

to

trade regalia. his role in

Lodge

but he returned to China

Roosevelt announced his

Franklin

President

future

America

to

in

More prominent

Masonry

than his cousin Teddy was, Franklin took

seriously,

New York City and

Theodore Roosevelt

is

becoming

No. 8

active in the Holland

Temple

a Scottish Rite

Albany.

in

famous, of course, as a U.S. president and for

leading the charge on San Juan Hill. Roosevelt's public persona depicts

him

as

mining

from

a

and mediating

fighting the giant Standard Oil

"trustbuster,"

Despite his Masonic membership, however, he was far

strikes.

egalitarian.

He was

also closely tied to big business, and

was able

to raise the necessary corporate donations for his candidacy; his trust-

busting activities, though, would leave

and Carnegie

being a racial

He

at

elitist

the

United States

is

"Some day we

has been quoted as saying,

to leave his or her

have no business type."

He

is

on record as

with an attitude that bordered on favoring ethnic

the prime duty, the inescapable duty of the

type

odds with the Rockefeller

interests.

The twenty-sixth president of

cleansing.

him

good

will realize that

citizen of the right

blood behind him in the world; and

to permit the perpetuation

also said, "I wish very

much

that the

that

we

of citizens of the wrong

wrong people could be

prevented entirely from breeding... Criminals should be sterilized and

feebleminded persons forbidden to leave offspring."

16

While Teddy was crying out against the unwashed masses, the country was gripped by a fear of anyone African,

Italian,

(ERO) was

or

created and funded

by

widow of

E. H. Harriman,

—Chinese,

who

exhibited such

Institution,

George Eastman, and the

singled out specific undesirable

traits.

to

ERO, which was funded by

traits,

alcoholism to an inordinate love of the sea, and then sought to those

day

the wealthiest people of the

reduce the population of the poor. The

John D. Rockefeller, the Carnegie

foreign

The Eugenics Records Office

European.

Eastern

who was

The movement grew

in

from

sterilize

America and


Opium: From

the

Lodge

was adopted by Nazi Germany, which then showed mate expression of these

to the

Den

271

the world the ulti-

beliefs.

President Grant and Julia Dent

The Delano Captain

Noah Grant

who

tain,

family's influence continued, in

as

Susannah Delano married

June 1746. They had a son Noah, also a sea cap-

who married

married Rachel Kelly. They also had a son Jesse,

Hannah Simpson.

Hannah

Jesse and

Grant, the renowned Civil

War

was Ulysses Simpson

Grant's son

general and U.S. president,

who

married

Julia Dent.

The Dent family of England ranked alongside Mathesons

in the

opium

17

trade,

the

and

Jardines

but the prosperity of the trade

may

not

have extended to the American Dents. The Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant mentions

her

father

as

prosperous

a

landowner descended

Maryland plantation owner and her mother's of

firm

the

Dents were a

New

came

to

the

and

Midwest

China trader

The

Pillon.

England family who took part

by exporting ginseng

trade first father

Peacock,

Wrenshall,

father as a

from a

American

in the early

to that country. Julia Dent's

in

China

mother and

to trade along the Mississippi River with

Edward Tracy. Ulysses Grant was a

and disgrace during

late

his early

bloomer who had

army

career.

to the point that

He

failed at farming,

and made only a modest income as a clerk

someone convinced him

until

saved

reputation

his

to failure

He drank

he was broke and finally resigned from the army. failed at selling real estate,

down

drifted

to return to the military.

The

Civil

War

and gained him the presidency of the United

States.

AMERICA'S MERCHANT FAMILIES The the

elite

merchant families of Boston and

opium

trade,

GO TO WAR

New York

grew wealthy

in

which was inherited from England; China, however,

suffered.

The Chinese rapidly became addicted

in increasing

numbers. The


From

272

the Sacred to the Profane

importation of to

opium

thousand

thirty-nine

numbered

chests

by

This

1837.

thousand in 1821 and grew

five

represents

figure

6,630,000

pounds of opium. Soon the addiction reached the royal palace. Emperor

Tao Kwong

China had four

twelve million addicts.

to

study of the effects of first

drug addiction, and

lost three sons to

opium on

18

was estimated

it

that

The emperor conducted

his country.

He was

a

told that for the

time his treasury was being drained of silver rather than being

resupplied by the tea trade. Brigandage plagued the highways. Soldiers

refused to fight, and soldiers

the

when coerced

were defeated.

army and

It

to fight against other warlords the

was obvious

that corruption

was spreading

Mandarins were regularly bribed

the civil service.

And

the importation of illegal products.

in

to allow

Canton the marketplace was

at

stocked with the apparatus of the opium trade.

The emperor ordered arrested.

To

home

drive

publicly crucified

opium believed

in

crackdown and numerous drug users were

a

the emperor's point, an

A

Canton.

opium merchant was

Chinese boat was caught unloading

have been bought from Thomas Perkins. At

to

nothing was done, but then

Forbes became a partner

trade

all

at

came

an announcement that

it

On

the

day Bennett

Company, he complained

Russell and

they could not unload a chest of opium.

to a halt.

19

Russell and

all

opium

that

Company made

would cease trading opium.

Green, sent instructions to India to stop

first

Its

agent,

John

But

was

trading.

it

too late for them and for others. The agent of the emperor, Lin Tse-hsu,

surrounded

house

all

arrest.

the British and

He

American

ships and subjected

them

to

then confiscated twenty thousand chests of opium and

staged the Chinese version of the Boston Tea Party, mixing the

with lime and throwing

it

into

the

water.

opium

Company

Russell and

lost

1,400 chests, Jardine and Matheson lost 7,000 chests, and the British

Dent and Company

Even the

house

lost 1,700 chests.

after the arrest

destruction of millions of dollars' worth of drugs,

continued.

Wealthy Americans

in

China,

Warren Delano, A. A. Low, and John Green, were forced servants and had to

cook

ment was considerably

to

for themselves for the first time.

less harsh than that inflicted

on

their

including

do without

The punish-

Chinese


Opium: From

partners in the trade,

Finally

who were jailed and

opium debate

the

the

273

Statesmen

like

to the

quickly executed.

reached

Parliament.

William Gladstone decried the trade in opium and

money was

Chinese, but in the end the

Den

Lodge

the key.

effect

its

The only way

on the

com-

to

pensate the British businessmen for their loss was to declare war on

China. British

The

brief

war compelled China

Hong Kong and

access to

sign

to

a

giving the

treaty

markets.

its

THE LEGACY OF THE CHINA TRADE The

area that

would become Hong Kong replaced

From

floating warehouses that served as the storage facilities for opium.

Hong Kong,

ships could sail

up along the coast and spread opium

even greater numbers of the Chinese population. But along with ity

came

opium

The shipping firm

a decrease in profits.

and Oriental Steamship

line

But some companies thrived

Made famous by

Opium War

built,

to place orders for

middleman.

situation.

For the firm of

represented a

new

grew and prospered

power of England behind

the

new

legal-

beginning.

James Clavell novel Noble House, Jardine and

the

Matheson, the house that opium having

in the

to

called the Peninsula

allowed Chinese buyers

directly with India, eliminating the British

Jardine and Matheson, the

and

the tiny islands

it.

as a result of

Today Simon and Henry

Keswick, direct descendants of William Jardine, run the company, which is

known

not

War

days.

to

have broken English or Chinese rules since the Opium

has

It

its

many

Cunard Line,

tentacles in shipping, the

ing, auto sales, brokerage, engineering, restaurants

and

trad-

hotels, property

investment and management, insurance, and banking.

The power Jardine and Matheson once wielded longer as

Thatcher years

strong, to

hang on

away from

moved

its

as

the to

company was unable

Hong Kong.

reverting

exchange

listing

hard feelings between the Jardine and Matheson

is

back to

to

In 1984

Chinese

to

in

London

is

no

persuade Margaret

Hong Kong was

rule. Jardine

thirteen

and Matheson

Singapore, which infuriated China. The

company and modern China

still

thought by many, including China, to have

persist.


From

274

the Sacred to the Profane

played a role in getting Chris Patten appointed

under

ernor

British

democratic

Patten's

rule.

Hong Kong's

Henry

and

reforms,

gov-

last

Keswick's criticism of China after Tiananmen Square in 1989, have kept the relationship tenuous.

were

still

A also

20

more than half of

In 1995

Jardine's profits

Hong Kong.

earned in China and

competing company from the Persian-English family of Sassoon

had a major part

in the

parts the Sassoons brought

China

opium

trade.

to China, but theirs

Saleh Sassoon was the treasurer to the

When

Baghdad.

the

pasha

was

brief setback,

but

opium and

David's

Ahmet

overthrown,

Bombay. Sassoon's son David became license to trade in Indian

Like their Scottish counter-

was homegrown.

Pasha, or governor of the

to

was granted

a

The Opium Wars were

a

a merchant and

cotton.

moved

family

son Edward Albert brought opium profits

home

to

trade.

Being knighted by the queen was Edward's reward for

England, where he increased the family fortune in the

textile

his con-

economy. And marrying a Rothschild was a means of

tribution to the

ensuring his power.

THE OPIUM LEGACY For

their part in the

money.

1844

In

IN

AMERICA

drug business the Americans took

Caleb

Cushing

created

the

home

American

a lot of

with

treaty

China, which officially allowed American ships in the China trade. After the wars in China the drug-smuggling business

became more

dangerous, as there was Asian competition and there were

much

faster

steamships. British and American firms started bringing drugs to safer shores

—

their

own. In

Britain,

the cities of Liverpool, Dover, Bristol,

and even London were the import drug centers. This was around the time that the attempts to regulate opium use became serious. pre-

and post-Opium Wars the opium imports

280,000 pounds.

22

in

The drug was even prescribed

concoctions as Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup, and

covered

it

was an easy way

Opium would be

to

terminate

England

21

Between tripled

to children in

unwed mothers

to

such dis-

an unwanted pregnancy.

regulated as a poison in 1868, but without substantial


Opium: From

penalty.

Lodge

the

to the

Den

275

Opium's derivative morphine was soon the cause of massive

War

addiction of returning Crimean

who

veterans,

learned to inject the

drug.

The drug

Europe became widespread, and

trade in

uct of an alliance

A

firms were happy to deal with the smugglers, deliberately

shipped heroin, the

one nation profited

when

it

from

its

own

For

these

simply shipping drugs

German

firms

of opium, as aspirin. Turkey was the

demands of

the

number of

large

instance,

League of Nations and

the

its

factories. Bulgaria

took up the slack.

More and more customers

trade, of course, never stopped.

The only

the prod-

production of opium. Turkey held out until 1931,

bought the products, and trade.

labels.

latest derivative

officially closed

The drug

23

misleading

resisted

that

was

between criminal families from various nations and

Swiss and German pharmaceutical companies.

under

it

as regulation grew, so did the profits

part that has

changed

is

the level of violence.

from the

When

cor-

porations controlled the industry, they had no need to compete differ-

from

ently

how

they

had

in

selling

other

who

corporations were replaced by criminals, those rid of the competition often killed

In

1840

New

products. felt the

When

the

need to get

it.

Englanders imported twenty-four thousand pounds

of opium into the United States. This garnered

much

attention, but the

U.S. reaction was to slap a duty on the product. Drug importers, once

dependent on a small group of addicts thousands as the Civil

opium

War

abuse. Horace

War saw an

in

their

homeland, soon had

increase in prescribed

Day wrote The Opium

for the massive spread of addiction.

opium and

Habit, blaming the Civil


Chapter 16

WEALTH: THE LEGACY OF THE OPIUM TRADE

New

England always had an

were wealthy or prominent in

at

their respective

was accorded by

status

traced.

least

There

were

in

titled

Some

of the early families

England, while others were

churches. For nearly four hundred years

how

just

two

elite class.

far

classes

back the family name could be

of

people

who

came

early

to

Massachusetts: the original blue bloods, the religious dissenters from the

East Anglia district north of London, and a more geographically varied

group of "others."

