Investigation Into the Causes of the Gold Panic. Report of the Majority of the Committee on Banking and Currency. March 1, 1870 - James A. Garfield 1870 - Government Printing Office, Washington - First Edition House of Representatives, 41st Congress, second session, Report No. 31.

‘…on the 23rd of September the market had risen to 162; the Treasury decided to sell four millions of gold; and within fifteen minutes the price fell from 160 to 133. A conspiracy was alleged with government officials, including even President Grant, directly or indirectly engaged.’

Black Friday, September 24, 1869 was caused by two speculators’ efforts, Jay Gould and James Fisk, to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange, with the alleged encouragement and the accused involvement of President Ulysses S. Grant.

This is the important and rare report and transcripts of the subsequent dramatic Congressional investigation, which was chaired by James A. Garfield. The investigation was alleged on the one hand to have been limited because Virginia Corbin and First Lady Julia Grant were not permitted to testify. Garfield's biographer, Alan Peskin, however, maintains the investigation was quite thorough. Garfield was chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency at the time (later the twentieth U.S. President, but assassinated only four months into his term).

The investigation was set up to examine the following topics:
First. The Gold Exchange and the Gold Exchange Bank; their history, the character of their ordinary operations, and their relations to the gold panic of September. Second. The alleged conspiracy of September, to raise the price of gold; the persons engaged in it, and the instrumentalities made use of. Third. Whether any officers of the national government were directly or indirectly engaged in the alleged conspiracy.
  The investigation was set up to examine the following topics: First. The Gold Exchange and the Gold Exchange Bank; their history, the character of their ordinary operations, and their relations to the gold panic of September. Second. The alleged conspiracy of September, to raise the price of gold; the persons engaged in it, and the instrumentalities made use of. Third. Whether any officers of the national government were directly or indirectly engaged in the alleged conspiracy.

Garfield's report, as chair of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, of Jay Gould's and James Fisk's notorious attempt to corner the gold market, including transcripts of Gould's and Fisk's testimony before the committee. In the fall of 1869, the two financiers tried to monopolize the nation's gold supply, hoping to reap a windfall profit when the government needed to buy gold and redeem the paper "greenbacks" issued during the Civil War. They also convinced Grant's brother in law Abel Corbin to aid them. Corbin lobbied Grant to appoint another Fisk-Gould confederate, Daniel Butterfield, as Assistant Treasurer of the United States. Butterfield promised to warn Gould and Fisk if the administration ever decided to thwart their scheme by selling off gold reserves, and thus breaking the speculators' stranglehold on the market. Grant eventually caught on to what was afoot, and did indeed order the market flooded with government gold on September 24, 1869. Apart from Corbin's involvement, Congressional investigators found no evidence of knowing complicity on the part of Grant or his wife in the scheme

Provenance: Two what appear to be contemporary signatures, difficult to decipher.
References: Rosenbach 29: 169.
Octavo (book size 23 x 15.3 cm) pp. [4] 487 [3]. In burgundy cloth, spine lettered in gilt, boards with blind-stamped double fillet borders.
  Condition: Near fine, spine with spotting, head frayed, minor wear to tail and corners.   Ref: 109177   Price: HK$ 7,500