Jump to content
The Education Forum

Norman B. Ream - Vonsiatsky's deceased Father-In-Law


John Bevilaqua
 Share

Recommended Posts

More Baltimore Bundists' and Nazi Connections to the JFK Assassination:

Just follow this chain of events as we follow Norman B. Ream's associates and his investments after he died, as his money is parlayed from National Biscuit

Company, into Guarsnty Trust and Morton (Salt) Trust Company and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad through Morton Salt which became the solid rocket fuel producer as Morton-Thiokol for both the Kennedy Space Center and for all of the NASA Space Shuttles guided by guidance systems built by Draper Labs at MIT, then on into the saga of Clendenin J. Ryan's grandfather Thomas Fortune Ryan and his son, Robert "Railroad" Ryan who started a Belgian diamond mining concern in South Africa that eventually smuggled industrial Diamonds For Hitler's Germany before and during World War II according to Edward Jay Epstein. Along the way Thomas Lamont of the J. P. Morgan banking concern, who laundered money for the Draper coup attempt against FDR, arranges a line of credit for Italy's Mussolini to allow him to take over the country. Lamont donated money to fund Lamont Library at Harvard where I spent many a long night poring through my papers and assignments. Ryan's mining firm was called: Société Internationale Forestière et Minière du Congo (International Forestry and Mining Company of the Congo, aka "Forminière"). Thomas F. Ryan and the Dukes of Tobacco fame later held "The Tobacco Summit" during World War I to split up the profits from tobacco manufacturing. Brady started as a Baltimore dry goods commission firm.

Remember that it was Clendenin J. Ryan who funded Uliuss Amoss, Carleton S. Coon, Ray Cline and Harold Chait in their ManCand and PsyOps warfare operations in Baltimore and he funded William F. Buckley, Jr. with his creation of YAF in Connecticut. When Clendenin Ryan decided to leave this world of his own volition there were many more right wing moneybags to take his place.

So in one little string of transactions you have Norman B. Ream who financed several pro-Nazi White Russian immigrants, Thomas Lamont, the Mussolini investment banker, Thomas Ryan, Hitler's diamond merchant and Clendenin J. Ryan and Charles Edison the guys who financed both Amoss' and Coon's anti-Communist (pro-Nazi?) activities and the efforts of William F. Buckley, Jr., Timothy Gratz, Doug Caddy and others during the creation of YAF in Sharon, Connecticut.

Norman B. Ream (would have been Vonsiatsky's Father in law had he lived)

Norman Bruce Ream (1844-1915) was born in Pennsylvania and briefly returned there after serving in the Civil War. In 1866 he moved to Princeton, Ill. and then to Osceola, Iowa. In 1871, he went to Chicago and became a live stock and grain commission merchant. "The real foundation of his fortune is said to have been laid in the famous Armour pork corner of 1879. The Armour crowd began buying pork at $6 and $7 a barrel, and when the climax came it controlled nearly all the pork in the world, which it closed out for $10 a barrel. Mr. Ream acted as one of the Armour brokers in this operation, and his share of the profits was large." He invested in Pullman and bank stocks, and became a friend of Marshall Field (the largest stockholder in the Pullman Co.), George M. Pullman, and E.H. Gary. He joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1885, and speculated along with John Cudahy, Nathaniel Jones, and Charles Singer. He was a director of trustee of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Equitable Life Assurance Society, Erie Railroad, Fidelity-Phenix Fire Insurance Co., First National Bank of Chicago, Metropolitan Trust Company of New York, National Biscuit Company, the Pullman Company, the United States Steel Corporation, and other companies. (Norman Ream, Capitalist, Dead. New York Times, Feb. 10, 1915.) Marshall Field, James J. Hill, Philip Armour and others were in a syndicate that acquired an important interest in the B&O Railroad in 1899. (Baltimore and Ohio Plans. New York Times, Jan. 14, 1899.) Ream was a director of the Corn Products company, along with Morton Salt founder Joy Morton and C.H. and E.A. Matthiessen. (Corn Products Company Officials. New York Times, Mar. 6, 1902.) Ream was a director of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, along with T.H. Hubbard and Joy Morton. (Alton's control complete. New York Times, Oct. 3, 1907.)

Norman Ream, Robert T. Lincoln, J.S. Runnells, and T.B. Blackstone were honorary pallbearers at the funeral of George M. Pullman of the Pullman Palace Car Company, and W.A. Angell was an active pallbearer. (Funeral of G.M. Pullman. Oct. 24, 1897.) Ream and Lincoln were the executors of Pullman's will, for which they received $425,000, and William A. Angell received a bequest of $10,000. (George M. Pullman's Will. New York Times, Oct. 28, 1897; Executors Get $425,000 Fee. New York Times, Jan. 6, 1900.) William Angell was Purchasing Agent for the company in 1897. Another Angell, Charles, had been Secretary of the Pullman Company since its formation in 1867. In 1878, he absconded with $120,000. "He was born in Rhode Island, and has been in the employ of the Pullman Palace Car Company for 14 years. About four years ago he was married to a most estimable lady, the daughter of A.C. Badger, of this city [Chicago], by whom he had two children, one of whom is living. His wife died some time ago and this seemed to have changed his manner of living considerably. After the death of his wife he became acquainted with a young lady at Kenosha, the daughter of A.B. Smith. To her he became attached, and last April asked her to become his wife, which she refused to do, and this, it is said, caused him to lead a life of dissipation. He left Chicago on the 24th of July last. About five days before that he claimed to have taken down with illness, and in the interim he called to his bedside a girl named Sadie, an inmate of Carrie Watson's establishment, one of the most notorious houses of ill fame in Chicago. She spent three days and nights with him, unknown to the clerks or proprietor of the house." (A Startling Defalcation. New York Times, Aug. 18, 1878 p. 1.) Several months later, he was captured in Portugal with $80,000 of the loot, which was in his name in the Bank of Portugal. He was returned via diplomatic channels, pled guilty, and sentenced to ten years at Joliet. (Angell, the Defaulter, Sentenced. New York Times, Feb. 28, 1879.) In 1909, a Charles Angell, age 73, died in New York, whose obituary stated that he was a brother of James B. Angell, President of the University of Michigan. (New York Times, Mar. 29, 1909 p. 7.) Way back in 1864, George M. Pullman of Chicago and William G. Angell of Providence, R.I., had been trustees of the Briggs Gold Company of Gilpin County, Col. (Display Ad. New York Times, Apr. 21, 1864 p. 10.) James B. Angell had a brother, William, of Chicago, who was with him when he died.

