Dr. Samuel Harden Church (1858-1943)

By Richard Sanders, Editor, Press for Conversion!

Church was a member of the American Liberty League’s Advisory Council.

Samuel Church was an Oliver Cromwell buff, owning 75 biographies on this leading English anti-royalist of the 1600s. In Cromwell, A History (1894), Church said Cromwell overthrew “bloody rebellion in Ireland, and transformed the environment of that mad people into industry and peace.” Church also authored historical romances including John Marmaduke: A Romance of the English Invasion of Ireland in 1649 (1897). When he wasn’t waxing poetic on England’s subjugation of Ireland, Church was active in Republican Party politics. He also dabbled in railways. In 1909, he was the Assistant Secretary of the Pennsylvania Railway Lines.

In 1926, Church, then prominent within the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment (which helped form the American Liberty League), told a Senate committee that rum was “one of the greatest blessings that God has given to men out of the teeming bosom of Mother Earth.”

Church is, however, most closely linked to the Carnegie Institute. He became its secretary in 1909 and was the longest serving president of its Board of Trustees (1914-1943). The Carnegie Institute has been a major funder of many far-right, elitist organizations, such as the Council on Foreign Relations. Church also oversaw the Institute’s role as a top funder of the American eugenics movement. Eugenics was a highly influential movement to forge a superior, white race in America by “purifying” the country’s gene pool. Thanks to eugenics, 60,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized between 1900 and 1930. The targets of this ethnic cleansing were the poor, Blacks, Indians, Eastern European Jews, the infirm and other “inferiors.” Hitler, praised U.S. eugenics laws in Mein Kampf, and later used this American pseudo-science to inspire the Third Reich’s genocidal Holocaust of Jews, gypsies, communists, unionists and others who were undesirable to Nazi interests.

In 1904, Mary Harriman and the Rockefellers had given more than $11 million to create the Carnegie Institute’s Eugenics Laboratory on Long Island, N.Y. (This lab is now home for the Human Genome Project!) Mary Harriman’s son, Averill of Brown Brothers, Harriman (a Wall Street investment firm that financed Hitler before and during WWII and later laundered top Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen’s wealth after the war) had two key administrators: Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker. After WWII, Averill Harriman and these two men, the grandfather and great grandfather of current U.S. President George Walker Bush, were reimbursed for their share of Nazi slave labour profits that were confiscated by the U.S. government in 1942, under the Trading with the Enemy Act. These origins of the Bush family millions helped pave the way for their entry into the oil business and the White House.


J. H. Garrison, ed. Program of the International Centennial Celebration and Conventions of the Disciples of Christ (1909)

Morrison, Samuel E. and Henry S. Commager, The Growth of the American Republic, 1942

Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race, 2003.

Behind the Conservative Curtain: Pseudo Grassroots Organizations Front for Corporate/Government Takeover

Source: Press for Conversion! magazine, Issue # 53, "Facing the Corporate Roots of American Fascism," March 2004. Published by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade.

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