Saturday, November 28, 2009

Harold G. Hoffman: laughing all the way to the bank

Hoffman leaves the funeral of Ellis Parker in 1940. Image from

Late in the evening on October 17, 1935, Bruno Hauptmann received a surprise visit in his prison cell. Eight days before, the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals had affirmed the conviction of the Bronx carpenter and German immigrant in the "Crime of the Century." Sentenced to die, Hauptmann must have been reassured to see that his visitor was someone who could help save him: Harold Giles Hoffman, the Republican Governor of New Jersey. For over an hour, Hauptmann talked with the Governor and maintained his innocence in the crime: the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the infant son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, from his East Amwell home in 1932 and the child's subsequent murder.

Hoffman's belated involvement in the case has gained more attention than the indisputably criminal actions he admitted to later in his life. Hoffman had won the 1934 gubernatorial election, becoming the youngest governor of the state at 38 years old, and arrived in the office in the midst of Hauptmann's trial. As governor, he did not have the sole authority to grant clemency to condemned prisoners. Rather, the state had an eight-member court of pardons consisting of the governor and seven judges; a majority vote was needed to approve a pardon, and the governor had to be included in that bloc for it to go forward. When his meeting with Hauptmann became public in December of 1935, Hoffman said he was seeking to encourage the other members of the court to visit Hauptmann as well as part of their considerations regarding further action in the matter.

Hoffman also announced that Ellis Parker, a Burlington County detective who had been put on the case by the previous governor, Democrat A. Harry Moore, would be taking another look at the evidence. Parker was of the opinion that Hauptmann was innocent, but Hoffman claimed to have a different opinion. He said that while the courts had already determined that Hauptmann was guilty of the kidnap-murder, he did not believe the crime could have been carried out by only one person. At the same time, Hoffman levied criticism against key figures in the case. He charged that police superintendent H. Norman Schwarzkopf had mishandled the original investigation, while attorney general David T. Wilentz conducted a biased prosecution. On December 22 of 1935, the same day Hauptmann appealed for clemency to the court of pardons, Lindbergh and his family secretly left the country to make a home in England. The decision was probably motivated mostly by threats made against Lindbergh's other son, but the Associated Press reported that friends of the family were also dismayed by Hoffman's visit to Hauptmann and statements suggesting that the entire drama had not been unraveled. As far as Lindbergh was concerned, Hauptmann's conviction should have closed the case.

While the Lindbergh case has spurred plenty of arguments and theories about whether justice was done and Hauptmann was the person to blame, Hoffman's actions on behalf of such a notorious character soon made him extremely unpopular. When he granted Hauptmann a 30-day reprieve from the electric chair in January of 1936, there were cries for his impeachment. Hoffman defended the action, saying he "share[d] with hundreds of our people the doubt as to the value of the evidence that placed [Hauptmann] in the Lindbergh nursery on the night of the crime." At the end of month, he ordered the state police to reopen investigation, saying there was "abundant evidence that other persons participated in the crime."

An even stranger twist occurred when the pardons court received copies of a confession signed by Paul H. Wendel, a disbarred Trenton lawyer. Wendel later denied confessing to the kidnap-murder, saying it had been extracted by torture. In addition, he claimed Parker had encouraged him to sign the document because it would lead to a financial windfall and Hoffman would ensure that he would escape punishment. Hoffman denied having any knowledge of Wendel's confession, but later admitted that he'd been informed about it. Time reported that Hoffman also fought to reduce Hauptmann's sentence to life imprisonment during a closed session, but by spring of 1936 Hoffman had said no more help would be forthcoming. On April 3, Hauptmann was executed.

The governor's actions raised questions as to whether he was simply playing politics with the infamous case. It was suggested that his criticism of Schwartzkopf aimed to replace the Republican police commissioner with one of his own appointees, while also trying to discredit the Democratic attorney general. In doing so, critics posited, Hoffman would have been able to elevate his own standing in the Republican Party and make a strong bid for Vice President at the 1936 Republican National Convention. If his actions had led to Hauptmann being found innocent or another perpetrator being arrested, he may well have been hailed as a hero.

Instead, Hoffman was blasted in the press and by members of the state government. A normally mundane selection process for four New Jersey delegates-at-large to the Republican National Convention was followed closely when former congressman Franklin William Fort challenged Hoffman for one of the spaces. With the selection process taking place not long after Hauptmann's execution, Fort charged that Hoffman was receiving support from Jersey City mayor and Democratic boss Frank Hague. However, Fort focused most of his attention on Hoffman's handling of the Hauptmann matter. "No man has done more in my memory to attempt to break down the fundamental American respect for the power and dignity of our courts of justice," he declared.

Hoffman was able to defeat Fort to become a delegate, but received the lowest number of votes of the four people selected, dashing any hopes of getting onto a national ticket. The whole affair had a few notable epilogues. Attending a formal dinner opening for the National Exhibition of American Art in New York City, Hoffman didn't much like whatever Hearst reporter Lou Wedemar was saying about the governor's political future; Hoffman responded by cold-clocking the man, whom he outweighed by 80 pounds. Hoffman later wrote a series of articles on the case for Liberty magazine; among the assertions he made was that the corpse that was found was not positively identified as Lindbergh's son. In 1985, a total of 23,633 documents related to the case, including the Lindberghs' original statements to police, were found in the garage of Hoffman's former home; Hoffman had taken them for review in his own investigation and never brought them back. The discovery prompted Hauptmann's widow to sue the state for wrongful death, arguing that the documents revealed such miscarriages of justice as handwriting experts changing their opinion on whether Hauptmann had written a ransom note after talking to police and an autopsy performed by an intoxicated coroner. State officials denied the claim, saying that the documents actually reinforced Hauptmann's conviction.

Born in South Amboy, New Jersey in February of 1896, Hoffman began working as a sports reporter when he was only 12 years old. He kept up the job through his graduation from the South Amboy High School in 1913, eventually becoming sports editor for the Perth Amboy Evening Times and freelancer for the New York Times. After serving with the Army in World War I and attaining the rank of captain, Hoffman returned to his home state to become the treasurer of the South Amboy Trust Company. He later became vice-president of the bank and remained active with the organization until 1942. Hoffman also dabbled in real estate, helping found the Hoffman-Lehrer Real Estate Corporation and serving as director of the Investor Building and Loan Association.

Hoffman's first entry into politics came in 1920, only one year after he began working with the South Amboy Trust Company, when he was chosen to be the city's treasurer. He left the post five years and two terms in the New Jersey house of assembly later, when he was chosen to be mayor of South Amboy. Hoffman also worked as a secretary to Morgan F. Larson, future governor of the state, when Larson was president of the state senate. After being elected to the House of Representatives in 1926 and 1928, Hoffman was appointed motor vehicle commissioner of New Jersey in a 59-16 vote of the state legislature. The decision came in February of 1930, and Hoffman did double duty as a congressman and commissioner until his term in the national office expired in 1931.

As motor vehicle commissioner, Hoffman became an early opponent of drunk driving. In August of 1930, he told the magistrate judges in the state to end the practices of suspending sentences for driving while intoxicated cases and allowing such offenders to pay their fines on an installment plan. Hoffman held the post until he was elected governor of New Jersey in 1934. In this race, he easily won the Republican nomination, gathering more votes than the other three contestants combined, and defeated Democrat William L. Dill (the former motor vehicle commissioner) in the general election. As governor, Hoffman remained concerned about traffic safety. In December of 1935, in the midst of the controversy over his involvement in the Hauptmann case, Hoffman wrote an article entitled "Death After Dark." He said 20,000 of the 36,000 motor vehicle accidents in the prior year had occurred at night, with drivers going too fast and having too slow of a reaction time. "As a nation, we have failed to grasp the fact that as the sun goes down, so must our speed," he said. "We are simply driving too fast for our eyes."

Hoffman was a large, jovial man who loved to play the clown. He was not above dressing up in comically oversize pants or rigging up office telephones to spray unsuspecting callers with water. Over the course of his career, he put together a collection of hundreds of lucky elephant statues. Hoffman's temper could sometimes get the better of him, though. In addition to the reporter he punched out, he once tussled with a former prizefighter in Trenton.

Hoffman's intervention in the Hauptmann case largely overshadowed his other actions during his four years in office, but his other major initiative also proved unpopular. With the Great Depression still hitting the country hard, half a million residents were putting a heavy stress on the state relief program. In order to keep the program funded, Hoffman proposed a two percent tax increase on retail sales. The tax was pushed through the legislature, but proved unpopular with the majority of the Republican Party. The conservative Clean Government Group charged that support for the bill had been purchased, with 20 Hague Democrats in the legislature voting in favor of the measure after the governor promised Hague hundreds of patronage jobs. After only 117 days, the tax was overturned. The only other instance in which Hoffman received major attention during his time as governor was a near-death experience on the Fourth of July in 1937. While reviewing a deep-sea fishing fleet, an explosion in the engine room set fire to his yacht. Hoffman and the other 27 passengers were rescued by the Coast Guard.

New Jersey law prevented Hoffman from running for a second term, so in the waning days of his administration he created the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Commission, whose friendly commissioners ushered him in as executive director. He tried again for the GOP nomination for governor in 1940, without success. He continued to serve as the unemployment commissioner until June of 1942, when he was granted military leave to return to the Army. He served overseas as a major in the Transportation Corps, and was discharged four years later as a colonel. Even during the war, Hoffman couldn't escape some of the old charges against him. In 1943, while in Trenton, he admitted that he had recommended friends for state jobs while governor, but did not consider that there had been any wrongdoing because he had not broken any laws to do so.

