Another Twist on the Jacksonian Bank War: Part 2
©1997 by Gerry Rough

This is the second of a three-part series on the conspiracy theorists’ claims regarding the second Bank of the United States. Part three will examine Andrew Jackson’s veto message on the recharter bill, often cited by the conspiracy theorists.

G. Edward Griffin makes the following paragraph on page 348 of his text, The Creature from Jekyll Island:

Astounding, isn’t it? Biddle answers one question, then both Griffin and his erstwhile ally, Andrew Jackson, twist the answer to mean something that was neither said nor implied. In case you’re wondering, Andrew Jackson did, in fact, mention this interpretation in his veto message on the recharter bill. But let’s also notice the transparent hypocrisy of the entire lot of conspiracy theorist and Jacksonian alike. Catterall cites the following letter from Treasury appointment Kendall: In sum then, according to the conspiracy theorists among us, it is perfectly fine for the Bank of the United States to exist at the forbearance of the Jackson Administration, but eternal damnation for the State Banks to exist at the forbearance of Nicholas Biddle.

Conspiracy theorists have indeed given voice to hypocrisy!!

Griffin states again:

Further down the page, Griffin then cites the following from Galbraith to prove his point: It might seem as though Griffin has indeed found a true charge against the bank. To this charge, among others, Catterall has made an exhaustive study and found that most of the frequent charges against the Bank by its enemies were found to be either groundless or mitigated. Catterall’s study can be summed up in the following two circumstances: While it must be admitted that Biddle did indeed make temporary loans to Congressmen that were later found to be questionable, the real rub here with Griffin’s charge is that those loans were to Congressmen as part of some global New World Order plot. The answer to this charge is simple: Biddle made these loans to both friend and enemy alike. Hardly evidence for a conspiracy, Galbraith’s charge of political obtuseness is the more likely.

Thomas D. Schauf, author of The Federal Reserve, states:

The 1816 charter renewal was vetoed in 1832, not 1836 as Schauf implies. J.R. Church commits a similar glaring error of history. Church writes: William T. Still, another conspiracy writer, contradicts both Church and Schauf: Still is correct. Just to set the record straight, President Jackson’s veto of the Bank charter essentially killed it in 1832, although the charter did not run out until 1836. The Bank would continue until 1839, chartered by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Thereafter it suspended payments and later was declared bankrupt. [10]

Wickliffe B. Vennard, author of The Federal Reserve hoax, states:

The last partial sentence was inserted to verify context. Vennard has made the grossest of historical errors by stating that the deposits were taken from the Bank of the United States in 1828. They were not. This action did not start until 1833, five years later.

Vennard also makes an even worse historical error just two paragraphs later on the same page. Vennard writes:

Even worse than implying that Jackson lost his re-election, which is foolishness itself, Vennard is farther out on a limb than you might imagine. There are no other conspiracy writers who would dare make this claim, considering that Andrew Jackson is the greatest hero of the conspiracy movement. His war with the Bank of the United States and subsequent re-election is one of the most cited eras of American history to conspiracy theorists. For Vennard to fail this test of historical accuracy contradicts virtually everything the conspiracy theorists have said of central banking for several generations. One less enamored with conspiracy theory would have to ask which theory we should follow.

As a digression to the background of all of this, there is an 8-page pamphlet written in 1964 by Vennard which still circulates on the far right. Vennard states the opinion of virtually every conspiracy writer on the history of central banks and especially of Andrew Jackson:

The conspiracy theorists’ admiration of Andrew Jackson is certainly commendable, although most serious presidential historians consider President Jackson to be one of the worst presidents in our nations history. The date cited above brings up another issue cited earlier. If Andrew Jackson had not been re-elected, as Vennard implies earlier, financial history would have been completely rewritten. The bill to recharter the second Bank of the United States won a clear majority in both houses of Congress and Henry Clay would most certainly have signed the recharter bill. The Bank War cited in part one of this series never would have taken place, and the conspiracy theorists would have to look elsewhere for a favorite hero.

