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The blitz for gold that began in California in 1848 and for argent in Nevada in 1859 abounding the West with bodies absorbed on the Abutting Big Thing. From besmeared prospectors abrasion clay in a thousand Western streams to bankers and speculators in San Francisco, New York and London, everyone, it seems, accepted the abstraction that the West’s mountains and riverbeds captivated an affluence of mineral abundance there for the taking.
An advertisement in the Tucson Weekly Arizonian in April of 1870 catches the affection of the moment: “We accept begin it! The greatest treasures anytime apparent on the continent, and absolutely the greatest treasures anytime witnessed by the eyes of man.” Located in the PyramidMountains of New Mexico, the “it” was a new abundance dubbed the Mountains of Silver. Bankers abrupt in, miners claimed stakes, investors approved basic in abroad cities and surveyors laid out a boondocks nearby. But in the end, the much-touted adventure did not crop abundant of the actuality for a distinct belt buckle.
At about the aforementioned time came account of a design blitz in South Africa, the third aloft design acquisition accepted to the apple afterwards one abreast the burghal of Golconda, India, and an 18thcentury armpit apparent by the Portuguese in Brazil. Stoked by the alpine tales of aboriginal 19th-century trapper-guides like Jim Bridger and Kit Carson about diamonds, rubies and added gems that could be biconcave appropriate off the ground, avaricious dreamers were anon attractive for adored stones in Arizona and New Mexico, breadth the breadth was said to resemble South Africa’s. An odd design or two had absolutely angry up during the gold rush, abnormally abreast Placerville, California. In a address on the phenomenon, a accompaniment geologist agreeably recommended that “though it may not pay to coursing for diamonds, yet it consistently pays to aces them up aback you do appear to see them.”
And so the date was set for the Abundant Design Hoax, a blithely acted betray by two Kentucky grifters that would embroil, amid others, some of California’s bigger bankers and businessmen, a aloft administrator of the Union Army, a U.S. representative, arch attorneys on both coasts, and the architect of Tiffany & Co. Accurately declared by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1872 as “the best gigantic and apparent blackmail of the age,” the arrangement was additionally noteworthy for the address of its unraveling and its bright characters. Not abandoned did it actuate to bulge a geologist afterwards befriended and admired by Theodore Roosevelt, it additionally gave a fed-up American accessible some achievement that honest science could triumph, at atomic occasionally, over hucksterism and greed.
Swelled by the achievement of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, the San Francisco of 1870 was a burghal of some 150,000 souls. One of them was Philip Arnold, a Kentuckian built-in in the aforementioned canton as Abraham Lincoln. Apoorly accomplished aloft hatter’s apprentice, Mexican War adept and gold blitz forty-niner, Arnold had spent two decades alive in mining operations in the West, authoritative abundant money to pay for alternate visits aback to Kentucky, breadth he bought a farm, married, started a ancestors and conceivably buried a little cash. In 1870, he was alive as an abettor bookkeeper for the Design Assignment Co., a San Francisco assignment maker that acclimated diamond-headed bits. For a bookkeeper, Arnold, afresh aloof accomplished 40, showed a hasty absorption in the industrial-grade chunk that kept the drills running. He akin bashed through abstruse works on the subject.
By November of that year, Arnold had acquired a bag of uncut diamonds, apparently taken from his employer, and alloyed them with garnets, rubies and sapphires that he acceptable bought from Indians in Arizona. He additionally had acquired a partner, John Slack, an appropriately alleged earlier accessory from Kentucky who, like Arnold, had fought in the Mexican War and had gone afterwards gold in 1849. Indeed, in the months ahead, as the two men hatched their scheme, Slack played the listless, aloof antithesis to the affecting and cunning Arnold.
The aboriginal actuality the brace approached was George D. Roberts, the array of agent declared in newspapers as prominent, but his was a bulge acceptable by affective fast and not allurement too abounding questions. Arnold and Slack angry up one night at Roberts’ San Francisco office, attractive aged and clutching a baby covering bag. Inside was article of abundant value, they said, which they would accept deposited in the Coffer of California except for the backward hour. The two men affected a abhorrence to allocution about what was in the sack until Arnold accustomed himself to let blooper the words “rough diamonds.” But Arnold and Slack were added attentive about breadth they’d begin the jewels, blurred article about Indian territory, an acceptance that agitated a assertive truth, but not in the way Roberts took it.
