Strange Death of Franklin Roosevelt - Emanuel Josephson

Presidents on the Roosevelt Family Tree

Washington     John Adams     Madison     J.Q. Adams     Van Buren     W.H. Harrison     Taylor     Johnson     Grant     H. Harrison     T. Roosevelt     Taft    

Franklin Delano Roosevelt displayed on his family tree twelve presidents of the United States, and one president of the Confederate States, with whom he claimed direct relationship. Only four of the presidents were on the Roosevelt side of the family. Eight were derived from the influential and powerful Delano family.

So closely has the secret been kept that it will undoubtedly surprise the reader to know that the most closely related of these presidents to F.D.R. was not Theodore Roosevelt, but Ulysses S. Grant.

On the Roosevelt side of the family, F.D.R. claims relationship to John Adams, the second president and John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, Martin Van Burcn, the eighth president, and Theodore Roosevelt, the twenty-sixth president. On the Delano side he claims relationship to George Washington, James Madison, fourth president, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, twelfth, Andrew Johnson, seventeenth. Ulysses S. Grant, eighteenth, Benjamin Harrison, twenty-third. and William Howard Taft, twenty-seventh.

[Book Cover] from The Strange Death of FDR by Emanuel Josephson
[Book Cover] from The Strange Death of FDR by Emanuel Josephson


The relationship of President George Washington to the Roosevelt-Delano clan is remote and not nearly so direct as in the case of the other eleven. It traces through George W. Parke Custis, a nephew of Martha Washington by her first marriage to Daniel Custis, whose daughter married General Robert E. Lee, a fifth cousin of Sara Delano Roosevelt.

An interesting sidelight on the remoteness of the relationship is cast by George Washington's rejection of an invitation to attend the funeral of the wife of the Revolutionary War veteran and New York State Senator, Isaac Roosevelt, which he noted in his diary on November 14th, 1789 in the following entry:

"Received an invitation to attend the funeral of Mrs. Roosevelt (the wife of a Senator of the State) but declined complying with it, first because the propriety of accepting an invitation of this sort appeared to be very questionable, and secondly (though to do so in this case might not be improper), because it might be difficult to discriminate in cases which might thereafter happen." (F. D. Roosevelt's Colonial Ancestors, A. V. Page, 1933, p. 21).

The remoteness of the relationship would serve in some measure to explain the complete absence in F.D.R. of the nobler and finer qualities of George Washington—his modesty, his humility, his sanity, his absolute honesty, his high and rigid principles, his refusal to stoop to cheap expediency and politics, his passionate devotion to the cause of freedom, liberty and democracy, his loyalty to his country and refusal to sacrifice it to the interests of any foreign land, his spurning of nepotism and abhorrence of the cheapening of the office of President through exploitation for social or business advancement.

All of these characteristics definitely stamp George Washington as not a true member of the Roosevelt-Delano clan, however insistently they claim him. Affirmation of relationship to George Washington by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who lent his support to the "Union Now" movement and had as a member of his cabinet, Harold Ickes an official of that movement, and who was instrumental in World Wars I and II in betraying the interests of his country to Great Rritain and reducing it to a more subject state than the lowliest of the British colonies, is the height of irony.

Washington nobly rejected the "indispensable", dictatorial and regal status that Franklin Delano Roosevelt and other members of the Dynasty have sought.


John Adams was originally related to the Roosevelts through the marriage of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's grandfather, James to Mary Aspinwall, a descendant of Thomas Shepard and Ann Tyng who were ancestors also of the Adamses. The relationship was in the order of seventh cousin. But as is so common in royal families, relationships in the Roosevelt-Delano clan are intensified and made closer by inbreeding and marriage of cousins. In the present generation for instance, Frederick B. Adams married his distant cousin, Ellen W. Delano, thus enabling heir apparent, James Roosevelt to talk of "my cousin" Fred Adams when discussing sugar and insurance deals.

John Adams was an Illuminist (as the Communists were named then) a follower of Adam Weishaupt who was the grandfather of present day Communism. Adams organized the first Illuminist cell in New England.

John Adams and his second cousin Samuel Adam were moving spirits in the resistance of New England to British tyranny. Whether influenced by their interests in commerce and trade, especially with the West Indies and other British colonies, and in smuggling, as some folks allege, or not, there can be no question as to their devotion to the cause of the Revolution. Both signed the Declaration of Independence. Popular Samuel Adams is regarded as the author of most of the Bill of Rights and was instrumental in the adoption of the Constitution by the State of Massachusetts which he served as lieutenant governor and governor between 1789 and 1797.

John Adams, Harvard graduate, courageous and devoted to the cause of the Revolution, but vain, argumentative, impetuous, resentful, suspicious and in the main unpopular, member of the Continental Congress, ambassador to France and to England, got only thirty-four out of sixty votes for vice president as contrasted with the unanimous vote for George Washington in 1789. His snobbishness which impelled him to write that "the rich, the well-born and the able" members of Congress should be kept apart in a Senate did not add to his popularity. In the role of proud aristocrat he fiercely resented the failure of the electors to make him President instead of George Washington. With Alexander Hamilton, Adams became a recognized political leader of the Federalist party.

Adams secured his election to the Presidency by eliminating Thomas Jefferson. Feeling against the Illuminists ran high in the colonies in 1796, because of their involvement in the engineering of the French Revolution and its "Reign of Terror". Adams publicly betrayed his fellow Illuminist, Jefferson, who had organized the first Red cell in Virginia, in 1785, and exposed him in a letter which can be seen in the library on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. As a result, Jefferson was defeated in that election.