Pullman Company Archives / The Newberry Library (pdf, 808 pp)

Daniel G. Reid

Daniel G. Reid was a director of the Guaranty Trust from 1905 until at least 1917, when he was re-elected to a three year term. He was a vice president of the Liberty National Bank from at least 1903 to 1915, and a director of the Bankers Trust Company from at least 1903 to 1924. In 1916, he attended a dinner by Thomas F. Ryan which was a veritable summmit meeting of American Tobacco and the Guaranty Trust.

James Speyer

James Speyer had been Collis P. Huntington's banker for 30 years. He was a trustee of the Mutual Life Insurance Company from 1898 to 1906; a director of the Guaranty Trust 1905-1907, and a trustee of the Central Trust from 1908 to at least 1910. He was one of the organizers of the American Society for the Control of Cancer in 1913, and was a trustee of Mount Sinai Hospital.

Purge of the Mutual Life Insurance Company, 1905: The public fuss created by the Armstrong insurance investigation spared the crooked insiders, while scaring the others off the board.

The Guaranty Trust and the Mutual Life

Guaranty Trust Company of New York, 1906

Directors: George F. Baker, George S. Bowdoin, John W. Castles, Frederic Cromwell, Walter R. Gillette, E.H. Harriman, G.G. Haven, Edwin Hawley, Charles R. Henderson, Adrian Iselin Jr., James N. Jarvie, Augustus D. Juilliard, Levi P. Morton, Oscar G. Murray, Norman B. Ream, Daniel G. Reid, Henry H. Rogers, James Speyer, H. McK. Twombly, Harry Payne Whitney. John W. Castles, President; Oscar L. Gubelman, and Alexander J. Hemphill, Vice Presidents; Max May, Manager Foreign Department; William C. Edwards, Treasurer; E.C. Hebbard, Secretary; F.C. Harriman, Assistant Tresurer; R.C. Newton, Trust Officer. (Display Ad 17. New York Times, Jan. 7, 1906 p. AFR23.) Adrian Iselin Jr. became a trustee of the Central Trust from at least 1908 to 1929.

Morton Trust Company

In 1899, the Morton Trust Company was created to take over the business of Morton, Bliss & Co. Levi P. Morton, President; E.J. Berwind, Vice President; J.K. Corbiere, 2d Vice President; W.R. Cross, Secretary. Directors: James W. Alexander, John Jacob Astor, George F. Baker, Edward J. Berwind, Frederic Cromwell, Henry M. Flagler, G.G. Haven, Jos. C. Hendrix, Abram S. Hewitt, James N. Jarvie, Augustus D. Juilliard, Joseph Larocque, D.O. Mills, Levi P. Morton, R.A. McCurdy, W.G. Oakman, John Sloane, William C. Whitney, A. Wolff. (Display Ad 15. New York Times, Oct. 2, 1899 p. 8.) James B. Duke, Daniel Guggenheim and Samuel Rea were on the board in 1906. (Display Ad 19. New York Times, Jan. 3, 1906 p. 13.) William Redmond Cross, S&B 1896, was the father of William R. Cross Jr., S&B 1941, of the Morgan Guaranty Trust, and grandfather of Alan W. Cross M.D., S&B 1966.

"The [Guaranty Trust] company operates under an usually broad and liberal charter, dating back to 1864, but has been doing business under its present form since 1891, when it was reorganized... The business of the company is constituted under five different departments, each one almost an institution in itself.... The Banking Department, under the immediate supervision of Mr. William C. Edwards, treasurer, exercises all the functions and affords all the facilities of a general commercial bank..." The Foreign Exchange Department, headed by Max May in New York, with R.C. Wyse in London, "is really a bank in itself." Vice Presidents Alexander J. Hemphill and George Garr Henry supervised the Bond Department, along with R.W. Speir. "The Trust Department, in charge of Mr. R.C. Newton, Trust Officer, acts as trustee of corporate mortgages, as executor, trustee, or guardian for estates or individuals and is in fact equipped to act in almost any fiduciary capacity." E.C. Hebbard was in charge of the Registry and Transfer Department. (Modern Financial Institutions and Their Equipment. Bankers Magazine, Apr. 1907;74(4):613.)