The blue bloods became Massachusetts's class.

They were

Puritans led

first

by John Winthrop of

and original upper

the East Anglia

of Groton. Winthrop was likened to the biblical Nehemiah,

who

town

led his

people out of Babylonian captivity. In England the Puritans might have

made up 20

percent of the population; in East Anglia

40

The map of

percent.

New

it

was closer

to

England provides the evidence of the

Puritan infiltration: Boston, Ipswich, Lynn, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex are

among

the

many town names brought

to seventeenth-century

England from the mother country. Puritans were and risked persecution or converted.

The

as the kings of

New

in

New

and out of favor

England came and went, married,

World, they hoped, would provide

relief

and the

Puritan version of religious freedom.

The second group was from a much wider geographic range. This included Huguenots

who

fled Catholic persecution in France

276

and were


Wealth: The Legacy of the

welcome

not always

in other countries.

gave them religious freedom, but

In

was

Opium Trade

277

1585 the Edict of Nantes rescinded.

Troops in

Catholic France supervised the reconversion. This prompted

many fam-

later

including the Faneuils, Bowdoins, Reveres, and Olivers, to relocate

ilies,

to

it

New

England.

It

New

brought the Jays and Bayards to

Huguenots were merchants

first,

York.

1

The

and because of the precarious nature

much

of their existence and survival in Europe, they were possibly a

more adaptable people. Prestige

was brought from Europe, achieved with

mulated in the

New

century

teenth

World, or acquired by marriage.

money

the

By

the late seven-

among European brands of

distinctions

accu-

Protestantism

were blurred and the struggles pitted the English Protestants against the and

Scottish

Catholics.

Irish

The English favored Parliamentary

rule

while the Catholic Irish and Scots often favored the king, especially it

was

Boston was a microcosm of class

system was built on

later

joined by those

Members of

this class

many ways:

in

this

endowment

and

if

a Stuart king.

status in

who made

Europe and their

in the

fortunes

in

tier

of a

church and was

the

New

World.

were bent on self-preservation and accomplished

intermarriage,

of

where the top

this old society,

public

dominance

institutions.

in business

Cabots

and

married

politics,

Lowells,

Roosevelts married Astors, and Paines married Whitneys. Such names

were

like tribal tattoos; they indicated royal lineage

Names

and thus prestige.

also served to exclude certain groups, and pressure

individual family

members

marry within

to

was put on

their station.

Fortunes amassed in real estate, privateering, merchanting, or smuggling were reinvested in railroads, textile mills, insurance companies, and

banks, allowing the elite class to control the economy. politicians

—

Money

and elected those

often from

opium

who chose

Money bought

to brave the political

trading, smuggling,

waters.

and slave trading

—was

used as an endowment to build educational institutions and buy professorial chairs that

enter the elite and

The

would then control

how

universities

history

just

who would be approved

would be viewed.

and museums determined

how

the history

books

to


278

From

the Sacred to the Profane

would be

They could

written.

ers. The

opium

became

the "sugar

clippers

color the past to suit themselves or oth-

were referred

and molasses

to as "tea clippers. "The slave trade

trade."

Wartime

profiteering and price

who were now bank

gouging were simply not discussed. Slave traders

were

presidents

And many

"prominent businessmen."

fortunes were built

whose

people

on opium and slave trading became those promi-

nent businessmen.

THE APPLETONS The Appletons' fortune began in the

New

World

by association with at the

accumulate almost upon their landing

to

in the seventeenth century, but

the

later

enhanced

China trade and with cronyism. The family lived

pinnacle of Boston society, which was referred to as the Boston

Associates,

2

a tight-knit group that included

Lowell, two Jacksons, and a handful of others dation of

New England

two Appletons, a Cabot-

who would

to

and was a member of the

He

also

Massachusetts.

of the earliest

owned

An

first

King

in

War

Philip's

provincial council and a Connecticut

a sawmill and invested in an early ironworks in

Appleton married a Perkins

settlers

century in

sixteenth

the

Samuel Appleton (1766-1853) fought

England.

lay the foun-

industry.

The Appleton family can be traced

judge.

was

it

include Jane

in 1701,

Means Appleton

and descendants

Pierce,

the first lady to the fourteenth president, Franklin Pierce;

who became and Calvin

Coolidge, the thirtieth president.

Samuel Appleton

started the family in the textile business

significant investments

and

in real estate

railroads.

He

and made

married

Mary

Gore. Appleton was actively involved in the Massachusetts Historical Society, to

was

a trustee of Massachusetts Hospital,

and was a contributor

Dartmouth, Harvard, and the Boston Female Asylum.

Nathan

Appleton

(1779-1861)

was

a

founder

of

the

Boston

Manufacturing Company, the Waltham Cotton Factory, the Hamilton

Company, and numerous other

mills.

The Appletons, along with

Lowells, Jacksons, and Thorndikes, brought to Massachusetts the

first

the


Opium Trade

Wealth: The Legacy of the

looms ble

that operated in the

Manchester,

New

United States. As a group they are responsi-

Waltham and

both

putting

for

Hampshire,

Lawrence,

on the map

Appleton was one of the founders of the

New

John Lowell, scion of another

after

279

as

Massachusetts, textile

Nathan

dubbed Lowell

city

textile

England

cities.

and

family. Appleton

first

served several terms in the Massachusetts state legislature and the U.S.

House of Representatives, and he

also

became an organizer of

the

Boston Athenaeum.

Nathan owned

ships,

founded banks and insurance companies, and

invested in railroads and in infrastructure projects. His brother William

became president of

the

Boston branch of the United States Bank.

Appletons, Jacksons, and Lowells controlled the board of the Suffolk

Bank, which acted as the central bank for

New England.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was lucky enough one of

New

Hampshire's

families, the

first

be born into

to

Wadsworths, which afforded

Europe and write poetry. He mar-

him

the ability to travel throughout

ried

Frances Appleton, the daughter of Nathan Appleton, which sub-

stantially

Longfellow's

increased

Cambridge was

a gift

in at least five textile

when

his friend

Lowell,

it is

from

wealth.

The Longfellow House

his father-in-law.

companies

in

Longfellow owned shares

that his father-in-law invested in,

and

and contemporary Charles Dickens visited the mills of

no small wonder he compared them favorably

Jesse Appleton

was

a

man

of principle.

He

to England's.

served as the president

of Bowdoin College, where Longfellow had been a student and a professor. Jesse's daughters benefited

from both

his station

and his lessons

and developed a knack for marrying well. Daughter Frances married a

Bowdoin

professor. Daughter

Mary married John Aiken,

a prominent

attorney and significant investor in the textile industry.

Despite the family's involvement in the China trade, Jane Appleton

had a sense of morality

met

Franklin

become an

Pierce,

attorney.

that

who

seems

at

attended

odds with her fortune.

Bowdoin,

he

was

The Appleton family discouraged

When

studying

the

she to

match, as

Pierce was not as prominent as the Appletons, despite the fact that his father

was

the governor of

New Hampshire.


From

280

the Sacred to the Profane

Pierce entered politics early, a career that went hand in hand with

being an attorney.

Whig

He was

a Jacksonian,

monied

class of Massachusetts^

pro-slavery. Pierce soon retired

from

war against Mexico. He emerged war hero

which but

elite,

pitted

at the

him

same time he was

politics to enlist as a private in the

a general and a

war hero.

by

Appleton Pierce did

same

the

faction that had

When

was swept

status raised his value as a candidate, Pierce

national politics

against the

his

into

removed Taylor. Jane

she could to keep her husband from becoming

all

a presidential candidate. His getting the party nomination caused her to faint,

and for a while she fought

going to Washington, as

his

it

had a

reputation for hard drinking that to her was immoral. Incredible tragedy struck Jane and Franklin Pierce, as their third and

only

surviving

son

was

on the

killed

Washington. Jane avoided public place

at

life,

way

to

the

inauguration

and a childhood friend took her

White House functions.

who had

Pierce was a one-term president siveness.

He was

a flair for creating divi-

the first president to appoint a non-Protestant cabinet

member. The postmaster general was James Campbell, Catholic create

whose appointment and reception of

the backlash

nativist) party. Pierce

that

and

the

Republican party.

a papal delegate helped

endorsed the Kansas-Nebraska

ending

a Pennsylvania

would become the Know-Nothing (American

eye of the slavery hurricane and led to the party

in

of the

Whig

Bill,

splitting

—and

party

of the Democratic

the

He brought England and America

which was the

creation

to the

verge of war

for a third time over policy and further strained relations with

when plans

to

annex Cuba were leaked

Pierce's attorney general,

the "throne."

The

to the

European

of the

Europe

press.

Caleb Cushing, was the real power behind

thirty-third-degree

Mason and opium

trader

was the

grand master to the divisive politics that threatened the nation. Pierce's secretary of war, Jefferson Davis, completed the conspiracy, leading the

Southern states into war against the Union. Jane Appleton's marriage to Pierce was not the only connection the

Appleton

family

father-in-law to

had

to

the

presidency.

Nathan

Appleton

Thomas Coolidge, whose descendant would

became

also reach


Wealth: The Legacy of the

the

White House.

China

trade,

money

Coolidge

Opium Trade

had been increased

too

281

the

in

and Thomas Coolidge had no qualms about admitting his

"money was becoming

devotion to the acquisition of wealth, as

the

only real avenue to power and success both socially and in the regard of your fellow-men." the

Museum

Coolidge money was spread

of Fine Arts in Boston, among other

money would prominent

3

Harvard and

at

Coolidge

institutions.

Company, which linked other

also start the United Fruit

New England

at

families for a hundred years.

THE CABOTS Samuel

Eliot Morison, one of America's highest authorities

on the

tory of the sea trade, writes, "Seaboard Massachusetts has never

such a thing as social democracy. political

democracy

New

Revolutionary Beverly,

a

Jonathan

sham."

4

England,

Jackson's

at

.

.

.

on

which

mansions

the

George

include

Newburyport,

of

pre-

Cabot's

John

and

known

have made

Inequalities of wealth

Writing

his-

at

Heard's

at

Ipswich, Morison points to the sea as the source of wealth. Bluntly referring to the Revolution as an effect of policy,

Morison

calls

George

Ill's

harsh maritime

Boston the headquarters of the Revolution. What

England called smuggling, he emphasizes, Americans called

The Cabot family began

the family fortune

when John Cabot emigrated from

upon

free trade.

America,

arrival in

the Channel Islands to

5

Salem

in 1700.

His son Joseph became a successful merchant and married into the

Higginson family, one of the most prominent in the colony.

George Cabot was the seventh of Joseph's eleven children, and despite his Harvard education he the

command

was shipped off

as a cabin

boy under

of two older brothers. Their father's ships were active

with the Spanish colonies in the trade of the slave plantations.

rum and

fish,

At age eighteen George was made

two

staples of

captain. After

four years at sea, George married and took over a share in the distillery

business from his wife's side of the family, as well as control of his brothers'

at

shipping interests. George

made

his last

voyage

which time he was already a captain of industry.

at

age twenty-seven,


From

282

the Sacred to the Profane

The Revolutionary War was

George

great business for

many

out forty ships as privateers and shared richly in

Cabot and

was

his fellow

make

to

merchants had fought

And

was already trading through

for a while the

trade with his ships Bucanier and

end,

In 1787, with the

war

at

an

Cabot family established the Beverly Cotton Manufactory.

the

Cabots also owned fishing

Cabot

Commerce.

