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Top 5 Scandals Of The 1800s

This is for a school project. Please do not delete. Mr. Novack's US History.

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5. The Preacher and the Parishioner

In 1872, Reverend Henry Ward Beecher had become a well known preacher at that time. So when he was accused of having slept with one of the married church members which created a great disturbance in the community. After a long battle in court, Beecher was not punished but the woman that was involved, Elizabeth Tilton, was excommunicated from the church and was no longer married after the conflict.

4. Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland is the only president in US History to serve two non-consecutive presidential terms. Although he had some great accomplishments, the affair he had in 1873 is not really something to be proud of. He cheated on his wife with Maria Halpin who he had a child with out of wedlock and as a result she was thrown in a lunatic asylum after their illegitimate son was taken to another asylum by force. This disgusting act was only attempted to be covered up by Cleveland saying he wasn’t even sure if he was the father.

3. The Whiskey Ring

Spanning across the major cities such as Chicago, Washington D.C., Cincinnati and New Orleans, the Whiskey Ring involved participants across the land. By whiskey distillers bribing federal employees, they were able to avoid paying taxes as a part of the exchange. The discounted whiskey given to federal agents was their contribution in order to have their taxes marked as paid. As a result of this scandal, the government was forced to recover $3 million dollars in taxes and over 200 people are indicted as a result.

2. The Credit Mobilier Scandal

Oakes Ames was a Massachussetts representative from 1863-1873. Oakes and his brother Oliver started the Credit Mobilier of America. In 1868, Oakes Ames began selling shares of the company at lower prices to members of the US government. Most of the politicians sold their stocks quickly to see profits from their investments. In 1872 after being exposed by one investor, Oakes was censured and soon his political career was over.

1. Tammany Hall

William “Boss” Tweed, a New York senator from 1867 to 1871, was placed in charge of Tammany Hall, A Democratic society which held a lot of power at the time. Through the use of the Tweed Ring, he was able to extract 6 million dollars from the public treasury (Between $30-200 million today). He used his loot to purchase large amounts of land as well as funding his lavish lifestyle. Although it seemed like Boss Tweed was invincible, his undoing came when members of Tammany Hall leaked information about his actions in 1871. Within months, he was arrested but was only convicted of misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to 13 years in jail , although he only served 19 months of the sentence.

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