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The Great Diamond Hoax and Other Stirring Episodes in the Life of Asbury Harpending - An Epic of Early California - Edited by James H. Wilkins

The biography of Asbury Harpending, California Pioneer. The book describes his journey to California, his involvement in the Civil War trying to take California for the South, his Gold mining days, his days as a real estate promoter in San Francisco, his business dealings with William Ralston, and the "Great Diamond Hoax." The authors exploits at times sound larger than life.

One effort the author failed at was extending New Montgomery Street in San Francsico from Market Street to China Basin (the bay), had the author been successfull, South Park would not be the neighborhood it is today.

Chapter I. - Early Years - My Voyage to California.
Chapter II. - My Experience in Mexico - How Luck Again Brought Me Fortune.
Chapter III. - Story of Southern Plan to Make California Secede from the Union is Told for First Time. - Narrator Describes His Invitation Into Band of 30, Which Planned to Organize Republic of Pacific.
Chapter IV. - Southern General, Albert Sidney Johnston, Played Important Part in Preventing Organized Revolt for Secession. - Discovery of Comstock Lode With Its Vast Hoard of Gold Another Factor in Keeping This State in the Union.
Chapter V. - Randolph Betrayed Conspiracy for Revolt in California, and Wrote Letter to Lincoln that Caused Johnston's Removal.
Chapter VI. - Perilous Trip Across Mexico and Voyage on Blockade Runner Enter Into Narrator's Experiences on Visit to Jefferson Davis. - Southerners in California Form Plan to Intercept Gold Shipments on Pacific Mail Liners from San Francisco to Capital.
Chapter VII. - The Great Battle of Shiloh and the South's Irreparable Loss In the Death of General Johnston.
Chapter VIII. - Nephew of Celebrated English Leader Takes Hand in Conspiracy, and also Figures in Amusing Near-Duel.
Chapter IX. - Plan to Capture Gold Ships Develops, But Trouble Follows Engagement of Villainous-Looking Pilot.
Chapter X. - We Wake to Find Warship Near and Boat Filled with Police Approaching.
Chapter XI. - Technicalities Fall Before True and Perjured Testimony and Author is Quickly Convicted of Treason. - We Find Consolation in Lock of Proof Until a Foolish Remark Causes Weakling to Turn Informer.
Chapter XII. - Arrest of Accomplice Alarms Author and on Advice of Friends He Takes Flight. - Amnesty Act Unlocks Prison Doors of Conspirators, But Fails to Bring Security.
Chapter XIII. - Hits for the Hills in Effort to Lose Pursuers, Passes One Good Thing and Stumbles Into A Bonanza. - Company of Soldiers Goes to Arrest Him; Is Taken Into Camp and Very Soon After Everything Is Fine.
Chapter XIV. - Decade Between 1860 and '70, Next to the Gold Age, One of the Most Stirring Times in History of State. - Realization Had Come That Mineral Riches Formed Smallest Part of Resources; Outlook Was Bright.
Chapter XV. - First Speculator to Figure that Market Street Had Future Buys Several Choice Lots For A Pittance. - Earthquake Plays Important Part in Big Deal, Timid Citizen Sells Out in Hurry and Loses $350,000.
Chapter XVI. - Montgomery South Deal Comes to Notice of Ralston, Who Buys Quarter Interest in Real Estate Project.
Chapter XVII. - Sharon, Too, Becomes Associate of Famous Pioneer; This Chapter Tells How Great Panic Was Averted. - Ralston Lays Foundation for Huge Fortune of D. O. Mills by Making Him a Bank President
Chapter XVIII. - "Big Four" Intervenes and Sets Up Obstacles; Ralston Acts as Mediator and is Badly Gold-Bricked. - Railroad Madness Results in the Narrator Securing Franchise for Line From Sausalito to Humboldt.
Chapter XIX. - Two Men Block Plan to Run New Montgomery Street to the Bay; One Asks Coin, Other Prefers Fight. - Promoters Appeal to Legislature and Do Not Neglect Precaution of First "Seeing" Vote Brokers.