In 1796, Washington refused to accept another election to serve a third term, because of the danger of setting the precedent of a president assuming office for life and becoming dictator or monarch. John Adams was chosen as President despite his unpopularity, because of the miscarriage of a maneuver within his own party which sought to defeat him. During his term, he fell out with Hamilton and his own supporters. By 1800 he had gained such complete control of his party that despite their distrust of him he secured the Federalist nomination for presidency. He was defeated by Thomas Jefferson. In a spirit characteristic of the clan, John Adams was so enraged at his loss of office that he refused to attend Jefferson's inauguration and instead drove out of Washington during the inaugural.

John Adams assumed the role of aristocrat among revolutionary rabble. His concept of the proper form of government for the country was domination by a self-perpetuating aristocracy that would rule, in reality, and further their interests while maintaining a pretense of democracy and popular franchise. It is his idea that now prevails in the Dynasty. The Federalist political machinery which he was instrumental in creating, served the purpose of securing his nomination to the presidency despite unpopularity in his own party. The control of the political machine which he built has been handed down more or less intact in his family and Dynasty throughout the subsequent generations. It has served to advance numerous members of the Dynasty to the top ranks of society, politics, industry and commerce. It is one of the mainstays of power of the Roosevelt-Delano clan.

It was fortunate, indeed, for the country that the interests of John Adams coincided with those of the Revolutionists. For he had the courage of his convictions and he furthered them with vigor and intensity that might have been telling if he had opposed the Revolutionary cause. But it was even more fortunate for the cause of democracy that there were such men as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to offer some opposition to his plans for setting up a hereditary oligarchic rule.

The opposition that confronted John Adams and his associates was not sufficient, however, to avert the establishment of an oligarchy that is in large measure hereditary. But it was sufficiently powerful to force the oligarchs to maintain a pretense of democracy. This pretense of adoption of the most radical, they call it "liberal", cause of the times, has come to he adopted as a screen behind which each successive generation of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty push their drive for establishment of absolute rule by an oligarchy and the ultimate establishment of a monarchy.

John Adams established the precedent of nepotism which has become one of the outstanding characteristics in the political activity of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty, and one of their strongest traditions. This was evidenced in his appointment in 1782 of his fifteen year old son, John Quincy Adams, as "additional secretary" to the American Commissioners in Paris negotiating the treaty of peace of the Revolutionary War.


James Madison was one of many distinguished descendants of William and Margaret Cheney. These included his third cousin. President Zachary Taylor who was father-in-law of Jefferson Davis, his fourth cousin. General R. E. Lee, and his seventh cousin. President William Howard Taft. Through the marriage of his great grand uncle, Hancock Lee to Sarah Allerton, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a seventh cousin of James Madison.

Jamee Madison studied for the ministry at Princeton. In 1775 he became chairman of the Committee of Public Safety and in 1779 was elected delegate to the Continental Congress, where he urged that Congress be given the right to levy duties, despite the opposition of his constituency. When elected to Virginia's House of Delegates in 1784, as a Unitarian, he opposed the granting of special privileges to the Episcopalian Church and fought for religious freedom. The bill he introduced was labelled Jefferson's Bill and was passed the following year. He also opposed the further issue of paper money. His influence was largely responsible for the form which the Constitution took and for its adoption against the opposition of the Federalists and others. Though defeated in his senatorial candidacy, he was elected to Congress from his home district, defeating James Monroe.

In Congress, Madison introduced the first Tariff Bill as well as the amendments to the Constitution that were subsequently adopted as the Bill of Rights. He was an advocate of State rights and opposed Hamilton's bill to establish a national bank. He sought to limit the President's prerogative and favored France and was antagonistic to England. In 1807, Madison was elected President, as candidate of the Republican ticket. Throughout his career, Madison had advocated commercial reprisals rather than war against England to force her to recognize our neutral rights. But when seeking reelection, less than two weeks after his nomination, he sent his war message to Congress on June 1, 1812. His reelection followed, despite the suggestion of the Federalists that he be forced to resign because of their opposition to war.


John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, furnished the country with the spectacle that has been uncommon in our history outside of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty, father and son simultaneously serving in the top rungs of the national government and succeeding each other to the presidency. At the time that John Adams was vice-president, George Washington appointed his son, John Quincy Adams, successively as Minister to Netherlands, at the age of twenty-seven, and then Minister to Portugal. Before he took the latter post he was transferred in 1797, by his father who had succeeded Washington as president, to the post of Minister to Prussia. At the end of the presidential term, his father recalled him.

In 1802 he was elected to the Massachusetts Senate and in 1803 he was appointed United States Senator in spite of the unpopularity of his father with a large group of his own party, the Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton. He resigned before his term of office ended and returned to his alma mater. Harvard, as professor of rhetoric and oratory.

In the meantime, he had bolted the Federalist Party, joined the Republicans and participated in the caucus which nominated Madison for the presidency. President Madison appointed Adams, Minister to Russia in 1809 and in 1815 to England, a position occupied by his father before him and his son, Charles Frances Adams, after him. In 1817 he became Secretary of State on the Cabinet of President Monroe.

In 1825, John Quincy Adams was chosen President by the House of Representatives as a result of a deal made by him with Henry Clay, for the purpose of defeating Andrew Jackson. In return Adams made Henry Clay, Secretary of State. This raised the cry of bribery and corruption. So great was the unpopularity of Adams and the opposition to him in Congress that his presidency proved a failure. He was renominated by his party in 1828. Another scion of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty, General William Henry Harrison, was his running mate as vice-president, but Andrew Jackson was elected in 1828 to succeed him.

