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Silent3 30 March 2011 12:39 AM

Bankers' Manifesto of 1892

We (the bankers) must proceed with caution and guard every move made, for the lower order of people are already showing signs of restless commotion. Prudence will therefore show a policy of apparently yielding to the popular will until our plans are so far consummated that we can declare our designs without fear of any organized resistance...
And so on, as supposedly "(r)evealed by US Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr." to Congress at some unspecified time in the vague range of 1907-1917.

The writing seems so blatantly absurd as to hardly need debunking (the Snidely Whiplash mustache twirling gets worse as the piece goes on), but when I ran across this alleged "manifesto" here...

...then did a search on Google, I got many, many hits on many conspiracy-oriented web sites. I couldn't find, however, any debunking apart from one hit on a web site which itself was hardly a source of objective commentary.

I couldn't find anything about this on Snopes. Has anyone else here run across this manifesto before? The number of search hits I got makes it appear to be quite popular in some circles.

I'm happy to note that the crowd at Democratic Underground (which is often too ready to uncritically latch onto anything that reinforces the notion that Big Evil Business Is Out to Get Us) by and large isn't buying this particular story.

samclem 22 April 2011 02:04 AM

It's true. Use Google books to find this. I used the following quote--


At the coming Omaha Convention to be held July 4th 1892....

Start reading at the bottom of p.71 and continue to p.72. They didn't talk about bankers, just Wall Street.

Richard W 22 April 2011 08:50 AM

I can't work out how to use that Google Books link to reliably search inside things. (It takes me to the cover page for an 1893 economics text called "Imperialism in America"). I couldn't see whether it contained the text in question, but if it does, then it's not the primary source because the general theme of that book seems to be against the sort of capitalism that the Manifesto puts forward.

Other Google Books searches turned up (the covers of) a lot of other manifestos and meeting minutes from the late 19th and early 20th century that would have used similar language, but as far as I can see they're all from people and organisations that represent worker's movements and socialist ideas - in other words, people who would be using this as anti-capitalist propaganda for "what the other side thinks", rather than as a genuine text representing their own ideas.

I found the exact text on page 3 of a book / set of minutes called The Stone Cutters' Journal from 1922 (so way after it was meant to be written) but again, can't work out how to link to that or even open the book properly to see the full text. Perhaps my computer skills have suddenly vanished... According to Google Books, the overall theme of that book is "masonry". The Stone Cutters doesn't sound like a socialist organisation - it sounds more like a joke from The Simpsons - but it's hard to see who these people were, and whether they would have agreed with the sentiments in the Manifesto or not. Perhaps they were called that as an ironic reaction against the Masons, rather than to show similarity with the Masons?

Do you have a link to the actual manifesto itself? If real, it would presumably have belonged to a small political party or group.

(eta) I found it more useful to search for a phrase like "they will be more tractable and easily governed", which relates to the content. Searching for the convention details just brings up lots of other people who were going to say things at that convention. The Google Books search algorithm doesn't seem to rate exact phrase matching as a high priority - the book which did contain the exact phrase was half-way down the first page. Interestingly, there seems to be a thesaurus from 1890 which includes a very similar phrase as part of a definition or usage of the word "tractable". Which might suggest that whoever wrote the piece in the OP used a thesaurus to get ideas. But again, I couldn't actually look inside the book to check this.

samclem 22 April 2011 04:04 PM

Not sure why you can't read the whole book using the Google Book link.

The author said

In further confirmation of out position, the Chicago Daily Press recently published a dispatch from Wall Streeet, dated March 21, 1892, in which the capitalists, after setting forth the conditions of the country, instructed their henchmen in the course to be pursued in the following language:

We must proceed with caution and guard well every move mad, for the lower orders of the people are already showing signs or restless commotion. Prudence, etc, etc.

Milo's Mom 12 October 2011 04:26 PM

a case in being careful with quotes
I have had to deal with the quote a few times (I am a librarian) but when it has come my way it is always referenced to and 1894 Bankers Magazine article.

This quote seems to have popped up several times and with the Internet has made a resurgence – no one ever seems to want to check to see if it is a valid quote however. It sounds good to those who are scared of international bankers conspiracies.

In doing the research I did find a digitized copy of a "Bankers Magazine" article from the August 1920 edition, that seems to want to debunk that quote. What is reprinted in the magazine, they say in the article, is reprinted from 1892 pamphlets. I see the quote "Omaha convention to be held July 4, 1892" appears and this may be where the magazine gets the 1892 date. There was a Populist (or People's) Party on that date in Omaha so this might be what is referred to (<>). I can't date this prior to 1920 so I don't know when it first appeared, other than to say that the editors of "Bankers Magazine" felt the need to debunk it by 1920. It does seem like something that a populist group would if not publish themselves, attract people who would do it on their own.

This issue seems to have come up again in 1933 when the magazine addressed it again and reference the 1920 piece again rebutting that is ever ran in their publication. They don't attribute it to 1892 specifically but the 1890's generally.

Further, in 1936 the Wall Street Journal also had to run a piece denying in any way that they ran that piece. I have also seen that it supposedly ran in The New American in February 1934 but I am not sure which publication out of several with a similar title, it is. I have even see it attributed to Charles Lindbergh (It seems likely that if Lindbergh used it then it is possible that he got it in the second wave -if the 1920's Bankers magazine dating is correct).

ugly dog 15 October 2011 05:02 PM

i know this is going to be throwing an extra conspiracy into the mix, but isn't this really just another rewrite of the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion?

slowstidious 08 November 2013 02:34 AM

I have run into this quote before and figured it to be false. I ran into it again today while watching a video called The Secret of Oz. I asked the director of the video for a cite and he emailed me back with: "1891, American Bankers’ Association, as printed in The Congressional Record, April 29, 1913".

I tried to find an online archive of the Congressional Record but could only find an index for that year. This quote is floating all around the conspiracy/anti-banking circles, where they all reference each other in quoting it - always a erd flag.

I'm really interested to see this debunked or confirmed.

Sharkuterie 25 August 2014 05:38 PM

Norman Montagu's quote about capital
Hello, i've a question about this supposed Norman Montagu's (governor of the Bank Of England, 1924) quote:

“When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers.

“These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance.

“It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

According to others anti-hoax website, this quote is real but not from Mr Montagu and older (something like 1880). Do you now something about that? (veracity or real author?)


Steve 25 August 2014 06:13 PM

A similar quote was discussed here.

If you look at the book Samclem linked to, it has a lengthier version of your quote.

So the quote is often attributed to an earlier era and a different country, though I don't think there's much evidence of the Wall Street manifesto mentioned.

Sharkuterie 26 August 2014 01:31 AM

Sorry, i've not seen this thread
So apparently this quote is real but assigned to wrong author?

Steve 28 August 2014 03:27 AM

Depends on if you think the Wall Street manifesto is real. I'd go with false, since it's hard to believe bankers made up that sort of nonsense. But maybe they did since bankers do stupid thing sometimes.

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