LOOTERS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN: Embracing a Complete Exposure of the Fraudulent System of Acquiring Titles to the Public Lands of the Unites States. Profusely Illustrated with Splendid Halftone Engravings and Etchings of Important Incidents Connected with the Different Trials, Together with the Latest Photographs of the Principle Actors in the Great Land Fraud Drama.
Place Published: Portland, OR
Publisher: Portland Printing House
Date Published: 1908
Edition: First edition
Condition: Moderate overall wear to covers, shallow dampstain to top edge of pages, still quite sturdy and presentable
Book Id: 22030
495 pp., profusely illustrated (including photogravure frontispiece of Francis J. Heney, special prosecutor in Puter's trial); quarto, red cloth with color pictorial paper inset on front cover.
An in-depth account of the Oregon Land Fraud ring by one of its principle players, Stephen A. Douglas Puter. Puter (of Humboldt County, Cal), by his own account, was already an expert in the illegal exploitation of government land grants when he was hired by Edward Harriman, president of the Southern Pacific Railroad to fraudulently acquire and sell lands granted by the Federal government to the railroad. The purpose of these government grants was to encourage settlement along a proposed rail line from Portland to California. The land was sold to settlers at $2.50 per acre - though much of the land was not suitable for farming or settlement. They were heavily timbered, however, and could be auctioned to lumber companies and speculators at a much higher price. Implicated, tried, and convicted in the trial of 1905 were 2 Oregon Congressman, a state senator, and the US attorney originally charged with investigating the case. Puter was also convicted and served 18 months of a 2-year sentence. He was pardoned by President Theodore Roosevelt in return for turning state's evidence. This book was written while Puter was serving his sentence at the Multnomah County jail.