45-CONSPIRACY AND CONTROL

When we became intelligent some three million years ago, we became aware of our mortality and were consequently scared out of our wits. This led to unrest and confusion within our specie for the longest time. Fortunately, in 325 of the Common Era (CE), a group of good men decided to create a very effective religion, one meant to control man’s behavior by instilling the fear of God in him. That religion, Christianity, invaded the infrastructure of the Roman Empire like a hermit crab. Once established with its network of kings, it forced all the citizens of the empire to adopt the Nicene Creed. It ruled by diplomacy and fear of God, and when that didn’t work, it used threats of excommunication, wars, crusades, and inquisitions to set things right. The official religion was not only intolerant and exclusive but was opposed to the spread of knowledge as well. It was created on the premise that poverty was godly, and that science was the work of the devil. Its finances were based on tithing and deeding by those who wanted to buy their way into heaven when the time came. It was a haphazard but boundless source of revenue, and corruption set in. The Vatican ruled very inefficiently. Not surprisingly, along the way, it created two deadly enemies, the Jews and Huguenots (French Protestants). Those two enemies joined forces in London in 1600, but finding more tolerant political conditions in Amsterdam, they established their headquarters there in 1602. Under the guise of the East India Company, they ruled the oceans of the world for nearly a century. As soon as it became feasible, in 1688, they returned to London and established their head office in the City. The next step was the creation of a political system called democracy.

In 1694, the East India Company created the Bank of England, a financial oligarchy that now ruled the oceans out of the City in London instead of Amsterdam. The bankers were determined to turn the world into one great market economy, an English one, of course. That short-sightedness was what allowed Mayer Amschel Rothschild to create the Bank of North America in 1781 and his son, Nathan, to take over the Bank of England in 1810. Mayer’s far-sightedness gave us international finance, a system where market economies, or democracies, freely traded with each other. Mayer’s dynasty had the added advantage of not only speaking with one voice, but in making credit accessible to governments as well as merchants and ordinary citizens, it could only know lasting success. Today, we are all living witnesses to that fact.

Credit is the most sophisticated and cleanest method of control, and more importantly, it’s always in great demand. The credit machine could be compared to a water pumping system where the big water reservoir is the hundred and fifty thousand of gold stockpiled in the City and its Central Banks. From that reservoir, the gold is magically transformed into paper dollars before being sent on their way. The added magic in this operation is that no matter how many dollars are printed, the stockpile of gold never decreases, quite the opposite, it is meant to increase in size as more gold is mined and bought up. Today, the good as gold dollars, paper or electronic, soon to be replaced by virtual bitcoins, flow to the central bank of each country as well as the multiple world organizations such as the United Nations, Unesco, World Bank etc. These are connected to smaller pipelines going down to industries and individuals in the form of loans, and to the man on the street in the form of a salary. On each pipeline there is a tap that controls the output, the tap being the interest rate. If the City wants a country or a multinational to shape up, it gets Standard and Poor’s or some other mysterious entity to let the Gorgon Sisters, Reuters, AP and AFP, tell the world that their credit is no good. Then the NYSE, the first domino in a long chain of dominoes, falls in the desired direction, thus starting a chain reaction. The dominoes are manipulated by the ‘suits’, politicians, traders, professors and journalists, who are never told what to do or say, but know exactly what the one who pays their salary wants, and act accordingly. No matter how many dominoes there are in a given sequence, they all fall in the direction in which the original domino fell, and if one domino fails to fall, it is simply replaced or bypassed, and the chain restarted. All people who receive a salary do what is expected of them, and that includes everybody, the President on down, but no one is made to think he’s a pawn, for democracy is all about instilling the feeling of empowerment.

Credit control works extremely well, but when drastic action like war is needed, the people must be made to believe that it’s necessary and to not question it. Credit control depends on democracy, and democracy depends on the empowerment of the people. People have to be made to believe they are the ones deciding or democracy can’t work. In the good old Holy Roman Empire days, the clergy used very crude ways to impose its will, as mentioned earlier, but Mayer’s dynasty in the City has always used more sophisticated controls such as free speech, job creation, and media feed in order to sway public opinion. But in dire cases, it gets America, the City’s executive arm, to arrange for a Pearl Harbor or a 9/11 in order to get things done.

First, the people must be empowered, and that comes about largely with the creation of jobs. When war is being planned, huge sums of credit are injected to fuel the arms industry, creating a lot of employment and making a lot of people rich in the process. But swaying public opinion is trickier. The process begins with the Gorgon Sisters feeding the various media with the necessary information or misinformation, and encouraging ‘free’ speech. Those who speak for the war are good patriots and good leaders while those who oppose the war and question the facts leading up to it are quickly branded conspirators, or even traitors. The Gorgon sisters freely let conspiracy theories flow into the media because they can easily counter them by having a number of respected ‘suits’ defend the City’s point of view that has become theirs. People eventually become blasé to conspiracy, to the point where every time they hear the word, they switch off. Honest citizens don’t listen to those nuts, and when it comes to the crunch, they trust their elected leaders and their media, regardless.

In 1913, after the Federal Reserve Act was signed into law, Hollywood started sending pictures depicting the greatness of democracy around the world. The dollar was becoming as good as gold, and the image was becoming the message. On the one hand, Mayer’s dynasty controlled the dollar and the many currencies tied to it, and therefore unofficially ruled the financial world, and on the other, the ‘land of the free’, or the ‘land of opportunity’, became everyone’s ideal on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. Every able-bodied person wanted to come to America or be like Americans. It opened wide the door to globalization.

Today, Marshall McLuhan’s maxims, ‘the image is the message’, and ‘the global village’ have become more meaningful than ever. Hollywood followed by TV, the internet, and the smartphone gave us an image-oriented society and virtually empowered us. But as incomes grew, people had more leisure time on their hands, and that meant the Gorgon Sisters had to play an ever-greater role in filling the airwaves. Politics, religion, sports, entertainment along with local news had to keep everybody focused. Now people do it all by themselves through the social networks.

However, the citizen needing ever more direction, the old overpowering control, the one based on the fear of God and the threat of damnation no longer sufficing, a new concept was introduced. Since humans are genetically conditioned to live with fear, it is very easy to condition them to forever expect dread, as long as they are convinced that their leaders will save them if and when disaster strikes. In fact, it is a simple control, very much like a riding crop used to make horses do what they are meant to do. A horse would not be worth his salt if it didn’t do what its owner wanted it to do, so, once broken in, the crop is used to remind it of a looming threat. A good owner never hits the horse with the crop, but simply makes sure the horse is aware of it. In a democracy, people may have the illusion of being free and empowered, but they react to credit and media just like the horse to the crop. Instilling fear into a population must go hand in hand with the assurance that it is protected. People may complain, and that is useful in keeping their minds busy, but they must above all trust the one who brandishes the crop, or it doesn’t work.

