ing of delinquents before tin- Hoard of Arbitration, went
on as though no statute had designated the business as
"gambling." The reward (half the fine) offered to any
person prosecuting and convicting offenders, however,
at last developed a champion, who undertook its vindi-
cation, it was charged, as a business venture.
Whatever his motive, he was sufficiently earnest in
his convictions to open a most vigorous and unex-
pected onslaught on the dealers in option contracts
and margins in the face of the forbidding statute. The
name of the self-appointed vindicator was Daniel A.
Goodrich. Little can be ascertained as to his ante-
cedents — nothing that would be to his prejudice, or
lead to the belief that he was not up to the average
standard as to morality, respectability and ability. He
had been at one time a lawyer, and was at this time the
senior partner of the firm of Goodrich & Moulton.
The name of Mr. Goodrich did not appear on the records
as a member of the Board of Trade, but he procured
a visitor's ticket, which gave him admission to the
rooms. The result of his observations, while thus a
favored guest, were developed on the following Satur-
day, August 10.
On this date, a constable appeared on the floor of
the Chamber, with warrants for the arrest of nine mem-
bers of the Board, on the charge of gambling. When
the object of his mission was made known, B. P. Hutch-
inson suggested an easy way of making the arrests. He
said, if the constable would but read out the names, he
would call the parties together. By this time nearly all
the attendants on the Board had grouped themselves
around the constable, who proceeded to call the accused
parties into the ring. Seven of them answered to the
call. These were Charles B. Pope. B. P. Hutchinson,
John J. Richards, William J. Scheik, Howard Priestly,
A. Eichhold and Don Carlo Scranton. Amid many ten-
der adieux they parted from their fellow members ;
not, however, until these had escorted them to hacks
employed to convey them to the North Side. Those
who were left behind cheered them on their way ; and,
in a few minutes, the whole party, accompanied by
several of their friends, found themselves in the office
of a justice of the peace. When it was learned that
the complainant was none other than the young lawyer,
Goodrich, the members indulged in a great many sar-
castic observations at his expense. Mr. Goodrich, who
was present, made no reply to the miscellaneous abuse
heaped upon him, but sturdily maintained that his only
object in causing the arrests to be made was to vindi-
cate the law.
After the preliminary examinations had been made,
the defendants signed each other's bonds, and the case
went over to the Recorder's Court. The party then re-
turned to the Chamber of Commerce, where they were
received with cheers. Later in the day E. K. Bruce, C.
B. Goodyear, George J. Brine and George M. How were
also arrested and taken before the justice, where they
furnished bonds to appear before the Recorder's Court.
At the request of George J. Brine, Mr. Goodrich, the
complainant, was also held in bonds of $3,000 to com-
pel his attendance in court as a witness for the prose-
On August 14, a special meeting of the Board was
held to take such action in regard to the recent arrests
as the case might seem to demand. The result of the
deliberations appears in resolutions, offered by Mr.
Charles Randolph, and adopted, after discussion and
amendment, by the Board. The resolutions declared
that the members could see no wrong in, and recog-
nized no moral difference between, transactions on
'Change and other transactions where property was
delivered at the time of sale ; and that the Board would,
in future, as in the past, stamp with its condemnation
and disapproval any and all acts of its members not in
THE BOARD OF TRADE.
accordance with the recognized principles of commer-
cial integrity. The directors were requested to procure
counsel to defend members charged with violating the
obnoxious provisions of the Warehouse Act.
The cases against the members never came to trial.