After returning from his service, Hoffman tried unsuccessfully for the 1946 gubernatorial nomination and resumed his post as executive director of the unemployment commission. He was later appointed by Republican Governor Alfred E. Driscoll to be director of the newly established Division of Employment Services. In the first hint of Hoffman's future troubles, there were suspicions in 1949 that a brokerage firm Hoffman had recommended had profited unfairly from bond sales to the state. He also admitted to seeking the political support of racketeer Longie Zwillman during the 1946 primaries.

In March of 1954, Democratic Governor Robert Meyner suspended Hoffman due to the discovery of financial irregularities within his department. As the investigation proceeded, it found that Hoffman had rigged bids to benefit friends, signed illegal contracts overpaying for state office space, and other errors suggesting embezzlement. In May, Hoffman gave a letter to his daughter, Ada, containing instructions to not open it until after his death. The timing was fortuitous; Hoffman passed away the next month after suffering a heart attack while in New York City.

When Ada opened the letter, she was so upset about its contents that she ended up destroying it. Before doing so, however, she had shown it to two of her father's friends, including attorney Harry Green, who urged her to reconstruct it and make it public. Ada did so, giving as a reason the assertion that Meyner and the Democratic administration had broken their promise to treat the case quietly after Hoffman's death and were "dancing on his grave." While Ada's entire recollection is only as accurate as her memory, she fired back that Hoffman had accused Meyner of complicity in the same rental-purchasing agreement with which her father had been associated.

More serious, however, was Hoffman's deathbed admission that he had stolen state funds throughout his career. He wrote that he went into debt after his 1926 congressional campaign when future Senator Hamilton Fish Kean reneged on a promise to pay off $17,000 in expenses and only gave him $2,500. With other costs mounting from keeping houses in New Jersey and the capital (and, as some have suggested, maintaining a lifestyle including lavish parties and bootleg liquor), Hoffman began drawing on inactive accounts at the South Amboy Trust Company. To cover those shortages, he had stolen $300,000 in state funds. Further investigation determined that Hoffman had elaborately juggled $15,801,197 between different state funds to make sure that theft wasn't noticeable. Hoffman said that a state official, deceased by that time, had discovered the wrongdoing and extorted $150,000 in exchange for keeping quiet; he maintained that but for the blackmail, he would have been able to repay the debt.

Hoffman declared, rather falsely, that no one had been hurt as a result of his theft of taxpayer money. He also said the awarding of jobs to friends was the result of "an almost uncontrollable urge to help other people." He urged Ada not to let her son enter the field of politics. "It is a lousy game," Hoffman complained. "In order to be elected, you must necessarily accept favors from a large number of people. If you attempt to repay them after being elected to office, it becomes wrongdoing. If you don't, you are an ingrate." Ada also recalled that the letter had a personal apology to his family. "It is a sad heritage I leave to Mother, to Hope, and to you," he said, "but I pray it may somewhat be softened by the knowledge that I do love you all so much."

Investigators confirmed the theft and also revealed lesser instances of misconduct. Hoffman was accused of depositing $3,427,000 without interest into the Trenton Trust Company, a bank run by a friend, an action that allowed the bank to earn $300,000 in five years; the bank returned the favor by putting $150,000 into a non-interest account for Hoffman at the South Amboy Trust Company. It was also alleged that Hoffman awarded one state employee $1,000 for overtime he never performed and unfairly gave 50 companies favorably low unemployment insurance rates.

Hoffman was beyond the reach of the law, but the scandal resulted in four of his aides being suspended and a fifth one resigning. His family promised to repay the stolen money, though it is unclear how successful they were in this venture. One year after the scandal, the state sued the South Amboy Trust Company for the stolen $300,000 plus interest; the suit was settled in 1958 for $176,000. As a more lasting result, the embezzlement resulted in stricter audits on state agencies to prevent such a crime from happening again.

Sources: The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, The New Jersey State Library, "Hoffman Elected To Succeed Dill" in the New York Times on Feb. 5 1930, "Hoffman Will Hold Two Public Posts" in the New York Times on Mar. 29 1930, "Asks Drastic Curb On Drunk Driving" in the New York Times on Aug. 27 1930, "Governor Signs Repeal Soon After Passage By Legislature" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Oct. 26 1935, "Noted Sleuth Says Bruno Is Innocent" in the Evening Independent on Dec. 6 1935, "Death After Dark" in the Brownsville Times on Dec. 12 1935, "Hauptmann Denies 'Doubt Of Guilt'" in the New York Times on Dec. 19 1935, "Kidnap Threats Make Lindbergh Go To England" in the Spokane Daily Chronicle on Dec. 23 1935, "Jersey Court Unique Body" in the Bend Bulletin on Dec. 23 1935, "Reprieve Hint False, Bruno Told In Cell" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Dec. 27 1935, "Crime: Hoffman To Hauptmann" in Time on Jan. 27 1936, "Gov. Hoffman Orders Police To Resume Probe Of Evidence In Lindbergh Kidnaping Case" in the Daily Illini on Jan. 31 1936, "Kidnaping Probe Meets Turndown By Legislature" in the Evening Independent on Apr. 7 1936, "Political Notes: The Hoffman Case" in Time on Apr. 13 1936, "New Jersey: Hoffman v. Fort" in Time on Jun. 1 1936, "People" in Time on Jul. 12 1937, "Hoffman Defends Patronage Action" in the New York Times on Dec. 22 1943, "Hoffman To Direct UCC" in the New York Times on Jun. 8 1946, "Hoffman Defends Record In Office" in the Eugene Register-Guard on Jun. 25 1954, "A Death Divulges A Life Of Deception" in Life on Jun. 28 1954, "Joker's Heritage" in Time on Jun. 28 1954, "Millions Juggled In Hoffman Theft" in the New York Times on Jul. 30 1954, "Jersey Sues Bank On Hoffman Fund" in the New York Times on Feb. 11 1955, "Jersey Settles Hoffman Claim" in the New York Times on Jul. 3 1958, "Wife Says Man 'Framed' In Lindbergh Case" in the Eugene Register-Guard on Oct. 23 1985, Encyclopedia of New Jersey edited by Maxine N. Lurie and Marc Mappen, Notorious New Jersey: 100 True Tales of Murders and Mobsters, Scandals and Scoundrels by Jon Blackwell, The Lindbergh Case by Jim Fisher, New Jersey: A History by Thomas J. Fleming

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Charles E. Bowles: another mayoral Klandidate


Hampered in large part by the sensational murder trial of David Curtis Stephenson and the widespread exposure of corruption in the Indiana government that followed, the Ku Klux Klan had lost much of its influence by 1929. Charles E. Bowles, a former Klan candidate for mayor of Detroit, won the office that year without any tangible support from the organization. Within seven months of beginning his term, however, Bowles had been kicked out of city hall.

Detroit was proving to be a popular destination for eastern and southern European immigrants during the 1920s. By 1930, 25 percent of the city's population, or about 400,000 people, was foreign-born. Bowles, who had been born in Yale, Michigan in March of 1884, was a Republican and practicing lawyer. When the incumbent mayor, John C. Lodge, announced he was too ill to complete the rest of his term, the Klan tapped Bowles for their candidate.

Bowles' opponent was a natural Klan enemy. John William Smith was a working class Catholic opposed to Prohibition; his promises included extending more rights to black citizens and putting more black police officers on the city's police force. While Smith campaigned for black and immigrant support, the Klan had failed to get Bowles on the ballot and began pushing for write-in votes. Their tactics included disturbing Smith rallies by showing up and screaming Bowles' name and burning a cross on the lawn of Smith's home. When the approximately 325,000 votes were tallied, Bowles was found to have won by 7,000 votes. However, a technicality kept him out of office. Smith challenged the result, and upon review the election commission determined that any write-in vote for Bowles that was misspelled could not count. Almost 17,000 were invalidated, and Smith settled in for a one-year term.

In 1925, Bowles again ran for mayor with Klan support. Smith again defeated him, this time by 29,787 votes out of about 250,000. The Klan had managed to put four of their five candidates on the city council, but Bowles put aside his attempts at the mayor's office and became a recorder's court judge from 1926 until 1929. In that year, he again challenged Smith, though with Klan support severely diminished or nonexistent. By a margin of 8,595 votes, Bowles was elected mayor. Smith once again demanded a recount, but this time Bowle's victory was upheld.

It wasn't exactly a good time to be coming into office. Not long before the election, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression was beginning to take hold. With welfare expenditures on the rise, Bowles asked the Detroit Bureau of Government Research to survey the problem to keep costs under control. However, differences between Bowles and the city council inhibited attempts to reduce unemployment through public works projects.

Other decisions soon made Bowles an unpopular man. In March of 1930, he announced his intention to raise the streetcar fare from six cents to eight cents despite the mounting economic problems. The suggestion was criticized so much that Bowles backed off it before it went into effect. Frank Couzens, son of Senator and former mayor James Couzens, was the sole opponent of the fare hike on the Detroit Street Railway Commission. Couzens also opposed a decision to change the railway's insurance from multiple insurance carriers to a single one, saying the commission was favoring one carrier when another had offered a lower price. Bowles responded by asking him to resign.

