Belknap Bribery Scandal

Ulysses Simpson Grant

Definition and Summary of the Belknap Bribery Scandal
Summary and Definition: The Belknap Bribery Scandal, also known as the Indian Ring Scandal, involved William Worth Belknap the U.S. Secretary of War in the Grant administration. The political scandal erupted in 1876 when when a House committee in Congress found evidence that William Worth Belknap had received annual bribes from a trader at an Indian post. Belknap resigned his position but revelations led to his Impeachment but he was acquitted on the grounds that the Senate lacked jurisdiction after Belknap's resignation had been accepted.

Belknap Bribery Scandal for kids
Ulysses Grant was the 18th American President who served in office from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877. One of the important events during his presidency was the Belknap Bribery Scandal.


Belknap Bribery Scandal History for kids: President Grant and the Scandals of his Administration
The Belknap Bribery Scandal was one of a series of incidents that shook the Grant administration.
There was never any doubt as to the honesty of Ulysses S. Grant but the scandals gave rise to doubts about his decision making and judgment in making some political appointments - refer to Grantism. The Belknap Bribery Scandal took place during the post Civil War period at the end of the Reconstruction Era, a time which was marked by widespread political corruption and an extension of the infamous Spoils System.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Facts for kids
Interesting Belknap Bribery Scandal facts for kids are detailed below. The history of Belknap Bribery Scandal is told in a factual sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the history and events of the Belknap Bribery Scandal.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Facts for kids

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 1: William Worth Belknap was a lawyer and a friend of Grant. He had served as Major General in the American Civil War

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 2: He had been appointed Internal Revenue tax collector in Iowa by President Johnson after the Civil War and remained in this position until  President Ulysses Grant appointed him to head the War Department in 1869.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 3: He had held his cabinet post for nearly eight years from October 25, 1869 – March 2, 1876 before the scandal erupted

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 4: He was known for his extravagant lifestyle and giving expensive parties. People wondered how he could afford the luxuries on his $8000 a year salary

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 5: Political corruption was rife and a House of Representatives’ committee started to investigate the activities of the U.S. Secretary of War and his luxurious lifestyle

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 6: On February 29, 1876, Congress launched an extensive investigation run by Hiester Clymer

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 7: The committee uncovered evidence of widespread corruption in which it became clear that William Belknap had accepted bribes from companies with licenses to trade on the reservations of many Native American Indian tribes.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 8: Belknap had been given sole authority to appoint Indian post-traderships by Congress

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 9: He abused the power of his position and accepted illicit kickbacks or bribes in exchange for making lucrative Indian tradership appointments

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 10: The corruption had started in 1870 when he (and his first and then second wife) took quarterly payments for the Fort Sill "tradership" position awarded to Caleb Marsh and a sutler called John Evans. Caleb Marsh gave kickbacks to the Belknaps totally of $20,000.


Belknap Bribery Scandal Facts for kids

Belknap Bribery Scandal for kids
The info about the Belknap Bribery Scandal provides interesting facts and important information about this important event that occured during the presidency of the 18th President of the United States of America.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Facts for kids
Interesting history and the Belknap Bribery Scandal Facts for kids are continued below.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Facts for kids

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 11: Fort Sill, in Oklahoma Indian Territory, afforded a highly lucrative military contract. Belknap went on to empower the traderships even further by giving them a virtual monopoly over trade.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 12: Sutlers, men who sold provisions to the soldiers, were appointed to operate in the Military and Indian traderships

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 13: The US Soldiers stationed at forts operated by Belknap appointed sutlers could only buy supplies through the authorized tradership. This monopoly enabled the sutlers to charge highly inflated prices for the necessary supplies

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 14: The sutlers also made even more profits from Native American Indians by selling rifles as well as basic supplies.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 15: Rumors of the corruption led to a political scandal. The leader of the investigating Committee, Hiester Clymer, was a staunch Democrat who vehemently opposed Republican Reconstruction of the Grant administration

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 16: Caleb Marsh gave evidence that Belknap had accepted payments in return for trading partnerships between himself and the sutler John Evans.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 17: In light of the evidence stacked against his Secretary of War, President Grant asked for his resignation, which was given

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 18: Despite his resignation from the cabinet the Committee started impeachment proceedings.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 19: As he resigned before the Impeachment trial (as would Nixon in later years) he was acquitted on the grounds that the Senate lacked jurisdiction after his resignation had been accepted. No civil charges were made against him.

Belknap Bribery Scandal Fact 20: He returned to his former job as a lawyer and left the political arena. His actions creating the Indian Ring had undermined and damaged the reputation of the president. 

Belknap Bribery Scandal Facts for kids

Belknap Bribery Scandal - President Ulysses Grant Video
The article on the Bribery Scandal provides an overview of one of the important events of his presidential term in office. The following Ulysses Grant video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 18th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877.

Belknap Bribery Scandal

● Interesting Facts about the Indian Ring for kids and schools
● Definition and Summary of the Belknap Bribery Scandal in US history
● Facts about the Bribery Scandal - the Indian Ring
● Ulysses Grant Presidency from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877
● Fast, fun facts about the Bribery Scandal - the Indian Ring
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President Ulysses Grant
● Ulysses Grant Presidency and Belknap Bribery Scandal or the  - the Indian Ring for schools, homework, kids and children

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