32-WATERLOO 1815


When Napoleon returned from Russia, Nathan decided it was time to get rid of him. Nathan financed all the warring factions, not only Napoleon’s Army, but that of Austria, Prussia, Russia and England. Since the days of Aboukir, financing all sides continued to be a way of getting the desired results. Napoleon suffered defeat upon defeat, and after his encounters with Wellington in Spain, he was forced out of the Iberian Peninsula. He had by then lost most of his power. He signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau on April 11, 1814, abdicating in the process, and was sent to the Island of Elba.

Something very odd happened concerning Napoleon on February 26, 1815. In wanting to completely uproot Napoleon’s dynasty by destroying what was left of the Imperial Army, Nathan probably arranged to have him escape Elba and have him march on Paris. As the British guard ships looked the other way, Napoleon slipped away from Portoferraio on board the warship Inconstant with some 1,000 men, and landed between Cannes and Antibes on March 1. He knew that Royalist Provence would not be very friendly to him, and so, he avoided Provence by taking a route through the Alps.

Without firing a single shot, he marched unimpeded in a country in which he was reviled, and his troop numbers swelled until they became an army. On March 5, the Royalist 5th Infantry Regiment at Grenoble went over to Napoleon en masse. The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel, Charles de la Bédoyère, who would later be executed for treason by the Bourbons. An old anecdote illustrates Napoleon’s charisma. When Royalist troops deployed to stop the march of Napoleon’s force at Grenoble, Napoleon stepped out in front of them, ripped open his coat and said “If any of you will shoot his Emperor, here I am.” The men acclaimed him as they had when he had first gone to Italy.

Marshal Ney now a military commander under Louis XVIII was heard to say that Napoleon should be brought to Paris in an iron cage, but on March 14, that same Ney rejoined his old comrade in arms, Napoleon, with 6,000 men. Five days later, after proceeding through the countryside promising constitutional reform and an elected assembly to the acclaim of the crowds, Napoleon entered the capital from which Louis XVIII fled.

In the meantime, the Coalition countries met in Vienna and declared Napoleon an outlaw as they each pledged 150 000 men to defeat him. Unperturbed, Napoleon decided to take the offensive by going after the weakest army, that of Wellington, which had marched into Belgium. Because English troops were still committed to the War of 1812 in America, Wellington didn’t have what could be called an elite army.

The Duke of Wellington with 110,000 men, and Prussia’s Field Marshal Blucher with 120,000 men were the only two armies close enough to threaten France, and so Napoleon decided to strike before the Russians and the Austrians arrived. Moving with stunning speed, he invaded Belgium with 125,000 men in a bid to split Wellington and Blucher’s armies, and defeat each separately.

Marshal Grouchy went to meet Wellington’s army while Napoleon defeated the Prussians. Then, with the Prussians on the run, Napoleon decided to personally go after Wellington to the north. Marshal Grouchy was to make sure the defeated Prussians to the east would not come back and join up with Wellington. However, it took more time than expected for Napoleon to drive through Wellington’s defenses, and surprisingly, Marshal Grouchy was unable to hold back the weakened Prussians. When Blucher’s forces joined up with those of Wellington, Napoleon didn’t have a chance. That was the end of the Battle of Waterloo.

On the day the battle ended, on the other side of the Channel, Nathan was in London waiting for the official results of the battle with a formidable communications network in place. Even though Nathan was financing all the armies and knew that Napoleon didn’t have a chance, he wanted, nonetheless, to be absolutely sure before putting his devilish stock exchange swindle in motion. Nathan held a good portion of the 300 million pounds’ worth of Consols, the debt England had consolidated in funded government securities that were traded on the London Stock Exchange, but he wanted to own it all. As soon as the battle outcome was confirmed by his personal couriers who had waited for the carrier pigeons to arrive, and who had then rushed to the London Stock Exchange to inform the great man, Nathan started dumping all the Consols that he owned, making sure all the traders saw what he was doing. In no time at all, convinced that Nathan knew something they didn’t, the traders started dumping their Consols until the price of Consols dropped to ten percent of their value. When Nathan gave the signal, his aides bought back all the Consols as fast as they could. When the outcome of the battle was made public a short time later, and when everybody realized it had been Wellington, and not Napoleon, who had won, the price of Consols skyrocketed past their original high, and in a single day, Nathan had taken charge of the entire English debt and consolidated his control over the Bank of England.

Napoleon was exiled to St. Helens, and Louis XVIII was encouraged to try and establish a French constitutional monarchy, failed, and was subsequently removed from power. There would be two more tries at establishing an English style monarchy, but both failed, and around 1850, Lionel, Nathan’s son, decided that enough was enough. Paris, the center of power, would be transformed into the City of Lights, and France would return to being a republic as established under Napoleon, the only difference being that the Emperor would now be an elected President.



Shortly after the War of 1812 began, Nathan, confident that the American politicians would renew his bank’s charter, turned his attention to Europe. He was anxious to send Napoleon to Russia. Like his father, he believed that more gold bullioto the Uralsn was needed if the number of central banks, and hence the amount of credit, was to grow. It was crucial to accumulate as much gold as possible, at least until the US paper dollar became as good as gold, but that would take a lot of gold and a lot of years. The problem in 1812 was that gold mining was still in its infancy, and that even exploiting alluvial gold deposits was a problem. However, it just so happened that the most advanced mining engineering school in the world was in Paris. L’École des Mines de Paris founded in 1783 had developed the latest techniques for extracting alluvial gold, and this gave Nathan the wherewithal to pursue his plan.

In 1803, alluvial gold had been discovered on the western slope of the Urals in Russia, and it was well known that the Tsar wanted to keep it a secret, for he didn’t want the serf population to start a gold rush. In 1810, Nathan who was setting the world price for gold bullion out of the City in London, was well aware of that situation. Therefore, he would entice Napoleon to go and force Tsar Alexander’s hand to open the country to private gold mining. Napoleon would take a corps of engineers with him, and once Alexander was forced into accepting, that elite corps would be sent to the Urals in order to launch and supervise mining operations. Of course, Napoleon was to keep all the proceeds from the sale of the mined gold. Nathan would open a Russian bank and buy all the gold as it was being produced while giving the Tsar his royalties. Letters of exchange in pounds would be sent to Napoleon in Paris, and the gold would find its way to Nathan’s vaults in the City. Napoleon and the Tsar would get the paper, and Nathan would get the gold.