The prosecution broke down, not on the merits of the
case, but from the stress of impecuniosity, the com-
plainant being unable to furnish the bonds required
for his appearance as prosecutor and witness in the
Recorder's Court, to which the cases were sent for
There was no further attempt made to prosecute
violators of the law ; and, although it was decided by
the courts to be constitutional, it was tacitly understood
to be unmercantile in its spirit and scope, and was ac-
cordingly treated as a nullity until the convening of the
next Legislature, when the obnoxious sections were re-
Power to Suspend Members affirmed by the
Court. — On May 14, 1867, James P. Page sold to
Stevers & Brown a quantity of corn, deliverable at the
option of the seller, at any time thereafter during the
month, both parties to the transaction being members
of the Board 0/ Trade. On the 21st of the month,
corn having materially advanced in price, Page offered
to settle the contract by the payment of $500, which
offer having been accepted, he paid to Stevers & Brown
$100 in money and gave his note, payable on demand,
for $400, in settlement. Page failing to pay the note
when demanded, Stevers & Brown made a complaint to
the Board of Directors, before whom Page made answer,
admitting the indebtedness, but stating his inability to
pay. Thereupon the Board made an order in accord-
ance with the fifth by-law, suspending him from the
privileges of the Board.
Page made application to the Circuit Court of Cook
County for a mandamus, to compel the Board to annul
the order suspending him, and restore him to full uiem-
bership ; affirming in his petition that he had no corn
at the time he contracted to deliver it to Stevers &
Brown, and that the trade being illegal and void, under
the provisions of the Warehouse Act, the Board could
not legally recognize it by prescribing a penalty for
non-fulfillment. The petition was dismissed, and went
to the Supreme Court on an appeal. Opinion was ren-
dered May 12, affirming the judgment of the lower
court, which had sustained the Board in its act of sus-
pension, but giving no decision, as had been expected,
on the constitutionality of the Warehouse Act.
National Commercial Convention. — Pursuant
to a call from the Boston Board of Trade, a National
Commercial Convention was held in Boston, on Febru-
ary 5, 1868. The growing importance of the trade
organizations at the various commercial centers, as gath-
erers and disseminators of facts on which to base legis-
lation, had come to be widely felt ; and this convention
had been called with a view of inaugurating a system of
concerted action among the commercial bodies of the
country. The convention was attended by delegations
of Boards of Trade and commercial associations from
every important city in the country. The Chicago Board
of Trade sent a representative delegation. The topics
First, The improvement of inland transportation, including
rivers and canals.
Second, The restoration of our foreign trade and shipping in-
terests, including the organization and subsidy of ocean steamship
Third, The relief of our manufacturing and other great pro-
ducing interests by reducing the burden of taxation.
Fourth, The adjustment of the National tinancesand currency
upon a basis more favorable to stability in values and the free
movement of capital.
Fifth, The adoption of the cental, or some other uniform sys-
tem, for the measurement of grain.
Sixth, The speedy construction of the North Pacific Railroad.
Seventh, The organization of a National Board of Trade.
To the above was added, by a special resolution of the conven-
Eighth, The agriculture and manufactures of the country, and
the promotion and the protection of these great national interests.
The subjects above named were thoroughly dis-
cussed and reports adopted, and memorials drawn for
presentation to Congress, giving the result of the delib-
erations on such subjects as required national legislation.
It was decided to organize a National Board of Trade,
and the Commercial Convention adjourned, to report to
a delegate convention to be held the following year, at
THE YEAR 1S68-69.
The twentieth annual meeting was held Monday
April 6, 186S. The membership was reported at one
thousand two hundred and twenty-four — a decrease of
thirty-five during the year.* The polls were open for
the election of officers from 10 o'clock a. m. to 4 p. m.
It was one of the liveliest elections ever held. In addi-
tion to the two leading tickets in the field, headed by
E. V. Robbins and J. M. Richards, there were a dozen in-
dependent tickets, got up to enliven the occasion.
Among the outside tickets, one creating great amuse-
ment was termed the "anti-gong" ticket. Among the
operators who were daily " gonged " out of the hall at
the close of business hours the ticket found many sup-
The election resulted in the choice of E. V. Robbins
as president, by a vote of three hundred and seventy-six
as against three hundred and sixty-one votes cast for J.
M. Richards. The vice-presidents chosen were E. K.
Bruce and J. G. Cole. The election throughout was
characterized by great spirit and general good nature.
The report of the directors summarized the financial
affairs as follows:
Total receipts for the year .. $102,260 18
Total disbursements, including payment of
deficit of year before 86,97460
Balance on hand -. $15,285 58
The amount received for grain inspection was
$49,592.20 ; expenses of inspection, $42,053.64 ; profit
derived from inspection, $7,538.56. Among the minor
items of expenditure, was $1,000, paid to the " Widow's
and Orphan's Fund."
