“The Bonanza King” from Gregory Crouch (Scribner).
Like our very own Leadville, Virginia City, Nev., is a bucolic town, a remnant of the past that lives on biblical glory. But Virginia City has been the center of their world for its mining industry that is precious-metals. It turned out to be a town that brought gold- sharpers, seekers men and the most wealthy investors in America.
“The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Riches in the American West” isn’t a biography of Mackay than it is a record of Comstock exploration.
The Comstock Lode was found by Henry Comstock who sold his claim. The money was made by shareholders and stock manipulators who plowed millions. Mackay was something of an anomaly. He began as a prospector, then worked his way up from laborer. He had been more knowledgeable about mining than his competitions and finally, with the help of stock buys, took charge of the Comstock. He was clearly one of the richest men on earth.
Historian Gregory Crouch tells in terrific detail concerning the mining history of the Comstock. While he writes of Mark Twain’s tenure about the “Territorial Enterprise” and some of this camp’s hijinks, he eschews the standard mining camp lore of both prostitution and gambling in favour of extended segments on mining and mining methods. The publication concentrates on the fight one of the Bank Ring, as the San Francisco group headed by William Sharon has been known. Sharon used methods to get control of this Comstock, obtaining not only the mines but also milling, transport, water and banking to drive competition out.
Mackay loathed monopolies that are such. In actuality, later in life, he started a telegraph company to compete against Jay Gould’s Western Union, later Gould drove rates up and drove competitors outside.
Some readers might get the lengthy accounts of milling and mining tedious. However, Crouch’s emphasis on the company and technical sides of mining is a real contribution to the foundation of metals in the United States.
“Phoebe Apperson Hearst” from Alexandra M. Nickliss (Bison Books).
John Mackay’s wife spent husband’s cash to a lavish lifestyle. Phoebe Appleton Hearst, the spouse of another bonanza king, had something else in your mind. After her husband&rsquo departure, she dedicated her life to doing good works. Obviously, she dwelt in high fashion, traveling all around the world and obtaining an apartment in Paris and also a estate in California.
George Hearst not only left a fortune in Comstock mines but was the principle owner of the Homestake gold mine in South Dakota. During George’s lifetime, Phoebe saw her job as that of helping her husband, mostly by being a hostess. Following George’so death Phoebe turned into issues she championed by devoting money and time. She backed the college movement. As the very first University of California regent, she underwrote buildings, such as some for female students. A latecomer into the suffrage movement, she allayed herself using its element. (She had been offended by radical ladies, who did these things as speak from cars.)
Alexandra M. Nickliss’ biography is a significantly comprehensive narrative of Phoebe’s public life, and for that reason it’s significant. It is a account. The author never really gives a picture of that Phoebe is, also George Hearst is a small character, an husband who cared more than household. And as the author portrays Phoebe as a businesswoman, there’s little about how she took on the Hearst empire s death and operated it. For instance, just how did the firm of a girl whose take control of a number of the mines in America?
“First Ladies of the Republic” from Jeanne E. Abrams (NYU Press)
America’s three first women were as distinct as our past three. Martha Washington performed her duties with simplicity and grace, but longed to her residence life in Mount Vernon. Abigail Adams was a wise political observer, her husband’s No. 1 adviser. Dolley Madison has been a glittering socialite who used supper parties and her lotions to progress her husband’s livelihood.
Many historians dismissed the women’s governmental influence, writes University of Denver professor Jeanne E. Abrams. Today’s a completely formed domain name in the world … that provided the opportunity for cultural and political influence. ”
Though it was odd in the days following the American Revolution for most women to be involved in politics, each of these women wrote concerning problems. In the instance of both Abigail and Dolley, they not only furthered their husbands’ careers but also influenced policies and their philosophy.
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Abigail has been the strongest, also Abrams devotes the most space into her. Perhaps that’s because Abigail, often separated from her spouse for long intervals, wrote long letters expressing her views. A brilliant girl, she had been more socially adept than her husband and smoothed out his rough edges. Dolley, noted for the French-style styles, was a fantastic conversationalist. She is remembered for wanting to leave the White House during the War of 1812. Then she escaped with a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington.
Abrams sets this but entertaining book against the backdrop of this post-revolutionary age, when American ideals and traditions were being shaped. And while the 3 women were known primarily for its men they married, they come across as intelligent and patriotic Americans who made substantial contributions when the deck has been stacked against them.