Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:59 am

CIW [Carnegie Institution of Washington] Station for Experimental Evolution 1904-1921 [The Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE)]
by Library at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Accessed: 3/29/20

In 1903 the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) approved a plan, put forward by Charles Davenport, to establish a biological experiment station to study evolution at Cold Spring Harbor. While he was already directing the neighboring Bio lab, he was named the first director (1904-1934) of the CIW’s Department of Genetics. It was originally named the Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE), and had formally opened on June 11, 1904, in Cold Spring Harbor, to study heredity and evolution through breeding experiments with plants and animals. In 1910, while Davenport was directing both operations, Mrs. E. H. Harriman established the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor for him to head, as well. The ERO eventually became part of the Department of Genetics. (The CSHL Archives contains collections for BIAS Bio Lab, LIBA Bio Lab, and ERO.) Pictured below is the “Opening Day” of the Main Building of the CIW Station for Experimental Evolution, since renamed the Carnegie Building and home to the CSHL Library & Archives.


The Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE)
by Colette Leung, Erna Kurbegovic, and Amy Dyrbye
Accessed: 3/29/20

June 16, 1904. The Carnegie Institution of Washington hosts a gala dedication ceremony on the grounds of the Bio Lab to mark the formal opening of the Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE) at Cold Spring Harbor. The plans for the station had been suggested by eugenicist Charles Davenport, in 1903 (CSHL, 2015). It originally opened for the purposes of studying heredity and evolution, through experiments with plants and animals (CSHL, 2015). The station became a main research centre for American eugenics.

The Station was located on 9 acres of land, in Cold Spring Harbor. It was leased for 50 years upon the Station's opening, from the Wawepex [Wauwepex] Society (CSHL, 2014). Davenport served as director of the station, as well as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and in 1910, the Eugenics Record Office, which would eventually become part of the Department of Genetics (CSHL, 2015).

The Station for Experimental Evolution was eventually renamed the Carnegie Building, and is currently home to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library & Archives (CSHL, 2015).
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:57 am

Report of the Operations of the Biological Laboratory [The Wauwepex Society]
by H.W. Conn, Ph.D., Commissioners of Fisheries
from Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Issues 35-42, by New York (State) Legislature Assembly

At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences founded a laboratory for training high school and college teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones [Wauwepex Society] gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science (BIAS). BIAS used the Jones gift to established its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and training of secondary school teachers. In 1917 the Bio Lab officially became one of the four departments of the BIAS (along with the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Zoo) and an endowment was raised from contributions of interested Cold Spring Harbor neighbors. In 1924 BIAS turned over the administration and ownership of the Biological Lab to the Cold Spring Harbor community and it incorporated as the Long Biological Association (LIBA). LIBA was initially administered by Director Reginald Harris, and continued as a scientific research and educational institution, funded by local residents and a far reaching list of private donors.

-- Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences: The Biological Laboratory Collection, by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

As director of the biological laboratory for the session of 1892, I will present the following report:

The laboratory has been in session for eight weeks, from July sixth to August twenty eighth, as announced in the prospectus. During that time, the following persons have been present as instructors or lecturers:

Board of Instruction.

Professor Herbert W. Conn, Ph.D., Wesleyan University, director of the laboratory.

Professor Charles W. Hargitt, Ph.D., Syracuse University, associate director.

Professor Henry L. Osborn, Ph.D., Hamline University, associate director.


Professor Henry F. Osborn, Columbia College.
Professor John B. Smith, Rutgers College.
Professor Byron D. Halstead, Rutgers College.
Dr. Thomas Morong, Columbia College, Herbarium.
Professor Franklin W. Hooper, Brooklyn Institute.
Professor Julius Nelson, Rutgers College.

As students in the laboratory, taking the regular courses, there have been present fifteen persons, as follows:

Louis Curtis Ager, student, Long Island Hospital.
E.V. Agramonte, M.D., physician, New York city.
Miss Ida W. Aikman, teacher, Brooklyn.
Miss Martha T. Austin, teacher, Easthampton, Mass.
John T. Barnhart, instructor, Wesleyan University.
Miss Edith M. Brace, student, University of Nebraska.
Miss Lillie C. Brown, teacher, New Britain, Conn.
Duncan S. Johnson, instructor, Wesleyan University.
Franklin T. Kurt, student, Wesleyan University.
James T. O’Connor, M.D., Ph.D., physician, New York city.
Mrs. James T. O’Connor, M.D., clinical professor, New York Medical College and Hospital for Women.
Miss M. Josephine Shepard, teacher, Brooklyn.
Miss Elizabeth M. Sturgis, student, New York city.
William W. Vibbart, student, Trinity College.
Walter S. Watson, student, Wesleyan University.

During the summer the work at the laboratory has been as follows:

First. A course in general zoology. – The outline of this course has been practically the same as that of the course given during the previous year, and has consisted of daily lectures and laboratory excercises. For reasons which were given in my last report, the course of regular class instruction lasted only the first six weeks of the session, the last two weeks being devoted to more independent work on the part of the students upon special subjects of their own choosing. This course in zoology has been given conjointly by the director and the associate directors. Professor Hargitt has conducted the work upon protozoa, coelentera and echinoderma. Professor Osborn has had charge of the work upon molluska and arthropoda, and Professor Conn, the work upon vermes, annelid and vertebrates. Nearly all of the students in the laboratory took the whole of this course.

Second. A course of practical work in bacteriology. – This course has been like that of last year, and has consisted of elementary instruction in bacteriological methods, such as making culture fluids, staining bacteria, etc. No definite instruction has been given, but personal direction to those wishing work along this line.

Third. A course of twelve lectures has been given by Professor Conn upon the history of bacteriology. This course has been a popular course, designed for all persons present at the laboratory, and has given an elementary outline of the history of the development of the study of bacteriology and of all the important facts discovered up to the present time.

Fourth. A large amount of miscellaneous work has been done by different members of the party. It has included staining and mounting microscopic specimens, section cutting, and other work in historical technique, the study of embryology of several types, study of flowers and preparing of herbaria, and a large amount of general zoology and collecting.

Fifth. Original investigations have been undertaken by members of the laboratory staff and by some of the visitors from other colleges. The work has comprised the following subjects: Study of the new species of hydroids; the embryological development of crustacean; systematic study of salt water protozoa; bacteriological study of a disease attacking the trout in the fish hatchery.

Sixth. In addition to the regular work, a number of miscellaneous lectures have been given in the laboratory. These have been as follows:

By Professor F.W. Hooper, “Agassiz at Penakese.”

By Dr. Morong, “Orchidaceae.” Under the guidance of Dr. Morong, three botanical excursions have been taken by those interested in botany.

By Professor Julius Nelson, of Rutgers College, two lectures, as follows: “The Fundamental Character of Protoplasm;” “Heredity of Sex.”

By Professor Conn, one lecture on “Modern Theories of Heredity.”

These lectures have been attended by all of the students in the laboratory and have been supplementary to the regular work.

Seventh. The course of evening lectures, have been even more successful during the present year. The Wauwepex Society, founded by Mr. John D. Jones, during the last year, has fitted up for the use of the laboratory, a pleasant lecture room accommodating about 120 persons. It is near the hatchery and conveniently located for the people of Cold Spring Harbor. A lantern for lecture illustrations has been furnished by the Brooklyn Institute and a large number of lantern slides have been made use of by the various lecturers. The slides have been partly furnished by the Brooklyn Institute, partly by the different lecturers and have been partly made at the laboratory. The number of lectures during the summer has been sixteen, nearly all of which have been illustrated by the use of the lantern. The attendance on these lectures has been large, the hall being filled in some cases, and a good sized audience being always present. The interest in the lectures has constantly grown during the summer and the last two lectures were more fully attended than any of the others. The people of Cold Spring Harbor evidently have appreciated the kindness of the different lecturers in giving these lectures, and the interest taken in them has testified to the increasing popularity of the laboratory among the people of the place. The lectures for the summer have been as follows:

July fifth, by Professor Conn: “Biological Laboratories in General and the Cold Spring Laboratory in Particular.”

July fourteenth, Professor F.W. Hooper, of the Brooklyn Institute: “The Geology of the White Mountains.” Illustrated.

July fifteenth, Professor C.W. Hargitt, of Syracuse University: “Coral Islands.” Illustrated.

July nineteenth, Professor F.W. Hooper: “The Geology of the Adirondacks.” Illustrated.

July twenty first, Professor Byron D. Halsted, of Rutgers College: “The Dissemination and Dispersal of Plant Offspring.” Illustrated.

July twenty-sixth, Dr. Thomas Morong, of Columbia College Herbarium: “The Geography of the La Platta, its People and its Flora.” Illustrated.

July twenty-eighth, Dr. Thomas Morong: “Life of the La Platta, Extinct and Existing.” Illustrated.

August second, Professor C.W. Hargitt: “The Origin of the Soil.” Illustrated.

August third, Professor Julius Nelson, of Rutgers College: “The Development of the Chick.” Illustrated.

August fourth, Professor John B. Smith, of Ruters College: “The Respiratory and Nervous System of Insects.” Illustrated.

August fifth, Professor John B. Smith: “Digestive Structures and Habits of Insects.” Illustrated.

August ninth, Professor H.T. Osborn, of Columbia College: “Studies in Evolution.”

August eleventh, Professor H.L. Osborn, of Hamline University: “Structural Adaptation and Habits Among Rodents.” Illustrated.

August sixteenth, Professor H.W. Conn: “The Danger of Interfering with Nature.” Illustrated.

August eighteenth, Professor H.W. Conn: “Methods of Defense Among Animals.” Illustrated.

During the summer, several conferences were held by the director with the members of the Wauwepex Society, in reference to the erection of a laboratory building for the use of the school. At the request of the secretary of that society sketch plans were prepared by the director, with the aid of Professor Hooper, and these plans have been submitted to the Wauwepex Society and are now in their hands. The generosity of this society, their interest in our work and their evident desire to erect a building for us, gives every hope that a building for the purpose will be erected during the coming year. This society intends also to improve the general accommodations for students by furnishing better lodging quarters and comfortable boarding arrangements.


Report of the Cold Spring Harbor Station
by Fred Mather, Superintendent
from Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Issues 35-42, by New York (State) Legislature Assembly

To the Commissioners of Fisheries of New York:

Gentlemen. – The following is a statement of the operations at this station for the year ending September 30, 1892.

The new pond mentioned in last report was finished this year, but the water has not been let in it. The work of shad hatching on the Hudson left the station short-handed in May and June and the appropriation did not allow the hiring of other men for work on the grounds. During July and August Peter Gorman was on the payroll of the Biological Laboratory and only after September first did new work begin. In May stone for walls was procured and a portion of it used to build a wall in the fresh-water reservoir on the west side, to widen the walk there.

The output from the station was, in eggs, fry and adult fish of the several kinds, 7,685,866, exclusive of 2,436,000 shad planted in the Hudson. The details of the different species and the plantings will be given farther on.

The Biological Laboratory of the Brooklyn Institute held its session in the hatchery again during July and August by day, but had an old building refitted for the popular evening lectures, where the seating capacity was greater and where a higher ceiling gave better facilities for stereopticon views. The naphtha launch owned by the laboratory was loaned us and was very useful. The launch was disabled early in the season and had to be sent to New York for repairs, or we might have obtained more lobster eggs than we did.

Brooklyn Institute of arts and sciences -- Biological laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island ... Announcement for the summer of 1904, fifteenth season, illus. 22cm. [n.p., 1904]

An event in the fish cultural history of the State was the fitting of the railway car “Adirondack” with apparatus for shad hatching, an account of which will be found under a subhead.

Railroad and Express Companies

This year we were again under obligations to Mr. Austin Corbin for passes for our men and cans over the Long Island railroad and to Mr. M.H. Hubbell, superintendent of the Long Island Express Company, who promptly forwarded our cans to other railroads.

The National Express Company, through its vice-president and general manager, Col. Locke W. Winchester, gave us the privilege of their cars for our cans and messengers, as in former years.

The Epidemic of 1890

In 1891 there was no appearance of this disease (see twentieth report, pp. 44-49) except in a few individual trout, perhaps a dozen, and at as many intervals. This year something of the kind appeared but was, with rare exceptions, confined to the rainbow and brook trout yearlings. A loss occurred during May and June, when I was absent in part, fitting the car for shad hatching and was short-handed; not in July and August, as in 1890. This loss was seldom accompanied by a sore on the skin as in 1890.

In my last report I showed (pp. 44-49) that this disease covered a wide territory, and had been observed by many trout breeders who had never mentioned it publicly, and also that such occurrences were not confined to trout, but extended to other fishes, both in fresh and salt water. Since the last report was written I have the following letters:

New York, February 6, 1892.

Mr. Fred Mather:

Dear Sir. – Mr. Cheney wrote you regarding a disease that is carrying off some of our three inch trout at Madison, Conn., but he did not have all the facts. There is no fungus about it, for I have had specimens of dead fish sent to me. We have the fry in charred tanks, ten by three feet, supplied by running water, in which the native trout do well. There are about 1,000 fish to each tank. Older trout in a larger pond, covered in and supplied with the same water after it has run through the first house, are O.K., and we have not lost a fish since last June, and, up to the present time, the little fellows are well. They are affected thus: A trout will by lying, apparently well and happy, in the current and will suddenly dash about and then come back to its place. This is repeated several times and death takes place in four or five hours. This looks like some irritation or congestion of the cerebro-spinal system, but my books are silent in regard to the malady. Can you write me as to its prevention and cure? Whatever you may write will be deeply appreciated.

Yours cordially.
(Signed.) John D. Quackenbos.

I replied to Dr. Quackenbos that I had seen such deaths often, but the epidemic of 1890 seemed different; the darting, turning on the side and turning belly up for hours and even days before death were seldom accompanied by the white spot which developed into a hole as described in my last report and which marked the epidemic of 1890, as I call it, for lack of a better name, and described it in more detail, assuring him that I was then, as now, ignorant of its cause or cure. Under date of February 15, 1892, Dr. Quackenbos wrote again as follows:

Mr. Fred Mather:

Dear Sir. – Your letter was received and read with interest. Mr. Cheney forwarded to me the letters which you sent him, and I like your clean cut way of dealing with the conflicting accounts of symptoms. Beach and Bartlett are now assimilating what you have written.

Cordially yours,

(Signed.) John D. Quackenbox.

One of the curious things in this connection is the fact that in 1892 we had an experience similar to that at Meridan, Conn., the year before, as related by Dr. Quackenbos. We lost numbers of yearlings from three to five inches in length which were, as at Meridan, above the larger fish where the loss was lighter. In 1891 there was the usual mortality that is always present among fish as among other live stock.

Mr. Charles G. Atkins, superintendent of the United States salmon station, at Craigs Brook, Maine, wrote me about an epidemic among his salmon fry which occurred this year and was similar, if not identical, with one that I described in the eleventh report of the American Fish Cultural Association (1882), pages 7-11, but as this was not the same as the scourge of 1890 I pass it.

Another cause of mortality among trout in ponds tempts me to speak of it. In answer to my circular of last year came a response from Mr. G.M. Robinson, Mammoth Springs, Ark., who, under date of May 26, 1891, writes:

Mr. Fred Mather:

Dear Sir. – Pray excuse this delay in answering your circular but will say: The disease which you mention is new to me, have never seen a trout so affected. My experience in this locality is limited, but I notice that the brook trout in this locality are subject to a disease which I have noticed before. It occurs during the summer months and the eye of the fish becomes inflamed and protrudes from the head fully one quarter of an inch, sometimes only one eye and occasionally both. They linger and after some months will die. We call it the big-eye.* [I never had a name for this, but my foreman, Mr. Walters, came very near Mr. Robinson’s name when he christened it “bug-eye,” merely the difference of a letter. F.M.]

This “big eye” caused a company at this place, called the Mammoth Springs Fish Farm Company+ [This is the company which exhibited trout in Fulton market, New York, last spring and caused so much astonishment that our brook trout could live as far south as Arkansas. F.M.] to lose large numbers of trout last summer. We laid it to overfeeding and have reduced the food and will soon change it entirely to natural food such as fresh-water shrimp and minnows which can be furnished in large quantities here.

Very truly.

(Signed.) E.M. Robinson.

This “big eye” or “bug eye” is a familiar disease to me and I believe that I know its cause. In a recent report of the Wisconsin Fish Commission this disease is spoken of as very prevalent, and it was with me at my private trout ponds at Honeoye Falls, Monroe County, N.Y., 1868 to 1876. A look at the picture of the ponds at the Wisconsin Commission shows that they are parallelograms with vertical stone walls on both sides and ends, exactly as mine were built, and the trout when alarmed from any cause would strike the walls squarely with their noses and the concussion caused inflammation of the optic never, or nerves, and the result would be the protrusion and loss of one or both eyes and usually death. I have long ceased building ponds with four vertical sides or with square ends.

Fish Food.

In all my former reports I have mentioned this subject and have been continually on the lookout for the best and cheapest food. We began feeding soft clams (Mya arenaria) and mussels (Mytilus edulis), and continued it for several years until the supply was running short in the harbor and people complained that we were getting more than our share. Then I tried beef livers, sent from New York city, but the supply was not regular and the express charges made the cost too high. See last report, pp. 49-50. Since November, 1891, we have been feeding horse beef, which is delivered at the station, free from fat and bone, for four cents per pound. I am not prepared to say how this will suit on only one season’s trial. Our fish of last spring’s hatch did not grow as large as those in former years did, and there might be other causes besides the food. The older fish have done fairly well on it and I would prefer to try it another year before either praising or condemning it.

Brook Trout.