Napoleon started the Russian campaign in June, 1812, and he was heading into a Russian winter which made absolutely no sense. After major losses, he entered Moscow. But since the retreating Russian Army had burned and stripped the city of supplies, it was a deadly place to be for a starving army. He could easily have gone on to Saint Petersburg to defeat Tsar Alexander and winter his troops in that city, but he chose to stay in Moscow for a whole five weeks instead. Napoleon was obviously waiting for an answer from the Tsar, to whom he had issued an ultimatum regarding opening the country to gold mining. After likely receiving assurances from Tsar Alexander that it would be done, Napoleon decided to spare Saint Petersburg, and took off as fast as he could for France, but not before dispatching to the Urals a contingent of 22 000 men headed by the engineers from l’Ecole des Mines de Paris. If Napoleon then took the same direct way back to France, knowing full well the countryside was totally devastated by the passing of his army on the way to Moscow, and that winter was around the corner, it was because he was in a hurry to reap the benefits of the campaign and was willing to gamble. Napoleon made it OK, but his army wasn’t so lucky. Winter set in early, and his army was completely annihilated.

Later that year, the Russian Senate issued an Act authorizing subjects and private companies to mine gold and silver ores providing they pay royalties to the Severnaya Kazna National State Bank. As expected, numerous private mining companies with Russian names started mining operations, and the country’s gold output was as much as 2 tons in that first year. Financing research and development in gold mining technology and buying the gold produced at the price set by Nathan in the City would become the modus operandi for all time.

Meanwhile, in Judengasse, Mayer’s health was failing. Upon receiving the bad news, Nathan duly rushed to Frankfurt, and was at his father’s bedside when he died on September 19, 1812. One can only wonder if the War in America declared on June 18, 1812, happening at the same time Napoleon was starting his Russian Campaign, didn’t adversely affect Mayer’s health. Did he think Nathan was in too much of a hurry? Did he think too many people were being killed needlessly in the name of gold? Or was 68 considered a ripe old age for the times? No matter, the greatest man who ever lived passed away in almost total anonymity in his German ghetto.

One thing is certain, Gretel must have reminded Nathan of the absolute necessity for discretion and anonymity so dear to his father. In London, Nathan had been doing exactly the opposite of what Mayer had always done, that is, keep a low profile while building the greatest financial dynasty of all time. Gretel couldn’t have been too happy with Nathan’s extravagant ways.

Nathan attended his father’s funeral with his son Lionel, who was four years old at the time. Gretel bonded instantly with her grandson, and when he took over the reins of power after his father’s death in 1836, Gretel was still living in Judengasse. She died much later, in 1849, and Lionel visited the old woman he loved as often as he could. Gretel had a great influence on him, for under his direction, the dynasty built by Mayer slowly went back to keeping a low profile, to the point where most people today wonder if it ever really existed. Nonetheless, to this day, Nathan’s bank in the City fixes the world price for gold out on a daily basis.



In the latter part of 1792, the Illuminati set up a shadow government, the Paris Commune, in the Paris City Hall. Sitting as Montagnards in the Legislative Assembly, their representatives voted to abolish the Assembly and replaced it with a new political body, the Convention. That’s when the September Massacres were perpetrated. For a whole week, teams of workers went about butchering a lot of innocent people. They would leave Paris City Hall in the morning, with their aprons and hatchets, and go and butcher inmates and patients in prisons and hospitals. They would return at night with bloodied axes and sullied aprons to collect their day’s pay. It transfixed the French and all of Europe with fear. And even worse, as the September Massacres were being carried out, the guillotine started beheading innocent people by the thousands. The Illuminati were not only bringing down the Ancien Regime, the political system, they were also venting their deep festering hatred. Unfortunately, it was the citizens who were taking the brunt of the violence.

Needless to say, as Terror spread to the other French cities, and especially after the royal family was guillotined, the Roman Catholic Empire put all its might behind the Federalists in order to protect the catholic populations that were resisting in the Vendean region to the west and most of the major French cities.

In retaliation, the revolutionary government gave orders to apply scorched earth tactics to the Vendean region, and a genocide was carried out. Terror was also being carried out in other cities, especially in the port of Toulon to the south. The Federalists had taken Toulon with the help of the French navy whose many Royalist commanders espoused their cause. However, once in command of the port, faced with a superior advancing Convention army who had just defeated their counterparts in Nimes, Avignon and Marseille to the west, the Federalists decided to surrender their city to the English whose navy had been blockading the port. With thousands of English soldiers occupying the port, the Convention forces would easily be kept at bay.

Mayer was appalled by the Vendean genocide where thousands of Catholic men, women and children were in the process of being exterminated. When he heard what was happening in Toulon, he was fully aware of the magnitude of the Terror. The year before, one Paul Barras, an aristocrat, had been elected to the Convention Assembly as a Montagnard representing the Var region. He was an unscrupulous, penniless and debauched individual from a well-to-do and respected family. He was initiated as a Freemason and joined the Jacobin Club like all Illuminati recruits of note. Since he represented the Var and had a military background, he was sent as emissary to the Italian Army Command which had been sent to liberate Toulon. When he got there, the military command was in disarray, and nothing was being done. That’s when a young artillery lieutenant called Bonaparte suggested to the generals that it would be best to shell the port before attempting a frontal attack. The generals paid no attention to him, but Barras did. Since Barras had the authority, he told the generals to give the young man permission to get his canons. In quick order, Bonaparte proceeded to gather all the artillery he could from Marseille and other surrounding cities as well as the Italian Army Command to which he belonged. From the heights of Toulon, Bonaparte had a great advantage over the English forces, and after relentless shelling, the English were forced to flee taking some Federalists with them. But when told what happened to those Federalists who were left behind, Mayer was aghast. Barras and Freron had led their troops into the city and had butchered the Federalists by the thousands. Notably, a wounded Bonaparte hadn’t participated in the massacre, had been made General, and he owed it all to Barras.

While the revolution was being carried out, Ouvrard had kept busy. He had reported to Mayer that the perfectly crafted assignats printed by François in Lyon were circulating without a hitch. In the last three years, his agents working out of the newly-established Masonic Lodges throughout France had purchased tens of thousands of the most prestigious French properties. All the properties had been bought in the name of fictitious individuals, and there was absolutely no trace leading to Ouvrard or Mayer.

