Edward Mandell House

In 1913, Colonel House helped to pick the charter members of the original Federal Reserve Board. (Road Show)


The American and British Round Table groups were the secret society's back bone. By 1914 (the beginning of World War I) there were secret Round Table Groups established in seven countries: 1. England, 2. the United States, 3. South Africa, 4. Canada, 5. Australia, 6. New Zealand and 7. India. In 1919 (after the Paris Peace Conference) the seven


Edward Mandell House was the seventh son of a seventh son. According to House, "We originally came from Holland and the name was Huis, which finally fell into House. Father ran away from home and went to sea when a child, and did not return to his home until he had become a man of property and distinction. He came to Texas when it belonged to Mexico. He joined the revolution, fought under General Burleson, and helped make Texas a republic. For his services in this war he received a grant for land in Coryell County. He lived to see Texas come into the Union, secede, and return to the Union. He lived in Texas under four flags."13 According House's biographer, Charles Seymour, "Thus wrote Colonel House in the summer of 1916, when a brief lull in his political activities gave opportunity for him to reconstruct on paper something of the background that lay behind his rapid rise to national and international eminence. Although the family was in its origin Dutch, his forbearers were for some three hundred years English, and it was from England that his father ran away. House himself, a seventh son, was born in 1858, at Houston, Texas, and this State he has always regarded as his home. Even more than those of Wilson or Walter Page, with whom he later was so closely associated, his first years were touched by the excitement and turmoil of the times."14 The turmoil of the times was the Civil War (1861 - 1865). Thomas House had become a millionaire growing Cotton on his Coryell County land. Thomas House used some of his money to buy ships. The ships carried goods that were bought and sold. Two commodities House traded in were cotton and slaves. Some Southerners managed to profit from the Civil War. Thomas House was one. When the war began Lincoln blockaded the Southern coast. Thomas House increased his wealth by using his ships to run the blockades. Thomas House became rich and avoided risk by hiring men to run the blockades while he observed safely from shore. According to Edward House, "During the war he sent many ships out from Galveston with cotton, to run the blockade to near-by ports, such as Havana and Belize Honduras. At that time we had a house in Galveston as well as in Houston. The Galveston home covered an entire block. The house was a large red brick Colonial one, with white pillars, and an orange grove took up most of the grounds, and oleanders encircle them.

In determining when to send his ships out, Father was governed largely by the weather. Dark, stormy nights were the ones chosen. In the afternoon he would go up to the cupola of our house, and with his glasses he would scan the horizon to see how many Federal gunboats were patrolling the coast. Then his ship would go out in the early part of the night. In the morning, at daylight, he would be again on the lookout to count the Federal gunboats, to see if any were missing. If they were all there, he felt reasonably sure his ship had gotten through the blockade.

It would be months before he knew definitely whether his ships had come safely to port or whether they had been captured. When he lost one, the loss was complete; but when one got through, the gain was large. He had a working arrangement with the Confederate Government by which the return voyage brought them clothing, arms, and munitions of war of all kinds.

The terrible days between Lee's surrender and bringing some sort of order out of the chaos in the South made a lasting impression on my mind. I cannot recall just now long the interim was, but it must have been a full year or more.

There was one regiment of Texas soldiers that came to Houston and disbanded there. They looted the town. They attempted to break into Father's storehouse, but he stood at the doors with a shotgun...Murder was rife everywhere; there was no law, there was no order. It was unsafe to go at night to you next-door neighbor's. When Father had this to do, he always reached for his shotgun or six-shooter and held it ready to shoot while both going and coming."15 Men of war met at the House plantation to discuss military strategy. One of those men was Jefferson Davis. On January 1863 Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing "all slaves in rebellion." The proclamation encouraged slaves to rebel and kill their owners -- their reward would be their Freedom. Slave owners had cause to hate Lincoln. Lee's surrender on April 9th 1865 was bad news for Thomas House -- his blockade running business was over. Lincoln would be assassinated five days latter. This encouraged southern troops to fight on. The news of Lincoln's assassination was a cause for celebration at the House plantation. The last rebel troops surrendered a month later May 26, 1865. In 1866 the Ku Klux Klan formed secretly in the South. They were a vigilante group, that terrorized blacks, and used frontier justice against carpet baggers, and criminals that traveled throughout the south during reconstruction. Thomas House and some of Edward's older brothers joined the Texas Klan. 16