Though he'd come into office promising reform, Bowles' ideas of doing so were not well-received. That same month that Couzens was removed, he announced the retirement of seven veteran police officers and the formation of a citywide vice squad. Under the new framework, the unit would have jurisdiction over all vice cases in the city, where formerly they had been handled by precinct commanders. Rather than reducing vice in the city, however, the city saw an increase in gambling and other such crimes. The squad also enforced some cases more strictly than others, a practice that led to rumors that it was associated with the underworld and going easy on mobsters.

Most controversial were Bowles appointments to different political offices. His choice for employment manager of the Detroit Street Railway declared that he would give fellow members of the Odd Fellows lodge preference for hiring, and the appointment had to be rescinded after he'd held it only two days. John Gillespie, a Republican politician, was named commissioner of the Department of Public Works and was soon accused of using his position to benefit personal business projects, favor certain contractors, and begin building a political machine to work on behalf of Bowles. When the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News became increasingly critical of the administration, Bowles responded by refusing to speak to reporters, an action that only earned him more contempt.

It seemed like the only way to realize the promised reform was to act on the vice problems while the mayor's back was turned. In May of 1930, Bowles and Gillespie left the city to watch the Kentucky Derby. While they were gone, Frank Couzens turned down a chance to return to the Detroit Street Railway Commission, saying he didn't intend to serve "any mayor who would not give me a hand to perform my official duties according to my best judgment in public interest." Couzens himself later became mayor of the city from 1933 to 1938. More importantly, police commissioner Harold H. Emmons was persuaded by citizens and the press to start raiding saloons and underworld dens. While Bowles and Gillespie took in the horse race, 276 people were arrested in Detroit, many of them swiftly convicted and sentenced.

When Emmons said he intended to continue his crackdown on the vice problems, Bowles dismissed him and replaced him with Thomas C. Wilcox. Echoing Couzens' complaints that Bowles was too restrictive, Emmons said the mayor "insisted on assuming the entire responsibility" for taking care of vice problems; he said that while such a system led to "an increase in efficiency in handling of major crimes, that is, those of violence" it also caused "diminished efficiency in the handling of gambling and other vice."

Bowles denied any interference in police work, but angered citizens thought he had removed Emmons for a job well-done. The action further fueled rumor that Bowles was favoring gangsters, though Emmons said that was not the case. However, he did say that Bowles had reinstated several gambling dens while Emmons was away on a business trip. An editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that the failure of the government to address the vice issue was hypocrisy at best and collusion at worst. One day after Emmons was removed, a citizens' committee began gathering signatures for a recall election.

While Emmons' dismissal was the main bone of contention, the recall found plenty of other complaints to raise against Bowles. It charged that the mayor "substituted secrecy for frankness in public business," had attempted to "weld street railway and other city employees into a political machine," had "threatened the success of municipal ownership" by attempting a streetcar fare hike, and had forced Couzens off the Detroit Street Railway Commission.

The Klan found a voice in the city's politics again, charging that the recall effort was a Catholic hit job. Other supporters said the city's newspapers, most of which threw their weight behind the effort, were upset because Bowles had reduced their influence over the city. Ultimately, however, the petition had accumulated 111,270 signatures when it was filed on June 18, well above the 89,467 needed to call a special election. There may have been even more; Time reported that of about 400 lawyers collecting signatures in the city, two had their petitions seized by police. Wilcox said he wouldn't stand for such behavior by the officers.

Bowles sought to delay the election and was able to win a temporary injunction, but it was later removed. A recall election was scheduled for July 22. When the results were in, 57 percent of the voters, a majority of 30,956, favored removing Bowles from office. The idea that Bowles was colluding with the underworld grew more popular with a sharp increase in violence during the lead-up to the recall election. In a 19-day period, there were eleven murders. It was enough to draw Governor Fred Warren Green to Detroit to start his own investigation and threaten martial law.

The last of that set of murders was shocking enough that it overshadowed the result of the recall. Gerald E. Buckley, a popular radio broadcaster and well-known anti-Bowles partisan, went on the air with the election results on the late evening of July 22. He returned to the La Salle Hotel, where he was residing, and sat down in the lobby to read a newspaper. At about 1:40 a.m., three men came entered the hotel and gunned Buckley down, hitting him with 11 bullets.

Over 100,000 people attended Buckley's funeral. Many felt that they only had jobs during the Depression because Buckley had made an effort to find employment for the city's residents. Angry citizens charged that Bowles had sent hitmen to rub out Buckley as payback for his influential efforts to oust the mayor. Others thought the killing was a response to Buckley's denunciations of gambling, or his testimony in a gangland double homicide that he witnessed outside the same hotel where he was later murdered. Police commissioner Wilcox took a different approach: he said that Buckley was himself involved with the mob, and had taken part in racketeering and extortion. Though he claimed to have an affidavit accusing Buckley of receiving $4,000 from a racketeer, he was unable or unwilling to produce it for the press.

The public didn't buy it. The Detroit Times wrote a story agreeing that the motive for Buckley's murder was involvement in racketeering, and included an accusation from Bowles that Buckley had offered to change his tune on the mayor if he were paid off. In response, the newspaper was deluged by complaints, had about 12,000 people cancel their subscriptions, and lost several advertisers. Other papers blasted the slaying as a direct result of negligence in the city government. The Detroit Free Press said Buckley was dead "because the government of the city of Detroit failed to maintain a decent check on banditry and gunmen, but allowed them to think that the town is wide open and 'easy.' His blood cries from the ground for vengeance; and his death is a solemn warning to the municipal officials and to the city."

Bowles was set to continue his roles as mayor until a special election in September, and sought to remedy some of the things that had led to the recall and his own unpopularity. He denounced Buckley's murder as "a terrible thing," abolished the central vice squad, and supported more raids against speakeasies. Gillespie, whose name had come up almost as much as Bowles' in the various implications, resigned. These actions may well have been due to the fact that the recall election did not guarantee that Bowles would be removed from office; he was allowed to run in the election to try to keep his job.

Bowles put in an impressive showing at the special election, which included five contenders. When the result was called, he had earned 93,985 votes, besting by about 8,500 votes George Engel, a former civil service commission chairman who had received the endorsement of the recall committee. Victory, however, went to Democratic candidate Frank Murphy, a judge of the recorder's court, who received 106,637 vote.

Murphy's inauguration had to wait another 13 days. Bowles challenged the result, charging irregularities and fraud in the election. Some citizens responded by filing a lawsuit demanding his speedy removal. "Bowles is in by right of a valid election, the election last fall," said Charles S. Abbott, Bowles' attorney. "Nothing, we contend, has occurred since that time to put him out." Though Bowles threatened to take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court, he later ceded the election to Murphy after the City Election Commission failed to find anything that significantly affected the vote.

Three men were indicted in the Buckley shooting, and the prosecutor in the case accused them of being leaders in the vice world who had also contributed $11,000 to Bowles' campaign. Bowles had already recovered from his recall, however; at about the same time that the charge came out in March of 1931, he was nominated in a nonpartisan primary to take up his old job as judge of the recorder's court. Buckley's accused killers were later acquitted, though Time reported that two of them were immediately arrested on other charges.

Continuing his law work, Bowles also took several more stabs at different elected posts. He ran for the House of Representatives in 1932 to 1934. He lowered his sights to the state government later on, making bids for circuit court judge in 1941 and the state house of representatives in 1950 and 1952. Bowles passed away in July of 1957.

Sources: The Political Graveyard, "Klan Candidates Picked For Council" in the Ludington Daily News on Nov. 4 1925, "Police Guard Ballots Pending Recount Demand" in the Ludington Daily News on Nov. 7 1929, "Couzens Saves Himself From Being Fired Again By Declining Position" in the Ludington Daily News on May 20 1930, "Resignation Of Police Head Requested" in the Evening Independent on May 21 1930, "Citizens' Committee Formed To Circulate Petitions For Recall Of Detroit's Mayor" in the Evening Independent on May 22 1930, "Turmoil In Detroit" in Time on Jun. 2 1930, "Detroit Mayor Loses Last Suit To Halt Recall" in the Chicago Tribune on Jul. 9 1930, "The Recall In Detroit" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Jul. 10 1930, "Detroit Radio Announcer Is Shot To Death" in the Evening Independent on Jul. 23 1930, "Admits Buckley Affidavit Is False" in the Evening Independent on Jul. 25 1930, "Death In Detroit" in Time on Aug. 4 1930, "Murphy Elected Mayor Of Detroit" in the Ludington Daily News on Sept. 10 1930, "Chas. Bowles Asks For Recount" in the Ludington Daily News on Sept. 15 1930, "Bowles Is Bound To Hold On To Office Of Detroit Mayor" in the Ludington Daily News on Sept. 17 1930, "Buckley's Murder Laid To Vice War" in the Milwaukee Journal on Mar. 3 1931, "Detroit's Question" in Time on May 4 1931, The American Mayor: The Best and Worst Big City Leaders by Melvin G. Holli, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle, Frank Murphy: The Detroit Years by Sidney Fine, The Industrial Revolution in America by Laurie Collier Hillstrom, Detroit: A Motor City History by David Lee Poremba

Monday, October 19, 2009

Philemon T. Herbert: breakfast brawl

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The years leading up to the Civil War were fraught with all manner of violent incidents, as the volatile question of slavery contributed to a deepening divide between the North and South. While a Southern native and secessionist, California congressman Philemon Thomas Herbert murdered a man in 1856 not because of anything related to this conflict, but because he was dissatisfied with the service he was getting at breakfast.