The assignats had lost half their value since the first issue in late 1789. Since the Convention insisted on maintaining the original value of the assignats, those with hard currency and bullion hidden away under mattresses, or floor boards, no longer wanted to buy up the assignats. They saw the end of the Terror, the return of law and order and real currency, and they wanted to get their hands on tangible assets. They wanted to buy real estate without having to buy assignats, and getting it at reduced prices was definitely an added incentive. On his own initiative, Ouvrard had started selling off the unwanted secondary assets of the great estates he had purchased. The sale of the detached lands and buildings, as well as the furnishings and livestock, had almost doubled their capital, and the offerings had pacified the local notables and farmers who didn’t have enough money to bid at auction and felt the revolution had cheated them. By encouraging them to pool what metal money they had, Ouvrard had made it possible for them to buy a lot of good property and chattels at an affordable price.

Ouvrard told Mayer that he sometimes hesitated selling off the properties because he didn’t know what prices to set. So far, he was using the original Convention evaluations set in livres, but he wanted to confirm with Mayer what the gold equivalence was. Although there was hardly any metal money in circulation, fortunes in silver and gold were waiting to be invested.

Mayer had obviously thought it all out. The French livre would remain fixed to the English pound. 4 livres worth 1 oz of gold or 16 ozs of silver. With regards to the property values, the Convention evaluations would do just fine. Mayer told Ouvrard he was primarily interested in receiving gold as payment without telling him why. He explained simply it was because of the sixteen to one weight advantage. The accumulated silver was to be used to cover Ouvrard’s commission along with that of his agents. Whatever silver remained was to be converted into gold and sent on by land first to David in Amsterdam, and then by boat to Montefiore in London. Montefiore would see that it was deposited in the Goldsmid Bros. vaults. Mayer estimated that at the present rate some five thousand tons of gold would be deposited in the City before it was all over.

The agents in France were extremely motivated, for they were becoming rich beyond their wildest dreams, commissions on billions of pounds were being paid out in silver. However, Mayer had wanted to thank them in a special way. He told Ouvrard that when the bulk of the Émigré real estate was bought up, he and the agents would be free to use their commissions to bid on any property they wanted. When the auctions stopped, he was to tell François to stop printing assignats. Mayer would acquaint François with that decision from his end.

Soon, Mayer would need to have one of his sons take charge of family affairs in the City. Amschel, eldest son and future head of the family, would remain in charge in Frankfurt. Nathan, the pugnacious one, would be sent to the City in London when he reached 21, in five years’ time. Nathan had met a lot of people when they had stopped in London on their way to America in 1790, and particularly remembered one Levy Barent-Cohen, a gruff older gent who had a delightful daughter. Nathan was looking forward to going to London for several reasons.


Part III                              Glorious City

                          How gold was accumulated in the City

25-Real estate scam


27-Recruiting Bonaparte

28-Takeover in the City

29-Holy Roman Empire

30-Moscow Campaign



In early 1790, Mayer left for America with his three teenage sons, Amschel, Salomon and Nathan. The last time he had travelled to the new world was in 1785 when he went to arrange for the transfer of power following Haym’s death. On this present trip, he wanted the boys to meet Ephraim Hart, the political leaders, and the people who helped create the Bank of North America. He also wanted to expose them to life in America. He especially wanted the boys to meet Benjamin Franklin before it was too late. Unfortunately, Benjamin was old and in poor health, and they arrived too late.

But business carried on. Mayer met with Moses Hayes in Boston, Ephraim Hart in New York and the Gratz Brothers in Philadelphia. Robert Morris who had done such a superb job as head of the Bank of North America and Superintendent of Finance had passed on the torch to his young protégé, Alexander Hamilton, who was now Secretary of the Treasury. Alexander was a true prodigy and was handling the young nation’s finances brilliantly. When Mayer met with Robert Morris, he told him how satisfied he was with their work, and that he and Alexander were now officially part of his extended family. They were hereafter free to use their own good judgment in the running of the country’s finance. Of course, Robert was to consult with Alexander, Moses, Ephraim and the Gratz Brothers if urgent matters came up, or directly with Mayer in Frankfurt if he deemed it necessary.

He then met with Washington in his magnificent renovated Mount Vernon estate and congratulated him on his election victory. He had assured him that since trade and commerce was developing at breakneck speed, he and his political supporters would continue receiving unlimited funding in order to carry out their mandates as they saw fit.

Next, he met with Alexander Hamilton and congratulated him on getting George Washington elected. He also told him how impressed he was with the work he and Robert Morris were doing. He then brought up the subject of the Bank of North America charter that was expiring in 1791. Hamilton was way ahead of him on that one, for a first draft of the 1st Bank of the United States of America charter that was to run for another twenty years was already being circulated and was meeting with very little opposition. Mayer was indeed impressed by this young man.

The states were developing by leaps and bounds, Mayer’s people were rich and getting richer, and his bank’s charter was about to be renewed for another twenty years. There was absolutely nothing for Mayer to worry about. He always surrounded himself with Ashkenazi if he could, for they were his people, and he could trust them with his life. If he recruited people like Morris and Hamilton it was because of their talent and because, as goys, they were indispensable in representing his interests within the sphere of government. In all cases, his main objective was to command genuine loyalty. He made sure his collaborators always had enough money to reach any goal or satisfy any whim without their having to ask Mayer. People don’t necessarily like being on a string, but severing a link to such bounty is unthinkable, especially when it’s so easy to forget the string exists. One thing was certain, America and his bank could look forward to twenty years of peace and prosperity.

The only matters that needed immediate attention were getting permanent residences for the President and Congress. Mayer’s associates all agreed that having the federal capital at the head of the Potomac River was the best choice. The area would be slightly in the southern portion of the new nation, and strategically, it was well-protected. They all agreed that the President and his staff should have a residence separate from that of the people’s representatives. Although the constitution, drafted by Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson who had just come back from Paris, had been signed the year before, some states were still holding back. However, Alexander was certain the Compromise of 1790, that he had drafted according to Mayer’s wishes, would be accepted and would lead the way in the creation of a strong federal state.

