The Fabulous History of the Dismal Swamp Company
A Story of George Washington's Times
By Charles Royster
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679753056, 640pp.)
Publication Date: December 5, 2000
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From historian Charles Royster--winner of the Francis Parkman, Bancroft, and Lincoln prizes--comes the history of one of eighteenth-century America's most fantastic land speculation deals: William Byrd's scheme to develop 900 square miles of swamp on the Virginia-North Carolina border and create fabulous wealth for himself and other shareholders, including George Washington.
Royster scrupulously follows the paper trail through the byways of transatlantic deal-cutting, providing a rare view of early American economic culture. Elegantly written and impressively researched, The Fabulous History of the Dismal Swamp Company is an eye-opening account of greed, folly, and venture capitalism in the revolutionary era.
Charles Royster lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
"Here is a narrative history of scope and of abundance, a fascinating story." --The Washington Times
"Vivid. . . . plunges readers into the rough world of colonial capitalism--a world swarming with adventurers, aristocrats, fools, rogues and visionaries all wearing masks of gentility." --The News & Observer (Raleigh)
"A veritable encyclopedia of early American get-rich-quick schemes." --Men's Journal
"[Royster] is a seasoned stylist, and tells this colorful story in rich detail." --The Washington Post
"Imagine Barbarians at the Gate with lace cuffs." --Wilton Barnhardt