6

would expand

pioneering the Russian

Sea,

Baltic

it

1784 George Cabot

did. In

it

What

prizes.

in addition to prizes,

for,

a union of the colonies in the belief that

their mercantile business.

as he fitted

to draft

fleets in Beverly,

which led Senator George

and push through an act giving fishermen a bounty

to

expand the codfishing business.

From 1789

1799 Alexander Hamilton had dictated the financial

to

and foreign policy for the nation's council was called the Essex Junto.

two administrations. His privy

first 7

Made up

of George Cabot, Stephen

Higginson, Jonathan Jackson, John Lowell, and

when

Junto almost created a second revolution

were not

in accord with the council's

The fortunes of from unrestricted

own

the Essex Junto

trade. Its credit

Thomas

Pickering, the

the policies of Jefferson

financial interests.

were made mostly from the sea and

needs were met not by the infant gov-

ernment in Washington but by the same

facilities

members had

relied

on before the Revolution: the London banking houses. The Essex Junto

was

actually a traitorous conspiracy, as

it

When home among

States because of Jefferson's embargo. aristocrats,

New

George Cabot was a

England he was an

Jefferson.

pillar

anarchist,

The conspiracy blew over

Senator

married his

broke away from the United

the

fellow

of the compact society; outside a

as the

charge he had made

embargo was

against

lifted.

George Cabot, whose mother was Elizabeth Higginson, first

cousin,

also

named

Elizabeth Higginson. The union

was one of many dynastic marriages among became

his

Brahmin

in the establishment

class of Boston.

by serving

the

opium

families

George further cemented

as president of the

who

his role

Boston branch of the

United States Bank, as director of Suffolk Insurance, and as president of

Boston Marine Insurance.

The next famous Cabot was Edward (1818-1901),

the third of


Wealth: The Legacy of the

eleven

Thomas Handasyd China trading

Samuel

of

children

Perkins).

Cabot

and

The offspring of two of

After losing a fortune in that business in

became an

architect.

Edward would

to

of

most powerful

the

be a sheep farmer.

home and

he returned

Illinois,

283

(daughter

Perkins

Eliza

Edward Cabot decided

families,

Opium Trade

get commissions to design Johns

Hopkins University and the Boston Athenaeum, both of which were financed by family.

The best-known Cabot might be Henry Cabot Lodge, Ph.D.

A

historian-turned-politician.

women's suffrage and even against

To

as

the

Brookings

Wolfensohn of

the

elitist,

he

Harvard

fought

against

the direct election of U.S. senators.

Cabot family endowed organizations

foster these elitist politics the

such

true

a

Institute,

where

world

leaders

James

like

World Bank; Henry Schacht of Warburg, Pincus;

David Rockefeller; and Barton Biggs of Morgan Stanley bridge the corporate-political divide and influence

government policy.

THE LOWELLS A

Boston

elitist

saying holds that the Lowells speak only to the Cabots,

and the Cabots speak only

to

God.

The Lowell family achieved arrival in the colonies

and

its

its

status in

Brahmin

society

development of Newburyport

center of shipbuilding and a merchant community.

The

by

its

early

as an early

early families

did everything they could to preserve their status and wealth, including

marrying into other wealthy and prestigious families.

John Lowell was part of the

class of 1721

at

Harvard and shared

classrooms with Hancocks, Winslows, Hutchinsons, and Woolcotts. great example of tionship

of John

what the dynastic marriage can produce Lowell and Jonathan Jackson.

John

is

A

the rela-

"Old Judge"

Lowell, a Harvard graduate in 1761, married the daughter of Stephen

Higginson,

a

leading

Lowell was a lawyer,

merchant, this

and Elizabeth Cabot Higginson.

As

connection maintained his status in the mer-

chant community, which had already been established by his family. John's close friend Jonathan Jackson had inherited twenty thousand


From

284

the Sacred to the Profane

pounds and married the daughter of Patrick Tracy, one of Bostons

The marriage increased Jackson's wealth and

est merchants.

merchant, and extended his connections into England

—

rich-

his status as a

a necessary con-

nection for financing. For Jackson, John Lowell represented connections; for

John Lowell, Jackson meant more

cemented by marriage between the Cabot Lowell, was born

to his

clients.

families.

Their partnership was

John Lowell's son, Francis

second wife, Susan Cabot. Francis Cabot

Lowell married Hannah, the daughter of Jackson and

John and Elizabeth Lowell were their

New

his first wife.

England's finest couple, and

Boston home on High Street was next door

friends, the Jacksons.

From

power base

this

the

to that of their best

two men were able

to

increase their fortunes, thanks to the Revolution. John represented the

business affairs of British families, handled the wills of leading patricians in

Boston, collected seven hundred separate fees related to privateer

and was in charge of liquidating many Tory-owned properties

actions,

His legal machine benefited from his action in the early

after the war.

politics of the

John

new

Lowell

country.

served

member

a

as

Convention, which advocated that but

it

"all

of

men

the

State

Constitutional

are born free and equal,"

doubtful that he personally advocated such sentiments. Both

is

Lowell and best

friend, Jackson,

distinction of being the last

man

were slave owners. John Lowell has the

in

Boston

to

own

a black slave.

After the war the classes were further divided in America as eco-

nomic depression and higher taxation struck home. existed between the haves

among Lowell,

those

along

who had

it

huge chasm

and the have-nots, and the Lowells were

all.

In order to have a place to keep

with members of the Russell

started the Massachusetts

A

it

all,

and Higginson families,

Bank, which became the

First National

Bank

of Boston.

While the Lowell family wealth was already one of the greatest and they were one of the most powerful clans in the

new

country, Francis

Cabot Lowell further increased the family wealth and made an imprint

on the American

textile industry

In England, Richard Arkwright launched the industrial revolution


Opium Trade

Wealth: The Legacy of the

by bringing machinery dependent on people

the

to

in

which was formerly

industry,

textile

homes. Spinning, carding, and weaving

their

yarn on hand looms was the original cottage industry.

went

to

woven ing a the

Women

wage

at

the

same

home-based industry

ning frame, the

An

first fully

assistant to

The

time.

could weave

often

home

while earn-

would change

to a factory-based one, starting with the spin-

powered machine

for spinning yarn.

Richard Arkwright, Samuel

Brown

Moses

at

industrial revolution

design of the spinning frame and brought trader

A woman

on consignment, and returned

a storekeeper, bought the yarn

cloth to earn a profit.

285

financed

Pawtucket, Rhode Island. For

the

Brown

it

wheel

cotton-spinning

first

was

the

America, where slave

to

it

memorized

Slater,

in

from

a natural progression

one type of cruel labor to another; instead of exploiting captive labor, there

was an

entire

company Brown

new

built

class of labor ready to

was named

in

be used

—

children.

The

honor of the machine's inventor,

Arkwright.

Cabot

Francis

England

in

1810

Lowell

followed

to get plans for his

Brown's

own

example

factory. His first factory

be a partnership with brother-in-law Tracy Jackson, as well

Moody and Nathan

went

and

Appleton. Lowell's mill combined

all

to

would

as with Paul

the operations

of making raw cotton into finished clothes. As soon as he realized

it

could be done, he used his political influence to push for high duties

on imported

cloth, in order to lessen his competition.

Lowell's inner circle of Boston Associates then scouted for a location to build

even larger

mills.

They found

that the confluence of the

Concord and Merrimack Rivers was perfect

power needed

to

power

their looms.

Thus

for providing

water-

the

the sleepy farming village of

East Chelmsford was turned into a factory village called Lowell.

Lowell was much more than a single factory; rate

town.

Several

throughout the

state

corporations to

were the best source of

as ten were in great supply.

was

the first corpo-

were formed and scouts were

find the necessary labor.

it

machine operators. Children

Times were tough and children

The youngest of

fers," doffing, or taking off, the full

sent

the factory girls

as

young

were "dof-

bobbins from the spinning frames


From

286

the Sacred to the Profane

and replacing them. These

girls

worked fourteen-hour days,

sum of two

five in the morning, for the munificent

As

mining towns, unscrupulous

in

allow workers to run up charges

The women and children brought

that

the factory

to

The combination of workers would

from

The

stay.

town often could not

afford to leave, their condition reduced to something not ent

8

would often

operators

textile

and accumulated debt ensured

inflated prices

dollars a week.

factory stores.

at

starting at

much

differ-

slavery.

factory owners were able to color things differently. John

elite

Greenleaf Whittier, poet and newspaper editor, lived near Lowell and

wrote of the mill town, describing

it

up

as a "city springing

like the

enchanted palaces of Arabian Tales." These brick "palaces" ran six days a

week, fourteen hours a day, and when

was dark whale-oil lamps

it

extended the day. The living conditions were worse. Accommodations

were

in blocks of sixteen "houses," with five

hundred people forced

to

use one privy. In another tenement in Lowell the tenants had to carry their waste,

human and

block

commissioners

the

Whittier described

women

had

as

otherwise, to Austin Avenue. In another Lowell

counted

filthy,

out:

seemed

The

unsanitary,

to live there as a condition

who were

Whittier and other writers salaries

396

state's

to

miss,

people

living

in

and wretched. But the

foul,

of their employment.

tainted

a Massachusetts

conditions

What Mr.

by those who paid

their

labor commissioner pointed

laws protected horses better than people.

9

Despite the conditions, the wage was higher than a teenage

home

could make outside the factory system, and children could send

money

to

their

families.

Despite the abuses, the millworkers did not

fight for raises. Eventually they

were forced

to fight to

wage, as factory owners started cutting wages other mills grew. tion

The

many decades

plight of the mill later

when

marched with several hundred

By

lion children.

this

women

keep the same

after competition

from

achieved national atten-

seventy-three-year-old

textile

age of sixteen, from Philadelphia to Roosevelt.

girl

Mary Jones

workers, half of them under the

New York

to visit President

Teddy

time American mills and mines employed two mil-

Marching

in rags,

many

of the

women

missing fingers


Wealth: The Legacy of the

from machine accidents, the group attempted senator

and then on Teddy Roosevelt

first

to

call

his

at

Opium Trade

on

287

New York

a

men

mansion. Both

avoided the demonstration, but the public outcry created by the march finally led to child protection laws.

New

Although many of and power

intact,

was

it

England's

Cabot name

the

Henry Cabot Lodge served

money

kept their family

elite

remained a

that

political force.

Congress and the Senate from 1893

in

1924 and was even nominated for president by Teddy Roosevelt 1916 Republican Convention.

was John

F.

Lodge's

Kennedy's ambassador

to

to

at the

grandson Henry Cabot Lodge

South Vietnam, and was involved

heavily in the secret negotiations that led to the assassination of South

Vietnam's president,

Ngo Dinh Diem.

CHASING THE DRAGON After the

first

Opium War,

from the opium trade there

the California gold rush diverted attention

The

in China.

was more money

to

great rush to reach the

be made shipping goods

to China. The eastern magnates,

made wealthy by

the driving force behind the rush to build

With slavery banned, railroad

the next best labor

owners turned

to

the

West meant

to California than

opium

were

trade,

a transcontinental railroad.

was imported and cheap. The

China, where coolies, or unskilled laborers,

could be carried over on ships along with opium.

Many hurt

Chinese desired to leave their country as famine and taxes

farming.

Many

of the immigrants came from the same coastal

provinces where the opium business had thrived. The means of getting out of China was as harsh as the immigration on the death ships from Ireland

—sometimes

worse.