Before setting sail for the trip home, Mayer and the boys decided it would be a good idea to go by way of Paris, in order to see what was happening in France. Mayer was also anxious to know how much gold bullion his real estate operations were generating. When they arrived in Amsterdam, they took a Thurn and Taxis mail coach in order to avoid problems with the French authorities. Mayer had written ahead to David Schiff, Moses Montefiore, Francis Baring and Gabriel Julien Ouvrard, and the Goldsmid Bros. in order to convene them to a meeting in Paris. His associates were perceptive men who knew London, Amsterdam and Paris well, men who kept abreast with what was happening in Europe generally, and France in particular.

The meeting took place in Gabriel’s mansion in Paris. Since it wasn’t a good idea to show off one’s wealth in France at that time, they kept the meeting low key which suited Mayer very well. Mayer and the boys listened with the greatest attention as they were briefed on the state of the real estate sales and on the latest developments of the ongoing revolution.

The counterfeit assignats printed by Johannot went undetected, and all of Ouvrard’s agents, Huguenots who were now working out of the lodges of the Grand Orient of France, were buying the prodigious properties as they were put on the auction block throughout France. Ouvrard had already started selling the properties for metal currency, mainly gold. As the sales were completed, Baring conveyed the gold to London via Rotterdam where it was deposited in the Goldsmid vaults in the City. Schiff in Rotterdam and Montefiore in London were to make sure everything went smoothly. So far, there had been no hitches and the elite group assembled in Paris didn’t foresee any. Mayer’s boys were in admiration of their father who had set up such a marvelous scam where no one was harmed that hadn’t already been harmed.

Mayer and the three boys left Paris in good spirits, except for Nathan who was complaining about not being allowed to go and witness the demolition of the Bastille prison. In order to humor Nathan, Mayer talked about plans for the family as it pertained to London. Soon, he would need to have one of his sons take charge of family affairs in the City. It was a foregone conclusion that Amschel, the eldest son, would be the future head of the family and remain in charge in Frankfurt. Mayer planned to send Salomon to Vienna to supervise the massive banking operations in the loosely united Holy German Empire. As for London, since Nathan spoke English best, he would be sent to the City when he reached 21.

When Mayer got back to Frankfurt, the first thing he did was sit down with his only confidante, his wife Gretel, and acquainted her with the latest developments in America and France. All was going as planned in America, and there wasn’t much to add. Benjamin’s passing had been deeply felt by Mayer, but the 1st Bank of the USA was about to receive a 20-year charter, and the buildings housing the President and Congress would be built at the head of the Potomac River to the south. With Morris and Hamilton at the helm, things could not have been better.

In France, however, it was another matter. The year before, the Illuminati had financed a meeting of provincial representatives who had been either named or elected and asked to draw up lists of grievances in view of bringing them to the King’s attention. When they congregated in Versailles, the clergy and nobility refused to sit in the same room with them, and the King cancelled the meeting. Mirabeau, the undeclared leader, then convinced the people’s representatives to hold a meeting on their own. Naturally, when they declared their body to be the official government of France, the King sent in the National Guard to disperse them. Mirabeau seized the moment, stood up to the sergeants, and the assembly refused to disband.

While this was going on, programmed famines were creating havoc in all the major French cities. In Paris, the Illuminati were promoting meetings where unsavory characters met at the Palais Royal, the Paris residence of the King’s brother, the Grand Master of the Orient of France. The courtyard had become a meeting place for all the hotheads and lowlifes who were attracted by the firebrand speeches. Last July, a throng had assembled in the courtyard, and fired up by the speeches, went and stormed the Bastille, the much hated royal prison. The prison governor was decapitated and his head was paraded through the streets of Paris.

A few weeks later a procession of very odd masculine ladies accompanied by Lafayette’s National Guard went to fetch the royal family in Versailles. Versailles had been financed and built in anticipation of this very moment, a time when the absentee King would be forced to answer to his people in Paris. Without any opposition, the royals were brought back to Paris where they were put under house arrest in the Tuileries. The National Constituent Assembly thought it best to follow the King to the Tuileries in order to remain at the center of power. The National Assembly then had to find a source of revenue. So, as expected, they voted to confiscate church property and proceeded to print Assignats, certificates sold for hard currency and that were to be used to buy confiscated Church property at the different auctions.

Gretel already knew that Mayer was involved in buying the properties with French counterfeit money, and reselling them to the French for gold. Nevertheless, Mayer reiterated that what he was doing was not for personal gain, but rather to accumulate gold. France was being flooded with counterfeit bills, and there was a lot of confusion, but the high quality bills used by Mayer’s agents were going undetected. The agents working for Ouvrard, and consequently for Mayer, had already bought a considerable number of prestigious properties and were selling them at a reduced price as long as gold was used for the transaction. At auction, the French, who were outbid by Mayer’s agents who had unlimited amounts of bills, were quite willing to buy the properties at a lower price from those same agents. Ouvrard then sent the gold bullion to the Goldsmid Bros. in the City, in London. Francis Baring, the Chairman of the East India Company in Amsterdam, was charged with the responsibility of conveying the bullion to the Goldsmids. Necessarily, the Goldmids were becoming the biggest shareholders in the Bank of England, and David in Amsterdam and Montefiore in London were making sure the gold transfers were going well. Everybody earned a generous commission and was becoming very rich. As the bullion entered the Goldsmid vaults, it was stockpiled and remained so. The City was a state within a state and the gold was well protected.

Nobody knew what Mayer was really worth, most didn’t even know he existed. Some people knew he was rich, but they also knew he lived in a ghetto, and they didn’t know what to make of it. Mayer already controlled the monetary system of the United States of America, which meant he had the final say in what was to be financed and what direction that country would take. In time, the American politicians would question the bank’s origins and wonder who the owners were, but Mayer would maintain his anonymity. People didn’t know that what was best for the bankers was also what was best for the people, and they tended to envy and even revile the bankers who as far as they were concerned enriched themselves at their expense. Since there was not much they could do if they didn’t know where to point the finger, that’s the way it would continue to be. As long as everybody was kept guessing concerning the working of the monetary system, and as long as Mayer did what was best for the country, the people would eventually and grudgingly accept the fact that it was the only way democracy could work without ever understanding what democracy was.



In 1785, in America, Benjamin was going back home to Philadelphia after a very successful nine years spent in France. For the occasion, Mayer had planned to go to America and spend some time in New York with Haym Salomon, Robert Morris and Ephraim Hart. He had arranged to be in America around August, but upon hearing of Haym’s passing, he had left immediately and had arrived in New York in late June. Haym and Ephraim had recently gotten the Bank of New York, a branch of the Bank of North America, up and running, and it was proving to be a huge success. Robert Morris who had just resigned his post as Superintendent of Finance was by Ephraim’s side, and that had been very reassuring for the business community of New York.