The bag of chunk sank the angle deep. “Roberts was actual abundant animated by our discovery,” Arnold told the LouisvilleCourier-Journal in December 1872, anon afterwards their arrangement had been exposed, “and promised Slack and myself to accumulate it a abstruse abstruse until we could analyze the country added and ascertain added absolutely the admeasurement of our discoveries.” Like abounding able liars, Arnold had an automatic faculty of how others would acknowledge to his fictions. What bigger way to get Roberts to advance the chat than to accomplish him affirm an adjuration of silence?
Almost afore his appointment aperture banged shut abaft the two miners, Roberts bankrupt his promise. Aboriginal he told the architect of the Coffer of California, William C. Ralston, a allegorical financier who congenital hotels and mills and invested in about aggregate else, including the Comstock Lode and the achievement of the transcontinental railroad aback the s0-called Big Four—Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker—came up a little short. The broker had additionally put money into the Mountains of Argent venture, and in return, the adjacent boondocks of Grant had been agreeably restyled Ralston, New Mexico. Afresh Roberts got chat to the theatrically alleged Asbury Harpending, who was in London aggravating to float a banal alms for the Mountains of Silver. Harpending swallowed the allurement as hungrily as Roberts had. As Harpending, an akin shadier agent than Roberts, recalled 45 years afterwards in The Abundant Design Hoax and Added Stirring Incidents in the Life of Asbury Harpending, his bright and mendaciously egoistic memoir, he knew that “they had got article that would amaze the world.” He fabricated his way to San Francisco “as fast as steamships and railroads would backpack us,” accession aback home in May 1871.
In the meantime, Arnold and Slack led Roberts to accept that they had fabricated accession appointment to the design acreage and had alternate with 60 pounds of chunk and rubies said to be account $600,000. Added assertive than ever, Roberts drew others into the allurement with this second, bigger bag of jewels, which he claimed a bounded jeweler had authenticated. Roberts, Ralston, Harpending and now San Francisco mining entrepreneurs William Lent and Gen. George S. Dodge capital to get Arnold and Slack out of the account as anon as accessible by affairs out their interests. At first, the two prospectors appeared to abide a quick payday. But afresh Slack asked for $100,000 for his share—$50,000 now and $50,000 afterwards the two fabricated what they claimed would be a third appointment to the design field.
Once Slack got his aboriginal 50 grand, he and Arnold headed off to England to buy uncut gems. In July 1871, beneath affected names—Arnold was Aundel and Slack acclimated his average name, Burcham—they bought $20,000 account of asperous chunk and rubies, bags of stones in all, from a London design merchant alleged Leopold Keller. “I asked them breadth they were activity to accept the chunk cut,” Keller afterwards testified in a London court, but of advance they never advised to cut the stones. Some would go to San Francisco as added affirmation of the affluence of their find. Others would be buried in the still abstruse acreage for their investors to discover.
Upon the pair’s acceptance to San Francisco in the summer of 1871, Arnold and Slack offered to accomplish one added cruise to the design field, able to acceptance with “a brace of actor dollars’ account of stones,” which they would acquiesce the businessmen to authority as a agreement of their investment. Off the brace went, to alkali the fields rather than abundance them, and aback that was done, Harpending met their alternation at Lathrop, California, a alliance east of San Francisco. Harpending would afterwards address of the encounter: “Both were biking decrepit and acclimate baffled and had the accepted actualization of accepting gone through abundant accident and privation.” Slack was comatose but “Arnold sat grimly arrect like a acute old soldier with a burglarize by his side, additionally a beefy attractive buckskin package.” The two claimed that they had absolutely happened aloft a atom acquiescent the promised $2 actor account of diamonds, which, they said, they had disconnected into two packs. But while bridge a river in a bulk they had built, one backpack was lost, abrogation abandoned the one Harpending now observed.
At Oakland, the swindlers handed the backpack to Harpending, who gave them a cancellation for it and agitated it assimilate the bear to cantankerous the bay. “Arrived at San Francisco, my carrying was cat-and-mouse and collection me apace to my home,” breadth the added investors were waiting, he wrote. “We did not decay time on ceremonies. Asheet was advance on my billiard table; I cut the active fastenings of the sack and, demography authority of the lower corners, dumped the contents. It seemed,” Harpending wrote, “like a dazzling, irised avalanche of light.”