Dubbed

treated like slaves as they got

on the transport

ships,

which were often

managed by Americans. The Chinese were marked with their

destination,

ture

period

that

California.

many

did

the letter

They commited themselves not

were

the pig trade, the immigrants

understand.

"relieved" of their obligation, as the death rate cent, higher than that of the African slave trade.

to

Thousands

was

C

for

an inden-

would

a startling

40

be per-


From

288

the Sacred to the Profane

Most of indenture

whose passage was paid

the immigrants

—were

men who were

destined to

—

work on

price of

at the

the railroads.

To

service the

men, Chinese overseers bring them drugs and occasionally

prostitutes.

Many

by

sold

women

of the

their families or

brought to serve as prostitutes were

kidnapped; some were as young as eight years

10

old.

Emigration from China spread the use of opium

two other

Peru,

America there

common

the nation

destinations,

was discovering

was no public outcry

well

as

as

Australia and

to

California.

to

the negatives of drug addiction, but

opium became associated with

until

In

the

immigrants.

While

new

in the grips of a

hysteria against immigration and the

One could buy

poor, the attitudes of Americans changed.

Sears catalog or

now

at the

grocery store and cannabis

heroin in the but

at the drugstore,

American government and the Hearst media sought

the

con-

to

vince Americans that such evils were being foisted upon the country by foreigners.

The Chinese brought

the opium, the

marijuana, and the blacks brought the cocaine.

Bureau of Narcotics, Harry

J.

Anslinger,

Mexicans brought the

The head of

the Federal

and the Hearst newspapers

spoke out against anything that was associated with people of these heritages, including their music.

large

Even

by

the labor unions, threatened

numbers of hardworking Asians, called

the

smug-

the Chinese drug

11

glers.

The

editorial opinion of the Hearst organization mirrored the posi-

Ku Klux Klan

of the

tion

Thomas

Edison's

clivity for

when

old

another

At

first

seeking

in

films were

100 percent

on the Chinese and

opium. Americans soon got the message.

women

when

drifted off to sleep after sniffing an

strangers

press Asian opium. Although

and

their alleged proIt

was one thing

opium

pipe;

it

was

were using the drug.

the turn of the century, Roosevelt relied

Roosevelts

"Americanism."

Delanos

had

it

was built

on the word

to

sup-

ironic that the nineteenth-century

a

family

fortune

on

addicting

Chinese to opium, the tide had turned. America was smoking more

opium each year than

the six largest nations of

Europe put together.


Wealth: The Legacy of the

The man who might be dubbed America's Wright,

grown beyond

289

drug czar, Hamilton

first

claimed that the Chinese brought the problem

shores and that opium's use had

He

Opium Trade

to

American

the Chinese workers.

pointed out that five hundred thousand pounds of opium were used

each year, and

than 10 percent was for legitimate medicinal pur-

less

poses. Wright placed the blame on "ignorant physicians" and "law-defying retail druggists,"

and called on the country

to establish

laws that would

curb opium use. But cocaine was also becoming popular, and Wright claimed,

"It is

current

congregate, cocaine

The the

is

knowledge

.

.

.

where large numbers of Negroes

peddled pretty openly."

result of the racist hysteria

ban on drugs such

as heroin.

was

the Harrison Act,

term effect was violence. As marily by middle-aged the

poor

to

more bang

it

name

clients.

who braved

smugglers became America's legacy.

trade.

and

it

like

The

And

the

was used the

pri-

young and

illegal trade

A new

was

the

generation of

poor learned

Cabot or Lowell

results: It

Another long-

a drug that

the risks.

started

induced the use of

for their bucks.

was no longer

be receptive and repetitive

longer had to have a

13

women, opium and heroin found

source of wealth for those

which

The ban had two immediate

drove the price of heroin up 1,500 percent the syringe to help addicts get

12

that

you no

to get rich in the drug


Chapter 17

THE POWER OF THE NEW SKULL AND BONES

One

mausoleum. each year,

Inside,

naked

lies

autobiography of his

The ceremony

a

young man, one of

in a coffin. life

He

not dead; he

is

Connubial

Bliss, 1

and

teen other initiates and the current membership,

to the top of

coming from

is

chosen

reciting a sexual

get stranger, and

is

it

it

no doubt helps the

Standing around are the four-

that will last a lifetime.

The goings-on

fifteen juniors

a

before being "tapped" for the Skull and Bones.

called

is

bonding process

Yale.

Campus resembles

of the stranger buildings on the Yale

who

are all seniors at

said that if

one would climb

nearby Weir Hall, one "could hear strange cries and moans the

bowels of the tomb."

one actually resides in the building;

2

Unlike a normal

fraternity,

no

only conducts rituals there. Also

it

unlike a fraternity, the Skull and Bones initiates emerge wealthier and

with connections that can ensure a lifetime of success.

Former president George Bush coffin.

He

another.

A

is

one of those who has

is

not the only famous member; his son George

third president,

William Howard

was one of

Taft,

The odds of

Alphonso

presidents

coming out of the same fifteen-member-a-year

infinitesimal.

Then

they have clout bership

list

again,

—enough

the

the founders.

support from fellow

clout to get to the

of Skull and Bones

is

W. Bush

three

fraternity are

Bonesmen means

White House. The mem-

one of the greatest concentrations of 290

is

was a "Bonesman," and

his father,

Taft,

lain in the


The Power of the

power

Names

in the United State.

rule in the business

and Bones

291

Weyerhaeuser,

like Pillsbury, Kellogg,

They

Phelps, and Whitney abound.

New Skull

world and they

rule in the political arena.

Besides the three presidents, numerous congressmen, justices, and military leaders have

been members of the Skull and Bones. Rhode

Island Senator John Chafee

is

member. Conservative William

a

member. Senator Robert Taft was

F.

Buckley

CIA-proponent brother, James. The CIA

a

is

as an

member, and so

employer

is

a

his

is

a virtual class

reunion of Yale; both organizations have the same statue of Nathan Hale,

3

and both are regarded

"campus," which

as a

headquarters

of a government

nation

for

among

the active Yale class reunion at Langley,

Bones

the

is

not a usual desigunit.

And

in Skull

and

intelligence

membership

regarded as a most prominent background. The director of per-

is

sonnel in the early years was F. Trubee Davison,

Bonesman

in 1918.

When

American businessmen,

the

CIA made

the deputy chief of station

Bonesman Archibald MacLeish

Pionzio.

who was made

a

Chile safe for the interests of

started

was Bonesman Dino his

career

in

intelli-

gence and then moved to fellow Bonesman Henry Luce's Time maga-

MacLeish

zine.

s

member

another

appointment to an intelligence position was granted by of Yale's secret societies, Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis of

the Scroll and Key.

4

McGeorge Bundy,

member the

man who gave

us a war in Vietnam,

of the Skull and Bones. William Sloane Coffin,

CIA

the war,

to protesting

founder of Fortune, to the

the

a

is

is

is

member. Russell Davenport,

also a

also a

a

who went from

Bonesman. Senator John Forbes Kerry, an

China trading Forbes family,

is

heir

member.

For many, note the authors of Wise Men, Six Friends and the World

They Made, "Membership

in a senior society at

a successful career at Yale.

endary the

...

oldest and greatest, indeed the

was Skull and Bones."

book's

Harriman

The

title

and

were

Robert

Skull

Yale was the capstone of

Two

and

Abercrombie

most

leg-

of those six friends alluded to in

Bones

members

Lovett.

When

William

Averill

Harriman

carried

secret dispatches in the First

World War, he coded them 322,

understood only by Bonesmen.

When third

wife Pamela Churchill

a

code


From

292

the Sacred to the Profane

asked Harriman about

it

he told her he couldn't

in 1971,

tell

even

5

her.

For those who wonder what goes on inside the iron gates of quasi-Masonic sanctuary, there are few answers.

room and

If a

comes

the subject of the organization

Bonesman

this

in a

is

up, he not only will

not reply but also he will leave the room. The oaths taken

among

the

bones and skulls of celebrity skeletons have never been broken. Nor has the power.

years

In recent

Ron Rosenbaum and Antony

Sutton,

authors

of

America's Secret Establishment, have shed light on the secret organization.

The Skull and Bones

Company

and

heirs.

is

the beneficiary of a trust set up

How much money

member

starts

able connections.

Old-money names include Adams, Bundy, Cheney,

Rockefeller, Payne, and Bush.

Bush

Brothers Harriman,

And Brown

fortune.

unknown, but each

is

with fifteen thousand dollars and countless valu-

Lord, Stimson, and Wadsworth.

Brown

the Russell

from the vast China trading

fortune went into the Russell Trust Association

tapped

by

6

New-money names

include Harriman,

Averill Harriman, of the Wall Street firm

is

another

member and

Brothers Harriman

is

patron of the

the

the repository of the

Skull and Bones's funds.

From

this

remarkable base of power the heirs to the Russell Trust

maintain control as the inner circle of power. The outer

which

circle,

consists of organizations that exist in at least semi-daylight, include the

Commission, the Brookings

Trilateral

Relations,

These

Institute,

the Council

and the Round Tables of Commerce in numerous

in turn ensure that the elite stay in control of

government, universities, and the media. In Trilateral

on Foreign

fact,

and Council on Foreign Relations

positions in both government and business.

cities.

American business,

a revolving door of

members

They make

serve

in

the rules.

key

They

allow themselves to use tax-free foundations to ensure the ideas of the ruling class will always prevail ects.

The

elite

Though

system perpetuates

by funding

the "right" people and proj-

itself.

a blanket of secrecy protects the inner workings of such

organizations, the secrecy has been under attack. In April 2001 the

York Observer and Ron Rosenbaum

actually filmed the secret rites of

New


New

The Power of the

the

and

Skull

Bones'

and the CIA,

—whose

members gave

numerous secretary of

filled

national security advisers

—were

there

Is

to

OSS

the

and served as

posts,

state

would have been

it

media had carried the story

much

a

further.

agenda? Bonesmen

and Bones

Skull

a

birth

spied on themselves. While the vulgar

scene need not be retold in these pages, greater embarrassment if other

293

Using high-tech night-vision video

initiation.

equipment, the organization

Skull and Bones

"believe

in

the

notion of 'constructive chaos,' which justifies covert action," writes Joel

Bainerman

in Inside the

Covert Operations of the

The foreign policy of

the

through a secret agenda.

7

Bonesmen

CIA and

always

almost

is

Israel's

Mossad.

carried

out

Alphonso Taft was secretary of war when he

pressured McKinley to declare war on Spain. After McKinley was assassinated,

Teddy Roosevelt took over and brought

Howard

Taft. Others of the order

Henry Stimson,

who have

in

Bonesman William

held warrior posts include

secretary of state under Hoover; Robert Lovett, secre-

tary of defense at the height of the

who became Truman's

Cold War; General George Marshall,

McGeorge Bundy, Kennedy's

secretary of state;

national security adviser; and Averell Harriman, ambassador-at-large for

southeast

Asia during

Vietnam.

Following the Stimson doctrine that

there should be regular periodic wars to divert discontent and rally the

nation to

a

purpose,

single

Bush would uphold

Bonesmen George Bush and George W.

the tradition with brief military excursions in Asia

and Latin America. Just

how much

on twentieth-century history? In Asia, American policy policy of the

New

England opium

An American

then tried to

"reform"

Henry Luce was

The CIA, Drugs and write,

homeward

the

Chinese

was tapped

to

further

accept

Western ways.

He was

sent to Yale

for the Skull and Bones. In Whiteout:

the Press, Alexander

"Tap Day was a

to railroads, mills,

presence remained in China as missionaries

the son of a missionary to China.

for an education and

started with the

families. After reaping their fortunes

in Asia, the families turned their attention

and mines.