Hart was at dockside to welcome him when he arrived, and the first thing Mayer wanted to see was the building that housed the Bank of New York. The Bank of Philadelphia on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia had become the Bank of North America in 1782, but the Bank of New York built by Haym on St. George Street in NY was the new seat of power. When Mayer saw the building, he was very proud indeed, but his thoughts quickly turned to Haym. He was very grateful for all the work he had done, and he asked to be driven to Haym’s residence in order to pay his respects to his wife. He would visit the bank later.

Haym was thought to be a very wealthy man, for he and Morris had organized and financed the meeting of the politicians in Philadelphia in 1774 as well as supply military equipment to all the militias. Nobody knew Haym had been working for Mayer, and being so busy with what he was doing, Haym had put very little money aside for himself and his family. So, Mayer wanted to tell his wife that she didn’t have to worry about the welfare of her family, and that Ephraim Hart would make sure that the family’s future was secure.

After spending the night at Ephraim’s mansion, the two men met with Robert Morris the next morning in the executive offices of the bank. The mood was one of friendship and celebration. These men, not forgetting Haym of course, had accomplished a great deal in a very short time, and Mayer was justly proud of their achievements. With the Bank of New York as the new seat of power, with branches already built in Philadelphia and Boston and others being built in the other capitals of the 13 Colonies, Mayer’s federal bank was here to stay. The merchants and the politicians had no choice but to acknowledge that this financial institution was formidable, and no one was inclined to regret the Continental Dollar. Unofficially, there was only one currency in the 13 Colonies, the US dollar, and it was the currency that would continue to be used in the existing branches of the Bank of North America. It would become the official currency of the nation when the Constitution was ratified.

Many in Congress reviled the unknown bankers who were getting fabulously rich running the Bank of North America, and Morris, who had been the Superintendent of Finance as well as the bank’s main shareholder, had quietly resigned. Although the central bank was stable, inspired confidence, and was helping the economies of the 13 Colonies grow at breakneck speed, and although it was becoming, like the Bank of England, an indispensable financial institution, it was best not to foment envy. So, Mayer, in wanting to keep feelings under control in Congress, and wanting to maintain his financial activities completely anonymous, had asked Morris to resign from the post of Superintendent of Finance the year before. He had been replaced by three non-descript commissioners of finance. The Bank of North America continued to be a separate entity from Congress, just like with the Bank of England and the British Parliament.

Mayer had to find a new Superintendent of Finance, and young Alexander Hamilton seemed to be the right man for the job. The young prodigy from New York who had recommended Robert Morris for the post of Superintendent of Finance and who was a protégé of both George Washington and Robert Morris would easily be nominated. Morris had painted a very favorable picture of the young Hamilton saying how vital he had been in the creation of the B of NY, and Mayer was anxious to meet him.

Alexander Hamilton, a boy of questionable lineage had come to New York by way of the Caribbean islands. Thanks to a clergyman who recognized his talent, he came to New York and studied at King’s College. He was a brilliant student and a courageous one. In August 1775 he formed a militia called the Hearts of Oak which later participated in a successful raid against the British. He seized the cannons stored in the Battery at the tip of Manhattan in spite of being under fire from HMS Asia. His militia naturally became an artillery unit and Alexander was made Captain in the Continental Army. He was rapidly promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel in George Washington’s ‘family’ of aide-de-camps. He became disgruntled when he lost his most favored position to the young Marquis de Lafayette who arrived from France in 1777, and he resigned his commission. Morris had taken him under his wing and had sent him back to King’s College to study law. In 1779, he introduced him to Elizabeth Schuyler, the daughter of a very wealthy merchant whom Alexander married in 1780. In 1781, Alexander fought at Yorktown, after apparently making his peace with Washington. Nonetheless, after Yorktown, he went back to his wife in Albany where he got special permission to pass the bar exam before the required time of internship. He was elected to Congress and was appointed receiver of taxes for NY in 1782.

In 1783, Hamilton came to practice law in NYC where he distinguished himself by defending the rights of loyalists who were returning to NYC. Morris liked his ideas concerning central banking and a strong central government and had hired his law firm to draft the incorporation documents for the Bank of New York. Hamilton had used the Bank of England as a working model as per Mayer’s instructions, and he had done a superb job.

They adjourned for lunch with the intention of inviting Alexander Hamilton to the afternoon session. After lunch, when Mayer was introduced to Hamilton, he congratulated him on his drafting of the bank’s constitution. However, Mayer didn’t think it was necessary to say more for now, though he was definitely impressed with the young man. Mayer turned the subject to another matter that was on all their minds, the Constitution of the United States of America. They all knew they had to act fast, especially when the two biggest Colonies, Virginia and New York, were both reticent to the idea of a strong central government. So, Mayer lost no time in saying what had to be done in the immediate if they were to succeed in unifying the 13 States.

An initial constitution in its most simplistic form had to be drafted as soon as possible, one that could easily be signed by all. Since the agricultural states in the south disagreed with many of the ideas held by the merchants in the north, and since many in both camps were anti-federalists, it was imperative to have the document written by a southerner who believed in a strong central government in collaboration with someone from the north who had the same convictions. Thomas Jefferson was the man for the job in Virginia, but he was in France, so his closest associate, James Madison, the same man who had drafted Virginia’s Constitution seemed to be the obvious next choice. Mayer wondered, however, if the others present knew of someone from NY who would be prepared to work with Madison and have the necessary skills to sell the newly drafted constitution to the New York Congress, and they all looked at young Alexander.

Hamilton felt he had to say something, and simply said he would be honored to help out in whatever way he could. He had met James Madison and he thought highly of him. He, like the others, knew that if NY and VA, both anti-federalist states, were made to take the lead and sign the Constitution, then it would be easy to get the other Colonies to come on board. They all agreed that Hamilton seemed to be the right man for the job, but he was from NY, and they all knew that it would be better if it was written by Madison who was from the south. Hamilton simply added that he would be willing to cooperate wholeheartedly with Madison who was perfectly qualified to draft the official document, and that he would welcome Madison’s input in helping him promote it via the local newspapers. He was convinced they would work well together, for they both believed in a strong federal state.