By the time he arrived in California, Herbert's temper had already gotten in trouble. Born in Pine Apple, Alabama in November of 1825, he was expelled from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa after stabbing another student in 1844. He moved to Texas the next year, and in 1847 served six months as a private in the First Texas Mounted Volunteers. Around 1850, he arrived in Mariposa City, California.

Herbert's political career was a fairly short one, and ultimately overshadowed by the incident that sent him to the courtroom. He was a member of the state assembly in 1853 and 1854, and in the latter year he was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives. The exact circumstances of the brawl at Willard's Hotel in Washington, D.C. on the morning of May 8, 1856, vary from person to person. Some said Herbert was drunk and abusive and committed homicide in cold blood. Others said he was acting in self-defense against a hostile group of dining room staffers. Whatever the case, Herbert ended the fight by taking out his pistol and shooting an Irish waiter named Thomas Keating in the chest; Keating died soon after.

It all came down to a question of time. Herbert came down to the dining room around 11 a.m. to have his breakfast. He got into a dispute with the staff over the lateness of the hour, since the hotel was supposed to stop serving breakfast at 11, but was ultimately served. When his order was only partially fulfilled, Herbert demanded that Keating get a second waiter to help him. Keating refused. One witness said they heard Herbert call Keating a "damned Irish son of a bitch," while another recalled Keating saying something similar to Herbert before picking up a plate in a threatening manner.

The dispute soon become a physical rather than a verbal one, with the combatants moving from fists to anything that happened to be near at hand. Several witnesses testified that the two men began throwing plates and crockery at each other, and that Herbert picked up a chair at one point to use as a weapon. Patrick Keating, the brother of Thomas, said that he advanced on Herbert armed with a pitcher and sugar bowl and tried to disarm Herbert after realizing that he had had a pistol. The cook at the hotel, J.E. Devenois, said that he considered the sound of breaking crockery normal for the dining room, and only came out of the kitchen when he heard a gunshot. When he arrived, he said that Herbert and Keating had been separated, but Herbert retained his gun. Devenois testified that Herbert then pointed the weapon at Keating, hesitated for two or three seconds, and then fired.

Herbert was charged with manslaughter, but granted a $10,000 bail. Later, he was indicted for murder, with his trial scheduled for July. Ebenezer Knowlton, an Opposition Party representative from Maine, asked the House Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether Herbert should be kicked out of Congress for disorderly conduct. However, Democratic Representative Howell Cobb of Georgia said such an action would be out of order, since it was up to the court to determine the veracity of the charges. The House voted 79-70 to table the question of whether Herbert had committed a breach of privilege.

Though the murder had nothing to due with slavery, it took place only two weeks before Preston Brooks' attack on Charles Sumner. Robert Francis Engs and Randall M. Miller later wrote that abolitionists quickly found out that Herbert came from a Southern slaveholding family, and that his action at the hotel indicated that such men "contemptuously treated northern free laborers like slaves." The New York Times later quoted a defense closing argument as saying the disparity between the social statuses of Herbert and Keating had led to "a persistent effort to build up a war of classes - a war of antagonism between those more and less favored by fortune." Indeed, prior to their trial coverage, the Times had bemoaned the murder as more of a breach of etiquette than anything. "Whatever the result, it must be a source of poignant regret to Mr. Herbert and his friends, that he carried arms with him into the hotel breakfast-room, and that even if he found it necessary to assail at all one whose station was so far beneath his own, he should have permitted himself to take the life of his fellow being when a wound in the arm or some other part not vital would have disabled him just as effectually," the newspaper opined.

The shooting was witnessed by Henry Dubois, the Dutch Minister to the United States, and prosecutors made a prolonged effort to get him to testify in the case. "Mr. Dubois was, it is believed, the only unprejudiced person who witnessed the whole affair, and it is not probable that justice can be done in this case without his evidence," Secretary of State William L. Marcy wrote to August Belmont, the U.S. Minister to the Netherlands. Dubois had expressed this own belief himself, saying that the other people in the dining room were all friends of Keating's. Unfortunately for the prosecutors, he also declined a request from Philip Barton Key, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and son of national anthem author Francis Scott Key, to appear at the trial. Dubois invoked his privileges under international law and said his standing in the country would be compromised if he testified. Dubois offered to talk about the incident with the State Department and give them the names of other people who might be of assistance in the case, but such testimony would not be admissible at trial. Herbert's attorneys later said they had also been eager to get Dubois on the stand for exculpatory purposes, but he never appeared.

At the trial, Key called several staffers from the hotel to give their recollections of the brawl and Keating's death. Herbert's lawyers argued that the waiters were all strong men who attacked and outnumbered Herbert, and that he had shot Keating in self-defense. The New York Times had previously quoted a friend of Herbert's expressing this view, who said that Keating would have killed Herbert if he had not acted as he did. The newspaper also said the fight had left Herbert "scratched and bruised, but not seriously." These arguments were strong enough that in his closing Key urged the jury to find Herbert guilty of manslaughter instead of murder. After several hours of deliberation, the jury announced they couldn't come to a decision.

A second trial took place during the same month. The prosecution again shied away from the murder, saying Herbert should only be convicted on the charge if it was found that he shot Keating without provocation after using foul language and improper behavior to harass the waiter. They outlined several ways he could be found guilty of manslaughter, including if it was determined that he shot Keating in a moment of rage after Keating provoked him or could have retreated from the fight but pressed the attack instead. They also said self-defense wasn't a viable defense if the conflict arose out of Herbert threatening Keating with the pistol.

Among the final instructions approved by the judge was that Herbert's homicide was justifiable if he had reason to believe he was in imminent danger and that it didn't matter who struck the first blow. The judge also said Herbert was bound to retreat if he was to claim self-defense, but that the caveat was not pertinent if he didn't have the opportunity to leave the scene; he could also claim self-defense if he had gotten into the fight without intending to kill Keating. The jury found Herbert not guilty of murder.

Despite the acquittal, Herbert found that the shooting had made him an unpopular man in Congress. He did not run for office again in 1858. He moved to El Paso, Texas around 1859 and began practicing law after a brief foray into mining. In an ironic epilogue to the trial, Key was himself killed by a congressman in 1859. Democratic Representative Daniel E. Sickles, suspecting Key of having an affair with his wife, shot him at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C.; Sickles was also acquitted of murder, though he too did not run again at the next election.

Herbert became a delegate to the Secession Convention and joined the Confederate Army after the secession of the Southern states. During the Civil War, he became a lieutenant in the Seventh Texas Cavalry and was ordered to begin serving in Louisiana. He was wounded at the Battle of Mansfield on April 8, 1864 and died of his injuries in Kingston, Louisiana a little more than three months later.

Sources: The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, The Political Graveyard, The Handbook of Texas Online, "From Washington" in the New York Times on May 12 1856, "The Herbert Trial" in the New York Times on Jul. 14 1856, Reports of Cases, Civil and Criminal, Argued and Adjudged in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia by John A. Hayward and George O. Hazleton, Hinds' Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States by Asher C. Hinds, The Birth of the Grand Old Party: The Republicans' First Generation by Robert Francis Engs and Randall M. Miller, Centennial History of the City of Washington, D.C. by Harvey W. Crew and William Benson Webb and John Wooldridge, Recollection of Men and Things at Washington by Lawrence Augustus Gobright, The Executive Documents of the Senate of the United States, Third Session, Thirty-Fourth Congress

Thursday, October 8, 2009

J. Herbert Burke: only there for the articles

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By 1978, J. Herbert Burke had firmly established himself as the representative from Florida's 10th District. He had won six elections, was set to run for a seventh term, and, though not one of the more well-known members of Congress, had still earned a reputation as a respectable congressman. That would literally change overnight, however, with an incident in Burke's home state and a questionable explanation for it.

Burke was a native of Chicago, born in the city in 1913 and attending Central YMCA College there as well as nearby Northwestern University. In 1940, he graduated from Kent College of Law and was admitted to the bar. Burke's entry into the legal profession was soon delayed by World War II, and he served with the U.S. Army in Europe between 1942 and 1945. He was discharged as a captain, having picked up the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, European Theater Medal, and American Theater Ribbon along the way. Upon his return to the United States, Burke began practicing law in Chicago and stayed there until 1949.

In that year, Burke decided to move to Hollywood, Florida. Three years later, he was elected as a Republican to be a Broward County commissioner. He held the position until 1967, and continued to build his political resume in other ways, including serving as a Republican state committeeman from 1954 to 1958. Burke's first stab at a national office came in January of 1955, when he ran for an opening in the House of Representatives created by the death of Democratic Representative Dwight Rogers. In the late stages of that campaign, Burke personally visited President Dwight D. Eisenhower and declared that he could "get more done under President Eisenhower than a Democrat can get."