Fear comes with names like Hitler, Khomeini and Bin Laden, and words like anarchists, Marxists, communists, fascists, terrorists, ISIS, Al Qaeda and Dahesh, Stalin and Putin, names and words that were and are repeated in the media thousands of times each day throughout the world. From atop his elevator shoes, the leader of North Korea threatens to blow up the whole world, and we tremble. And though the five permanent Security Council members, America, Russia, England, France and China are under one roof and have never fired a shot at each other, we continue fearing Russia to this day. The banking dynasty in the City created the Permanent Security Council and controls all the central banks of the world, yet we still fear being annihilated by an atomic bomb coming from Russia, and even North Korea, as ludicrous as that is. The Gorgon Sisters know how and when to brandish the crop, and by sending images of terrorist attacks, along with ridiculous military parades and the lighting of wet firecrackers out of North Korea, they make us tremble, just like they did with Russia not so long ago. As more and more people become smombies, that is glued to their smartphones, we could say that they are hardwired to the Gorgon Sisters who constantly spew out marching jingles.

Two great examples of the way the crop is used have to do with airport security checks and the climate change debate. Anybody who has a million dollars can hijack or blow up a plane anytime, anywhere in the world, and any professional killer can use a plastic card in his wallet, or the plastic food utensils on board, to kill or threaten to kill anybody at will. As for security checks per se, if people are asked to remove their belts and shoes, it is simply a symbolic way to instil fear in the middle class of the world, the flying population, by symbolically having them drop their pants and walk bare-footed, for it serves absolutely no other purpose. The only valid control at the airport is the metal detector that’s meant to stop the ordinary crazies who may be tempted to carry a knife or a gun on board. As for climate change, it is a reality, but not for the reasons the Gorgon Sisters give. The reality is that we’re on the warming leg of a glacial cycle, and that the production of CO2 is irrelevant. But, like with the horse who trusts the crop holder, we trust the one who spews out the fabricated hype about CO2. The more the crop is brandished, the more we walk the line.

 

 

42-CITY OF LIGHTS

In France, in 1804, after the Civil Code was rammed through, non-elected Prefects answered directly to the central authority in Paris and ran their departments with the help of the dreaded Fouché police. After Napoleon was sent to St. Helens, Nathan, who was head of his dynasty in the City, had taken a wait and see attitude in order to determine whether or not a constitutional monarchy was possible for France. He let Louis XVIII have a go at it, followed by Charles X and Louis-Philippe d’Orléans. Those three monarchs were more interested in doing the Holy Roman Empire’s bidding by perpetrating the White Terror and taking their revenge on the Bonapartists and old revolutionaries in general than in founding a constitutional monarchy. When Nathan died in 1836, France was still being plagued by political unrest, and his son Lionel decided to put the French constitutional monarchy matter to rest. Putting a stop to anarchy in a country to which Mayer’s family was so beholding, was the only decent thing to do. Lionel decided to turn Paris into the City of Lights and give France stability by enshrining the centralist state put in place by Napoleon.

The 500 tons of gold sent as an aid package to America in 1768 had been used by Mayer to open the Bank of North America, and the roughly 5000 tons of French gold generated by the real estate scam in 1789 and stored in the Goldsmid Bros. vaults in the City, had been used by Nathan to take over the Bank of England. Lionel, as head of the family dynasty, now controlled the monetary systems of America, England, France and most of Europe, and he personally wanted to do something special for France. This country had given a lot to his family and the world, and yet had been subjected to untold miseries just because it happened to be the cornerstone of the Holy Roman Empire. Things had to be put right.

Adolphe Thiers was an active French political figure from 1825 to 1875, and no doubt did the City’s bidding during that time. In 1830, after helping to bring down Charles X, who had replaced Louis XVIII, he supported the Orléanist Louis-Philippe and had him elected with Lafayette’s help. When this third attempt at Constitutional Monarchy failed, political unrest continued, and Lionel decided that enough was enough. In 1841, mindboggling amounts of credit were made available to Thiers in order for him to build a wall around Paris.

When the wall was completed in 1844, it was time to get rid of Louis-Philippe d’Orléans, the last king that was to be. In 1848, Lionel had Thiers support Louis-Napoleon, a Bonapartist, who was easily elected President with the help of intellectuals such as Victor Hugo. Thiers then encouraged Louis-Napoléon to declare himself Emperor Napoleon III, which he did in 1852, before starting to demolish much of Paris, for this would not be a very popular move. In 1853, Adolphe Thiers and Baron Haussmann, the Paris Prefect, started levelling whole sections of the city to make wide avenues that would, as far as the federalists were concerned, facilitate the movement of troops within the city. Nonetheless, the demolition of crowded and unhealthy medieval neighborhoods, the building of wide avenues, parks and squares, the annexation of the suburbs surrounding Paris, the construction of new sewers, fountains and aqueducts, and row upon row of the most beautifully designed residential buildings in the world, continued. Since gas used for lighting was now accessible throughout the city, Paris became known as the City of Lights. One could ask, however, why they had surrounded Paris with an impregnable thirty-three-kilometer wall bordered by an elevated 250-meter strip of land defended by sixteen fort cities that were part of that wall?

It obviously meant there was a Machiavellian plan in place. In fact, as beautiful as Paris had become, the fortifications had turned Paris into a fishbowl that was meant to contain the Federalists. When the time came, they were to be rounded up with their families and sent into exile to New Caledonia, thus removing a major political obstructionist force. Although the Federalists were true democrats, like none before or since, and as appealing as pure democracy is in theory, it is not feasible. Human nature simply won’t allow it. The only type of democracy possible is one where the monetary system is run by private interests. The one who prints the money cannot be the one spending it, and that’s what the Federalists were in effect trying to do. The very unique and democratically minded Federalists had to go.

Moreover, if France was to be stabilized, the Royalists had to be given a death blow as well. The period from 1789 to 1840 had proven that the two groups could never achieve constitutional government on their own. The only solution was to enforce the centralist state concept that Napoleon had put in place in 1804, and have the population elect a president every seven year. This would empower the people at the expense of the Federalists and the Royalists who would never recover.

So, when the City of Lights was more or less completed in 1870, it was time to get rid of the Federalists. Louis-Napoleon, listening no doubt to a divine voice coming from the City, made the most absurd decision by declaring war on Prussia over an insignificant diplomatic incident. Even more bizarre, he wasn’t the one who attacked Bismarck, it was Bismarck who attacked Paris. After the preordained siege of Paris, Louis-Napoleon fled to England, and Thiers, now the self-proclaimed head of government, transferred his whole administration to Versailles. Surprisingly, he came up with the colossal sum of money needed to buy back the 100,000 French prisoners from Bismarck. Inexplicably, it was Thiers, not Bismarck, who marched into Paris with the recently purchased French prisoners. His orders were undoubtedly to surround and capture the members of the Commune, Federalists all, before exiling them to New Caledonia, but things didn’t work out as planned. The Federalists put up too strong a resistance, and a panicking Thiers commited the worst atrocities imaginable. Tens of thousands of Federalists, including women and children, were executed, while perhaps twice as many were imprisoned under atrocious conditions and died in the process. Thiers did succeed in exiling thousands of Federalists to New Caledonia, and it did mark the end of that political force, but the Paris Commune remains one of the worst blood baths in history, much to Lionel’s chagrin, to be sure.