In 1831 Adams was elected to Congress where during a period of seventeen years, his energies were largely devoted to abolitionist activities.


Martin Van Buren was a descendant of Martin Van Buren and Marytyice Quackenbush as was also his fourth cousin, Isaac Roosevelt, great-great-grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Van Buren's daughter-in-law, Angelina Singleton, wife of Abraham Van Buren, who was his hostess in the White House, was a cousin of President Madison's wife, Dolly.

Van Buren was a native of Kinderhook, New York, which lies not many miles north of the bailiwick of Franklin D. Roosevelt. A successful lawyer, though possessed of a very rudimentary education, he entered politics as an adherent of the George Clinton section of the Republican party. In politics his success was signalized by his leadership of a corrupt political machine that was known as the "Albany Regency", and dominated New York State politics for decades. His nickname "Little Magician" attests to his skill at nepotism and the spoils system. The Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty has since then done its level best to live up to the tradition Van Buren set for it of dirty politics, corruption, nepotism and the spoils system. With rare exception, all these later presidents of the Dynasty have proved a credit to their vicious progenitor.

Van Buren filled the offices of Surrogate of Columbia County, New York State, State Senator, and Attorney General of New York State. In 1821 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and in 1827 was reelected. At the same time he served as campaign manager for Andrew Jackson. In the following year he was elected Governor of New York State, and resigned from the Senate. But after less than two months as Governor of New York, in 1829, he was appointed Secretary of State by President Jackson. He courted Jackson's favor; and after an interlude in which he served as Minister to England, without confirmation of his appointment, displaced Calhoun as vice-presidential candidate of the first Democratic convention.

In 1836 Van Buren, as successor of Andrew Jackson, defeated William Henry Harrison in the presidential election. On assuming office he appointed his son, Captain Abraham Van Buren, as his secretary. Abraham's wife, who was a cousin of President Madison's wife Dolly, was mistress of the White House during Van Buren's term of office.

Van Buren's presidency was marked by two successive commercial panics in 1837 and 1839. He undertook to "follow in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor". Though renominated in 1840 he was defeated by William Henry Harrison. He sought the nomination of the Democrats in 1844 but failed to secure it.

True to the tradition of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty, no loyalty or allegiance to any party could be expected of him and no party could hold him. Traditionally, they acknowledge no allegiance except to themselves. As in the case of John Quincy Adams, Van Buren bolted his party and, with Adam's son, Charles Francis Adams as vice-presidential candidate, ran for office as candidate of the "Free Soil" Party in 1848, but did not win a single electoral vote. This presents an interesting demonstration of the influence attained, the cooperation between its members and the control of political machinery developed, even at this early date, by the branches of the growing Roosevelt clan. Both candidates were members of the Dynasty, for the second time in a generation.


The use of the Army as a springboard to the Presidency, and of war heroes as political fronts is an old one and a favorite of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty. Setting aside their claim to George Washington, they have contributed five of them to the role of President. Some of these hero-presidents have been real and others have been synthesized for political purposes,—created by rapid promotion through nepotism of favored individuals to the rank of general-in-command towards the end of a war so that they can claim some credit for the successful course of the war. Such an instance is still fresh in the minds of the public in the promotion of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's son, Elliott to the rank of General over the heads of thousands of professional career soldiers and officers, for his distinguished services in commuting to and from the fronts and fighting the battles of the cabarets, nightclubs and bistros on the home front. This brings to mind the old saying: "Generals die in bed with their shoes off."

William Henry Harrison was the first of the series of military presidents. He was a grandson of Benjamin Harrison, a Virginian, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President. He was a third cousin of Henry Lee, father of General Robert E. Lee, as well as second cousin of James Madison, fourth President, and General Zachary Taylor, twelfth President, and a fourth cousin of General Ulysses S. Grant, eighteenth President.

Harrison graduated from Hampden-Sidney College and began the study of medicine in Philadelphia. After the death of his father, against the advice of his guardian, Robert Morris, Harrison joined the Army in 1791 as ensign, went West and fought the Indians. He was rapidly promoted to captaincy, but resigned from the Army in 1798. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed Secretary of the Northwest Territory. In 1799 he was chosen by the Jeffersonian Republicans as delegate to Congress from the Territory. In 1800 President Madison, his cousin, appointed him Governor of the Indian Territory and for a short time in 1804 he acted also as Governor of the Louisiana Territory, a tremendous expanse of territory.

In a skirmish against the Indians, preliminary to the War of 1812, Harrison engaged some Indians with a force of militia and regular troops,—the much touted victory of Tippecanoe. After the outbreak of the War of 1812, he was made brigadier-general and placed in charge of all troops in the Northwest Territory, and the following year he was promoted to the rank of major-general. At the end of the War, after Perry's naval victory, Harrison advanced on Detroit and captured the territory previously lost to the British. In 1814 he once again resigned from the Army.

Between 1816 and 1828, Harrison was successively Congressman, Ohio State Senator, and U.S. Senator. In 1828 efforts to secure for him command of the Army and Vice-Presidential election on the ticket of John Quincy Adams both failed. He was appointed first American Minister to Colombia, but was recalled within a year. Retiring, he took the lowly job of Clerk in the Court of Common Pleas, Hammond County.

Defeated as Whig Candidate for the presidency by Van Buren, in 1836, Harrison in turn defeated Van Buren in 1840. He survived his inauguration by one month and was succeeded by Vice-President John Tyler.