From forty female trout we took 83,365 eggs the size of which varied from 300 to 530 to the fluid ounce. There being in all 194 ounces the average size was a trifle less than 430 eggs to the ounce. The fish began spawning on November fourth and ended on December seventh, and only on eighteen days between these dates, did we take eggs.

We received 20,000 eggs from the Caledonia Station on December twenty-fifth, and on January nineteenth, we received 75,000 eggs from the South Side Sportsmen’s Club, of long Island, in exchange for eggs of brown trout. This made a total of 178,000 eggs. There were many unimpregnated eggs this year and this swelled the loss, which in eggs and fry amounted to over 64,000. We planted 78,600 as per table. On November nineteenth, I sent Messrs. Walters and Rogers to Smithtown to try to get eggs from the grounds of the Brush club. They stayed there over a week without result…..

Death of Hon. Dr. von Behr

I cannot close without noticing the death of our good friend and patron of fish culture, Dr. Friederich Felix von Behr, President of the German Fishery Association, and one of the most active men to promote the interests of fish culture not only in his own land but in all others. As a friend of our late lamented Professor Spencer F. Baird, he inaugurated a system of international exchanges of fish and fishcultural literature that was productive of great good and was continued until both these great men died. It was to Baron von Behr that I owed the personal present of the first brown trout eggs that were sent to America, a species which now are so common. A half forgotten remark to him in 1879 that the fish I had taken in the Black Forest should be introduced into America if opportunity offered, brought a consignment of eggs when he heard that I was in charge of a hatchery station in 1883. His death on January 13, 1892, was a loss to fish culture the world over.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Fred Mather
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:44 am

Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences: The Biological Laboratory Collection
by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Accessed: 2/20/20


At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences founded a laboratory for training high school and college teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones [Wauwepex Society] gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science (BIAS). BIAS used the Jones gift to established its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and training of secondary school teachers. In 1917 the Bio Lab officially became one of the four departments of the BIAS (along with the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Zoo) and an endowment was raised from contributions of interested Cold Spring Harbor neighbors. In 1924 BIAS turned over the administration and ownership of the Biological Lab to the Cold Spring Harbor community and it incorporated as the Long Biological Association (LIBA). LIBA was initially administered by Director Reginald Harris, and continued as a scientific research and educational institution, funded by local residents and a far reaching list of private donors.

The course of evening lectures, have been even more successful during the present year. The Wauwepex Society, founded by Mr. John D. Jones, during the last year, has fitted up for the use of the laboratory, a pleasant lecture room accommodating about 120 persons. It is near the hatchery and conveniently located for the people of Cold Spring Harbor. A lantern for lecture illustrations has been furnished by the Brooklyn Institute and a large number of lantern slides have been made use of by the various lecturers. The slides have been partly furnished by the Brooklyn Institute, partly by the different lecturers and have been partly made at the laboratory. The number of lectures during the summer has been sixteen, nearly all of which have been illustrated by the use of the lantern. The attendance on these lectures has been large, the hall being filled in some cases, and a good sized audience being always present. The interest in the lectures has constantly grown during the summer and the last two lectures were more fully attended than any of the others. The people of Cold Spring Harbor evidently have appreciated the kindness of the different lecturers in giving these lectures, and the interest taken in them has testified to the increasing popularity of the laboratory among the people of the place.

-- Report of the Operations of the Biological Laboratory [The Wauwepex Society], by H.W. Conn, Ph.D., Commissioners of Fisheries

The collection represents material generated, accumulated, and maintained by the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences (BIAS) Biological Laboratory founded in 1890 for training high school and college teachers in marine biology in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The BIAS Biological Laboratory Collection ends in 1924 when the Biological Lab and its functions were transferred to the Long Island Biological Association.

These records have been stored on site since their creation, originally in administrative offices under various Laboratory Directors until their removal to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives. Documents within the collection identify these records as those belonging to the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences - The Biological Laboratory. During most of its existence the organization shared directors, certain staff and buildings, with three related peer institutions: 1) Carnegie Institute of Washington 2) Eugenics Record Office (established as a separate entity in 1910, but whose building, files and records were donated to Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1918); and 3) The Long Island Biological Association. This shared leadership created an intermingling of these institutions’ administrative files. Where folders were clearly identifiable as belonging to another institution as determined by date, person, or subject, the processing archivists removed the folders for placement in the relevant Related Collections. Where folders contained material which overlapped multiple collections, the folder was kept in this collection and reference notes added. It is recommended that this collection be researched in conjunction with Related Collections. This collection was processed in June 2012.

The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences – The Biological Laboratory Collection is composed of material accrued in the administration of the Bio Lab by director Dr. Charles B. Davenport with the close guidance and funding by the Bio Lab trustees. These materials have been moved several times through various lab administrations and research projects and were not in original order. These documents include the Bio Lab Trustee series, consisting of one box of minutes of 1898-1922 reflecting fiscal, administrative and curriculum issues. Nine boxes of documents from the administration of the summer and year-round biological study programs 1898 – 1922 comprise the Bio Lab Administrative series. These two series reflect historically interesting facets of a scientific institution that survived privatization, World War I and fiscal challenges of a tuition-financed educational institution. The BIAS Trustee series is one box of material documenting the oversight by BIAS, the parent organization. These minutes reflect the arts and science entities within BIAS that were competing for resources and the eventual 1924 launch of the independent successor institution, the Long Island Biological Association. The fourth series, Bio Lab Account Ledgers consists of 4 boxes of ledgers with detailed handwritten entries of students’ information, finances and sundry items. These ledgers provide an overall depiction of life during the beginning of the twentieth century in Cold Spring Harbor. Documents found in this collection reflect the interaction and interrelationship of this Biological Laboratory with the Village and citizens of Laurel Hollow, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences and the neighboring institution the Carnegie Institute of Washington Station for Experimental Evolution.

The Collection is organized into four series:

Series 1: Biological Laboratory Trustees (1898-1922)
Series 2: Bio Lab Administrative (1890-1922)
Series 3: BIAS Trustees (1915-1924)
Series 4: Bio Lab Account Ledgers (1902-1941)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:05 am

Family, Finance, And The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company, 1836-1862 [John H. Jones/Walter R. Jones]
by Jenna Wallace Coplin
Long Island History Journal
15 August 2016

At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences founded a laboratory for training high school and college teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones [Wauwepex Society] gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science (BIAS). BIAS used the Jones gift to established its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and training of secondary school teachers. In 1917 the Bio Lab officially became one of the four departments of the BIAS (along with the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Zoo) and an endowment was raised from contributions of interested Cold Spring Harbor neighbors. In 1924 BIAS turned over the administration and ownership of the Biological Lab to the Cold Spring Harbor community and it incorporated as the Long Biological Association (LIBA). LIBA was initially administered by Director Reginald Harris, and continued as a scientific research and educational institution, funded by local residents and a far reaching list of private donors....

During most of its existence the organization shared directors, certain staff and buildings, with three related peer institutions: 1) Carnegie Institute of Washington 2) Eugenics Record Office (established as a separate entity in 1910, but whose building, files and records were donated to Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1918); and 3) The Long Island Biological Association. This shared leadership created an intermingling of these institutions’ administrative files.

-- Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences: The Biological Laboratory Collection, by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Abstract: In 1836, John H. and Walter R. Jones, along with 33 other investors, purchased the first of several whaling ships in a small fleet that would become eventually known as the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company. Local networks shaped the way the Jones brothers and their investors took advantage of changes in the national economy. By combining local, traditional business relationships with the benefits of incorporation, the brothers provided opportunities for the local community. Its members, who otherwise would not have been able to invest, benefited from involvement in the golden age of whaling. This may have stimulated capital growth during a period of general instability, easing the transition toward industry. The result contributed to Cold Spring Harbor’s enduring identity as both a whaling community and an industrial town.

Located on the north shore of Long Island not 40 miles east of Manhattan, Cold Spring Harbor, at the beginning of the 19th century, was a small community that was home to a lesser-known whaling business run by John H. and Walter R. Jones. These brothers, along with a long list of investors, oversaw forty-four voyages with nine ships. A small firm by New Bedford or even Sag Harbor standards, the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company lasted more than twenty-five years and changed the community in durable ways. Many questions regarding the company, its investors, and its sailors remain. However, one thing is clear: John and Walter Jones, despite having no actual whaling experience, made some savvy choices that benefited all those involved.

The Jones Brothers’ Background

By the early 19th century, Walter R. Jones and older brother John H. Jones were partners in key Cold Spring Harbor businesses. These included a gristmill, a general store, and two woolen mills, all businesses built by the previous generation. Motivated by the slow decline of their award-winning mill and a drop in flour prices, both turns caused by domestic and international economic factors, the brothers made a dramatic and potentially risky business decision. They started a new venture: the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company.

The foundations for their new endeavor were laid by the previous generation, when their parents, John Jones and Hannah Hewlett, married in 1779, conjoining two influential local families. While theirs was a predictable union, the families seemed particularly close-knit even considering the customs of the time as they intermarried, deeded land to one another, and engaged in shared business ventures. Unlike some Long Island movers-and-shakers, however, they extended their influence beyond the north shore of Long Island. The families made their mark in New York City as well as in Albany, becoming judges, justices of the peace, and businessmen. Political and religious concerns during this tumultuous time may have encouraged the families to forge closer bonds.[1] Many Long Island families found themselves split along political and religious lines. Regardless, these relationships were the base of industry in the region. The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company, a successful venture, was part of a larger web of economic choices made by the families.

Between 1819 and 1825, both families shifted their holdings in the gristmill and the two woolen mills. They also transferred deeds to various properties, including shoreline parcels to the next generation. After these changes, John H. and Walter R. Jones were responsible for a substantial portion of family undertakings. Both brothers had demonstrated business acumen and dedication to the family’s well being.

Walter R. Jones, born in 1793, became increasingly involved in the marine insurance business during this time, joining the first Atlantic Insurance Company in 1824 as an associate of Archibald Gracie.[2] On April 15, 1828, Walter was appointed trustee to oversee the dissolution of the company – something that would not be resolved until long after his death in 1855. During his time, Walter helped settle the company’s debts and even paid capital stockholders dividends, avoiding litigation – a popular tool at the time.

The second Atlantic Insurance Company was founded in 1829, with Walter R. Jones named as President.[3] The second company, later reorganized and renamed Atlantic Mutual, became fantastically successful, reaping profits of more than six million dollars in the ten years after its conversion.[4] The company remained in business until 2011 and many of the Jones family members were integral over the years. Walter’s experience with managing risk and returns for investors certainly played a key role in family choices going forward. He was well known in New York City and although his funeral took place at Trinity Church, he remained connected to Cold Spring Harbor and was buried there.[5]

John H. Jones, born in 1785, spent much of his childhood living with and caring for his grandfather and namesake, John Hewlett, who died in 1812.[6] Before Hewlett’s death, his son, John H. Jones’ maternal uncle, Devine Hewlett, deeded property on the east side of the harbor to John, who was just 19 at the time. His father held the trust. When the property was transferred three years later, in 1807, the parcel included additional land John received from a cousin on the west side of the harbor for his son. In 1810, his parents also gave him an interest in the lower mill, associated dam and canal, the gristmill, its site, and half the Cooper shop, as well as shore and harbor rights.

That same year, John H. Jones married Loretta, daughter of Devine and Ann Hewlett. The property became John and Loretta’s home. It also became the site of the general store. That store eventually served as the core of the Jones brothers’ whaling endeavor. John provisioned the whaling ships moving from Cold Spring to New York as needed.[7] Like the majority of their business partners, John H. Jones remained a farmer. He even was awarded honors for growing the largest pumpkin in 1852 at the 11th Annual Exhibition of the Queens County Agricultural Society in Flushing. It weighed in at more than 175 pounds![8] Like his brother and partner Walter, John cared about those they chose to do business with, many of whom were relatives and neighbors. Neither brother had any experience actually whaling. Working as a team, the brothers brought together land, existing businesses, and financial acumen to found the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company.

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company

A discussion of Cold Spring Harbor’s whaling history can be a convoluted affair. The brothers and their investors blended tools emerging from the new economy with traditional business relationships to form a hybrid firm. Together with investors, they purchased two ships, one in 1836 and the second a year later. This represented a significant investment in a short period of time. The first ship, the Monmouth, required outfitting to make it suitable, as it was not originally a whaler. The Tuscarora, already a proven whaling ship, was purchased from the Billings brothers, the ship’s captain, and another investor—all of New London. N. & W.W. Billings was among the most successful whaling firms in that port. Built in 1819, the Tuscarora was already an old ship, but came fully rigged.[9]

Both of these purchases involved an unusual number of investors for the time. According to Hilt, the average number of owners invested in a single vessel at the time was nine – but the Monmouth had thirty-three.[10] Together, the two ships had 50 investors, with many individuals investing in both. It could be argued this was less a partnership and more a community affair.

The year following the purchase of the Monmouth, a recession began, which lasted until the mid 1840s. This period of economic unevenness, emanating from New York City, was felt keenly in the whaling industry. The lack of capital generally available may have required a larger number of investors. The large number of investors may have supported the firm’s quick growth. Regardless, the Jones brothers, including eldest brother William, several community members, and their New York lawyer, joined together in a wave of incorporation becoming popular in the whaling business.

An Act of Incorporation, passed on March 24, 1838, cleared the way for the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company.[11] It was at this point that the company bought the Monmouth and Tuscarora from the initial investors. However, it did not have the minimum amount of initial capital dictated by the Act to legally begin operations. This was no deterrent, and the ships still went out. Groups of investors, rather than the company itself, went on to purchase more ships. It was not until after a second legislative act passed in 1840, revising the initial capital investment downward, that the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company officially began operations.[12] At least six voyages had already been made.

Strictly speaking, before 1840, the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company was incorporated but unable to do business. Each voyage, therefore, was treated as a separate venture, like those of traditional whaling companies. The Jones brothers and investors bought six more ships between 1843 and 1845. The final addition to the fleet came in 1852. All voyages except those made by the two ships owned by the corporation –– the Tuscarora and the Monmouth –– were traditional whaling ventures. After 1840, whaling out of Cold Spring Harbor was not a company business but a hybrid community affair. These choices highlight how Long Islanders put together economic opportunities emanating from the city and traditional relationships to engage the new economy they faced mid-century.

It was well known that whaling offered potential high returns for investors but carried great risks. Large outlays of credit or cash were required to outfit a whaler for a voyage. Ships wrecked due to storms or human error may not have had enough cargo to satisfy creditors or crew, much less to compensate investors. Investments in the two “corporate” ships were protected by limited liability, as outlined in the Act of Incorporation.

The history of legislation regarding incorporation demonstrated changing concerns for both investors and creditors over time. The question focused on the weight of responsibility for debts amassed by a company. When companies dissolved, in the case of unlimited liability, creditors could seek payment from investors regardless of their initial outlay. In this situation, a small investor could literally be risking everything he owned. This initial concern for creditors shifted more toward protection for investors –– who rarely saw compensation. The development of limited liability held investor responsibility to a level equal to their investment, protecting them from open-ended exposure to the company’s debts. This change also encouraged smaller investors by protecting them. With a limited initial outlay, small investors could make even a little capital work, without risking everything if disaster occurred.

This may have been a consideration for Cold Spring Harbor. In 1841, 12 of the company’s 50 stockholders owned fewer than five shares. The shift toward limited liability was advantageous for these small investors, particularly in the case of a whaling company –– where capital investments were almost as great as the risk involved. The outfitting ships often required could only be accomplished with large lines of credit. These debts were paired against the profitability of any particular voyage. Limited liability decreased exposure to losses beyond what investors chose to risk in the first place. For Cold Spring Harbor, most local investors were farmers whose source of capital, and therefore family wealth, was land. Protecting land from a company’s creditors would have been in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Limited liability allowed investors to risk only what they could bear to lose.

However, discussing Cold Spring Harbor whaling as a single corporate venture obscures much of the complexity of whaling in the region. While the Jones brothers were certainly a driving force, many others helped make it happen. For example, in 1840, investors with the surname Jones comprised only 16% of the total number of stockholders. Together, they owned only 22% of the outstanding stock. The Hewletts represented an additional 10%, with less than 5% of the outstanding stock. Together, the extended families, including members of the Jones, Hewlett, Cole, Gardiner, and Gracie families, owned less than 31% of Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company stock in 1840.[13] The Jones family members were neither detached company directors seeking to take advantage of corporate protection nor were they big investors using the company as a type of family trust.

John and Walter’s intentions in entering the whaling business are unclear, not to mention curious. In 1836, its first year of involvement, Cold Spring Harbor joined thirty-four other whaling ports, a year when New Bedford alone launched 66 whalers. This count does not include those ships not yet returned from voyages begun in years prior. The golden age of American whaling was arguably approaching a saturation point, conditions that could drive prices down and potentially put firms out of business. Whaling was at this point a business full of experienced competitors, where risks were occasionally incalculable. Four years into what was otherwise a traditional whaling venture, the Jones brothers, accompanied by local investors and New York business contacts, chose to incorporate a portion of the business, joining a wave of new whaling firms. However, they had no actual whaling experience, a hybrid firm structure, and a large number of investors to keep happy.[14]

Whaling Companies in the 1830s

Traditional whaling ventures were often referred to as “companies,” possibly due to arrangements of shared ownership. However, these more closely resembled partnerships, rather than formal corporations. Incorporation at this time required an act of legislature. Unlike today, where a company registers as a corporate entity in a particular state, a business seeking to incorporate proposed a bill before legislature who in turn dictated the general structure of the company and terms for the sale of stock. Beginning in the 1830s, entrepreneurs increasingly sought incorporation as a tool for financing whaling ventures. However, in a study of 846 voyages of incorporated firms, Hilt concluded that none of these corporations lasted beyond the 1840s and few were profitable.[15] Incorporation of whaling companies, according to Hilt’s study, typically placed a corporate structure on top of traditional whaling ventures, rather than reorganizing company relationships top to bottom. In these cases, the people who were key to a voyage’s success did not fare as well. Agents’ compensation, for example, declined from a peak of as much as 44 % interests in partnerships to as little as 5% in corporate ventures. By taking on this structure, Hilt argues, owners decreased the motivation for agents to act in the interest of all those invested.