Burke lost the race to Paul Rogers, another attorney and the late congressman's son. Eisenhower was apparently impressed with Burke, however, as he appointed him to the Southeastern Advisory Board of Small Business in 1956. That same year, Burke became the assistant campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial candidate William A. Washburne, Jr. Burke's law practice and commissioner's duties likely kept him busy, as he disappeared from the state and national radar for the next decade. When a new congressional district was allotted to Florida in 1966, though, Burke threw his hat into the ring and this time was successful in his bid for the House.

Burke's first serious challenge came only two years later, when the 10th District was redrawn. As a result, a more conservative portion of northern Broward County was excised and the more liberal areas of northern Dade County attached. Burke complained that the move amounted to gerrymandering, but was nonetheless able to eke out a victory over Democratic state representative Elton Gissendanner. In September of 1967, less than a year into his first term, the ultraconservative group Americans for Constitutional Action rated Burke (and 23 other congressmen) as 100 percent in alignment with their ideals.

Burke's most notable activities in Congress were his trips to numerous foreign countries as part of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In February of 1969, he and Democratic Representative Charles Diggs of Michigan visited Biafran leader Odumegwu Ojukwu at his official residence in Nigeria to discuss the civil war in that country. Noam Chomsky later criticized him for his reaction to congressional testimony from James Dunn, who had interviewed refugees from East Timor about atrocities committed in that country after Indonesia invaded in December of 1975. A ranking minority member on the House Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, Burke wrote, "I have my own suspicions regarding what might be behind the testimony, and I agree with you that it is in all our best interests to bury the Timor issue quickly and completely."

Burke's most notable action regarding foreign affairs was his recommendation that Ukraine and Byelorussia be expelled from the United Nations. He argued that despite the strong sense of nationalism in the regions, they were still a part of the Soviet Union and serving to give that country an extra two votes in the UN. Not sparing any words, Burke said the two regions "have been transformed into one constituent part of one vast slave state created from the blood of countless millions of murdered people who believe in their independence and who lost their lives because of that basic belief that we take for granted." In July of 1974, he criticized news coverage of the Symbionese Liberation Army, which had recently kidnapped Patty Hearst, of creating sympathy for the organization.

Burke also opposed welfare reform, arguing it would lead to an increased allocation of tax money and "socialism." When Congress voted to seat Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. at the cost of a fine, Burke said, "I couldn't conscientiously vote to seat him. Things haven't changed from two years ago. But I am glad the thing is disposed of." Despite these opinions, another conservative group, the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, ranked him only "moderately conservative" in October of 1977. One possible reflection of this opinion is Burke's about-face regarding President Richard Nixon. Though he was one of 36 House members urging Nixon to declare his intentions to run for President in January of 1968, Burke opposed granting immunity to Nixon after he resigned in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

While Burke's activities sometimes earned him mention or even headlines in the news, he was a fairly low-key individual. That changed in the early morning hours of May 27, 1978 when police were called to the Centerfold Bar, a night club in Dania, Florida that included the attractions of naked go-go dancers. According to a police report, Burke was there, being "belligerent and verbally abusive," and "yelling, shouting, disrupting business." He was arrested on charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest, without violence, by the two officers.

Burke was released after being briefly jailed, and almost immediately threatened to sue the Dania Police Department for wrongful arrest. He said that he was only at the club because he'd followed two men there after overhearing them discussing a narcotics deal. Burke said he never took in the dancers, but instead stayed outside to witness what looked like a drug exchange. After finding that his car wouldn't start, he told the bar manager, a man named Joseph Dangles, to call the police. He claimed to be caught completely off-guard when the cops put the cuffs on him instead.

Aside from his word, the only thing backing up Burke's story was the fact that he was a member of the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control at the time. Aligning more with the drunk and disorderly version was a rambling rant Burke wrote on the wall of his jail cell: "My name is J.H. Burke. The time is 12:20 a.m. I have not been charged. I want to make a charge against the (illegible) by the Dania police. I was molested by the Dania police without right of counsel with charges being made against me. I was abused, molested, abused and prevented from calling a lawyer, a friend or making a complaint. J. Herbert Burke."

Burke was indicted by a grand jury in June, and another charge was added to the two he'd been arrested on: influencing a witness. This charge alleged that Burke had tried, without intimidation or bribery, to get Dangles to falsely testify about the incident. The indictment concluded, perhaps a little melodramatically, that Burke had provided an "evil example" and offended "the peace and dignity of the state of Florida." Three months later, Burke pleaded guilty to disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, and no contest to the witness tampering charge. He was fined $177.50 and put on probation for three months.

The plea took place with only about a month to go before Election Day. The Democratic runoff chose Ed Stack, a Broward County sheriff and former Republican who had unsuccessfully challenged Burke for the party's nomination for the House in 1966 and 1968, over state representative John Adams, who had tipped off the press to Burke's arrest. Both Stack and Burke said they did not think the incident at the Centerfold Bar would significantly affect the contest, but it was later blamed for the election result that turned Burke out of office. "I never felt what I did was a sinful thing," he said. "I didn't rob anyone. No one wanted to face my side and when I faced the whole thing and pleaded guilty, I felt if one incident can wipe out 26 years of public service, well..."

Burke did not return to political life, and split his time between homes in Falls Church, Virginia and Fern Park, Florida. The most prevalent result of the scandal was that it inspired Carl Hiaasen, a resident of Burke's district, to write a novel entitled Strip Tease. The story follows a congressman who becomes obsessed with a stripper, and was later made into a movie starring Burt Reynolds and Demi Moore. In June of 1993, Burke died of a heart attack at a hospital in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

Sources: The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Candidates For Congress Busy With Campaign" in the Ocala Star-Banner on Jan. 9 1955, "Washburne Names Aide In Governor Campaign" in the St. Petersburg Times on Sept. 20 1956, "Right Wing Rates Congressmen" in the St. Petersburg Times on Sept. 6 1967, "36 In House Urge Nixon To Declare" in the New York Times on Jan. 12 1968, "Two New Faces Added To Florida's Delegation" in the St. Petersburg Times on Nov. 7 1968, "Gibbons Decries 'Fee'" in the St. Petersburg Times on Jan. 4 1969, "Florida's 14 Congressmen Voted, Fought...And Sat" in the St. Petersburg Times on Jan. 2 1972, "Florida's Congressmen Got Around" in the St. Petersburg Times on Apr. 26 1972, "S.L.A. Sympathy Charged" in the New York Times on Jul. 24 1974, "Leaders Divided On Nixon Immunity" in The Ledger on Aug. 8 1974, "Congressional Rating Game Is Underway" in The Ledger on Oct. 24 1977, "Florida Congressman Arrested At Nightclub Featuring Nude Dancers" in the St. Petersburg Times on May 28 1978, "Burke Says He Will File False Arrest Suit Against Police" in the Boca Raton News on May 29 1978, "Burke Still Tough Foe Despite Arrest" in The Ledger on May 29 1978, "Attorney To Represent Rep. Burke" in the Ocala Star-Banner on Jul. 21 1978, "Burke Will Skip Hearings" in the Boca Raton News on Jul. 18 1978, "Burke Says Plea Won't Hurt Bid" in the Boca Raton News on Sept. 27 1978, "Congressional Police Blotter" in The Village Voice on Oct. 30 1978, "U.S. House: Democrats Now Have 12-3 Margin" in the St. Petersburg Times on Nov. 9 1978, "J. Herbert Burke Dies; Was Florida Congressman" in the Washington Post on Jun. 18 1993, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, Beyond Entitlement: The Social Obligations of Citizenship by Lawrence M. Mead, Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Preston S. Brooks: dignity vs. decorum

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The brutal attack of Preston Smith Brooks on a fellow congressman was not the first time violence had erupted on the floor of Congress, or even the first time an assault involving canes occurred there. What made Brooks' action so noteworthy was the severity of the injuries he dealt, and the cheerful acceptance of the act by the majority of the South. The incident, which clearly demonstrated the increasing polarization between the North and South, is rightfully included as one more factor in the increasing tensions between the two regions that later exploded into the Civil War.

Brooks was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, in 1819, and 20 years later he graduated from South Carolina College. One year later, a dispute over James Henry Hammond's gubernatorial bid led Brooks to challenge Louis Wigfall, a future Senator from Texas, to a duel. Wigfall had already dueled with two members of Brooks' family, killing one, but Brooks had better luck. Each man wounded the other but came away alive, Brooks with a bullet lodged in his hip. The injury would require him to use a walking stick for the remainder of his life.

Brooks served as an aide-de-camp to Hammond from 1842 to 1844, and around this time he was admitted to the bar. He began practicing law in his hometown, and in 1844 served a single term in the state house of representative. During the Mexican War, Brooks fought in the Palmetto Regiment of the South Carolina Volunteers. During Brooks' later notoriety, the New York Times said Sumner had commanded companies at both Mexico City and San Angel. However, the newspaper also said that in the latter neighborhood he "distinguished himself by gallantly discharging the six barrels of his revolver into a crowd of men and women in the market-place, for some fancied insult to his dignity."

In 1852, Brooks was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat. Two years later he was re-elected, and became chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State. Like many politicians before and since him, his career would not have elevated him to much note in history, but for the imbroglio he involved himself in.