Mayer was quite happy with that answer and told him so, but not being inclined to squander praise, he immediately brought up the other pressing matter, that of the assumption of war debts. Mayer decided to go to Philadelphia to meet with Benjamin Franklin who was arriving from France. Benjamin was getting on in years and was thinking of retiring, and Mayer would try to convince the ‘Father of Independence’ to accept a seat in the Senate and use his influence in order to work with Morris. The two men would then start spreading the word that war debts incurred by the individual Colonies would be forgiven if they surrendered their rights to Congress regarding the lands east of the Mississippi, the lands that had been ceded by England in the recently signed Paris Peace Treaty. All the federalists would welcome such an initiative, for by agreeing, and there was no doubt that they would, it meant that Congress would be asserting its authority over the 13 States and that the Bank of North America would be digging in its financial heels. The desired union would be achieved and the bank would become entrenched as a financial institution. And best of all, this in no way affected the bottom line of the Bank of North America. The war debt incurred by the Colonies would simply be transferred and become a federal debt. The amount owed Mayer’s bank, the Bank of North America, would remain unchanged, only the name of the debtor would change.

He then asked Morris how things stood regarding the matter of assumption of debts. Morris used quite colourful language in order to be clear. The whole universe tended to take the path of least resistance, like water flowing downhill, and people were part of that universe. By facilitating the solution of a problem with a financial enticement, all the states were bound to welcome the initiative, it was just a matter of time. They were all amused by his rhetoric, for they all knew he was right

Mayer, was happy to hear that, but he told him not to take anything for granted and to keep pushing as hard as he could. He was to spread the pork freely, and to wine and dine everyone who needed to be swayed. Results were all that mattered. Then he turned to Hart and asked him how the Bank of New York was doing. Ephraim answered that it couldn’t be doing better. Confidence in the bank was growing on a daily basis, and the bullion that was accumulating in the bank’s vaults was having a snowball effect.

Mayer had already inspected the bank’s vault, so he wasn’t surprised by the good news. He then turned his attention to the more pressing political problems. They all knew that George Washington would be acclaimed President when the Constitution was signed, but the two major obstacles, that of getting the Constitution drafted and signed, and finding a place to house the President and Congress had to be addressed. He wanted to know what the politicians were saying with regards to these matters, and turned to Morris for an answer. Morris said that as far as the Constitution was concerned, there was no consensus. It would be up to Mayer and those assembled to find and finance the best people available. As already mentioned, he suggested that James Madison and his staff in Virginia should draft the Constitution in consultation with Alexander Hamilton and his staff in New York. As for a President, there seemed to be no real opposition to the candidacy of George Washington. The residence of the President and the Government, however, was another matter. Morris went on to say that the only way to satisfy the two big States, Virginia and New York, was to locate them in a neutral central place like at the head of the Potomac River. This neutral territory would become an independent center of power very much like the City in London.

Mayer then turned to Hamilton to ask him if he had further suggestions with regards to the drafting of the Constitution. Alexander reiterated that he was more than willing to work with Madison, for he was the most qualified, having already drafted the Constitution of Virginia. As far as he was concerned, the only thing that was absolutely imperative was to follow the English model that had worked so well for more than a 100 years. It had to be based on a tripartite system, one where the three branches of power, the legislative, the executive and the judiciary were separate. He and his staff could start promoting the ideas of federalism by publishing weekly instalments in all the local papers, something that could be called the Federalist Papers. He was ready to start as soon as Mayer gave his OK, and he added one more thing. If the Constitution was to be kept simple in order for everyone to sign it at the earliest possible time, it was imperative to keep the Bill of Rights out of it. They would have to make it clear and promise the politicians that as many amendments as necessary could be added after the signing. That would keep the debate wide open while making it possible for everyone to sign. Once signed by the majority, the Constitution could be ratified at a later date, and the amendments added after being debated in Congress.

Mayer thought it was a brilliant idea. For now, selling the idea of forgiving the war debts of the major colonies and offering generous compensations to those with little war debt in exchange for giving up their land claims was urgent. Hart was to continue coordinating the bank’s activities, those of Philadelphia, Boston and New York as well as the others on their way. Madison and Hamilton were to have all the financing needed to have the constitution drafted in the shortest delays. The last item that Mayer wanted to bring up was the trade issue with Britain.

According to Ephraim, there was a great cry to re-open trade with England. The merchants had always traded with England, and although the States had signed an Alliance Treaty with France in 1778, trading with that country was proving to be very unsatisfactory. Something had to be done to stimulate transatlantic trade. Mayer said he would decide what to do after meeting with Franklin.



Mayer may have been busy in Frankfurt supervising the construction of Grunenburg Schloss outside the city gates, but the real action was going on in America where France was playing a major role.

After the Trenton defection of nearly 900 Hessians in 1776, and especially after the capture of Burgoyne’s army in Saratoga, in 1777, Louis XVI, impressed with Benjamin Franklin as a man and in awe of the American victories, had seized the moment and signed the Treaty of Alliance with the 13 Colonies, thus declaring war on England in the process. Thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s diplomatic skills, France had come to America’s aid.

The English High Command retaliated by attacking the French fleet which was in the Caribbean. Clinton, the new commander of the British forces, then sent Cornwallis to re-establish control over the southern colonies. Cornwallis’ army won major victories in Charlestown and Camden, but the English Navy had a bad time of it in the Caribbean. To make matters worse for the English, the American general, Nathaniel Greene, started hit and run tactics against Cornwallis, forcing the latter to chase him throughout the Carolinas. Eventually, Clinton had Cornwallis rest his demoralized army in the ice-free port of Yorktown in Chesapeake Bay. Clinton intended to resupply him as needed, and Cornwallis was to go back on the offensive after a much needed rest. But they hadn’t taken into account General Rochambeau, Commander-in-Chief of the French forces, and a great military strategist.

Rochambeau was a professional soldier trained in the art of warfare, and he singlehandedly coordinated the military operations that would lead to the Yorktown victory. He marched his very well rested and disciplined army out of Newport towards New York City, and as intended, he met up with Washington’s army at Wethersfield, Connecticut, in late May, 1781. Washington’s army was in tatters, and there was mutiny in the air, for the troops had had it with Washington’s leadership and his ‘military family’, a group of good-looking young aides-de-camp who rode fine horses and spent a lot of time feasting with the General. Needing Washington’s army, Rochambeau took it upon himself to pay the American troops what was owed them in silver, giving them food, proper uniforms and much needed military supplies. The allies then got ready to attack New York City. But when Rochambeau got word that Admiral de Grasse had defeated the English in the Caribbean, he changed his plans.