Bones exerted

clout has the order of the Skull and

Cockburn and Jeffrey

critical turning point for

tapped for Skull and Bones, the supreme society

at

Luce.

He

St.

Clair

yearned to be

Yale, the ultimate


294

From

honor."

the Sacred to the Profane

8

With eighty-six thousand

borrowed mostly from other

dollars

Yalies and family friends, Luce, with the help of Yale students serving

Time magazine, which would

as assistants, started

later

Luce married Clare Boothe Brokaw, who took in

est

China as he

did.

be Life magazine.

as

much

of an inter-

Together they acted on behalf of the China

of America to bring Chinese students to the United States.

Institute

Luce and

his wife

whose corrupt Kai-shek's

were very close

activities

army was

to the ruling

Chinese Soong family,

helped the rise of Communism.

defeated, Luce's China

When Chiang

Lobby united John

Foster

and Allen Dulles, the Rockefeller family, Thomas Lamont, and Cardinal

Spellman to push for American assistance. Chiang

army was defeated

in

one

battle

after

lost credibility as his

another and he and his family

looted three hundred million dollars of American funds.

would not

lose the support of Luce,

tung had beaten Chiang.

who was

still

Time magazine would

But Chiang

rabid that

Mao

Tse-

constantly play up the

Nationalist cause.

Mao efforts.

Tse-tung was a Yale student, perhaps as a result of Luce's China

The Yale Divinity School had

schools in China, and

was not tapped

Mao was

their

established a

most famous

number of "branch" Although he

student.

for the Skull and Bones, just about every recent

ambas-

sador to China was a Bonesman: George Bush, Winston Lord, and James Lilley, all

alumni of the Skull and Bones,

all

served as ambassador to

China.

With take

the outspoken

up the French

Luce leading

battle in

Communist expansion. The war

that

the way,

Vietnam

result

was

as a

means of

rallied to

curtailing further

a long, drawn-out, and expensive

took tens of thousands of lives and wreaked havoc on America

by bringing heroin addiction

The China Lobby and

to eighty thousand returning

the Skull and

war

veterans.

9

Bones were firmly behind the

Vietnam War, and they were unfortunately

war continued. The so-called best and

the

America was

in position

to

the brightest, like

ensure that

Bonesmen

McGeorge Bundy, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Dean Acheson (whose son is

a

Bonesman), gave bad advice

Americans wondered how many

to

one president

lives the country

after another,

would be forced

to

while


The Power of the

The Yale-driven CIA had never stopped

itself.

KMT

then supporting the

became 10

alike.

tions

a

turf battle

The

conflict in

received

that

295

for

blue-chip

corporations

Vietnam was a source of

the

fighting and

army of Chiang Kai-shek, and soon

greatest

Helicopter

Bell

Textron's

and Bones

thousand miles away. The issue, however, was greater

sacrifice twelve

than the war

New Skull

Chemical and Monsanto,

the

war

and drug traffickers

profits for the corpora-

amount of business from

the

war:

Company, chemical firms including

Dow

which produced Agent Orange

other

and

and construction company Brown and Root, a key backer of

defoliants,

President Johnson.

THE UNITED FRUIT CONNECTION on Vietnam was decided by a handful, so too would

Just as the debate relations

with Latin America be decided by a few.

business

lost

luster,

its

the

Russell partners

When

opium

the

found opportunity

else-

where. Joseph Coolidge, a Russell partner, turned over the marine trade heritage to his son

Thomas Coolidge, who organized United

company

started as a

so-called

banana republics

Fruit.

The

banana importer but soon became master of the it

controlled,

owning

their

railroads

and

communications systems.

The Yale blue bloods and

their

CIA were

company, which was also doing business with

firmly in control of the

New

Orleans mobsters.

Joe Macheca, the reputed boss of organized crime in

merged

The

and

New

at his

Orleans

which time

same year its

Orleans,

1900. His underworld

Charles Matranga, stayed close to United Fruit throughout

successor, his life,

shipping line into United Fruit in

his

New

it

that

mob was

then controlled

by Carlos Marcello, during

imported morphine and cocaine from Honduras. In the Marcello took control, the board of directors bought out

greatest rival,

years later,

funeral United Fruit executives paid their respects."

Samuel Zemurray, with stock

when Zemurray became

in

its

company.

A

a nuisance as a board of directors

member, Thomas Cabot sacked him. Later a

new

few

challenge emerged. Jacob Arbenz, the democratically


From

296

the Sacred to the Profane

elected president of Guatemala, decided the land should be given back

and so he had the audacity

to the people,

company had

the value the

stated

it

buy United

to

12

was worth.

Fruit's

land

at

United Fruit share-

holder John Foster Dulles said the country was under "a Communisttype

of

reign

and

terror"

America

that

Congressman John McCormack for

of

on

attack

its

New

assailed

13

must

act.

Massachusetts

Guatemalan government

the

90 percent

his constituents' investment, declaring that

England's foreign investments were in Latin America.

Henry Cabot Lodge, whose family owned

was joined by Thomas Cabot and of

tant secretary

14

Senator

stock, led the attack

John Moors Cabot,

his brother

15

and

assis-

state.

The United

Fruit

was fed

story

Congress, and finally a top executive

media and trumped

in

the case to the Council

on

Thomas Corcoran,

to

the

to

made

Foreign Relations. The council hired a lobbyist,

Tommy

CIA.

act as liaison to the

with Walter Bedell

the Cork, as he

Smith,

"Beetle"

CIA

the

was

was

called,

director.

friends

Corcoran had

served as the legal representative to the CIA's "airline" in Laos and

Vietnam. airline

16

The American called

first

intelligence

CAT,

Civil

Air

agency actually had a proprietary Transport

and

later

dubbed Air

America, that would be the subject of a 1990 movie by the same

1954 the CIA used Honduras

In

A

Guatemala.

down

series

1970s, but the

would be a main staging point

ing the

When

CIA

War on

it

CIA

for actions

showdown came with

uncomfortable,

the so-called tant than the

the

the

government of

of graft and drug scandals in Honduras brought

the leadership in the

Nicaragua.

topple

to

title.

was

the

DEA

ensured that Honduras

in

nearby Guatemala and

the

DEA, which was mak-

office that closed.

Drugs, the drug-free plan was

agenda of United

Fruit, its shareholders,

much

17

less

Despite

impor-

and the CIA.

THE BUSH CONNECTION George Bush's best-known He about taxes eclipses "Take

my

word,

ration speech.

this

his other great

He:

scourge will stop," which was part of his inaugu-

The amount of American heroin

addicts,

which dropped


The Power of the

from

New

Skull and Bones

hundred thousand to two hundred thousand in the years

five

Vietnam,

rose

assistance

to

again

sharply

Afghanistan.

—through

America

after

The CIA backing of

CIA

the

297

after

—

lent

opium growers

the

fooled few. The president's Strategic Council on Drug Abuse was frustrated

enough by

New York CIA

A

Times

editorial that

on the issue

drug use would

that

to

creative

450,000 and heroin deaths

rise just as

it

did with the

to jail users, while hills to the

in

New York

billions to fight a

making the world

war on drugs and

Prescott,

Golden Triangle of southeast Asia and

the

a

Bonesman and served

in

wedding of Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker,

Harrimans

Bush family members were and

on

served

Honduran

DICK

Army

coast.

CHENEY father,

At the

intelligence.

five

more

billions

and Bones began with George's

tradition in the Skull

who was

ushers.

18

from the Afghan

safe for drug lords

GEORGE BUSH, GEORGE W. BUSH, AND The Bush

rose 77 percent.

form of the Skull and Bones constructive chaos had the

government spending

as

pointed out in a

it

adventures in Laos. The prediction was correct, as the addict cen-

grew

sus

the CIA's silence

Bonesmen served and

close to the Rockefellers

numerous

corporation

George

boards.

Herbert Walker Bush was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut,

and schooled

at

Andover and Yale. With money from

Washington Post and connections from family and

George headed

to

Texas

to

make

his

owner of Bones

to learn the oil business

through his company, its

founding family by

Mallon with Harriman money. After George's apprenticeship his

own company,

drilled in the eastern

Cay

Sal

at

Gulf of Mexico. The company's island base

Bank would be used

for

CIA

known

wife

in the

The Bay

operations against Castro.

as Operation Zapata.

and newly adopted home base.

19

While

Two

names of

vessels used in the operation were Barbara and Houston, the

new

Dresser

Zapata Oil, with two partners. Zapata Oil

of Pigs invasion in 1961 was actually

George's

cabal,

four Mallons in the group,

Dresser Industries, which had been bought from

he started

the

his fortune.

Bonesman Henry Neil Mallon, one of gave George the chance

the

it

is


From

298

the Sacred to the Profane

generally denied, George's

CIA

career began at this time, and he

He

active in the organization in 1963.

still

became

later

was

director of the

CIA.

George W. Bush's career went according his father's with the exception of

Yale, was a

member

CIA

to the

same game plan

as

W. went

to

involvement. George

of the Skull and Bones, worked in the

and then moved into

politics.

In the

2000

oil business,

presidential race he picked

Richard Bruce Cheney as his running mate. Although the soon-to-be

membership

came to

was not

president

vice

to

a

Bonesman, there

of the Skull and Bones.

list

America

in

1667 landed

Cheneys

nine

are

in

the

The Cheney ancestor who

in Massachusetts, entitling the family

be counted among the blue bloods. Like George H.W. Bush, Cheney

was connected

to military intelligence,

and he was a strong supporter of

Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North. Cheney was even George's secretary

of defense during Operation Desert Storm. Cheney too went to Texas,

where he became the head of Halliburton, an bought Dresser Industries in 1998 under pany's

Brown and Root

donor,

now

subsidiary

oil-drilling

his tenure as boss.

remains

an

Republican candidates rather than

to

company

important to

that

The comcampaign

Democrats, and a

beneficiary of large government contracts.

THE BONES AND THE OCTOBER SURPRISE In

November 1980

President

Jimmy

Carter,

who had

so far survived

two assassination attempts and the intrigues of a powerful machine he could not fully comprehend, that

were had

thrown

their

lost the presidential election.

weight

behind

the

most was

Ronald

the Republicans feared

that the hostage situation in Iran

the election. Despite the constant

charismatic

the

Reagan and Bonesman George Bush. But what

The powers

would end

mismanagement by

just before

the Carter

White

House, a last-minute release of the American hostages, the "October Surprise," could spike Carter's popularity

The conspiracy theory covered of George Bush, fellow

in

enough

to carry the election.

numerous books

Bonesman Senator John Heinz

tells

the

story

HI, and a hand-


The Power of the

ful

New Skull and Bones

299

of intelligence operatives flying to Spain to meet with members of

Iran's

government. The deal was that Iran would hold the hostages until

exchange for arms. This deal would also

after the election in

was unearthed years

strange Oliver North-Iran-Contra Affair that

start the

later.

After the election, a series of murders and strange deaths began that

campaign manager and spymaster William Casey;

included Reagan's

Amaram

Nir,

broadcast

an

officer;

Israeli

Jessica

journalist

arms dealer Cyrus Hashemi In

Savitch.

a

remarkable

and John Tower were killed

Senators John Heinz

20

coincidence,

plane

separate

in

and

;

crashes within hours of each other, in April 1991. Both were allegedly

connected to the October Surprise.

And

both were powerful

men

in

the Senate.