Zachary Taylor was the second of the series of five Army presidents of the Roosevelt-Delano clan. He was a second cousin of President James Madison and of (President) General William Henry Harrison, father-in-law of President Jefferson Davis, third cousin of Henry Lee, father of General Robert E. Lee, fourth cousin of (President) General Ulysses S. Grant, fifth cousin of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and sixth cousin of President William Howard Taft.

Zachary Taylor, following in the footsteps of his father, Revolutionary veteran. Col. Richard Taylor, was commissioned at 23, first lieutenant in the Army in 1808. In the War of 1812 he participated in the defense of Fort Harrison. By 1814 he had attained the rank of major and resigned from the service. He was reinstated in the service in 1816, promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1819. He took part in the Black Hawk War in 1832 and the Seminole War in 1836. Following the battle of Okeechobee, be was breveted brigadier-general. In 1846, he defeated the Mexicans in the Rio Grande Valley and at Saltillo, and had become the popular hero of the Mexican War.

Nominated presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1848 at the height of his military success and popular acclaim, his Louisiana plantation, slave ownership and his family background swung the tide in an election in which the question of slavery played a paramount role. His support of slavery was not as whole-hearted as he had led his supporters to anticipate. Shortly after his entering office he had antagonized them and was bitterly attacked by them. He was stricken by illness and died while in office, July 9, 1850. Millard Fillmore succeeded him in office.


Andrew Johnson is named as one of the twelve presidents of the United States who share common ancestry through the Delanos with Franklin D. Rosevelt in an article entitled "MY COUSIN IN THE WHITE HOUSE" by Daniel W. Delano, published in "PIC" Magazine on July 8, 1941. No data is available that permits detailing the degree and manner of the relationship. The ancestry probably traces back to Humphrey Johnson. In spirit Andrew Johnson is outstandingly a true progenitor of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Andrew Johnson began his political career in 1821 as Alderman in Greenville, Tennessee of which he became Mayor in 1830. After a period in legislature, he was elected to Congress in 1843. On his defeat for reelection to Congress in 1853, he became Governor of Tennessee. In 1857 he was elected Senator on the Democratic ticket, in which capacity he remained until 1862 when he was appointed military governor of recaptured Tennessee. True to the tradition of the Dynasty, once in high office he flaunted his campaign platforms and violated the interests of the electorate. In 1864, to hold the votes of the Democrats who favored the war, Johnson was nominated vice-president to run with Lincoln on the ticket of the Union Party.

Following Lincoln's assassination, Andrew Johnson became President. Johnson favored a lenient reconstruction policy, opposed immediate, general negro suffrage, and personally attempted to force an antagonistic Congress to rubber-stamp his bills. But in those days men were men—and even Congressmen were men. To assert their authority. Congress passed in 1867 the Tenure of Office Act over the President's veto. The act prohibited the President dismissing from office without the consent of the Senate, any officer appointed by and with the consent of Senate; also an amendment to the Army Appropriations Bill subordinating the President to the Senate and the Chief of Staff of the Army in military matters. This wholesome move to restrict the monarchic power of the President was defiantly violated by President Johnson by his removing from office, Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton and replacing him ad interim first with Grant and then with Lorenzo Thomas.

Congress promptly brought impeachment proceedings against President Johnson, in February 1868. The charge finally voted on, rings familiar to us these days, viz; "eleventh, that Johnson had publicly stated that the 39th Congress was not an authorized Congress and that its legislation was not binding upon him." Unfortunately the vote was 35 to 19, lacking but one of the two-thirds majority required for impeachment.

Johnson's victory considerably enhanced the monarchic power of the President. It prepared the way for the abuses of executive power that signalized the regime of later members of the Dynasty. The deliberate effort of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal to eliminate the Constitutional check on the monarchic power of the President by Congress through the device of discrediting it with the nation by a constant stream of vicious propaganda and through various devices robbing it of its power and initiative and converting it into an impotent and pathetic rubberstamp, culminate this fight for expansion of presidential powers initiated by Johnson.

There should be noted at this point, the odd "coincidence" that of the three Presidents of the United States who have been assassinated, two have been succeeded in office by members of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty—Andrew Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt.


General Ulysses S. Grant was the closest relative of Franklin Delano Roosevelt among the Presidents of the United States. He was one degree closer than Theodore Roosevelt, who was a fifth cousin. Grant's great grandmother was Susana Delano, and Franklin D. Roosevelt's great great grandfather was her brother Thomas Delano.

Hiram S. Grant received an appointment to West Point under the name Ulysses S. Grant. In 1845, two years after his graduation, his regiment joined the forces of General Taylor in Mexico, where he fought in a number of engagements in the war. He emerged from the war, a captain. After marriage to Julia T. Dent, in 1848, he was stationed in California and Oregon.

In 1854, he resigned his commission amid charges of excessive drinking. During the following six years he lived in St. Louis making a poor living at farming and dealing in real-estate. In 1860 he became a clerk in the leather store of his father at Galena, Illinois.

Grant volunteered at the outbreak of the Civil War and was commissioned Colonel of the 21st Illinois Regiment by Governor Yates; and then was commissioned brigadier-general. Shortly thereafter he fell into disgrace, suffered serious military reverses, and was relieved of his command. Subsequently he was reinstated but sustained further reverses.

Despite Grant's mistakes and reverses, Lincoln and Stanton supported him. This political support served to keep him in his command. To outcries against Grant's drunkeness, Lincoln replied to the deputations that if they would find out what sort of liquor Grant drank, he would send some kegs of it to the other generals.