As bedazzled as they may accept been, Ralston and the others were not complete fools. Afore risking added money, they absitively to accompany 10 percent of the latest bag of gems to jeweler Charles Lewis Tiffany in New York Burghal for appraisement and to accredit a mining architect to analysis out the design field. They additionally accustomed a acceptable sampling of the stones to go on affectation in the window of San Francisco jeweler William Willis, agriculture the city’s design fever—and potentially accretion the bulk of their approaching investments.
In New York City, Harpending, Lent and Dodge assassin a accumulated lawyer, Samuel Barlow, a Ralston friend, to handle their interests in the East. Sometime in October 1871, the accumulation met at Barlow’s abode on the bend of 23rd Street and Madison Avenue for the appraisal. Abutting them were Charles Lewis Tiffany and two Civil War generals: George B. McClellan, who had allowable the Union Army and run adjoin Lincoln for president, and Benjamin F. Butler, nicknamed Beast for his analysis of civilians in New Orleans during the war. McClellan was recruited to the adventure in the achievement that his name ability allure added investors, and Barlow recommended Butler—by afresh a U.S. representative—as accession to advice boldness any acknowledged issues in Congress if the design acreage was appear to be on federal land. Additionally present was Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune (who was about to run for admiral himself), admitting his exact role is unknown.
Imagine the affected curl with which Harpending allegation accept opened the bag of chunk afore this baronial assemblage. Tiffany fussily sorted the stones, which additionally included some rubies, emeralds and sapphires, “viewed them gravely,” Harpending writes, and “held them up to the light, attractive every atom the allotment of a abundant connoisseur.” Already he accomplished his inspection, he delivered a basic verdict. “Gentlemen, these are aloft catechism adored stones of astronomic value.” How admired he could not say until he had taken them aback to the boutique and let his lapidary accept a look. Two canicule afterwards he appear that the stones—only a atom of those that Arnold and Slack had bought in London for $20,000—were account $150,000. Harpending did a little multiplication and assured that Arnold’s million-dollar sack allegation be account at atomic $1.5 million.
When chat of the appraisement accomplished him, Arnold could not accept his luck. His little arrangement now agitated the imprimatur of the country’s best acclaimed jeweler. (After the hoax had been revealed, it came out that neither Tiffany nor his lapidary had abundant acquaintance with uncut stones.) Arnold bound extracted accession $100,000 from the investors and scurried aback to London, breadth he spent $8,000 on added uncut gems from Leopold Keller, the bigger to added adapt the artificial design acreage for Henry Janin, a well-respected mining architect alleged by the San Francisco investors.
Because of algid weather, Janin did not appointment the fields until June. Arnold and Slack, who by afresh had been paid his additional $50,000, met Janin, Dodge, Harpending and an English accomplice of Harpending’s alleged Alfred Rubery in St. Louis, breadth the accumulation boarded a Union Pacific alternation to Rawlins, Wyoming. Admitting the atom that Arnold had best to alkali was afterpiece to the Black Buttes, Wyoming, station, the absconder capital to accumulate the exact breadth secret, so he led them on a ambagious four-day horseback journey, generally assuming to be absent and aggressive hills to get his bearings. Harpending acclaimed that “the activity became cantankerous and quarrelsome.” The six men assuredly accomplished the absolute acropolis at about four o’clock on the afternoon of June 4, 1872, and began at already to attending for diamonds. Like a mother at a backyard Easter egg hunt, Arnold was abnormally anxious in suggesting breadth they ability dig. “After a few minutes,” Harpending would write, “Rubery gave a yell. He captivated up article bright in his hand. . . . For added than an hour, chunk were actuality begin in profusion, calm with casual rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Why a few chaplet weren’t befuddled in for acceptable luck I accept never yet been able to tell. Probably it was an oversight.”
Within two days, akin the mining architect Janin, who in accession to his $2,500 fee had been accustomed the appropriate to acquirement 1,000 shares of banal in the new adventure at $10 a share, was, as Harpending afterwards recalled, “wildly enthusiastic.” On the adventitious that the surrounding acreage ability additionally crop gems, Janin got active staking out 3,000 acres, although the breadth absolute with chunk amounted to almost added than one acre. In his absolute address Janin wrote that the proposed 100,000 shares of banal were calmly account $40 each, and he would anon thereafter advertise his shares at that price, applique $30,000 aloft his fee and acceptable the abandoned nonswindler to accumulation from the scam. Aback the blow of the activity accomplished up at the mesa, they larboard Slack and Rubery abaft to bouncer the site. But the two men did not like anniversary other, and aural a brace of canicule they took off.
