|That's a pretty good beard.|
|Greeley could've been raking it in.|
Colfax got recruited to run as Ulysses S. Grant's veep in 1868. Two weeks after the election, he was remarried to one Ella Wade (some Senator-or-rather's niece), with whom he had his son Schuyler Colfax, III, because who could let a legacy name like that die out? As far as I know, he did nothing of note as VP. Unfortunately (fortunately?), during his time in the House, Colfax and pretty much every other Congressman took money from those shady grafters at the Union Pacific Railroad. He was implicated in the Crédit Mobilier Scandal in 1872, and was replaced by Henry Wilson** as VP on Grant's reelection ticket in 1872. What is the deal with the Crédit Mobilier scandal, you might ask? Well, so you don't have to read the whole Wikipedia article, I will summarize (probably pretty inaccurately):
So, like, in the mid-1860s, the U.S. government thought it might be a good idea to set up a transcontinental railroad and chartered the Union Pacific Railroad to make it happen. High-ranking Union Pacific officials were skeptical that they could ever make money off of running a railroad, so they hatched a nefarious plan: they secretly set up "Crédit Mobilier of America," a supposedly independent construction company they were contracting to do the actual railroad-building work. However, it was basically a sham company set up to line the pockets of railroad tycoon types. How it worked was through a system of indirect billing and blatant fraud: "Crédit Mobilier" would invoice Union Pacific for construction costs, who would in turn invoice the federal government the same amount plus "overhead" costs. But since Crédit Mobilier was Union Pacific, there were no overhead costs, and the extra government cash went to the secret shareholders AKA Union Pacific's executive fat cats. Congress got tangled up because Congressman Oakes Ames was set up as head of Crédit Mobilier in 1867. He used his political influence to sell his fellow Congressmen Crédit Mobilier stocks at discount rates, in addition to blatant gifts and bribes to keep Congress from auditing the whole shady business. Whether Colfax or most of his colleagues were really aware of the larger scam is unclear, but this is just your hourly reminder that corporate sponsorship of Congress is not exactly news.
|I believe that's Colfax front and center and Uncle Sam wants all these congressdudes to commit hari-kari for ripping off the government. Or something. (Source)|
*Until they are nineteen and in college and think they are some hot shit, that is.
**Though Wilson also took money in the scandal, I guess? Somehow James A. Garfield, also implicated in the scandal, wormed his way out of it well enough to be elected president in 1880.