The fall of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, marked the turning point in Grant's career. At Chattanooga he was placed in command of four armies that on November 25, 1863, administered a crushing blow to the Confederates. Grant then was made Commander-in-Chief of the Union forces with the rank of Lieutenant-General. In the months that followed, the war was characterized by a ruthless sacrifice of Union forces in a drive on Lee's army in Virginia. Six thousand men, for instance, fell in a useless assault lasting only one hour, at Cold Harbor; and in two months the Union Armies before Richmond and Petersburg lost seventy-two thousand men. These sacrifices were eventually rewarded with success.

To the people at large Grant appeared as a savior of the Union. His dispute with President Johnson over his appointment by Johnson in defiance of Congress as Secretary of War to succeed Stanton, contributed in some measure to his nomination as presidential candidate on the Republican ticket. He was elected against a weak Democratic candidate set up by the New York party machine, ex-Governor Seymour.

Grant during his presidency dropped to lower depths than ever Martin Van Buren had dreamed of, the level of crookedness, corruption and nepotism traditional in the Roosevelt-Delano dynasty. Cabinet positions were put on the auction block. For instance, Alexander T. Steward, drygoods merchant of New York City was repaid for many costly gifts which he presented to Mrs. Grant by the post of Secretary of the Treasury.

Numerous members of Grant's immediate family were placed on the public payroll, including the following:

  • Frederick Dent, Grant's brother-in-law, aid to the Vice-President.
  • A second brother-in-law, (brother of Frederick Dent) United States Customs. San Francisco.
  • A third brother-in-law. Government Indian trader. New Mexico.
  • A second cousin. Receiver of Public Moneys, Oregon.
  • James F. Casey, Collector of Port, New Orleans and distributor of Federal patronage.
  • Peter Casey, Postmaster, Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • Jesse Root Grant, Postmaster, Covington, Kentucky.
  • Michael J. Cramer, his brother-in-law. Minister to Denmark. Cramer who was a German, antagonized the Danes by telling them how inferior they were to the Germans.
  • Columbus Delano, Secretary of the Interior.

All types of shady and dishonest ventures were sponsored or aided by associates of Grant. The Fisk-Gould Gold Conspiracy manipulated the price of gold from 132 to 155 and then smashed it down to 135 and precipitated a financial panic known as Black Friday. Associated in this enterprise was Grant's brother-in-law A. R. Corbin. And Grant himself played an important part in directing the policy of the Treasury Department to make this manipulation possible.

Secretary of the Treasury, William A. Richardson, appointed a political henchman of Grant's, John D. Sanborn, special agent for collection of delinquent taxes. Sanborn received, as commission, half of the taxes collected. He soon expanded his activities to take a cut of half of all moneys pouring into the United States Treasury until a Congressional Committee stumbled onto this looting of the Treasury. The Committee urged dismissal of Secretary Richardson. Grant permitted him to resign. He was appointed immediately Justice of the Court of Claims.

Benjamin N. Bristow, who succeeded as Secretary of the Treasury uncovered evasion of Excise Tax on a huge scale by the Whisky Ring that involved bribery of Grant's principal secretary. General Orville E. Babcock. The money collected by Babcock had been used to finance Grant's campaign for reelection in 1872. Indicted with the rest of the conspirators, Babcock was acquitted as a result of voluntary intercession and character testimony by President Grant. Secretary Britow who had so courageously performed his duty in protecting the Treasury, was "cold shouldered" out of office by Grant.

Grant had the same contempt of the Constitution as characterized most of the Presidents of the Dynasty. He assumed the royal prerogative of making a treaty to annex San Domingo, disregarding the Senate's role prescribed in the Constitution in making treaties. The treaty was rejected by a Senate that had not yet degenerated to the rubber stamp state.

These and numerous other exposed cases of nepotism, bribery and corruption served to stamp Grant's two terms in office as the most shameful and dishonest in our history to that date. They have been surpassed, however, by the corruption of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's regime that was so closely patterned after Grant's in that respect.

True to the tradition of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty, Grant held in contempt the democratic precept laid down by George Washington who refused to serve a third term, in the interest of preserving democracy. In 1880 Grant's profligacy and incompetence left him in poor financial condition. He widely advertised among his friends that he would either have to obtain lucrative employment or get a third term as President. Whereupon he set out to secure the nomination of the Republican Party. Nomination was refused him and given to Garfield, who did not live to enjoy his office long. He was succeeded by Chester A. Arthur, leader in the fight at the Republican National Convention to reelect Grant for a third term.

Grant's financial needs were provided for by a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar fund raised by subscription by the New York Times, just as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's needs were taken care of by a subscription fund of eight hundred thousand dollars raised from the financial community to bribe him to run for office. Jay Gould repaid the service Grant and his family had rendered him in the Gold Conspiracy by contributing twenty-five thousand dollars to the fund. It was gratefully accepted by Grant.

Not content with the provision thus made for him. Grant barged into Wall Street and engaged through the firm of Grant and Ward in a colossal swindle as stupid as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's financial flotations.

Senator Charles Sumner, in a speech before Senate, on May 31, 1872, aptly summed up the unprincipled incompetence of Grant. Several of his statements emphasize the pattern of conduct in public office that has come to be expected of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty such as:

  • Anyone who brought gifts to Grant's door was sure to receive favors.
  • Relatives, and friends of relatives, were appointed by Grant regardless of fitness with a favoritism described as "a dropsical nepotism swollen to elephantiasis".
  • Grant assumed monarchical prerogatives and flaunted the Constitution.

Another characteristic of the latter-day office holders of the Dynasty is exploitation of the presidency by the sale of their literary effluvia. This stems from their financial incompetence and inability to hold on to money no matter how much they make. Grant sold his memoirs to help support his family and to pay his debt.