Hilt found other problematic commonalities among those who chose to incorporate whaling ventures. More often founded by newcomers, these companies were based in areas new to whaling. This served to compound the already substantial outlays facing any voyage by adding inexperience and higher costs for outfitting ships in non-specialized ports. Higher local production costs came in the form of increased time, the necessity of retooling existing products and producing new ones, and sourcing new materials. Alternately, expenses incurred purchasing needed supplies from elsewhere included added transportation costs. This meant a larger haul was required to pay creditors and crew before turning a profit.

In some ways, Cold Spring Harbor reflected these problematic commonalities. The port was certainly new to whaling, as were the Jones brothers. The local economy was not built to support whaling, lacking the local industries of New Bedford or even Sag Harbor. However, the Jones family had resources other than capital that they were willing to contribute. Barrels were made for whale oil as well as for flour by the family-owned cooper shop, and the family’s mills began to produce rough cloth for sailors’ clothes. This offset some of the higher costs of doing business.

Thanks to his diverse business dealings, Walter realized the myriad things that could go wrong with a high-risk venture like whaling. This was despite his lack of firsthand experience. Not only concerned with material losses, in 1849, he was elected the first President of the Life Saving Benevolent Association, an organization that made ready supplies needed to save lives in case of a shipwreck.[16] These activities would have kept him informed about costs, as well as enabling him to build business relationships with suppliers. Dry goods merchant Abner Chichester, for example, was a large stakeholder in the Cold Springs Harbor Whaling Company, owning almost 5% of the stock. Walter also took advantage of his other relationships in New York City. Five voyages set sail from there, allowing ships to be outfitted in that port and potentially avoiding difficulties with customs.

The critical distinction between the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company and others of its time is found in its organization. Instead of placing a corporate structure on top of a traditional firm, the brothers formed a hybrid company that extended the blending of traditional and corporate ventures. First, John H. Jones served as the company agent. In this way, motivation to perform was as high as in traditional firms. Next, there was little distinction between investors in the company and its directors, as noted. William and Walter R. Jones were tied as the second largest single investors, and many other investors were local farmers in the area.

By comparison, the Staten Island Whaling Company, which was incorporated at the same time, had little local involvement. To the contrary, members of the surrounding community expressed deep reservations about the company. Much of their anxiety centered on the overlap between local bank directors and proposed directors of the whaling company. The Staten Island Whaling Company made at least one voyage and built a processing plant in the port that burnt down. It seems that not only was the company unsuccessful but that community concerns about it were warranted. Long after it ceased operations, the company apparently continued to deal in and transfer bonds, actions that landed it in the New York State Supreme Court.[17]

Cold Spring Harbor’s initial investors availed themselves of new options afforded by incorporation and kept key components of traditional firms intact. The owners’ assessment for the sale of the Tuscarora to the company detailed accounting from the 1840 change of ownership and included old subscribers for both the Tuscarora and Monmouth. Subscribers at the time all became shareholders in the company and appear on the formal list of investors. Subscribers to the Tuscarora were charged a fee per share –– a fee not charged to Monmouth subscribers. That column was labeled as lay to be paid by the Tuscarora and debt charged to the Tuscarora.[18] This accounting, related to the transfer of the ships from a traditional venture to corporate ownership, also appears to use the transfer as a means to settle debt. Even more interesting, Edward Halsey, or possibly Edward Halsey Jr., sailed as captain of the Tuscarora in 1839 and the Monmouth in 1846.[19] Captain Halsey owned ten shares of stock in 1840, converted from his initial investment in the Tuscarora. The Tuscarora was at sea for 22 months, whaling in the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific.[20] Halsey’s investment in the early voyages of the Tuscarora would not have been unusual. His conversion to stockholder ensured that traditional relationships remained part of the corporate structure.

The Jones brothers did not just join a wave of incorporation. There is evidence that they considered their options carefully. As noted, Walter had served as a trustee, settling with creditors and investors of the first Atlantic Insurance Company. He was aware of the challenges faced by investors when a company dissolves. In 1827, John H. and Walter R. Jones, seeking to grow the family businesses, announced their intent, along with other local investors, to incorporate the Cold Spring Steam Ship Company.[21] The American Eagle ferried passengers to and from New York under the guidance of Captain Peck.[22] The Jones brothers were jointly listed with Owen and George D. Coles, both likely relatives of John H.’s mother-in-law, as well as Robert W. Mott. However, no act of incorporation appears in records for 1827 or subsequent years. The American Eagle and Captain Peck advertised in the July 27, 1838 Evening Post, but made no mention of either the company or the Jones family. It seems they did not or could not go through with the incorporation of that entity. There is no indication they ever owned the American Eagle or its successor the Croton. Why the brothers did not pursue this incorporation is unknown. As it was over a decade earlier, debates about degrees of liability for corporate entities may not have been as favorable at the time. In 1822, an amendment clarified that corporate trustees could mortgage property owned by the company to pay debts.[23] This additional source of credit may have seemed inviting against the potential risks of a steamship line. Also, since the Peck family was not mentioned in advertisements announcing intent to incorporate, that arrangement may have been less inviting for them. Walter and John may have had difficulty securing outright ownership of the vessel by a potential future company. This would make incorporation impossible.

Although the brothers mitigated many of the pitfalls associated with incorporation, they were perhaps ill-advised in hiring captains who had little or no offshore whaling experience. Of the forty-four voyages, at least eleven captains either started their career in Cold Spring Harbor or sailed their second voyage as captain for the Jones brothers.[24] The job of captain was difficult, requiring skills beyond seafaring. Jeremiah Eldridge, captain of the Monmouth in 1857, failed to negotiate with the crew for their labor, necessary to take on extra oil while in port. This required outside arbitration, costing time and money.[25] The Richmond, commanded by Philander Winters, struck rocks in the Bering Straits and wrecked in 1849. The cargo was salvaged by several ships. One, the Elizabeth Frith, was under the command of Captain Winters’ brother. The salvage was long contested in the courts by the Richmond’s owners.[26] In another instance, Captain Samuel C. Leek sailed his first voyage, a successful voyage to the South Atlantic,[27] as captain out of Sag Harbor. His next voyage, as captain of the Tuscarora, was a bit more difficult. Leek took on needed sailors in the Cook Islands, who changed their minds and subsequently left. It was not long before the crew discovered large holes drilled in the hull. Captain Leek sailed to Australia and negotiated the sale of the ship after it had been condemned. It seems, however, that he may have been tricked, as the ship was refitted and sailing under another name in under a year.[28]

Labor troubles were not limited to captains. Cold Spring Harbor ships often had difficulty finding experienced crew when signing men on in New York and Cold Spring Harbor. With the bustling port of Sag Harbor nearby, experienced sailors were difficult to find and keep. The captains of Cold Spring Harbor, as was common, took on sailors along the way. Not all were like the sailors encountered by Captain Leek; many were valuable crewmembers. Some sailors appear on crew lists several times with common European first names followed by “A. Kanaka” written like a family name, rather than a designation of their Pacific Island heritage. On other ships’ logs these sailors were listed as “Canaka” or “Canaca.” Three sailors named Canaka appear on the 1841 log of the Tuscarora, two from the Society Islands and one from South Hampton. All listed Cold Spring Harbor as their current residence, but no census records connect them to a particular household. It is possible the company housed the sailors by paying locals to take them in. Housing expenses are often noted on receipts and ships’ log books but rarely indicate the name of the sailor. The importance of these sailors to the company is suggested by John H. Jones’ pocket daybook. A small note, one of very few pertaining to sailors, appears in his accounts “to Cash in gold to exchange for silver for pay Kancas.”[29] These sailors helped ease labor shortages and contributed experience to the crew.

As important as they were to the business, it also appears the Canakas became a part of local lore. It is said that when the ships came in, Main Street was renamed “Bedlam Street” and the Pacific Islanders could be seen carving on the steps of the Stone Jug, a boarding house friendly to them.[30] However, no documentation of the boarding house or the men in Cold Spring Harbor has been found. Captain Manuel Eños, a native of the Azores, was an exception. He sailed often from Cold Spring Harbor as part of its regular crew. The Azores were uninhabited until the mid-15th century, when the Portuguese and others started to colonize the islands. Jews, Moorish prisoners, African slaves, Spanish, Flemish and French people were all early colonists. Captain Eños’s home still stands in Cold Spring Harbor.

Although a large community of free African Americans resided in the area, and many historians discussed the impact of whaling on African American communities, there is little to suggest the Jones brothers employed many local African Americans on their ships. The same log from the 1841 voyage of the Tuscarora is often cited as evidence that local African Americans sailed aboard these ships.[31] However, clear connections to local households are difficult to find. Sailors who stated they were born in Cold Spring Harbor, currently lived there, or both do not appear in the census records of Cold Spring Harbor or surrounding communities. Other ships’ logs, like that for the 1851 voyage of the N. P. [Nathaniel Pitcher] Tallmadge, included notes on the crewmembers’ physical appearance. Physical descriptions were not always noted and occasionally conflict. William Price is on a version of the Monmouth crew list for 1846 and identified as dark. An earlier crew list for the same ship in 1840 has no physical description of him or any other sailor.

Again, potential connections to households are difficult. Whalers new to the area and to some degree transient by occupation would be difficult to find as 1830 and 1840 censuses only record heads of household. Many African Americans with different last names appear in single households in the 1850 census. These individuals would be “invisible” in earlier census records. Two African American households apparently took in mothers with young children between 1830 and 1840 when whaling began in the region. It is possible these were sailors’ families but without additional information, it is impossible to know for certain.

Many African Americans were being squeezed out of whaling in other ports during this period by racism. Some turned to working coastal waters so they could stay home tending crops.[32] Three men are listed as being in the coastal trade in 1850 but no connection between them and crew lists has been found. For now, the impact of the whaling business on African American households in Cold Spring Harbor is unclear.

Success, Community and Change

In spite of the challenges, Cold Spring Harbor’s whaling business was successful by many definitions. The Jones brothers built a rhythm with the first two ships key for flows of capital. For the first voyage, the Monmouth went both in and out of Sag Harbor where crew, supplemental supplies and knowledge abounded. Subsequent voyages of the Monmouth were efficient and short, with an average four-month turn around time. In the meantime, the Tuscarora was outfitted and set sail. Then, in 1846, the Monmouth, with an experienced captain at the helm, left New York for the firm’s longest voyage yet. In 1844, 1846 and 1848 the firm had between six and seven ships out at a time. Despite their initial inexperience in whaling, they were able to put the growing fleet to work.[33]

The year 1849 was successful for Cold Spring Harbor. The Monmouth, N.P. Tallmadge, Splendid and Tuscarora were all out on long voyages. Between February and April, the Alice, Huntsville and Sheffield all came in with an estimated 88,000 pounds of bone and more than 10,000 barrels of oil between them. Between August and September, the Alice, Huntsville and Sheffield all set sail again. This balanced and well-timed exchange smoothed flows of capital and allowed accounts to be settled, ships to be re-outfitted, and left investors encouraged.

However, in 1850, this cycle changed. The Monmouth returned and did not go back out for almost sixteen months, idle for the longest period since the ship was purchased. In fact, in 1850, no whaling ship departed from Cold Spring Harbor at all. Having set sail in 1848, the N.P. Tallmadge, Splendid, and Tuscarora were all still in the South Pacific, Alaska, or other whaling grounds. The Alice, Huntsville and Sheffield joined them the following year. All but the Sheffield, out for the second longest voyage the firm would sail, returned in March of 1851.

This change in timing followed on the heels of the loss, in 1849, of the Richmond and its cargo. The ship sent 430 barrels of oil home, but wrecked with an additional 3,500 barrels aboard. The legal battle over the salvage of the Richmond‘s cargo went all the way to the Supreme Court.[34] The case was not decided until 1858 providing little help to the owners with immediate capital needs. The corporation appears to have been dissolved in 1851; the Tuscarora was sold, but whaling continued.

Although 1850 may have been a difficult year great rewards came with the five whalers returning to port. According to Schmidt, Cold Spring Harbor’s best voyage brought the Jones brothers, their investors and crew a record cargo worth $100,000.[35] This was delivered by the Sheffield, which set sail in 1849 and returned in 1854 to New York, He estimated the fleet brought in bone and oil worth 1.5 million dollars during its years of operation. The bark Alice was the last ship home in 1862. Both Walter and John had died, passing in 1855 and 1859 respectively. Only three voyages went out after Walter’s death. Two were relatively long voyages.[36] The Monmouth, however, did not return to Cold Spring Harbor and was sold in Chile.

The durable impact of this venture on Cold Spring Harbor and the surrounding communities may lie beyond the business of whaling. By mid-century, the shift from agriculture to manufacturing was occurring in many places, including Cold Spring Harbor. Between 1850 and 1870, for example, wage labor jobs increased by about 82 % in near-by Oyster Bay. Non-population statistics show the transition from piecework to light industry, represented by sewing machines, rolling mills and lathes. By 1870, industry included specialists. Although hand power still dominated, steam had begun to take hold and one person listed his business as refurbishing machines. This growth was driven in part by investments in capital, purchasing machines, and paying wages.

In the preceding decades, volatility in money supplies and structural changes in the economy made banks risky for small investors. Often, wealthy neighbors made loans using land as collateral. Farmers borrowed against land to mediate the cyclical needs of the agricultural seasons. These debts were converted to mortgages, with land as a medium of exchange and of equal value to all parties. If the farmer defaulted, the person making the loan had more land to borrow against. For the farmer, neighbors, unlike banks, could more readily be negotiated with, which helped lengthen repayment schedules and buffered against the ups and downs of agriculture. Few had money to purchase additional land to leverage for capital to invest in new ventures.

Corporate ventures like the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company offered small investors limited liability and a new means to gain interest on capital. For a relatively small investment that was far less than the price of more land, they could expect some return, or at least recourse, in the event of corporate failure. Walter R. Jones demonstrated his honor in these affairs during the dissolution of the first Atlantic Marine Insurance Company. Also, the brothers were rooted in several longtime local families. In this manner, the whaling venture and company could stimulate local economies in different ways and may have helped shape how a community entered the new national economy. By combining traditional investment options (ones that favored the whalers and wealthy owners) with the sale of stock in a company (which protected small investors and helped organize a large number of investors), the Jones brothers made it possible for the local community to participate in the ventures.

Certainly this transition was taking place across the country, but in Cold Spring Harbor a durable whaling community co-existed with an industrial identity. How integral the whaling component of this shared identity was became clear in 1938, when the American Museum of Natural History offered to donate a ship to Cold Spring Harbor if they had a proper means of housing it. The announcement came in July, and in August a call went out for neighbors to “search their garrets, cellars and closets for relics of the days of ships and industry from Cold Spring Harbor.”[37] Plans to create a new museum soon became contentious when so-called outsiders, from neighboring Oyster Bay and Lloyd Neck, sought to participate, invoking the wrath of one of the Jones brothers’ direct descendants ––Mrs. Phoebe Hewlett Willets. Her impassioned letter, read to the Town Board and reprinted in the paper, spoke of a community of whalers still in Cold Spring Harbor seventy-six years after the Alice came in. These were histories held by families and made present by the whalers’ papers, handed down and cared for over generations. Mrs. Willets represented a group who felt the organizers lacked historical accuracy and sufficient local ties; in her words, it was impossible that “. . . we who have family museums in our homes would be lured into placing sacred relics in the hands of those who have no relation to them and no relation to Cold Spring Harbor’s important age.”[38] Nonetheless, the museum was founded shortly thereafter and remains an important part of the community.

Cold Spring Harbor’s history of investment in early industry is equally important. The recent publication by the town historian, Robert Hughes, connects the earliest mills in the community to more recent history.[39] The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, for which the area is best known today, still use several buildings that belonged to the whaling company and were donated by John H. Jones’ son. These histories are intertwined.


Whaling out of Cold Spring Harbor was a successful hybrid venture and had a clear impact on the area and its cultural heritage that is still visible today. It does not appear this was a story of elite families expanding the family empire at the expense of others. The combined Jones-Hewlett families worked for themselves and with the local community. It is possible this was out of necessity, with the families lacking capital to undertake the venture themselves. Regardless, it is certain the business grew bigger and faster with community help.

Incorporation may have served as a useful tool on several fronts. The structure of the corporation, with its board of directors and voting rules, may have seemed an attractive method for managing the large number of investors. Provisions for limited liability may have attracted additional smaller investors. Coupled with traditional financing options, larger investors could participate in multiple ventures––some corporate, others not. Laws of incorporation also allowed the company to mortgage corporate property to cover debt. In this way, the ships served the company much like land served farmers–– by providing capital to hedge against seasonal fluctuations.

In the end, the Jones brothers did serve as some sort of glue, whaling ceasing shortly after their deaths. However, this was not a cult of personality. The brothers willingly repurposed family resources to serve what was, at best, a risky venture. If the whaling business failed, then their efforts to create a specialized port for outfitting by turning family businesses to that end meant they were risking a large proportion of the family wealth. They also made evenhanded choices that relied on traditional ways of doing business on Long Island. They adhered to key aspects of traditional whaling firms that helped foster success. This included keeping agents and captains invested in each voyage’s success. In the long run, it is possible these efforts stimulated capital growth in the community through encouraging and supporting its entrance into industrial endeavors.