On January 3rd, 1875, Henri Wallon tabled an amendment proposing that the President of the Republic be elected by an absolute majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives for a renewable seven-year period. It became known as the Constitutional Laws of 1875 which officially established France as a centralist state. Thiers, who had been chosen as the 1st President, conveniently resigned, and Patrice MacMahon, a catholic aristocrat who was neither monarchist nor republican, was elected to succeed him. The wall that had cost countless billions to build was torn down, and the Stockholm syndrome kicked in. The French have since put their trust in one man, their President. They elect their President, a “father knows best” figure, who somehow becomes l’État, and they trust l’État more than they do their fellow citizens. The people’s Assembly is composed in great part by duly elected mayors, and since mayors answer directly to prefects nominated by the President, it means that France is a centralist state, or a democratic dictature.

35-MOSCOW CAMPAIGN

After launching the War of 1812, confident that the American politicians would renew his bank’s charter, Nathan turned his attention to Europe. He was anxious to send Napoleon to Russia. Like his father, he believed that more gold bullion was needed if the number of central banks, and hence the number of democracies, was to grow. It was crucial to accumulate as much gold as possible while waiting for the USA to become a coast-to-coast country and for the US dollar to become as good as gold. The problem in 1812 was that gold mining was still in its infancy, and that exploiting alluvial gold deposits was very much 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 carry out 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 get Ouvrard to contact Talleyrand who in turn would encourage Napoleon to go and force Tsar Alexander 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 dispatched to the Urals in order to launch and supervise mining operations. Of course, as an incentive, 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. Nathan would give the Tsar his royalties on the one hand, and buy the gold by sending letters of exchange in pounds to Napoleon in Paris. The gold would then 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 no sense. A lot of people wonder to this day why he went. After major losses, he entered Moscow, but 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 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 for 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 during the first year of activity. 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 the ghetto where he was born.

One thing is certain, Gutle 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. By not keeping a low profile while running the greatest financial dynasty of all time, Nathan was running counter to the founder’s wishes.

However, Nathan’s 4-year-old son Lionel also attended his grandfather’s funeral. Fortunately, Gutle bonded instantly with her grandson, and when he took over the reins of power after his father’s death in 1836, Gutle was still living in Judengasse. She died much later, in 1849, and Lionel visited the old woman he loved as often as he could. Gutle 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, Nathan’s bank in the City still fixes the daily price of gold for the whole world and does so in US dollars.

34-THE 1812 TSUNAMI

In 1811, the charter for the First Bank of the United States ended. President James Madison and ex-President Thomas Jefferson, by now convinced that the American monetary system was in private hands, let it be known that they were going to do everything they could to put a stop to the operations of these greedy private bankers. However, Nathan operating out of the City was omnipotent, which meant he had a lot more gold than all the shareholders of the Bank of England combined. At that time, he had more than half the gold ever produced in the world, an estimated 5000 tons.

On March 4th of that same year, Nathan declared unilaterally that either the application for renewal of the charter of the Second Bank of the USA would be granted, or the United States would find itself involved in a most disastrous war. Quite unexpectedly, on June 18th, 1812, it was President Madison who declared war on England, not the other way around. It begs the question, how did Nathan get Madison to declare a futile, senseless war?

Early on, Nathan realized that there was strong opposition to the renewal of the charter of the First Bank of the United States. Since the USA refused to annul their 1768 trade agreement with France, and since money talks, Nathan had the English parliament strong-arm the Americans into trading with England instead of France, as per Jay’s Treaty signed in 1793. Not surprisingly, the British Admiralty was only too happy to start impressment tactics by seizing American ships trading with France and forcing the American sailors to integrate the English Navy. This was an intolerable situation, and just as Nathan expected, Congress declared war against England.

Congress was forced to borrow from the First Bank of the United States, Mayer’s bank which was still operational, while the English Parliament was forced to borrow from the Bank of England, which had been unofficially taken over by the N A Rothschild & Sons bank founded in 1810. Ever since the Battle of the Nile in 1799, Mayer’s dynasty has financed all opponents in major armed conflicts, for it’s the surest way to get the desired outcome.

The War of 1812, started in August of that year, ended unofficially when the White House, residence of President Madison, was burned down by the English troops in August, 1814. Congress, financially ruined by the war, was forced to sign the charter for the Second Bank of the United States into law on December 15th, 1815, thus giving the bank another twenty-year lease that was to last until 1836. As of that moment, Mayer’s dynasty officially controlled the monetary systems of England and America, and unofficially those of Russia, France, Holland and Germany.

In short, the year 1812 was a pivotal year for the Rothschild dynasty. First, the War of 1812 forced the US Congress to accept a monetary system based on the dollar and controlled by Nathan in the City, the same one that had been established in 1781 by his father. Also, in 1812, the Russian campaign by Napoleon set up the modus operandi with regards to the exploitation of gold for centuries to come. Thereon in, by encouraging the production of gold and buying all the gold produced either in Russia, South Africa, North America, Australia or elsewhere, Nathan and his dynasty would be able to create more democracies by controlling their monetary systems.  Unfortunately, 1812 was also the year when the patriarch of the dynasty, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, died in the Judengasse ghetto in Frankfort.

As for the Holy Roman Empire, it was still not completely defeated by the financial power in the City, and it kept doing everything it could to stop Mayer’s dynasty from destroying what remained of the Ancien Regimes of Europe and from taking control of their monetary systems. As expected, major wars were needed in order to completely uproot the Ancien Regimes, and they would all be won in the name of democracy by the powers that be in the City. On her deathbed, Nathan’s mother was heard to say, ‘if my sons didn’t want war, there would be none’, and she was right.

22-RECRUITING BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

After Haym wrote Mayer telling him that the meeting had gone well, that the Fairfax Resolves had been accepted by all the Colonies except Georgia, that war was inevitable and that Boston was ready to explode, Mayer left for America by way of St.Eustatius in early 1776 aboard a Robert Morris ship carrying arms and powder. He was quite impressed with all the commercial activity such a small island generated, but he was especially pleased to meet Heyliger. Since all merchandise was moving so well, thanks in part to Heyliger’s efficient running of Mayer’s counting house, there wasn’t much to talk about. After the necessary formalities and the well-deserved congratulations, the two men enjoyed a great seafood dinner, and the next morning, Mayer was off to Boston.

When Morris’ ship arrived at the drop-off site in a cove south of Boston in late March, Mayer learned that the English had evacuated Boston earlier in the month and asked the captain to carry on directly to Boston. The whole cargo was unloaded while Mayer went to meet with Moses Hayes. He learned that George Washington had marched his army to Cambridge after the Battle of Bunker Hill, and had sent young Henry Knox to fetch the canons captured by Benedict Arnold at Fort Ticonderoga. The young librarian had accomplished a miracle by transporting the canons overland by oxen to Boston in the dead of winter without losing a single one. Washington had then positioned them on Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston harbor. Moses went on to say that, thanks to the arms and powder shipments received from St. Eustatius, not only had the canons been readied for action, but that thousands of New England militiamen had been recruited.

With the heavy canons bearing down on his fleet, General Howe had thought it best to evacuate Boston and take the loyalists with him. When Moses added that the merchants, the patriots and the politicians were more determined than ever to gain their economic freedom from England, Mayer was pleased that so much had been accomplished with so little blood being spilled.

