Paul 3: Philemon - Letter of Reconciliation 2 Jul Paul 2: Galatians - Free by Grace 25 Jun Paul: Life of the Free Spirit 18 Jun The Pentecost Manifesto 4 Jun Buildings that Inspire 7 May The Good Shepherd 7 May Revelation on the Road to Emmaus 30 Apr Easter Sunday: Choices at Dawn 16 Apr Ordinary and Extraordinary Greetings 16 Apr Maundy Thursday 13 Apr The Raising of Lazarus 2 Apr Mothering Sunday 26 Mar Jesus and the Woman at the Well 19 Mar Jesus and Nicodemus 12 Mar Ash Wednesday: Remember you are dust 1 Mar Praying with John Wesley 26 Feb Praying with the Orthodox Church 19 Feb Praying and reading the Bible with St Ignatius 12 Feb Living out faith - compassion and justice 5 Feb Seeing Salvation 15 Jan The Baptism of Jesus 8 Jan Revelation Series 2: Confronting Evil 11 Dec The Three Tenses of Advent 4 Dec The Greatness of Christ 20 Nov Remembrance Sunday Sermon 13 Nov Zacchaeus 30 Oct Stewardship Sunday: Giving 16 Oct The Ten Lepers 9 Oct Looking at life through the lens of Christ 2 Oct Jonah in the Whale 11 Sep Jonah: A Reluctant Prophet 4 Sep The Philippian Jailer 8 May A Soundtrack to our Lives 1 May The Road to Philippi 1 May The Gospel for All People 24 Apr The Martyrdom of Stephen 17 Apr The Conversion of Saul 10 Apr Easter Sunday 27 Mar Good Friday Meditation 25 Mar Travelling the whole journey this Easter 13 Mar The Lord's Prayer - Part 2 28 Feb The Lord's Prayer - Part 1 21 Feb Three Generations 31 Jan The Wedding of Cana 17 Jan Advent Sunday 29 Nov Christ the King 22 Nov Remembrance Sunday 8 Nov All Saints Sunday 1 Nov Stewardship Sunday 18 Oct Harvest Burundi 11 Oct Humility 4 Oct Growing Together 27 Sep Praying Together 20 Sep Prayer 6 Sep Ephesians 4 2 Aug Ephesians 3 26 Jul Ephesians 12 Jul Ephesians 1 12 Jul Communion 3 - Children and Communion 1 Jul Communion 4 - Baptism and Communion 28 Jun Communion 1 - Understanding its significance 8 Jun Praying in the In-Between Times 19 May The Good Shepherd 9 May Ten minutes later the machine was whirring along the level highway that leads to Marlboro.
The ceremony was performed there quietly, and that same evening the car stole back to Washington, carrying Mr. They will be at home to their friends at the Earlington apartments, Mount Pleasant, in about a week. Hill and Miss Horner met three months ago while the pretty high school girl was still working for her diploma in the class rooms at Central. But something was amiss.
While Hill was honeymooning, his various business partners and suppliers were jumping ship. Hunt had dissolved their business partnership in the Mount Vernon Inn. Warnick, was alleging that Hill had stolen a car a crime for which Hill was arrested and wanted the National Automobile College to be put into receivership.
His college would no longer put an emphasis on teaching students to build cars. Sound familiar? Multi-level marketing companies use similar tactics. The baby was born deaf and without ears but despite his handicap, the elder Napoleon was determined to see his son succeed. Even if this meant denying him the ability to communicate like other children born without the ability to hear.
In the years to come, despite intense fighting with both family and schoolteachers, Napoleon would never allow the boy to learn sign language. He was determined to singlehandedly teach his deaf son to speak—and even to hear.
Too Far to Say Far Enough
Curiously, one of his partners, Ernest M. But whatever their former relationship, the candy company partners quickly pushed Hill out for some unknown transgression. Hill filed suit against his former partners, and claimed to have won a victory in some Chicago court five years later. Following his brief dabbling in the candy business, Hill clearly believed that the way to riches was in establishing schools. But even in the increasingly litigious culture of the early 21st century, a lawsuit about poor lighting on public transit would probably be considered frivolous.
It seems Hill was trying to make a buck literally any way he could. He was charged with violating the Illinois Blue Sky Law. But it was just Hill, ostensibly offering student loans at 5 percent interest, of course to pay himself.
When the warrants were issued on June 4th, Hill promised to turn himself in. Napoleon was occasionally visiting his family in West Virginia during the lead up to his arrest enough to get Florence pregnant with their third child David, born on October 26, but he spent most of his time during this period in Chicago, New York, and allegedly back to Washington D. Instead of reporting the facts surrounding his administration of a fraudulent college, the official story of Napoleon Hill tells a different tale about his time from on the tail end of World War I.
