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PowerPoint/SMART/ActivInspire Lesson Plan

Jekyll Island and the Creation of the Fed

Lesson by
Marycela Diaz-Unzalu, economic and financial education specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta,
Miami Branch
Lesley Mace, senior economic and financial education specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta,
Jacksonville Branch
Lesson description
In this lesson, students will learn about the history of Jekyll Island, the Panic of 1907, the AldrichVreeland Act, the origins and outcomes of the secret Jekyll Island meeting, and the passage of the Federal
Reserve Act.
Concepts
The Aldrich Plan
The Aldrich-Vreeland Act
The Federal Reserve Act
The Panic of 1907
Objectives
Students will be able to:
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Identify the causes of the Panic of 1907 and how it was resolved.
Describe the origin and purpose of the meeting called on Jekyll Island in 1910.
Describe the main details of the Aldrich Plan.
Contrast the main details of the Aldrich Plan and the Federal Reserve Act.
Identify the signer and date of the Federal Reserve Act.

Time required
90 minutes
Materials
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SMART Board slides or PowerPoint slides (“Return to Jekyll Island”)
Handouts 1, 3, and 7—one copy per student
Handout 5—cut apart into individual cards
Handouts 2, 4, and 6—one copy each for teacher
One sheet of flip-chart paper labeled Aldrich Plan
One sheet of flip-chart paper labeled Federal Reserve Act
One yellow highlighter and one alternate color of highlighter per group
Tape

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Procedure: Instructions for the SMART Board have been put in italics. Content background is in regular
type.
1. Open the SMART or PowerPoint presentation.
2. Display slide 1.
3. Display slide 2: Topics.
Introduce students to the topics covered in the lesson.
4. Display slide3.
Explain the following:
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Jekyll Island was first discovered in the 16th century when Spanish explorers landed there
searching for New World gold.
When the island transferred from Spanish to English control in the 18th century, General
James Oglethorpe named the island after his friend Sir Joseph Jekyll, a British
parliamentarian and financial supporter of the Georgia colony. (Students may wonder if there
were any connection with the famous Robert Louis Stevenson character. There was: a
descendent of Sir Jekyll's was an acquaintance of the author.)
For much of the 18th century, William Horton, commander of the military post on nearby St.
Simons Island, used the island for his residence until its 1790 purchase by the DuBignons, a
French family seeking refuge from their country's revolution.
In 1886, the family sold the island to the Jekyll Island Club. The club was an exclusive,
members-only winter retreat for families with names still recognized today: Vanderbilt,
Goodyear, Pulitzer, Macy, Astor, Marshall Field, and Morgan. So prestigious and financially
successful were club members that it was often said that they represented one-sixth of the
world's wealth at the time. When the clubhouse opened in 1888, members built their own
residences, known as "cottages," surrounding the clubhouse to escape northern winters and
enjoy such leisurely pursuits as horseback riding, golfing, playing tennis, skeet shooting, and
hunting.

Click on the picture to link to a corresponding website from the current Jekyll Island Club Resort where
students can view more historical information about Jekyll Island and the Club. If desired, use the
discussion questions on Handout 1: Explore Jekyll Island as a guide to explore the website.
5. Display slide 4.
Explain the following:
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Before the club had been open even 20 years, a series of financial panics began to plague the
nation, culminating in the Panic of 1907. Like most panics of the era, the 1907 crisis began
with the downfall of a prominent financial speculator—in this case, F.A. Heinze.
Heinze had financial connections to many major New York City banks, so his collapse in
mid-October 1907 created a series of bank runs and bank failures that spread to the stock
market and created a severe liquidity crisis. The failure of the Knickerbocker Trust Company,
the third largest of its kind in the city, was particularly damaging to the public’s faith in the
banking system.

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Because no central bank existed to serve as a lender of last resort, bank clearinghouses in
New York City scrambled to keep members solvent as regional banks increasingly withdrew
their reserves held in the nation’s financial center. Clearinghouses carried out check
processing and clearing as well as regulatory duties for their members—functions carried out
by the Federal Reserve today. As bank runs and failures continued, and with access to credit
dwindling, the panic quickly spread across the nation.

(As an optional activity, have your class participate in the bank run simulation in Lesson 3 of the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Great Depression Curriculum, found here:
stlouisfed.org/great-depression/pdf/the-great-depression-lesson-3.pdf ).
Clicking on the green button on the slide opens the web page of the Classroom Economist, where
you can access a 5:38 minute video about the Panic of 1907 discussed by Tom Cunningham, vice
president, senior economist, and regional executive for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
6. Display Slide 5.
Explain the following:
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The crisis abated only when three events took place:
• the U.S. Treasury intervened
• John D. Rockefeller contributed $10 million of his own fortune
• J.P. Morgan, acting as self-appointed head of the financial system, prevailed on solvent
New York City financial institutions, including his own, to extend a total of $25 million
in emergency funds.
Secretary of the Treasury George Cortelyou’s $25 million pledge of government funds shored
up deposits in New York City banks, and the efforts of J.P. Morgan prevented a complete
shutdown of the city’s stock exchanges.
Morgan’s leadership also included the creation of a public relations campaign to help calm
the public’s fears about the economy and the financial system. John D. Rockefeller’s personal
contributions served to bolster the reserves of the National City Bank of New York, ensuring
the solvency of the institution which is known as Citibank today.
Before the Panic subsided in November, Morgan would oversee additional rescue efforts that
included a $30 million dollar purchase of bonds for the city of New York, additional
assistance for many of the city’s large trusts, and the purchase of the Tennessee Coal Iron and
Railway Company by U.S. Steel in a plan that would save the ailing company as well as a
major brokerage firm that had ties to the firm.
Morgan’s efforts were widely praised, but the crisis emphasized the need for a more
organized financial structure. The calls for major currency and banking reform ultimately led
to the passage of the Aldrich Vreeland Act of 1908, which established a commission tasked
with studying the causes of the Panic and developing a plan for a major overhaul of the
nation’s financial system.

