Corrupt Defense Contractors


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Corrupt Defense Contractors

Uncle Sam and Corrupt Contractors

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This is a cartoon featuring Uncle Sam and Corrupt Defense Contractors. It is from the March 1, 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly. The image has the caption:

UNCLE SAM giving his Favorite Bull-Terrier "CHARLIE VAN WYCK" a Field-Day with the CONTRACTORS.

Corruption was rampant among Defense Contractors during the Civil War.  Abuses today pale by comparison.  Charlie Van Wyck had the unenviable job of being the Chairman of the Government Contracts Committee in Congress. In the cartoon Van Wyck is portrayed as a Bull Terrier rooting out the "rats", representing the corrupt contractors.

Corruption was so rampant, there was a joke in the Civil War that went like this:

Why do our soldiers need no barbers?

Because they are regularly shaved by the Government contractors.


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