After the civil war Edward was sent to preparatory school in England. Edward developed close friendships with his English schoolmates. Some of Edward's schoolmates would become members of Cecil Rhodes Round Table group, so would Edward. Some of Edward's schoolmates would grow up to become the most powerful English diplomats and spies in Britain. Edward would grow up to be on of the most powerful diplomats and spies in America. Edward's mother died when he was fourteen. Edward returned to the States to complete his education. According to House, "I had expected to be able to enter Yale, but I found myself wholly unprepared and reluctantly entered the Hopkin's Grammar School of the Class of '77...What I had been taught was of but little use, and I would have been better off as far as Latin and Greek were concerned if I had known nothing and had started from the beginning. I studied but little, and I soon found I should have difficulty in joining the Class of '81 in Yale. Meanwhile, Oliver T. Morton, a son of Senator Oliver P. Morton of Indiana, and I had become fast friends and we agreed to tutor and go to Cornell instead of Yale. Both Morton and I were more bent on mischief than upon books and, while the mischief was innocent, it made us poor students." 17

House didn't get good grades -- House did get a good education.Oliver T. Morton's father was a potential Republican presidential Candidate. Morton was an Republican. House, being from the south, was an ardent Democrat. The youngmen's friendship, coupled with an interesting political presidential race, would provide House with educational experience, that no planned curriculum could ever have offered. The youngmen followed the election campaign. They argued politics, they read about politics, they debated political issues, and they cut class to attend political meetings. House relates, "Every near-by political meeting I attended, and there was no one more interested in the nomination and election of the presidential candidates of 1876 than I. At every opportunity I would go to New York and hang about Democratic Headquarters which, I remember, were at the Everett House in Union Square. I used to see Mr. [Samuel] Tilden go in and out, and wondered then how so frail a looking man could make a campaign for President.

Bayard, Blaine, and others I heard speak whenever the opportunity occurred, and I believe that I was as nearly engrossed in politics as I have ever been since.

Before the nominations were made, I was, of course, hoping to see young Morton's father nominated for President, and it was a bitter disappointment to us both when the telegraph operator handed us out the first slip giving new that the Republicans had compromised upon Rutherford B. Hays. The operator knew us, for we were continually hanging about the office instead of attending to our studies. Morton's father was such a poser at the time that there was no difficulty in his having access to any information that was to be had.

Ardent Democrat that I was, and ardent Republican that he was, young Morton and I had no unpleasant discussions. After the election and during the contest that followed, it was utterly impossible for me to bring myself to think of desk or books. I was constantly going to Washington with Morton, in order to be near the center of things. I was usually the guest of the Mortons, who lived at the time at the Ebbitt House. I knew much of everything that was going on. Republican leaders would come in day and night to consult the distinguished invalid who was directing the fight for Hayes. In this way, directly and indirectly, I saw and met many well-known Republicans in public life at that time."18

When the election results of 1876 came in Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican) believed he had lost the election to Samuel Tilden (Democrat). It was discovered that a few Southern States had submitted two different sets of electoral votes. A dispute arose over the result. A electoral commission was appointed by Congress. Eight Republicans and seven Democrats served on the commission. All the disputed votes were awarded to Hayes. Hayes became president by one electoral vote. Hayes did keep a promise he made to the Southerners -- he withdrew troops from all areas still occupied in the South, ending the era of reconstruction. 19