Guaranty Trust Company of New York, 1911-12 (after merger with Morton Trust)

Directors: Levi P. Morton, Chairman; Charles H. Allen, George F. Baker, Edward J. Berwind, Urban H. Broughton, Edmund C. Converse, T. De Witt Cuyler, Henry P. Davison, James B. Duke, Robert W. Goelet, Daniel Guggenheim, Edwin Hawley, Alexander J. Hemphill, Walter S. Johnston, Augustus D. Juilliard, Thomas W. Lamont, Edgar L. Marston, John R. Morron, Gates W. McGarrah, Charles A. Peabody, William H. Porter, Samuel Rea, Daniel G. Reid, Thomas F. Ryan, Charles H. Sabin, William D. Sloane, Valentine P. Snyder, Harry Payne Whitney, and Albert H. Wiggin. (New York Times, Mar. 9, 1911, p. 13.) Allen, Duke, Ryan, Snyder, and Whitney were from the Morton Trust. Baker, Juilliard and Morton were directors of both. Broughton left the board in 1912, and George J. Gould and William K. Vanderbilt Jr. joined it. (Display Ad 19. New York Times, Oct. 18, 1912 p. 15.) In 1912, the Guaranty Trust expanded into a new building at Broadway and Liberty Street. The $150,000 vault in the basement and sub-basement was 26 by 36 feet and 23 feet high, the second largest in the world after the Carnegie Trust Company's vault. It was guarded with 27,000 burglar alarm wires, and was 28 inches thick, armored on the outside with 700 steel railway rails on end, filled with concrete. The door was 36 inches thick and weighed 40 tons, and required 22 horses to transport it. Some paving stones on South Street reportedly sank several inches from its weight. (Forty-Ton Door For Vault. New York Times, Sep. 7, 1912.)

After the break up of the American Tobacco Company, its Six Percent Gold Bonds, issued in 1904, were deposited at the Guaranty Trust. The Committee was Alexander J. Hemphill, Chairman; T. DeWitt Cuyler, Howland Davis, J. Horace Harding, and Albert H. Wiggin; Lewis B. Franklin Secretary, and Morgan J. O'Brien, Counsel. The Four Percent Gold Bonds, issued in 1901, went to the Guaranty Trust as its successor. The Committee was Charles H. Sabin, Chairman; Philip Lehman, J.R. McAllister, Samuel McRoberts, and Samuel Sloan; F.J.H. Sutton, Secretary, and Joseph H. Choate, of Evarts, Choate & Sherman, Counsel. The Preferred Stock was deposited with the Central Trust. (Display Ad 17. New York Times, Aug. 2, 1911 p. 11.) As of Dec. 31, 1911, the American Tobacco Company had $26,750,742.63 in cash accounts, including $6,737,506.69 at the Guaranty Trust Co., $4,349,521.51 at the Farmers Loan & Trust Co., $3,326,049.64 at the Central Trust Co., $2,500,000.00 at J.P. Morgan & Co., and $2,303,628.00 at the National City Bank, and amounts between one and two million dollars at the Chase National Bank, the National Shawmut Bank, the National Bank of Commerce, and the Fourth Street National Bank; and lesser amounts at other banks. (Fiscal Statements, The American Tobacco Co., Dec. 31, 1911.)

ATC Fiscal Statements, Dec. 31, 1911 / tobacco document

Edward J. Berwind

Edward Julius Berwind (~1848-1936) was a director of the Guaranty Trust from 1911 to 1933. He was Chairman of the Berwind-White Coal Mining Company: "So great were his holdings in this field that he was reputed to be the largest individual owner of coal properties in the United States. The Berwind-White Company, of which he was also president at one time, for many years practically controlled the steamship bunker business in New York and Philadelphia harbors. In addition, his company supplied much coal to the United States Navy and exported it to the West Indies, South America and Europe." He served in the Navy from 1865-75, then left on physical disability. He founded Berwind, White & Co. with one of his brothers and Judge Allison White, which was dissolved in 1886 then incorporated as Berwind-White. "At his death he was an officer or director in the Berwind-White Coal Mining Company and its affiliated or subsidiary organizations; the Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad; the Cuba Company, Consolidated Railroads of Cuba, Cuba Railroad Company, Compaña Cuba, International Products Corporation and the Northern Insurance Company. Until recently he had been an officer or director of the International Telephone and Telegraph Company, in which he was also the second largest shareholder among officers and directors; the Interboro Rapid Transit Company, Postal Telegraph and Cable Company, the United States Realty and Improvement Company, Guaranty Trust Company, Mutual Life Insurance Company, Girard Trust Company of Philadelphia, and the North British Mercantile and Insurance Company." (E.J. Berwind Dies; Coal Operator, 88. New York Times, Aug. 19, 1936.) In 1917, the Senate Committee on Manufactures investigated the "coal shortage throughout the land," both bituminous and anthracite. Rep. McFadden of Pennsylvania blamed the Fuel Administration for setting prices so low that small operators were forced to shut down. (Shortage of Coal. Boston Daily Globe, Dec. 16, 1917.) Edward J. Berwind's sister and a nephew, Guaranty Trust director Charles E. Dunlap, were the principal legatees of his estate. (E.J. Berwind Left $31,422,853 Estate. New York Times, Jul. 10, 1942.) His niece, Margaret E. Dunlap, Charles E. Dunlap's sister, married Sosthenes Behn in 1921. (Miss Dunlap Weds Col. Sosthenes Behn. New York Times, Jun. 1, 1921.)

E.J. Berwind's brother, John E. Berwind, was intersted in the development of Porto Rico, as it was then called. His largest bond holding was $908,000 in the San Juam Hotels Corporation, valued at $454,000. His most valuable securities other than more than $2.2 million in Berwind-White stock included the Wilmore Coal Co. $150,850; the Wilmore S.S. Company, $930,520; International Telephone & Telegraph, $818,901; National Biscuit common $574,000; Pennsylvania Railroad $367,500; and South Porto Rico Sugar preferred $162,400. (J.E. Berwind Left $12,033,469 Estate. New York Times, Jan. 18, 1930.).He gave $2,000 to the American Society for the Control of Cancer in 1927.

James B. Duke

James B. Duke was president of the American Tobacco Company, and Thomas F. Ryan, who was William C. Whitney's partner, was a director. He was a director of the Morton Trust when it was acquired by the Guaranty Trust in 1910, and left the board sometime between 1917 and 1922. Representation of Duke interests continued through Caleb C. Dula and George G. Allen.

