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By Geoffrey C. Ward

Ferdinand Ward was once the best swindler of the Gilded Age. via his unapologetic villainy, he bankrupted Ulysses S. supply and ran roughshod over the whole global of finance. Now, his compelling, behind-the-scenes tale is told—told through his great-grandson, award-winning historian Geoffrey C. Ward.
Ward was once the Bernie Madoff of his day, a intended genius at making tremendous cash speedy on Wall highway who grew to become out to were working a massive pyramid scheme—one that finally collapsed in a single of the best monetary scandals in American background. The son of a Protestant missionary and small-town pastor with secrets and techniques of his personal to maintain, Ward got here to long island at twenty-one and in under a decade, armed with allure, strength, and a complete loss of moral sense, made himself the enterprise companion of the previous president of the U.S. and was once greatly hailed because the “Young Napoleon of Finance.” honestly, he became out to be an entire fraud, his complete existence marked via dishonesty, cowardice, and contempt for whatever yet his personal interests.
Drawing from hundreds of thousands of relatives files by no means sooner than tested, Geoffrey C. Ward lines his great-grandfather’s fast upward push to riches and repute and his much more dizzying fall from grace. There are mistresses and mansions alongside the best way; quick horses and crooked bankers and corrupt ny officers; court confrontations and 6 years in Sing Sing; and Ferdinand’s determined scheme to kidnap his personal son to get his palms at the property his overdue spouse had left the boy. here's a nice tale a few vintage American con artist, informed with boundless appeal and dry wit by means of one in all our most interesting historians.

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Extra info for A Disposition to Be Rich: How a Small-Town Pastor's Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-Hated Man in the United States

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15 Fortescue, Correspondence of George III, ill, nr. 1706. 16 SP84/547, Yorke to Suffolk, 5 Sept. 1775. Printed in Kapp, Soldatenhandel, p. 243, but in such a manner as to give the false impression that Yorke had actually sounded out these princes. See also SP84/555, Suffolk to Yorke, 4 Mar. 1777, listing those princes actually approahced. Although two contemporary travel accounts state that Faucitt made an offer to Hessen-Darmstadt and was refused, there is nothing to support this in the official 11 correspondence in SP81/181-96.

60 J o h a n n C a s p a r R i e s b e c k , Travels through Germany in a Series of Letters written in German by the Baron Riesbeck (3 vols. L o n d o n , 1787), III, p . 1 4 9 . 61 Encyclopaedia Britannica ( 2 n d e d n . E d i n b u r g h , 1780), v , p . 3 6 2 8 ; House and Dominions of Hesse Cassel, p. 55. The most complete description of contemporary Hessen is in Anton Friedrich Busching, Erdbeschreibung, VII (Hamburg, 1790), pp. 78-149 and 250-2. 62 Proportionately the Hessian army was the largest in Germany.

Nef's theme is that involvement in war is detrimental to a nation's economic and cultural development. 59 A. J. P. Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War (Penguin Books, 1964), pp. 1516. 32 The Hessians go to America was better to give English money than English lives, that the subsidy policy was cheaper because industry and trade would still flourish and soon draw back the money paid abroad. 61 Friedrich II of HessenKassel was an educated and cultured man, the typical small scale enlightened despot: an active reformer, reorganizing the administration of his state and its penal code, abolishing the death penalty for various crimes and the use of torture.

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