Benjamin Harrison was a grandson of William Henry Harrison whose genealogy already has been outlined. After graduation from Miami University, he studied law and engaged in the practice of law in Indianapolis. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was commissioned second-lieutenant by the Governor, raised a regiment and was promoted to the rank of colonel. He saw service with Buell and Sherman. After the war was over, he was brevetted a brigadier-general.

Harrison was defeated in his candidacy for governorship in 1876. He was an ardent supporter of James Garfield, who offered him a cabinet post. In 1881, he became United States Senator but failed of reelection in 1887. In 1888 he was nominated Republican Party candidate for presidency, and defeated Cleveland. In 1893 he was renominated but was defeated by Cleveland.


Theodore Roosevelt was a descendant of Nicholas Roosevelt, son of Claas Martenszen van Rosenvelt (or Rosenfeld, in the German form) and Heyltjc Kunst, early New Amsterdam settlers. He was a fifth cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt and through his side of the family was more or less distantly related to the other Presidents of the Dynasty. Eleanor Roosevelt, a niece of Theodore Roosevelt married Franklin Delano Roosevelt and tied in the relationship of the two sides of the family more closely, as is so frequently the case in the history of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty and other royal families. Through his first wife, he was related to the Boston Cabots and the Lees.

In Theodore Roosevelt the Dynasty emerged from its amateur status of crude politicians to the status of professional demagogues and expert tricksters of public opinion and panderers to the mob. Educated at Harvard, he came under the influence of the "liberalism" there in vogue that is richly tainted with Bismarck's subsidized propaganda of class warfare. He then began the study of law at Columbia University Law School but abandoned his studies for the avowed purpose of making professional politics his career. Thanks to the influence of the Dynasty, he was elected as regular Republican candidate to the New York State Legislature in 1881, for three successive terms; and in 1883 at the age of twenty-four, he was his party's candidate for Speaker of the Assembly. In 1883 he was a delegate to the Republican Convention in Chicago that nominated Blaine for president.

With an eye to acquiring Western background and support for his political career, he bought two cattle ranches in North Dakota where he spent two years. While he was absent in the West, the Dynasty made him Republican candidate for Mayor of New York City. He was nominated by Chauncey Depew, attorney for the Vanderbilt-New York Central interests, and Elihu Root, the Ryan-Morgan-Boss Tweed attorney. Thomas C. Platt, New York's Republican boss was ordered to support him. He received fewer votes than Henry George, the candidate of the United Labor Party.

In 1889, his distant cousin. President Benjamin Harrison appointed Theodore Roosevelt to the United States Civil Service Commission. The civil service reforms instituted during the Cleveland Administration had proved popular; and Theodore Roosevelt was demagogue enough to know how to profit from anything that was popular.

One of the outstanding features of Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty in its development, is its appreciation and effective use of all channels of publicity. Theodore Roosevelt was the first of them to court the press with the consequence that he always enjoyed the complete support of a good press. He became the prototype of the Dynasty which is now unexcelled in its public relations and self-publicity.

In 1895, Roosevelt was appointed President of the Board of Police Commissioners of the City of New York and in 1897, he was appointed by President McKinley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The Navy Department post is a purposefully hereditary one in the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty, as will be related in a later chapter, because of their interest in naval armor and naval armament.

When the Spanish American War broke out in 1898, Roosevelt resigned from the Navy Department. He raised a regiment of cavalry, known as the "Rough Riders" and in spite of lack of previous military training, such is the magic of the Dynasty, became its lieutenant-colonel. As might be expected as a result of influence and favorable press. Col. Theodore Roosevelt emerged as the great synthetic military hero of the Spanish American War. In 1898, the war hero was given the nomination by the Republican party of the governorship of New York State and was elected.

In 1900, Theodore Roosevelt was nominated vice-president to run with McKinley, by the Republican Convention at Philadelphia. This convention was dominated by Mark A. Hanna who represented the major industrial combines of the country and particularly the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests. It was public knowledge that in both 1896 and 1900 the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests contributed $250,000 to the Republican campaign fund. Theodore Roosevelt was nominated under these auspices.

McKinley did not live to enjoy his office long. It is a startling "coincidence" that of the three United States Presidents assassinated, two of them, Lincoln and McKinley were succeeded by members of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty, Andrew Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt, respectively; and the third, Garfield, was succeeded by Chester A. Arthur, a supporter and campaign manager of a third member of the Dynasty, Ulysses S. Grant, who obeyed its dictates.

Succeeding McKinley in office, Theodore Roosevelt immediately proceeded to pretend to betray the very groups who had given him the nomination and supported the election campaign. He assumed the melodramatic role of Presidential rabble-rouser and "trust buster". As such he was a complete fraud. He was always accusing others of nature-faking. But never has there been done a better job in nature-faking and humbugging the public than was done by his Wall Street sponsors, through their controlled press, in the build-up of Theodore Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt was completely the tool of J. P. Morgan and Company and their associates who had sponsored him politically. He submitted to Morgan's agents for censorship all his official statements. His first message to Congress was submitted for editing to Cassatt, Aldrich, Hanna, Root, and Knox, all affiliated with Morgan. His third annual message to Congress was submitted to James Stillman, President of the National City Bank, and passages referring to currency were changed at his suggestion. He followed the dictates of E. H. Harriman in most matters.

