Strange Death of Franklin Roosevelt - Emanuel Josephson

Following in Cousin Teddy's Footsteps
Vice Presidential Candidate

From the day he had entered the political arena at thirty-one as State Senator, F.D.R. had been invested with the Dynastic leadership of the Hudson Valley Democrats handed down from cousin Martin Van Buren and with the full support of their political, commercial and industrial allies. He was pushed forward on every occasion.

In 1914 the Dynasty placed F.D.R. in the primaries for United States Senator against Murphy's candidate, Wilson's Ambassador to Germany, James W. Gerard. As usual, it was a case of an upstate political machine against a down state political machine.

In June 1918, Charles F. Murphy a henchman of Wilson's and F.D.R.'s sponsors, the Morgan-Ryan-Rockefeller crowd, offered the New York Democratic Gubernatorial nomination to Roosevelt. But the Acting Naval Secretary Roosevelt was enjoying himself too much with his bright new war. He condescendingly replied, according to Lindley, that in his opinion in time of war "when all questions of religion and party association were sunk" Alfred E. Smith would do as a candidate. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, p. 165).

In 1920, however, instead of being imprisoned for the 999 laws which he frankly acknowledged he had broken, for exceeding his authority as Acting Naval Secretary, and for other malfeasance of which he was guilty, Franklin Delano Roosevelt continued to follow in Teddy's footsteps. The Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty thumbed their nose at law, Congress and the nation, and nominated their agent, F.D.R., Democratic vice-presidential candidate. The Dynasty had made its peace and merged with the Rockefeller-Standard Oil crowd and the nomination went off without a hitch.

James Cox, the presidential candidate, like Taft and Harding, were all Ohio henchmen of the Rockefeller-Standard Oil Ohio political machine. They selected Cox from the Democratic side of their machine to oppose Harding from its Republican side, in a framed fight. Cox published a chain of newspapers and was an associate of Charles G. Dawes, Comptroller of the Treasury under McKinley, in the Pure Oil Company.

Cox and Roosevelt were both reliable pawns of the bipartisan Rockefeller Empire. But the sanctimonious corruption of Wilson had so far lost popular favor, that it was decided to let the Republican pawns win. This was signalized by an apparent defection of Harvey, the agent of Ryan and the Rockefeller-Morgan group, from the original Wilson backers who were now supporting Cox and Roosevelt. Harvey predicted Harding's victory with his usual precision that derived from the dominant role that he played for the Wall Street crowd in manipulating elections.

In the course of the campaign some newspapers pointed out that the scandalous corruption in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's conduct as Assistant Secretary of the Navy that had been exposed by the Congressional investigating committee and the contemptuous disregard of the law to which he had confessed, should bar him forever from holding public office. Roosevelt bluffed and threatened to bring suit for libel. But he never did sue.

Following his defeat, Roosevelt was given, in January 1921, the job of Vice President in charge of the New York office of the Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland by an admirer, Van Lear Black, President of the Company and owner of the Baltimore Sun. He received a salary of $25,000 a year. This was the first salary that he had earned that was in anywise commensurate with his needs for supporting his family and maintaining a scale of living that had been much beyond his income. Roosevelt devoted only one or two hours, when he was in town, to the Fidelity job. This left him free to exploit his name in many different directions. He was eager for "easy money" and had no scruples whether he worked for it or not, or how he got it. He became a partner in the firm, Emmett, Marvin and Roosevelt in 1921, and in 1924, he formed a law firm with Basil O'Connor as partner. He devoted a little time in the afternoon to his law clients. He took the job of President of the American Construction Council, formed to whitewash the corruption in the building trades that had been exposed recently by a legislative investigation. But the ugliest of his money-making activities were the malodorous stock deals to which he gave his name and in which he participated; and his Georgia Warm Springs business.

However, there were some reports of "irregularities" in his accounts. The money is supposed to have been paid up by subscription among his friends before he was inaugurated as Governor.