With the deficit of the past two years extinguished,
and a large surplus in the treasury, the directors deemed
it good policy to reduce the annual assessment from $35
The directors were authorized to nominate to the full
Board twice the number of delegates to which the Board
was entitled in the National Board of Trade, from which
the members were to choose the requisite number.
Action on Short-weight Cargoes. — Serious dis-
satisfaction had arisen on the part of shippers and vessel
owners, on account of the discrepancy in weight on
cargoes of wheat, as shipped from Chicago elevators
and as received at the Eastern ports of destination. At
a convention of ship-owners, held in Cleveland, it was
recommended as a remedy for the evil, that all Boards
of Trade and similar organizations, at all shipping
points, be requested to appoint weighers of cargoes,
♦The directors erroneously reported an increase of twenty-three members
during the year. They had based the income of the year before on a member-
ship of 1,200, but the actual number reported was 1,259.
HISTORY OF CHICAGO.
whose duty it should be to weigh all cargoes of grain in
and out of the vessels carrying the same. With a view
to bringing the proposition before the Chicago Board at
the annual meeting, on motion of Murry Nelson, a
committee of fifteen was appointed to consider the mat-
ter and report at a future meeting. The committee
was to consist of three shippers, three elevator owners,
three bankers, three carriers, and three grain receivers,
and should they report favorably on the project, the di-
rectors were to nominate suitable persons for the new
position, who were to be appointed by the president.
The committee, at a business meeting, held April
14. submitted majority and minority reports. The
minority report was signed by H. K. Elkins and R. P.
Richards, and recommended the appointment of weigh-
masters for the purposes named, in order, if possible, to
protect shippers thoroughly as to quantity received, as
they were by the system of inspection as to quality.
The majority report was signed by B. P. Hutchinson,
Charles Randolph, C. S. Hutchins, J. W. Preston, S. H.
McCrea, Ira Y. Munn and T. N. Bond. It reported, as
the sense of the committee, that it would be inexpedi-
ent for the Board of Trade to assume the appointment
of weighers of grain in the elevators of the city; but
earnestly recommended to the vessel interests of the
city the appointment, under their own auspices, of com-
petent men at each elevator of receiving and delivery,
whose duty it should be to fully understand the con-
struction of the elevators to which they were severally
assigned, and attend personally to the weighing and
delivery and receiving of all cargoes of grain. It further
reported a resolution, that
" If any elevators in the city are so constructed that grain,
after being weighed for the vessel, can, by any possibility, be
returned to the house, the proprietors of such elevators be requested
to so alter their houses, in this regard, that the several weighmen
may know positively that when grain is once weighed for the vessel
it must certainly go on board."
The minority report was laid on the table, and so
much of the majority report as is above summarized
The Soldiers' Monument. — The question of
erecting a soldiers' monument was revived at the
annual meeting, and it was
"Resolved, That the board of directors be requested to set apart
from the funds now in the treasury, the sum of $5, 000, to be paid
over to a committee to be appointed, two from this Board and three
from the citizens or other organizations, when other subscriptions
to at least the same amount are collected by said committee. The
said committee of five to be empowered to appropriate such funds
to the completion of a monument upon the grounds indicated by
the proposition of the Rosehill Cemetery Company, to the Board,
on the 4th of November, 1S63 ; provided, that no money shall be
expended by such committees for personal services of themselves
in connection with the erection of said monument."
The resolution was adopted, with but one dissenting
voice. This action of the Hoard involved the creation
of a new Committee on Cemetery. The members were
announced at a subsequent meeting. They were J. W.
Preston, George Field and S. H. McCrea.