The

father of Senator

Heinz was John Heinz

and Bones member in 1931. John

company

fortune, married Teresa

a board

Brookings Relations,

member

the

network

senator,

Iran-Contra

to the Contras,

Credit International attacking

at the

of

who was born

time was

Institute,

the

a

of a

a colony.

still

member of

Council

Bonesman John Forbes

whose ancestors were among

investigated aid

member

a

a Skull

on

the

Foreign

suddenly inherited a fortune worth $860 million. She then

would marry another Kerry,

Ferreira,

of the Carnegie

and

Institute,

who was

prince of the Heinz ketchup

III,

Simoes

Portuguese family in Mozambique, which Ferreira,

II,

the

(BCCI).

the

opium pioneers

unearthed

Affair,

John

Kerry. in

China,

Oliver North's

private

and exposed the Bank of Commerce and

He was

given credit for his courage in

mainstream corruption in Washington and intelligence

drug dealing, but others say his investigation stopped short. The coincidences

don't.

COINCIDENCE AND THE JFK ASSASSINATION The murder of President John Kennedy believe

it

will never

be solved. The

ment, given credence by

J.

is

first

a half century old, but

many

suspicions of foreign involve-

Edgar Hoover and Clare Boothe Luce, were

quickly discredited. Luce had said an anti-Castro agent had called her


300

the

From

the Sacred to the Profane

day JFK was

killed

21

and said Oswald was a Communist.

The next

victim of suspicion was the American right wing, as allegedly someone

named George Bush The next Texas

tipped off the authorities of the assassination plot.

suspects were organized criminals, such as the Mafia, and even

producers. Finally, the American

oil

CIA

took over as the most

Surveys of skeptics of the Warren Commission Report,

likely culprit.

which Allen Dulles predicted no one would ever read, indicate

CIA was

the

Kennedy,

who asked CIA

the

had

skeptic

McCone

Director John

my brother?" McCone

kill

One

conspiracy.

the

22

CIA

A

power behind

was Robert

back Cuba,

take

to

where United

islands

rewards

of

Fruit

exploitative

said no.

and

threatened

this

other

he

that

Caribbean

and a handful of sugar companies reaped the capitalism.

Kennedy had threatened

"Did

point-blank,

motive for the murder of President Kennedy could be

failed

that the

to

end

Another

the

might

motive

Vietnam

profit

center,

be

that

which

brought fortunes to the numerous blue-blood investments in aviation, particularly Textron,

which owned Bell Helicopter, and the Brown and

Root construction company, which had provided Lyndon B. Johnson with his campaign war chest. This chapter will not attempt to solve the

mystery of the Kennedy assassination, but

some

of

awkward

the

Commission Report, such Dulles, believed

when

as

Kennedy

no one would ever

The conspiracy started

coincidences

a

as

on

will try to shed light

it

of

authors

that

haters

the

Warren

Earl Warren and Allen

read.

traced by

the

Warren Commission may have

young marine named Lee Harvey Oswald, who had

contact with the Office of Naval Intelligence, started studying Russian

while

stationed

a

in

high-security base

marines and defected to Russia.

was given an apartment and a had

his picture taken with

she

became

lost

23

in

Japan,

and then

In Russia the soldier

job, and

an American

was able

was

the

treated well,

to get married.

"tourist,"

left

He

also

Marie Hyde, who said

while on her tour, a near impossibility in the 1960s

Cold War Russia.

The the

U-2

defector,

who had been

flights to his

suspected of passing information on

Russian hosts, returned

home

without even a slap


The Power of the

New Skull

and Bones

301

on the wrist from his government. Instead he was given a loan by the government

buy

to

of jobs, with

home

a

DeMohrenschildt

Ruth

Hyde

Federalists,

Bush

George

both

both

which was

of

started

and

in the

whom

to

business and

Ralph

Michael

belonged

oil

Kennedy.

Bouvier

Jacqueline

Oswald

introduced

Paine,

then got a series

one requiring a security clearance. He also met

at least

George DeMohrenschildt, who was connected

knew

He

with his Russian bride.

to

the

World

bership in United

by Cord Meyer of the CIA.

Russia and met Oswald. Paine, of the

down

for a

Federalists, 24

World

United

Another member of Meyer's United World Federalists was Johnson. Supposedly turned

and

Paine

CIA

Priscilla

job because of her

mem-

Johnson nevertheless turned up

in

Michael Paine's mother was Ruth Forbes

same family whose

ships carried

opium

to

China

in the

nineteenth century. Ruth Paine's brother, William Forbes, was on the

board of United Cabots, one of

United

Fruit.

On

Fruit.

whom

his father's side, Michael's ancestors include

a cousin

is

Michael's wife,

who

sat

on the board of

named Ruth, was

also

William Avery Hyde. She was close

to her husband's family,

1963 went to Naushon Island, the Forbes kingdom off visit

the

directors of

daughter of

and in July

Woods

Hole, to

her mother-in-law, Ruth.

Mother Ruth's best

friend,

Mary

Bancroft,

was not only

in the

CIA

but was also involved in a long-term relationship with Allen Dulles.

Bancroft wrote

My

all

about her twenty-year affair in her autobiography,

Life as a Spy. Bancroft's father

times

was elected mayor of Cambridge four

and was president of the Boston Elevated Railway. Her step-

mother's stepfather was Clarence Walker Barron,

and the Wall Street Journal. Bancroft's

first

who

published Barron's

husband worked

as chief of

United Fruit in Cuba, and her daughter married the son of Bonesman

and Senator Robert

When Ruth

25

Taft.

Paine,

wife of Michael, returned from Naushon, the

Paines took in young Lee Harvey Oswald and his Russian wife, Marina.

Ruth found her adopted defector a job

in

the

Texas School Book

Depository. Ruth and Michael also provided a key piece of evidence that

would help convict

their

new

friend, should the police

department


From

302

the Sacred to the Profane

Oswald long enough

protect

him

to get

to

trial.

In a declassified docu-

made

ment, an informant describes a phone call Michael

shooting, with Michael saying he didn't believe

after the

involved and that "we both

Why

CIA had

Bay of

who

investigate

Pigs invasion.

And

was

it

CIA

the

Oswald was

The

killed his brother?

It

caused Kennedy to

dump

when

also surprising

Allen

CIA

the committee set

murder of the president was made up of Earl

the

who was beholden

Warren,

if

responsible."

right

26

advised for the operation, and threaten to smash the

into a million pieces. to

is

Ruth

caused the biggest blunder of John Kennedy's short presi-

dency, the

up

know who

would Robert Kennedy ask

Dulles,

to

whom

the Teamsters,

to

Robert Kennedy

had investigated; Gerald Ford, who was also beholden to the Teamsters; and Allen Dulles. The

The

CIA was

a natural suspect in the assassination.

was what became known

gation

quickly

bought by

from the

head was that the

was

right front.

falling

as

It

Zapruder

the

Time/Life

Luce's

President Kennedy's head snap in a bullet

Warren Commission

greatest piece of evidence in the

Corporation.

way

that could

was made

to

frames in the film were reversed.

The

which was film

showed

be caused only by a

appear that the President's

forward indicating a shot from the 27

film,

investi-

rear,

which meant

Later this reversal of frames

said to be an accident.

After the public, other

Warren Commission commissions were

growing amount of

set

fell

up

out of favor with the thinking to investigate the

political assassinations in

CIA and

the

America. The newer evi-

dence pointed to the involvement of intelligence in the Kennedy assassination,

and forensic evidence showed the improbability of there being

a single shooter.

been

It is

in place. Marita

more

likely that a two- or three-man hit

Lorenz

and named two of the

CIA

testified that she

was

CIA

part of the operation

number of Cubans who

operatives and a

were also involved. In her short and remarkable lover of Fidel Castro and then part of the

team had

life,

Lorenz had been a

Operation 40 plot to

him. At that time she was "dating" Venezuelan dictator Marcos Perez

kill


The Power of the

whose government was so corrupt

Jimenez,

28

Catholic Church took issue with

How

it.

Lodge,

29

and she worked for the NSC.

Committee on Assassinations about

"From

president:

the time

I

30

'We're going to get Kennedy.'

Henry Cabot

a cousin of

Lorenz

testified to the Select

40

the Operation

40

plot against the all

...

heard was

I

She said no one would murder her

because of her mother's "power in the National Security Agency."

Among

Meyer.

32

the series of strange deaths that took place shortly after

was murdered was

that of

Meyer

Pinchot

Mary

was

303

Roman

even the

that

rejoined Operation " 31

and Bones

did Lorenz survive to tes-

Her mother was Alice June Lofland,

tify?

New Skull

JFK

Pinchot Meyer, the ex-wife of Cord

murdered

while

walking

Chesapeake and Ohio towpath. Georgetown murders are

along

rare,

the

but this

one included some very strange circumstances and was never solved.

Cord Meyer was

the Yale-educated

CIA

agent

who was

Ruth and Michael Paine through the United World he

influential

Meyer was one of

Pinchot the

most

people in the CIA. Just after Pinchot Meyer's death, the

CIA

key he kept

to the place"

by Ben Bradlee of

affair

with JFK.

James Jesus Angleton entered her house "with

counterintelligence chief a

which

Federalists,

had founded before Dulles brought him into the CIA.

Meyer had been having an

linked to

and took her diary.

Washington

the

Post,

33 34 '

Angleton was joined

who was

Pinchot Meyer's

brother-in-law.

Although a cious, cannot

of unlikely coincidences, no matter

series

be conclusive evidence of a conspiracy,

something that exists

far

from the eyes of the

public.

it

how

suspi-

does suggest

The coincidences

point to an elite handful of interlocking relationships that have a hold

over national sible.

—

a grip that

The coincidences

such an

elite,

That there acies.

affairs

An

is

may

most

citizens could not

imagine pos-

further suggest that the media, in the hands of

stop far short of serious investigative reporting.

a conspiracy

elite class

is

not in doubt; there are numerous conspir-

has always been in

the chauffeur of a Rockefeller pays

more

power and always in taxes than the

will be.

man he

When


From

304

the Sacred to the Profane

the

drives,

Committee

will

of the

on

Assassinations

elite

is

in

evidence.

concludes

Kennedy and Martin Luther King were ther is done, this

is

more evidence. When

When

that

House Select

the

the

assassinations

of

conspiracies but nothing furofficers of the

DEA

complain

of being told to back off because they are causing a problem for the

CIA,

this gives

evidence that a higher power that goes unchecked

is in

control.

The

become

who do

fact that a nation allows itself to

old

news

to those being ruled,

not need to aspire to

The

the Skull and

Bones

is

George

W

it is

a

week.

Bush was tapped

told in Bill Minutaglio's First Son.

father, into

He was

has

to those

already theirs. for entry in

George was

Bonesmen two

not sure he wanted the rigor of meeting with fellow nights

elite class

and has become a given

power because

story of the night that

be ruled by an

already born into wealth and,

thanks to his

power. George told a fellow classmate that he would rather

join "Gin and Tonic." His father, probably anticipating his son's doubt,

knocked on to

do the

his

door

at 8

right thing, to

P.M. and told young George

become

a

that

it

"good man." George accepted.

35

was time


NOTES Chapter 1.

1

Malcolm

Barber,

The

New

Knighthood:

A History of the Order of the Temple

(Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 267 2.

—

71.

Charles G.Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (Kempton,

Adventures Unlimited Press, 1997),

1 1 1.:

p. 83.

3. Ibid., p. 88.

4. Ibid., p. 89. 5.

John Westfall Thompson and Edgar Nathaniel Johnson,

An

Medieval Europe (New York: W. W. Norton Co., 1937), 6.

John

J.

241.

Robinson, Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry (New York:

M. Evans 9.

564.

Barber, p. 237.