In 1969, Vennard published a much longer version of the aforementioned pamphlet; this being a 60-page Chronological History of Money Since Babylon. In the citation regarding the second Bank of the United States, Vennard adds the following:

As expected, the bankers never said anything of the sort. There was an occasion referred to in The Life of Andrew Jackson, By Robert V. Remini, among other noted historians, in which a delegation of bankers visited the White House, but far from any mention of the bankers threatening to ruin the country, the bankers feared their own insolvency. Remini picks up the narrative: Vennard’s charge is wholly indefensible. Also in the above from Vennard is the charge that Jackson was the victim of an assassination attempt by the bankers. Griffin, among other conspiracy writers, also makes the same charge as Vennard, complete with the same style of innuendo: It is worthy of note that neither Griffin nor Vennard had the courage of their respective convictions to make the charge of who planned the attempt, who was directly responsible for hiring the assassin, or any other verifiable data. It is amazing what you can do with innuendo. As to answering Vennard’s charge that somehow Jackson "knew well what for," it is most instructive that Vennard’s charge is again wholly undocumented. As well is Griffin’s foolish assertion that Richard Lawrence’s story was anything more than that of a card-carrying kook. Even more instructive is the two relevant paragraphs on the subject of the sanity of Richard Lawrence, and the possibility of a conspiracy. These come from the footnoted source near the end of the paragraph cited above in Griffin’s text. Note Griffin’s apparent gullibility even when the context clearly indicates that Richard Lawrence was a lone assassin: As if all of this were not enough, Griffin once again falsely cites his source, deliberately fabricates the story that Lawrence told "friends" of his connections in Europe, then omits the part of the story that doesn’t fit the theory. Griffin cites The Assassins, page 83, as the source for Richard Lawrence’s claim that he was in touch with powerful people in Europe. The true origin is page 75, not page 83. Note as well that the passage Griffin cites directly contradicts his own assertion that Lawrence "boasted to friends" in Europe. Robert Donovan, author of The Assassins writes: But the story doesn’t end there. Lawrence also makes many other claims that Griffin omitted because they don’t paint the picture of a sane Richard Lawrence, all of which are found in close proximity to Griffin’s citation. Donovan writes again: William Guy Carr, author of the conspiracy tome, Pawns in the Game, cites the following on page 52: Carr’s statement is ridiculous considering that Jackson made the comment during his presidency which started in 1828. Carr also makes another colorful statement regarding the vote on the original charter bill in 1816: Dr. R.E. Search even makes the same claim. [22] That the charge is historically indefensible is obvious. Father Charles E. Coughlin authored a book entitled, Money!: Questions and Answers. The entire book is in question and answer form and covers some of the history of money in America as well as the principles of banking. Coughlin’s statements on the history of the second Bank of the United States are as follows: No, actually. Neither the first Bank of the United States nor the second ever gained the right to coin and regulate the value of money. That right was given exclusively to Congress in the Constitution. The rest of the above historical account is easily confusing even to the informed. Nonetheless, the Treasury Notes mentioned were not used as the statement suggests. Margaret Myers mentions that only two percent of the total outstanding Treasury Notes were still in circulation in 1817. Further, almost all of the Treasury Notes of the time period in question (Treasury Note issues of 1812, 13, 14, 15, and the reissue of received notes in 1816) were used to pay taxes or for subscriptions to seven percent bonds, which had nothing to do with the bank. [24] The initial capital of the Bank consisted of specie (gold or silver coin) or the funded debt of the United States. [25] The Bank was required at the beginning to raise a minimum of seven million dollars in specie.

The Bank did issue notes against bonds actually owned by the Bank, but hardly "connivance against the Government," these were part of the initial capital, as expressly stated in the charter. The notes were issued against the capital of the Bank and limited by the charter not to exceed the capital. These bonds were owned by the Bank, but were not purchased or traded on the open market, since the Bank was forbidden by its charter to deal in anything but the following:

Father Coughlin writes again: It is difficult to imagine how Father Coughlin could have reached such an obvious misrepresentation of fact. The facts of the case are briefly as follows, according to Veazie vs. Fenno: The case cited had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the second Bank of the United States, collecting Treasury Notes, a citizen attempting to pay legitimate bills, the refusal of the creditors to accept Treasury Notes, the year 1824, or providing a currency of the country consisting largely of Treasury Notes. The entire citation, pure and simple, is a deliberate, fabricated fraud.

As a laughable sidelight from the usual conspiracy fare, Dr. Search, author of Lincoln Money Martyred, writes both of the following which need no refutation. Note as well the simplistic and uneducated language, typical of many conspiracy theory writings (text effects are exactly as appears in the original text):

Bill Still, author of, On the Horns of the Beast: The Federal Reserve and the New World Order, writes on page 46: Still’s history is sorely lacking here. First, the Bank of the United States was a privately owned corporation, being completely out of reach of the President of the United States. For Still to not know this is beyond reason. It is obvious that Still is deliberately making up his facts as he goes along. Second, The spoils system was not introduced by Jackson, it was introduced during the early years of our country, and used particularly during the Jefferson administration. The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia writes: Still continues the next paragraph: Again, Still’s ignorance is breathtaking. The alleged affair, never proven by the way, was with John Eaton prior to their marriage; it is nowhere stated that the affair was with President Jackson.