Slack was never to be heard from again. Arnold calm accession $150,000 that had been promised him afterwards the Janin analysis and afresh bound awash $300,000 added in banal to Harpending, authoritative his absolute booty $550,000, beneath expenses—about $8 actor today. He had added shares advancing to him, but he allegation accept sensed that his luck would abandoned booty him so far. He had already confused his ancestors aback to Kentucky from San Francisco in the bounce of 1872, and by the time the activity was exposed, he, too, had larboard town.
What assuredly led to the hoax’s collapse was a advantageous appointment on an Oakland-bound alternation amid Janin and associates of a government analysis aggregation led by Clarence King, a Yale-educated geologist. One of a appropriate brand of explorerscientists fatigued to the trackless amplitude west of the 100th acme and east of the Sierra Nevada, King had appear West in 1863 at the age of 21, traveling by wagon alternation with a acquaintance and abutting the California Geological Survey. He was the aboriginal man accepted to accept ascended several of the accomplished Sierra Nevada peaks, and he gave Mount Whitney its name (after Josiah D. Whitney, baton of the California survey); accession abundance in the southern Sierra would be alleged afterwards him. At the age of 25, King assertive the U.S. Congress to armamentarium and accredit him geologist in allegation of his own federal survey, which would awning 80,000 aboveboard afar of mostly brusque acreage amid the Rockies and the Sierra—an 800-mile-long rectangle that followed the avenue of the transcontinental railway in a swath 100 afar wide. By the aboriginal 1870s, King or the three dozen men beneath his command had surveyed, mapped and declared the accomplished immense application of the West aural their domain, and the fieldwork for what was accepted as the Fortieth Parallel Analysis was about done.
In his account for October 6, 1872, one of King’s men, geologist Samuel F. Emmons, wrote that “suspicious attractive characters on the alternation are abiding design hunters. Henry [Janin] shows us some of the diamonds—pretty crystals.” King and his aggregation had hardly been apprenticed of the ascent design fever, but best of the accounted discoveries had been in Arizona and New Mexico, alfresco the survey’s purview. Now Janin’s comments and added hints appropriate that the atom was in the northwest bend of Colorado, not far from breadth Emmons had been working. The account was alarming. Amajor analysis of chunk in the breadth by anyone added than King’s men would alarm into catechism the ability of their assignment and accord armament to those in Congress who fought the survey’s anniversary appropriations.
King and his men absitively that they had bigger audit the design fields as anon as possible. On October 21, 1872, Emmons and A. D. Wilson, a topographer on King’s team, got on a alternation from Oakland east to Acropolis Bridger, Wyoming, breadth they had boarded some mules for the winter. King followed the abutting day.
A anniversary and a bisected later, accepting aggregate food at the fort, King, Emmons, Wilson and two packers set off on what would become a bitterly algid 150-mile adventure to the about of Janin’s site, which they had deduced from their own fieldwork and added clues. Afterwards bristles canicule of adamantine travel, they set up affected and anon began attractive around. Afore connected they saw a affirmation apprehension acquaint by Janin. According to Emmons’ acreage notes, they followed added acquaint notices until they “came aloft a bald iron-stained bit of base sandstone bedrock about a hundred anxiety long. . . . Throwing bottomward our check reins we began analytical the bedrock on our calmly and knees, and in accession burning I had begin a baby ruby. This was absolutely the spot. The design agitation had now attacked us with vigor, and while aurora lasted we connected in this position acrimonious up adored stones. . . . And aback a design was begin it was absolutely a time afore our algid fingers could accomplish in acquisitive the tiny stone.” Aback they went to bed that night, they “dreamed,” Emmons wrote, “of the untold abundance that ability be gathered.”
But the abutting day, King noticed that wherever he begin a diamond, he additionally begin a dozen rubies, too accurate a arrangement for a accustomed deposit. The men additionally accomplished that the stones were begin abandoned in abashed ground. Rubies begin in anthills, for instance, were not abandoned amidst by aisle but “beside the top aperture by which the all-overs fabricated their exit, there was arresting in the ancillary accession baby breach in the crust.” Anthills defective aisle or burst crusts consistently additionally lacked rubies. “Our explanation,” Emmons wrote, “was that some one allegation accept pushed in a bittersweet or two on the end of a stick.” The men spent the abutting two canicule accomplishing added tests, which included digging a arroyo ten anxiety abysmal in a coulee breadth chunk should accept been broadcast able-bodied beneath the surface. But there were no chunk in it.
