Mint Director calls former Superintendent "a fraud." Very unusual telegram
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18 posts in this topic

Obviousley, they had a back-and-forth on other stuff.  Maybe it was personal which is why he called him a "fraud" so quickly in a short telgram.

Who knows....maybe the Assay Commission was supposed to meet at a certain time....Dodge wanted to go to a saloon or horse track or something....he tells Leech his mother is sick and he has to be near her bedside and can Leech postpone the meeting a few hours or days....Leech finds out Dodge lied to him and is teed off.  Something like that. xD

Sounds personal, if you ask me.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Why is it being assumed that Leech was correct? It seems that this sentence contained in the opening post should lend some support to the possibility that his accusation was unfair.

Dodge was investigated for various changes during his term, but fully exonerated in 1881.”

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On 12/4/2022 at 12:30 AM, FlyingAl said:

It almost seems as though he used his position on the Assay Commission to do some personal favors from some friends.  Of course, that's all speculation. 

Well, if Leech is calling him a fraud that's different than crook. xD

Sounds like Dodge rubbed Leech the wrong way rather than did something unethical or criminal.  Like everyone else here, I'm speculating.

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On 12/4/2022 at 7:52 AM, MarkFeld said:

Why is it being assumed that Leech was correct? It seems that this sentence contained in the opening post should lend some support to the possibility that his accusation was unfair.

Dodge was investigated for various changes during his term, but fully exonerated in 1881.”

Henry Dodge was involved in several business deals in and around the city. It is possible there had been a disagreement between the men involving one of these. Also, Edwin Leech had been in the Mint system for several years before replacing James Kimball in 1889. It is possible he knew of internal gossip. It is also possible that Dodge and Kimball, a former mining engineer, cracked skulls over mine or geology and that Kimball relayed his opinions to Leech in conversation.

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I located a few more brief letters/telegrams and all seem entirely cordial and routine. Dodge was usually referred to as "Hon. H. L. Dodge" suggesting he held, or recently held, public office.

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On 12/4/2022 at 6:52 AM, MarkFeld said:

Why is it being assumed that Leech was correct? It seems that this sentence contained in the opening post should lend some support to the possibility that his accusation was unfair.

Dodge was investigated for various changes during his term, but fully exonerated in 1881.”

The fact that he was exonerated does not necessarily mean that he was innocent. It only means that there was no proof of his guilt.

However, the fact that Leech blatantly stated that he was mad certainly means his bias could have colored his judgement.

Edited by Just Bob
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On 12/4/2022 at 11:02 AM, Just Bob said:

The fact that he was exonerated does not necessarily mean that he was innocent. It only means that there was no proof of his guilt.

However, the fact that Leech blatantly stated that he was mad certainly means his bias could have colored his judgement.

 I understand that his exoneration doesn’t necessarily mean he was innocent. At the same time, the accusations don’t necessarily mean he was guilty, either.

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On 12/4/2022 at 12:33 PM, MarkFeld said:

 I understand that his exoneration doesn’t necessarily mean he was innocent. At the same time, the accusations don’t necessarily mean he was guilty, either.

...similar to the Zerbe story....

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Assay Commission members were recommended by Members of Congress and others. The list was expanded or contracted as needed by the mint director, then passed to the Secretary of Treasury or the President's approval and appointment. There was usually an attempt to have a broad range of technical and business people from around the country, although certain NY college professors were appointed multiple times. Most directors liked to spread around the Presidential Appointment honor so repeat membership was not common until the 20th century when some people, Rep William Ashbrook notably, were appointed several years in a row. Appointment for a western resident was like a paid vacation. The Gov't picked up travel, lodging and meals, so a member from California, like Dodge, could get out of "Dodge" for free for the Gov'ts nickel.

The only correspondence prior to Leech's negative telegram refers to appointing Dodge 2 years before - and it was entirely cordial.

Each appointee received a signed invitation from the President. After the meetings (usually 2 days) they were allowed to pick coins from the remainders as souvenirs and occasionally offered pattern or test pieces as in 1878,1908 and 1922. Later, each member was given a bronze medal as a token of appreciation. Only 1 gold medal was ever made - for President Wilson. This was the idea of commission members as paid for by them. It is in the Wilson Institute in Washington DC.

 

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