Now Gregory Crouch tells Mackay’s amazing story—how he extracted the ore from deep underground and used his vast mining fortune to crush the transatlantic telegraph monopoly of the notorious Jay Gould. “No one does a better job than ...
Author: Gregory Crouch
“A monumentally researched biography of one of the nineteenth century’s wealthiest self-made Americans…Well-written and worthwhile” (The Wall Street Journal) it’s the rags-to-riches frontier tale of an Irish immigrant who outwits, outworks, and outmaneuvers thousands of rivals to take control of Nevada’s Comstock Lode. Born in 1831, John W. Mackay was a penniless Irish immigrant who came of age in New York City, went to California during the Gold Rush, and mined without much luck for eight years. When he heard of riches found on the other side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1859, Mackay abandoned his claim and walked a hundred miles to the Comstock Lode in Nevada. Over the course of the next dozen years, Mackay worked his way up from nothing, thwarting the pernicious “Bank Ring” monopoly to seize control of the most concentrated cache of precious metals ever found on earth, the legendary “Big Bonanza,” a stupendously rich body of gold and silver ore discovered 1,500 feet beneath the streets of Virginia City, the ultimate Old West boomtown. But for the ore to be worth anything it had to be found, claimed, and successfully extracted, each step requiring enormous risk and the creation of an entirely new industry. Now Gregory Crouch tells Mackay’s amazing story—how he extracted the ore from deep underground and used his vast mining fortune to crush the transatlantic telegraph monopoly of the notorious Jay Gould. “No one does a better job than Crouch when he explores the subject of mining, and no one does a better job than he when he describes the hardscrabble lives of miners” (San Francisco Chronicle). Featuring great period photographs and maps, The Bonanza King is a dazzling tour de force, a riveting history of Virginia City, Nevada, the Comstock Lode, and America itself.
The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle over the Greatest Riches in the American West. New York: Scribner, 2018. DeFerrari, John. Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats. Charleston, S.C.: American Palate, 2013.
Author: Matthew Bernstein
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Rising from a Missouri boyhood and meager prospecting success to owning the most productive copper, silver, and gold mines in the world and being elected a United States senator, George Hearst (1820–91) spent decades veering between the heights of prosperity and the depths of financial ruin. In George Hearst: Silver King of the Gilded Age, Matthew Bernstein captures Hearst’s ascent, casting light on his actions during the Civil War, his tempestuous marriage to his cousin Phoebe, his role as disciplinarian and doting father to future media magnate William Randolph Hearst, and his devious methods of building the greatest mining empire in the West. Whether driving a pack of mules laden with silver from the Comstock Lode to San Francisco, bribing jurors in Pioche and Deadwood, or unearthing bonanzas in Utah and Montana Territories, Hearst’s cunning, energy, and industry were always evident, along with occasional glimmers of the villainy ascribed to him in the television series Deadwood. In this first full-length biography, George Hearst emerges in all his human dimensions and historical significance—an ambitious, complex, flawed, and quintessentially American character.
The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Riches in the American West. New York: Scribner, 2018. Daniels, Zeke. The Life and Death of Julia C. Bulette: “Queen of the Red Lights,” Virginia City, Nevada.
Author: Peter B. Mires
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Category: True Crime
Perched on the side of a mountain in the Nevada desert, Virginia City existed for one reason only: to make money. The mining frenzy of the mid-nineteenth century uncovered veins of precious metals that would be expressed in billions today, attracting the enterprising madam Cad Thompson, the charismatic highwayman Nickanora and a plethora of swindlers. Miners, flush with their wages, supported a healthy economy of gambling, drinking and prostitution and even launched a few political careers. Sam Clemens, who became Mark Twain while reporting for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, called it "the livest town that America had ever produced." Join author Peter B. Mires as he explores the seamy side of this quintessential mining boomtown.
Transactions of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering 24 (1894): 543–58. Calvert, Jerry W. The Gibraltar: Socialism ... The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle over the Greatest Riches in the American West.
The Daring First Ascent of Denali: America's Wildest Peak Patrick Dean. Crouch, Gregory. The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Riches in the American West. New York: Scribner, 2018. Kindle.
Author: Patrick Dean
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Sports & Recreation
The captivating and heroic story of Hudson Stuck—an Episcopal priest—and his team's history-making summit of Denali. In 1913, four men made a months-long journey by dog sled to the base of the tallest mountain in North America. Several groups had already tried but failed to reach the top of a mountain whose size—occupying 120 square miles of the earth’s surface —and position as the Earth’s northernmost peak of more than 6,000 meters elevation make it one of the world’s deadliest mountains. Although its height from base to top is actually greater than Everest’s, it is Denali's weather, not altitude, that have caused the great majority of fatalities—over a hundred since 1903. Denali experiences weather more severe than the North Pole, with temperatures of forty below zero and winds that howl at 80 to 100 miles per hour for days at a stretch. But in 1913 none of this mattered to Hudson Stuck, a fifty-year old Episcopal priest, Harry Karstens, the hardened Alaskan wilderness guide, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum, both just in their twenties. They were all determined to be the first to set foot on top of Denali. In A Window to Heaven, Patrick Dean brings to life this heart-pounding and spellbinding feat of this first ascent and paints a rich portrait of the frontier at the turn of the twentieth century. The story of Stuck and his team will lead us through the Texas frontier and Tennessee mountains to an encounter with Jack London at the peak of the Yukon Goldrush. We experience Stuck's awe at the rich Aleut and Athabascan indigenous traditions—and his efforts to help preserve these ways of life. Filled with daring exploration and rich history, A Window to Heaven is a brilliant and spellbinding narrative of success against the odds.
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