French Gold Import Comparison
French Gold Import Comparison

French import data reflects the excess of U. S. May gold bar exports; the amount of actual gold bars exported to France significantly exceeds the official U.S. Customs reports.

The French import from January through December, 1909 is as follows:

U. S. Gold Bar Imports "Autres Pays" Gold Coin Imports
January $3,564,917 $1,159,735
February $3,297 $2,668,249
March $0 $229,442
April $11,208 $2,026,735
May $4,229,507 $380,425
June $3,320,971 $410,094
July $1,000,181 $287,461
August $21,098 $157,576
September $0 $185,268
October $659 $401,523
November $0 $194,498
December $3,956 $334,932

The French import data for gold coin received from "Autres Pays," from May through the remainder of 1909, cannot accommodate the receipt of $810,000 in gold coin purportedly shipped aboard the LA SAVOIE on May 20th. It can, however, accommodate $310,000 in the June import total.

The bars that the LA SAVOIE purportedly carried are unquestionably contained in France's - June U. S. bar import data (see 1909 correlation). France, however, received a good deal more bars in June from the U. S. than the U. S. indicated as exported, $711,232 more. If only $310,000 in coin were shipped, rather than the $810,000 that the U. S. reported, the balance would, of course, be bars AND CAN be accommodated in France's June receipt of U. S. gold bars. The additional excess of gold bars, now $211,232, is in compliance with a consistent pattern of import excesses for France (and, in this particular case, can be attributed to our identified export excesses!).

Only $310,000 in coin was shipped to France in May and, therefore, the remainder of the $3,310,000 shipped to France for the year, the $3,000,000 American Gold Eagle engagement, was shipped in January, 1909.

With the coin component of the January 16th export report identified, a correlation of exports vs. imports substantiates that the $3,000,000 American Gold Eagle engagement of January 12th did not arrive.

The "adjustment" of the U. S. May coin export figure can be seen as an effort by the New York Custom House to balance the government's books prior to the fiscal year ending June 30th and can be traced to reports submitted by U. S. Customs Collector E. S. Fowler and dated January 30th, one week after the REPUBLIC disaster. The accidental [?] reduction in coin exports in January to $2,500,000 would coincidentally [?] assist in the concealment of an actual $3,000,000 coin engagement, an engagement which would comply with the Republic's rumored cargo. If a $3,000,000 coin export figure had appeared in the U. S. export reports for January, 1909, reflecting the actual transaction that we have now substantiated, that fact could have lead a diligent researcher to a confirmation of the loss. Without a conforming coin shipment appearing within the government reports, those who desired secrecy made it nearly impossible for anyone to find the thin thread which, when pulled, would unravel the shroud of secrecy surrounding the January 12, 1909, $3,000,000 gold eagle transaction, and the Republic's legendary cargo.

Secretary MacVeagh at Sub-Treasury

Franklin MacVeagh, secretary of the treasury, paid a visit to the Sub-Treasury this morning, after which he lunched with Isaac N. Seligman of J. & W. Seligman & Co. He will leave for Washington to-night. His visit to the Sub-Treasury, Mr. MacVeagh said, had no particular significance. It was his first visit there as secretary of the treasury.

The Globe and Commercial Advertiser, May 14, 1909, 14:6

Perhaps Secretary MacVeagh's visit to the Sub-Treasury was for this specific purpose. NOTE: Despite an intensive earch, the New York Sub Treasury's Records cannot be found. The New York Assay Office reports for the months of December, 1908 and January, 1909, are indexed but are not found within publicly accessible records. 1

La Savoie's Cargo

La Savoie was a French owned and registered vessel, and departed New York on May 20th, 1909, with a US reported gold shipment that consisted, in part, of $810,000 in American gold eagle coins. However, the French import table "Tableau Général...," (ENLARGED) for 1909 reports that 59 kilograms, only $38,900, of U. S. gold coin arrived into France aboard French registered vessels. We can conclude, therefore, that at least the gold coin purportedly shipped aboard LA SAVOIE was actually shipped aboard some other vessel.

Article 7 states in part: ... a portion of the gold may be held back till the close of the week, when the bankers can ship to Cherbourg. La Savoie was destined for Le Havre. We also know, from our analysis of shipping flag/registration data, that the coin portion of the May 19th $1,500,739 engagement was shipped aboard a British flagged vessel. See: The Oceanic's Cargo (continued). The bankers' practice of delaying coin shipments to preserve the option of substituting gold bars prior to shipment, and thereby increase their profits, can be seen as one reason to push back the shipment to the end of the week. In addition, speedier delivery to Paris interests would occur with shipment via Cherbourg; this would minimize interest expense (or would incur no greater interest expense with the delay) to the purchasing banker.

The British flagged Cunard liner Carmania departed New York on Saturday, May 22nd, 1909, and most likely carried the $310,000 coin portion of this shipment.


1Missing reports: December 12, 1908, 274 059; December 23, 1908, 274 490; January 9, 1909, 275 103; January 13, 1909, 275 319 and 275 321.