When the British left Boston, Washington thought the British had gone to NYC, and that’s where he headed with his newly recruited army. This meant Mayer would not meet with Washington in Boston, and that suited him just fine, for he would have a chance to speak with Haym before talking to the General at his NYC headquarters.

Mayer told Moses that the British had sent some twenty thousand Hessians to fight in America and that the first contingent would be arriving soon. Mayer had learned that the Hanau contingent was to be dropped off in Quebec City which meant the British were planning to send troops down the Richelieu River in order to take control of the Lake Champlain-Hudson River waterway in the spring. There was no longer any doubt the British were planning to split the Colonies in two just like General von Estorff had predicted.

The next day he went to see John Adams, and although the man wasn’t a die-hard patriot, he congratulated him on the successful siege of Boston. But what Mayer really wanted was to acquaint Adams with the fact the Hessians were coming and to ask him to send couriers to spread the news to the other Colonies. If independence was to be achieved, the wavering loyalists and the moderate patriots had to know that the Mother Country was sending mercenaries to fight them, news that would surely influence them and consolidate the patriot movement. Adams agreed and couriers were dispatched on the hour.

When Mayer got to NYC, he immediately went to see Haym. The first thing Haym told him was that the 2nd Continental Congress had voted in favor of the Declaration of Independence. Copies had been sent to the different Colonies and Congress was expecting them to ratify the document. According to Haym, because everybody now knew the German mercenaries were coming, the more moderate members of the New York Provincial Congress, and even some of the die-hard loyalists, were likely to come on board.

NYC had always been a loyalist stronghold, but with recent developments in Boston the less moderate elements of the population were being swayed. After the Boston evacuation, the British had, the month before, sent a warship in NYC harbor in order to protect the loyalists, and that encouraged the rebels to foment fear, and that led to the more moderate Provincial Assembly being replaced by the Provincial Congress. A Committee of Safety whose main task was to raise and equip troops for the defense of NYC and spy on the loyalists suspected of assisting the British was created. The situation had reached a point of no return.

Mayer lost no time in arranging a meeting with Washington who had set up his headquarters in upper Manhattan. Upon reaching Washington’s headquarters Mayer and Haym were not surprised to see that he had requisitioned an elaborate mansion for his staff. The luxurious surroundings and his many young aides-de-camp prancing around in sharp uniforms contrasted sharply with the rag tag troops encamped in helter-skelter fashion in the fields adjacent to the command post. However, what mattered was having a Commander-in-Chief who held the Continental Army together and showed the colors as much as possible. How he conducted his private life, or how good a military commander he was, was of no concern to Mayer. All that was expected of him was to harass the enemy with his company of Virginia riflemen and whatever canons he had, and retreat inland as the British retaliated.

With Haym as translator, Mayer greeted the General and made a point of congratulating him on the successful siege of Boston. He then asked him how Mrs. Washington was and if the renovation and expansion of Mount Vernon was completed to his satisfaction. Washington answered that Martha was very well, and that thanks to Mayer and his collaborators, nodding in Haym’s direction, Mount Vernon was finished and was indeed a sight to behold. Mayer said that he was delighted for him and added that if he needed anything, all he had to do was ask Haym.

Washington then told Mayer he was planning to have the Declaration of Independence document read to the troops assembled on the common the next day, and that it would be an honor to have him attend. If the Provincial Congress signed the document as expected, George would then give young Alexander Hamilton, a very promising King’s College student who had formed a group of patriots called Hearts of Oak, the go-ahead to raid the battery in Manhattan. Then, he would point the seized canons in the direction of the English fleet and wait for the English to land their troops. Once that happened, George would put up a barrage of canon fire and get the Virginia rifle company to hold them off as long as possible. When the inevitable came, the Continental Army would simply retreat towards the interior, leaving Manhattan to the English. He was sure Cornwallis, not wanting to put too much distance between his army and the English fleet in NYC, wouldn’t pursue them too far inland.

Knowing the Hanau Hessians had been dropped off in Quebec, the General was convinced the English would be sending an army to Ft. Ticonderoga from Quebec by way of Lake Champlain and another up the Hudson to meet up with it. The two armies would no doubt get moving in early spring, and it was imperative that he send whatever militias he could muster to cut them off. As for the Continental Army, he needed more French muskets, more Pennsylvania rifles, more powder, more boots and clothing, more horses and saddlery, in short, more of everything.

Mayer answered that muskets, powder and boots were being sent in ever greater number. European military uniforms were also being sent to Pennsylvania along with hundreds of bolts of fine woolen red and blue cloth. An army of seamstresses would tailor the uniforms to the General’s liking. Furthermore, the Pennsylvania gunsmiths were being financially encouraged to produce as many rifles as possible and as quickly as possible. The General would soon be able to form more rifle companies. Mayer told the General all he had to do was ask Haym if he needed anything. For now, the important thing was to prevent the two British armies from joining up at Fort Ticonderoga.

Moreover, since over the winter months there wouldn’t be much action, Mayer told George that he had asked Haym to work on getting the Hessians to defect when they landed in New York. Mayer thought that if they were promised parcels of land and money in order to settle down in Pennsylvania where there already was a big population of Germans, the Hessians would readily accept the offer. If Haym succeeded in getting some Hessians to defect, Mayer wondered if the General wouldn’t mind picking them up and conveying them to Pennsylvania.

The General, happy to be getting his horses and saddlery, the promised Burgundy wine along with his guns and powder, said he would be more than willing to assist Haym in the defection of the Hessians. When Haym was ready, all he had to do was tell the General when and where to pick them up. He could also count on the General for transporting his family and capital to Pennsylvania if and when it became necessary.

The next day, Mayer witnessed a very moving ceremony on the common as the Declaration of Independence was solemnly read to the troops. A group of citizens listening on the fringes were so moved that they proceeded to tear down the newly-erected statue of the King. When it was confirmed that the Provincial Congress had signed the Declaration of Independence document earlier that day, Mayer left for Philadelphia in a good frame of mind. With New York in the American camp, the British didn’t have much of a chance.

Mayer was a judicious man who never let himself be unduly impressed by people upon meeting them, he preferred to treat everyone politely and with respect, and not prejudge them. He knew what pushed people to do the things they did and was never disappointed one way or the other. Culturally, he was an Ashkenazi, a people that had survived thanks to the solidarity of the group, a group of people he could trust with his life. He trusted Sephardim like Haym, and a few goys like Prince William in Hanau and Robert Morris in Philadelphia, but it was a case by case affair.

When Mayer met Bernard Gratz and Robert Morris in the Philadelphia counting house, they exchanged heartfelt greetings, and Mayer asked if Benjamin Franklin had been invited. He had, and when Franklin arrived, Morris explained who Mayer was, and Franklin bluntly told him he was most anxious to meet the mystery man who had made the meeting of the 1st Continental Congress possible. When Mayer met Americans, he had to use an interpreter, but this time, he was quite relieved to learn that Franklin spoke some German.