Chapter XX. - Burning of Harpending Block Provides Fine Spectacle, But Oversight of Owner Costs Him Dearly. - George Hearst Makes Stake on Comstock and Celebrates by Taking Joe Clark on a Trip to Europe.
Chapter XXI. - Sam Brannan Strikes it Rich and Refuses to Share With Mormon Church Except on Order From Lord. - Mine Bargain Fails to Stand Inquiry of Author, But Others Invest and Figure as Victims of Fraud.
Chapter XXII. - Briton With Oriental Imagination Seeks to Lure Investors With Tales of Mountain of Silver. - New Promotion Company Tells Truth, But Editor Samson Frightens Off Public at Critical Moment.
Chapter XXIII. - Baron Grant Demonstrates His Talent For Exploitation by Putting Over A Deal That Nets $1,500,000. - Happy Directors Decide That Occasion Calls for Generous Cash Souvenirs, But Stockholders Object.
Chapter XXIV. - Baron Grant Demands More Time, Thereby Knocking Out Option For Mine That Soon Developed Bonanza. - Exploiter Breaks His Promise and Litigation Follows; Public Fooled Into Buying Worthless Securities.
Chapter XXV. - Inspired by Desire to Expose Emma Mine Swindle Author Begins Publication of Financial Journal. - Ralston Reports Discovery of Immense Diamond Field and Declares His Find is Worth $50,000,000.
Chapter XXVI. - Discovers Decline to Reveal Location of Diamond Field, But Report of Agent Satisfies Promoters. - Final Proof of Good Faith Is Offered in Form of Bag Filled With Collection of Eye-Dazzling Gems.
Chapter XXVII. - Promoters Decide to Submit Samples of Their Collection of Diamonds to Great Authority on Gems. - Tiffany Consults His Lapidary and Soon Makes Report That Creates Big Stir in Speculative Circles.
Chapter XXVIII. - Discoverers of Field of Diamonds Finally Lead the Party of Investors to the Scene of Wonderful Find. - Pick Turns Up Many Fine Gems, and Expert Grows Enthusiastic as He Figures Out the Profits.
Chapter XXIX. - Public Soon Hears of Wonderful Find and Gossips Carry News Until Whole World Is Keenly Interested. - Company to Develop Diamond Fields Includes Great Lords of Finance and One Noted Union General.
Chapter XXX. - "Old Miner" Draws on His Imagination and Tells Wild Tale of Single Gem as Big as A Pigeon's Egg. - Winter Causes Lull, But Cold Fails to Chill the Ardor of Men Counting on Millions in Spring.
Chapter XXXI. - Rude Awakening Follows Dreams of Boundless Wealth; While Promoters Wait for Spring Word Suddenly Comes That They Were Victims of Clever Swindle. - Diamond Already Cut Reveals Fraud; Gems Had Been Carried to Scene of "Find" and Planted Like Seeds.
Chapter XXXII. - Victim of Big Swindle Explains How Rough Miners Managed to Deceive Men Like Tiffany and Janin. - Inquiry Reveals That "Salting" of Diamond Field Cost Plotters $35,000 and Yielded $600,000 Net Profit.
Chapter XXXIII. - Principal in Diamond Swindle Goes Back to His Old Home in Kentucky to Enjoy Hard-Earned Riches. - Victims Bring Suit for $350,000, But Arnold Is Popular With Neighbors and Forces Compromise.
Chapter XXXIV. - Diamond Fraud Loss Falls on Shoulders of Original Dupes; Ralston Reimburses All Stockholders. - Gossips Make Unjust Charge Against Men Who Acted in Good Faith and Were Deceived by Swindlers.
Chapter XXXV. - Baron Grant Bobs Up Again; Tries to Get Even On Man Who Exposed One of His Big Stock Swindles. - Alfred Rubery Brings Suit Against London Times for Libel and Is Awarded £10,000 as Damages.
Chapter XXXVI. - Associates Bar Great Financier From Conference and Soon After His Body Is Found in the Bay. - Fortune Plays Cruel Trick; At Height of Ralston's Power His Big Bank Is Forced to Close Its Doors.
Chapter XXXVII. - Testimony of Eye-Witnesses and Experts Refutes Story That William C. Ralston Took His Own Life. - Ruined Financier Had Deeded His Property to William Sharon. Who Forces Widow to Accept $250,000 as Payment in Full.
Chapter XXXVIII. - Author Tries Luck in Wall Street and Makes Big Fortune, Only to Lose it in Mining Investments. - Silver Falls and Land Slides, But Disaster Fails to Discourage Man Who Has Outlived Old Associates.
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