Teddy played to the gallery by advocating a new Department of Commerce and Labor and by pretending to attack Morgan. The attacks which he made upon the Morgan interests were designed to bamboozle the voters into believing that he was a champion of the little man. But they always served Morgan's advantage, as inthe Northern Securities Company case. The Panama Canal venture which he sponsored was motivated by a forty million dollar swindle of the American taxpayer serving the advantage of Philippe Bunau-Varilla and his associates including J. P. Morgan and Company, Kuhn, Loeb and Company, August Belmont, Levi P. Morton, William Nelson Cromwell and others, according to stories published in the New York World. The Panama Canal route was less desirable than the Nicaraguan which had been chosen previously but was adopted because it was controlled by the speculators.

With the same defiance of the Constitution that characterized the Dynasty before him, viz. Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt deliberately conspired to circumvent Congress. Henry Pringle, Roosevelt's biographer, states that he secretly dispatched G. M. P. Murphy, Vice-President of Morgan's Guaranty Trust Company to look over the ground with an eye to staging the Panama revolution against Colombia to force the issue. At the behest of J. P. Morgan & Co., acting on behalf of foreign creditors, Roosevelt ordered the seizure of the Dominican customs. Congress was completely disregarded in this move to use U.S. armed forces to collect private debts. Unknown to the Senate, he also entered into a secret agreement, or quasi-treaty, with England and Japan regarding the Pacific Ocean that paved the way for U.S. entry into World War I on the side of England and Japan.

An insurance investigation was motivated by Harriman's fight with Ryan for a half interest in 502 shares of Equitable Life Insurance Society he had purchased from John H. Hyde. The ultimate results benefited J. P. Morgan and Company who acquired the stock in 1910 for $3,000,000. When the insurance companies were compelled to divest themselves of control of a group of banks and stock in the First National Bank and the National City Bank, they were turned over to J. P. Morgan and Company. George W. Perkins, a partner of Morgan's emerged as the villain in the insurance scandal. He became Teddy's most trusted adviser.

The degree of the Morgan influence over President Theodore Roosevelt is indicated by the extent to which he surrounded himself with Morgan henchmen. As vice-presidential candidate, while still Governor of New York State, at a dinner which he gave in the banker's honor in December 1900, Roosevelt had reassured Morgan personally regarding his sham "liberalism" thereby clearing the way for the formation of the U.S. Steel Corporation. Further assurance was given by the inclusion by Roosevelt in his Cabinet of numerous Morgan henchmen, including George von L. Meyer, first as Postmaster-General and then as Secretary of the Navy; Paul Morton, Secretary of the Navy; Herbert L. Satterlee, Morgan's son-in-law. Assistant Secretary of the Navy; Elihu Root, Secretary of State (who resigned from the Cabinet to defend Morgan in the Northern Securities Company case, to his complete satisfaction, and then returned to the Cabinet); Robert Bacon, Morgan partner, as Assistant Secretary of State; William Howard Taft, Secretary of War, and others. Notable is the frequency with which Roosevelt changed his Secretaries of the Navy in order to retain direct control of the Navy himself.

"Teddy" Roosevelt was as antagonistic to the Rockefellers as he was friendly and helpful to his political sponsors, the Morgan group. His "trust busting" activities were designed to court public favor and to trick folks into believing him to be a champion of the common man and an antagonist of great wealth, so as to cover his partisanship.

The policy of trust "regulation" which Roosevelt later advocated originated with George W. Perkins, Morgan's partner and the President's intimate and adviser. "Regulation" is selective and is admirably designed to further special interests. TR's hatred of the Rockefellers was rooted in his belief, instilled by his advisers, that Rockefellers were his enemies. He attacked them viciously and vindictively.

This did not deter him, however, from seeking contributions to his campaign funds from the Rockefeller group. Around nomination time Roosevelt extended a invitation through Congressman Silbey to Archbold, President of the Standard Oil Company, to luncheon at the White House. The Standard Oil Company contributed thereafter $100,000 to the 1904 campaign fund. At the time of the contribution Archbold was assured that Roosevelt was cognizant of the contribution. Roosevelt, played to the gallery as usual, and pretended to demand the return of the money. But when the same contribution was listed as coming from H. H. Rogers, a Standard Oil executive, Roosevelt was completely content with this transparent effort to deceive the public. His campaign managers then went back to the Standard Oil Company to ask for another $150,000, but were turned down. While he railed at "malefactors of great wealth", he sought them out as friends and supporters.

Roosevelt's campaign of "trust busting" was sham. He was playing to the gallery and courting the rising tide of "liberalism", as German propagandized Marxism was then labelled. The drive on big business was aimed to destroy the "bad trusts", the Rockefeller trusts, and regulate the "good trusts", the Morgan trusts. As is usual with the Roosevelts, the criterion of "good" or "bad" was entirely personal—those who opposed his plans were "bad". This was clearly expressed by Theodore Roosevelt to the Clapp Committee:

"I never changed my attitude toward the Standard Oil in any shape or manner. It antagonized me before my election, when I was getting through my Bureau of Corporations bill, and I then promptly threw down my gauntlet to it."

For Roosevelt the Standard Oil dissolution decree was a tiff for the edification of his public. For the nation, it meant the deliberate precipitation of the disastrous 1907 panic, which followed a fortnight after the decree.

The panic of 1907 was deliberately engineered by Dynastic and allied bankers, as was the panic of 1929. Roosevelt himself acknowledged that it was a conspiracy started, or at any rate aggravated, for the purpose of permitting U.S. Steel Corporation to combine with Tennessee Coal and Iron Corporation in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The dissolution decree handed down by Judge Kenesaw Landis against the Standard Oil Company and the huge fine imposed, played an important part in undermining confidence and in infuriating the Rockefellers. The Rockefeller interests, who controlled Amalgamated Copper, of which Robert Bacon, a Roosevelt Cabinet member, was director, strategically struck at a weak point in the financial structure of the country. They raided the stock of their competitor, United Copper, a low cost producer that had consistently undersold them. It was controlled by their bitter enemy, F. Augustus Heinze. The smash in the price of the United Copper stock closed the Mercantile National Bank of which Heinze was President and also closed his bank in Butte.