Mayer knew of Franklin’s reputation, and as they made eye contact for the first time, he was convinced that it wasn’t overstated. This man exuded humility, strength of character, and sharpness of mind, a combination of qualities that he had not seen in any of the other goy leaders. Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Adams, John Jay, and other American leaders he had met, were all talented men in their own right, but they were politically motivated. They were indispensable in the nation building process, but they weren’t men of vision. In order to achieve a monetary union and a united America, he needed an American counterpart who shared his dream, a man who wanted to establish a monetary system and who wasn’t primarily motivated by self-interest. He needed a man like Franklin.

Mayer and Franklin engaged in small talk which had to do with ocean travel and Europe. Mayer being of the strong silent type variety, Franklin was the one who kept the exchange going by asking Mayer why he had come to America. Mayer had anticipated this moment and told him he had come to meet with the directors of his counting houses, but also to find a way to help the patriot cause. He didn’t tell Franklin outright that he was the one who had financed the 1st Continental Congress and supplied arms and ammunition to the militias in the 13 Colonies, but Franklin had already put two and two together.

When Mayer asked him if they could meet privately, saying that it was a matter of great importance for America, Franklin accepted and suggested they meet the following day in his modest manor. And since he had just hired a great cook, he insisted that they have lunch. Mayer accepted on the condition he supply the wine.

The house was quite spacious and very comfortable, but Benjamin’s wife having died the year before in 1774 while he was in England, the drawing and engraving paraphernalia he was using to produce the Continental Dollar plates was slowly invading the whole house. Since his return, he had produced four fractional dollar bills for Congress and he was working on several others. Congress had reconvened in May following the Battle of Bunker Hill and had declared war on England. The dollar bills were to be used to pay for the war. Franklin wanted the bills to convey strong messages, for he hoped that the Continental currency would help unify the 13 Colonies. He wanted plants and animals instead of people on the face of the bills, and he had made hundreds of sketches and drawings that were strewn about. They kept company to the many books from which he got his ideas for symbols and sayings that he intended to translate into Latin. As each bill was printed bearing a message of resilience, strength, frugality, industry and such, he would publish an article in the Philadelphia Gazette in order to explain the meanings of the symbols, the emblems and the Latin. Mayer thought the man was brilliant but had doubts about the long-term success of his bills.

No matter, Mayer couldn’t help but scrutinize Benjamin’s work and marvel at his great talent and energy. Mayer knew a lot about printing bills thanks to all the knowledge he had gained from the printers at the goldsmith house in Hanau, and he knew that the man before him was indeed a genius.

Likewise, Benjamin was quite impressed by Mayer. It was obvious that Mayer wasn’t a rich pompous merchant, but rather a quiet powerful man who wanted to make the world a better place. When Benjamin told him that he was aware of what he had done for the patriot cause, Mayer added that it was only natural for a man such as himself, a man who was making a fortune financing trade between the Colonies and Europe, to want to help. As a matter of fact, he added, that’s what he wanted to talk to Benjamin about.

It was obvious that Benjamin knew a lot about money, for he had published a lot of treatises concerning paper currency, and over the years he had done a superb job printing bills for the Colonies and now for Congress. Mayer and Franklin both wanted the Colonies to gain their economic independence and become united, and they both knew that a common strong currency was the way to do it, and that was the topic of discussion.

Mayer proceeded to say that the only lasting monetary system that the world had ever seen was the one England had, and that was the system he wanted to duplicate. The Bank of England was made up of a group of private bankers who were the sole lenders to Parliament, and after almost a century, that arrangement was still working superbly. Above all, the Bank of England had succeeded because it was a private bank. A monetary system based on a government printing bills and minting coins for its own use, though quite morally appealing, was doomed to failure. Politicians weren’t equipped to run a monetary system, for they would always tend to print too much and for the wrong reasons. The Chinese and many others had tried to print paper money in the past, but no currency except the Pound had ever passed the test of time. A strong central government and a strong private central bank were what was needed if America was to become the great nation that it was meant to be.

Benjamin had spent enough time in England to know that Mayer was right, but he had no idea how it could be done. How does one create a central bank like the one in England out of nothing?

Mayer went on to explain how he had established his bills of exchange on both sides of the Atlantic, how he had accumulated considerable wealth, and how he had been able to organize the 1st Continental Congress and supply the various Colonies with arms and powder. He was continuing to supply war materials on credit, for he was sure the Colonies would want to pay him back after they won their independence. The debt incurred would serve as collateral for Mayer’s bank down the road. However, uniting the 13 Colonies was another matter. A strong federal power had to be created, and a strong private central bank was needed to accomplish that. Mayer had enough gold and silver to redeem all the bills he issued on demand, but he explained that more gold bullion would be needed in order to create a central bank like the one in England.

Benjamin trusted that Mayer would know what to do if he had more bullion, and so he asked him outright how it could be done. To Benjamin’s astonishment, Mayer answered it all depended on Benjamin. Benjamin had invented a lot of things, and he was curious about everything, but he wasn’t a magician, and he told Mayer so. However, he was relieved when he heard what Mayer had to say on the subject. Mayer reminded him he was the most influential diplomat America had, and that his many years of representing the 13 Colonies in London were invaluable. Since Benjamin spoke French, Mayer told him if he were to go to France and seek France’s help, given his personality, experience and fame as an inventor, he would have a great chance of succeeding. Success would mean getting aid from France and, more importantly, getting French gold. The French King would certainly welcome the opportunity to give England a bloody nose by chasing it out of America.

After a short pause, Benjamin said he had some contacts in France, but that he wouldn’t know where to start. Mayer replied that Congress would be only too happy to send him over as an official ambassador, especially if Robert Morris was to arrange to pay all his personal expenses and make sure he had all the credit needed to accomplish his mission with no questions asked. France was the country where the citizenry had the most gold bullion, and if it was to put an aid package together, it would necessarily involve gold. He and Mayer would then make sure Haym Salomon became France’s treasurer in America. Mayer had never defaulted on an exchange bill, and his bills were as good as gold. Haym would continue doing what he was already doing, and make sure that his bills backed by the French gold would be spread around generously to the politicians, the various militias, Washington’s Army, and needless to say, France’s armed forces. The continental dollar was bound to depreciate, but his bills of exchange backed by French gold would more than make up for that loss.

By the time they had put the guinea hens down their gullet and washed them down with the excellent Burgundy wine that Mayer had brought along, both men were in total agreement. They both knew they formed a great team, two men of vision who were in the process of designing the framework of a great nation. Franklin would go to France, and they would succeed.

Benjamin left for France on Oct. 26, 1776. A month earlier, the British had accused Haym of aiding the Sons of Liberty and had arrested him. Having foreseen this development, Haym had asked Washington to convoy his family and treasury to Philadelphia for safekeeping, which he did as he and his army retreated to Pennsylvania. Haym was sentenced to house arrest after agreeing to interpret for the Hessians. That was precisely what he had hoped for. The great defection of Hessians that was about to take place at Trenton would be a simple matter of getting to the right Hessian officer, Johann Rall.

20-UNION OF 13 COLONIES

Upon receiving Mayer’s letter, Haym left Ephraim Hart, his business associate and friend, in charge of the counting house in New York and went to Williamsburg by way of Philadelphia. He planned to sail out of Williamsburg aboard a Robert Morris ship transporting tobacco intended for David in Rotterdam. Because going from New York City to Williamsburg by land would take about the same time as going by sea, he decided to go to Philadelphia by land and visit with Robert Morris and Bernard Gratz. And since Philadelphia was a mere two-day road trip to the mouth of the Elk River on the Chesapeake, he didn’t have to rush. He could still have a long visit with Michael Gratz in Williamsburg before sailing to Europe.