7. Ibid., p. 8.

p.

Introduction to

& Co.,

1989), p. 228.

Desmond Seward, The Monks of War: The Military Penguin, 1972),

10. Piers Paul 11.

Seward,

12.

Read,

p.

Religious Orders (London:

p. 78.

Read, The Templars

(New York:

St.

Martin's Press, 2000), p. 250.

207.

p. 259.

13. Peter Partner,

The Murdered Magicians:The Templars and Their Myth (New

York:

Barnes 14.

& Noble,

1987), p. 60.

Universe Lodge No. 705

Web

site,

http://www.yesic.com/~mason/lodge/uni-

verse.htm. 15.

Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons

and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus (Boston:

Element Books, 1997),

p.

313.

Chapter 2 1.

From Dom Pedro the

Web

site

Alcazar, Seakeeping, edited by

Mark

S. Harris, as

posted on

www.florilegium.org/ files/TRAVEL/Seakeeping.

2. Ibid. 3.

Knight and Lomas,

4.

Thompson and Johnson,

5.

Frederick Pohl, Prince Henry Sinclair 62-3.

p.

297. p.

596.

(New York: Clarkson

Potter, 1967), pp.


6. Ibid., p. 90.

7.

Joseph R. Strayer, The Albigensian Crusades (Ann Arbor: University of

Michigan Press, 1992), pp. 61-70. 8.

Will Durant, The Reformation:

A

History of European Civilization from

Wycliff

to

Calvin 1300-1564 9.

10.

Robinson,

Seward,

(New York: Simon

& Schuster,

1957), p. 112.

p. 21.

p. 43.

11. Ibid., pp. 230-1.

12.

Seward, pp. 234-6.

13. Ibid., p. 330. 14. Ibid., p. 313. 15.

Guy

Patton and Robin Mackness,

Treasure (London: Sidgewick

Web

of Gold: The Secret Power of a Sacred

& Jackson, 2000), p.

242.

Chapter 3 1.

Patrick Pringle, Jolly Roger:

The Story of

the Great

Age of

Piracy

(New York:

WW. Norton, 1953), 2.

p. 22.

Robert C. Ritchie, Captain Kidd and the

War

Against the Pirates (Cambridge,

Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 203-227. 3.

Clare Brandt,

An American

Aristocracy:

The Livingstons (Garden

City,

New

York:

Doubleday, 1986), 4.

p. 38.

Jan Rogozinski, Honor

among

Thieves: Captain Kidd, Henry Every, and the

Pirate

Democracy

in the Indian

Ocean (Mechanicsburg, Penn.: Stackpole Books,

2000), pp. 69-76. 5.

Ritchie, p. 36.

6. Ibid. 7.

Brandt, p. 21.

8.

Stephen Birmingham, America's Secret Aristocracy

(New York: Berkley

Books, 1987), pp. 33-4. 9.

10.

Brandt, pp. 30-6.

Edward Robb

Ellis,

The Epic of

New York

City

(New York: Kondansha,


1997), p. 107.

11. Ritchie, p. 26.

12.

George Francis

Dow

and John Henry Edmonds, The Pirates of the

New

England Coast 1630-1730 (New York: Dover Publications, 1996),

p. 77.

Chapter 4 1.

The

Wick,

Steve

and

Settler

the

Sachem,

from

the

Web

site

www.Lihistory.com.

Also see Bernie Bookbinder, Long Island: People and Places, Past and Present

(New York: Henry N. Abrams, 2.

Robert

Ellis Cahill, Pirates

Inc., 1998).

and Lost Treasures (Peabody, Mass.: Chandler

Smith Publishing, 1987), p. 84. 3.

David M. Fletcher, The Diplomacy of Annexation (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1973),

John Tyler (New York: Abelard Schuman, 1969),

4.

Edwin

5.

Fletcher, p. 135.

P. Hoyt,

p. 71. p. 72.

6.

Hoyt,

7.

John Prebble, Darien: The Scottish Dream of Empire (Edinburgh: Berlinn

p. 132.

Limited,

2000) 8.

,

p. 185.

Brandt,

p. 55.

9. Ibid., p.

105.

10. Ibid., 103-8. 11.

Axel Madsen, John Jacob Astor: America's

First Millionaire

(New York: John

Wiley,

2001) 12.

,

p. 32.

David Leon Chandler, The Jefferson Conspiracies (New York: William

Morrow and Company, 1994),

p. 151.

13. Ibid., p. 100. 14.

Louis B. Davidson and Eddie Doherty, Strange Crimes N.Y.: Vail-Ballou Press, 1954), p. 105.

15.

Birmingham, pp. 100-2.

16.

Dow

and Edmonds,

p. 89.

at

Sea (Binghamton,


17. Ibid., p. 42. 18. Ritchie, pp. 113-6. 19.

Birmingham,

p.

203.

20. Stephen Hess, America's Political Dynasties

(New York: Doubleday,

1966), p.

191.

Part 1.

Two: Introduction

Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge (New York:

Arcade Publishing, 1989),

3.

p. 174.

143.

2. Ibid., p.

William Bramley, The Gods of Eden (New York: Avon Books, 1989),

p.

228.

4. Ibid., p. 276. 5.

Steven

C.

Revolutionary

Bullock,

Brotherhood:

Freemasonry

and

the

Transformation of the American Social Order 1730-1840 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996),

p. 46.

Chapter 5 1.

A.

J.

Langguth, Patriots: The

York: Simon

& Schuster,

Men Who

Started the

1988), pp. 95-7.

The Maritime History of Massachusetts 1783-1860

2.

Samuel

3.

Herbert Allen, John Hancock: Patriot in Purple

Eliot Morison,

American Revolution (New

(Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1921), pp. 27-8.

(New York: Macmillan,

1948),

pp.

61-9. 4.

Robert Leckie,

George Washington's War:

The Saga of

the

American

Revolution

(New York: 5.

HarperCollins, 1992), p. 53.

Michael Klepper and Robert Gunther, The Wealthy 100: From Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates:

A

Ranking of the Richest Americans, Past and Present

(Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1996), pp. 191-3. 6.

Langguth,

7.

Paul Lewis, The Great Incendiary:

p. 179.

Dial Press, 1973), chapter 9. 8. Ellis, p.

9.

155.

Baigent and Leigh,

p.

209.

A Biography of Samuel Adams

(New York:


10. Ibid., p. 116. 11.

Langguth,

12.

Christopher Hibbert, Redcoats and Rebels

p.

294.

(New York: W. W. Norton,

1990),

pp.

64-75. 13.

Bullock,

14.

Baigent and Leigh, pp. 260-2.

15.

Robert

p. 79.

Hieronimus,

America's

Secret

Destiny:

Spiritual

Vision

and

Founding

the

of

a Nation (Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, 1989), p. 26.

Chapter 6 1.

Richard B. Morris, Seven

Row, 2.

Bullock,

3. Ibid., p.

4.

Who

Shaped Our Destiny (New York: Harper and

1973), p. 11. p. 60.

118.

Catherine Drinker Bowen, The

Most Dangerous Man

in

America: Scenes from

the

Life of Benjamin Franklin (Boston: Little, Brown, 1974), p. 130.

5.

Morris, p. 23.

6.

Michael Howard, The Occult Conspiracy: Secret Societies, Their Influence and

Power in 7.

World History (Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books,

Leckie, p. 29.

8. Ibid., p.

9.

1989), p. 80.

39.

David Schoenbrum, Triumph

in Paris:

York: Harper and Row, 1976),

The Exploits of Benjamin Franklin (New

p. 10.

10.

Howard,

11.

Hieronimus,

12.

Helen Augur, The Secret War of Independence (Boston:

p. 58. p. 32.

Little,

Brown, and

Co., 1955), p. 17.

The Cousins' War (New York: Basic Books,

13.

Kevin

14.

Anton Chaitkin, Treason

15.

John Dos Passos, The Shackles of Power (New York: Doubleday, 1966), pp.

Phillips,

Review, 1984),

p.

87—9. 16.

Hess, pp. 369-85.

in

1999), p. 147.

America (Washington, D.C.: Executive

Intelligence

247.


Chapter 7 1.

Augur, pp. 70-1.

2. Ibid., p. 37. 3. Ibid.,

4.

66-9.

Andre Maurois, Adrienne: The Life of the Marquis de McGrawHill, 1961),

5.

la Fayette

(New York:

p. 23.

Burke Davis, The Campaign That

Won America:

The Siege atYorktown (New

York: Dial Press, 1970),

p. 113.

6.

Morison,

7.

Baigent and Leigh,

8.

Augur, pp. 200-1.

9.

Hess, p. 227.

10.

p. 7. p. 40.

Langguth.p. 279. 342.

11. Ibid., p.

12. Ibid., p. 32.

13.

Augur, pp. 70-1.

14.

Klepper and Gunther,

15.

George Wilson, Stephen Girard: The Life and Times of America's (Philadelphia:

p. 27.

Combined Books,

First

Tycoon

1995), p. 188.

Chapter 8 1.

David Cordingly, House,

2.

Langguth,

3. Ibid.,

4.

Women

Sailors

and

Sailors'

Women (New York: Random

2001), pp. 5-9. p.

467.

pp. 473-4.

Barbara

W Tuchman, The

First Salute

(New York:

Ballantine Books, 1988), p.

250. 5.

Baigent and Leigh,

6.

Tuchman,

7.

From Robert A.

p.

218.

p. 191.

Selig,

Deux-Ponts Germans, from the

Web

site

www.ameri-

canrevolution.org. 8.

Seward,

9.

Tuchman,

p.

10.

Tuchman,

p. 141.

p.

330.

229.

Chapter 9 1.

David Ovason, The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital (New York:


—

1

Harper Collins, 1999), pp. 142-9. 2.

A. Ralph Epperson, Masonry: Conspiracy against Christianity (Tucson: Publius Press, 1997), p. 281.

3.

Hieronimus,

p. 39.

4. Ibid., p. 28. 5.

Baigent and Leigh,

6.

Thomas Fleming, The Duel (New York: Basic Books,

7.

Bullock,

p. 150.

8.

Ovason,

p. 85.

9. Ibid., p.

269.

10. Ibid., p.

237.

11.

Howard,

p. 88.

12.

Fleming,

p. 4.

13.

Bramley,

p. 226.

p.

261. 1999), p. 109.

Chapter 10 1.

Brent Staples,

"How

www.fresnobee.com 2.

Pringle,pp. 17-18.

3.

Hugh Thomas, The

Slavery Fueled Business in the North," from the

Web

site

(July 25, 2000), pp. 1-4.

Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1440-

1870

(New York: Simon

& Schuster,

4.

Thomas Brosnahan, Kim

5.

Wade

Victoria, Australia:

1997), p. 296.

Grant, and Steve Jermanok,

New England

Lonely Planet Publications, 1999),

Davis, The Serpent and the

p.

(Hawthorn,

346.

Rainbow (New York: Warner Books,

1985),

P-

66. 6.

Eric Williams,

From Columbus

to

Castro:The History of the Caribbean 1492

1969

(New York: Harper and Row, 231.

7.

Davis,

8.

Thomas Handasyd

p.

reprint,

Chapter 1.

1970), p. 245.

New York:

Perkins,

The Memoir of Thomas Handasyd Perkins (1856;

Burt Franklin, 1971),

p. 10.

1

Jack Weatherford, The History of Money

(New York: Three Pavers

Press,


1997), p. 22. 2.

Seward,

3.

Elaine Sanceau, Henry the Navigator:

p. 161.

The Story of a Great Prince and His

Times

(New York: 4. Ibid., p.

224.

5. Ibid., p.

255.

