The Crédit Mobilier scandal of 1872 involved the Union Pacific Railroad and the Crédit Mobilier of America construction company in the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. The distribution of Crédit Mobilier shares of stock by Congressman Oakes Ames along with cash bribes to congressmen took place during the Andrew Johnson presidency in 1868. The revelation of the congressmen who received cash bribes or shares in Crédit Mobilier took place during the Ulysses S. Grant administration in 1872. The scandal's origins date back to the Abraham Lincoln presidency with the formation of the Crédit Mobilier in 1864.
A Congressional investigation of thirteen members led to the censure of Ames and also James Brooks. A federal investigation was also enacted with Aaron F. Perry serving as chief counsel. A number of other political figures had their careers theoretically damaged, including James A. Garfield, Schuyler Colfax, James W. Patterson, and Henry Wilson. During the investigation, it was found that the company had given shares to more than thirty representatives of both parties including future President Garfield. Garfield denied the charges and went on to become President, so the actual impact of the scandal is difficult to judge. Colfax was replaced on the Republican ticket for renomination as Vice President, ironically, by Henry Wilson who was also implicated in the scandals.