By Geoffrey C. Ward
Ferdinand Ward used to be the best swindler of the Gilded Age. via his unapologetic villainy, he bankrupted Ulysses S. provide and ran roughshod over the complete international of finance. Now, his compelling, behind-the-scenes tale is told—told via his great-grandson, award-winning historian Geoffrey C. Ward.
Ward used to be the Bernie Madoff of his day, a intended genius at making huge cash speedy on Wall road who grew to become out to were working a tremendous pyramid scheme—one that finally collapsed in a single of the best monetary scandals in American historical past. The son of a Protestant missionary and small-town pastor with secrets and techniques of his personal to maintain, Ward got here to long island at twenty-one and in lower than a decade, armed with allure, strength, and a complete loss of moral sense, made himself the company accomplice of the previous president of the U.S. and was once broadly hailed because the “Young Napoleon of Finance.” truthfully, he became out to be a whole fraud, his whole lifestyles marked through dishonesty, cowardice, and contempt for whatever yet his personal interests.
Drawing from hundreds of thousands of kin records by no means prior to tested, Geoffrey C. Ward lines his great-grandfather’s speedy upward thrust to riches and repute and his much more dizzying fall from grace. There are mistresses and mansions alongside the way in which; quick horses and crooked bankers and corrupt big apple officers; court confrontations and 6 years in Sing Sing; and Ferdinand’s determined scheme to kidnap his personal son to get his arms at the property his past due spouse had left the boy. here's a nice tale a couple of vintage American con artist, advised with boundless appeal and dry wit by way of one in every of our best historians.
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Extra resources for A Disposition to Be Rich: How a Small-Town Pastor's Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-Hated Man in the United States
Walter Lauderdale. To him, Republicans have been not anything yet “political croakers …, lunatics who scant on the structure & farewell counsels of Washington & Jefferson & trample them below their ft & who desire to experience into strength at the ruins of these sacred relics. ”14 your time that autumn—and with behind-the-scenes backing from no less than renowned parishioners (most most probably Dr. Lauderdale and choose Lord)—Ferdinand quietly approached the lately verified presbytery of the Genesee River, a part of the old fashioned synod of Buffalo, with an offer: if it was once keen so as to add him to its roll of priests with no his having been officially brushed off from the Ontario presbytery, he and his allies stood able to carry the White Church over to the old fashioned. On October 15, 1856, Ferdinand used to be officially—and secretly—“received” into their presbytery, then sat again and waited for the perfect second to cajole his congregation to hitch it, too. 15 note leaked out. The Ontario presbytery, made up our minds to not quit its church with out a struggle, handed a answer charging Ferdinand with undesirable religion and ordering him to give up his pulpit. that they had the synod undertake it after which despatched 3 priests to the June 29, 1857, assembly of the White Church consultation to carry its rebuke in individual. Ferdinand sat silent because it used to be learn out. Resolved. That Brother Ward having now left the Presbytery which put in him … with no need requested for a dissolution of the Pastoral relation and with no letter of dismission … it's the judgment of this physique, that although the act used to be disorderly, but whilst he hooked up himself with the Genesee River Presbytery his relation as pastor [of the White Church] ceased to exist and it is just final for us, for reasons of order, to claim as we hereby do, the stated Pastoral relation is dissolved. sixteen The consultation was once nonetheless made up usually of Ferdinand’s allies. They handed a defiant solution insisting that no matter what occurred, they sought after him to proceed to occupy the moderator’s chair and to stay within the pulpit as “stated offer” if he couldn't remain on as their everlasting pastor. ‡ Ferdinand used to be inspired by means of their aid and nonetheless persuaded that the majority of his congregation was once with him, yet he knew that to accomplish the specified realignment, whatever else will be wanted. in the meantime, the ecclesiastical standoff endured, and bitterness gradually grew among outdated and New schoolers, Democrats and Republicans, those that endured to think about Ferdinand their loved pastor and people who had began to determine him as a usurper. in the course of her ten years in India, Jane Shaw Ward had usually suffered from the influence on others of her husband’s curious mix of ardor and indirection. Now, after ten years in Geneseo, all of it taking place back. whilst she agreed to settle there, she had suggested Ferdinand to prevent controversy and persist with preaching. Ferdinand stumbled on it very unlikely to heed her recommendation. accordingly, the church to which she and Ferdinand had dedicated themselves was once now deeply divided.