The Credit Mobilier Scandal was a very famous scandal occurring from 1864-1872 involving the Credit Mobilier of America construction company and the Union Pacific Railroad.

Every public question with an eye only to the public good / Thomas Nast.

Every public question with an eye only to the public good / Thomas Nast.

The federal government in 1864 had chartered and authorized the Union Pacific Railroad to complete a transcontinental line west from the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast. This was also the year that Credit Mobilier was formed by George Frances Train. The Credit Mobilier used its funds to buy stock and bonds from the Union Pacific Railroad and then sell them on the open market to gain even more money. Then Credit Mobilier, which was a fake company, asked the US government for money to fund the project without them even working on the railroad, and since the Union Pacific Railroad company was working on the railroad and providing evidence of the railroad being worked on, the Credit Mobilier company was not found out to be fake for years.

In 1867, Congressman Oakes Ames became the new head of the false Credit Mobilier and Union Pacific Railroading companies. Ames then sold stock to other Congressman in exchange for money, making the congressman rich and corrupt. In 1872, the newspaper The Sun broke the story, and Credit Mobilier was broken up. Over 20 men were charged with corruption, including current vice-president Schuyler Colfax and future president and current Congressman James Garfield.

The Credit Mobilier Scandal was one of the most infamous and most advanced scandals in American history, and no one will forget it anytime soon.