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Teapot Dome Scandal

TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL

The presidential administration of warren g. harding, from 1921 to 1923, was characterized by scandal and corruption, the most controversial of which was the Teapot Dome oil scandal.

Conservation was a popular cause throughout the first quarter of the twentieth century and was encouraged by various presidents. As a result, several oil reserves for the exclusive use of the U.S. Navy were established in Wyoming and California. The oil was kept in storage places called domes, one of which, located near Casper, Wyoming, was christened Teapot Dome due to a rock formation in the area that resembled a teapot.

Although many politicians favored the establishment of the oil reserves, others believed they were superfluous. One opponent of the oil policy was Senator Albert B. Fall of New Mexico, who sought to make the reserves accessible to private industry.

In 1921, Senator Fall was selected as secretary of the interior in the Harding cabinet. Authority over the oil fields was transferred from the Department of the Navy to the interior department, with the consent of Edwin Denby, Secretary of the Navy. Fall was in a position to lease the oil reserves, without public bidding, to private parties. In 1922, Harry F. Sinclair, president of the Mammoth Oil Company, received rights to Teapot Dome, and Edward L. Doheny, a friend of Fall and prominent in the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company, leased the Elk Hills fields in California. Fall received approximately four hundred thousand dollars in exchange for his favoritism.

Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana initiated a Senate investigation of the oil reserve lands at the recommendation of Senator robert m. lafollette of Wisconsin. Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the leases inoperative, and the oil fields at Teapot Dome and Elk Hills were returned to the U.S. government.

Sinclair served nine months in prison for contempt of court, but both he and Doheny were found not guilty of bribery. Fall, who had left the cabinet in 1923, was found guilty in 1929 of accepting bribes; his punishment was one year in prison and a fine of $100,000. President Harding died in office in 1923, never aware of the notoriety of his administration.

further readings

Stratton, David H. 1998. Tempest over Teapot Dome: The Story of Albert B. Fall. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.

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"Teapot Dome Scandal." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Teapot Dome Scandal." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved October 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/teapot-dome-scandal

Teapot Dome

Teapot Dome, in U.S. history, oil reserve scandal that began during the administration of President Harding. In 1921, by executive order of the President, control of naval oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyo., and at Elk Hills, Calif., was transferred from the Navy Dept. to the Dept. of the Interior. The oil reserves had been set aside for the navy by President Wilson. In 1922, Albert B. Fall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, leased, without competitive bidding, the Teapot Dome fields to Harry F. Sinclair, an oil operator, and the field at Elk Hills, Calif., to Edward L. Doheny. These transactions became (1922–23) the subject of a Senate investigation conducted by Sen. Thomas J. Walsh. It was found that in 1921, Doheny had lent Fall $100,000, interest-free, and that upon Fall's retirement as Secretary of the Interior (Mar., 1923) Sinclair also "loaned" him a large amount of money. The investigation led to criminal prosecutions. Fall was indicted for conspiracy and for accepting bribes. Convicted of the latter charge, he was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $100,000. In another trial for bribery Doheny and Sinclair were acquitted, although Sinclair was subsequently sentenced to prison for contempt of the Senate and for employing detectives to shadow members of the jury in his case. The oil fields were restored to the U.S. government through a Supreme Court decision in 1927.

See M. R. Werner and J. Starr, Teapot Dome (1959); B. Noggle, Teapot Dome (1962).

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"Teapot Dome." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Teapot Dome." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/teapot-dome

"Teapot Dome." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/teapot-dome

Teapot Dome Scandal

Teapot Dome Scandal (1924) Corruption scandal involving the US government during President Harding's administration over the fraudulent leasing of oil reserves. The secretary of the interior, Albert Fall, was convicted of accepting bribes, and served one year in prison.

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"Teapot Dome Scandal." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Teapot Dome Scandal." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/teapot-dome-scandal

Teapot Dome

Teapot Dome the name of a naval oil reserve in Wyoming, irregularly leased by the US government in 1922, and referred to allusively in connection with the resulting political scandal.

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"Teapot Dome." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Teapot Dome." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/teapot-dome

"Teapot Dome." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved October 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/teapot-dome