Whiskey Ring

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WHISKEY RING. During the Grant administration, a group of western distillers and Internal Revenue Service officials formed a conspiracy to evade the whiskey tax. After a lengthy investigation into the ring, Benjamin H. Bristow, the secretary of the treasury, procured the indictment of more than 230 persons, including the president's personal secretary, and the conviction of 110, including four government officials. The investigation turned up allegations that funds generated by the illegal abatements of taxes went to the Republican party to achieve a second term for Grant. The private secretary was acquitted, however, and no evidence implicated Grant himself.


McDonald, John. Secrets of the Great Whiskey Ring. St. Louis, Mo.: W. S. Bryan, 1880.

McFeely, William S. Grant: A Biography. New York: W. W. Norton, 1981.

Simpson, Brooks D. The Reconstruction Presidents. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

JohnFrancisJr./a. g.

See alsoBelknap Scandal ; Corruption, Political ; Crédit Mobilier of America .