In Philadelphia, Bernard and Robert told him what he already knew regarding the political climate in Pennsylvania, and he was happy to hear there was ever more grumbling in Virginia. This showed the Sons of Liberty in Boston weren’t alone in wanting the British Government out of their lives. Haym had found that even though they were poorly financed and had few weapons, the Sons of Liberty were a determined lot and a thorn in the New York Governor’s backside. He was convinced they were a viable group, one determined enough to fight the English in a systematic way, if given the chance. The anti-English feelings were definitely spreading throughout the colonies, and Mayer would be happy to hear that.

When he reached Williamsburg, Michael Gratz was waiting for him. Haym had written ahead asking him if he knew members of the House of Burgesses that would be of interest to Mayer. Michael couldn’t wait to tell him that the political climate in Virginia was deteriorating at a rapid rate, and that two men stood out in their opposition to the Mother Country. When, in 1770, the British shot into a mob of colonials, in what became known as the Boston Massacre, the southerners began to oppose the ongoing ‘intolerable acts’ of the English Parliament just like the people in the colonies up north did. Here in Virginia, Patrick Henry and George Washington were trying to make a name for themselves by pushing to have a resolution drawn up condemning England’s treatment of the colonials and demanding parliamentary representation.

Patrick Henry was a lawyer, a great orator and a member of the Burgesses, and he was down on his luck. His small plantation was no longer producing, and his wife was very ill. Because he was a frustrated man, a little too hot under the collar, Michael suggested George Washington might be a better man for what Haym and his sponsor had in mind. Haym answered he didn’t know precisely what Mayer in Frankfurt wanted, but agreed it was a good idea to at least meet this fellow.

Washington was a tall imposing dour figure who worked very hard at giving the impression of being a strong silent type, and the fact he was an important landowner gave credence to the image he tried to project. After her husband’s death in 1752 followed by that of their only son in 1754, Anne Fairfax, his brother’s widow, had remarried, and George Washington had become custodian of Mt. Vernon. When George married Martha Custis in 1758, he received a dowry of 6000 acres of prime land that happened to be adjacent to Mt. Vernon. In 1761, when Anne Fairfax died George inherited Mt. Vernon. Although the buildings on the estate were in a rather poor state of repair and the farm revenue modest, the man did his best to lead the life of an English country squire.

There was a lot of talk about this gentleman, and it wasn’t all flattering. He had married rather late in life, had no children, and people wondered about his motives for marrying and his exaggerated military career claims during the French Indian War. As Commander of the Virginia Militia, he had participated in two of what could be called skirmishes during that war. In the one, he was said to have killed a French officer needlessly, and in the other, his militia unit had been captured, and he had been taken prisoner. His inexperience and impetuosity were blamed for those lackluster military achievements when later, having tried to get a commission in the British Army, he was turned down. No doubt feeling slighted, he got married to a rich widow, settled down at Mt. Vernon, and went into politics.

When Haym and Michael arrived at Mt. Vernon, Haym took one look at the imposing figure welcoming them, and he just knew Mayer would be interested in this fellow. Once done with the usual formalities and seated in the living room, Washington, in wanting to impress this very rich merchant from New York, was quick to tell Haym he had personally seen to the decoration and the furnishings of the mansion, and Mary, his wife, agreed. She was a charming no-nonsense kind of lady, and Haym knew that the shades of pink used on the walls, the rococo draperies, the overflowing array of glitzy furniture and the paintings representing biblical scenes of nude men wasn’t her doing.

They talked about the House of Burgesses and the state of affairs in Virginia, and before leaving, Haym told Washington that his sponsor in Germany wanted to help the colonials gain their independence. He asked Washington if he would be interested in meeting with him in order to discuss the matter. Washington, sensing a great opportunity, agreed while making sure not to show too much eagerness.

Michael and Haym took their leave, and as their carriage headed back to Williamsburg, Michael couldn’t wait to tell Haym about the rumors that were circulating in town. Apparently, Mary and her husband slept in separate bedrooms on different floors while George and the estate’s handsome overseer who lived with them had adjoining bedrooms. They both agreed he was probably leading a secret life that could very well explain his choice of colors and furnishings, and they both roared with laughter.

Haym duly left for Rotterdam, and since American captains now made a point of taking advantage of the Gulf Stream, he arrived in under two months. He spent two days with David and his wife, and thoroughly enjoyed their warm hospitality. After promising to stop by on his way back to America, he took a stage coach to Frankfurt, and five days later, he was at Mayer’s house in the Judengasse ghetto.

Both Gutle and Mayer had sworn on their wedding day they would never leave Judengasse. They were a happy couple, madly in love, and they both knew what was important in life. It was hard for Haym to determine whether this tall gentle man was happy because he was the richest men in the world or because he lived in the ghetto with his wife Gutle who was about to give him a second child. Regardless, the house was in a festive mood, and exquisite Burgundy wine was flowing.

They spent the next few days exchanging information, and when the subject of Washington came up, they had a good laugh. However, it was a serious matter, and they both agreed that since Washington had the aura of a leader and military experience of sorts, and since he was apparently a gentle megalomaniac living a secret life, he would be perfect for the job. Given the right financial incentives, he would do whatever was asked of him. It was one thing to give a man power, but it was best to keep a Damocles’ sword dangling over his head.

After hearing what Haym had to say about the Sons of Liberty, Mayer knew he had the leader and the movement, and above all, he knew it wouldn’t cost very much to get them operational. The first thing he would do is make sure his New York counting house had all the necessary specie. With a fortune that he no longer could count multiplying at a rapid rate, Mayer could easily get the colonials talking with one voice by having Haym finance a meeting of the 13 Colonies. Haym was to pay for all travelling expenses incurred by the chosen representatives and compensate them handsomely for their time. He was to finance their political undertakings and provide a meeting hall and adequate housing for them while in Philadelphia. From what Mayer knew, Philadelphia was the perfect city for the meeting, and Haym agreed. If the meeting went as expected, the delegates would probably want to recruit a military leader from the south, and Washington’s candidacy would be encouraged. He estimated a man like Washington would cost around £2000 the first year and £1000 thereafter, and the politicians around £300 each per year, an amount equivalent to six times the salary of a skilled tradesman. £100,000 would be more than enough to pay for the politicians’ salaries and expenses, and to house them. Getting Washington looking like a genuine military leader and supplying his army as well as the local militias would not be a big financial drain either.

Philadelphia was the largest city in the colonies and stood midway between New England and the South. Since the idea was to bring the southern gentry and the northern merchants together, it was ideal middle ground. The fact that Philadelphia wasn’t easily accessible by sea, especially for the big English naval vessels, and had an important non-English and non-royalist population was also a consideration. And because Philadelphia was close to New York City, it would make it easier for Haym to control things.