6.

W W Norton, 1947),

p.

255.

The Conquest of Paradise (New York: Penguin,

Sale Kirkpatrick,

1991), pp. 50-

1.

7.

Benjamin Keen,

trans.,

The

Life of Admiral Christopher

Ferdinand (New Brunswick, 8.

N.J.:

Columbus by His Son

Rutgers University Press, 1959),

Gianni Granzotto, Christopher Columbus:The

Dream and

p. 5.

the Obsession,

Stephen (Garden City: Doubleday, 1985), pp. 39-41.

Sartarelli, trans. 9.

10.

Keen, pp. 16-17.

Samuel

Eliot Morison,

(Boston: Litde,

Admiral of the Sea:

Brown and

A Life of Christopher Columbus

Co., 1942), p. 57.

11. Ibid., p. 93.

12. Granzotto, p. 44.

594-5.

13. Ibid., pp.

14.

Samuel

Eliot Morison, Christopher

Columbus, Mariner (Boston:

Little,

Brown

and Co., 1942), pp. 127-9. 15.

Thomas,

p. 90.

16. Ibid., p. 96. 17.

Williams,

18.

James Pope-Hennessy, Sins of the Father:

19.

Will Durant, The Reformation: The Story of Civilization VI

p. 34.

(New York: Alfred A. Knopf,

A Study of the Atlantic Slave Traders

1968), p. 45.

(New York: Simon

& Schuster, 1957), p. 194.

20.

Thomas,

p. 191.

21. Seward, p. 294. 22. Davis, pp. 36-38. 23.

Rod

Davis, American

Voudou (Denton:

University of North Texas Press,

1999), pp. 8-9. 24.

James A.Rawley, The Trans-Atlantic SlaveTrade (New York:W.W. Norton,


2

1981), pp. 105-6. 25. Ibid., pp. 136-8.

26. Will

Durant and Ariel Durant, Rousseau and Revolution:

Civilization

X

(New York: Simon

& Schuster,

The Story of

1967), p. 939.

27. Augur, pp. 3-27. 28. Charles Nicholl,

The Creature

in the

Map:

A Journey to El Dorado

William Morrow and Company, 1995), pp. 127, 309-1 29.

Thomas,

(New York:

1.

p. 155.

Chapter 12 1.

Thomas,

p. 204.

2. Ibid., p.

248.

3. Ibid., p.

177.

4.

Bullock,

5.

Morison, The Maritime History of Massachusetts,

p. 59.

p. 32.

6. Ibid., p. 33. 7. Ibid., p.

278.

8.

Thomas,

9.

Robert G. Albion, William A. Baker, and Benjamin

p. 176.

W Labaree, New England

and the Sea (Mystic, Conn.: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1972), 10.

Pope-Hennessy,

11.

Bullock,

12.

Thomas, pp. 771

13.

Brandt, pp. 68-9.

14.

Edmund

p. 37.

p. 226.

p. 59.

S.

—

Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom (New York:

Norton, 1975),

WW

p. 77.

15. Ibid., p. 80.

16. Ibid., p. 315. 17.

Ruth Harrison Jones,

"Unknown

ed.,

Harrison Heritage vol. VI, no. 4 (Dec,

Possible Ancestors of the Presidents Harrison," from the

http://moon.ouhsc.edu/rbonner/HHDOCS/86decHH.html. 18.

Morgan,

19.

Pope-Hennessy, pp. 223-4.

p. 121.

20. Bullock, p. 80. 21. Baigent and Leigh, p. 180.

Chapter 13

1986)

Web

site


1.

Jim Marrs, Rule by Secrecy (New York: HarperCollins, 2000), pp. 209-12.

2.

John Davis, The Kennedy Contract (New York: HarperCollins, 1993),

3.

Jim Garrison,

On the

Trail of the Assassins

p. 81.

(New York: Warner Books,

1988),

p. 328. 4.

David

5.

Robert

S. Lifton, J.

Best Evidence

Berkley Books, 1989),

pp. 64-7.

p. 104.

6.

Groden and Livingstone,

7.

Marrs,

p.

(New York: Penguin, 1992)

Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone, High Treason (New York:

p. 154.

216.

Chapter 14 1.

Martin Booth, Opium:

2.

Alfred

A History (New York:

St.

Martin's Press, 1996), pp.

16-24.

W. McCoy, The

Politics of Heroin:

CIA Complicity in

the Global

DrugTrade

(New York:

HarperCollins, 1991),

p. 79.

3.

Booth, pp. 82-3.

4.

Carl A. Trocki, Opium, Empire and the Global Political

Routledge, 1999), 5.

p. 32.

Edward A. Gargan, "The Humbling of a Heavyweight,"

November

Klepper and Gunther,

7.

Charles Tyng, Before the Wind: The

Kodansha, 1999),

Memoir of an American Sea Captain (New

xiii-xviii.

Charles Corn, The Scents of Eden:

Thomas

30

p. 1 1.

York: Viking, 1999), pp.

9.

New York Times,

1995.

6.

8.

Economy (New York:

A History of the Spice Trade

(New York:

p. 303.

G Cary, Memoir of Thomas Handasyd Perkins

(Boston: Little,

Brown

and

New York:

Burt Franklin, 1971),

p.

209.

Ward, The Opium War 1840-1842, (Chapel

Hill:

Co., 1856; reprint, 10. Fay, Peter

Carolina Press, 1995),

University of North

p. 140.

11. Chaitkin.p. 135. 12.

Morison, The Maritime History of Massachusetts,

13.

Albion, Baker, and Labaree, p. 92.

14.

Nathaniel Bowditch, Bowditch's Coastal Navigation Publishing, 1979), Notes.

p. 115.

(New York: Arco


15.

Thomas N. Layton, The Voyage of the

Opium Trade

Frolic:

New

England Merchants and the

(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), p. 25.

Chapter 15 1.

Klepper and Gunther,

2. Ibid.,

p. 28.

page 29.

3. Ellis, p. 177. 4.

Lucy Kavaler, The

Astors:

An American Legend (New

York: Dodd, Mead,

1968), p. 30. 5. Ibid., p. 30. 6. Ellis, p.

210.

7. Ibid., p.

211.

8. Ibid., p.

244.

9.

Klepper and Gunther,

p. 19.

10. Ellis, p. 318. 11.

Albion, Baker, and Labaree, pp. 97-100.

12.

Ron Chernow, The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and

the

Rise

of Modern Finance

(New York: Touchstone Books,

1991), pp. 8-16.

13.

From the Web

14.

Kenneth Sydney Davis, FDR: The Beckoning of Destiny 1882-1928 (New

site

www.trainweb.org/panama/historyl.html.

York:

Random House,

1996) pp. 15-20.

15. Ibid., p. 42.

16.

Jeremy Rifkin and Jeremy P.Tarcher, The Biotech Century (New York: Putnam, 1999), p. 117. Steinberg,

17. Jeffrey

(editor)

et

Dope,

al.

Inc.

(Washington, D.C.: Executive

Intelligence

Review, 1992) 18.

Booth,

19.

Fay,

p.

p. 127.

p. 128.

132

20. Gargan,

"The Humbling of a Heavyweight."

21. Booth, pp. 51-66. 22. Ibid., pp. 51-74. 23. Kathryn

Meyer and Terry

Parssinen,

Web of Smoke:

Smugglers, Warlords, Spies

and the History of the International

Drug Trade (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and


Littlefield, 1998), p. 125.

Chapter 16 1.

Phillips, p. 13.

2.

Nelson

W Aldrich, Old Money:

The Mythology of Wealth

in

America (New

York:

Allworth Press, 1996),

p. 61.

3. Ibid., p. 13. 4.

Morison, The Maritime History of Massachusetts,

5. Ibid., p.

27.

6. Ibid., p.

154.

7. Ibid., p.

167.

8.

New

Harriet H. Robinson, "Early Factory Labor in

& Potter,

1883), pp. 380-92, from the

of

Statistics

Labor,

Web

p. 23.

site

England" (Boston: Wright

of the Massachusetts Bureau of

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/robinson-

lowell.html. 9.

Page Smith, The Rise of Reconstruction Era

10.

Booth, chapter

11.

Thom

Industrial America:

(New York: Penguin,

A

1990),

People's History of the Post-

p.

221.

9.

Metzger, The Birth of Heroin and the Demonization of the

Dope Fiend

(Port

Townsend, Wash.: Loomponics Unlimited, 1998), 12.

p. 132.

Edward, Marshall, NewYork Times, "The Story of the Opium Fight," March 1911, from Schaffer Library of

Drug Policy

Web

site,

12,

http://www.druglibrary.

org/schaffer/. 13.

Metzger,

p. 176.

Chapter 17 1.

Jonathan Vankin, Conspiracies, Cover-ups and Crimes p.

2.

(New York:

Dell, 1992),

234.

Ron Rosenbaum, The

Secret Parts of Fortune (NewYork: HarperCollins, 2000),

p.l.

3.

Robin W. Winks, Cloak and Gown, Scholars

in the Secret

War 1939-1961

(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996),

p. 15.

4. Ibid., p. 96. 5.

Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas, Wise Men, Six Friends and the World They


Made (New 6.

& Schuster,

York: Simon

1986), pp. 80-2.

Antony Sutton, America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction

to the

Order of

Israel's

Mossad

Skull

and Bones 7.

(Billings, Mont.: Liberty

House

Press, 1983), p. 8.

Joel Bainerman, Inside the Covert Operations of the

CIA and

(New York: SPI Books, 1994), 8.

Ralph G. Martin, Henry Putnam, 1991),

9.

p. 164.

& Clare: An Intimate Portrait of the Luces

(New York:

p. 61.

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey

St. Clair,

Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the

Press (NewYork: Verso, 1998), p. 238. 10.

McCoy,

11. Peter

pp. 162-73.

Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine,

Politics,

Drugs, Armies and

the

CIA 12.

in Central

America (Berkeley: University of California

Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter

American Coup

in

Fruit:

Press, 1992), p. 52.

The Untold Story of

Guatemala (New York: Doubleday, 1982),

the

p. 76.

13. Ibid., p. 11. 14. Ibid., p. 72.

15. Ibid., pp. 82-4. 16. Ibid., pp. 90-2. 17. Scott

18.

and Marshall,

Cockburn and

19. L.

p. 57.

St. Clair, pp.

259-61.

Fletcher Prouty, JFK, the CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John

Kennedy (New York: Carol Publishing Group,

F

1992), pp. 131-2.

20. Vankin,pp. 182-4. 21.

Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1994).

pp. 52-3. 22. Arthur

M.

Schlesinger,

Jr.,

Robert Kennedy and His Time,

(New York:

Ballatine,

1978), p. 665. 23.

Groden and Livingstone,

24.

John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York: Carroll and Graf, 1995), pp. 61-7.

25. Martin, pp. 264-5. 26. Fonzi, p. 10. 27. Fonzi, p. 217.

pp. 160-1


28. Gerard

Colby with Charlotte Dennett, Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the

Amazon

—Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism

in the

Age of

Oil

(New York:

Harper Collins, 1995) p. 312. 29. Marita Lorenz, Marita

(New York: Thunder's Mouth

Press, 1993), p. 33.

30. Ibid., p. 58. 31. Ibid., p. 127. 32. Ibid., p. 168.

33.

Timothy Leary,"The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer," The Rebel (November 22, 1983).

34. Burton Hersh,

The Old Boys: The American

Elite

and the Origins of the

CIA

(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992), 35. Bill Minutaglio, First Son:

York:

Random House,

p.

358.

George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty (New

1999), pp. 103-5.

Secret Societies of America's Elite  

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