7. Display Slide 6
Explain the following:
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The 1908 Aldrich- Vreeland Act, a legislative response to the recent financial panic, first
established a means through which emergency currency could be issued during financial

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Jekyll Island and the Creation of the Fed

crises. The legislation also established the National Monetary Commission, a body consisting
of eighteen members, nine each from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This
group, chaired by Rhode Island Senator Nelson Aldrich, was given the charge to draft a
proposal of reform for the country’s banking and financial system.
Aldrich and members of his Commission spent two years researching central bank history,
gathering ideas as they consulted with leaders from the central banks around the world,
particularly those in Europe. Their efforts yielded numerous reports on their findings, but by
1910 the group had still not produced a single piece of legislation for banking reform.

8. Display Slide 7
Explain the following:
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To break the gridlock and come up with a draft of the report due to Congress, Senator Aldrich
called a private gathering outside of the regular meetings of the Monetary Commission. The
attendee list was drawn primarily from the banking industry because it was thought that
banking expertise was necessary to produce a feasible plan.
The group traveled in Aldrich's private train car from New Jersey to Brunswick, Georgia, and
then by boat to the remote Jekyll Island location, all under the guise of a private duck hunting
retreat. Jekyll Island Club Member J.P. Morgan had granted the group exclusive use of the
island for two weeks.
In a country that was still distrustful of bankers and the so-called "Wall Street" influence,
Aldrich took great care to keep the plan low-key to avoid controversy. Both the first and
second Banks of the United States failed in part because of the public's perception that they
were controlled by big banking and rich financiers. Members felt that an acknowledged
association with Wall Street and the New York banking establishment would mean that any
plan conceived at the meeting would be dead on arrival in Washington. To this end, members
even traveled by first name only. (Later, the group was sometimes referred to as the "First
Name Club.")

9. Display Slide 8.
Explain the following:
Attending the Jekyll Island meeting with Aldrich were:
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Prominent European banker and Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. partner Paul Warburg, who would later
serve on the Federal Reserve's first Board of Governors and whose knowledge of European
central banking was crucial to the meeting’s success.
J.P. Morgan & Co. senior partner Henry Davison.
National City Bank of New York president Frank Vanderlip.
Banker's Trust of New York vice president Benjamin Strong, who would later head the
Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
A. Piatt Andrew, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

The group worked around the clock, grappling with questions such as who would own the central
bank, how many institutions it would contain, and how open market operations would be
conducted. Attendee Frank Vanderlip later wrote in his autobiography, “None of us who
participated felt we were conspirators; on the contrary we felt we were engaged in patriotic
work."

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On this slide, click on the question marks next to each picture to learn more about each of the
meeting’s attendees.
10. Distribute to each student a copy of Handout 3: 1911 Newspaper Articles.
11. Give students time to read the historical articles “President Urges Reform to Avert Monetary
Panics” (Washington Herald, June 23, 1911) and “Absolute Power for Money Trust in Aldrich
Currency Scheme” (Commoner Weekly, July 7, 2011). Both articles report on a speech President
Howard Taft made in favor of the Aldrich Plan. (Handout 3 contains transcripts of the articles
that have been provided; the reproduction quality of the originals offered by the Library of
Congress is poor.)
12. Distribute to each student a copy of Handout 4: Discussion Questions to Accompany 1911
Newspaper Articles.
13. Give students time to answer the discussion questions.
14. Lead a discussion of the two newspaper articles from 1911.
15. Divide students into four groups. Randomly distribute four cards from Handout 5: Card Sort
Activity to each group. Give each group one yellow and one alternate color highlighter. Tape two
large sheets of paper on opposite walls. Label one “Aldrich Plan” and the other “Federal Reserve
Act.” Explain the following to students:
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The Washington Herald article reports that President Taft said the Aldrich Plan was careful to
avoid the “concentration of power either in Wall Street or in Washington, and that it lacked
all the elements which made Jackson oppose the United States Bank.”
Andrew Jackson opposed the second Bank of the United States and ultimately vetoed its
charter because he believed it was dominated by big banking interests.
The headline of the Commoner article declares that the “Aldrich Currency Scheme” means
“Absolute Power” for the “Money Trust.”
President Taft also said in his speech that a central bank would be impossible for “political
reasons.”

16. Tell students to review the excerpts from the Aldrich Plan and the Federal Reserve Act to
determine the truth behind the claims in each of the articles. Provide the following instructions:
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Each group should read their cards and highlight in yellow evidence in the text that supports a
power structure favoring bankers. Highlight in the alternate color evidence that supports
provisions designed to remove political influence from the organization of a central bank.
Groups should tape the cards to either the paper labeled Aldrich Plan or Federal Reserve Act,
according to which piece of legislation they believe their card contains an excerpt from.
Ask students if they see particular colors that are dominant on either of the sheets. (Yellow
should be dominant on the Aldrich Plan poster, with the alternate color dominating the
Federal Reserve Act sheet.)