In addition to ongoing research on the long-term economic impact of whaling, work on the relationship between the African American community and whaling in the region is still required, as is research regarding those sailors named “Kanaka” who appear on ships’ logs. Both of these represent internally diverse groups who were underrepresented in documentary records. The relationships these sailors had with Cold Spring Harbor and the surrounding communities are still unclear.

Author’s Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the Gardiner Foundation for its support as well as Jennifer Anderson and all the authors involved in this special issue. The research presented here emerged from a Paul Cuffe Memorial Fellowship given by the Munson Institute, Mystic Seaport. I would also like to express my thanks to Nomi Dayan and the Cold Spring Harbor.



[1]“It will be noticed how strongly the members of the family were tied together; living near the boundary line between Queens and Suffolk Co., through a long civil war, the hostilities and jealousies which convulsed the whole country doubtless taught them to adhere firmly to each other and avoid giving offence. (MSS. C. B. Moore.)” John H. Jones, The Jones Family of Long Island; Descendants of Major Thomas Jones (1665-1726) and Allied Families (New York: Tobias Write, 1907), 19. Mr. Charles B. Moore was a charter member of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and friend of Jones. He assisted with methods and research. His work is cited throughout the larger work.

[2]Gracie’s widow and daughter would later invest in the whaling company, and his granddaughter married Walter’s youngest brother. David W. Armstrong Jr., William Otis Badger, Jr., and Edwin Warren De Leon. International Insurance Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Theory, and Practice of All Branches of Insurance Throughout the World from the Earliest Times to the Present Day (Chicago, IL: American Encyclopedic Library Association, 1910), 341, 413.

[3]Walsh (Atlantic Insurance Company, Trustee) v. State of New York. Claimant no. 18287 Sup.Ct. A.d3 (1927). Find the link here. (accessed 3/17/2016)) see pages 5, 53–77.

[4]Freeman Hunt, Lives of American Merchants (New York, NY: Hunt’s Merchant Magazine, 1856), 415–428.

[5]Ibid., 426.

[6]Jones, The Jones Family of Long Island, 140–143.

[7]John H. Jones Pocket Daybook, Knight Collection, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company. Folder Z, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.

[8]Long Island Farmer & Queens County Advertiser, Oct 12, 1852.

[9]N. & W.W. Billings Papers, Coll 233 Box 7/5; Frederick P. Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale: Long Islands Ships to Distant Seas (Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Whaling Museum Inc., 1971), 10–15.

[10]Eric Hilt, “When Did Ownership Separate from Control? Corporate Governance in the Early Nineteenth Century,” The Journal of Economic History 68, no. 3 (2008), 260.

[11]New York State Legislature, Senate. Journal of the Senate of the State of New York at their Sixty-First Session, Begun and Held at the Capital in the City of Albany on the Second Day of January, 1838 (Albany, NY: E. Croswell, 1838), 177, 234, 296, 305.

[12]New York State Legislature, Senate. Journal of the Senate of the State of New York at their Sixty-Third Session, Begun and Held at the Capital in the City of Albany on the Seventh Day of January, 1838 (Albany, NY: E. Croswell, 1840), 1190–1197.

[13]Meeting of the Commissioners of the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company, 11 July 1840. Knight Collection, Folder S, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum Company Meeting. Nancy Grace, widow of Archibald, an early employer of Walter R. Jones in marine insurance, had several children, including a daughter, Fanny R. Gardiner. Both these women owned shares of the Cold Spring Harbor Company in 1840. After her death in 1847, Walter R. Jones, Charles H. Jones and Michael Ulehoeffer executed Nancy’s will. Ulehoeffer was Nancy’s son-in-law, married to her oldest daughter MaryAnn. It also appears that Charles H. Jones was married to Fanny’s daughter Elizabeth. He would therefore be Nancy’s grandson by marriage, explaining why he and his brother served as Nancy’s executors and why she and Fanny owned stock in the company. They are two of the four women listed as stockowners.

[14]It should also be noted that the ships were a risky investment in themselves. The Monmouth was known to be leaky. The Edgar, purchased in 1846, had been rebuilt after it was wrecked running as a packet ship out of New Orleans. (Schmitt, 21–22). The Jones brothers did not convert it to a whaler until 1852, possibly testing its seaworthiness. That ship wrecked amidst an otherwise successful voyage. Some oil and bone was salvaged and the ship and its rigging insured.

[15]Hilt (2008), 198.

[16]Advertisement, Motor Boating (June 1938), 11.

[17]Oliver Lorenzo Barbour, Reports of Cases in Law and Equity in the Supreme Court of the State of New York (Albany, NY: W.C. Little & Co., 1876), 113.

[18]Knight Collection, Folder Z, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.

[19]For example, the National Digital Maritime Library (NDML) has both Edward Halsey and Edward Halsey, Jr. sailing out of Cold Spring Harbor. However, the dates of these voyages and earlier voyages for the same individual listed in the case of Edward Halsey seem unlikely. Edward Halsey is listed as captain of the Warren in 1812 and the Monmouth in 1846. It is likely the second voyage belongs to the Captain Edward Halsey, Jr. listed in the database. Other inconsistencies exist in the record. An Edward Halsey found in the 1850 census was a seaman and by 1870 is listed as a farmer. His birth date is approximately 1812, making him 16 when the NDML lists him as captain of the Union. More research is necessary.

[20]Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 138-139

[21]Long Island Farmer and Queens County Advertiser, March 15 and 29, 1827. (Accessed 8/28/2015).

[22]Apparently several Captain Pecks took charge of the ship over time. In 1838 a Richard Peck was captain and in 1840 a Charles Benson Peck is listed as captain. Apparently Charles Benson Peck died young. It is unclear who took over next. House Documents, Otherwise Published as Executive Documents, 13th Congress 2nd Session –– 49th Congress 1st Session. Accessed Google books (8 August, 2015). J. Disturnell, The New York State Register (New York State, 1845), 259.

[23]Charles M. Haar, “Legislative Regulation of New York Industrial Corporations 1800-1850,” New York History 22, no. 2 (April 1941), 191–207.

[24]Judith N. Lund, Elizabeth A. Josephson, Randall R. Reeves and Tim D. Smith, American Offshore Whaling Voyages: A Database. (Accessed August 7, 2015).

[25]Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 63.

[26] Jones et al. v. The Richmond, (1853)

[27]Lund, et al.

[28]Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 62.

[29]John H. Jones Pocket Daybook. Knight Collection, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company. Folder Z, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.

[30]James Arthur Harris, The Cold Spring Harbor Library: Containing a Sketch of the Library, the Addresses Delivered on the Occasion of the Opening of the New Library Building October Twenty-third 1913; together with an Historical Sketch of Cold Spring Harbor (Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Gillis Press, 1914), 24, 51.

[31]Linda Day, Making a Way to Freedom: A History of African Americans on Long Island (Interlaken, NY: Empire State Books, 1997), 75; Schmidt, Mark Well the Whale, 142–143.

[32]W. Jeffrey Bolster, Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 165.

[33]N.P. Tallmadge, Huntsville, Richmond, Splendid, Alice, and Sheffield were all purchased between 1843 and 1845. The Edgar was purchased in 1852.

[34]Jones v. The Richmond, New York, April 26, 1858. ... s.1012.pdf

[35]Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 122.

[36]The Splendid was out for more than 43 months and the Alice for 44 months. Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 139.

[37]“Cold Spring Harbor Has Novel Exhibit,” The Long Islander, May 29, 1936.

[38]“Whaling Museum Starts Arguments,” The Long Islander, Aug 7, 1936.

[39]Robert Hughes, Cold Spring Harbor (Images of America), (Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2014).
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:42 am

Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/30/20

At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences founded a laboratory for training high school and college teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones [Wauwepex Society] gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science (BIAS). BIAS used the Jones gift to established its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and training of secondary school teachers. In 1917 the Bio Lab officially became one of the four departments of the BIAS (along with the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Zoo) and an endowment was raised from contributions of interested Cold Spring Harbor neighbors. In 1924 BIAS turned over the administration and ownership of the Biological Lab to the Cold Spring Harbor community and it incorporated as the Long Biological Association (LIBA). LIBA was initially administered by Director Reginald Harris, and continued as a scientific research and educational institution, funded by local residents and a far reaching list of private donors....

During most of its existence the organization shared directors, certain staff and buildings, with three related peer institutions: 1) Carnegie Institute of Washington 2) Eugenics Record Office (established as a separate entity in 1910, but whose building, files and records were donated to Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1918); and 3) The Long Island Biological Association. This shared leadership created an intermingling of these institutions’ administrative files.

-- Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences: The Biological Laboratory Collection, by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

The Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company is a mutual insurance company which offers personal, marine, commercial property, and casualty insurance.[1] It is part of the Atlantic Mutual Companies, which includes Centennial Insurance Company. Its corporate headquarters are at 140 Broadway, a block from the World Trade Center.[1]


The company was founded in 1838 as the Atlantic Insurance Company.[2] Originally a joint-stock company,[3] it became a mutual company in 1842.[3][4] Its first chairman was Walter Restored Jones, a member of a prominent upper-class family of attorneys in New York City.[3] The Jones family ran the company for decades.[3][4]

By the 1850s, Atlantic Mutual was the largest marine and general insurance firm in North America[4] and the only marine insurance firm in New York state.[3] During the 1850s, it made exceedingly high profits.
[5] In 1852, the company began keeping a clipping service of newspaper accounts of shipwrecks and sinkings known as Vessel Disasters, a work which became famous as the best source of information on maritime disasters in the North Atlantic.[6] During the Civil War, Atlantic Mutual was the primary insurer of most Union shipping.[1]

In 1874, Atlantic Mutual President John Divine Jones provided the money which established the permanent foundation of the New York Historical Society.[7]

Atlantic Mutual built the existing[8] building at 45 Wall Street in 1959, which served as the company's headquarters until the mid-1970s.[9] Vacant and deteriorating for more than 20 years, it was sold in 1996 and converted to apartments.[9]

Atlantic Mutual was involved in a significant tax law case which reached the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1990s. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 altered the formula under which insurance companies could deduct additions to their financial reserves. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determined that Atlantic Mutual had strengthened its reserves, but the company countered that it had merely engaged in a computational change. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court upheld the IRS' interpretation of the law.[10]

After the construction of the World Trade Center, Atlantic Mutual moved its headquarters from 45 Wall Street to 140 Broadway. The company was one of many which insured buildings in and around the World Trade Center, and the firm suffered significant losses after the September 11 terrorist attacks.[1] Since Atlantic Mutual is more than 100 years old, the company is a member of The Hundred Year Association of New York.[11]

In 2010, New York state insurance regulators revoked Atlantic Mutual’s insurance licenses because it had a negative surplus.[11] On April 27, 2011, Atlantic Mutual was placed into liquidation after the company was swamped with workers' compensation insurance claims.[11]

Famous shipwrecks insured by Atlantic Mutual

As the largest marine insurance firm in the United States for many years, Atlantic Mutual became involved in some of the most famous shipwrecks in American history.

• SS Central America - The company insured the SS Central America, a sidewheel steamship laden with gold which sank in a hurricane in September 1857.[12] When the wreck was rediscovered by the Columbus-American Discovery Group, Inc. on September 11, 1987, Atlantic Mutual and 38 other insurance companies filed suit against the treasure-hunting firm, claiming that because they paid damages for the lost gold they had the right to it. In a precedent-setting court case on telepossession, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Atlantic Mutual and the other insurance companies and awarded 92 percent of the gold to the Columbus-American Group.[13]
• Mary Celeste - Atlantic Mutual was also one of the insurers of the Mary Celeste, an American brigantine sailing out of Staten Island, New York.[14] In December 1872, a month after leaving Staten Island for Italy, the ship was seen adrift and without her crew and no explanation for the "ghost ship" has ever successfully explained why the ship was abandoned.[14] Atlantic Mutual established a small museum dedicated to the mystery of the Mary Celeste at its corporate headquarters, which included a model of the ship and the captain's lap desk.[15]
RMS Titanic - The Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company also helped to insure the RMS Titanic. The ship was insured for $140,000, of which $100,000 was held by Atlantic Mutual.[16] The largest passenger steamship in the world at the time, the Titanic struck an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, during her maiden voyage and sank with more than 1,500 people still aboard two hours and forty minutes later.[16]

Notable presidents, chairman and directors of the Atlantic Mutual

The Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co. has been led by a number of prominent New Yorkers as well as leading American business people. Among them are:

• E. Virgil Conway
• Cleveland E. Dodge, Jr.
• William E. Dodge, Jr.
• Eugene R. McGrath

See also

• List of oldest companies
• Early skyscrapers


1. Atlantic Mutual Companies, Meeting the Challenges of Our Time: 2001 Annual Report, 2001.
2. Clayton and Nelson, History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, 1882.
3. Weil, A History of New York, 2004.
4. Jaher, The Urban Establishment: Upper Strata in Boston, New York, Charleston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1982.
5. Hunt, Lives of American Merchants, vol. 1, 1857.
6. Rousmaniere, After the Storm: True Stories of Disaster and Recovery at Sea, 2002; "Steam on the Atlantic," New York Times,December 10, 1882.
7. Jones and DeLancey, History of New York During the Revolutionary War, 1879.
8. As of 2008.
9. Bagli, "45 Wall St. Is Renting Again Where Tower Deal Failed," New York Times, February 8, 2003.
10. Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co. v. IRS, 523 U.S. 582 (1998).
11. Barr, Alistair. "Titanic Insurer Atlantic Mutual Sinks." MarketWatch. May 6, 2011.
12. Kinder, Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, 1998.
13. Columbus-American Discovery Group Inc. v. Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co., 974 F.2d 450 (4th Cir., 1992).
14. Fay, The Story of the "Mary Celeste", 1988.
15. Godwin, This Baffling World, 1968.
16. Eaton and Haas, Titanic: A Journey Through Time, 1999.


• Atlantic Mutual Companies. Meeting the Challenges of Our Time: 2001 Annual Report. New York: Atlantic Mutual Companies, 2001.[permanent dead link]
• Bagli, Charles V. "45 Wall St. Is Renting Again Where Tower Deal Failed." New York Times. February 8, 2003.
• Clayton, W. Woodford and Nelson, William. History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1882.
• Eaton, John P. and Haas, Charles A. Titanic: A Journey Through Time. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. ISBN 0-393-04782-2
• Fay, Charles Edey. The Story of the "Mary Celeste". Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 1988. ISBN 0-486-25730-4
• Godwin, John, This Baffling World. New York: Hart Publishing, 1968.
• Hunt, Freeman. Lives of American Merchants. Vol. 1. New York: H.W. Derby, 1857.
• Jaher, Frederic Cople. The Urban Establishment: Upper Strata in Boston, New York, Charleston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1982. ISBN 0-252-00932-0
• Jones, Thomas and DeLancey, Edward Floyd. History of New York During the Revolutionary War: And of the Leading Events in the Other Colonies at that Period. New York: New York Historical Society, 1879.
• Kinder, Gary. Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea. New York: Vintage Books, 1998. ISBN 0-87113-717-8
• Rousmaniere, John. After the Storm: True Stories of Disaster and Recovery at Sea. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2002. ISBN 0-07-137795-6
• "Steam on the Atlantic." New York Times. December 10, 1882.
• Weil, François. A History of New York. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-231-12935-1

Further reading

• Cosgrove, John. Gray Days and Gold: A Character Sketch of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co. New York: Atlantic Mutual Companies, 1967.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:09 am

Knight Collection [Cold Spring Whaling Company]
by New York Heritage Digital Collections
Accessed: 3/30/20

At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences founded a laboratory for training high school and college teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones [Wauwepex Society] gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science (BIAS). BIAS used the Jones gift to established its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and training of secondary school teachers. In 1917 the Bio Lab officially became one of the four departments of the BIAS (along with the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Zoo) and an endowment was raised from contributions of interested Cold Spring Harbor neighbors. In 1924 BIAS turned over the administration and ownership of the Biological Lab to the Cold Spring Harbor community and it incorporated as the Long Biological Association (LIBA). LIBA was initially administered by Director Reginald Harris, and continued as a scientific research and educational institution, funded by local residents and a far reaching list of private donors....

During most of its existence the organization shared directors, certain staff and buildings, with three related peer institutions: 1) Carnegie Institute of Washington 2) Eugenics Record Office (established as a separate entity in 1910, but whose building, files and records were donated to Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1918); and 3) The Long Island Biological Association. This shared leadership created an intermingling of these institutions’ administrative files.

-- Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences: The Biological Laboratory Collection, by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Historical Context

In 1836 brothers, John Hewlett Jones and Walter Restored Jones, along with 32 other local investors founded the Cold Spring Whaling Company. During its operation, the Cold Spring Whaling Company financed 44 voyages on 9 ships. John H. Jones was the principal agent for the company until it was disbanded in 1862. He coordinated the voyages by hiring whalers and outfitting the ships from his General Store in Cold Spring. Walter R. Jones recruited investors and located ships for the fleet using his connections as the president of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company. Amos and Samuel Willets, of the ship chandler shop A & S Willets, obtained stores and gear for the voyages and sold whale oil and bone on behalf of the Cold Spring Whaling Company.

The Bark Alice was built in Newbury, Massachusetts and sailed under Captain Thomas Hale as a coastwise trader. She was originally outfitted as a brig then modified to a bark. The Walter R. Jones arranged the purchase of the Alice in from Thomas and Josiah Hale. The Hales continued to own partial interest in the Alice during her Cold Spring Whaling voyages.

