Title Forging His Chains. The Autobiography of George Bidwell, the Famous Ticket-Of-Leave Man.
Book Condition Near Fine
Jacket Condition No Jacket
Edition First Edition.
Publisher New York & Hartford The Bidwell Publishing Company 1889
Seller ID 003017
New York & Hartford: The Bidwell Publishing Company, 1889. George Bidwell (1832-1899) perpetrated one of the most famous of Victorian financial frauds (against the Bank of England). Essentially he and his partners were able to exploit a weakness in the system and game it through forged drafts, realizing about $50,000 per day. Justice Archibald, declaring that the serious threat to British commerce merits "terrible retribution," handed down four life terms. Still, the plotters won many admirers ("Forgery is a very wretched, unhappy, miserable and contemptible art [but] an art nevertheless.") The long sentences handed down for a "white collar crime" were seen by many (including Mark Twain and President Grover Cleveland) as too harsh. George eventually served 14 years. This is a Very Good Plus to Near Fine copy of the First Edition Thus. Originally published in 1888 by Scranton; Bidwell issued his own edition, which appears to be identical, the next year. Tipped onto the FFEP is an appeal by Bidwell, with his printed signature, for agents to canvas for subscriptions. Usually seen in publisher's cloth, this copy is in a Fine Binding; dark brown cloth boards with leather spine and tips; four bands on the spine, lettering in gilt. All edges are gilt. Clean text; 560 pages. This copy has been SIGNED and INSCRIBED by the author on the FFEP above the tipped-in appeal. (A large, heavy octavo; will no doubt require some extra postage.) Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Inscribed By Author. First Edition.. Half-Leather. Near Fine/No Jacket. First Edition.