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Explain that the Aldrich Plan was not passed because of concern over its banker-dominated
structure. While the Aldrich Plan laid the blueprint for the Federal Reserve Act, many checks and
balances were built into the 1913 Federal Reserve Act to remove the central bank from politics
and Wall Street influence. (Use Handout 6: Card Sort Activity Key to check student answers.)
17. Display Slide 9.
Use the graphic organizer to highlight the following key provisions of the Aldrich Plan:
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The results of the efforts on Jekyll Island became known as the Aldrich Plan, which called for
a central banking structure consisting of 15 regional banks, known as Reserve Associations.
These associations would give emergency loans to member banks, create an elastic currency,
and serve as the fiscal agent of the federal government. The Associations would be headed by
a governor, appointed by the president for a seven-year term.
The Aldrich Plan called for governance of the system by a 45-member board with
representation that included the secretaries of Commerce and Labor and Treasury and the
Comptroller of the Currency, who served as ex-officio members along with the governor and
two deputy governors of the Reserve Associations. Remaining Board members would be
elected one each from each of the 15districts, with 12 additional members elected in a system
that allotted votes in accordance with bank members’ shares in the Association. These 27
members would then choose an additional 12 members, all nonbankers, to represent industry,
commerce, and agriculture. Each of the 15 Reserve Associations would also elect their own
boards of directors, with one-third being drawn from outside the banking system.
Member banks would be organized into local “associations” drawn along district lines, and an
executive committee of nine would be chosen to share governance with the Board. Reserve
Association services would be available all national bank members.

18. Display Slide 10.
Distribute to each student a copy of Handout 7: Banking Act Summaries.
Lower the shade to review the key provisions of the Aldrich Plan versus the Federal Reserve Act.
19. Display Slide 11.
Explain the following information:
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When the Aldrich Plan was brought to Congress, concerns over its banker-centered
structure resulted in the legislation's defeat, but elements contained in the bill would
become a blueprint for the Glass-Owen bill.
The Glass-Owen bill would eventually become known as the Federal Reserve Act, which
President Woodrow Wilson signed into law in 1913.
Like the U.S. Constitution, which represented a compromise between small and large state
plans, the Glass-Owen bill brought together elements from the Aldrich plan and the ideas of
two opposing congressional camps: one that favored a reserve system and currency owned
and controlled by the government, and the other that favored a decentralized system in private
hands.
The compromise between these groups resulted in the decentralized regional Federal Reserve
structure we have today, with 12 regional Reserve Banks overseen by a Board in the
Washington, DC, and made up of members appointed by the president and confirmed by the
Senate.

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20. Display Slide 12.
Explain the following information:
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The Jekyll Island Club had its last season in 1942. The Great Depression had caused
membership to dwindle, and the nation began focusing on the war effort.
Five years later, the State of Georgia saved the island from condemnation when it purchased
it for $675,000 with the intent of opening it as a public park.
In 1972, the Jekyll Island Club gained a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
Seven years after that, the grounds were designated a National Landmark, creating what is
known as the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District.
Work to restore the clubhouse and 33 historic buildings on the grounds soon began. By 1985,
the clubhouse reopened as a hotel and resort.

Closure and review
21. Display Slide 13.
Tell students they will play a tic-tac-toe game to review the lesson’s key topics.
22. Display Slide 14.
Explain the following:
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Group students into pairs.
Have two pairs take turns playing the review game.
Click a star to advance to revealing an activity.
When the students have completed the activity, click the checkmark in the lower left corner
and return to the tic-tac-toe board.
Students should drag either the X or O to their desired box on the game board.
The first pair to get three marks in a row wins.

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See the following grid for directions on the activities found in each box on the game board:

Students categorize
names into who did
and did not attend the
Jekyll meeting.

Block with question:
Students tap the block
to reveal the correct
answer to the question

Students guess the
location of the Jekyll
meeting on a map

Vortex with true/false
questions: Students
drag statements about
the Aldrich Plan to a
true or false vortex.
Wrong answers will
be rejected.
Block with question:
Students tap the block
to reveal the correct
answer to a question
about the Aldrich
Plan.

Sentence strips:
Students rearrange
sentence strips about
the chronology of the
meeting.

Block with question:
Students tap the block
to reveal the correct
answer to a question
about the AldrichVreeland Act.

Students play a
“hockey game” to
score goals while
completing a word
game.

Students complete a
matching exercise
with key names
involved in the
meeting and their
roles.

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Handout 1: Explore Jekyll Island
Island history
1. Where is Jekyll Island located?
2. Who were the first visitors to the island? Why did the Spanish call Jekyll Island “Isla de
Ballenas”?
3. What important events happened on the island in 1733 and 1734?
4. What was the Wanderer? What happened to those involved in bringing it to Jekyll Island?
Club history
1. How did Munsey’s Magazine describe the Jekyll Island Club? What members’ names are
recognizable to you?
2. What was the result of the meeting held on the island following the Panic of 1907?
3. What important milestone occurred at Jekyll in 1915?
4. Why is it ironic to call the homes built on the island “cottages”? In what styles were some of the
most prominent homes built?
Hotel history
1. How did the Great Depression and World War II affect the Club?
2. What happened to the island in 1947?
3. What has happened to the Club’s properties as of today?

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Handout 2: Explore Jekyll Island (Key)
Island history
1.

Where is Jekyll Island located?
Jekyll Island is located off of the Georgia coast, halfway between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville,
Florida. It is in between St. Simons Island and Cumberland Island.

2.