The Ship Sheffield was built by the Smith and Dimon shipyard, New York in 1831. The Sheffield was built as a transatlantic packet ship with weekly service to Liverpool. The Sheffield broke records for eastbound Atlantic crossings by completing the journey in just 16 days and with an average of 17.8 days over her career as a packet. In 1843 the Sheffield was driven ashore on Romer Shoal off of New York in a storm. The 130 passengers and crew were rescued by a Staten Island steamboat after about 12 hours. The Sheffield was repaired and returned to service but the newer packet ships were smaller and faster. The Sheffield was purchased by the Cold Spring Whaling Company in 1845 and was the third largest whaler in the country for the next 15 years.

Although the Cold Spring Post Office added “Harbor” to the town’s name in 1826 to avoid confusion with the upstate New York town of Cold Spring, the residents of Cold Spring Harbor referred to the town as “Cold Spring” for the majority of the nineteenth century.

The Knight collection was donated to the Whaling Museum in 1972.

Scope of Collection

The Knight collection is made up of financial records and business correspondence for the Cold Spring Whaling Company between 1836-1862. The majority of the records relate to the voyages of five of the Cold Spring Whaling Company’s vessels: Alice, Huntsville, Monmouth, Nathaniel P Tallmadge, and Sheffield.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:26 am

Nathaniel P. Tallmadge
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/30/20

The Knight collection is made up of financial records and business correspondence for the Cold Spring Whaling Company between 1836-1862. The majority of the records relate to the voyages of five of the Cold Spring Whaling Company’s vessels: Alice, Huntsville, Monmouth, Nathaniel P Tallmadge, and Sheffield.

-- Knight Collection [Cold Spring Whaling Company], by New York Heritage Digital Collections

Nathaniel P. Tallmadge
United States Senator from New York
In office: March 4, 1833 – June 17, 1844
Preceded by: Charles E. Dudley
Succeeded by: Daniel S. Dickinson
3rd Governor of Wisconsin Territory
In office: June 21, 1844 – April 8, 1845
Appointed by: John Tyler
Preceded by: James Duane Doty
Succeeded by: Henry Dodge
Member of the New York State Senate, Second District (Class 3)
In office: 1830–1833
Preceded by: Peter R. Livingston
Succeeded by: Leonard Maison
Personal details
Born: Nathaniel Potter Tallmadge, February 8, 1795, Chatham, New York
Died: November 2, 1864 (aged 69), Battle Creek, Michigan
Resting place: Rienzi Cemetery, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Political party: Democratic-Republican, Democrat, Whig
Spouse(s): Abby Lewis Smith (m. 1824; her death 1857)
Children: 9, including Isaac S. Tallmadge
Relatives: James Tallmadge Jr. (cousin); Matthias B. Tallmadge (cousin); Charles Boardman (grandson)
Profession: Lawyer

Nathaniel Pitcher Tallmadge[a] (February 8, 1795 – November 2, 1864) was an American lawyer and politician. He was a U.S. Senator from New York and Governor of the Wisconsin Territory.

Early life

Tallmadge was born in Chatham, New York on February 8, 1795, the son of Joel Tallmadge (1756-1834) and Phoebe (Potter) Tallmadge (1779-1842).[3] Joel Tallmadge was a veteran of the American Revolution and a blacksmith before attaining success as a farmer and lumber merchant at his home on Tallmadge Hill in Barton, New York.[3] Nathaniel Tallmadge attended Williams College before transferring to Union College, from which he graduated in 1815.[2] He then moved to Poughkeepsie to study law with a relative, James Tallmadge Jr.[2] He attained admission to the bar in 1818, and practiced in Poughkeepsie as the partner of James Tallmadge until James Tallmadge's election as Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1825, after which Nathaniel Tallmadge continued to practice on his own.[2]


Tallmadge became active in politics as a Democratic-Republican. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Dutchess Co.) in 1828, and he served in the New York State Senate (2nd D.) from 1830 to 1833, sitting in the 53rd, 54th, 55th and 56th New York State Legislatures.

United States Senator

In 1833, he was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the United States Senate for the term beginning on March 4, 1833. In 1838, he was a member of the "Conservatives," a faction of former Democrats unhappy with the policies of Andrew Jackson's successor, Martin Van Buren and Van Buren's grip on New York politics as head of the Albany Regency political machine.[4] The conservatives endorsed the Whig candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, William H. Seward and Luther Bradish, who were narrowly elected over incumbents William L. Marcy and John Tracy.[4] The defection of the conservatives was considered a harbinger for the 1840 presidential election, at which Van Buren was defeated by William Henry Harrison.[4]

By the time of New York's 1839 election for U.S. Senator, Tallmadge had become identified with the Whigs, who nominated him for reelection.[4] Democrats controlled the State Senate, and they objected to Tallmadge because of his decision to abandon Van Buren.[4] By refusing to vote, the Democrats in the State Senate prevented any candidate from obtaining a majority.[4] As a result of the legislature's failure to make a choice, Tallmadge's seat became vacant on March 4, 1839.[4] By 1840, the Whigs controlled both houses of the legislature.[4] On January 13, 1840, they reelected Tallmadge to the Senate, and indicated in their approved resolutions that the effective date was as of March 4, 1839.[4][5] He took his seat on January 27, 1840, and served until June 17, 1844, when he resigned to accept appointment as a territorial governor.[4]

In 1840, Tallmadge was offered the Whig nomination for vice president.[6] He declined, and John Tyler was nominated and elected on the Whig ticket with Harrison.[6] According to published accounts in 1841, Tallmadge also declined a cabinet post and an ambassadorship, because he preferred to remain in the Senate.[6]

Governor of Wisconsin Territory

In the early 1840s, Tallmadge purchased a large tract of land in what became Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, in anticipation of constructing a home for his retirement.[7] In 1844, John Tyler, who had become president following Harrison's death, offered Tallmadge the governorship of Wisconsin Territory.[7] He accepted, and moved to Fond du Lac. The Senate confirmed the appointment in June, and Tallmadge arrived in Wisconsin in August.[7] James Duane Doty, who had been governor since 1841, had a contentious relationship with the territorial legislature.[7] Although legislators were initially suspicious of Tallmadge, who had not lived in Wisconsin prior to his appointment, he won them over by taking a conciliatory approach in his initial message. Promising not to take an overly partisan approach, he advocated for the expansion of railroads, in keeping with the position he had taken as a state legislator and a U.S. Senator.[7] He also argued against extending the naturalization period for Wisconsin citizenship to 21 years, and promoted experimental farms and agricultural societies.[7] The legislature authorized printing and distribution of his message, including 750 copies in German, the first time Wisconsin legislators had ever taken such an action.[7]

The 1844 presidential election was won by Democrat James K. Polk.[8] In April 1845, Polk nominated Henry Dodge to serve as territorial governor.[8] Dodge, who had also been Wisconsin Territory's first governor, was easily confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and assumed his new post on April 8, 1845.[8]

Later years

Tallmadge decided to stay in Wisconsin, and built his planned residence in Fond du Lac, where he practiced law while living in semi-retirement.[7] He also maintained a home in Washington, DC, where he frequently traveled to serve as an unofficial ambassador for Wisconsin to the federal government and lobbyist for its interests.[7]

Later in his life Tallmadge became a spiritualist, and was convinced of the existence of the afterlife.[9] He had previously been a believer in premonitions, and claimed he had one that resulted in him narrowly escaped death aboard the USS Princeton when a cannon exploded and took the lives of five people.[9] In the 1840s, he began to claim that he was visited by spirits, and he authored introduction to Charles Linton's The Healing of the Nations, a book which Linton claimed had been dictated to him by ghosts.[9] He also wrote an Appendix to the first volume of Spiritualism by John W. Edmonds and George T. Dexter.[10] After the death of John C. Calhoun, Tallmadge claimed to be visited by his spirit, and said that it could communicate with him.[9] Tallmadge was also reported to be a believer in other supposed spirit communications, including the floor and table rappings that typically accompanied séances.[9]

Personal life

In 1824, Tallmadge was married to Abigail Lewis Smith (1804-1857), the daughter of Judge Isaac Smith of Washington, New York.[11] In 1864, he married Clementine Ring.[11] With his first wife, Tallmadge's children were:

Isaac Smith Tallmadge (b. 1824), who became a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.[11]
• William Davis Tallmadge (1826–1845), who died soon after his graduation from Union College.[11]
Grier Tallmadge (1827–1862), a United States Military Academy graduate and captain in the United States Army.[11] He died at Fort Monroe during the American Civil War.[11]
• Louisa Tallmadge (1829–1830), who died young.[11]
• Mary Louisa Tallmadge (1831–1893), the wife of first Napoleon Boardman of Wisconsin, and second William Baldwin of Philadelphia.[11]
• Laura Tallmadge (1833–1889), the wife of Dr. William T. Galloway of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.[12]

• John James Tallmadge (1835–1897)[11]
• Julia Tallmadge (1835–1919), the wife of bank president Augustus G. Ruggles of Fond du Lac.[11]
• Emily Bartlett Tallmadge (1840–1900), the wife of James D. Tallmadge of Chicago.[11]

In his later years, Tallmadge resided in Harmonia, a planned community for spiritualists in Battle Creek, Michigan.[13] He died in Battle Creek on November 2, 1864,[14] and was buried at Rienzi Cemetery in Fond du Lac.[15]

The first person to be buried at Rienzi Cemetery was Tallmadge's son William, who died in 1845.[15] In 1853, Tallmadge donated eight and a half acres from his home to be used in creating the cemetery.[15] Its trustees subsequently purchased 24 additional acres, which it used for a planned expansion.[15]


Through his daughter Mary Louisa Tallmadge (wife of Napoleon Boardman), he was a grandfather of Charles Ruggles Boardman, an adjutant general of Wisconsin.[16]


1. The Senate, 1789-1989, p. 65.
2. Biographical Sketches of the Distinguished Men of Columbia County, p. 86.
3. The Talmadge, Tallmadge and Talmage Genealogy, p. 85.
4. "Tammany: Early Spoilsmen, and the Reign of the Plug-Uglies", pp. 571-572.
5. Journal of the Assembly of the State of New York (1840), pp. 122-125.
6. "Politics and Statehood", p. 399.
7. Portrait and Biographical Record of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, pp. 121-122.
8. "Politics and Statehood", p. 400.
9. Warriors, Saints, and Scoundrels, pp. 120-122.
10. Plato's Ghost, p. 32.
11. The Talmadge, Tallmadge and Talmage Genealogy, pp. 141-142.
12. The Talmadge, Tallmadge and Talmage Genealogy, pp. 141-1 42.
13. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living, p. 4.
14. Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the United States, p. 489.
15. History of Northern Wisconsin, pp. 907-908.
16. "Photo Description, Brigadier General Charles R. Boardman".



• Andreas, A. T. (1881). History of Northern Wisconsin. Chicago, IL: Western Historical Company.
• Byrd, Robert C. (1993). The Senate, 1789-1989. 4, Historical Statistics. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. ISBN 9780160632563.
• Edmonds, Michael; Snyder, Samantha (2017). Warriors, Saints, and Scoundrels. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Historical Society Press. ISBN 978-0-87020-792-1.
• Gutierrez, Cathy (2009). Plato's Ghost: Spiritualism in the American Renaissance. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-538835-0.
• Lanman, Charles (1887). Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the United States. New York, NY: Joseph M. Morrison. p. 489.
• New York State Assembly (1840). Journal of the Assembly of the State of New York (1840). Albany, NY: Thurlow Weed.
• Raymond, William (1851). Biographical Sketches of the Distinguished Men of Columbia County. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons and Company. p. 86.
• Talmadge, Arthur White (1909). The Talmadge, Tallmadge and Talmage Genealogy. New York, NY: Grafton Press.
• Wilson, Brian C. (2014). Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-01447-4.
• Excelsior Publishing (1894). Portrait and Biographical Record of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. Chicago, IL: Excelsior Publishing Company.


• Edwards, E. J. (May 1895). "Tammany: Early Spoilsmen, and the Reign of the Plug-Uglies". McClure's. Vol. IV no. 6. New York, NY: S. S. McClure, Limited.
• Kellogg, Louise Phelps (June 1920). "The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848: Chapter VI, Politics and Statehood". The Wisconsin Magazine of History. Vol. 3 no. 4. Madison, WI: State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
• Garrett, Eugene G. (2016). "Photo Description, Brigadier General Charles R. Boardman". Oshkosh, WI: Oshkosh Public Museum. Retrieved February 22, 2018.


1. Most sources, including his official U.S. Congress biography page, give his middle name as Pitcher, indicating an association with Nathaniel Pitcher.[1] His gravestone, for some unknown reason, gives his middle name as Potter.[2]

External links

• United States Congress. "Nathaniel P. Tallmadge (id: T000032)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
• Nathaniel P. Tallmadge at Find a Grave
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:40 am

The rise and fall of Harmonia, a Spiritualist utopia and home to Sojourner Truth
Former Sectarian Village Was Once Home to Famed Abolitionist Before Her Arrival in Battle Creek
by Nick Buckley
Battle Creek Enquirer
Published 7:30 a.m. ET Jan. 16, 2019 | Updated 2:38 p.m. ET Jan. 9, 2020

BEDFORD TWP. — Harmonia Cemetery sits atop a hill in a remote part of the Fort Custer Industrial Park.

Surrounded by an eight-foot barbed wire fence, the 176-year-old burial ground is closed to the public, only accessible with permission from Bedford Township, which owns and maintains the property.

There are at least 70 graves at the site. Many of the entombed remains belong to those who, in life, believed it was possible to communicate with the spirits of the dead.

The cemetery overlooks a ghost village called Harmonia, a one-time utopian community which the famed abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth, for a time, called home.

Harmonia was established by Quaker pioneers who had converted to Spiritualism, a religious movement that believed spirits of the dead existed and could communicate with the living, which swept across the country in the years before and during the Civil War.

Financial troubles, a natural disaster and finally the outbreak of World War I put an end to the once sectarian village.

Harmonia is best remembered, if it's remembered at all, as the place that attracted Battle Creek's most celebrated citizen.

However, the small village played an important role in shaping the area into a religiously tolerant community, laying the groundwork for Battle Creek's health reform movement and the cereal industry boom of the early 20th century.

Spiritualist movement

The Spiritualist movement began in 1848, when sisters Kate and Margaret Fox of Hydesville, New York, claimed to have made contact with a spirit through a series of rapping noises.

The girls, aged 15 and 11, quickly became the first celebrity mediums, known for their public seances. They would later reject Spiritualism and claim their initial seance was a hoax, although they attempted to recant their confession.

"It's interesting because in the early 19th century, Spiritualism was one of the fastest-growing religions in the U.S," said Brian C. Wilson, Professor of American Religious History at Western Michigan University. "The country must have been ripe for it, because it took off from there."

It was particularly popular with "Yankee Yorkers," he said, people from New England who settled in upstate New York.

"As they came west, a number brought Spiritualism with them. A lot of liberal Quakers were very interested in Spiritualism. Battle Creek had a Quaker base, they predominated for a while. They converted to Spiritualism as a body, and Battle Creek became this southwest Michigan center for Spiritualism."

Beyond communicating with the spirit world, Spiritualism was a progressive movement that championed health reform, education reform, temperance and social justice causes such as women's rights and the abolition of slavery.

Pioneer converts

It was likely these beliefs that attracted Quaker pioneer Reynolds Cornell and his family to Spiritualism. In 1850, he and his wife, Dorcas, paid $924 for 230 acres of land on the Bedford plain just south of the Kalamazoo River, later established as "Harmonia." The land wasn't officially platted until 1855, with 140 one-acre lots available.

The name "Harmonia" derived from a Spiritualist doctrine that emphasized the harmonious relationship between the physical and spiritual worlds.

The arrival of Quaker settlers and, later, Spiritualists to the Battle Creek area predated the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist church, which is largely credited with seeding the ground for the health reform movement that led to the cereal boom at the turn of the century, which put Battle Creek on the map.

Spiritualists and the Seventh-day Adventists were hardly friendly.

"It might have boiled down to people trying to capture market share," Wilson said. "Part of the problem was since (Seventh-day Adventist founder) Ellen G. White had a revelation in trances, people early on said she is simply a medium practicing a form of Spiritualism, so she rejected that completely. She saw being accused of being a Spiritualists as a negative. She really wanted to differentiate."

But they shared similar beliefs and practices such as health reform, Grahamism, and hydrotherapy. Despite competition between the neighboring sects, the Spiritualists' presence undoubtedly helped shape what became a religiously tolerant environment.

A replica of the Harmonia Village Plat as it appeared in 1857. (Photo: Enquirer file)

"The Quakers were always interested in issues of social justice and anti-slavery. It's this combination of this interest in Spiritualism, health reform, education and all these things kind of made Battle Creek like a cool city of the 19th century in Michigan," Wilson said. "It attracted people who were more open to kind of liberal ideas and the reform effort."

The Cornell's oldest son, Hiram, attended Olivet College and arrived in Harmonia with social and educational reform on his mind. So he and his father established a school, known interchangeably as the Bedford Harmonial Seminary or Bedford Harmonial Institute, in 1852.

The size of the seminary school remains a matter of debate, but what is known is that it was large. Known colloquially as "the bandbox," some sources claimed it to be four stories tall until a fire destroyed part of the upper portion of the building that was likely designated for boarding rooms.

Manual labor like farming was a popular way for students to pay for their education. Due to its place as the only school in the area, it attracted many students who were not members of the Spiritualist community.

At least 106 students were enrolled in 1855, studying Latin, Greek and French languages, mathematics, natural and moral sciences and English.

