Dorothy Sloan – Books

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A Spectacular Fraud

<p>2nd title page</p>


[MINING]. UNITED STATES. SENATE. [1st title page] Reports of the Committees of the Senate of the United States for the First Session, Thirty-Third Congress, 1853-’54. In Three Volumes. Volume 1...No. 1 to 181 Inclusive. Volume 2...No. 183 to 194 Inclusive. Volume 2, Part 2...No. 182. Washington: Beverley Tucker, Senate Printer, 1854. [2nd title page] Report of the Select Committee of the Senate, in Relation to the Proceedings of the Board of Commissioners on the Claims against Mexico. March 28, 1854—Ordered to Be Printed. Washington: Beverley Tucker, Printer to the Senate, 1854. Vol. II, part 2. [1-3] 4-19 [1, blank], [i-iii] iv-xvi, [1] 2-348, [1] 2-4, 345-386 pp (text complete). 8vo (23.2 x15 cm), contemporary blind-rolled sheep, gilt-lettered spine labels. Spine ends snagged, boards attached by cords, moderately rubbed. Interior very good.

First edition (33rd Congress, 1st Session, Committee Document 182). Not in usual Mexican-American War sources.

Documentation of one of the most spectacular frauds ever attempted on the spoliation claims fund. George A. Gardiner and John H. Mears presented a claim for a silver mine destroyed during the war in San Luis Potosí, for which they wanted nearly $600,000 compensation, which was originally allowed. During a second investigation, Congress, apparently alarmed at the size of the claim, sent a delegation to San Luis Potosí to examine the destroyed mine. Gardiner was invited to join the commission but declined by various stratagems. Of course, the delegation found nothing and in their report noted that all the submitted documents were forged and that Gardiner was not even a citizen of the United States. Gardiner was convicted of fraud and committed suicide in 1854. Mears fled to Mexico. Some of the money was recovered.


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