A Hole in the Ground with a Liar at the Top: Fraud and Deceit in the Golden Age of American Mining
Coal, silver, gold...there is something about the allure of finding hidden treasure that puts a glint in people's eyes--a glint that is sometimes binding. An American saying, often attributed to Mark Twain, defines a mine as a hole in the ground with a liar at the top. Delve into the curious mind of the con-artist with author Dan Plazak as he investigates the history of mining frauds in the United States from the Civil War to World War I. Take, for example, the case of Nathaniel Hawthorne's literary son Julian, who turned his artistic impulses into creativity of a more nefarious sort after concluding that I want more money than the sort of literature I have produced can provide. At the prompting of a Harvard friend, Hawthorne soon turned from writing novels and journalism to writing letters intended to encourage investment in Canadian mining ventures--ventures of little or no value except to the letter writer. By gathering such familiar stories as that of Nevada's infamous Comstock Lode with a succession of lesser-known scandals, Plazak provides a well-written volume that's a treat for anyone who believes there really is a sucker born every minute.
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Introduction to Mining Fraud I
The Imaginary Mine of Doctor Gardiner
Mother Lode of American Mining Swindles I
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Amalgamated American April Arizona Arnold assayers assays Aughey August August 13 Beam Bonanza firm boom Boston bought brokers California City Colorado Comstock Comstock lode court Death Valley December December 15 Denver diamond directors dividends Ely Central Emma Engineering & Mining February February 9 Flower fraud Gardiner George Graham George Graham Rice gold Goldfield Hale & Norcross Harney Peak Harpending Hawthorne Idaho Copper investors January January 12 January 27 Jernegan July June knew Lake Lawson Leadville London March March 11 McKenzie mill million miners Mining Company Mining Journal Mining Stock Nevada newspapers Nome November November 28 Noyes NYTr October October 24 owners profit promoters prospectors returned Rice's rock Salt samples San Francisco Scheftels Scott sell September SFCh share prices shareholders sold Spenazuma Stewart Stock Exchange swindle swindlers Tichenor told Tonopah U.S. Congress Virginia Whitaker Wright Wright York