"The object of the Institution is to accommodate a liberal progressive class of minds," Hiram Cornell, by then the principal of the Bedford Harmonial Institute, stated in the August 29, 1856 edition of the Battle Creek Journal.

The headstone on the grave of Sophia Schuyler, located at Harmonia Cemetery in Bedford. (Photo: Nick Buckley/Battle Creek Enquirer)

Truth and her family

Truth is undoubtedly the best-known resident of Harmonia.

Born into slavery in New York as Isabella "Belle" Baumfree, Truth walked away to freedom in 1826 with the youngest of her then-three children, Sophia Schuyler. Her other daughter and son stayed behind.

Sojourner Truth (Photo: Enquirer file)

In 1843, Baumfree converted to Methodism, shed her slave name and became Sojourner Truth. The following year, she joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry in Northampton, Massachusetts, living in a 500-acre utopian community run by abolitionists. That community dissolved in 1843 due to financial troubles.

Truth's memoir, "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave" was released in 1850. The following year, she delivered her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention.

In 1856, Truth was invited by Battle Creek Quakers to attend a Friends of Human Progress meeting. In June 1857, she purchased an acre of land on the edge of the village of Harmonia for $400. A month later she paid an additional $40 for lot 48 in the village itself.

While living in Harmonia, Truth continued touring the Midwest to give speeches and lectures. According to the 1860 census, her home in Harmonia included her daughter Elizabeth Banks and grandsons James Caldwell and Sammy Banks.

Sophia, the daughter who fled slavery with Truth, would marry Thomas Schulyer, but little else is known about her. Calhoun County land records show that lot 65 in Harmonia, about a 10-yard strip of land, was sold by Sophia and her sister Diana in 1896 for $115.

A 1900 Detroit News editorial stated that Sophia Truth Schuyler was being sent to the Calhoun County poor house and called on the public to support her rescue. She died at the "county farm" in Marshall in 1901 at the age of 75.

Thomas McLiechey lays out a timeline display he created to provide a visual aid for young people learning about Sojourner Truth. (Photo: Nick Buckley/Battle Creek Enquirer)

Sophia and Thomas Schuyler had a daughter named Fannie, who would later marry Frank Liechey. Liechey then changed the family name to McLiechey for reasons unknown. It is through this lineage that Thomas McLiechey, 78, traces his roots as a fifth-generation Truth decedent.

McLiechey said he learned from the late local historian Michael Martich that his great grandmother, Sophia, was buried in an unmarked grave at Harmonia Cemetary. After locating her grave, he said, he purchased a $260 marker about five years ago that reads, "SOPHIA SCHUYLER 1821-1901 DAUGHTER OF SOJOURNER TRUTH."

"Every time I hear about Sojourner Truth, what I learned about her, when she left and walked away that morning, she left with her daughter," McLiechey said. "There's always been two people who walked away to freedom that day. I often wondered why they never mentioned her daughter."

This September 1917 photos shows the first draft contingent arriving at Camp Custer — the Army training camp carved out of the rolling countryside chosen by Spiritualists before the Civil War for a Utopian village named Harmonia. (Photo: Courtesy of Willard Library)

Downfall of a sectarian village

Truth moved to Battle Creek in 1867 and would live at her home on 38 College St. until her death in 1883. She is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Battle Creek, along with her daughters Elizabeth Banks and Diana Corbin.

A plat of Harmonia village in the 1873 Calhoun County atlas shows Truth's house and lot still in her name, but it's unclear if her children or grandchildren continued living at the property. What is known is that Harmonia's status as a Spiritualist utopia was in decline as the nation geared up for the Civil War.

The Bedford Harmonial Institute disbanded in 1860 due to financial difficulties. The Cornells moved to Nebraska in 1863, leaving Harmonia without a major financial backer.

"Spiritualism was kind of a grassroots tradition. There was nobody particularly in charge, no figure like Ellen White (of the Seventh-day Adventists). You had a bunch of radical individuals trying to create a community," Wilson said. "A lot of Spiritualist communities were inherently unstable. There was no creed, you didn't have to believe any dogma.... Too many cooks if you will. I don't think it was fated to survive."

A tornado or cyclone that rolled through the quiet rural area on August 4, 1862, all but put an end to the village.

James H, Roffee, a farmer who settled in Harmonia in 1853, recounted the tornado when he was interviewed for an article in the July 17, 1917 edition of the Battle Creek Enquirer.

"I had a nice farm, but there was one time when I thought I had settled in a bad spot. That was in 1862, when our farm was struck by a tornado," Roffee said. "I happened to be out in the woodshed when the storm broke. The shed was joined onto the kitchen, but was several feet lower than the rest of the house, it turned over and over, and the only thing that saved my life was a joist in the kitchen, that formed a shelter over my head where I lay against the side of the house. When I got out I found my little girl - she's Mrs. C.M. Bradish now - a hundred yards away. She had been blown over the tops of some trees, 40 or 50 feet high. She wasn't hurt much of any, but our little boy was killed."

The old Harmonia school was converted into an automatic rifle school during World War I. (Photo: Courtesy of Thornton collection)

By the mid-1860s, a group of Methodist farmers from Erie County, Pennsylvania, began buying up farmland around Harmonia, effectively ending the Spiritualists' control.

Some of the old Harmonia remained after the Spiritualists left, including a one-room schoolhouse. But that very building where peace and acceptance were taught would eventually be converted into a machine gun school.

In 1917, at the dawn of America's involvement in "The Great War," Harmonia was selected by the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce as the site of a new military "cantonment" or training center for National Army troops.

In less than six months, the $8 million project was completed and it was named Camp Custer (now the Fort Custer Training Center). It is estimated that 90,000 "dough boys" passed through the military camp en route to combat in "The Great War."

James H. Brown, a local historian, taught at the Harmonia school in the 1880s. He was among visitors to return to the schoolhouse during its last day on Sept. 24, 1917.

That same year, in his "Rural Life" column in the Battle Creek Enquirer, Brown wrote of his former schoolhouse and the sign that had been placed above its entryway: "Automatic Rifle School."

"But there is one school house that has the strangest sign over the front door that probably has ever been seen attached to any district school house anywhere in the United States. Some time ago that schoolhouse was deserted. Many of the pupils and their parents moved away. The stories of the old about the queer doings that were going on some three quarters of a century ago didn't hold a candle to what was going on around that old school house these days."

"And all on account of the war."

J.H. Brown sits at the head of the classroom on the last day of school at Harmonia on September 24, 1917. (Photo: Courtesy of the Thornton collection)

Harmonia timeline

1850: Cornell family purchases land and village is laid out

1852: Bedford Harmonial Seminary/Institute opens

1855: Land officially platted

1856-57: Sojourner Truth purchases land

1860: Bedford Harmonial Seminary/Institute disbands

1862: Tornado destroys much of village

1863: Cornell family move to Nebraska

1867: Sojourner Truth moves to 38 College Street in Battle Creek

1917: Camp Custer built on former Harmonia site

More: 'We’ve lost except what we can remember': How a black neighborhood grew and died in Battle Creek

More: Out of respect for local tribe, city will remove a stained glass window that depicts the battle at Battle Creek

Nick Buckley can be reached at or 269-966-0652. Follow him on Twitter:@NickJBuckley
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:01 am

Wilhelm Frick
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/30/20

Wilhelm Frick
Frick in 1938
Reichsminister of the Interior
In office: 30 January 1933 – 20 August 1943
President: Paul von Hindenburg (1933–1934); Adolf Hitler (1934–1943; as Führer)
Chancellor: Adolf Hitler
Preceded by: Franz Bracht
Succeeded by: Heinrich Himmler
Protector of Bohemia and Moravia
In office: 24 August 1943 – 8 May 1945
Appointed by: Adolf Hitler
Preceded by: Konstantin von Neurath (de jure); Kurt Daluege (de facto)
Succeeded by: Position abolished
Personal details
Born: 12 March 1877, Alsenz, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
Died: 16 October 1946 (aged 69), Nuremberg, Bavaria, Allied-occupied Germany
Nationality: German
Political party: Nazi Party
Spouse(s): Elisabetha Emilie Nagel (m. 1910; div. 1934); Margarete Schultze-Naumburg (m. 1934)
Children: 5
Alma mater: University of Munich; University of Göttingen; University of Berlin; University of Heidelberg
Occupation: Attorney

Wilhelm Frick (12 March 1877 – 16 October 1946) was a prominent German politician of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), who served as Reich Minister of the Interior in Adolf Hitler's cabinet from 1933 to 1943[1] and as the last governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

As the head of the Kriminalpolizei (criminal police) in Munich, Frick took part in Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, for which he was convicted of high treason. He managed to avoid imprisonment and soon afterwards became a leading figure of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in the Reichstag. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Frick joined the new government and was named Reich Minister of the Interior. He was instrumental in formulating laws that consolidated the Nazi regime (Gleichschaltung), as well as laws that defined the Nazi racial policy, most notoriously the Nuremberg Laws. Following the rise of the SS, Frick gradually lost favour within the party, and in 1943 he was replaced by Heinrich Himmler as interior minister. Frick remained in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio until Hitler's death in 1945.

After World War II, Frick was tried and convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials and executed by hanging.

Early life and family

Frick was born in the Palatinate municipality of Alsenz, then part of the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, the last of four children of Protestant teacher Wilhelm Frick sen. (d. 1918) and his wife Henriette (née Schmidt). He attended the gymnasium in Kaiserslautern, passing his Abitur exams in 1896. He went on studying philology at the University of Munich, but soon after turned to study law in Heidelberg and Berlin, taking the Staatsexamen in 1900, followed by his doctorate the next year. Serving as a referendary from 1900, he joined the Bavarian civil service in 1903, working as an attorney at the Munich Police Department. He was appointed a Bezirksamtassessor in Pirmasens in 1907 and became acting district executive in 1914. Rejected as unfit, Frick did not serve in World War I. He was promoted to the official rank of a Regierungsassessor and, at his own request, re-assumed his post at the Munich Police Department in 1917.[2]

On 25 April 1910, Frick married Elisabetha Emilie Nagel (1890–1978) in Pirmasens. They had two sons and a daughter. The marriage ended in an ugly divorce in 1934. A few weeks later, on 12 March, Frick remarried in Münchberg Margarete Schultze-Naumburg (1896–1960), the former wife of the Nazi Reichstag MP Paul Schultze-Naumburg. Margarete gave birth to a son and a daughter.[3]

Nazi career

Frick (3rd from left) among the defendants in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch trial, 1924. Adolf Hitler is 4th from the right.

In Munich, Frick witnessed the end of the war and the German Revolution of 1918–1919. He sympathized with Freikorps paramilitary units fighting against the Bavarian government of Premier Kurt Eisner. Chief of Police Ernst Pöhner introduced him to Adolf Hitler, whom he helped willingly with obtaining permissions to hold political rallies and demonstrations.

Elevated to the rank of an Oberamtmann and head of the Kriminalpolizei (criminal police) from 1923, he and Pöhner participated in Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch on 9 November. Frick tried to suppress the State Police's operation, wherefore he was arrested and imprisoned, and tried for aiding and abetting high treason by the People's Court in April 1924. After several months in custody, he was given a suspended sentence of 15 months' imprisonment and was dismissed from his police job. Later during the disciplinary proceedings, the dismissal was declared unfair and revoked, on the basis that his treasonous intention had not been proven. Frick went on to work at the Munich social insurance office from 1926 onwards, in the rank of a Regierungsrat 1st class by 1933.

In the aftermath of the putsch, Wilhelm Frick was elected a member of the German Reichstag parliament in the federal election of May 1924. He had been nominated by the National Socialist Freedom Movement, an electoral list of the far-right German Völkisch Freedom Party and then banned Nazi Party. On 1 September 1925, Frick joined the re-established Nazi Party. He associated himself with the radical Gregor Strasser; making his name by aggressive anti-democratic and antisemitic Reichstag speeches, he climbed to the post of the Nazi parliamentary group leader (Fraktionsführer) in 1928.[4]

In 1929, as the price for joining the coalition government of the Land (state) of Thuringia, the NSDAP received the state ministries of the Interior and Education. On 23 January 1930, Frick was appointed to these ministries, becoming the first Nazi to hold a ministerial-level post at any level in Germany (though he remained a member of the Reichstag).[5] Frick used his position to dismiss Communist and Social Democratic officials and replace them with Nazi Party members, so Thuringia's federal subsidies were temporarily suspended by Reich Minister Carl Severing. Frick also appointed the eugenicist Hans F. K. Günther as a professor of social anthropology at the University of Jena, banned several newspapers, and banned pacifist drama and anti-war films such as All Quiet on the Western Front. He was removed from office by a Social Democratic motion of no confidence in the Thuringian Landtag parliament on 1 April 1931.

Reich Minister

Press session after the first meeting of Hitler's cabinet on 30 January 1933: Frick standing 4th from left

When Reich president Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor on 30 January 1933, Frick joined his government as Reich Minister of the Interior. Together with Reichstag Speaker Hermann Göring, he was one of only two Nazi Reich Ministers in the original Hitler Cabinet, and the only one who actually had a portfolio; Göring served as minister without portfolio until 5 May. Though Frick held a key position, especially in organizing the federal elections of March 1933, he initially had far less power than his counterparts in the rest of Europe. Notably, he had no authority over the police; in Germany law enforcement has traditionally been a state and local matter. Indeed, the main reason that Hindenburg and Franz von Papen agreed to give the Interior Ministry to the Nazis was that it was almost powerless at the time. A mighty rival arose in the establishment of the Propaganda Ministry under Joseph Goebbels on 13 March.

Frick's power dramatically increased as a result of the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933. The provision of the Reichstag Fire Decree giving the cabinet the power to take over state governments on its own authority was actually his idea; he saw the fire as a chance to increase his power and begin the process of Nazifying the country.[6] He was responsible for drafting many of the Gleichschaltung laws that consolidated the Nazi regime.[7] Within a few days of the Enabling Act's passage, Frick helped draft a law appointing Reichskommissare to disempower the state governments. Under the Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich, which converted Germany into a highly centralized state, the newly implemented Reichsstatthalter (state governors) were directly responsible to him. In May 1934, he was appointed Prussian Minister of the Interior under Minister-President Göring, which gave him control over the police in Prussia. By 1935, he also had near-total control over local government. He had the sole power to appoint the mayors of all municipalities with populations greater than 100,000 (except for the city states of Berlin and Hamburg, where Hitler reserved the right to appoint the mayors himself if he deemed it necessary). He also had considerable influence over smaller towns as well; while their mayors were appointed by the state governors, as mentioned earlier the governors were responsible to him.

Frick (2nd from left) with Konrad Henlein on visit in Sudetenland, 1938

Frick was instrumental in the racial policy of Nazi Germany drafting laws against Jewish citizens, like the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" and the notorious Nuremberg Laws in September 1935.[4] Already in July 1933, he had implemented the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring including forced sterilizations, which later culminated in the killings of the Action T4 "euthanasia" programme supported by his ministry. Frick also took a leading part in Germany's re-armament in violation of the 1919 Versailles Treaty. He drafted laws introducing universal military conscription and extending the Wehrmacht service law to Austria after the 1938 Anschluss, as well as to the "Sudetenland" territories of the First Czechoslovak Republic annexed according to the Munich Agreement.[8]

In the summer of 1938 Frick was named the patron (Schirmherr) of the Deutsches Turn- und Sportfest in Breslau, a patriotic sports festival attended by Hitler and much of the Nazi leadership. In this event he presided the ceremony of "handing over" the new Nazi Reich Sports League (NSRL) standard to Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten, marking the further nazification of sports in Germany.[9] On 11 November 1938, Frick promulgated the Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons.

From the mid-to-late 1930s Frick lost favour irreversibly within the Nazi Party after a power struggle involving attempts to resolve the lack of coordination within the Reich government.[10] For example, in 1933 he tried to restrict the widespread use of "protective custody" orders that were used to send people to concentration camps, only to be begged off by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. His power was greatly reduced in June 1936 when Hitler named Himmler the Chief of German Police, which effectively united the police with the SS. On paper, Frick was Himmler's immediate superior. In fact, the police were now independent of Frick's control, since the SS was responsible only to Hitler.[11][12] A long-running power struggle between the two culminated in Frick's being replaced by Himmler as Minister of the Interior in 1943. However, he remained in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio. Besides Hitler, he and Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk were the only members of the Third Reich's cabinet to serve continuously from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor until his death.

