The Dodge Brothers, Government, and Taxes

On Tuesday night friends and I visited Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan to view the Christmas finery during their annual Christmas Walk fundraiser.  Twenty years or so ago I was a volunteer docent at this beautiful mansion, which is now owned by Oakland University, and used as a conference center, for weddings, etc.  The proceeds are used to maintain the property.  The university was founded by Matilda Dodge Wilson, who gave 1,500 acres of land and $2,000,000.  The land included this mansion, stables, and another more modern home.  As well as the university, the land also now has a beautiful golf club, the Oakland University Katke Cousins.  Info about Meadow Brook, if you are interested:


I was looking up some information about the Dodge/Wilson families, and ran across the following letter. By the way, both brothers contracted either the flu/pneumonia at the New York auto show in 1920. John Dodge died in January of 1920, and Horace died in December of 1920.  It seems to me that this letter could have been written yesterday!



“For the following reasons I am unable to send you the check asked for:
I have been held up, held down, sand-bagged, walked on, sat on, flattened out and squeezed. First, by the United States Government, for Federal War Tax, the Excess Profit Tax, the Liberty Loan Bonds, Thrift Stamps, Capital Stock Tax, Merchants License and Auto Tax, and by every Society and Organization that the inventive mind of man can invent, to extract what I may or may not possess.

From the Society of John the Baptist, the G.A.R., the Women’s Relief, the Navy League, the Red Cross, the Black Cross, the Purple Cross, the Double Cross, the Children’s Home, the Dorcas Society, the Y.M.C.A., the Boy Scouts, the Jewish Relief, the Belgian Relief, and every hospital in town.

The Government has so governed my business that I don’t know who owns it. I am inspected, suspected, and examined and re-examined, informed, required and commanded so I don’t know who I am, where I am, or why I am here. All I know is I am supposed to be an inexhaustible supply of money for every known need, desire or hope of the human race; and, because I will not sell all I have and go out and beg, borrow or steal money to give away, I have been cussed, discussed, boycotted, talked to, talked about, lied to, lied about, hold up, hung up, robbed and nearly ruined; and, the only reason I am clinging to life is to see what in the H-ll is coming next.”


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7 Responses to The Dodge Brothers, Government, and Taxes

  1. czarowniczy says:

    Them that can, do,; them that can’t tax them that ‘do’. Every species known has some form of parasite that feeds off of and weakens it, we are the only species that encourage and enshrine our parasites.


  2. czarowniczy says:

    Anyone got and ideas on why the Secular-Humanist-in-Chief hasn’t started beating the drum to tax church property and income yet?


  3. maggiemoowho says:

    Sent this to my parents.
    PS: Are those duesenbergs in that top photo, love those cars. Love the bottom photo also, it reminds me of home.


    • stellap says:

      The bottom photo is a 1920 Dodge touring car. The other cars were there for the Concourse d’Elegance, a car show that used to be held at Meadow Brook every summer.


  4. akathesob says:

    And this was almost 100 years ago and one can only imagine what one must deal with today.


  5. JoAnn Stevens says:

    That is a great letter! How true and so very sad that we have allowed our government to become such a big fat money-sucking parasite who torments us in many other ways while it is sucking away! The problem in this country is getting people to unite to fix the problem! Everyone has to have their own little pet ineffective Patriotic project going on at the expense of winning the war by uniting against this giant organized crime machine that has waged war against the public long ago!


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