Chapter 2: How It All Began

Thomas Jefferson

"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains." -Thomas Jefferson to Horatio Gates Spafford, 17 Mar. 1817, cited in Papers 14:221 (1)

Andrew Jackson

"Unless you become more watchful in your States and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given or bartered away, and the control of your dearest interests have been passed into the hands of these corporations." -President Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837 (2)

Abraham Lincoln
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . .corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." -U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864, from a letter to Col. William F. Elkins (3)

"Old Bill" Rockefeller

In 1850, an upstate New York farmer named "Old Bill" Rockefeller moved to Cleveland, listed himself as a "physician" in the city directory and began to palm off bottled raw petroleum on the yokels as a cure for cancer.

Calling it "Nujol" ("new oil"), it was the beginning of the Rockefeller medicine and energy monopoly - a mega-cartel that truly began when Bill's cunning and determined son John tried his hand at selling oil. (4)

W. H. Perkin

In 1856, just six years after "Old Bill" began to play doctor, an 18-year-old English chemistry student named William Henry Perkin stumbled upon a process to make purple dye from coal tar. Until then, all dyes were made from natural sources such as insects, barks, flowers, berries, animal organs and eggs.

German coal works

German chemists eventually made the connection between the mountains of coal tar left over from massive steel production in the Ruhr, and the new, cheaper way to make the costly dyes. Three companies emerged and dominated the new German dye industry - Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF. (5)

Carl Duisberg

In 1916, Bayer chemist Carl Duisberg would organize a loose association of the eight biggest German chemical companies, and formalize this association in 1925, joining with their Swiss counterparts Ciba, Geigy and Sandoz in 1929. (6)

From the beginning, the association was called the "Interessen Gemeinschaft der Deutschen Teerfarbenindustrie" - the "Community of Interest of the German Dyestuff Industry" - I.G. Farben for short.

I.G. Farben



(2) -

(3) "Abraham Lincoln: A New Portrait," Vol. 2 by Emanuel Hertz, Horace Liveright Inc, 1931, NY, p. 954. See also: "The Lincoln Encyclopedia," Archer H. Shaw, Macmillan, 1950, NY -

(4) Bealle, Morris, A., "The Drug Story," 1949, The Hornet's Nest, pp. 5-6

(5) Borkin, Joseph,"The Crime and Punishment of IG Farben," 1978, The Free Press, pp. 4-5

6) - Type in "Corporate Information - Ciba Specialty Chemicals Holdings Inc. - See also

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