Frick's replacement as Reich Minister of the Interior did not reduce the growing administrative chaos and infighting between party and state agencies.[13] Frick was then appointed as Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, making him Hitler's personal representative in the Czech Lands. Its capital Prague, where Frick used ruthless methods to counter dissent, was one of the last Axis-held cities to fall at the end of World War II in Europe.[14]

Trial and execution

Frick in his cell, November 1945

The corpse of Frick after his execution at Nuremberg, 1946

Frick was arrested and tried before the Nuremberg trials, where he was the only defendant besides Rudolf Hess who refused to testify on his own behalf.[15] Frick was convicted of planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and for his role in formulating the Enabling Act as Minister of the Interior and the Nuremberg Laws – under these laws people were deported to concentration camps, and many of those were murdered there. Frick was also accused of being one of the highest persons responsible for the existence of the concentration camps.[8]

Frick was sentenced to death on 1 October 1946, and was hanged at Nuremberg Prison on 16 October. Of his execution, journalist Joseph Kingsbury-Smith wrote:

The sixth man to leave his prison cell and walk with handcuffed wrists to the death house was 69-year-old Wilhelm Frick. He entered the execution chamber at 2.05 am, six minutes after Rosenberg had been pronounced dead. He seemed the least steady of any so far and stumbled on the thirteenth step of the gallows. His only words were, "Long live eternal Germany," before he was hooded and dropped through the trap.[16][17]

His body, as those of the other nine executed men and the corpse of Hermann Göring, was cremated at Ostfriedhof (Munich) and the ashes were scattered in the river Isar.[18][19][20]

See also

• Glossary of Nazi Germany
• List of Nazi Party leaders and officials

Notes and references

1. Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 103, ISBN 0-674-01172-4
2. Biographie, Deutsche. "Frick, Wilhelm - Deutsche Biographie".
3. "Deutsches Historisches Museum: Fehler2".
4. Jump up to:a b "Index Fo-Fy".
5. "Nurnbergprocessen 1".
6. Evans, Richard J. (2003). The Coming of the Third Reich. New York City: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0141009759.
7. "Nazi Party organizations, Reich Interior Minister: Wilhelm Frick (1933–1943)".
8. Jump up to:a b "Nuremberg Trial Defendants: Wilhelm Frick".
9. Dr. Frick presiding the Breslau Games
10. A legalistic follower, rather than an initiator, Frick the servant increasingly lost favour with his master, apparently because he misunderstood the basic nature of the Fuhrer's governance. Whereas the Third Reich thrived on inconsistencies, rivalries, and constant evolutionary change, Frick's juristic mind longed for order and legal stabilization. The incongruity was insuperable and it was thus logical enough that in 1943 the minister, whose share of practical power had rapidly diminished in the second half of the 1930s, ultimately even lost his official post.Udo Sautter, Canadian Journal of History
11. Longerich, Peter (2012). Heinrich Himmler: A Life, Oxford University Press, p. 204.
12. Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography: Volume 1, Ulric, p. 77.
13. Hans Mommsen, The Dissolution of the Third Reich (1943–1945) Archived 7 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
14. Trial:Wilhelm Frick Archived 2 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
15. "The trial of German major war criminals : proceedings of the International Military Tribunal sitting at Nuremberg Germany".
16. Joseph Kingsbury-Smith, who witnessed the execution of Wilhelm Frick and nine other leaders of the Nazi Party on 1st October 1946 Archived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
17. Today, one can see Wilhelm Frick's military dress uniform at Motts Military Museum in Groveport, Ohio. The uniform was found in his home shortly after Frick was arrested in 1945. The soldier who found and brought the items home was a member of the CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps). Richard Roberts was an attorney from Columbus, Ohio who spent the war years in espionage and counter intelligence.
18. Thomas Darnstädt (2005), "Ein Glücksfall der Geschichte", Der Spiegel, 13 September (14), p. 128
19. Manvell 2011, p. 393.
20. Overy 2001, p. 205.

Further reading

• Sautter, Wilhelm Frick: Der Legalist des Unrechtsstaates: Eine politische Biographie, Canadian Journal of History, April 1993

External links

• Newspaper clippings about Wilhelm Frick in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:24 am

Plausible deniability
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/30/20

The Carnegie Institution continued to back eugenics long after its executives became convinced it was a worthless nonscience based on shabby data, and years after they concluded that Harry Hamilton Laughlin himself was a sham.

Laughlin and eugenics in general had become the butt of jokes and the object of reprehension as far back as 1912, when the world learned that its proponents planned to sterilize millions in America and millions more in other nations. Scientists from other disciplines ridiculed the movement as well. Despite the widespread derision, eugenics persevered as a science under siege, battling back for years, fortified by its influential patrons, the power of prejudice and the big money of Carnegie. But the Carnegie Institution's patience began to erode as early as 1922, when Laughlin became a public font of racist ideology during the Congressional immigration restriction hearings. [9]

Carnegie president John C. Merriam continued to be embarrassed by Laughlin's immigration rantings throughout the 1920s. But he tolerated them for the greater agenda of the eugenics movement. However, Laughlin struck a particular nerve in the spring of 1928, while Merriam and a U.S. government official were touring Mexican archaeology sites. During the tour, Mexican newspapers splashed a story that Merriam's Carnegie Institution was proposing that Congress severely limit immigration of Mexicans into the United States. It was Laughlin who prompted the story. [10]

Merriam immediately instructed Davenport to muzzle Laughlin. "He [Merriam] feels especially that you ought not go further," Davenport wrote Laughlin, "... helping the [House] committee on a definition of who may be acceptable as immigrants to the United States from Spanish America. The Spanish Americans are very sensitive on this matter .... It will not do for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, or its officers, to take sides in this political question."
Anticipating Laughlin's predictable argument, Davenport continued, "I know you regard it properly as more than a political question and as a eugenical question -- but it is in politics now, and that means that the institution has to preserve a neutrality." [11]

Yet Laughlin did nothing to restrict his vocal activities. By the end of 1928, Merriam convened an internal committee to review the value of the Eugenics Record Office. In early February of 1929, the committee inspected the Cold Spring Harbor facility and concluded that the accumulation of index cards, trait records and family trees amounted to little more than clutter. They "are of value only to the individual compiling them," the committee wrote, and even then "in most cases they decrease in importance in direct proportion to their age." Some of the files were almost two decades old, and all of them reflected nineteenth-century record-keeping habits now obsolete. The mass of records yielded much private information about individuals and their families, but little hard knowledge on heredity. [12]

Nonetheless, with Davenport and Laughlin lobbying to continue their work, the panel rejected any "radical move, such as relegating them [the files] to dead storage." Instead, Carnegie officials decided a closer affiliation with the Eugenics Research Association [The ERA was affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (fittingly through Section F: "The Zoological Sciences") and had two seats on the Council of the AAAS.] would help the ERO achieve some approximation of genuine science. Hence the Carnegie Institution would continue to operate the ERO under Carnegie's Department of Genetics. [13]

Genetics, however, was not the emphasis at Cold Spring Harbor. Laughlin and his ERO continued their race-based political agitation unabated. Moreover, once Hitler rose to power in 1933, Laughlin forged the ERO, the ERA and Eugenical News into a triumvirate of pro-Nazi agitation.
But things changed when Davenport retired in June of 1934. Laughlin lost his greatest internal sponsor, and with Davenport out of power, Carnegie officials in Washington quickly began to move against Laughlin. They pointedly questioned his race science and indeed the whole concept of eugenics in a world where the genuine science of genetics was now emerging.

Carnegie officials first focused on Eugenical News, which had become a compendium of American raceology and Nazi propaganda. Although Eugenical News was published out of the Carnegie facilities at the ERO, by a Carnegie scientist, and functioned as the official voice of Carnegie's eugenic operations, the Carnegie Institution did not legally own or control Eugenical News. It was Laughlin's enterprise. Carnegie wanted an immediate change and made this clear to Laughlin. [14]

Laughlin became very protective. He had always chosen what would and would not run in Eugenical News, and he even authored much of the text. In a September 11, 1934, letter to Davenport's replacement, Albert F. Blakeslee, Laughlin rebuffed attempts to corral Eugenical News, defensively insisting, "In this formative period of making eugenics into a science, the ideals of the Eugenics Record Office, of the Eugenics Research Association, of the International Congresses and Exhibits of Eugenics, and of the Eugenical News are identical. I feel that the position of the Eugenical News as a scientific journal is quite unique, in that eugenics is a new science, and that the trend and rate of its development, and its ultimate character, will be influenced substantially by the Eugenical News." [15]

Laughlin made clear to Carnegie officials that they simply could not control Eugenical News, because it was legally the property of the Eugenics Research Association -- and Laughlin was the secretary of the ERA. To drive home his point, a Laughlin memo defiantly included typed-in excerpts from committee reports and letters to the printer, plus sample issues going back to 1916 -- all demonstrating the ERA's legal authority over Eugenical News. "I feel that the Institution should go into the matter thoroughly," insisted Laughlin, "and make a clean-cut and definite ruling concerning the relationship of the Carnegie Institution (represented by the Eugenics Record Office) to the Eugenical News." [16]

By now, Carnegie felt it was again time to formally revisit the worth of Laughlin and eugenics. A new advisory committee was assembled, spearheaded by archaeologist A.V. [Alfred Vincent] Kidder. He began assembling information on Laughlin's activities
, and Laughlin was only too happy to cooperate, almost boastfully inundating Kidder with folder after folder of material. With Davenport in retirement, Laughlin undoubtedly felt he was heir to Cold Spring Harbor's throne. He sent Washington a passel of demands about revamping Cold Spring Harbor's administrative structure, renovations of its property and new budget requests for 1935. [17]

Kidder was not encouraging. He wrote back, "I think I ought to tell you that I feel quite certain that the administrative and financial changes which you advocate are extremely unlikely, in my opinion, to be carried into effect in 1935." Kidder was virtually besieged with Laughlin's written and printed submissions to support his requests for a sweeping expansion of the ERO. On November 1, 1934, Kidder acknowledged, "I am at present reviewing all the correspondence and notes in my possession relative to the whole Cold Spring Harbor situation and in the course of a few days I shall prepare a memorandum for Dr. Merriam." But within two days, Kidder conceded that he was overwhelmed. "I have read all the material you sent me with close attention," he wrote Laughlin. "I have also read all the Year Book reports of the Eugenics Record Office .... I am now trying to correlate all this information in what passes for my brain." [18]

On Sunday, June 16 and Monday, June 17, 1935, the advisory committee led by Kidder visited Cold Spring Harbor, touring both the ERO and the adjacent Carnegie Station for Experimental Evolution. Laughlin's residence, provided by the Carnegie Institution, was one of the buildings in the compound, and Mrs. Laughlin graciously prepared Sunday lunch and Monday dinner for the delegation. The men found her hospitality delightful, and Laughlin's presentations exhaustive. But after a thorough examination, the advisory committee concluded that the Eugenics Record Office was a worthless endeavor from top to bottom, yielding no real data, and that eugenics itself was not science but rather a social propaganda campaign with no discernible value to the science of either genetics or human heredity. [19]

Almost a million ERO records assembled on individuals and families were "unsatisfactory for the scientific study of human genetics," the advisory committee explained, "because so large a percentage of the questions concern ... traits, such as 'self-respect,' 'holding a grudge,' 'loyalty,' [and] 'sense of humor,' which can seldom truly be known to anyone outside an individual's close associates; and which will hardly ever be honestly recorded, even were they measurable, by an associate or by the individual concerned." [20]

While much ERO attention was devoted to meaningless personality traits, key physical traits were being recorded so sloppily by "untrained persons" and "casually interested individuals" that the advisory committee concluded this data was also "relatively worthless for genetic study." The bottom line: a million index cards, some 35,000 files, and innumerable other records merely occupied "a great amount of the small space available ... and, worst of all, they do not appear to us really to permit satisfactory use of the data." [21]

The advisory committee recommended that all genealogical and eugenic tracking activities cease, and that the cards be placed in storage until whatever bits of legitimate heredity data they contained could be properly extracted and analyzed using an IBM punch card system. A million index cards had accumulated during some two decades, but because of the project's starting date in 1910 and Laughlin's unscientific methodology, the data had never been analyzed by IBM's data processing system. This fact only solidified the advisory committee's conclusion that the Eugenics Record Office was engaged in mere biological gossip backed up by reams of worthless documents. The advisory committee doubted that the demographic muddle would "ever be of value," and added its hope that "never again ... should records be allowed to bank up to such an extent that they cannot be kept currently analyzed."[22]

The advisory committee vigorously urged that "The Eugenics Record Office should engage in no new undertaking; and that all current activities should be discontinued save for Dr. Laughlin's work in preparation of his final report upon the Race Horse investigation." Moreover, the advisory committee emphasized, "The Eugenics Record Office should devote its entire energies to pure research divorced from all forms of propaganda and the urging or sponsoring of programs for social reform or race betterment such as sterilization, birth-control, inculcation of race or national consciousness, restriction of immigration, etc. Hence it might be well for the personnel of the Office to discontinue connection with the Eugenical News." Committee members concluded, "Eugenics is by generally accepted definition and understanding not a science." They insisted that any further involvement with Cold Spring Harbor be devoid of the word eugenics and instead gravitate to the word genetics.

Geneticist L. C. Dunn, a member of the advisory committee traveling in Europe at the time, added his opinion in a July 3, 1935, letter, openly copied to Laughlin. Dunn was part of a growing school of geneticists demanding a clean break between eugenics and genetics. "With genetics," advised Dunn, "its relations have always been close, although there have been distinct signs of cleavage in recent years, chiefly due to the feeling on the part of many geneticists that eugenical research was not always activated by purely disinterested scientific motives, but was influenced by social and political considerations tending to bring about too rapid application of incompletely proved theses. In the United States its [the eugenics movement's] relations with medicine have never been close, the applications having more often been made through sociology than through medicine, although the basic problems involved are biological and medical ones." [24]

Dunn wondered if it wasn't time to shut down Cold Spring Harbor altogether and move the operation to a university where such an operation could collaborate with other disciplines.
"There would seem to me to be no peculiar advantages in the Cold Spring Harbor location." As it stood, '''Eugenics' has come to mean an effort to foster a program of social improvement rather than an effort to discover facts." In that regard, Dunn made a clear comparison to Nazi excesses. "I have just observed in Germany," he wrote, "some of the consequences of reversing the order as between program and discovery. The incomplete knowledge of today, much of it based on a theory of the state, which has been influenced by the racial, class and religious prejudices of the group in power, has been embalmed in law, and the avenues to improvement in the techniques of improving the population have been completely closed." [25]

Dunn's July 3 letter continued with even more pointed comparisons to Nazi Germany. "The genealogical record offices have become powerful agencies of the [German] state," he wrote, "and medical judgments even when possible, appear to be subservient to political purposes. Apart from the injustices in individual cases, and the loss of personal liberty, the solution of the whole eugenic problem by fiat eliminates any rational solution by free competition of ideas and evidence. Scientific progress in general seems to have a very dark future. Although much of this is due to the dictatorship, it seems to illustrate the dangers which all programs run which are not continually responsive to new knowledge, and should certainly strengthen the resolve which we generally have in the U.S. to keep all agencies which contribute to such questions as free as possible from commitment to fixed programs." [26]

Carnegie's advisory committee could not have been more clear: eugenics was a dangerous sham, the ERO was a worthless and expensive undertaking devoid of scientific value, and Laughlin was purely political. But as Hitler rose and the situation of the Jews in Europe worsened, and the plight of refugees seeking entry into the United States became ever more desperate, the Carnegie Institution elected to ignore its own findings about Cold Spring Harbor and continue its economic and political support for Laughlin and his enterprises. Shortly after Merriam reviewed the advisory committee's conclusions, the Reich passed the Nuremberg Laws in September of 1935. Those of Jewish ancestry were stripped of their civil rights. Laughlin, Eugenical News and the Cold Spring Harbor eugenics establishment propagandized that the laws were merely sound science. Eugenical News even gave senior Nazi leaders a platform to justify their decrees. The Carnegie Institution still took no action against its Cold Spring Harbor enterprise.

In 1936, the brutal Nazi concentration camps multiplied. Systematic Jewish pauperization accelerated. Jews continued fleeing Germany in terror, seeking entry anywhere. But American consulates refused them visas. In the face of the humanitarian crisis, Laughlin continued to advise the State Department and Congress to enforce stiff eugenic immigration barriers against Jews and other desperate refugees. The Carnegie Institution still took no action against its Cold Spring Harbor enterprise. [27]

In 1937, Nazi street violence escalated and Germany increasingly vowed to extend its master race to all of Europe -- and to completely cleanse the continent of Jews. Laughlin, Eugenical News and the eugenics establishment continued to agitate in support of the Reich's goals and methods, and even distributed the anti-Semitic Nazi film, Erbkrank. The Carnegie Institution still took no action against its Cold Spring Harbor enterprise. [28]

One of hard propaganda Nazi films produced by the Office of Racial Policy in the National Socialist Racial and Political Office meant to warn the greater public about the dangers and costs posed by mentally ill and mentally retarded people.

"Erbkrank” [The Hereditary Defective] was directed by Herbert Gerdes. It was one of six propagandistic movies produced by the NSDAP, Reichsleitung, Rassenpolitisches Amt or the Office of Racial Policy, from 1935 to 1937 to demonize people in Nazi Germany diagnosed with mental illness and mental retardation.

The goal was to gain public support for the T4 Euthanasia Program then in the works. This film, as the others, was made with actual footage of patients in Nazi German psychiatric institutions.

Adolf Hitler reportedly liked the film so much that he encouraged the production of the full-length film "Opfer der Vergangenheit: Die Sünde wider Blut und Rasse” (English: Victims of the Past: The Sin against Blood and Race).
In 1937, Erbkrank was reportedly showing in nearly all Berlin film theaters.