Charles A. Peabody

Charles A. Peabody (1849-1931) was President of the Mutual Life Insurance Company from 1906 until retiring in 1927. He was a trustee of the estate of the first John Jacob Astor, and director of the Farmers Loan and Trust Company since at least 1900. After graduating from Columbia University and Columbia Law School, he joined his father's law firm, Peabody, Baker and Peabody. Partner Fisher Ames Baker was counsel to the First National Bank and the uncle of its President, George Fisher Baker. Peabody was trustee of the estate of the first John Jacob Astor since 1893, and was associated with William Waldorf Astor and represented him in this country. "It was said at the time Mr. Peabody left law for insurance, that the change was, at least in part, due to the influence of the elder Baker in the councils of the Mutual." He was a director of the Guaranty Trust Company from 1911-26, and his granddaughter, Anita Peabody Hadden, married Arthur W. Page Jr, whose brother Walter H. Page became chairman of the Morgan Guaranty Trust.

Thomas W. Lamont

Thomas William Lamont (1870-1948) was founding Secretary and Treasurer of the Bankers Trust Company of New York in 1903, and a director since at least 1905 until 1910, when he was a vice president of the First National Bank. He was a partner of J.P. Morgan & Co. 1910-1948, and a director of the Guaranty Trust from 1911 to 1940. He was an Overseer of Harvard University 1919-1925, during the period that its School of Public Health was being established. He was a founding layman of the American Society for the Control of Cancer in 1913, and headed its General Committee in 1926, when John D. Rockefeller Jr. funded its health fascist congress at Lake Mohonk, and sponsored a luncheon for its endowment fund in 1927. (To Fight Cancer. Boston Daily Globe, May 23, 1913; Rockefeller Aids Cancer Study Fund. New York Times, May 3, 1926; Anti-Cancer Fund Goes to $338,515. New York Times, Jun. 19, 1926.) Mussolini's private physician spoke at the Lake Mohonk congress. (Leacock Denounces Quacks. New York Times, Sep 25, 1926.) "John P. Diggins, in Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America, has noted in regard to Thomas Lamont of Guaranty Trust that 'Of all American business leaders, the one who most vigorously patronized the cause of Fascism was Thomas W. Lamont. Head of the powerful J.P. Morgan banking network, Lamont served as something of a business consultant for the government of Fascist Italy.' Lamont secured a $100 million loan for Mussolini in 1926 at a particularly crucial time for the Italian dictator." (Chapter 11, The Alliance of Bankers and Revolution. Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, by Antony C. Sutton.)

Morton International Inc.

Morton Thiokol. By Diana J. Kleiner. Handbook of Texas Online.

Morton Thiokol / Handbook of Texas Online

Morton Salt was founded in 1902 by brothers Joy and Mark Morton. (Mark Morton, 92, led salt concern. New York Times, Jun. 26, 1951.) Joy Morton was vice president and a director of Corn Products, along with C.H. and E.A. Matthiessen and Norman B. Ream, who became a director of the Guaranty Trust in 1905. (Corn Products Company Officials. New York Times, Mar. 6, 1902.) Joy Morton was a director of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, along with Ream and T.H. Hubbard. (Alton's control complete. New York Times, Oct. 3, 1907.) Paul and Joy Morton and others were sued for stock manipulation of Indiana, Illinois & Iowa Railroad stock by attorneys for the estate of John S. Cooper. (Attack Shonts and Morton. New York Times, Feb. 10, 1910.) Joy Morton financed the Morkrum Printer, the forerunner of the Teletype, which replaced Morse code operators (Newspapers adopt Morkrum Printers. New York Times, Mar. 19, 1915.) His son, Sterling Morton, was a director and chairman of the board of Morton, and was also president of the Teletype Corporation until 1930, when he and his wife sold their stock to AT&T. (Sterling Morton of salt firm, 75. New York Times, Feb. 25, 1961.) Their brother, Paul Morton, was president of the Mutual Life from 1905 until his death in 1911, and his daughters, Pauline and Caroline Morton, were married to Charles H. Sabin and William C. Potter, the presidents/chairmen of the Guaranty Trust. Mark Morton's daughter, Helen, was secretly married to Roger Bayly at Col. George Fabyan's home; three weeks later she was declared deranged on the petition of her husband, Fabyan, and Joy and Mark Morton. One of the questions she was asked was, "Do you smoke many cigarettes?" (Helen Morton held mentally unfit. New York Times, Jul. 7, 1914.)

In 1965, Morton International merged with Norwich Pharmacal, and became Morton-Norwich Products, Inc. Morton-Norwich attempted to market "Bonded Carbon Plugs" as cigarette filters to the American Tobacco Company.

June 18, 1970 / tobacco document

July 27, 1970 (agreement) / tobacco document

Nov. 4, 1970 "Morton Norwich Bonded Tobacco Plugs" / tobacco document

John W. Simmons, the President and CEO of Morton-Norwich Products Inc., was a Trustee of Ernst L. Wynder's American Health Foundation between August 1974 and April 1981.

Loew's Theatres, Inc. owned a sizable number of shares of Morton-Norwich Products in 1976.

Loew's Theatres 1976 Form 10-K / tobacco document

In 1982, Morton International merged with the Thiokol Corporation, developers of rocket fuel and automotive airbags, and also acquired Philip Morris' chemical division. Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble acquired the Norwich Eaton pharmaceutical business from Morton Norwich, including Pepto-Bismol, Cloraseptic, and Norwich aspirin. In 1996, Morton's airbag business was spun off to Autoliv of Sweden, and in 1999 Morton was acquired by Rohm & Haas of Philadelphia.