Many years later Hill would claim that he was approached by President Woodrow Wilson for help with the war effort. He just wanted him involved. Nearly broke, Hill turned down a salary from the President of the United States in order to serve his country for free. That job? Producing propaganda materials for US businesses to encourage Americans who were toiling away making the machines of war. But the story gets even better. When he finished reading he handed the documents to me and left the room. He was gone for about fifteen minutes. When he returned, he handed me a couple of sheets of paper on which he had written his reply to the Germans, which ended with three questions related to the terms of the armistice.
President, I would suggest a fourth question. I would ask whether the request for an armistice has been made on behalf of the German people or the German war lords. The volume even includes entire articles. That was armistice day, as everyone knows. Like most other people, I became as drunk with enthusiasm and joy that day as any man ever did on wine.
I was practically penniless, but I was happy to know that the slaughter was over and reason about about to spread its beneficent wings over the earth once more. Hill got mixed up with a man named S. Cox and his wife N. Cox from Houston. The Cox couple owned the General Oil Company and were looking for investors.
Even if they had to lie to get them. Hill helped the Cox couple spread news about just how well their company was doing. The Federal Trade Commission charged Hill on October with using his magazine for fraudulent advertising. Hill started numerous magazines and tabloids over the years, with nearly every article exclusively written by Hill under various pseudonyms.
In Houston, Hill helped the Cox couple start a magazine ironically called Truth. Throughout his career, Napoleon Hill preached the gospel of the Golden Rule. But at other times he showed his cards a bit more. The Golden Rule is a powerful weapon in business, because there is so little competition in its application. It was a weapon. Hill learned early on that an easy and cost-effective way to get your name in the press was to present people with awards for their demonstration of the Golden Rule. In May of he awarded a chiropractor by the name of Dr.
Who came in second? Woodrow Wilson. The idea of it all was absurd on its face. But it gained Hill national coverage in newspapers and magazines around the country. But his award-giving tactic would later let him gain access to some of the famous people he so dearly wanted to meet. Teed to start the Intra-Wall Correspondence School in The charity would provide educational materials for prisoners in Ohio so that they could lead productive lives once they left prison.
Hill petitioned for the release of Butler R. Storke, an inmate who was serving two years for check forging—a similar crime for which Hill himself had been arrested and acquitted in One of the most scandalous newspaper articles on Hill comes from late In it, the author lays out all the people trying to track him down for one reason or another—most often for unpaid debts. Hill was traveling from city to city in the early s on his mission to collect donations for his Intra-Wall Correspondence School.
His constant movement around the country was not necessarily out of wanderlust, of course, but rather to stay one step ahead of the law.
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But whatever the exact number, it was a lot of money. Thomas, told the local newspaper that they never saw a dime. And neither had the prison chaplain who helped Hill start the Intra-Wall Correspondence school in the first place. Storke, the check forger released to help start the school was sent back to prison. Storke changed his name on various occasions throughout the s, and would spend the next two decades in and out of prison for embezzlement and other sordid business deals. Napoleon Hill claimed to have learned the secrets of success through interviews with hundreds of incredible celebrities and businessmen.
What we do have, however, is this picture:. This photo of Napoleon Hill standing awkwardly with Thomas Edison is the only photo of Hill with any of the famous businessmen let alone Presidents he claimed to have interviewed over the course of his decades-long career in studying the secrets of success. Hill figured on how he could have a picture made with Thomas A. Edison, so he could give him a medal. Hill, one of the leading magazine writers, wished to attend the Edison Convention of Dealers. He asked Mr. Edison to pose with him, a request he could hardly refuse.
Edison left and Napoleon Hill. Edison is the inventor of the talking machine, the electric light, the moving picture and scores of other things that serve mankind. Edison was born of poor parents and began his career as a news butcher on a train. Hill began as a laborer in the coal mines. Both have risen to fame through their own efforts.
During that brief meeting Hill gave Edison his medal. Edison returned the medal without comment. According to the official biography of Hill, he returns to Chicago at some point in the mids to find that the items he had in storage were in a building that had burned to the ground. Gone were dozens of letters and notes from Woodrow Wilson, including his approval of a Hill proposal that the president used to sell war bonds. Gone were the autographed pictures of Wilson, [Alexander Graham] Bell, and others.
Gone was the series of letters from Manuel L. Quezon, who corresponded with Hill prior to becoming president of the Philippine Commonwealth. Well, there you have it. They all burned up in a fire. In the mids Hill bounces around Ohio and Indiana, ready to start anew yet again. But the Midwest of the s was a dark and seedy place for a number of reasons. Today, we romanticize the gangster era of Chicago in the s and 30s. But as in Chicago, the big cities and small towns of Ohio and Indiana could be dangerous places in the s.