Who were the first visitors to the island, and when did they visit? Why did the Spanish call Jekyll Island
“Isla de Ballenas”?
Small groups of hunter-gatherers visited the island in 2,500 B.C. Gaule Indians visited in 1540 A.D. The
Spanish called the island “Isla de Ballenas” (Island of Whales) because an area off the island is a whale
breeding ground.

3.

What important events happened on the island in 1733 and 1734?
In 1733, James Oglethorpe established the English colony of Georgia and, in 1734, renamed the island for
his friend Sir Joseph Jekyll.

4.

What was the Wanderer? What happened to those responsible for bringing it to Jekyll Island?
The Wanderer was an illegal slave ship that landed on the island in 1858. Those responsible for bringing it
to the island were indicted by the federal government.

Club history
1.

How did Munsey’s Magazine describe the Jekyll Island Club? What members’ names are recognizable to
you?
Munsey’s Magazine described the Jekyll Island Club as the” richest, the most exclusive, the most
inaccessible club in the world.” Answers may vary, but may include: J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller,
Vincent Astor, Joseph Pulitzer, William K. Vanderbilt, Macy, Goodyear, Gould.

2.

What was the result of the meeting held on the island following the Panic of 1907?
The meeting held on the island after the Panic of 1907 created the Aldrich Plan, which served as a basis
for the legislation that became the Federal Reserve Act.

3.

What important milestone occurred at Jekyll in 1915?
The first transatlantic phone call was placed by the president of AT&T, Theodore Vail, on January 25,
1915.

4.

Why is it ironic to call the homes built on the island “cottages”? In what styles were some of the most
prominent homes built?
The homes were not actually cottages, but large winter homes built to house entire families and their staffs.
The homes were built in the Victorian and Italian Renaissance styles.

Hotel History
1.

2.
3.

How did the Great Depression and World War II affect the Club?
Half of the Club’s membership was lost during the Great Depression. During World War II, the
government ordered an evacuation of the island due to a threat of enemy submarines off the coast.
What happened to the island in 1947?
The state of Georgia bought the entire island for $675,000 with plans to turn it into a state park.
What has happened to the Club’s properties as of today?
Today, many of the Club’s properties have been restored and now together are a luxury hotel.

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Handout 3: 1911 Newspaper Articles (page 1 of 3)
Washington Herald
Friday, June 23, 1911
“President Urges Reform to Avert Monetary Panics”
Explains Purpose of Aldrich Plan to Banker/PRESENT SYSTEM WEAK/Central Bank Impossible for Political
Reasons/People of the Country Would be Unwilling to Trust to Any Private Organization Such Enormous Control,
says Mr. Taft in Address at Manhattan Beach- Drinks Toast to King and Queen of England
New York, June 22- President Taft told the members of the New York State Bankers’ Association to-night at their
banquet at the Oriental Hotel, Manhattan Beach, that some sort of drastic reform is necessary if the effects of
monetary panics are to be minimized and if the available reserve of the country is to be used to obviate financial
stringency.
Object of Plan
He explained to them with a methodical confidence of speech that the Aldrich plan meant “the establishment of the
government of 7,000 national banks on a representative representation basis”. He told them it was a careful and
well-drawn plan to avoid the concentration of power, either in Wall street or in Washington, and that it lacked all the
elements which made Jackson oppose the United States Bank.
The President began by pointing out the weaknesses of our present currency system when an emergency is to be
faced. It was to remedy this, he said, that the commission headed by former Senator Aldrich was named. He then
spoke of the make-up of that body, saying it was a nonpartisan commission, and expressed the hope the people of
the country would trust these recommendations as coming from a nonpartisan body.
After describing the make-up and methods of work of the proposed association, the President said:
“Senator Aldrich, the chairman of the commission, has correctly stated that a central bank in this country would be
impossible for political and economic reasons. The people would be unwilling to trust to any private banking
organization such enormous control as must be vested in an agency which is to decide as to the concentration of
cash reserves and which is to decide upon and provide for the necessary increase and decrease of bank note currency
as well as to regulate the liquidation of commercial papers by fixing a uniform discount throughout the country.
Money Kings Barred
He said that such an agency must be made by such constituents that it shall be impossible for money kings in Wall
street to control it on the one hand or for political influences by governmental appointment to direct its operations
from Washington, and in order to evolve an agency free from the control of either of these influences he proposes
and devises in his tentative suggestions to the commission which seem to have been received with favor that he calls
a national reserve association.
When President Taft got through talking to the bankers he went to the Manhattan Beach Hotel and plumped right
into the middle of the Canadian Club, whose principal guest he was at the club’s annual dinner. He walked to his
table with Attorney General Wickershan and Senators Crane, of Massachusetts, and Brandegee of Connecticut. They
were just in time to hear the President of the United States toast the King and Queen of England. The President
made an extempore speech.

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Handout 3: 1911 Newspaper Articles (page 2 of 3)
Commoner
Volume 11, Number 26
July 7, 1911
Absolute Power for Money Trust in Aldrich Currency Scheme
The Philadelphia North American, a republican paper, prints the following from its Washington correspondent:
Washington, June 23.- By his indorsement (sic) of the Aldrich plan to place control of the money and credit of the
nation absolutely under the control of the Morgan-Wall street financial combination, President Taft has raised
another issue between himself and the progressive republicans.
He has presented himself and his administration as a new menace to public interest, shown a new line of agreement
between himself and the aggressive money power of Morgan and raised the progressives to a higher plane of public
usefulness, as the only effective force the public can absolutely rely upon to resist both that power and the
president’s efforts to serve it.
Absolute commercial and industrial slavery must follow the adoption of the Aldrich plan, declare the progressives.
Its adoption would place the individual credit of every business man and every independent corporation under the
supervision and control of a committee to be chosen by the money combination.
It would place in that committee absolute power to determine which individuals and which corporations should be
permitted to continue in business. It would make control of all lines of industry and all commercial enterprises
subject to the will of the committee.
Anti-trust laws and laws regulating prices, if enacted in the future, would be absolutely puerile and useless as means
of public defense once the Aldrich plan is put into effect.

