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The Mark Inside

The Ballinger-Pinchot Controversy.

Ballinger Cartoon

According to William Howard Taft's attorney general, George Wickersham, the effects of the affair were tumultuous:

The 1910 Ballinger-Pinchot affair, which involved the illegal distribution of thirty-three federal government Alaskan coal land claims to the Guggenheim interests, culminated in a Congressional investigation and brought Alaska directly into the national headlines. Wickersham, surveying the fallout of the affair, determined that it destroyed the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and President Taft; split the Republican party into two great factions; defeated President Taft for re-election in 1912; elected Woodrow Wilson President of the United States; and changed the course of history of our country.
Ballinger Cartoon

Simon Blonger, living at the time in Seattle, was a shareholder in the Alaskan coal, a member of the group mentioned, or a related group of claims. Richard Ballinger was Taft's Secretary of the Interior, and was believed to have used his position to advance the interests of the coal claimants.

Ballinger

Ironic Addendum: According to the Brandeis Law School Library:

(Ironically, surveys of the Cunningham lands later showed that the lands had little coal.)



 

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