Sp» ulation had, under the excitement of the war,
the derangement of values, and the constantly recur-
ring fluctuations, become a prominent factor in the
businc-s of the Hoard. The bulk of the sales of grain
were made with no expectation, on the part of settlers,
to make an actual delivery of the property sold, and
with a-, little idea on the part of buyers of receiving it.
e few dealers in grain who could
liquidate, by actual receipt and delivery, the volume of
their transactions for a single day. This year is mem-
orable as the year of corners. It, for the first time
since the war closed, brought all tho 1 ngaged in the
business to a realizing sense of the truth, that there was
an actual basis of property underneath every trade ;
and that to sell what one did not possess was fraught
with as much danger as to buy what one could not pay
for. In 1S67, as has been recounted, the evil of short-
selling had culminated in a statute, defining it as
gambling, which, although not yet repealed, was a dead
letter in the statute book. This year the grievance to
the trade was not so apparent in short selling as in long
buying ; for, under skillful management, the market
had been successfully cornered, and prices unnaturally
forced above their natural level, much to the disgust
and pecuniary embarrassment of the short sellers, who
numerically were in the ascendant on the Board.
Scarcely a month had elapsed, since New Year's day,
without a corner on 'Change. Three on wheat, two on
corn, one on oats, and one attempted on rye, and the
year threatened to go out with a tremendous corner on
the products of hog-packing — technically known as
provisions. It is unnecessary, in this connection, to
give a specific account of the various corners alluded
to. Wheat was successfully cornered in June. The
price started at $1.77 per bushel, and culminated at
three p. m., June 30, at $2.20. The price in New York,
on the same day, was $2.02, and fell in Chicago, imme-
diately after the corner collapsed, to $1.85 ; and con-
tinued to rule below that price for weeks thereafter.
The other corners during the summer were not so
severely felt by the bears, nor so disastrous to them in
their results, but were getting so inconveniently fre-
quent as to call for action on the part of the Board.
Accordingly, October 13, the Board of Trade adopted
resolutions providing for the expulsion of members
engaging in corners, under Rule V, which designated
what were considered improper and fraudulent trans-
Soon after the passage of this resolution, another
corner was run on No. 1 corn. At the beginning of
November, the price was 77 cents per bushel; it gradu-
ally advanced in price to 95 cents, on the 21st of the
month, when it was discovered that the market was
cornered, and that the corn was virtually in the posses-
sion of a single firm and a syndicate of their friends.
The syndicate ran the price up to $1.08, on the last
day of the month. The price in New York on that day
was $1.14, and on the succeeding day fell to 80 cents
Many leading firms of undoubted credit and untar-
nished business reputation were caught in the corner ;
but, contrary to expectation, refused to settle their
deals at the price demanded. Among the firms who
rebelled against the extortion, were Murry Nelson &:
Co., W. H. Lunt, Eli Johnson & Co., Spruance, Preston
& Co., and others. It was determined by them to sub-
mit a test case to the Board of Arbitrators, the delin-
quents depending on the resolution recently passed for
a vindication. The case was brought by Priestly &
Co., who had engineered the corner, against Murry
Nelson & Co.
The case, as presented, was, that Nelson & Co. sold,
on the 1 6th of November, for delivery during the
month, to Priestly & Co., five thousand bushels of No.
1 corn, at 78 cents a bushel. On the last day of the
month, they found it impossible to purchase the said
corn, except from Priestly & Co., or parties acting in
concert with them, and the nominal price for settlement
had been set by them at $t.o.S per bushel. Nelson &
Co. offered to settle the contract on the basis of ninety
cents, which offer was refused, and the difference was
brought before the Board.
THE BOARD OF TRADE.
That it was, under the rules, a technical default of
contract, was a fact not in dispute by the litigants; but
it was claimed that the contract had been vitiated by
act of the purchasers in forcing the price to an extor-
tionate figure, contrary to the resolution so recently
passed condemnatory of such transactions. After a full
hearing of the case, and arguments, it was decided
against Nelson & Co.; and they were, on December 15,
notified that, unless, within ten days, they should effect
a settlement with Priestly & Co., of the difference
awarded, they would, in accordance with the by-laws,
be suspended from the privileges of the Board.
On or before the expiration of the ten days, Messrs.
Nelson & Co. obtained from the Circuit Court an in-
junction upon the Board, its president and secretary,
forbidding them from carrying out the threatened
expulsion. The case was thus carried into the courts,
and, pending a decision, held in abeyance by the Board.