He knew Cornwallis’ army was recovering in Yorktown and realized how vulnerable it was. It was obvious that defeating Cornwallis’ army would be easier and have a greater impact than facing Clinton’s well-entrenched and well-supplied army in New York City. After convincing Washington, he sent word to Admiral de Grasse in the Caribbean and Admiral de Barras in Newport informing them of the change of plans. Luckily for everybody, the two admirals agreed to go along with Rochambeau, and they sailed to Chesapeake Bay. Admiral de Grasse got there first and easily defeated the English fleet off the Virginia coast. Meanwhile, Admiral de Barras arrived from Newport and blockaded Cornwallis’ army by positioning his fleet at the mouth of the York River. The two French fleets having joined forces easily outnumbered anything the British were able to muster. When Rochambeau and Washington arrived with their armies, they dug a siege line behind Cornwallis’ position, thus entrapping his army. The allies then tightened their stranglehold, digging a second siege line closer to Cornwallis’ army while the allied artillery pounded it from front and rear. The English redoubts were taken one by one, forcing Cornwallis to surrender, and when the English Parliamentarians got the news they had lost another army, they decided to put an end to the war. However, it wasn’t to be made official for another two years.

Meanwhile, in Frankfurt, Mayer was telling Gretel, his only confidante, how Haym had been treated by the English during their occupation of NYC, and how he had convinced a lot of Hessians to defect while he was under house arrest. He continued by telling her about the French gold and how Haym had later been named broker to the French Consul, and Treasurer of the French Army when he arrived in Philadelphia. Haym had been free to spread the pork with abandon while making sure the French army, as well as Washington’s army, the 13 militias, and the politicians, had everything they needed. But now that the politicians were about to take over, Mayer hated to tell Gretel that he had chosen Robert Morris instead of Haym as the one to deal with Congress. Because America was no more ready than Europe to accept Jews in a leadership role, it was Robert Morris, a goy, who had become the figure head of Mayer’s operations in 1781. The continental currency that Congress had issued at the start of the war and that had somewhat helped to finance the war had by now completely depreciated. Fortunately for Congress and for Mayer, the ‘Morris Notes’ backed by the French gold had replaced the worthless currency.

When Gretel asked if Mayer has stolen the French gold, Mayer gives her a long homily on the magic of gold. He starts by telling her that gold can be spent by remaining stockpiled and untouched in the vaults. He continues by saying there are two ways of looking at gold bullion. The first is where the owner uses it to further his personal ambition in order to gain influence, and the second is where it is used to establish a credit system and to build a monetary system like Mayer was doing. The gold provided by France was doing what it was supposed to do. It was helping America win the war like Louis XVI had wanted, but it would do much more than that, it would help create a government, a country and an economy. When gold bullion is used to make more credit available, it becomes the cornerstone of credit, whereas if it is used as metal currency, it accomplishes very little. Gold bullion is meant to be gathered in a pile, as huge as possible, and the pile must remain inviolate and observable. The notes and the bills are issued and spent, but the gold stays in a neat pile. The banker who possesses the gold can issue bills of exchange in which everybody has the highest confidence, and as the pile of gold grows, it acts as a starter or mother for more notes and more bills. Of course, the process of creating credit makes the gold holder richer, but beyond a certain point, getting rich is no longer the point, amassing more bullion is.

Creating credit is akin to controlling the monetary system, and controlling the monetary system isn’t about increasing the wealth of one individual, for that’s already a given in Mayer’s case, it’s about pointing the economy or the country in the desired direction and creating more credit and more wealth, and buying more gold. Elected individuals can’t possibly control a monetary system, for they are too subjective and think too short-term, and the monetary system can only founder under the weight of their greed, corruption and short-sightedness. Only objective private interests totally intent on building thriving market economies can succeed. The privately owned Bank of England was myopic and parochial in nature, but it was the only bank in the history of man that had withstood the test of time. The bank Mayer was creating was international in nature, and would one day dominate the prestigious Bank of England.

He continued by giving a brief account of what had been accomplished so far. The Bank of North America was chartered on May 26, 1781 by the Confederation Congress, at which time Alexander Hamilton had recommended Morris for the position of Superintendent of Finance. The constitution for the Bank of North America had been drafted by Alexander and was modeled after the Bank of England. Morris had then submitted his legislative proposal based on that draft, and that’s how the first private commercial bank in the United States, Mayer’s bank, was born.

When Robert Morris became superintendent of finance the continental currency had ceased to be issued. On April 30, 1781, Alexander Hamilton was advised to tell Morris that the bank’s capital would consist of 1,000 shares priced at $400 each. When Mayer offered Benjamin Franklin, who was still in France, a symbolic share in order to show the great American’s faith in the Federalists and his confidence in the new bank, he readily accepted. Thomas Willing, the original President of the bank offices in Philadelphia,  and William Bingham were given shares as well. But it was Robert Morris who held more than 90% of the shares, thanks to the French gold and the promissory notes representing the war debts of the 13 Colonies that he had in his possession.


Franklin left Philadelphia on the 26th of October, accompanied by his son, William Temple Franklin, and his grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, son of Sarah. Sarah was the daughter he had with Deborah Read, his common-law wife.

They sailed on board the Continental sloop-of-war Reprisal which carried sixteen guns. He had to be protected, for if Franklin had been captured by the English on the high seas he would have been hanged for treason. The 70-year-old American, widely referred to by the English as ‘chief of the rebels’ or as ‘General Franklin’, was deemed dangerous. The British Ambassador to France expressed his regrets that some English frigate had not met and dispensed with him on the high seas. However, he landed at Auray on the Loire River and made his way to Nantes with great difficulty. From there, the 250-mile trip into Paris was like a triumphal procession. He was wined and dined by scientific and literary notables on the way, and his entry into Paris caused a sensation.

