Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Documents Destroyed in the Equitable Fire

The World Order: A Study in the Hegemony of Parasitism
The history and practices of the parasitic financial elite
-- by: Eustace Mullins, 1984

Harriman employed judge Robert Scott Lovett as general counsel for Union Pacific. When Harriman and Otto Kahn were summoned by the ICC in 1897, Lovett advised them to refuse to answer all questions about their stock operations. In 1908, the Supreme Court upheld their refusal to talk. The records of this case, SC No. 133 US v. UP RR, later disappeared from the Library of Congress. In 1911, the Equitable Life Insurance building, which contained all the records of the Union Pacific RR, burned, destroying all UP papers to that date.

January 10, 1912, The Sun, State Loses 6 Months Work, Page 7, Column 2,

Had All But Completed Triennial Examination of the Equitable.

The State Insurance Department lost as a result of the fire practically all the records of an examination of the Equitable which was all but completed. An idea of how serious such a loss is to the department may be gained by the fact that for over six months men have been at work on the books and papers of the society. Much of this work will now have to be done all over again, and in the confusion resulting from the fire it will probably be difficult to get at the material.

The State insurance law requires that an insurance company shall be examined once in three years. The last examination of the Equitable was made in 1908. Such an examination is a prodigious task and involves going over many reports, checking up assets and liabilities and verifying the company's statement made to the department.

A force of fifteen examiners working under the direct supervision of Chief Examiner Hadley began work last June and had three rooms on the fifth floor of the building assigned to their use. Supt. Hotchkiss's term expires in February and the plan was to complete the examination before he left office. The report of the examination was expected to fill about seventy pages. About forty pages. Mr. Hadley said yesterday, had been completed and it was hoped to finish the balance by the end of two weeks.

The report upon which the men were working, together with the data, was kept in two roll top desks on the fifth floor on the Broadway side. So far as the Insurance Department could learn yesterday, they were all destroyed.

"I do not know how long it will take us to get up another report," said Mr. Hadley. "It may be that we can get the stuff together again in a couple of months, because some of the material we have duplicates of. Just when we can start in on the job again is uncertain. All I know now is that an immense amount of labor has gone up in smoke. We were just waiting to get the company's annual financial statement to check it up with our report and expected to complete the hearing before Mr. Hotchkiss's term expired."

January 10, 1912, The Sun, Trial Minutes Gone, Page 7, Column 1,

Thaw Trials, Molineox Trial, Records of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

Bartholomew Moynahan. since January 2, 1896, official stenographer of the Criminal Branch, Part I., of the Supreme Court of New York county, has had his offices in the Equitable Building for thirty-five years, and all of his many important and valuable records and papers have been destroyed, with the exception of a few that may have been put in a safe on Monday evening, provided the safe comes through unscathed.

All his original minutes of trials since 1896, including both Thaw trials, the Molineux trial, and every other important murder trial since his appointment, were burnt up. Mr. Moynahan was inclined to be philosophical about the matter.

"I may congratulate myself," said he, "that on Saturday last I expressed to Judge Marcus at Buffalo the transcript of the minutes of the Stokes-Graham-Conrad trial and of the Garvey case. I have lost the express receipt, which was on my desk, and my notebooks are burned, but the transcript is saved. Those two were the only cases of importance that I can think of now, not entirely disposed of at this time. There may be one or two minor cases that haven't been written out, but so far as I can remember none of the minute books destroyed will affect any tending cases or pending appeals.

"I lost, of course, my entire outfit in the office, desks, typewriters, phonographs and reproducing machines, most of which I had just renewed; but what I most regret are the old records of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, dating back to the years when I was secretary of that Society, from 1893 to 1903. These and the original minutes of the national conventions of both parties, Republican and Democratic---of which I was the official stenographer--- from 1876 to 1892, at Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati, I had preserved with great care and they were especially interesting, including as they did Cochran's attack on Cleveland, the nominating speeches for all the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, and a lot of other matter which was never written out."

Mr. Moynahan was busy in his court yesterday morning and started back after recess as though such a thing as a fireburning out his office and records had bever happened.

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