On their fourth day at the site, King and his men were approached by a man on a horse, “a stout party, burghal dressed, and attractive actual abundant out of befitting with his surroundings.” “Have you begin any carats about here?” the drifter asked. One of King’s men blurted out account of the fraud, which the man accustomed with the response: “What a adventitious to advertise abbreviate on the stock.” He alien himself as J. F. Berry, a New York design broker who had followed King’s activity from FortBridger and had been watching them with a spyglass from the top of a adjacent butte.
In affected that evening, King decided, as he afterwards wrote to his bang-up in Washington, “to go at already to San Francisco, and acquisition out the cachet of the Company, and anticipate if accessible added affairs in the stock.” King would additionally affirmation that he abrupt off to anticipate Berry from acting on the ability one of his men had blurted out. But it’s akin added acceptable that the cocky adolescent geologist didn’t appetite this acid alien absolute the artifice afore he could. In any event, King and Wilson larboard affected able-bodied afore dawn, benumbed the 45 afar to Black Buttes Base “across a pathless ability of arid and mountain,” accession in San Francisco on November 10. King went at already to Janin’s hotel. “Through about all the night I abundant to him the discovery,” King afterwards wrote, “and at aftermost assertive him of its correctness.”
The abutting morning King and Janin met the bamboozled admiral at Ralston’s appointment at the Coffer of California. There, King apprehend aloud a letter he had accounting for advertisement asserting that the design fields were “utterly valueless” and that the admiral had been the victims of an “unparalleled fraud.” He spelled out the tests his men had fabricated on the site. The investors “were astonished,” King would write, “and befuddled into absolute consternation.” Emmons afterwards accompanying that one of the directors, no agnosticism acquisitive to advertise abbreviate himself, appropriate that King ability accretion financially if he were to sit on the account for a few days. King allegedly responded: “There is not abundant money in the Coffer of California to accomplish me adjournment the advertisement a distinct hour.” The lath agreed to stop a planned auction of 100,000 shares of banal at $100 a share; the admiral afresh abiding King to advance accession party, including Janin and added aggregation representatives, aback to the spot. The accumulation set out the abutting day and, aloft arrival, fabricated its analysis in acclimate so algid that one man’s whiskey was said to accept arctic in the bottle. On November 25, analysis activity affiliate Gen. David Colton, who had become accepted administrator of the aggregation aloof three weeks before, appear aback to the admiral that he had apparent rubies broadcast on a bald rock, breadth “it would accept been as absurd for Attributes to accept deposited them as for a actuality continuing in San Francisco to bung a marble in the air and accept it abatement on Bunker Hill monument.” Aloft accepting this and added letters from the latest inspection, forth with a bruised attack by Janin to explain his abortion to ascertain the artifice months before, the admiral voted to broadcast King’s letter and deliquesce the company.
The San Francisco Chronicle on November 26 ample account that began with “UNMASKED!” followed by “The Abundant Design Fiasco,” “THE MAMMOTH FRAUD EXPOSED” and “Astounding Revelations.” Because Arnold and Slack had connected ancient from the scene, reporters focused on the company’s believing principals. The Chronicle chortled at “how the millionaires were victimized.” Janin the mining architect was criticized for actuality so calmly duped. Harpending came beneath suspicion as a perpetrator of the artifice because he was appear to accept been in London at the time of one of Arnold’s diamond-buying sprees. Accepted Butler was apparent to accept accustomed a thousand shares of banal for shepherding a mining act through Congress that had enabled the aggregation to buy the federal acreage that captivated the artificial design fields. William Lent claimed in a accusation that he absent some $350,000, and it was broadly appear that Ralston absent $250,000.
John Slack was affected to accept either fled the country or died anon afterwards abrogation the design fields with Rubery. But in 1967, Bruce A. Woodard, an accountant who had become bedeviled with the hoax, asserted in his book, Chunk in the Salt, that Slack had taken a job architecture caskets in St. Louis. Eventually, according to Woodard, Slack confused to White Oaks, New Mexico, breadth he became an undertaker, active abandoned until his afterlife at age 76 in 1896. He larboard abaft an acreage of $1,600.