-- Erbkrank (1936), by Tiergartenstrasse 4 Association

In 1938, as hundreds of thousands of new refugees appeared, an emergency intergovernmental conference was convened at Evian, France. It was fruitless. Germany then decreed that all Jewish property was to be registered, a prelude to comprehensive liquidation and seizure. In November, Kristallnacht shocked the world. Nazi agitation was now spreading into every country in Europe. Austria had been absorbed into the Reich. Hitler threatened to devour other neighboring countries as well. Laughlin, Eugenical News and the eugenics establishment still applauded the Hitler campaign. By the end of 1938, however, the Carnegie Institution realized it could not delay action much longer. [29]

On January 4, 1939, newly installed Carnegie president Vannevar Bush put Laughlin on notice that while his salary for the year was assured, Bush was not sure how much funding the ERO would receive -- if any. At the same time, Jews from across Europe continued to flee the Continent, many begging to enter America because no other nation would take them. In March of 1939, the Senate Immigration Committee asked Bush if Laughlin could appear for another round of testimony to support restrictive "remedial legislation." Bush permitted Laughlin to appear, and only asked him to limit his unsupportable scientific assertions. But Laughlin was not prohibited from again promoting eugenic and racial barriers as the best basis for immigration policy. Indeed, the Carnegie president reminded him, "One has to express opinions when he appears in this sort of inquiry, and I believe that yours will be found to be a conservative and well-founded estimate of the situation facing the Committee." Bush added that he had personally reviewed Laughlin's prior testimony and felt it was "certainly well handled and valuable." [30]

After testifying, Laughlin received a postcard at the Carnegie Institution in Washington from an irate citizen in Los Angeles. "As an American descendant of Americans for over 300 years, I'd like to learn what prompted you to supply [the Senate Immigration Committee] ... with so much material straight from Hitler's original edition of Mein Kampf." [31]

At about this time, Laughlin was also permitted to testify before the Special Committee on Immigration and Naturalization of the New York State Chamber of Commerce. In May of 1939, Laughlin's report, Immigration and Conquest, was published under the imprimatur of the New York State Chamber of Commerce and "Harry H. Laughlin, Carnegie Institution of Washington." The 267-page document, filled with raceological tenets, claimed that America would soon suffer "conquest by settlement and reproduction" through an infestation of defective immigrants. As a prime illustration, Laughlin offered "The Parallel Case of the House Rat," in which he traced rodent infestation from Europe to the rats' ability "to travel in sailing ships." [32]

Laughlin then explained, in a section entitled "The Jew as an Immigrant Into the United States," that Jews were being afforded too large a quota altogether because they were being improperly considered by their nationality instead of as a distinct racial type. By Laughlin's calculations, no more than six thousand Jews per year ought to be able to enter the United States under the existing national quota system -- the system he helped organize a half-decade earlier -- but many more were coming in because they were classified as German or Russian or Polish instead of Jewish. He asked that Jews in the United States "assimilate" properly and prove their "loyalty to the American institutions" was "greater than their loyalty to Jews scattered through other nations." Immigration and Conquest's precepts were in many ways identical to Nazi principles. Laughlin and the ERO proudly sent a copy to Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, as well as to other leading Nazis, including Verschuer, Lenz, Ploetz and even Rudin at a special address care of a university in occupied Czechoslovakia. [33]

In late 1938, the Carnegie Institution finally disengaged from Eugenical News. The publication became a quarterly completely under the aegis of the American Eugenics Society, published out of AES offices in Manhattan, with a new editorial committee that did not include Laughlin or any other Carnegie scientist. The first issue of the reorganized publication was circulated in March of 1939. Shortly thereafter, the Carnegie Institution formalized Laughlin's retirement, effective at the end of the year. On September 1, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland, igniting World War II. Highly publicized atrocities against Polish Jews began at once, shocking the world.
Efforts by Laughlin in the final months of 1939 to find a new sponsor for the ERO were unsuccessful. On December 31, 1939, Laughlin officially retired. The Eugenics Record Office was permanently closed the same day. [34]

-- War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race, by Edwin Black

Plausible deniability is the ability of people (typically senior officials in a formal or informal chain of command) to deny knowledge of or responsibility for any damnable actions committed by others in an organizational hierarchy because of a lack of evidence that can confirm their participation, even if they were personally involved in or at least willfully ignorant of the actions. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such acts to insulate themselves and shift blame onto the agents who carried out the acts, as they are confident that their doubters will be unable to prove otherwise. The lack of evidence to the contrary ostensibly makes the denial plausible (that is, credible), although sometimes it merely makes it unactionable. The term typically implies forethought, such as intentionally setting up the conditions to plausibly avoid responsibility for one's (future) actions or knowledge. In some organizations, legal doctrines such as command responsibility exist to hold major parties responsible for the actions of subordinates involved in heinous acts and nullify any legal protection that their denial of involvement would carry.

In politics and espionage, deniability refers to the ability of a powerful player or intelligence agency to pass the buck and avoid blowback by secretly arranging for an action to be taken on their behalf by a third party ostensibly unconnected with the major player. In political campaigns, plausible deniability enables candidates to stay clean and denounce third-party advertisements that use unethical approaches or potentially libellous innuendo.

In the US, plausible deniability is also a legal concept. It refers to lack of evidence proving an allegation. Standards of proof vary in civil and criminal cases. In civil cases, the standard of proof is "preponderance of the evidence" whereas in a criminal matter, the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt". If an opponent cannot provide evidence for his allegation, one can plausibly deny the allegation even though it may be true.

Although plausible deniability has existed throughout history, that name for it was coined by the CIA in the early 1960s to describe the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge. The roots of the name go back to Harry Truman's United States National Security Council paper 10/2 of June 18, 1948, which defined "covert operations" as "...all activities (except as noted herein) which are conducted or sponsored by this Government against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and executed that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them."[1] During Eisenhower's administration, NSC 10/2 was incorporated into more specific NSC 5412/2 "Covert Operations."[2] NSC 5412 was de-classified in 1977, and is located at the National Archives.[3]


Arguably, the key concept of plausible deniability is plausibility. It is relatively easy for a government official to issue a blanket denial of an action, and it is possible to destroy or cover up evidence after the fact, and this might be sufficient to avoid a criminal prosecution, for instance. However, the public might well disbelieve the denial, particularly if there is strong circumstantial evidence, or if the action is believed to be so unlikely that the only logical explanation is that the denial is false.

The concept is even more important in espionage. Intelligence may come from many sources, including human sources. The exposure of information to which only a few people are privileged may directly implicate some of those people in the disclosure. Take for example a scenario where an official is traveling secretly, and only one of his aides knows the specific travel plans. The official is assassinated during his travels, and the circumstances of the assassination strongly suggest that the assassin had foreknowledge of the official's travel plans. The probable conclusion is that his aide has betrayed the official. There may be no direct evidence linking the aide to the assassin, but collaboration can be inferred from the facts alone, thus making the aide's denial implausible.


The expression "plausibly deniable" was first used publicly by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Allen Dulles.[4] The idea, on the other hand, is considerably older. For example, in the 19th century, Charles Babbage described the importance of having "a few simply honest men" on a committee who could be temporarily removed from the deliberations when "a peculiarly delicate question arises" so that one of them could "declare truly, if necessary, that he never was present at any meeting at which even a questionable course had been proposed."[5]

Church Committee

A U.S. Senate committee, the Church Committee, in 1974–1975 conducted an investigation of the intelligence agencies. In the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the CIA, going back to the Kennedy administration, had plotted the assassination of a number of foreign leaders, including Cuba's Fidel Castro. But the president himself, who clearly was in favor of such actions, was not to be directly involved, so that he could deny knowledge of it. This was given the term 'plausible denial'.[6]

Non-attribution to the United States for covert operations was the original and principal purpose of the so-called doctrine of "plausible denial." Evidence before the Committee clearly demonstrates that this concept, designed to protect the United States and its operatives from the consequences of disclosures, has been expanded to mask decisions of the president and his senior staff members.

— Church Committee[7]

Plausible denial involves the creation of power structures and chains of command loose and informal enough to be denied if necessary. The idea was that the CIA (and, later, other bodies) could be given controversial instructions by powerful figures—up to and including the President himself—but that the existence and true source of those instructions could be denied if necessary; if, for example, an operation went disastrously wrong and it was necessary for the administration to disclaim responsibility.

Legislative barriers after the Church Committee

The Hughes–Ryan Act of 1974 sought to put an end to plausible denial by requiring a Presidential finding that each operation is important to national security, and the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980 required that Congress be notified of all covert operations. But both laws are full of enough vague terms and escape hatches to allow the executive branch to thwart their authors' intentions, as the Iran–Contra affair has shown. Indeed, the members of Congress are in a dilemma: when they are informed, they are in no position to stop the action, unless they leak its existence and thereby foreclose the option of covertness.[8]

Media reports

The (Church Committee) conceded that to provide the United States with "plausible denial" in the event that the anti-Castro plots were discovered, Presidential authorization might have been subsequently "obscured". (The Church Committee) also declared that, whatever the extent of the knowledge, Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson should bear the "ultimate responsibility" for the actions of their subordinates.[9]

CIA officials deliberately used Aesopian language[10] in talking to the President and others outside the agency. (Richard Helms) testified that he did not want to "embarrass a President" or sit around an official table talking about "killing or murdering." The report found this "circumlocution"[11] reprehensible, saying: "Failing to call dirty business by its rightful name may have increased the risk of dirty business being done." The committee also suggested that the system of command and control may have been deliberately ambiguous, to give Presidents a chance for "plausible denial."[12]

What made the responsibility difficult to pin down in retrospect was a sophisticated system of institutionalized vagueness and circumlocution whereby no official - and particularly a President - had to officially endorse questionable activities. Unsavory orders were rarely committed to paper and what record the committee found was shot through with references to "removal," "the magic button"[13] and "the resort beyond the last resort." Thus the agency might at times have misread instructions from on high, but it seemed more often to be easing the burden of presidents who knew there were things they didn't want to know. As former CIA director Richard Helms told the committee: "The difficulty with this kind of thing, as you gentlemen are all painfully aware, is that nobody wants to embarrass a President of the United States."[14]

Iran–Contra affair

In his testimony to the congressional committee studying the Iran–Contra affair, Vice Admiral John Poindexter stated: "I made a deliberate decision not to ask the President, so that I could insulate him from the decision and provide some future deniability for the President if it ever leaked out."[15]

Declassified government documents

• Pentagon papers October 25, 1963 Telegram from the Ambassador in Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. to Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy on US Options with Respect to a Possible Coup, mentioning the term plausible denial Alternative link (See Telegram 216)
• CIA and White House documents on covert political intervention in the 1964 Chilean election declassified. The CIA's Chief of Western Hemisphere Division, J.C. King, recommended that funds for the campaign "be provided in a fashion causing (Eduardo Frei Montalva president of Chile) to infer United States origin of funds and yet permitting plausible denial"[16]
• Training files of the CIA's covert "Operation PBSUCCESS," for the 1954 coup in Guatemala. According to the National Security Archive: "Among the documents found in the training files of Operation PBSUCCESS and declassified by the Agency is a CIA document titled 'A Study of Assassination.' A how-to guide book in the art of political killing, the 19-page manual offers detailed descriptions of the procedures, instruments, and implementation of assassination." The manual states that to provide plausible denial, "no assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded."[17]


The doctrine has at least five major flaws:

• It was an open door to the abuse of authority; it required that the parties in question could be said to have acted independently, which in the end was tantamount to giving them license to act independently.[18]
• The denials are sometimes seen as plausible and were sometimes seen through by both the media and the populace.[19] One aspect of the Watergate crisis is the repeated failure of the doctrine of plausible deniability, which the administration repeatedly attempted to use to stop the scandal affecting President Richard Nixon and his aides.
• "Plausible denial" only increases the risk of misunderstanding between senior officials and their employees.[20]
• If the claim fails, it seriously discredits the political figure invoking it as a defense. ("It's not the crime, it's the cover-up")
• If it succeeds, it creates the impression that the government is not in control of the state. ("Asleep at the switch")

Other examples

Another example of plausible deniability is someone who actively avoids gaining certain knowledge of facts because it benefits that person not to know.

As an example, an attorney may suspect that facts exist which would hurt his case, but decide not to investigate the issue because if the attorney had actual knowledge, the rules of ethics might require him to reveal those facts to the opposing side.

Council on Foreign Relations

"...the U.S. government may at times require a certain deniability. Private activities can provide that deniability." —Council on Foreign Relations, an American foreign policy think tank, in the 2003 report, "Finding America's Voice: A Strategy for Reinvigorating U.S. Public Diplomacy"

Use in computer networks

In computer networks, deniability often refers to a situation where a person can deny transmitting a file, even when it is proven to come from their computer.

This is sometimes done by setting the computer to relay certain types of broadcasts automatically, in such a way that the original transmitter of a file is indistinguishable from those who are merely relaying it. In this way, the person who first transmitted the file can claim that their computer had merely relayed it from elsewhere.

It can also be done by a VPN where the host is not known.

In any case, this claim cannot be disproven without a complete decrypted log of all network connections.

Freenet file sharing

The Freenet file sharing network is another application of the idea. It obfuscates data sources and flows in order to protect operators and users of the network by preventing them (and, by extension, observers such as censors) from knowing where data comes from and where it is stored.

Use in cryptography

In cryptography, deniable encryption may be used to describe steganographic techniques, where the very existence of an encrypted file or message is deniable in the sense that an adversary cannot prove that an encrypted message exists. In this case the system is said to be 'fully undetectable' (FUD). Some systems take this further, such as MaruTukku, FreeOTFE and (to a much lesser extent) TrueCrypt and VeraCrypt, which nest encrypted data. The owner of the encrypted data may reveal one or more keys to decrypt certain information from it, and then deny that more keys exist, a statement which cannot be disproven without knowledge of all encryption keys involved. The existence of "hidden" data within the overtly encrypted data is then deniable in the sense that it cannot be proven to exist.


The Underhanded C Contest is an annual programming contest involving the creation of carefully crafted defects, which have to be both very hard to find and plausibly deniable as mistakes once found.

See also

• At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA
• Black op
• Buck passing
• Church Committee
• Deniable encryption
• Equivocation
• Extraordinary rendition
• Gaslighting
• Leaderless resistance
• Lone wolf (terrorism)
• Operation PBSUCCESS
• Opposition research
• Stalking horse
• Willful blindness
• Willful violation
• Working Towards the Führer



1. Office of the Historian, Department of State. National Security Council Directive on Office of Special Projects (NSC 10/2),Washington, June 18, 1948.
2. Office of the Historian, Department of State. Covert Operations (NSC 5412/2), Washington, undated.
3. Records of the National Security Council (NSC), Record Group 273.
4. Carlisle, Rodney P (2003). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Spies and Espionage. Alpha Books. ISBN 0-02-864418-2. p. 213
5. Babbage, Charles (1864). Passages from the Life of a Philosopher. Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green. p. 261-262
6. Zinn, Howard (1991). Declarations of Independence: Cross Examining American Ideology. Perennial. ISBN 0-06-092108-0., pg 16
7. Church Committee Reports United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Senate, Nov. 20, 1975, II. Section B Covert Action as a Vehicle for Foreign Policy Implementation Page 11
8. New York Times Under Cover, or Out of Control? November 29, 1987 Section 7; Page 3, Column 1 (Book Review of 2 books: The Perfect Failure and Covert Action)
9. New York Times Castro Study Plot finds No Role by White House, November 21, 1975, page 52
10. Definition: Using or having ambiguous or allegorical meanings, especially to elude political censorship: "They could express their views only in a diluted form, resorting to Aesopian hints and allusions" (Isaac Deutscher).
11. Definition: The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language, Evasion in speech or writing, An indirect way of expressing something
12. New York Times How Fantasies Became Policy, Out of Control, The Honorable, Murderous Gentlemen of A Secret World, November 23, 1975, page 199.
13. Definition of the "Magic Button" from the Los Angeles Times Article: The Search for a 'Magic Button' In American Foreign Policy; October 18, 1987; (Review by David Aaron of the book Covert Action) I recall during my days as a Senate investigator finding a piece of yellow note pad with jottings from a meeting with White House officials during the Kennedy Administration that discussed an "Executive Action" or, in plain English, an assassination capability. The notes referred to it as the "magic button."
14. Newsweek The CIA'S Hit List, December 1, 1975, page 28
15. Jamieson, Kathleen Hall (1993). Dirty Politics: Deception, Distraction, and Democracy. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-508553-1.p. 86
16. "Chile 1964: CIA covert support in Frei election detailed; operational and policy records released for first time". National Security Archive. Retrieved 2006-07-08.
17. "CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents". National Security Archive. Retrieved 2006-07-08.
18. Church Committee II. Section B Page 11; IV. Findings and Conclusions Section C Subsection 1 Page 261:
An additional possibility is that the President may, in fact, not be fully and accurately informed about a sensitive operation because he failed to receive the "circumlocutious" message ... The Committee finds that the system of Executive command and control was so inherently ambiguous that it is difficult to be certain at what level assassination activity was known and authorized. This creates the disturbing prospect that assassination activity might have been undertaken by officials of the United States Government without its having been incontrovertibly clear that there was explicit authorization from the President of the United States.
19. Church Committee IV. Findings and Conclusions Section C Subsection 5 Page 277:
It was naive for policymakers to assume that sponsorship of actions as big as the [Bay of Pigs] invasion could be concealed. The Committee's investigation of assassination and the public disclosures which preceded the inquiry demonstrate that when the United States resorted to cloak-and-dagger tactics, its hand was ultimately exposed.
20. Church Committee IV. Section C Subsection 5 Page 277:
"Plausible denial" increases the risk of misunderstanding. Subordinate officials should describe their proposals in clear, precise, and brutally frank language; superiors are entitled to, and should demand, no less

Further reading

• Campbell, Bruce B. (2000). Death Squads in Global Perspective : Murder With Deniability. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-21365-4.
• Shulsky, Abram N; Gary James Schmitt (2002). Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence. pp. 93–94, 130–132. ISBN 1-57488-345-3.
• Treverton, Gregory F. (1988). Covert Action: The CIA and the Limits of American Intervention in the Postwar World. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-85043-089-6.
• Michael Poznansky (2020) "Revisiting plausible deniability." Journal of Strategic Studies.

External links

• Sections of the Church Committee about plausible denial on
• Church Committee reports (Assassination Archives and Research Center)
• Church Report: Covert Action in Chile 1963-1973 (U.S. Dept. of State)
• Original 255 pages of Church Committee "Findings and Conclusions" in pdf file
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