TAFT’S SPEECH AMAZES
The president’s speech was read here today with feelings of absolute amazement. In view of the situation in
congress and the country, it could only be accepted as a declaration by the president that he takes his stand from now
on with the rapidly developing power of the Morgan financial organization and with Aldrich, the special agent of
predatory wealth.
It defines the line clearly between the administration as the supporter of the boldest and most iniquitous special
privilege scheme of legislation yet produced, and every man who stands for public rights and opportunities for the
individual regardless of political affiliations.

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Handout 3: 1911 Newspaper Articles (page 3 of 3)
When President Taft two years ago, at the same time he was praising the Aldrich tariff law, declared Aldrich himself
to be the ablest statesman in public life respecting all financial questions, there was started the general protest which
led to the overwhelming defeat of the Aldrich-Taft wing of the republican party in the election of last fall.
Since then it was thought Mr. Taft had been trying to let the public forget that he ever praised either Aldrich or his
law, and his recent activities in behalf of reciprocity with Canada have been recognized by republicans and
democrats alike as intended to efface all recollection of his supine submission to Aldrich during the first two years
of his administration.
To some extent it had produced that effect. The only praise which any one has recently been able to bestow upon the
president has been based on the assumption that he was outlining a policy for himself, and of it were weak and
ineffective, it still revealed some desire upon the part of the president to accomplish something for the general
welfare.

“THE STANDARD OIL PEOPLE AND THE UNITED STATES STEEL PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO
PAY THE NATIONAL DEBT FOR THE ALDRICH BANK” ( Side bar article)
One of the oldest and best known bankers in the country has written to Mr. Bryan a letter in which he says:
“I notice, with regret, that our president committed himself to the central bank, though under another name. I am not
surprised at this, in view of the atmosphere he has breathed for the last few years. I care not what name the institute
bears; I care not how widely distributed its stock; I care not the number of local organizations and boards; I care not
the number of directors or their geographical distribution; I care not how many names are to be submitted to the
president FROM WHOM HE MUST select a governor, the institution that is given exclusive right to issue currency
against credits will be under the control of Wall street. The Standard Oil people and the United States Steel people
can afford to pay the national debt for the Aldrich bank. Mr. Taft has chosen to make the central bank the issue of
the next campaign, for he says it is the most important subject before the country, and that he favors the Aldrich
plan.”

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Handout 4: Discussion Questions to Accompany Newspaper Articles from 1911
Answer the following questions and be prepared to share your answers during the class discussion.
1. In reading both articles, which article opposes the Aldrich plan? Which one seems to be in favor
of it? In looking at the articles, please cite specific words and phrases in the text that support your
claims.
2. “President Urges Reform to Avert Monetary Panics.” Why does President Howard Taft think
monetary reform is needed?
3. Why does President Taft mention Andrew Jackson’s opposition to the United States Bank?
4. Why does President Taft think it is important that the monetary commission be bipartisan?
5. Why does President Taft say that Senator Aldrich believed a central bank to be “impossible” in
this country? What two influences does Taft say must be avoided?
“Absolute Power for Money Trust in Aldrich Currency Scheme”
6. Who is the editor of the Commoner Weekly?
Have you heard of this person?
How was he linked to the Progressives and why would the Progressives oppose central banking?
7. Why does the author in the Commoner oppose the Aldrich Plan?
8. Who is the author referring to when he says “Morgan”?
9. What does one of the “oldest and best known bankers” in the country say about the plan in the
box to the right of the article. Why do you think that this banker is not identified in the article?
10. Who does the author of the Commoner article think will benefit from the banking bill?
11. According to evidence in the articles, what political party do Senator Aldrich and President Taft
represent? What political party does the Commoner Weekly represent? Do you think politics has
any influence over peoples’ opinions of the bill?
12. What is meant by the following headlines/subtitles in the articles?





“Taft’s Speech Amazes”
“Present System Weak”
“Central Bank Impossible for Political Reasons”
“Money Kings Barred”

