The Murder of David Graham Phillips
David Graham Phillips was atop the directory of meddling annoying literary trespassers. His series of articles entitled "The Treason of the Senate" was compiled into a book. This outlined several financial crimes and their connections within government which he perceived to be dangerous to our country and the freedom of its citizens. He had little in the way of proof, but he wrote of corruption and greed with global economic dominance as the goal. He specifically identified several senators as criminals in a conspiratorial plan to financially dominate the world.
Phillips cited Nelson Aldrich, the powerful Rhode Island veteran senator as a power hungry opportunist looking to rule the world through financial manipulation. He was certain that there was a treacherous plan in the works to conquer the country from within and steal its wealth. Was he a conspiracy theorist? A nut? He did not know exactly what it was or even how or when it was to occur, but he was adamant that this plan was imminent, and treasonous in nature with the intended result being the overthrow of our country's economic system and moral values as we knew them. National control was to be usurped by a few influential politicians and powerful businessmen at the expense of the ordinary citizenry. Come on - how could they do that? Phillips believed the plan was already underway.
"The Treason of the Senate", was printed in serial form in Cosmopolitan Magazine - this was a few years prior to half-naked woman regularly adorning the covers with titles such as: "Eight ways to get your man to….". but I digress yet again…
Phillips was fully aware of the pending proposal of the amendment to the United States Constitution authorizing the taxation of income. Article I, section 9, of the Constitution was modified by Amendment 16:
"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
Phillips thought he saw a conspiracy in the making. He felt that the power brokers were planning an economic takeover of our country through the federal legislative process. He identified several key players in this so-called conspiracy, chief among them Nelson Aldrich.
Be Careful who you criticize Mr. Phillips.
Nelson Aldrich was an extremely powerful United States Senator, charged with researching monetary goings on in Europe for possible implementation in the States. He traveled to Germany to learn about the methods used by the more established Europeans, which were not in place in this country to that point. Of the esteemed senator from Rhode Island, Phillips wrote:
"The Aldrich machine controls the legislature, the election boards, the courts - the entire machinery of the "republican form of government." In 1904, when Nelson needed a legislature to re-elect him for his fifth consecutive term (senators were elected by the state legislator at the time, not the general public), it is estimated that carrying the state cost about two hundred thousand dollars (about $5 Million in today's inflated dollars) - a small sum, easily to be gotten back by a few minutes of industrious pocket-picking on Wall Street…
And the leader, the boss of the Senate for the past twenty years has been - Nelson Aldrich!"
And further along…
"No railway legislation that was not either helpful to or harmless against "The interests"; no legislation on the subject of corporations that would interfere with "the interests", which use the corporate for, to simplify and systemize their stealing; no legislation on the tariff question unless it secured to "the interests" full and free license to loot; no investigations of wholesale robbery or of any of the evils resulting from it - there you have in a few words the whole story of the Senate's treason under Aldrich's leadership, and of why property is concentrating in the hands of the few…
…and why the great middle class, the old-fashioned Americans, the people with the incomes of from two thousand to fifteen thousand a year - is being swiftly crushed into dependence and the repulsive miseries of "genteel poverty".
The above excerpt is from an article written in the April 1906 issue of Cosmopolitan. Phillips knew what was happening, or at least he thought he knew. He saw the progression towards robber baron domination and socialism, perhaps even communism. He feared it and wanted to warn us.
Phillips knew enough to make some very powerful people worry. It isn't a good idea to scare some people; you may wind up dead.
Too bad for David Graham Phillips. It seems that one January night in 1911, he was walking down the street in New York City, and wouldn't you know it, a disgruntled anti-fan of his novels shot him six times and then the attacker killed himself. The story goes that Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough, a music teacher, was insulted by one of his fictional novels. Seems he felt it discredited his family name, even though Phillips never used his name. So, naturally, he shot and killed Phillips with six rounds from a pistol - some might say “execution style” on the street. He then, conveniently, killed himself at the same time.
Based on the time and the facts in this case, the official report and explanation is hard to swallow.