On May 19 and 20 of 1856, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, who had been elected in 1851 as a Free Soil candidate, gave a speech entitled "The Crime Against Kansas." A pronounced opponent of slavery, the speech supported the admission of Kansas into the Union under the Free State Constitution. Sumner also pinned the blame for the violence in the territory on pro-slavery raiders, and targeted some members of Congress for what he saw as their complicity in the bloodshed. Sumner named these people early in his speech, though he referenced them throughout. One of the lawmakers named was Democratic Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina, who was not present during the speech. Sumner compared Butler and Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and charged Butler with denouncing opposition to slavery as "sectional and fanatical" while promoting sectionalism himself. "The Senator from South Carolina has read many books of chivalry, and believes himself a chivalrous knight, with sentiments of honor and courage," said Sumner. "Of course, he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made his vows, and who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in sight of the world, is chaste in his sight. I mean the harlot Slavery." Sumner also accused Butler of hypocrisy in his denunciations of abolitionists as fanatics. "If the Senator wishes to see fanatics, let him look round at his own associates, he said. "Let him look at himself."

Sumner never named Brooks in the speech, though he was not very charitable to South Carolina. He said the state had a "shameful" history in its association of slavery, including a qualification requiring a state representative to own "a settled freehold estate, or 10 Negroes." He also compared the state to the Kansas territory, saying the territory had already established more scholarly institutions than South Carolina and there was nothing in the state's history comparable to the "heroic spirit in a heroic cause" of the repulse of pro-slavery raiders at Lawrence. "Were the whole history of South Carolina blotted out of existence, from its very beginning down to the day of the last election of the Senator to his present seat on this floor, civilization might lose..." Sumner apparently paused, then continued, "I do not say how little; but surely less than it has already gained by the example of Kansas, in its valiant struggle against oppression, and in the development of a new science of emigration."

The oration was, of course, denounced in the slave states of the South as a grave insult. There was also some question of whether Sumner was implying other barbs, including the suggestion that the reference to Butler's marriage to "the harlot Slavery" insinuated the rape of female slaves by their masters. More insulting was Sumner's phrase that Butler "overflowed with rage at the simple suggestion that Kansas had applied for admission as a state; and, with incoherent phrases, discharged the loose expectoration of his speech, now upon her representative, and then upon her people." Some saw this as a low blow referring to Butler's condition, as he was recovering from a stroke which had left him unable to stop himself from drooling.

Brooks was one of the many people offended by the speech, especially since Butler was a family member (sources differ as to whether he was an uncle or cousin). He considered challenging Sumner to a duel, but felt that Sumner had not distinguished himself as a gentleman and therefore unworthy of the challenge. In fact, Brooks thought Sumner was so lowly that he was more deserving of a chastisement via whipping, a method approved in a pamphlet entitled Code of Honor. Brooks consulted with some of his peers on his plans to "punish" Sumner, with Democratic Congressman Henry A. Edmundson of Virginia advising him against attacking Sumner outside the Capitol because he would tire himself in the climb up the steps.

On May 22, as Sumner wrote at his desk following the adjournment of the Senate, Brooks entered the sparsely-populated chamber with Democratic Congressman Laurence Keitt, also of South Carolina. Brooks waited until a few women in the galleries had departed, and then approached Sumner, who was too immersed in his work to notice Brooks until he began to speak to him. His exact words differ from account to account, though the meaning remains the same in all of them. "Mr. Sumner, I have read your speech twice over carefully," Brooks said, according to the most popular rendition. "It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine."

One account sympathetic to Brooks claims that Sumner tried to attack him, though most agree that Brooks was already beginning his assault as he spoke or did so after Sumner began to stand up. Though a strong individual, Sumner was almost powerless as Brooks began to strike him multiple times with a heavy inch-thick gutta percha cane; he was unarmed and seated with his legs under the desk, which was fastened to the floor. Sumner was finally able to tear the desk out of the floor and stagger away, but Brooks continued to beat him until he collapsed, bleeding and unconscious. Overall, Brooks managed to land dozens of blows, only stopping when he shattered the cane. At one point, Senator John Crittenden of Kentucky came forward to intervene, but Keitt, who was standing near Brooks and armed with his own cane and a pistol, ordered Crittenden to stay back. The two congressmen from South Carolina left after Brooks retrieved the gold-topped head of his broken walking stick.

Brooks was briefly detained and brought before a judge, and put up $500 as a surety for his court appearance. The bail was more than his punishment for the crime. In July of 1856, the Criminal Court of the District of Columbia fined him $300. The New York Times opined that the punishment was "a mockery of justice, and an insult to the country."

Some Southern newspapers sought to diminish the severity of the assault, which had left Sumner with injuries to his head that were considered life-threatening for a time. Though Brooks later boasted that Sumner "bellowed like a calf" after about 30 blows, the Richmond Enquirer incorrectly reported that Brooks had bested Sumner with a single blow when the Senator deserved "nine-and-thirty every morning." The Richmond Whig was cold in its assessment, arguing that the reports of grievous injuries were a "miserable Abolition trick" intended to gain sympathy for Sumner and the anti-slavery movement. "Nigger-worshiping fanatics of the male gender, and weak-minded women and silly children, are horribly affected at the thought of blood oozing out of a pin-prick," the article spat. "And Sumner is wily politician enough to take advantage of this little fact."

Brooks later sent a note of apology to the Senate, saying he had intended the assault as a redress for personal wrongs rather than a breach of the privilege of that body. A Senate committee determined that they had no authority to punish Brooks, since he was a member of the House of Representatives, and could only ask the other chamber to take action. A House committee recommended the expulsion of Brooks, as well as censures for Keitt and Edmundson. However, a minority report expressed the opinion that no breach of privilege had been committed and any action would go beyond the scope of the Constitution.

A vote to accept the minority report failed, with 145 voting against it and 66 in favor. When the vote to expel Brooks came to the floor, 121 supported it (including a solitary Southerner) and 95 voted against it. Brooks was spared, because the tally did not meet the two-thirds majority needed for expulsion. Keitt was censured, but Edmundson was not.

Brooks and Keitt both chose to resign from the House after the vote, with Brooks giving a departing speech on July 14. Brooks said he would have been ill-regarded by the people of his state if he had taken no action against Sumner, and that he meant no insult to Congress or Massachusetts. "Whatever insults my state insults me," he said. "I did not then, and do not now, believe that the spirit of American freemen would tolerate slander in high places, and permit a member of Congress to publish and circulate a libel on another, and then call upon either House to protect him against the personal responsibilities which he had thus incurred." Brooks also said that the House had no power to punish him for an action that took place in the Senate, and that the collusion between the two chambers was risking tyranny. "Matters go smoothly enough when one House asks the other to punish a member who is offensive to the majority of its own body," he said, "but how will it be when, upon a pretense of insulted dignity, demands are made to this House to expel a member who happens to run counter to its party predilections, or other demands which it may not be so agreeable to grant?"

Brooks also denied that he ever intended to kill Sumner, which was why he had used a cane given to him by a friend in Baltimore three months before the assault rather than a more potent weapon. He appeared to recognize that his attack had done much to fan the flames of hatred in a none-too-fraternal nation. "Sir, I cannot, on my own account, assume the responsibility, in the face of the American people, of commencing a line of conduct which in my heart of hearts I believe would result in subverting the foundations of this government and in drenching this hall in blood," he told the Speaker. After saying that he believed some of the votes in favor of his expulsion were "extorted" by constituents rather than a reflection of some members' own opinions, Brooks announced that he was no longer a member of Congress and walked out.

The absence of Brooks and Keitt was short-lived. Both returned on the first day of August after being elected to fill their own vacancies, and also won re-election in November. Sumner, though re-elected to the Senate in 1857, did not recuperate enough to return to his seat until December of 1859. Until that time, his empty seat stood as a silent reminder of the attack. When Governor Henry Gardner proposed having the state pay for Sumner's medical bills, Sumner is said to have responded, "Whatever Massachusetts can give, let it go to suffering Kansas."

The divide in the nation was starkly visible in the reactions to the assault. Northerners were revolted, and held spontaneous meetings to condemn Brooks. Along with a dummy of President Franklin Pierce, "Bully Brooks" was hung in effigy in front of the New Hampshire State House in June. The abolitionist movement gained some support, and thousands of copies of "The Crime Against Kansas" were run off for use in the 1856 elections. One cheeky New York City man challenged Brooks to a duel with gutta percha canes somewhere along the Mason-Dixon line, "I having the privilege to take him sitting with his legs under a desk with his cane half a mile from him."

Writing in the New York Tribune, William Cullen Bryant asked, "Has it come to this? Are we to be chastised as they chastise their slaves? Are we too, slaves, slaves for life, a target for their brutal blows, when we do not comport ourselves to please them?" The Economist referred to the incident as "the most ruffianly attack ever committed in a country claiming to be civilized." The newspaper reported that only one Southern newspaper was condemning the attack; this was apparently the Mobile Advertiser, which the Examiner said in another report was giving the rather tepid opinion that "considering the time and place of the act, it admits of no justification."

The result was exactly the opposite in the South. Public meetings, especially in South Carolina, supported Brooks' action. One held in Columbia endorsed him for "inflicting upon Mr. Sumner the punishment he so richly earned by his libelous attack upon the state of Carolina and its faithful Senator, and upon the entire South." A meeting in Edgefield supported his conduct and promised "encouragement and sympathy to all similar and future instances of vindication of the character of Southern institutions and Southern men." Incredibly, the Columbia Times reported that a delegation of slaves was planning to present Brooks with an "appropriate token of their regard to him who has made the first practical issue for their preservation and protection in their rights and enjoyment as the happiest laborers on the face of the globe."