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Handout 4: Teacher Key for Handout 4—Discussion Questions (page 1 of 3)
Have students read both articles, beginning with the Washington Herald article. Then have students
answer the following questions and prepare to share their answers during the class discussion.
1. In reading both articles, which article opposes the Aldrich plan? Which one seems to be in favor
of it? In looking at the articles, please cite specific words and phrases in the text that support your
claims.
The Commoner opposes the plan; the Washington Herald is in favor of it. Possible words and
phrases to support these claims:
Washington Herald article:
“Avert Money Panics”
“Present System Weak”
“Central Bank Impossible for Political Reasons”
“Drastic reform is necessary if the effects of monetary panics are to be minimized”
“Methodical confidence”
“Careful and well-drawn plan”
“It shall be impossible for money kings in Wall Street to control it on the one hand or for political
influence by governmental appointment to direct its operations”
“Received with favor”
Commoner article:
“Currency Scheme”
“Absolute power for Money Trust”
“A new menace to public interest”
“Aggressive money power”
“Absolute commercial and industrial slavery”
“Money combination”
“Puerile and useless as means of public defense”
“Feelings of absolute amazement”
“Rapidly developing power of the Morgan financial operation”
“Aldrich, special agent of predatory wealth”
“Boldest and most iniquitous special privileges scheme yet produced”
“Overwhelming defeat of the Aldrich-Taft wing of the republican party”
“Mr. Taft had been trying to let the public forget that he ever praised either Aldrich or his law”
“Intended to efface all recollection of his supine submission to Aldrich’
“Weak and ineffective”
2. “President Urges Reform to Avert Monetary Panics.” Why does President Howard Taft think
monetary reform is needed?
The present system is weak and reform is needed to prevent future monetary panics; the reserves
of the country need to be available to help in times of financial crisis.
3. Why does President Taft mention Andrew Jackson’s opposition to the United States Bank?
President Andrew Jackson’s opposition to the “United States Bank” (Second Bank of the United
States) centered around his belief that is was dominated by big banking and corporations. The
opponents of the Aldrich Plan have the same concerns. Between Andrew Jackson’s 1832 veto of
the charter of the Second Bank of the United States and 1911, when President Taft was speaking,
the United States did not have a central bank.
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Handout 4: Teacher Key for Handout 4 — Discussion Questions (page 2 of 3)

4. Why does President Taft think it is important that the monetary commission is bipartisan?
He believes people will be able to trust a plan that is developed by both parties.
5. Why does President Taft say that Senator Aldrich believed a central bank to be “impossible” in
this country? What two influences does Taft say must be avoided?
Senator Aldrich believes that the plan will be opposed due to political and economic reasons. He
thinks people will not trust a private banking organization. Taft says influences of the “money
kings in Wall Street” and the “political influences by government appointment” must be avoided.
“Absolute Power for Money Trust in Aldrich Currency Scheme”
6. Who is the editor of the Commoner Weekly?
William J. Bryan
Have you heard of this person?
Possible answers: Yes, No
How was he linked to the Progressives and why would the Progressives oppose central banking?
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician linked to the populist movement of the late
19th and early 20th century. He opposed the gold standard and advocated for a bimetallic
standard. As a populist, he opposed banks and large corporations. He served as Secretary of
State under President Woodrow Wilson. The weekly newspaper he established in 1899, The
Commoner (a common nickname for Bryan) supported the Progressive movement of the same
era.
7. Why does the author in the Commoner oppose the Aldrich Plan?
He believes it will put the nation’s financial system in the hands of Wall Street and big banking.
8. Who is the author referring to when he says “Morgan?”
“Morgan” refers to J.P. Morgan, the wealthy American banker and financier who helped rescue
America’s financial system during the Panic of 1907.

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Handout 4: Teacher Key for Handout 4 — Discussion Questions (page 3 of 3)

9. What does one of the “oldest and best known bankers” in the country say about the Plan in the
box to the right of the article. Why do you think that this banker is not identified in the article?
The author says that the new central bank will be controlled by Wall Street and corporations
such as U.S. Steel and Standard Oil. He is probably not identified because he does not want to be
associated with his comments. It is also possible that this “Banker” does not exist.
10. Who does the author of the Commoner article think will benefit from the banking bill?
The big money “combination,” Wall Street, and J.P. Morgan.
11. Gathering evidence from the articles, what political party is represented by Senator Aldrich and
President Taft? What political party is represented by the Commoner Weekly? Do you think
politics has any influence over peoples’ opinions of the bill?
President Taft and Senator Aldrich were Republicans. William Jennings Bryan was a Democrat,
but was linked to the Progressive movement. Possible answers to third question: Politics may
have some influence over peoples’ opinions of the bill; some students may say that politics does
not influence opinion on the bill.
12. What is meant by the following headlines/headers in the articles?
 “Taft’s Speech Amazes”
This headline is meant to be sarcastic; the Commoner’s writer is amazed that President Taft
supports the Aldrich plan, since he opposes it.
 “Present System Weak”
This is a defense of the Aldrich plan, since the current financial system is not working, as
evidenced by the Panic of 1907.
 “Central Bank Impossible for Political Reasons”
President Taft feels that the Aldrich plan will face heavy opposition from other political
parties. This seems evident when you read the Commoner article.
 “Money Kings Barred”
This headline asserts that the Aldrich Plan will be free of the influence of Wall Street and big
banking.

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Handout 5: Card Sort Activity (page 1 of 4)
Copy and cut along the lines. Four cards are needed for each of the four groups. 16 cards are provided. Copy
additional sets as needed.

1.

3.

All subscribing banks shall be formed
into associations of banks, to be
designated as local associations. Every
local association shall have corporate
powers and shall be composed of not less
than 10 banks.

2.

Each local association shall elect annually
a board of directors, the number to be
determined by the by-laws of the local
associations. Three-fifths of that number
shall be elected by ballot cast by the
representatives of banks that are
members of the local association, each
bank having one representative and each
representative one vote, without reference
to the size of the bank.

The country shall be divided at first into
15 districts, and a branch shall be located
in each district, the location to be
determined by the directors of the
National Reserve Association.

4. The board of directors of each local
association shall elect by ballot one
member of the board of directors of the
branch. In this manner there will thus be
elected as many directors of the branch as
there may be local associations in the
district in which that branch is located.

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Handout 5: Card Sort Activity (page 2 of 4)

5.

