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Mulligan Letters


MULLIGAN LETTERS. Between 1864 and 1876, James G. Blaine wrote a series of letters to a Boston businessman, Warren Fisher Jr., that indicated Blaine had used his official power as Speaker of the House of Representatives to promote the fortunes of the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad. James Mulligan, an employee of Fisher's, testified before a congressional committee that he had such letters in his possession. After Blaine obtained possession of the letters, he read them on the floor of the House to defend himself, and his friends claimed he was vindicated. When Blaine ran as the Republican candidate for president in 1884, however, the publication of the letters most likely contributed to his narrow defeat.


McFarland, Gerald. Mugwumps, Morals, and Politics. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1975.

Summers, Mark Wahlgren. Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion: The Making of a President, 1884. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

J. HarleyNichols/a. g.

See alsoCorruption, Political ; Political Scandals ; Speaker of the House of Representatives .

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