Eager to supply more arms and powder to the American militias, Mayer told Haym he had looked for a way to circumvent the English authorities. David in Rotterdam had suggested that the best way to do that was through the Dutch duty free port of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean. The Commander of the island, Abraham Heyliger, happened to be an avowed American patriot sympathizer. After confirming that information with Isaac Moses in NYC, a merchant familiar with the Caribbean, Mayer had given David the go-ahead to buy arms.

Talleyrand, the diplomat turned arms merchant working for David, agreed that sending French muskets and powder to America via St. Eustatius was a good idea and he promised that he could supply all the weapons needed. St. Eustatius was nothing more than a big rock in the Caribbean on which were built hundreds of warehouses full of American, West Indian and European goods. Each year, thousands of captains stopped at this duty free Caribbean port in order to exchange merchandise.

That Caribbean free port was extremely successful because merchants from Europe and the New World could buy and sell goods at established and just exchange rates. The Bank of England’s exchange rate between the Spanish dollar and the Pound was unwarranted and to be avoided at all cost. Based on their silver content, the two currencies should have been at par, and that’s what Mayer’s counting houses offered. Necessarily, merchants who already did everything in their power to circumvent Britain as a trading partner and buy manufactured goods from other European countries out of St. Eustatius would be quite motivated to use Mayer’s letters of exchange.

For Isaac Hayes and Robert Morris who already shipped rum, tobacco and indigo, and manufactured goods presold by David in Rotterdam and Haym in NYC, shipping arms through St. Eustatius would be a welcome proposition. As for Mayer the clandestine shipments of arms and military supplies delivered to the various colonial militias on credit would become part of the nation’s debt after the war and would be useful in the creation of a national bank.

The American captains were experts at delivering goods undetected by the British authorities because they knew the coast so well. The long rugged coast had many inlets, and it was impossible for the British to stop contraband and arms shipments. Ships from St. Eustatius dropping off cargo in some cove in Chesapeake Bay, up the Delaware, in Long Island Sound, or some small bay along the New England shoreline were almost never intercepted.

Before Haym left for America, Mayer asked him to go by way of St. Eustatius and make arrangements with Heyliger. From there he was to stop in all the major American ports in order to recruit goy political leaders who would in turn select representatives to represent the individual colonies at a meeting in Philadelphia planned for September. He was to explain that he was very interested in their march to independence and financing a meeting in Philadelphia was the least a rich merchant like himself could do. He was to be overly generous in all his endeavors. The specie in Haym’s vault in NYC was more than adequate to finance a meeting in Philadelphia and anything else that needed doing.

Although Haym was sad to leave Gutle and Mayer, he was anxious to return to America and get the meeting organized. It was time for new experiences and adventures. Travelling to Rotterdam aboard a barge transporting wine, and then sailing to the Caribbean were welcome indeed.

19-WINE AND DENIM

By the end of June, 1773, David in Rotterdam had received and sold several shipments of tobacco and realized a bigger return than anticipated, Jean-Baptiste Willermoz and François Johannot and their wives had come back from the south of France with interesting information along with several bottles of Burgundy wine and several meters of ‘de Nîmes’ cloth.

After debriefing Jean and François in his Farhgasse office, Mayer decided to give Gutle, his one and only confident, a full account of their trip. They sat down at the kitchen table, and Mayer started relating the great news Jean-Baptiste Willermoz and François Johannot were bringing back from France.

He first showed her a sample of the cloth. It had one weave of blue thread crossed with a weave of white thread, and the double-weave not only made for an interesting design, but gave it extra durability. Gutle thought the indigo colored cloth was beyond belief and wondered if poor people could afford it.

Mayer answered that it would sell for the same price as Indian or English cotton, and before Gutle had a chance to make a comment, Mayer reached for a bottle of burgundy wine, one of the many samples brought back by François. He picked up a funny curly piece of metal, drove it into the cork with a screwing motion and pulled the cork out of the bottle neck. He took two glasses, half-filled them, and they drank to their growing family.

Gutle thought the wine was too good to be true, but her mouth dropped upon learning how much money the wine and cloth was going to bring in. Mayer had started by explaining that Bouchard in Beaune was to receive a letter of exchange in the amount of £2500, or 1 shilling per bottle of wine once delivered in Rotterdam where David would presell it for 1/6 per bottle. David would give the new willing owners a letter of exchange guaranteeing them 3 shillings per bottle if delivered in New York where Haym would presell it for 4 shillings per bottle. 250000 bottles, or half a shipload, would thus generate a profit of £6000 in Rotterdam and another £12500 in New York City.

With regards to cloth, Dollfus was to receive a letter of exchange in the amount of £12000, or £10 per bolt of denim once delivered in Rotterdam where David would presell it for £12 per bolt. David would then give the new willing owners a letter of exchange guaranteeing them £15 per bolt if delivered in America where Haym would presell it for £17 per bolt. 6000 bolts of cotton, or half a shipload, would generate a profit of £12000 in Rotterdam and another £12000 in New York.

He concludes by repeating that since a work outfit made with denim cloth in America will cost less than one made with English or Indian cotton but last ten times longer, everybody will be fighting to buy it. Likewise, since the best wine in the world will only keep getting better in a bottle, all the bourgeois in America and England will want to fill their cellars with it. He then adds that though the profits appear to be huge, the price for these superb new products is well below what people will be willing to pay.

To help Gutle get over her choc, he starts relating the adventures of François’ trip to France. His party had started off by taking a river coach to Mainz. After spending a delightful night in a well-appointed inn, they set off the next day for Basel. River coaches were much more comfortable and a faster means of transportation, but only when going downriver, the rest of the time it was best to travel by stage coach. It took them five days by stage coach to reach Basel where friends were waiting for them.

After a day’s rest, they travelled by stage coach to Montbeliard , and from there they continued on by river coach to Chalon-sur-Saone, a town south of Beaune. Having made prior arrangements, a local winemaker whom they hadn’t seen in years welcomed them in his beautiful country estate. The next day, their host introduced Jean-Baptiste and François to Joseph Bouchard, a wine merchant from Beaune. They were told the Givors factory on the outskirts of Lyon was making glass using ovens fired by ground coal. And because glass made with coal instead of charcoal as a fuel was much stronger, and because the glassblowers had started using handheld molds, they now made less fragile and more uniformly shaped bottles more quickly. Because the bottle necks were thickened and had a standard diameter, it was now possible to use a one-size-fits-all cork stopper. Bouchard told them there was plenty of wine available, but getting fifty thousand glass bottles at a time might be a problem. He told them it was best to check with Michel Robichon who was the glassmaker in Givors. As for the corks, the cork slabs could be bought in quantity in Arles, transported to Beaune where they could be suitably shaped. All in all, he thought it was quite a feasible operation, and it would be no problem to fill the bottles with the best wine of the region and cork the bottles in a matter of days. Bouchard was already experimenting with the bottles, and he promised to give them wine samples on their return trip home. If Givors supplied bottles in sufficient quantity and at the expected price, he stated he could get the wine to Rotterdam via Basel for around nine pennies a bottle.

Jean-Baptiste and François were quite anxious to go to Givors to visit the glass factory and interview Michel Robichon, the owner. They left their wives with family in Lyon and continued on to Givors the following day when they reached the glass factory, they acquainted Robichon with Mayer’s idea of financing regular shipments of bottled wine using the services of Joseph Bouchard in Beaune. They told Michel they had talked to Joseph, and that his only concern was having enough bottles. Naturally, they wanted to see if his factory could supply lots of fifty thousand bottles on an ongoing basis.