Brooks was also showered with gifts, which included a silver pitcher and golden goblet. The most popular presents by far, however, were canes sent to replace the one he had broken over Sumner's head. Brooks' rapidly growing collection would have quickly become common knowledge, but the repeated implication was that Brooks should treat each new stick as he had his old one. Their inscriptions included "Revilers Beware" and "Hit him again." A representative from Brooks' district said the ladies there would send hickory canes "with which to chastise Abolitionists and Red Republicans" whenever Brooks wanted one. Embracing the carnage that would arrive some five years later, the Charleston Mercury opined, "The South certainly has become generally convinced that it is by hard blows, and not by loud blustering and insulting denunciation, that the sectional quarrel is to be settled."

Congress was less accommodating of Brooks. Despite his earlier denunciation of sectional strife, he now made sure to uphold the reputation he had established with his assault. In September, the New York Times reported that Brooks had called for the South to invade the nation's capital and make off with its archives and treasure. When Republican Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts denounced the attack as "brutal, murderous, and cowardly," Brooks challenged him to a duel, which Wilson refused to accept. Brooks finally met his match with Republican Congressman Anson Burlingame of Massachusetts, who accepted Brooks' challenge of a duel after denouncing the attack "in the name of that fair play which bullies and prizefighters respect." Burlingame named Clifton House on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls as the dueling site, and even started for the location before Brooks rescinded the challenge. He said the location was unfair to him, as he would have to venture through hostile territory to get there.

Brooks died unexpectedly of the croup in Washington, D.C. in January of 1857. The furor over his attack had died down enough that most of the eulogies in Congress steered clear of mention of the assault. Sumner is said to have forgiven him, saying when asked how he felt about Brooks, "Only as to a brick that should fall upon my head from a chimney. He was the unconscious agent of a malign power." On another occasion, Sumner was quoted as saying, "What have I to do with him? It was slavery, not he, that struck the blow."

Sources: The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "The Washington Brutality--The Pro-Slavery Side Of The Story" in the New York Times on May 24 1856, "The Brooks Affair" in the New York Times on Jun. 3 1856, "President Pierce, Preston S. Brooks, and Col. George Hung In Effigy At Concord, N.H." in the New York Times on Jun. 6 1856, "Outrage In The American Senate" in The Economist on Jun. 7 1856, "Brooks In The Mexican War" in the New York Times on Jun. 10 1856, "Testimonials to the 'Gallant Conduct' of Preston S. Brooks" in the New York Times on Jun. 10 1856, "The Outrage On Mr. Sumner" in The Economist on Jun. 21 1856, "The Sumner Case" in The Examiner on Jun. 21 1856, "Bully Brooks Challenged By A Gentleman Of His Own Kidney" in The Agitator on Jun. 26 1856, "The Case Of Brooks" in the New York Times on Jul. 9 1856, "The Sumner Outrage" in The Examiner on Aug. 2 1856, "More Honors To Preston S. Brooks" in the New York Times on Aug. 23 1856, "Compliments To Mr. Preston S. Brooks" in the New York Times on Sept. 1 1856, "Invasion And Capture Of Washington" in the New York Times on Sept. 8 1856, "Posthumous Honors" in The Agitator on Feb. 5 1857, The World's Best Orations: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time edited by David J. Brewer, The Magazine of History with Notes and Queries Vol. XIV, The Crime Against Kansas by Charles Sumner, Life of Charles Sumner by Walter Gaston Shotwell, The Road to Disunion: Secessionists Triumphant 1854-1861 by William H. Freehling, Encyclopedia of the American Civil War edited by David S. and Jeanne T. Heidler, The House: The History of the House of Representatives by Robert Vincent Remini, The Shattering of the Union: America in the 1850s by Eric H. Walther

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sherman Adams: a coating of scandal

Adams announces his resignation. Image from

Llewelyn Sherman Adams, better known by his latter two names, officially held the title of Assistant to the President during Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration. Critics who felt that Adams possessed too much influence in the White House contended that he could more properly be called Assistant President. It was an especially hard-hitting blow for Eisenhower, then, when scandal forced Adams to leave his office.

Adams was born in 1899 in East Dover, Vermont, but relocated with his parents to Providence, Rhode Island, at a young age. After a six-month stint in the Marine Corps during World War I, he graduated from Dartmouth College in 1920. Adams began working in the lumber industry, taking a position as clerk and sealer with the Black River Lumber Company in Healdville, Vermont. Within a couple of years, however, he had advanced to logging foreman and company treasurer. In 1923, he was hired by Parker-Young Company, the parent group of Black River, and continued working there until 1944, eventually becoming general manager. The business was not without its share of adventure. In one incident, Adams' front teeth were knocked out when he was struck by a runaway skidder. On a wintry evening in January of 1942, a B-18 bomber returning from a patrol over the Atlantic Ocean crashed on Mt. Waternomee. Adams was among a crew of woodsmen and local residents who battled the elements to climb the peak and rescue the five survivors.

When Adams entered politics, it was at the request of his superiors at the company, who thought state legislators were not doing an adequate job. He served in the state house of representatives from 1941 to 1944, including two years as speaker. He left state politics in 1944, when he was elected as a Republican to the House of Representatives. He gave up this seat in 1946 after launching a campaign for Governor of New Hampshire, and lost this contest by 157 votes.

Beginning in 1946, Adams represented the American Pulpwood Industry. He ended his association with them in 1948, when he tried for Governor again and was elected over Democrat and Dartmouth College professor Herbert W. Hill. While in office, Adams trimmed the state's administrative offices by nearly half, reducing them from 83 to 43. He was re-elected in 1950, but opted not to run again in 1952 due to his support of Dwight D. Eisenhower's campaign for President.

Adams was one of six Governors endorsing Eisenhower for the Republican nomination for President in 1951. In September of that year, he announced that Eisenhower's name would be entered in the New Hampshire primary. Opting to support Eisenhower in a more direct way, Adams worked as the floor manager at the Republican National Convention in Chicago in 1952. After this experience, Adams became Eisenhower's campaign manager. Known for his stony demeanor, some nicknamed Adams after one of New Hampshire's more prominent features: "The Great Stone Face." Adams took the joke in stride, and accepted a modified moniker: "The Rock."

After Eisenhower was elected, he initially considered Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts for the position of Assistant to the President, but ultimately decided that Lodge would be better suited in representing the country in the United Nations. He offered the job to Herbert Brownwell, a New York lawyer, but Brownwell declined and suggested Adams. Eisenhower agreed, and in January of 1953 Adams came to the White House on a $22,500 annual salary.

In a profile written after his nomination in November of 1952, Martin S. Hayden said Adams would have more power than previous people in the Assistant's position, and would in fact serve as "a full-fledged assistant president with a hand in all operations." Eisenhower, the renowned World War II general, planned to carry something of the military structure into his Presidency. Along the lines of a military chief of staff, the Assistant would keep apprised of executive decisions and see that they were carried out, and also ensure that only the more important tasks were delegated to the President. Adams would later say that Eisenhower did the most important tasks, while he did the next most important ones.

The chief of staff metaphor was used during the campaign, and on the night before Election Day Adams introduced himself by saying, "I am Governor Sherman Adams of New Hampshire. In this campaign General Eisenhower likes to call me his chief of staff." Though the position itself later became known as Chief of Staff, Eisenhower later shied away from the comparison, saying "the politicians think it sounds too military."

As part of his duties, Adams attended Cabinet and National Security Council meetings, and also led White House staff meetings at least twice a week. Known for being curt and to the point, one of Adams' more notable quirks involved eschewing a "hello" or "good-bye" from his phone calls. It was not uncommon for the person on the other end of the line to hear a dial tone as Adams considered the conversation over and hung up without warning, and even Eisenhower was once cut off in such a way. Adams was also known for asking staffers, "What have you done for your country today?" as he passed them in the hallways. In a lengthy 1956 article in Time, he was described as "often inconsiderate, always demanding, possessed of the disposition of a grizzly with a barked shin," but also possessed of "loyalty, integrity, and selflessness."

Adams, like Eisenhower, was on the more moderate side of the Republican Party. He opposed Senator Joe McCarthy's hunt for latent Communists and helped form a White House strategy to put an end to it. He also supported civil rights and assisted in the appointment of Fred Morrow, the first black man to receive an executive position in the White House. While these positions earned Adams some grumbling from right-wing Republicans, he earned more criticism for rejecting access to the President except to those he felt had the most pressing issues. This behavior earned Adams another nickname: "The Abominable No-Man."

Yet another nickname of Adams, "The Boss," reflected another criticism: the perceived belief that Adams wielded an incredible amount of power when it came to Presidential decisions. Though the suggestion that Adams would be "Assistant President" rather than simply an assistant to Eisenhower went back at least as far as Hayden's profile, some grumbled that Adams was influencing the President by choosing which people saw him and what matters were most important. This perception gained momentum after Eisenhower suffered a heart attack and Adams was instrumental in guiding the White House staff in their actions during the President's recovery. Eisenhower was quoted as saying, "The only person who really understands what I'm trying to do is Sherman Adams." A 1957 Newsweek article deemed Adams the "second most powerful man in the White House." Despite the accusations, Adams said in a 1957 interview that he wouldn't want to be President. "You wouldn't have to be around here very long to see why I wouldn't want the job," he said.