In 1880 Thomas House died. Edward House dropped out of Cornell and returned to Texas. Edward inherited his father's greatest wealth the cotton plantations. The Civil war had made it impossible for Edward to inherit his father's slaves. Edward managed the plantations for ten years. In 1890 he sold the plantations and invested the money in bank notes. The interest provided Edward Mandell House with financial independence for the rest of his life.20

Besides the Plantations, Edward inherited his daddies friends. They were older than Edward. After the civil war they were the men that formed the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klaners were the old-timers who dispensed vigilante justice. Some of that justice was warranted -- some of the justice was simply murder. By 1880 a new legitimate group was in charge of dispensing justice in Texas -- the Texas Rangers. They wore stars, carried arms, were paid salaries, and killed in the line of duty. They were hard men, and tough men. They were aggressive, virile and domineering men. Intimidation was one way they used to keep the peace. Many of them had big brawny bodies -- all of them had big egos -- all of them had six-shooters buckled around their waists. Many of the Texas Rangers were members of the Klan. Edward was the new master. It was Edward's job to gain their loyalty. Edward gained their loyalty by stroking their egos. Edward would use his money and influence to try and make them famous. Edward described his new friends as "that intrepid band that made Texas what she is to-day. I make obeisance to them! Nothing daunted them. They tore a principality from a sovereign state and moulded a trackless wilderness into a great commonwealth. These men were the heroes of my childhood; and now when I am growing old and have seen many men and many lands, I go back to them and salute them, for I find they are my heros still."21

One of the oldest and perhaps best of these "friends" was a Texas Ranger named Captain Bill McDonald. According to House, "In my early boyhood I knew many of the Bill McDonalds type, although he was perhaps the flower of them all. I knew personally many of the famous desperados, men who had killed so many that they had almost ceased to count their victims.

There were two types of so-called "killers" - one that murdered simply for the pure love it, and others that killed because it was in their way of duty. Bill McDonald belonged to this latter class. So also did Blue-eyed Captain McKinney of the Rangers, whom I knew in my ranching days in southwest Texas.

McKinney was finally ambushed and killed, as almost every sheriff of La Salle County was killed during that particular period. Whenever I went to our ranch, I was never certain that I would return home alive. Feuds were always going on, and in some of these our ranch was more or less involved."22

Many of the Sheriff's of La Salle county were little more than hired thugs -- licensed to kill. They were loyal to the men running the county. If those men's interest were threatened the Sheriffs administered discipline. The Governor of Texas from 1890 to 1894 was Governor Hogg. Edward Mandell House was instrumental in getting Hogg elected. During his administration rail-road workers struck. Governor Hogg used Texas Ranger Bill McDonald to break up the strike. According to House, "Governor Hogg...broke up strikes during his administration. Captain Bill McDonald, of the Ranger Service, was the instrument he used. Hogg sent word to the leaders that if they continued to uncouple cars, or to do anything that might interfere with the movement of trains, he would shoot holes through them big enough to see through. When Bill conveyed this to the ringleaders and presented himself as the instrument through which it was to be done, lawlessness ceased." Edward inherited the Texas Ku Klux Klan.

The success of the Hogg campaign insured the political position of House in Texas. Edward Mandell House helped to make four men governor of Texas (James S. Hogg (1892), Charles A. Culberson (1894), Joseph D. Sayers (1898), and S. W.T. Lanham (1902)). After the election House acted as unofficial advisor to each governor. House would say in regard to the Hogg election, "So in politics I began at the top rather than at the bottom and I have been doing since that day pretty much what I am doing now; that is, advising and helping wherever I might." Hogg, caught onto House. Hogg gave House the title "Colonel" by promoting House to his staff. Appointment to the official Staff of the Governor was a Texas political custom of dubious honor. Along with the staff position came a uniform they could wear to official gatherings or "bestow upon an ancient and grateful darkey." Governor Hogg appointed House to his staff without telling him. Upon receiving the staff officer's uniform House did give it to a servant. The title Colonel stuck. Despite his protest, he became "Colonel House" or even "The Colonel."