Jean-Baptiste and François were happy to hear Michel say that he had just put in a second oven and that a third was on the way. Since one oven supplied enough glass to accommodate four glass masters, and since each master could turn out five hundred bottles a day, it meant that the production would soon be six thousand bottles a day, thirty-six thousand a week or some two million a year.

Michel added one cautionary note. The factory was presently getting its high-quality ground coal from Rive-de-Gier, a mine situated fifteen kilometers from Givors. The canal that was meant to transport the coal by barge was not yet completed, and the mine owners had to use mules to bring the coal to Givors. They had some twelve hundred mules in all, with two trains of four hundred mules making a daily turnaround while the remainder rested. With each mule carrying eighty kilograms of coal, it averaged out to a daily supply of around sixty tons. But since most of the coal was destined for the south of France, if he was to add extra ovens, he might not be able to get enough coal. However, he would put a little pressure on the coal mine owners by reminding them that his factory was operating under the Royal Seal, and was to be supplied in priority. But that was down the road. For now, there was more than enough coal to fire up the second oven, and it would take less than two weeks to produce the fifty thousand bottles. He could have molds made with logo indentations in order to identify the wine, and before shipping the bottles to Joseph Bouchard in Chalon-sur-Saone, he would package them in fifty bottle capacity wicker baskets.

Jean-Baptiste and François were happy and wasted no time getting back to Lyon where their wives were waiting. They spent a few days visiting family and friends, but they couldn’t wait to carry on downriver to Arles by water coach. It took them only three days to reach Arles under very comfortable conditions, and from there, it was a short trip by land coach to Nîmes where they had written ahead to Jean André, the owner of the cloth factory in Genoa, Italy.

When they finally met with Jean, Jean-Baptiste and François were pleasantly surprised to hear that he had every intention of going ahead with the production of the double-weave indigo cloth. They couldn’t believe it when Jean added that he was planning to move the production of this very promising cloth from Genoa to Mulhouse which was not far from Basel on the Rhine. It was a Huguenot city-state bordering France and the thousands of jobs being created were needed to help the growing economy. It didn’t cost much more to bring the raw cotton and indigo from the Americas up the Rhone instead of to Genoa, and because one of the two rivers that ran through Mulhouse had soft water and was perfect for dyeing cloth, the savings would more than offset the added transportation cost.

There were already fifteen cotton factories and more than two thousand cotton workers in Mulhouse, and with the advent of the flying shuttle, the spinning carding frame powered by a water wheel, two recent inventions developed in England, the cost of producing cotton cloth had dropped while the quality and production had increased dramatically. With the added planned production, Mulhouse would become the biggest cotton manufacturing center in continental Europe, and because the city was independent of France, they weren’t affected by the embargo imposed by France on the production of cotton fabrics. Understandably, since the demand for cotton cloth was exploding, the fabric would no doubt attract high prices for years to come.

Jean told them that his cotton mills would be operational within a few months. He had already bought an existing factory on the Mulhouse riverfront, and the equipment being fabricated by local artisans was likely finished by now. Jean told them his director in Mulhouse would soon be able to deliver twelve hundred bolts of the finished indigo double-weave product to Basel on a regular basis for around £10 per bolt. They confirmed that with Jean-Henri Dollfus, the man running the Mulhouse factory, on their way back to Frankfurt. Dollfus had already received several barges of raw cotton from the French West Indies along with indigo.

Before Gutle had a chance to give vent to her unbelief, Mayer sat down at his desk to write to Joseph Bouchard in Beaune and Jean André in Nîmes telling them he was willing to buy as much product as possible at the agreed price. There was no time to lose for the letters had to be translated by François before being sent on. He was telling Joseph Bouchard to deliver all the grand cru Burgundy wine he could bottle. Mayer would give him a letter of exchange redeemable upon delivery in Rotterdam and would willingly give him a down payment if he so wished. He then addressed a letter to Jean André asking him if he would agree to the same financial conditions. Just like with the wine, Mayer would buy all the cloth that could be delivered to David in Rotterdam where the letter of exchange would be redeemed.

Soon, it would be possible to redeem Mayer’s bills of exchange, and even use them as currency, in Frankfurt, Rotterdam and the 13 Colonies, not including the counting houses that would soon open in London and Basel. He had contacted Moses Haim Montefiore in Rotterdam, the friend who had helped David Schiff get settled, asking him if he was interested in running a counting house in London. Moses had replied by return mail that he had been thinking of settling permanently in London, and running a counting house for Mayer in that city was more than he could have hoped for.

By the end of 1773, David was receiving tobacco on a regular basis and he had dispatched the first shipments of Burgundy wine and denim cloth. In both Rotterdam and New York, everything always presold at a price better than anticipated, and Mayer’s counting houses were becoming financial institutions of note. He was now ready for his next venture.

He wrote to Haym asking him to come to Frankfurt as soon as possible. Haym was to first go to Williamsburg in Virginia and introduce himself to as many members of the House of Burgesses as possible in order to see what the political climate was in that very important southern colony. Virginia’s leaders had always been stalwart supporters of the Crown. However, some die-hard loyalists had started being upset with the English Parliament just like in the colonies up north, and Mayer wanted to confirm that. Haym was to identify any leader who stood out in his opposition to the Crown, preferably someone who was imposing, ambitious and vain.

The very powerful Bank of England, by way of the English Parliament, was treating the 13 Colonies as a parent would a child. Although the pound was the official currency, the Bank of England supplied very little sterling in order to facilitate trade. The colonials were reduced to using tobacco, wampum and the like when they couldn’t get their hands on Spanish dollars. The lack of credit, the unjust rate of exchange between the Spanish dollar and the Pound, the lack of representation in decision making, and the unjust taxes forced upon the colonials by the Mother Country was making for an explosive situation.

Mayer was honest and had enough specie to redeem all the paper he was issuing, and because his counting houses on both sides of the Atlantic used the same conversion rates, his paper was in high demand. In all his counting houses one pound had the same value as the Spanish dollar, and 1oz of gold was worth 15 oz. of silver. And since the British insisted on a colonial conversion rate of 4 Spanish dollars to the Pound, it gave Mayer’s American counting houses a serious edge over the English. Necessarily, all bills originating from the colonies were expressed in Spanish Dollars, whereas all merchandise coming from Rotterdam was valued in Pounds, as this greatly advantaged the American colonials. Since Mayer’s counting houses only accepted gold and silver as payment, and since Haym was instructed to never exchange Spanish dollars for Pounds, the great disparity in the English exchange rate didn’t affect his counting house.

Mayer’s counting houses were gaining in international status, and he had more than he needed to finance a meeting of the 13 Colonies. The colonies’ representatives would not question the help of Haym Salomon, for it was only natural for a rich friend who profited so much from colonial trade to help out. Once the Americans gained their independence, they would look upon Mayer’s counting house as an honest, dependable source of credit, and Mayer would take control of the 13 Colonies’ monetary system just like the Bank of England bankers had done with that of England a century before, but he would do it anonymously