Xaviant Haze’s The Suppressed History of American Banking: How Big Banks Fought Jackson, Killed Lincoln, and Caused the Civil War is one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. The main argument is that the Rothschild banking family caused the War of 1812 to make money from it, fought Andrew Jackson to preserve the Second Bank of the U.S., started the Civil War to destabilize the U.S., and killed Lincoln for opposing their scheming.
As one might expect in a book marketed as “suppressed history,” there’s not much meat on the bone when it comes to providing evidence in support of the author’s argument. For a 188-page narrative spread over nine chapters, Haze provides 84 citations, with one source per citation. Most of the very few sources cited are less than reputable. Some of the evidence comes from primary sources–period books and newspaper articles–but some come from what historians consider tertiary sources, such as Wikipedia. Others are not scholarly at all, e.g., businessinsider.com, conservative-headlines.com, lewrockwell.com, mentalfloss.com, and modernhealthcare.com.
Many of the book’s claims are not just unsupported with evidence–they are flat-out wrong. Refuting them all would require a short book of its own, so listing several examples of these factual errors will have to suffice:
- Nathan Rothschild profited off of France’s defeat at Waterloo, an account the American Jewish Committee calls “provably false” (20-24).
- Andrew Jackson “was imagining dueling Nicholas Biddle,” “a known Rothschild agent,” when he wrote his famous letter following the 1825 House election that awarded John Quincy Adams the presidency (26, 36). The portion of the letter Haze quotes (“The Judas of the West . . . receiv[ing] the thirty pieces of silver) is clearly about Henry Clay, not Biddle (PAJ, 6:29-30).
- Martin Van Buren was a “wealthy Manhattan senator” (41). Van Buren was, in fact, a native of the village of Kinderhook, came from a modest background, and spent comparatively little time in New York City.
- Jackson fought “a mind-blowing number of duels; 103 to be exact” (45). As I detailed in Andrew Jackson, Southerner, Old Hickory was involved in two official duels and one near-duel.
- Charles Dickinson “had already vanquished twenty-six prior opponents” prior to his 1806 duel with Jackson (48). I have seen this statement about Dickinson’s 26 opponents in tertiary sources, but I do not recall any reputable primary or secondary sources making this claim.
- While president, Jackson “fired more than half of the federal government” (54). As I detailed in Andrew Jackson and the Rise of the Democratic Party, Jackson replaced 10-20% of all federal officeholders.
- The Rothschild family hired Richard Lawrence to assassinate Jackson in 1835 (81-83). Lawrence was a person with a mental health disability, not a hired assassin.
- William Henry Harrison “died after only a year in office” (113). Harrison died one month after taking office.
- “In both the North and the South if you were rich there was a good chance you owned slaves” (118). The 1860 census shows the falsity of this statement.
- Abraham Lincoln may have been a Rothschild who betrayed his family (160). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- The Rothschilds were looking to blackmail Lincoln after discovering that he had fathered two children with “the illegitimate daughter of King Leopold of Hapsburg” (160). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Mary Lincoln may have shot her husband instead of a John Wilkes Booth lookalike who was hired as an assassin (157-161). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- John Wilkes Booth was not killed in a Maryland barn on April 26 but did not die until the early 20th century (177-187). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Several of these examples reveal the antisemitic conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family on which Haze’s narrative is centered, several of which theories have influenced recent acts of right-wing violence. The Rothschild conspiracy theory is not the only example of conspiracism in the book. Early on, Haze mentions the unratified 13th Amendment, the one that banned government employees from holding titles of nobility. In his telling, this “huge victory against tyranny” was ratified in 1819, then “wiped clean from memory almost altogether” (19). Who squelched this amendment? Haze leaves it to the reader to fill in the gaps. While many Americans probably haven’t heard of this “missing” 13th Amendment, its existence is well known among constitutional scholars. The real explanation for why it did not become part of the U.S. Constitution is interesting in and of itself, but not because of a mysterious conspiracy.
It’s hard to imagine that Haze believes most of what he’s written in this book, but a perusal of his other books—on Elvis conspiracies, Jeffrey Epstein conspiracies, ancient aliens, and ancient giants—suggests that he is either a true believer, or he’s tapped into a market that has proven profitable. Or maybe both. Whatever his motivation, readers shouldn’t be fooled: it is Haze, not the many scholars who have been transparent and exhaustive in providing their evidence on the topics he discusses, who is suppressing history. Ironically, Haze criticizes another book—one claiming that Jesse James faked his death and killed John Wilkes Booth, who also faked his death, in 1903—in words that summarize the problem with his own: “It contains so many stories and controversial claims that it’s almost hard to take seriously” (182).