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Yours with Best Wishes, Abury Harpending
June 20, 1915 - Age 76
The Great Diamond Hoax
and Other Stirring Incidents In the Life of
The James H. Barry Co.,
To my friend, unassuming John A. Finch, of Spokane, Washington, a man of great ability, possessing, according to my ideals, all the attributes of greatness, as a token of my deep esteem, this book is dedicated.
On my return to California, after an absence of many years, my attention was called, for the first time, to the fact that my name had been associated unpleasantly with the great diamond fraud that startled the financial world nearly half a century ago. Plain duty to my family name and reputation compelled me to tell the whole story of that strange incident so far as my knowledge of it extends. I sincerely trust that a candid reading of these pages will satisfy the public that I was only a dupe, along with some of the most distinguished financiers of the last generation. Concerning two of the historians who maligned me, I am without redress. They are dead. The latest author, Mr. John P. Young, repeated the accusation of his predecessors in his history of San Francisco. This gentleman has admitted that he merely copied the story of the earlier works, having no personal knowledge of events at that period, and has handsomely admitted, over his signature, that he unconsciously did me an injustice.
To the diamond story I have added, at the request of friends, some of my experiences and reminiscences of California of the early days.