Nearly all of the directors of the company since 1989 have ties to the Illinois Interlock: Ralph M. Barford, a director of the Bank of Montreal; James R. Cantalupo, also a director of McDonald's Corp.; W. James Farrell, chairman, CEO and director of Illinois Tool Works; Richard L. Keyser, chairman, CEO and director of WW Grainger; Frank W. Luerssen, former chairman and CEO of Inland Steel; Edward J. Mooney, a director of Northern Trust; George A. Schaefer, also a director of Aon Corp.; S. Jay Stewart, also a director of Household International; Roger W. Stone, chairman, president and CEO of Stone Container, and also a director of McDonald's Corp.; Raymond C. Tower, also a director of Household International and Inland Steel. And William T. Creson was the former president, CEO and chairman of Crown Zellerbach - James D. Zellerbach was a crony of Paul Hoffman. Charles A. Sanders was a director from 1989 to 1995.

Thomas F. Ryan

Thomas Fortune Ryan (1851-1928) was born in Virginia, and worked in a Baltimore dry goods commission firm until his employer and father-in-law, John J. Barry, retired. In 1870, he came to New York and was employed as a clerk in a Wall Street brokerage firm. In 1874, he became a member of the Stock Exchange. "Early in that decade he formed the partnership which was to play so great a part in his life and in the financial history of the next thirty years. He became acquainted with William Collins Whitney, then a power in Wall Street, and the older man early realized the genius of young Ryan, gradually entrusting him with more and more important work, and finally forming an equal partnership which lasted until Whitney's death. Two other figures played a prominent part in the career of Mr. Ryan. They are Elihu Root and Paul D. Cravath, the lawyers who handled the intricte legal affairs which his many transactions involved." In 1885, he gave up his brokerage business and began the reoganization of street railways with Whitney, Anthony N. Brady, and John Dolan. In 1886, this group united with the Philadelphia syndicate of P.A.B. Widener and William L. Elkins. In the early 1890s he formed the Union Tobacco Company, which acquired the Blackwell-Bull Durham Company and later Liggett & Myers. "Gradually the syndicate absorbed other competing concerns, and by 1901 represent 80 percent of the United States trade. In that year Mr. Ryan, who had been the dominant power throughout, formed a syndicate under the New Jersey laws known as the Consolidated Tobacco Company, which controlled practically all the common stock of the American Tobacco Company, the name of the syndicate into which all the earlier companies had merged." In 1902, the group obtained control of a British firm, Ogden's Ltd., and attempted to expand into England. A British firm, the Imperial Tobacco Company, headed by Sir Charles Willis, attempted to expand into the U.S. They negotiated an agreement that gave American an unrestricted field in the U.S. and its possessions, plus Cuba and Canada, and a two-thirds interest in the British-American Company, which handled markets outside the U.S. and British interests.In 1905, he settled the feuding at the Equitable Life Insurance Co. by purchasing the controlling interest from James Hazen Hyde. The transaction took place in the offices of the Morton Trust, which Ryan controlled, with lawyers Elihu Root and Samuel Untermyer participating. The Equitable's stock was placed in the hands of three trustees, who were former President Grover Cleveland, Justice Morgan J. O'Brien, and George Westinghouse; and former Navy Secretary Paul Morton [whose sons-in-law, Charles H. Sabin and William C. Potter, were subsequently presidents of the Guaranty Trust after its merger with the Morton Trust], was made president. (How Ryan Rose In Wall Street. New York Times, Nov. 24, 1928.) Robert Livingston Cutting Jr., an uncle of ASCC benefactor R. Fulton Cutting, was another of Ryan's early business partners. (Copartnership Notices. New-York Times, Apr. 4, 1882 p. 7.)

Thomas F. Ryan was a founder of the Société Internationale Forestière et Minière du Congo (International Forestry and Mining Company of the Congo, aka "Forminière"), created to develop the mining fields. Economic writer Isaac F. Marcosson said that the King had made the deal with them because he wanted the process for extracting rubber from the guayule shrub, which was held by the International Rubber Company, a Ryan-Guggenheim-Rockefeller concern. The Crown of Belgium received half the shares of Forminière; the other half was divided between the King and the Société Générale, a semi-governmental bank of Belgium; and Thomas F. Ryan. "Later Mr. Ryan admitted Daniel Guggenheim, Harry Payne Whitney, John Hays Hammond, and Senator [Nelson W.] Aldrich (Rockefeller) as associates in the enterprise." The directors of the American Congo Company were William H. Page of Page, Crawford & Tuska, attorneys for the Continental Rubber Co.; A. Chester Beatty a of the Guggenheim staff of mining engineers; and J.G. Whitley, Consul General of the Congo Free State to the U.S. The Independence Belge named Thomas F. Ryan, Edward B. Aldrich, the two Guggenheims, Harry Payne Whitney, John D. Rockefeller Jr., and Bernard M. Baruch as chief stockholders. (Details of the Ryan Congo Concesions. New York Times, Dec. 14, 1906; Ryan Was A Partner of King Leopold II. New York Times, Nov. 24, 1928.)

The 1916 Tobacco Summit

In 1916, Ryan gave a dinner at his Fifth Avenue home: "His guests included United States Senator Oscar W. Underwood [D-Ala.], Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, Francis L. Stetson, Henry Clay Frick, Frank S. Witherbee, Charles Schwab, James B. Duke, Morgan J. O'Brien, Alexander J. Hemphill, C.C. Dula, John B. Dennis, Justice Francis K. Pendleton, John D. Archbold, Theodore P. Shonts, John D. Ryan, Daniel Guggenheim. J. Sargeant Cram, R.A.C. Smith, Francis L. Hine, Bernard M. Baruch, Charles B. Alexander, Henry Clews, Fairfax Landstreet, W.W. Fuller, Paul D. Cravath, Daniel G. Reid, James S. Alexander, Junius Parker, Percival S. Hill, De Lancey Nicoll, August D. Juilliard, William C. Potter, John D. Prince, Hugo Cunliffe-Owen, and Valentine P. Snyder." (Thomas F. Ryan Is Host. New York Times, Feb. 18, 1916.) Cravath was T.F. Ryan's attorney, Duke and Cunliffe-Owen were executives of British-American Tobacco, and Hill was president of the American Tobacco Company, for which Nicoll was an attorney and Parker was a large stockholder. Frick, Hine, J.D. Ryan, and Reid were associated with the Tobacco Products Corporation, a predecessor of Philip Morris; J.D. Ryan, Reid, Stetson, Hemphill, Guggenheim, Juilliard, Potter and Snyder with the Guaranty Trust, and Dula was President of Liggett & Myers Tobacco and a director of the Guaranty Trust. Butler was the President of Columbia University, where Prince was a professor. In 1909, the school received $2,250,000, from the will of John Stewart Kennedy, and members of Butler's family got bequests as well. (How They'll Spend Kennedy Millions. New York Times, Nov. 7, 1909.)