There shall be chosen by the banks
composing each local association a
voting representative or proxy holder. In
choosing such voting representative each
bank shall be entitled to as many votes
as it holds shares in the National
Reserve Association.

7.

The board shall at first consist of 45
directors, twelve directors, who shall be
elected by voting representatives of the
various districts, each of whom shall cast
a number of votes equal to the number
of shares held by all the banks in the
district which he represents.

19

6.

The board of directors of a branch will
thus be composed of — 1. A group of
directors equal in number to the number
of local associations composing the
district, elected by the local associations,
each association having one vote. 2. A
group of directors equal to two-thirds of
the foregoing group and elected by stock
representation. 3. A group of directors
equal in number to one-third of the first
group, representing the industrial,
commercial, agricultural, and other
interests of the district, and elected by
the votes of the first two groups, each
director thus voting having one vote.

8.

No member of any national or State
legislative body shall be a director of the
National Reserve Association, nor of any
of the branches, nor of any local
association.

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Jekyll Island and the Creation of the Fed

Handout 5: Card Sort Activity (page 3 of 4)

9.

10. As soon as practicable, The Reserve
Bank Organization Committee, shall
designate not less than eight nor more
than twelve cities to be known as
Federal reserve cities, and shall divide
the continental United States, into
districts, each district to contain only
one of such Federal reserve cities.

The Government of the United States
and those banks owning stock in the
National Reserve Association shall be
the sole depositors in the National
Reserve Association.

12. Board of directors shall consist of nine
members, holding office for three years,
and divided into three classes. Class A
shall consist of three members who shall
be chosen by and be representative of
the stockholding banks. Class B shall
consist of three members, who shall
represent the public. Class C shall
consist of three members who shall be
designated by the Board of Governors,
with consideration to the interests of
agriculture, commerce, industry,
services, labor and consumers. The
Board of Governors shall appoint the
class C directors and shall designate one
of such directors as chairman of the
board to be selected.

11. The moneys held in the general fund of
the Treasury, may be deposited in
Federal reserve banks, which banks,
when required by the Secretary of the
Treasury, shall act as fiscal agents of the
United States; and the revenues of the
Government or any part thereof may be
deposited in such banks, and
disbursements may be made by checks
drawn against such deposits.

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Handout 5: Card Sort Activity (page 4 of 4)

13. The members of the Board shall be
ineligible during the time they are in
office and for two years thereafter to
hold any office, position, or employment
in any member bank, except that this
restriction shall not apply to a member
who has served the full term for which
he was appointed.

14. No Senator or Representative in
Congress shall be a member of the
Board of Governors of the Federal
Reserve System or an officer or a
director of a Federal reserve bank.

16. Each member bank shall be permitted to
nominate to the chairman of the board
of directors of the Federal reserve bank
of the district one candidate for director
of class A and one candidate for director
of class B.

15. Board of Governors shall be composed
of seven members, to be appointed by
the President, by and with the advice
and consent of the Senate.

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Handout 6: Card Sort Activity Key (page 1 of 4)

1.

All subscribing banks shall be formed into
associations of banks, to be designated as
local associations. Every local association
shall have corporate powers and shall be
composed of not less than 10 banks.
(Aldrich Plan)

3.

Each local association shall elect annually a
board of directors, the number to be
determined by the by-laws of the local
associations. Three-fifths of that number
shall be elected by ballot cast by the
representatives of banks that are members of
the local association, each bank having one
representative and each representative one
vote, without reference to the size of the
bank.
(Aldrich Plan)

22

2.

The country shall be divided at first into 15
districts, and a branch shall be located in
each district, the location to be determined
by the directors of the National Reserve
Association.
(Aldrich Plan)

4.

The board of directors of each local
association shall elect by ballot one member
of the board of directors of the branch. In
this manner there will thus be elected as
many directors of the branch as there may
be local associations in the district in which
that branch is located.
(Aldrich Plan)

PowerPoint/SMART/ActivInspire Lesson Plan

Jekyll Island and the Creation of the Fed

Handout 6: Card Sort Activity (page 2 of 4)

5.

There shall be chosen by the banks
composing each local association a voting
representative or proxy holder. In choosing
such voting representative each bank shall
be entitled to as many votes as it holds
shares in the National Reserve Association.
(Aldrich Plan)

7.

The board shall at first consist of 45
directors, Twelve directors, who shall be
elected by voting representatives of the
various districts, each of whom shall cast a
number of votes equal to the number of
shares held by all the banks in the district
which he represents.
(Aldrich Plan)

23

6.

The board of directors of a branch will thus
be composed of — 1. A group of directors
equal in number to the number of local
associations composing the district, elected
by the local associations, each association
having one vote. 2. A group of directors
equal to two-thirds of the foregoing group
and elected by stock representation. 3. A
group of directors equal in number to onethird of the first group, representing the
industrial, commercial, agricultural, and
other interests of the district, and elected
by the votes of the first two groups, each
director thus voting having one vote.
(Aldrich Plan)

8.

No member of any national or State
legislative body shall be a director of the
National Reserve Association, nor of any
of the branches, nor of any local
association.
(Aldrich Plan)

PowerPoint/SMART/ActivInspire Lesson Plan

Jekyll Island and the Creation of the Fed

Handout 6: Card Sort Activity (page 3 of 4)

9.

