Crédit Mobilier of America scandal

The Crédit Mobilier scandal of 1872 involved the Union Pacific Railroad and the Crédit Mobilier of America construction company in the building of the eastern portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

The scandal's origins dated back to the Abraham Lincoln presidency, when the Union Pacific Railroad was chartered in 1864 by the federal government and the associated Crédit Mobilier was established. In 1868, during the Andrew Johnson presidency, Congressman Oakes Ames had distributed Crédit Mobilier shares of stock to other congressmen, in addition to making cash bribes. The story was broken by the New York newspaper, The Sun, during the 1872 presidential campaign, when Ulysses S. Grant was running for re-election. The scandal involved Grant's Vice President, Schuyler Colfax, and Henry Wilson, a Congressman who Grant selected to replace Colfax during the 1872 Presidential election. The scandal caused widespread public distrust of Congress and the federal government during the Gilded Age.

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American History

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The Civil War and Reconstruction (1860-1877)

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