Union Tobacco - Delaware

G.J. Whelan and the Schulte cigar store interests incorporated Union Tobacco in Delaware, as a subsidiary of the Union and United Tobacco Company. Whelan and Ryan were the largest stockholders. (Union Tobacco Co. Formed. New York Times, Jul. 16, 1927; T.F. Ryan in Union Tobacco. New York Times, Aug. 2, 1927.) In 1929, the Union Tobacco Company, which had leased the right to manufacture several brands from the American Tobacco Company, voted to surrender the lease and continue as strictly a stock holding company. It held 98 shares of Philip Morris Consolidated Class A, $1,775; 1,895 shares of Philip Morris Consolidated common, $9,742; 32,300 shares of Philip Morris & Co. Ltd., $628,832; 61,100 shares of Tobacco Products Corporation Class A stock, $1,381,341; 372,200 shares of Tobacco Products Corporation common, $7,568,247; 75,000 shares of Union Cigar Co., $382,275; and 300 shares of United Cigar Stores common, $8,338, along with stock in North American Match Co. and Lion Match Co. Jesse R. Taylor was the president. (Union Tobacco Quits Commodity Trade. New York Times, Dec. 29, 1929.)

Ryan's first wife, Ida, was a major benefector of Catholic charities and was made a Countess of the Holy Roman Empire in 1907. The $200,000 she left to be divided among her sons was held at the Central Union Trust until their 30th birthdays. (Final Accounting on Ryan Estate. New York Times, Dec. 23, 1920.) His second wife was the sister of DeLancey Nicoll, attorney for the American Tobacco Company in 1910, and her second husband, the late Cornelius C. Cuyler, was T. DeWitt Cuyler's brother. (Thos. Fortune Ryan Weds Mrs. Cuyler. New York Times, Oct. 30, 1917.) Ryan's son, Allan, was indignant that his father had remarried only twelve days after his mother died, and they were still not on speaking terms when his father died. In 1920, Allan A. Ryan obtained a corner on Stutz Motors, was expelled from the Stock Exchange, and went bankrupt.

In 1943, an investigation by the O.S.S. determined that the Forminiere mines were the primary source of industrial diamonds which were being smuggled to the Third Reich. The investigator discovered "'that a full year's supply of diamonds had reached Germany from Forminiere through Red Cross parcels.' The shipment of several million carats of diamonds through the parcels that were regularly sent from the Congo to Nazi-occupied Belgium required considerable organization and support in the intervening areas.... With the end of the war in 1945, the OSS was dissolved, and the question of 'dealing with the enemy' was never resolved." (Chapter 9, Diamonds For Hitler. In: The Diamond Invention, by Edward Jay Epstein.) The author blames the De Beers cartel and its "Jewish Connection."

Ch. 9, Diamonds for Hitler / Edward Jay Epstein.com

The strategic importance of diamonds became acutely clear to both the Allies and Axis powers with the approach of the Second World War in 1939. Only diamonds were hard enough to stamp out the millions of precision parts that were necessary for mass-producing airplane engines, torpedoes, tanks, artillery and the other weapons of war. Only diamonds could be used to draw the fine wire needed for radar and the electronics of war. Only diamonds could provide the jeweled bearings necessary for the stabilizers, gyroscopes and guidance systems for submarines and planes. Only diamonds could provide the abrasives necessary for rapidly converting civilian industries into a war machine. Without a continuing supply of diamonds, the war machine would rapidly slow to a halt. Yet, nearly all the diamond mines remained closed, and De Beers controlled the world supply of diamonds. Obtaining these industrial diamonds thus became a paramount objective for both the United States and Hitler's Germany.

In Washington, D.C., the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt began to hold emergency meetings about diamonds in 1940 when Hitler's armies swept across Europe in a blitzkrieg and threatened to invade England. The possibility had to be at least considered that England, like France, might be overrun or surrender. In that event, the world diamond stockpile would fall into Hitler's hands. Since the United States had less than one year's supply of industrial diamonds, the loss of De Beers' stockpile would make it difficult, if not impossible, to continue the war. The economic planners for the war estimated that the United ,States needed at least 6.5 million carats of industrial diamonds to convert its factories to war production.

When apprized of this critical shortage in diamonds, President Roosevelt ordered the War Production Board, which had the responsibility for mobilizing the American economy for war, to buy the necessary 6.5 million carats from De Beers. De Beers, however, had other interests to consider. Its entire system for monopolizing diamonds depended on its controlling the available stockpile. Transferring a large portion of the stockpile from London to New York City, where it would be out of its control, ran counter to the De Beers logic.

Even though the Americans persisted in the negotiations for the diamonds, they found that Sir Ernest Oppenheimer personally opposed any transfer of diamonds to the United States. He argued that if the United States had its own stockpile, and the war suddenly ended, it might release the diamonds and undercut the entire world order that he had so laboriously constructed. Moreover, he held that the United States had sufficient diamonds for present needs, and that De Beers would continue its delivery of diamonds to American manufacturers on a monthly basis. In one letter, he characterized the American demand for a stockpile as "farcical."