10. As soon as practicable, The Reserve Bank
Organization Committee, shall designate
not less than eight nor more than twelve
cities to be known as Federal reserve cities,
and shall divide the continental United
States, into districts, each district to contain
only one of such Federal reserve cities.
(Federal Reserve Act)

The Government of the United States and
those banks owning stock in the National
Reserve Association shall be the sole
depositors in the National Reserve
Association.
(Aldrich Plan)

12. Board of directors shall consist of nine
members, holding office for three years,
and divided into three classes. Class A
shall consist of three members who shall
be chosen by and be representative of the
stockholding banks. Class B shall consist
of three members, who shall represent the
public. Class C shall consist of three
members who shall be designated by the
Board of Governors, with consideration to
the interests of agriculture, commerce,
industry, services, labor and consumers.
The Board of Governors shall appoint the
class C directors and shall designate one of
such directors as chairman of the board to
be selected.
(Federal Reserve Act)

11. The moneys held in the general fund of the
Treasury, may be deposited in Federal
reserve banks, which banks, when required
by the Secretary of the Treasury, shall act
as fiscal agents of the United States; and
the revenues of the Government or any part
thereof may be deposited in such banks,
and disbursements may be made by checks
drawn against such deposits.
(Federal Reserve Act)

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Handout 6: Card Sort Activity (page 4 of 4)

13. The members of the Board shall be
ineligible during the time they are in
office and for two years thereafter to
hold any office, position, or employment
in any member bank, except that this
restriction shall not apply to a member
who has served the full term for which
he was appointed.
(Federal Reserve Act)

14. No Senator or Representative in Congress
shall be a member of the Board of Governors
of the Federal Reserve System or an officer
or a director of a Federal reserve bank.
(Federal Reserve Act)

16. Each member bank shall be permitted to
nominate to the chairman of the board of
directors of the Federal reserve bank of the
district one candidate for director of class A
and one candidate for director of class B.
(Federal Reserve Act)

15. Board of Governors shall be composed
of seven members, to be appointed by
the President, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate.
(Federal Reserve Act)

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Handout 7: Banking Act Summaries (page 1 of 2)
Aldrich Plan
1. All subscribing banks shall be formed into associations of banks, to be designated as local
associations. Every local association shall have corporate powers and shall be composed of not
less than 10 banks.
2. The country shall be divided at first into 15 districts, and a branch shall be located in each district,
the location to be determined by the directors of the National Reserve Association.
3. Each local association shall elect annually a board of directors, the number to be determined by
the by-laws of the local associations. Three-fifths of that number shall be elected by ballot cast by
the representatives of banks that are members of the local association, each bank having one
representative and each representative one vote, without reference to the size of the bank.
4. The board of directors of each local association shall elect by ballot one member of the board of
directors of the branch. In this manner there will thus be elected as many directors of the branch
as there may be local associations in the district in which that branch is located.
5. There shall be chosen by the banks composing each local association a voting representative or
proxy holder. In choosing such voting representative each bank shall be entitled to as many votes
as it holds shares in the National Reserve Association.
6. The board of directors of a branch will thus be composed of— 1. A group of directors equal in
number to the number of local associations composing the district, elected by the local
associations, each association having one vote. 2. A group of directors equal to two-thirds of the
foregoing group and elected by stock representation. 3. A group of directors equal in number to
one-third of the first group, representing the industrial, commercial, agricultural, and other
interests of the district, and elected by the votes of the first two groups, each director thus voting
having one vote, each director thus voting having one vote.
7. The board shall at first consist of 45 directors, twelve directors, who shall be elected by voting
representatives of the various districts, each of whom shall cast a number of votes equal to the
number of shares held by all the banks in the district which he represents.
8. No member of any national or State legislative body shall be a director of the National Reserve
Association, nor of any of the branches, nor of any local association.
9. The Government of the United States and those banks owning stock in the National Reserve
Association shall be the sole depositors in the National Reserve Association.

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Handout 7: Banking Act Summaries (page 2 of 2)
Federal Reserve Act
1. As soon as practicable, The Reserve Bank Organization Committee, shall designate not less than
eight nor more than twelve cities to be known as Federal reserve cities, and shall divide the
continental United States, into districts, each district to contain only one of such Federal reserve
cities.
2. The moneys held in the general fund of the Treasury, may be deposited in Federal reserve banks,
which banks, when required by the Secretary of the Treasury, shall act as fiscal agents of the United
States; and the revenues of the Government or any part thereof may be deposited in such banks, and
disbursements may be made by checks drawn against such deposits.
3. Board of directors shall consist of nine members, holding office for three years, and divided into three
classes. Class A shall consist of three members who shall be chosen by and be representative of the
stockholding banks. Class B shall consist of three members, who shall represent the public. Class C
shall consist of three members who shall be designated by the Board of Governors, with consideration
to the interests of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor and consumers. The Board of
Governors shall appoint the class C directors and shall designate one of such directors as chairman of
the board to be selected.
4. The members of the Board shall be ineligible during the time they are in office and for two years
thereafter to hold any office, position, or employment in any member bank, except that this restriction
shall not apply to a member who has served the full term for which he was appointed.
5. No Senator or Representative in Congress shall be a member of the Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System or an officer or a director of a Federal reserve bank.
6. The Board of Governors shall be composed of seven members, to be appointed by the President, by
and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
7. Each member bank shall be permitted to nominate to the chairman of the board of directors of the
Federal reserve bank of the district one candidate for director of class A and one candidate for
director of class B.

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Common Core State Standards
Grades 6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies and Technical Subjects
• Key Ideas and Details
RH.11-12.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources,
connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
RH.11-12.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source;
provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

28


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102