House wanted to control more than Texas, House wanted to control the country. House would do so by becoming a king maker instead of a king. House learned by controlling two or three men in the Senate; two or three men in the House; and the President -- he could control the country. Edward saw his father, Thomas, become rich and avoid risk by hiring men to run the blockades while observing safely from shore. House would do the same in the political arena. He would find a candidate that he could influence. He would be instrumental in helping that candidate achieve office. He would influence the candidate from behind the scenes. The people would perceive one man was representing them, when in reality, an entirely different man was in control. House could influence that man to betray his constituents with no risk to himself. House had learned a great secret -- how to control a country. House didn't need to influence millions of people, he need only influence a handful of men. The less the people knew about him or what he was doing, the better off he was. House would profit from remaining in the shadows. House would help establish a secret society in America that would operate in the same fashion -- the Council on Foreign Relations.

In 1912, Woodrow Wilson (president of Princeton 1902-1910, governor of New Jersey 1911-13) ran as a Democrat in a three man presidential race. Howard Taft was the incumbent Republican. Former President Theodore Roosevelt ran on the Progressive party ticket. Wilson's main financial genius and support came from a group of directors of the House of Rockefeller's National City Bank including: Cleveland H. Dodge, J. Ogden Armour, James Stillman, and William Rockefeller. Otto Kahn, and Jacob Schiff of the House of Kuhn-Loeb & Co. provided additional financial support. The House of Morgan guided the Progressive campaign of Teddy Roosevelt. Morgan partner George Perkins provided Roosevelt with money, speeches, and men from Wall Street to help his campaign. The House of Morgan also gave money to the Wilson campaign. The republican vote was divided and Wilson was able to beat them both, won by a land slide, and became 28th President of the United States. After the election Wilson's financial backers provided him with their own agents to act as unofficial advisors. Among these advisors was a young lawyer named Felix Frankfurter. Frankfurter worked for the New York "establishment" law firm Hornblower, Byrne, Miller and Potter. Another adviser was Edward Mandell House. Without House, Wilson may never have become president. Wilson was nominated as Democratic candidate because of support from William Jennings Bryan. Colonel House obtained Bryan's support for Wilson. House became Wilson's closest unofficial advisor. The Round Table Group had four pet projects, a graduated income tax, a central bank, creation of a Central Intelligence Agency, and the League of Nations.25

In the period between 1901 and 1913 the House of Morgan and the House of Rockefeller formed close alliances with the Dukes and the Mellons. This group consolidated their power and came to dominate other Wall Street powers including: Carnegie, Whitney, Vanderbilt, Brown-Harriman, and Dillon-Reed. The Round Table Group wanted to control the people. The Round Table Group would control the people by controlling the government. The Round Table Group would control the government by using the government to tax people and having the government deposit the peoples money in a central bank. The Round Group would take control of the bank and therefore have control of the money. The Round Table Group would take control of the State Department and formulate government policy, which would determine how the money was spent. The Round Table Group would control the CIA which would gather information about people, and script and produce psycho-political operations focused at the people to influence them to act in accord with Round Table Group State Department policy decisions. The Round Group would work to consolidate all the nations of the world into a single nation, with a single central bank under their control, and a single International Security System.

Between 1901-1913 the Establishment worked hard at achieving these goals. Some of the men involved were American Round Table group members and insiders Allen Dulles, John Dulles, Dean Rusk, Jerome Greene, James T. Shotwell, John H. Davis, Elihu Root, and Philip Jessup, Felix Frankfurter, and Edward Mandell House. Some of the first legislation of the Wilson Administration was the institution of the graduated income tax (1913). An inheritance tax was also instituted. These tax laws were used to rationalize the need for legislation that allowed the establishment of tax-exempt foundations. The tax-exempt foundations became the link between Round Table members private corporations and the University system. The Round Table Group would control the Universities by controlling the sources of their funding. The funding was money sheltered from taxes being channeled in ways which would help achieve Round Table Group aims. With the achievement of the graduated income tax, the American Round Table Group focused on establishing the United States central bank.

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