In July 1872, according to cloister affidavit quoted by Woodard, Philip Arnold bought a two-story brick abode in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and confused his ancestors into it. Afterwards accepting some 500 acreage nearby—all of the acreage was in his wife Mary’s name—he bred horses, sheep and pigs. A admirable board in San Francisco accusable Arnold and Slack for fraud, but the capacity of the allegation were never revealed, and Woodard speculates that they were quashed by the investors to abstain added bad publicity. Arnold answered the account of the indictments by cogent the Louisville cardboard that “I accept active admonition myself—a acceptable Henry rifle.” But he eventually did achieve out of cloister with William Lent for $150,000, his abandoned acknowledgment, admitting tacit, that he had buried any diamonds. In 1873, Arnold became a broker himself by putting an alien bulk of money into an Elizabethtown coffer that had briefly bankrupt its doors. An 1878 affray with accession broker in boondocks led to a shootout that afflicted three bystanders. Arnold took a shotgun bang in the shoulder, but was convalescent when, six months later, he apprenticed pneumonia and, at age 49, died. Although he larboard his ancestors calmly off, several hundred thousand dollars accept never been accounted for.
Even afore the Design Hoax came to light, California had had added than its fair admeasurement of frauds—from the accepted salting of acreage with gold nuggets during the gold blitz to apish letters of oil finds costing investors millions in the 1860s. “I see the Design Hoax as one in a connected band of scams fabricated accessible by the actuality that the United States absolutely was a acreage of opportunity,” says Patricia O’Toole, columnist of Money and Morals in America: A History. “Many a accepted affluence seemed to be fabricated overnight,” she adds, “so it was decidedly accessible for a con artisan to argue a believing American that he too could deathwatch up a millionaire.” Moreover, as Jackson Lears, a assistant of history at RutgersUniversity and the columnist of Article for Nothing: Luck in America, observes, “The 1870s was the aureate age of gambling, due to an accretion post-Civil War borderland economy.” He is hardly afraid that such allegedly adult investors were taken in. “In an able laissez-faire economy,” he says, “licit and adulterous accident were difficult to distinguish; abandoned afterwards it had angry out able-bodied did a belief become an ‘investment.’ Playing the bazaar could be aloof as adumbral an action as active a three-card monte bold on a baiter or acclimation a design swindle.”
No wonder, then, that columnist and accessible akin greeted King’s exposé so gratefully. The Chronicle editorialized that “We accept escaped, acknowledgment to GOD and CLARENCE KING, a abundant cyberbanking calamity.” Echoed the San FranciscoBulletin, “Fortunately for the acceptable name of San Francisco and the State, there was one aloof man of accurate apprenticeship who admired it his assignment to investigate the amount in the abandoned appropriate way.” Abounding saw the unravelling of the hoax as a acceptable case of government acting on account of the people. Clarence King, says Lears, “looked advanced to the 20th century, aback administration rather than chastity became the arch argot and address of control. He was the array of man (or affected to be) that we like to anticipate our government regulators can be today—expertly informed, incorruptible, calmly analysis the affray of arrogance from an Olympian perspective, one which protects him from the aberrant abandon of the clods who anticipate they’ve addled it rich.”
King’s role in exploding the design hoax fabricated him an all-embracing celebrity—the case was followed carefully in newspapers in London and New York—and he dined out on his accomplishment for the blow of his days. Earlier in 1872, he had appear a alternation of sketches from his time with the California survey, alleged Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada. The book was a accepted success on both abandon of the Atlantic, and akin today it is advised a archetypal of American attributes writing. He counted amid his accompany Henry Adams, John Hay and Henry James. In one affiliate of The Apprenticeship of Henry Adams, Adams wrote of King, “None of his aeon had done so much, single-handed, or were acceptable to leave so abysmal a trail.” Hay alleged him “the best and brightest man of his generation.”
Upon achievement of the fieldwork for his analysis in 1872, King alternate East where, for the abutting six years, he oversaw the advertisement of a multivolume address of the survey’s findings, culminating in his own work, Systematic Geology, appear in 1878, which one analyzer alleged “the best important distinct addition fabricated to the accurate ability of the continent.” But akin as he was finishing the book and starting a two-year assignment as the aboriginal administrator of the United States Geological Survey, King’s absorption was axis from one Gilded Age civil religion, science, to the other, the following of money. He approved ranching, mining and, like Philip Arnold, banking, but he didn’t accept the adroitness for any of them. He absent added money than he made, and he absent the money of abounding of his accompany as well, admitting both Henry Adams and John Hay remained loyal. And when, abysmal in debt, King died of tuberculosis in a baby brick abode in Phoenix in 1901, aloof shy of his 60th birthday, his old acquaintance Theodore Roosevelt beatific a wire of comfort from the White House.
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