It was finally decided that the resolution did not amend
the rule, under which the Board had a right to expel
any member who, for violation of contract or other
cause therein named, might be subject to such disci-
The year ended in a most successful corner on pork
and lard. It could not, perhaps, be strictly termed a
corner, so much as a general concentration of the entire
product in strong hands, that controlled the price there-
after for the season. Unlike the corners in grain, there
was no culmination at the close of any month which was
followed by such marked decline as to show that the
deal was engineered for local speculative purposes,
although short sellers of provisions suffered no less than
had their unfortunate brethren in the grain trade. The
packing season opened under discouraging conditions.
There was no speculative demand for provisions in any
form, and the whole market was lifeless. It seemed to
the best observers, that only lower prices could put any
life into the trade. The packers themselves took that
view, and sold largely short on their prospective pro-
ducts, at quite low figures. They were joined by many
short sellers having like views of the situation. The
result was, that during November, and the early part of
December, the market became alarmingly short; the
shortage being stated at 30,000 bbls. of mess pork, on
December 12, at an average of $24 a bbl. Lard had
been also largely sold ahead, at from 13^ and 14 cents.
The packers already short found an unexpected de-
mand for their products in December, at prices above
the average of the short sales they had made, and
became bidders in the open market for their own pro-
ducts. It thus happened that prices were rapidly
advanced during the latter part of December — on mess
pork $3 a bbl. and on lard 3 cents a pound. The lard
and pork was, at the close of the year, in the control of
one or two packing firms, and held by them until finally
disposed of, there being no serious break in prices
below the figures at which the shorts were forced to
settle, until the season was over. It could not, there-
fore, be termed a speculative corner, gotten up for local
profit, so much as a combination of packers to protect
their own legitimate products from what they deemed
an unnatural depression. The average price of the
short sales of mess pork made in November, and early
in December, was not above $23.50, and the settlements
were made at an average of $28.50, on January 1, 1869.
During the succeeding months, prices never fell off ;
reaching $33 a bbl. in January, $33.25 in February, and
$32.25 in March. Lard was sold short in November
and December at 13 and 14 cents, and settled in Jan-
uary at 17 and 18 cents. The range thereafter was
for January, February and March, 18 and 20^ cents.
In the eyes of the short sellers who had suffered, how-
ever, the deal on pork was out of the legitimate range
of trade, and was classed with the many corners on
grain that had resulted so much to their discomfiture
during the year. The result was, that the Board, in the
revision of the by-laws at the close of the fiscal year,
enacted a specific rule calculated to protect adverse
interests against corners. It reads as follows:
Rub XIII. — Whenever any member of this Board shall claim
that the fulfillment of his contract is interfered with by the exist-
ence of a "corner," the President of the Board shall, upon the
application of any party to such contract, appoint a committee of
three disinterested members of the Board, who shall decide as to
the existence of a "corner." and if they find that a "corner"
existed at the time of the maturity of the contract, such contract
shall be settled on the basis of actual value as compared with other
property of the same kind, but of a different grade in this market,
and with property of the same grade in other markets — such value
to be ascertained, as near as may be, and the price to be fixed, by a
majority of such committee.
Pending the test suit of Priestly & Co. vs. Murry
Nelson & Co., the Board had evidently settled itself in
the conviction that both extremes of speculation — over-
selling and over-buying — were subjects to be regulated,
since the roots were too deep to 'be eradicated. The
by-laws at that time in force recognized short selling as
legitimate, by providing for the putting up of margins
on such sales, and for the discipline of such short sellers
as should default on the settlement of their contracts.
The buyers of property were free to buy up to the point
where Rule XIII could be enforced.
While these events were in progress new members
continued to join the Board. Among the number were
those whose sketches are herewith presented.
Cyrus H. Adams, son of Hugh and Amanda J. Adams, and
nephew of Cyrus H. McCormick, was born at Kerr's Creek, Rock-
bridge Co., Va., February 21, 1S49, anc l moved to Chicago with
his father's family in 1857. After studying at the University of
Chicago, he entered the office of the grain commission firm of C.