Franklin’s fame was due not only to his scientific reputation, but also to the French rage for what philosopher Rousseau called ‘the natural man’. There was a vogue for things American in France at this time. Many French intellectuals looked to America as a new world, a fresh world, a world where human nature was closer to its natural origins than the human nature that one found in Europe. And Franklin, of course, was more than pleased to cater to French expectations. When he arrived in Paris, he was wearing a little fur cap to keep his bald head warm. To the French, the hat was the embodiment of the rugged American frontiersman and proof that Franklin was a true ‘natural man’. Even though no one knew what exactly he was doing in France, the French welcomed him with open arms, and he became a pop culture icon. Images of Franklin, wearing a fur cap instead of a wig, were depicted in paintings, engravings, medallions, rings, and snuffboxes.

After the Battle of Saratoga and the humiliating defeat of the British army commanded by General Burgoyne, Franklin, in spite of his struggling with the French language, used his charm, wit, and learning, to parlay this English defeat at the hands of American militias into a gigantic diplomatic victory. The French foreign minister, Count of Vergennes, wasted no time in officially acknowledging that the United States was an independent country. A formal treaty with France followed in 1778.

When he first arrived in Paris, Benjamin settled in Passy, a very affluent part of the city. It was necessary to seek out the French elite in order to achieve his goal. He had no direct access to the King, but he could influence those around him in order to get financial and military aid for America. He decided to do this in two ways. He would seek out the most select salon he could find, and since he was a freemason, he would frequent a local lodge, where the great men of the day, the enlightened ones, were members.

Upon his arrival he was introduced to the salon of Mme Helvetius in Auteuil. At the relatively late age of 29, Mme Helvetius had married the French philosopher and poet, Claude Adrien Helvétius, who had amassed a fortune as a Farmers General tax collector. The couple settled in the Paris suburb of Auteuil, and Minette, as she was called, opened a salon where she entertained some of the greatest figures of the Age of Enlightenment. Among them were Suzanne Necker, Diderot, Duclos, André Chénier, Condorcet, l’Abbé Sieyès, Buffon, Condillac, d’Alembert, Lavoisier, and such politicians as Malesherbes, Talleyrand, Madame Roland, Mirabeau, just to name a few.

Twenty years into her marriage, her husband died, and in 1776, she and Jérôme de Lalande opened the ‘Loge des Neuf Sœurs’, a masonic lodge that was affiliated to the Grand Orient of France. Freemasonry was incontestably one of the factors of the great changes that were taking place in the west. It was where new ideas were expressed, and from where men influenced the course of events. Of course, Benjamin frequented that French lodge from the very start. Two years later, in 1778, he was initiated as a member, and, in 1779, he was made Worshipful Master. A few weeks before his death, Voltaire was initiated as a member, and Benjamin was greatly impressed with the man. They became good friends, and when asked by Benjamin, he even gave his blessings to his grandson. Needless to say, the lodge was an excellent way for Benjamin to meet great men who had influence in the highest levels of society.

But Benjamin was also a ladies’ man. His wife had died in 1774, and in spite of his age, while in France, he was treated like a rock star, and he couldn’t help being a flirt. One lady whom he considered his equal was Mme Helvetius, and he may have even proposed to her. One thing for sure, he wanted to share her bed. He called her Notre Dame, and in one of his notes to her, he writes: ‘if Notre Dame is pleased to spend her days with Franklin, he would be just as pleased to spend his nights with her; and since he has already given her so many of his days, although he has so few left to give, she seems ungrateful in never giving him one of her nights’.

Franklin frequented the upper classes and the aristocrats, for they were the ones he had to convince in order for them to convince the king. The salon of Mme Helvetius and the Lodge of the Nine Sisters served his purpose well, but that was not his only activity. He was in constant communication with Robert Morris in Philadelphia, because, as arranged by Mayer, he depended on his financial help. There was a four-way communication between Mayer, David Schiff, Robert Morris and Benjamin because arms, clothing and war material shipments to America had to be organized as well. So far only Lazard was getting rich filling orders for David. Many shipments had been sent through St. Eustatius, but more was needed. Because Benjamin had so many important contacts in Paris, and because he was such a hit with the French, he was able to encourage Vergennes to replace the outdated arms in the numerous arsenals throughout France and make them available to America. So, from 1776 to 1778 ever more arms and powder would make their way to America.

Back in NYC, after being arrested by the English for helping the Sons of Freedom, Haym had started interpreting for the Hessians. That’s when he befriended Colonel Johann Rall, a Hessian, and by pulling all the right strings, he managed to have him command the Hessian troops sent to hold the Trenton position opposite Philadelphia. Haym had explained to Rall that Philadelphia was a community made up of Germans who had come from the Frankfurt region just like them, and if they were to defect, not only would they feel at home but they would be given large parcels of land and enough money to start a new life. The Trenton Hessian soldier pickup was a total success, more than 900 Hessians crossed the Delaware with Washington’s help. More importantly, it was construed as a major American victory over the English, and it gave quite a boost to American morale.

Later, on July 12th, 1778, when the French Ambassador sailed with the French Fleet up the Delaware, Mayer had been forewarned and had sent word to Haym who was in NYC. Haym escaped without too much difficulty, and though the English sentenced him to death in absentia, he arrived safely in Philadelphia ahead of the French Ambassador.

After settling in the counting house run by Bernard Gratz, Washington backed Haym’s candidacy for brokering the French aid package. But the French Ambassador was already looking for Haym, thanks to the recommendations of Benjamin in Paris. That’s how, with Benjamin’s help and the support of influential members of the Continental Congress, Haym was chosen by the anti-semite French to broker their aid package. Haym was not only named broker to the French Consul, but also Treasurer of the French Army, and Fiscal Agent of the French Minister to the United States. More important of all, some 500 tons of gold was added to the bullion already in his Philadelphia vault.

However, working within Congress was another matter. Both Haym and Robert worked for Mayer, but Robert Morris was the one chosen to become a member of Congress because he was a goy. Not only that, but he was, as far as the colonials were concerned, a rich merchant who had supplied them arms and ammunitions since 1774. David and Haym had financed the arm shipments to America as directed by Mayer, but it was Morris’ arms importing company that had fronted the operations. Congress and the militias had gotten arms and powder, and grateful as they were, they didn’t ask questions. Mayer had total confidence in both Robert Morris, and since Americans, like Europeans, were not yet ready to accept Jews in the inner sanctum of political leadership, Robert worked inside Congress, and Haym outside. Mayer couldn’t have been more satisfied with the results.