The Americans were dismayed by this intransigence. In an official Justice Department memorandum, the War Production Board expressed incredulity at the fact that "the leaders of the syndicate are intentionally risking the war production of the allies." President Roosevelt, disturbed by this development, ordered the State Department to intervene directly with Winston Churchill's war cabinet in London.

The State Department found, however, that the British government was reluctant to press De Beers to part with the diamonds. An investigation by U.S. intelligence indicated that the division of the British government responsible for acting on the request was entirely staffed by former executives of the De Beers "syndicate." In a secret memorandum, the War Production Board noted, "The diamond section of the government and the syndicate seem to be the same."* After the Roosevelt administration had made continuing efforts to persuade the British government that the diamonds were of critical importance to the United States war effort, it ordered the State Department to play its trump card and threaten that the United States would interrupt the supply f airplanes that was vitally needed by the British to defend themselves against the Luftwaffe bombing raids. According to a confidential report in this Justice Department archive, dated April 16, 1942, "It was said unofficially that we would not give planes to England if the syndicate would not sell us the diamonds with which to make them." This dramatic threat had the desired effect. The British government pressed De Beers to accommodate President Roosevelt, and De Beers yielded.

Oppenheimer agreed to supply the United States immediately with one million carats--14 percent of the American request---and deposit an additional stockpile in Canada for the duration of the war. This Canadian stockpile, which would remain under De Beers control, was meant to mitigate the American concern over the possible capture of the London stockpile.

The Roosevelt administration was not entirely satisfied with this compromise. It continued to apply pressure to the British government, demanding that De Beers supply the additional 5.5 million carats. By this time, the air of crisis had passed, and De Beers was able to procrastinate successfully. At first, it claimed that it did not have enough diamonds in its vaults to supply this amount. Then, after U.S. intelligence debunked this claim, De Beers advised that its vaults were bombed shut" in an air raid on London. A year passed. Then De Beers asserted that it needed additional time to prepare an inventory of the diamonds it had available.

By this time, American officials feared that De Beers, despite the pressure exerted on it, had no intention of allowing a diamond stockpile of any magnitude to be established, even in Canada. Moreover, manufacturers of. diamond tools in the United States had begun complaining to the Office of Price Control that De Beers had effectively raised its prices as much as 60 percent through the device of reducing the quality of the diamonds it delivered. So, though the official price per carat remained the same, manufacturers had to buy more of the lower quality diamonds to build the tools and dies for industry. Since it was exceedingly difficult for the price control officials to measure the relative quality of industrial diamonds, De Beers was able to persist in its claim that it had not raised prices. In any case, the Justice Department concluded that the De Beers monopoly, by manipulating supplies from the stockpile, could impede the war effort.

The Justice Department decided then to launch its own investigation into the diamond monopoly. It had the full cooperation of the War Production Board, which still wanted control of the diamond stockpile, and the OSS, the newly created U.S. wartime intelligence service. The Investigators were not held back by any inhibitions about intercepting mail, borrowing bank records or other such extralegal measures. They all shared a common objective: helping the war effort. In their roughshod manner, they soon began turning up bits of evidence indicating that De Beers had systematically stifled diamond mining in areas of the world over which it could not exert control. For example, intercepted letters from Oppenheimer's associates suggested that litigation had been initiated in Venezuela to prevent Nelson Rockefeller and other Americans from developing diamond mines in that country. One such letter detailed the possibility of competition in Venezuela, and asked an intermediary to suggest to Oppenheimer that he be "ruthless in stamping it out." Another intercepted letter from a Belgian diamond executive suggested that De Beers was intentionally exhausting the diamond mines in the Belgian Congo, while preserving its mines in South Africa, so that after the war was over De Beers "will have complete control over the market.." Justice Department investigators also looked into charges that De Beers had conspired to buy out and shut down potential diamond mining areas in the country of Guyana and the state of Arkansas.

In Arkansas, it was charged that after diamonds were found there, Oppenheimer bought control of the company that was to mine the diamonds. Then, when the separation plant built on the site failed to produce a sufficient quantity of diamonds per ton of ore to make the mine profitable, it was closed. Subsequently, it was charged that the separation plant had been designed by the engineer in such a manner that it could not possibly retrieve diamonds. It emerged that the engineer was in the employ of De Beers. The mine, which was bought out by associates of Ernest Oppenheimer, was ordered closed in 1921 after Oppenheimer met the mine officials in New York, and the mine's records were ordered destroyed. "An inference could be drawn . . . "the Justice Department memorandum noted, "that the property was sabotaged and then closed at the insistence of Sir Ernest Oppenheimer." The evidence was admittedly highly circumstantial.

Whatever were the specific tactics of De Beers, the justice Department investigators reached the conclusion that the singular effect of these efforts was to artificially restrain the production of diamonds. This, in turn, produced higher prices. A 1944 memorandum to the attorney general concluded, "The United States is paying monopoly prices for an essential material needed in wartime production." If De Beers were an American company, the memorandum continued, "There would be no question as to [its] having violated the anti-trust laws." Since De Beers was a South African corporation, the Justice Department had to demonstrate that it had some jurisdiction over its activities before it could consider prosecuting it.

The FBI was called in to interview the leading diamond dealers in New York to determine whether De Beers, which sold them diamonds, could be construed as transacting business in the United States. The FBI reported, "The domestic trade operates in relative secrecy.... The syndicate will sell only to a small group of hand-picked dealers." It further noted that De Beers officials avoided coming to the United States, and all transactions took place in London. Further inquiry showed that De Beers had closed all its bank accounts in the United States at the outset of the investigation.