The conspirators closed the Knickerbocker Trust Company. They also started a run on the Trust Company of America in order to secure control of a large block of Tennessee Coal and Iron Company stock held as collateral for a loan of less than a million dollars and forced its exchange for U.S. Steel Corporation stock. This was the price demanded by J. P. Morgan for helping the Trust Company with United States Treasury money which President Roosevelt had turned over to J. P. Morgan and Company for this purpose. Further pressure on the market was continued that threatened the closing of the Wall Street brokerage house of Moore and Schley, to set the stage for Roosevelt to give with apparent justification, formal consent to the merger of Tennessee Coal and Iron Corporation with U.S. Steel Corporation.

Theodore Roosevelt drove hard to enhance the monarchic power of the President and establish a dictatorship. He heartily echoed in his speech and deeds the attitude of Louis XIV, "L'etat, e'est moi". He was a good actor and a shrewd demagogue. He appealed to the unthinking mob. The members of the Gridiron Club who come in close contact with the Presidents and have excellent opportunity to judge them, shrewdly portrayed and caricatured Teddy Roosevelt at their 1907 dinner as a would-be "emperor".

At the end of the second term, Roosevelt picked his heir and dictated the nomination of another member of the Dynasty, a distant relative, William Howard Taft. Taft, however, was a Rockefeller puppet and refused to take orders from Roosevelt. Instead, he authorized prosecution of the United States Steel Corporation as a Trust, for its purchase of the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company. This enraged Roosevelt because his bosses of the Morgan clique controlled U.S. Steel, and he had given his consent to the deal.

Theodore Roosevelt was not a person who would forgive the disregard of his imperial order, and he attempted to bar Taft's renomination. He found that he could not dictate to the Republican Party and get the nomination for himself, for a third term. Following the policy of the Dynasty to give allegiance to no one but themselves, to pay heed to no tradition—as had his Dynastic predecessors, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and Ulysses S. Grant—he engineered the bolting of a section of the Republican Party, organized a third party, the Bull Moose Party, and made himself its presidential candidate for a third term. He was soundly trounced. But he engineered the defeat of Taft and the election of Wilson.

In the Wilson regime which followed, the control of the Navy Department that had come to be of paramount importance to the Dynasty, was placed in the hands of another of its members, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore's nephew by marriage as well as his fifth cousin. Teddy Roosevelt used all his prestige as President to further the career of Franklin as his political heir, because of affection for his niece.

Fortunately for the nation, Roosevelt's "trust busting" was merely "nature faking" and shallow demagoguery. It was his "line", his method of attracting attention to himself and his antics and distracting attention from what he was doing behind the scenes. Characteristically, he inveighed against "muckraking", as he labelled exposes made by others, but he himself, resorted to it to attract the radical and Marxist vote. He was shrewdly aware that from the standpoint of the uncritical mob "what one says counts for more than what one does, if one shouts often and loudly enough".

He anticipated Goebbels by decades. When Theodore Roosevelt entered the White House there were only 150 large combines or "trusts". When his term ended, despite all his pretexts at "trust busting" there were over 10,000 "trusts" in the land.

The idea that large business combines are bad is obviously absurd. The larger the industrial unit, the more effectively it can serve. The damage lies not in trusts but in the suppressive misuse to which they may be put. With chicanery Roosevelt pretended to fight trusts, while actually fostering their abuse. But in this respect Cousin Franklin Delano, his heir, has far outdone him.


William Howard Taft was the son of Alphonso Taft Secretary of War and later Attorney General in the Cabinet of his kin, President Grant, and Minister to Austria and then to Russia under President Arthur, the staunch Grant supporter. Descended from William and Margaret Cheney, Taft shares common ancestry with Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, James Madison, Zachary Taylor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His relationship to the balance of the Dynasty was more tenuous. Taft's father-in-law. Judge John W. Herron was a law partner of President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Graduating from Yale and Cincinnatti Law School in 1880, Taft became successively law reporter, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Assistant City Solicitor, Cincinnatti and Judge, Cincinnatti Superior Court. By 1890, ten years after graduation he had become United States Solicitor General. That was an extraordinary performance even for a man of acknowledged legal talent. No doubt it reflects the magic of the Dynasty.

In 1892, Taft was appointed by his kin, Benjamin Harrison, United States Circuit Judge. In 1896 to 1900 he was simultaneously Dean of the Law School of the University of Cincinnatti. In 1900, McKinley appointed him President of the United States Philippine Commission, and in the following year. Governor of the Philippines. Theodore Roosevelt appointed Cousin Taft, Secretary of War.

In 1908, Roosevelt picked Cousin Taft as his successor and gave him the Republican nomination. The story of his tiff with Roosevelt, his renomination and defeat by Wilson has been related.

Taft was a product of Rockefeller's Ohio political machine which Mark Hanna had built up for them. His favoring of the Rockefeller interests and antagonism to Morgan might have been anticipated by anyone acquainted with his earlier career.

In William Howard Taft's son, Robert Alphonso Taft, the Dynasty seeks to give the nation another of its unique presentations—hereditary transmission of the Presidency in spite of the obstacles presented by the forms of democracy.