The first hint of real trouble involving Adams came in February of 1958. Dr. Bernard Schwartz, counsel for the House Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight during their investigation into Federal Communications Commission decisions, was fired and suggested that the subcommittee members were seeking to whitewash any sign of collusion between White House officials and high-ranking Republicans. Schwartz later told the subcommittee's members that Adams had intervened in at least one regulatory case. Adams, Schwartz charged, had talked with the Civil Aeronautics Board in 1953 about the future of the faltering North American Airlines. Soon after, the CAB postponed a decision to order the airline out of business. The subcommittee also read two letters from Sherman to Murray Chotiner, the airline's counsel, regarding Adams' discussions with Harmar D. Denny, who had been CAB chairman at the time. One letter concluded by asking, "Is there anything further in this case that I can do?"

The North American Airlines question fizzled out, though the subcommittee did begin looking into Adams' relationship with some businessmen that same month. One key witness was John Fox, who in 1952 had bought the Boston Post with help from a loan provided by Bernard Goldfine, a New England textile manufacturer as well as friend and political contributor to Adams. The relationship between Fox and Goldfine later soured, and the Post went bankrupt in 1956 after Goldfine called in his loan. Fox was more than happy to implicate Goldfine before the subcommittee. At one meeting between Adams, Goldfine, and Goldfine's son, Fox said that Goldfine had boasted that Adams would take care of a problem involving one of his sons, one of his mills, and the Federal Trade Commission. Fox also testified that Goldfine directly said he was financially supporting Adams and had given securities to public officials in return for favors. He said that one of Goldfine's contributions towards Adams was the purchase of a house in Washington, D.C. after Adams began working for Eisenhower.

Not much credence was later given to Fox's testimony. Oren Harris, a Democrat from Arkansas and chairman of the subcommittee, questioned how reliable Fox was. Adams denounced the insinuations at a press conference, saying, "It is incredible to me that any committee of the Congress would permit a completely irresponsible witness to use the committee as a forum for making such vicious accusations." But while Fox's volley of charges, especially regarding the house, may have proved untrue, the subcommittee found that the underlying accusation of an improper relationship between Goldfine and Adams had some truth to it.

The investigation determined that Goldfine had been in touch with Adams for his assistance regarding his problems with the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1954, Adams called the FTC chairman to get a full report on charges that Goldfine was violating the Wool Labeling Act by producing textiles with more nylon than was advertised in the nylon-vicuña ratio on the tag. Adams provided the report to Goldfine, and the matter was closed a month later. In 1956, Adams asked Eisenhower's special counsel to look into the status of complaints against Goldfine, which accused his East Boston Company and a subsidiary of failing to file financial reports over the course of eight years.

The aspect of the scandal gaining the most attention, however, was the gifts that Goldfine sent to Adams. The most prominent was a vicuña coat, though Adams also accepted an expensive Oriental rug and a few mats. The subcommittee also determined that Goldfine paid about $3,000 worth of hotel expenses for Adams' trips to New England. The investigation looked into whether Adams had sought to influence $40,382 in penalty refund payments to the defunct Raylaine Worsteds Corporation, but that charge was dropped for lack of evidence.

When he testified before the subcommittee, Adams was unapologetic. He said that Goldfine did not receive any special treatment, and that the calls to the FTC and SEC were routine and only to ask questions. The rug was offered as a loaner replacement for a shabbier one in his New Hampshire home, but Adams said that he considered it impractical and asked Goldfine to take it back. Adams also testified that Goldfine had offered to put Adams up in a Boston hotel suite he owned if Adams was coming through, and that he did not consider anything wrong with that. Adams had less of an explanation for the coat, saying that it only cost Goldfine's mill $69 to make one and that it did not have any effect on his behavior. Adams even said he had discussed the issue of accepting gifts with his staff, and had advised them against doing anything that could be misconstrued. "I have no excuses to offer. I did not come up here to make apology to you or this committee. If there were any errors, as I have already stated, they were errors, perhaps of inexperience," he told the subcommittee. "I will say this: that if I had the decisions now before me to make, I believe I would have acted a little more prudently."

Some Republicans began calling for Adams' resignation as the investigation continued, believing that the scandal would hurt the party in the 1958 elections and contributions towards the campaigns. In response, both Eisenhower and Vice-President Richard Nixon publicly supported him. Nixon, in a sense, was returning a favor; Adams had defended Nixon against efforts to oust him from the 1952 ticket due to questions over his expenses, a controversy that culminated in Nixon's "Checkers" speech. "The trouble with Republicans is that when they get in trouble they start acting like a bunch of cannibals," Nixon said. In June, Eisenhower said Adams was "an invaluable public servant doing a difficult job efficiently, honestly, and tirelessly." He also listed a series of points, saying that he believed Adams was telling the truth when he denied wrongdoing, personally liked him, admired his abilities, and respected his integrity. What gained the most attention, certainly for those who thought Adams had too much power over the Presidency, was his concluding point: "I need him."

The pressure against Adams increased. Eisenhower's support was seen as a double standard, since he had promised that he would not tolerate unethical behavior in his Administration. In an early election in Maine in September, Democratic Governor Edmund Muskie defeated Republican Senator Frederick Payne for Payne's seat. Payne had also accepted gifts from Goldfine, namely a $3,500 loan that hadn't been repaid, and the result was seen as a reaction to the Adams scandal and a possible preview of the November elections.

Not long after the Maine upset, Eisenhower reluctantly asked Adams to resign. During his outgoing speech, which was televised and broadcast on on the radio, Adams said he was the victim of a "campaign of vilification" and that the efforts of those seeking to remove him from the White House "have been intended to destroy me and in so doing embarrass the Administration of the President of the United States." Any further civil rights actions of the Administration were hindered, as Adams was replaced by pro-segregationalist Wilton "Jerry" Persons. Eisenhower described his decision to let Adams go as "the most hurtful, the hardest, the most heartbreaking decision" of his Presidency. He also sent Adams off with a sterling silver bowl inscribed with the message, "To Sherman Adams...from his devoted friend, Dwight D. Eisenhower."

Later analysts questioned how unusual Adams' actions were. Goldfine was found to have paid hotel bills for at least three congressmen. Even Eisenhower received some vicuña cloth from Goldfine in 1956, if not a full coat. Others questioned how the Adams scandal compared with Eisenhower accepting several gifts to adorn his Gettysburg farm.

Goldfine refused to answer questions before the subcommittee, and was charged with contempt of Congress. He received a suspended year in prison, as well as a suspended $1,000 fine that was replaced by two years of probation. He was later convicted of tax evasion.

Adams dropped from the public eye in the immediate aftermath of the scandal, but also did writing and lecturing. In 1961, he wrote a book entitled First Hand Report, consisting mostly of anecdotes from his time in the Eisenhower Administration but also some pages defending his actions in the scandal. He founded a ski resort on Loon Mountain, a peak visible from his New Hampshire home, in 1966. Adams also championed the effort to change the name of Mount Pleasant in the Presidential Range to Mount Eisenhower, a switch that occurred in 1972. The summit building on nearby Mount Washington is named for Adams.

Adams died in Hanover, New Hampshire, in October 1986 from respiratory arrest and renal failure after being hospitalized for a month. Not long after his death, William Safire published a column saying the Internal Revenue Service had been after Adams for years, investigating approximately $300,000 in unreported income. Even if true, however, it was too late to do anything about it.

Sources: The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Voters in 7 States Name Candidates in Primaries" in the Spokane Daily Chronicle on Sept. 15 1948, "Adams Will Have Greater Authority Than Any Prior President's Assistant" in the Toledo Blade on Nov. 25 1952, "The New Administration: Assistant To The President" in Time on Dec. 1 1952, "The Administration: O.K., S.A." in Time on Jan. 9 1956, "Ike Assistant Wouldn't Be U.S. President" in the Deseret News on May 10 1957, "Eisenhower Aide Adams Is Accused" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Feb. 18 1958, "Ike Says 'I Need Him' About Sherman Adams" in the Free-Lance Star on Jun. 18 1958, "The Administration: Man In The Storm" in Time on Jun. 30 1958, "Up From South Boston: The Rise & Fall Of John Fox" in Time on Jul. 7 1958, "Investigations: Tales Of The Wild Hare" in Time on Jul. 7 1958, "Adams Resigns Under Pressure As Ike's Assistant" in the Daily Collegian on Sept. 23 1958, "The Administration: Exit Adams" in Time on Sept. 29 1958, "Goldfine Gets Suspended Term, Fine" in the Eugene Register-Guard on Jul. 24 1959, "Sherman Adams Drops From Public View, Lives Quiet Life In New Hampshire Town" in the Ocala Star-Banner on Jul. 27 1959, "Sherman Adams Repleads His Case" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Jun. 5 1961, "Sherman Adams, Was Top Assistant For Eisenhower" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Oct. 28 1986, "The Great Sherman Adams Cover-Up" in the Toledo Blade on Nov. 4 1986, Eisenhower & Landrum-Griffin: A Study in Labor-Management Politics by R. Alton Lee, The New Hampshire Century edited by Felice Belman and Mike Pride, Eisenhower by Geoffrey Perret, Eisenhower and the American Crusades by Herbert S. Parmet,,