Dr. Martin Luther King said it best:


1For an extensive study of the charges against the Bank, see Catterall, p. 243-284

2An interesting footnote to this is that James Wardner, author of, The Planned Destruction of America, made the same mistake Griffin did in citing p. 183 of Donovan’s text. No doubt Wardner never checked his own citation for accuracy either. It appears that both are equally sloppy since both books are copyright 1994, making it difficult to make a case that one copied the other, statistical ramifications not withstanding. Yet a third conspiracy writer, Bill Still, author of, On the Horns of the Beast: The Federal Reserve and the New World Order, continues the stupidity by citing the same page number as Griffin and Wardner. Still most certainly copied Griffin’s error, hock the house, despite the fact that he cited Donovan’s text directly. 1) Neither Wardner’s text nor Donovan’s text is cited in Still’s bibliography, 2) Still draws heavily on Griffin, so much so that large portions of historical content are mostly paraphrases of Griffin’s text; phraseology is obviously similar and citations are identical. The author has in his possession a signed first edition copy of Donovan’s text, copyrighted 1955. Please see the update to this footnote.


1) G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island (Appleton: American Opinion Publishing,
Inc., 1995) 348
2) Ralph C.H. Catterall, The Second Bank of the United States (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1903) 299
3) Griffin, p. 351
4) Griffin, p. 351
5) Catterall, p. 252-253
6) Catterall, p. 255
7) Thomas D. Schauf, The Federal Reserve. This booklet circulates on the far right.
8) J.R. Church, Guardians of the Grail...and the men who plan to rule the world! (Oklahoma City: Prophecy Publications, 1989) 179
9) William T. Still, New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies (Lafayette: Hunting House Publishers, 1990) 148
10) John Kenneth Galbraith, Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975) 82. See also Margaret G. Myers, A Financial History of the United States (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970) 98
11) Wickliffe B. Vennard, The Federal Reserve Hoax: The Age of Deception (Palmdale, CA: Omni Publications, no date given) 64
12) Vennard, p. 64
13) Wickliffe B. Vennard, Chronological History of United States Money. This 8-page pamphlet is available through Omni Publications, P.O. Box 900566, Palmdale, CA 93590
14) Wickliffe B. Vennard, Chronological History of Money Since Babylon, p. 11. This 60-page booklet is available through Omni Publications, P.O. Box 900566, Palmdale, CA 93590
15) R.V. Remini, The Life of Andrew Jackson (New York: Penguin Books, 1988) 266-267
16) Griffin, p. 357
17) R. V. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845 (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1984) Volume III, p. 229
18) Robert J. Donovan, The Assassins (New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1955) 74-75
19) Donovan, p. 78
20) William Guy Carr, Pawns in the Game (Boring, OR: CPA Book Publishers, 1958) 52
21) Carr, p. 53
22) Dr. R.E. Search, Lincoln Money Martyred (Palmdale, CA: Omni Publications, 1989) 41
23) Rev. Charles E. Coughlin, Money! Questions and Answers (no publication data given) 98 This book is available through Omni Publications, P.O. Box 900566, Palmdale, CA 93590
24) Myers, p. 77
25) John Jay Knox, A History of Banking in the United States (New York: Bradford Rhodes & Company, 1903) 55
26) Knox, p. 56.
27) Coughlin, p. 98
28) 8 Wallace, 534-535, U.S. Supreme Court, 1869
29) Search, p. 41-42
30) Search, p. 43
31) Bill Still, On the Horns of the Beast: The Federal Reserve and the New World Order (Winchester, VA: Reinhardt & Still Publishers, 1996) 46
32) The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, Copyright © 1995 by Columbia University Press
33) Still, On the Horns of the Beast, p. 46-47
34) The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, Copyright © 1993, 1995 by Columbia University Press.

Additional Sources

W. H. Brown, The Story of a Bank (Boston: Richard G. Badger; The Gorham Press, 1912)
J.M. McFaul, The Politics of Jacksonian Finance (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972)
B. Hammond, Banks and Politics in America: From the Revolution to the Civil War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957)
R.W. Hidy, The House of Baring in American Trade and Finance: English Merchant Bankers at Work 1763-1861 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1949)
M. St. Clair Clarke and D.A. Hall, Legislative and Documentary History of the Bank of the United States (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1832; reprinted August M. Kelley, Publishers, 1967)
W. Greider, Secrets of the Temple (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987)
H. J. Viola, Andrew Jackson (New York: Chelsea House publishers, 1986)
Q. Pollack, Peggy Eaton: Democracy’s Mistress (New Rochelle, New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1931)
W. B. Smith, Economic Aspects of the Second Bank of the United States (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953)

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