The assistant attorney generals at the Justice Department who had superintended the investigation realized that the antitrust division had little chance of ever bringing De Beers to court in the United States. Despite all the prodigious investigative efforts, the case was abandoned in late 1945.

None of these documents cast any light on the question of how Hitler continued to obtain diamonds for the duration of the war. There was, however, an investigation of this problem by the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA.

According to a summary of OSS documents, the OSS learned through its agents in Germany that in November of 1943 Hitler had only an eight-month supply of industrial diamonds. When these diamonds ran out, Hitler's war machine would be crippled. It would no longer be possible to build V-2 rockets or other exotic weaponry. It was thus a crucial wartime goal to prevent Hitler from replenishing his supply of diamonds.

As all mines in South Africa were closed, the OSS reckoned that there was only one place on earth from which the Germans could get industrial diamonds in sufficient quantity to maintain their .military-industrial complex: the Belgian Congo. The Belgian Congo was, however, administered by the Belgian government in exile, which was in London and completely under British control. The mines themselves were supervised, and policed, by the De Beers syndicate. In fact, when the justice Department began to move against De Beers, the War Department objected on the grounds that it might undercut the security system that De Beers had developed in the Belgian Congo. In an exchange of secret correspondence between the War and Justice Departments (which was declassified under my Freedom of Information request), it was argued by an official responsible for maintaining the diamond blockade that "almost the entire [diamond] production of Africa is policed through the operation of elaborate controls extending through every mining area of the continent." Further, De Beers, which administered this program, sent "this controlled production ... in a closely guarded stream to London."

The OSS had determined, however, that tons of diamonds were somehow reaching Nazi Germany. If the De Beers system of "elaborate controls" was as effective as the War Department held, how could such enormous quantities of diamonds be regularly reaching Germany? To answer this question, the OSS had proposed sending its own undercover agents from its field office in Accra to the Belgian Congo. Since the British Ministry of Economic Warfare was responsible for allied activities in the Congo, this OSS action had to be cleared in London. At first the ministry blocked the request, and then it had proposed a joint "diamond investigation." OSS agents met with their British counterparts, but little was done to pinpoint the source of the smuggling. Finally the OSS chief in Accra reported to Washington, D.C.:

"We have now come to the conclusion (a) that our assistance was requested in this program so that the Diamond Trading Corporation might discover how much we actually knew of the ramifications of the De Beers world monopoly, and (B) that the OSS/Accra recommendations for a Security Committee were sabotaged, not by the British Government, but by the representatives of the Diamond Trading Corporation, Ltd., London, through their domination of the Diamond Committee of the Ministry of Economic Warfare."

As the OSS pursued the investigation, it found that the diamonds were reaching the Axis powers through Tangier and Cairo. Its agents, posing as illegal buyers in these entrepots, found that industrial diamonds were being sold for $26 a carat, which was thirty times the official price. It became increasingly clear that enormous profits were being made on the millions of carats that were being smuggled into Germany. Tracing their way back through the chain of illegal sellers, an OSS agent code-named Teton reported back from Leopoldville that "the major source of leakage was the Forminiere Mines," which had been under the control of the syndicate ever since they were developed. According to the OSS report, Teton, pretending to be an American official who had come to the Congo to register "all American males of draft age," made highly productive "contact" in Leopoldville and eventually turned up evidence "that a full year's supply of diamonds had reached Germany from Forminiere through Red Cross parcels." The shipment of several million carats of diamonds through the parcels that were regularly sent from the Congo to Nazi-occupied Belgium required considerable organization and support in the intervening areas.

Even though the investigation was causing great concern in the diamond section of the Ministry of Economic Warfare, Teton was ordered by the OSS to continue following the leads he had developed. Teton suspected that the Belgian police chief in Leopoldville was involved in the massive smuggling operation, and to test his suspicions he gave money to a Belgian citizen to make illegal diamond purchases in Leopoldville. As Teton suspected, the diamonds 'traced directly to the police chief.

Before Teton could follow the trail any farther, however, e Belgian citizen was arrested by the police. The Belgian identified Teton as his source for the funds, and Teton was declared persona non grata by the governor general of the Congo, and expelled.

It again seemed to the OSS that British interests had stifled the investigation.

In February of 1944, British and American intelligence officials met in Accra to attempt to resolve the jurisdiction problem. Rejecting the OSS idea of an "advisory commission" on diamond smuggling, the British decided instead have a diamond security expert and a mining engineer, bo of whom were to be hand-picked by Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, conduct a security study of the mine. Even though this self-serving plan was never actually implemented, the OSS concluded, "Thus the responsibility for security would have been turned over entirely to the industry."

Nevertheless, it was decided that British Intelligence would have the responsibility for interdicting the flow of diamonds to the Nazis. The OSS report noted that although this British intelligence operation was initially "well-planned," it was unable to cope with the Syndicate's control of the industry and its dealing with the enemy."

The suggestion that the De Beers-controlled syndicate was "dealing with the enemy" was not accepted; or at least not acted upon by the U.S. War Department. In a secret memorandum, dated November 21, 1944, Patrick A. Gibson wrote Assistant Attorney General Edward S. Stimson, "I suppose that we could not make any allegation that the defendants (De Beers) themselves have prevented effective control of leakage of industrial diamonds to Germany. . . Any theory of this nature would seem to depend upon supporting action by some units of the British Government. Clearly, the British government was not about to investigate such a sensitive matter. It was therefore concluded that it would be imprudent to "be involved in a controversy of this nature." With the end of the war in 1945, the OSS was dissolved, and the question of "dealing with the enemy" was never resolved.

American servicemen returned from overseas and purchased diamond rings for engagements that they had deferred. To meet the new demand, De Beers re-opened its mines in South Africa. The diamond invention had survived the war intact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...