Looters of the Public Domain, Embracing a Complete Exposure of the Fraudulent System of Acquiring Titles to the Public Lands of the United States

Portland: Portland Printing House, 1908.

First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. 495 pp, extensively illustrated with "splendid halftone engravings and etchings of important incidents" and "the latest photographs of the principal actors in the great land fraud drama." Light wear to extremities; near fine. According to the Oregon Encyclopedia, "Stephen Puter was the self-described King of the Oregon Land Fraud Ring, whose cooperation with federal investigators led to the indictment and conviction of U.S. Senator John H. Mitchell in 1905. His criminal career began in 1875, after he helped the U.S. surveyor in California subdivide several townships near his family's Humboldt County homestead. As soon as the townships opened for settlement, he recruited men to file fraudulent homestead patents, which he then sold to a lumber company. Over the next three decades, he continued to acquire and sell fraudulent homestead patents, often bribing federal officials to get the patents approved." Eventually imprisoned for fraud, Puter collaborated with Horace Stevens to write an account of his exploits. "More than a memoir, Looters of the Public Domain proved to be the definitive history of the Oregon Land Frauds for more than a century."

Item #15562

Price: $350.00

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