Quote: Henry Ford the banking system and a revolution tomorrow

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Nov 15 00:51:08 UTC 2011

The American Mercury says Jackson said this "in his veto message" --
perhaps that can be located.

Attributed to Nicholas Biddle in 1836:
By calling in existing loans and refusing to issue new loans he did
cause a massive depression, but in 1836 when the charter ran out, the
Second Bank ceased to function. It was then he made these two famous
statements: "The Bank is trying to kill me - but I will kill it!" and
later "If the American people only understood the rank injustice of
our money and banking system - there would be a revolution before morning..."


But this certainly needs discovery and disclosure.

I didn't see anything in 19th C. U.S. Newspapers; someone with fuller
access to EAN than I might try that.


At 11/14/2011 06:31 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
>A journalist asked me about a saying attributed to the quintessential
>industrialist Henry Ford that is currently being tweeted. Here is an
>If the people understood the banking system, there would be a
>revolution tomorrow. Henry Ford
>Versions of this quotation have been used by occupy people, tea party
>activists, trade unionists, and people that dislike the Federal
>Reserve System.
>It is not in the Yale Book of Quotations or the Oxford Dictionary of
>It is difficult to trace because the wording is highly variable. A
>preliminary incomplete search is all that I can perform at this time.
>Maybe a list member can find something better, e.g., something
>earlier, more direct, or more entertaining.
>There are variants starting by 1938 attributed to Henry Ford. I have
>not yet found any direct evidence of Ford making this statement in an
>interview. All the instances located so far are indirect and do not
>provide solid support. Henry Ford died in 1947, so it was in
>circulation while he was still alive. By 1974 (GB date and data not
>verified) a version was reassigned to Andrew Jackson in the American
>Here are selected citations starting with a variant in a letter
>written to the Hartford Courant in 1938:
>Cite: 1938 October 11, Hartford Courant, The People's Forum [Letters
>to the Editor], Not Un-American: Townsend Plan Alleged To Have Support
>of Many Communists, [Letter from M.E.D of Hartford], Page 8, Column 6
>and 7, Hartford, Connecticut. (ProQuest)
>[Begin excerpt]
>It is strange that the newspapers fail to give us some good editorials
>on this money racket of which Henry Ford said: "There would be a
>revolution overnight if the people understood it." It may take another
>depression or two before they do wake up to the cause, namely private
>control of money by the twelve privately-owned Federal Reserve banks.
>[End excerpt]
>Here is an example from a union publication published by railroad
>workers. The date of 1939 is probably ok based on date probes. Some
>snippets show monthly issues in 1939. This citation must on examined
>on paper in a library. (I might be able to verify it this week.)
>Cite: 1939, The Railroad Trainman, GB Page 535, GB Volume 56,
>Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, (Google Books snippet; Must be
>verified on paper; Data may be inaccurate)
>[Begin excerpt]
>Henry Ford is credited with the statement that if the people knew the
>truth about banking there would be a revolution over night. What has
>been said about banks goes more or less for many other concerns, the
>railroads included.
>[End excerpt]
>In 1941 a letter written to a Florida newspaper contained a loose
>version of the expression attributed to Ford.
>Cite: 1941 August 26, Miami Daily News, [Miami News], Express Your
>Views [Letters to the Editor], Money Menace, [Letter from William
>Richard Twiford], Page 6-A, Column 7, Miami, Florida. (Google News
>[Begin excerpt]
>What will happen when we are taxed 50 to 75 cents of each of our
>dollars to get this 200 billion bank graft? Revolution and chaos is
>the only answer, ending up with something far worse than
>totalitarianism. Henry Ford said that if the people knew of the
>skulduggery being practiced by high finance there would be a
>revolution over night.
>[End excerpt]
>In 1958 a version was placed into a report from a Congressional
>Hearing based on a newsletter and testimony from Herbert C. Holdridge
>a former Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. Holdridge actually
>presented two slightly different versions of the saying. Below is the
>second version from his testimony.
>Cite: 1958, Hearings Before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of
>Representatives, Eighty-Fifth Congress, Second Session, On Topics
>Pertaining to the General Revision of the Internal Revenue Code,
>January 7-20, 1958, Part 1, [Reprint of Holdridge News Notes, Sherman
>Oaks, California, Dated December 1, 1957, From Herbert C. Holdridge,
>Brigadier General, United States Army (Retired)], Quote Page 256,
>Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. (HathiTrust)
>[Begin excerpt]
>Henry Ford stated:
>If the American people knew the corruption of our monetary system
>there would be a revolution before morning.
>[End excerpt]
>By the 1970s apparently a version of the saying was assigned to
>Andrew Jackson.
>Cite: 1974, The American Mercury, GB Page 9, Publisher American
>Mercury. (Google snippet; Data not verified; Volume also contains 1975
>[Begin excerpt]
>In his veto message Jackson charged that "if the people only
>understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system there
>would be a revolution before morning."
>[End excerpt]
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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