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Black Friday, Part 1

February 16, 2017

Ulysses S. Grant was inaugurated on March 4, 1869.  That was also the day Grant’s sister Virginia met Abel Rathbone Corbin.  They were married on May 13 of that same year.

By May 1869 the Grant Administration had established itself as a force for stable currency and debt reduction.  This meant that outstanding Civil War debts were to be paid in dollars that were backed by gold.  Meanwhile, Grant’s new brother-in-law introduced him to some wealthy businessmen from the East.

These men entertained the President, but they were not his friends.  They merely hoped to gain insider information in order to accumulate even more wealth for themselves.  Grant gave them no information, but somehow they believed he was communicating with them through his brother-in-law, and Corbin was willing to let them continue in that belief.

It all came to an end on Black Friday, September 24, 1869.

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