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Sordid Saga of Opium Inside White House
President Grant Points Finger at Southern Governor, Negro Servant Amidst Son's Brewing Scandals, Washington Dailies Silent.
Daily True American
August 2, 1873
By J. S. Thompson, Special Correspondent
The nation finds itself in a mire of conjecture, hushed exchanges, and a plenitude of lingering questions around a mystery shrouded in either political opportunism or national scandal.
At the inquiry's center, the President’s second son, Ulysses Grant Jr., known as "Buck,” finds himself in a scenario replete with sordid tales of compromising calumny.
In the storm's eye, an intricate box, discovered in the venerated White House West Wing on the hallowed day of Independence the summer henceforth, bearing an opium pipe and a good amount of the foreign substance from the Orient, flowing through open Pacific ports.
Discovery, made in the aftermath of Independence Day festivities, quickly bred speculation and political foreboding. Revelation sent ripples of disbelief through Capitol's halls, yet was buried by a curiously incurious silent press.
The question of how a foreign entity was discovered inside the executive house baffles all, except this publication's readers, their intrigue magnified by the mystic effects of this new substance.
Opium, hailing from distant Oriental lands, although not classified as unlawful in possession or consumption, is viewed by many with a distinct curiosity, shadowed by apprehension.
This unique elixir, when consumed, possesses the capacity to transport the subject to a realm of phantasmagorical reverie, or so accounts by those ensnared by its charms allege.
It bestows upon the patron a sensation of fleeting euphoria, a detachment from worldly woes, allowing one to traverse ethereal realms borne of the opium-infused mind.
Medicinal experts claim it dulls the senses, reducing one to a languid state, much akin to a marionette devoid of strings. This pernicious influence has taken hold of both the destitute and the well-heeled, entwining them in a torpor that knows no social rank. Policemen and officials turn a blind eye, dismissing allegations of their pockets ringing with silver from the ill-gotten gains of opium magnates.
It is the simultaneous lure and peril of opium, a siren song of sweet escape and ensnaring dependence, that makes its appearance within the venerable White House an occurrence of grave concern and unending speculation. This tale's roots run deep, entrenched in whispers surrounding Buck.
Known to partake in the nocturnal amusements of New York City and San Francisco, the young Grant is said to be a frequent patron of the opium-imbued establishments now sprawling in these locales. As per the urban rumor mill, his companions are often young Chinese girls, hardly developed, forced into practicing the oldest profession.
The quest for more damning proof led a San Francisco daguerreotypist, his name still shrouded in secrecy allegedly captured the likeness of Buck in the throes of opium intoxication within one such den. His countenance displayed unbridled pleasure, a pipe held loosely in his grip.
Adding fuel to the blaze of suspicion, a personal diary surfaced belonging to Ulysses Jr., riddled with explicit narrations of his encounters with opium and young girls of Oriental persuasion. Several entries, disquietingly hint at his dealings with girls other patrons testify are hardly past development.
Tonight, I found myself in the hazy den, opium sweet on my lips. Ming, always playful, sat next to me, her fingers tracing circles on my trouser leg. I nearly jumped out of my seat, the implications dawning on me. The gall of her! Yet, I found myself thrilled, the forbidden feeling amplified by opium's hold.
On my other side, Li. Bold, beautiful Li. She laughed, a sound that cut through the smoke-filled room. It sent shivers down my spine, not from the cold, but from sheer anticipation. Her eyes met mine, a direct challenge. I couldn't help but smile back, the opium making everything delayed through the persistent feeling of inertia.
Yue, quiet Yue, handed me another pipe, her touch lingering on my hand like spiders crawling aimlessly. I took it, our fingers brushing constantly to make the spiders stop. A hint of a smile tugged at her lips, a secret shared between just the two of us, hidden in the smoke and the dim light.
The world outside didn't exist anymore. No expectations for anything other than the full release into all three of them, of the magnificent stress perturbing my restless loins.
This diary, a potential Pandora's Box of shocking confessions, landed in Department of Justice's newly established lap. The artifact, reportedly stumbled upon by Li Wei, a Chinese den proprietor frequented by President’s second son, led to Wei's establishment closure.
Wei's whereabouts have been a concern since winter of 1870 when reportedly apprehended by unknown men, claimed by eyewitnesses to be in dark attire with official federal authority badges. Wei, a key character in this scandal, vanished, leaving his kin desolate, yet fearful to speak publicly about his disappearance.
Meanwhile, another narrative strand features Isaiah Carpenter, a negro servant in Presidential orbit, who unearthed opium box in question. Mr. Carpenter hails from Mississippi, governed by Ridgley C. Powers. Carpenter's kin find themselves confined, their assets, including a humble plantation, seized by the state under charges some believe to be politically influenced.
Augustus Constance, speaking for President Grant, suggests Governor Powers presented Carpenter with an insidious proposition: his family's immunity in exchange for participation in this scandal, perhaps planting of questioned paraphernalia.
Mr. Constance suggests Southern governors could be the true culprits behind the opium box incident, irked by Force Acts of 1871 targeting Southern states for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and impeding fair elections. Extortion of negro servants within the vicinity of executive function is common, but Isaiah Carpenter’s ties to President’s son also raise whispers of deeper scandal.
An uncommon camaraderie between Buck and Carpenter, attributed to a shared fondness for botany, has been noted. In the quiet circles of polite society, it is often whispered that Buck and Carpenter have been seen in circumstances that exceed their respective social roles.
The duo, known for their shared appreciation for the tranquillity of East Garden, have been reportedly found secluded within the garden's dense shrubbery, in states of disarray that would shock every decent citizen.
This peculiarity, noted on more than one occasion, sends tongues wagging, hinting at a friendship too intimate for usual social confines. Such conjecture remains speculative, yet whispers of a possible scandal within a scandal continue to ripple beneath the surface.
Despite grotesque allegations, the origin of the opium box remains a mystery. After nine arduous months of investigation, Department of Justice has declared no progress in solving the mystery, feeding speculation that said Department is a political shield for executive office, borne of the same hands for such purpose.
Press silence prior to the 1870 election offers further intrigue. Some believe there was an attempt to smother the scandal and prevent it from influencing the electorate in favor of Grant’s political opposition.
Unanswered questions persist. Why was the diary discarded? What led to Wei's abrupt disappearance? What lies in the Carpenter family's future? The knowing public thirsts for resolution, yet the silence and blackout reporting of establishment outfits leave it unquenched.
This organ stands alone in illuminating the litany of scandals plaguing the executive. Yet, there are those who accuse us at Daily True American of peddling fabrications. We respond with conviction that truth is the highest virtue of reportage. To our detractors, we say, 'Seek and ye shall find,' for our words here, past, and henceforward hold only verity.
In our quest for justice against transgressions of law, no citizen ought to find exemption from the equal standards that our nation bore great loss to rectify. This standard shan't spare even those of loftiest power, entrusted to uphold fair supervision.
The Grant family name now bears a tarnish that can't be denied. The involvement of Governor Powers, the Carpenter family's plight, and Li Wei's mysterious absence weave a complex tapestry of political maneuvering, immoral liaisons, and a relentless pursuit of truth that ought to captivate a nation largely captive in darkness.
In the pursuit of truth against these challenges, we are of one opinion—national interest must not be bounded by forces of subversion and cover-up. Subsequent chapters in this narrative will be served on this broadsheet, with haste, upon conclusion of further inquiries.
Generous souls are heartily encouraged to bestow their charitable offerings upon this worthy cause.
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