Whiskey Ring

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by hfxBingam2
Last updated 9 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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Whiskey Ring

Whiskey Ring

Grant Administration Scandal

By: Brianna Custer and Madison Bingaman

Who:Many government agents, polticians, whiskey distillers, and distributors, including President Grant's brother Orvil, Grant's secretary Orville Babcock, and one of Grant's friends, James McDonald were all involved.

When:Late 1800's

What:The Whiskey Ring was the diversion of tax revenues. High-up Republicans secretly stole millions of dollars in federal liquor taxes. It began in St. Louis, but also in Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Peoria. Mostly Republicans siphoned off the tax money.

How:They were all involved in many bribes between distillers, rectifiers, gaugers, storekeepers, and internal revenue agents.

Why:Many Republican politicians used the money to line their pockets or aid their campaigns.

Benjamin Bristow

President Ulysses S. Grant

Discovered:On May 10, 1875, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Benjamin Bristow exposed the Whiskey Ring. He used a team of undercover investigators to audit shipments of liquor into and out of the cities in order to figure out how much money was being diverted. Trials began at Jefferson City, MO in October of 1875; over 110 convictions were made and over three million dollars in taxes were recovered.

Affects on the Country:People saw a corrupt Republican Party; affected their efforts to reconstruct the South. Democrats would use this to their advantage.

Affects on the President and Legacy:Grant defended and pardoned Babcock which stained his reputation. He became known as a symbol of the Republican corruption.

Orville Babcock


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