Unlike the movies, very real blood was being spilled over political power struggles, illegal booze, and virulent racism. And Napoleon Hill would get caught up in the middle of it all as he toured Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, making friends and enemies with journalists, politicians, and the Ku Klux Klan. But the Klan had a surprisingly strong presence in northern states as well, like Oregon, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.
Donald Mellett was a respected newspaper publisher in Canton, Ohio in He reported on both mob and police corruption in the Canton Daily News and courted controversy through his muckraking. Mellett came from a family of journalists and struggled for years at tiny newspapers in his home state of Indiana and then Ohio. When he was brought on as editor of the Canton Daily News , the paper initially gained readers through an emphasis on subscription sales over street sales—a long-term, unconventional model for the newspaper industry at the time.
Not a huge city by any means, Canton was simply one of many cities across the US that was experiencing an explosion in organized crime. And it counted amongst its ranks plenty of police officers who were being paid to look the other way—whether it was booze, sex, or sometimes murder. Mellett had been editor of the Canton Daily News merely a year before he was murdered. He was gunned down outside his own garage on July 16, —assassinated by either underworld figures, corrupt police, or most likely a conspiracy involving a mixture of the two.
There was immediate outrage in the journalism community. One of their own had been assassinated, making it a national story for months. Hill later claimed that Mellett also wanted to help Hill publish an eight-volume book on the subject of success and how to achieve it. But that story contradicts itself even in his own biography, because by all accounts he spent the next few months trying to get a lecture tour started in the Midwest. In the August 27, issue of the Courier-Crescent in Orrville, Ohio just 25 miles outside Canton Hill is noted as giving public lectures and touting his association with the slain newspaperman.
Even people who disagreed with Mellett on any number of issues including perhaps most fervently his advocacy of alcohol prohibition , saw his murder as a direct assault on the First Amendment. To get at the source of the criminal operations and the inefficiency in the police department, he found that the civil service commission must be removed. Immediately a conspiracy against Mellett was organized in the police department, which derives its authority from the civil service commission.
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And he was probably right. He even had the Canton Police Chief, S. Lengel, ousted by the Democratic mayor before the Republican-controlled city council reinstated him. By October of Hill was still roaming around Ohio and Indiana. He appears in court in Indianapolis testifying about political corruption in Indiana, but it had nothing to do with Mellett. Efforts were made also to find Harvey Bedford and George Elliott, both of whom formerly were active in the Klan here. Napoleon Hill, a lecturer who was said to have a contract with Bedford and Elliott was in the grand jury room during the afternoon.
Judging from the newspaper records of the time, this appears to be true. But who he was hiding from is still unclear. Had he pissed off the Klan? Mobsters of Ohio who were bootlegging and allegedly selling drugs to children? Was it the police or politicians after him? All of this is still a mystery as far as I can tell.
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Sometime in late or early , Hill emerged from hiding, ready to embark on yet another publishing venture. Hill moved to Philadelphia and his alleged plans with Mellett would not go to waste. Hill would see his eight-volume work, now titled Law of Success , published one way or another. Pelton was a true believer in the prosperity self-help movement.
As with any religion or religious philosophy, there are plenty of disagreements about what the proper way to practice might be, but the fundamental idea running through all of New Thought is that ideas and thoughts have very direct and material actions upon the world. Hill was completely broke in Philadelphia and had to appear to his potential publisher as a man of success and grace.
So he borrowed money from his brother-in-law, rented an enormous suite in a swanky Philadelphia hotel, and played the role of the successful businessman for Pelton. And it seemed to work, despite the fact that Law of Success was mangled garbage as far as any literary merits were concerned. Pelton agreed to publish the book anyway and by mid the royalties begin to come in, however small.
Napoleon would bank on his supposed association with powerful men time and again. I am cured of that forever. By early the money indeed started to flow. Always having to previously pretend that he was wealthy, Hill had his first legitimate success that allowed him to flaunt his money.
He quickly bought a Rolls-Royce two Rolls-Royces by his own account in a book years later , and an enormous house in the Catskill Mountains of New York sitting on six-hundred acres. Hill bought his gigantic estate, named Shagbark, with a number of investors. By July, Florence and their three boys had moved into the luxurious estate and Napoleon was hard at work getting his elite utopian community off the ground. It was the first time that all five members of the Hill family were living under the same roof. Napoleon, always the man on the run, was bored with their idyllic home in the middle of nowhere.
By autumn of Hill had set up an office in New York City, an inauspicious time for the American economy at large. The stock market dipped and dove wildly throughout September and October of , culminating in the great Wall Street Crash of October 24, By the following week, the stock market had been decimated.
It was the unofficial start of the s and the decade-long Great Depression. At first Napoleon seemed unaffected by the crippling downturn in the economy. Or so he claimed. Napoleon, hard at work on his next book from his office in New York, wrote lovingly to Florence, assuring her that everything would be okay once his next book hit the shelves.
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