Read CHAPTER I of Frenzied Finance Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated , free online book, by Thomas W. Lawson, on


Amalgamated Copper was begotten in 1898, born in 1899, and in the first five years of its existence plundered the public to the extent of over one hundred millions of dollars.

It was a creature of that incubator of trust and corporation frauds, the State of New Jersey, and was organized ostensibly to mine, manufacture, buy, sell, and deal in copper, one of the staples, the necessities, of civilization.

It is a corporation with $155,000,000 capital, 1,550,000 shares of the par value of $100 each.

Its entire stock was sold to the public at an average of $115 per share ($100 to $130), and in 1903 the price had declined to $33 per share.

From its inception it was known as a “Standard Oil” creature, because its birthplace was the National City Bank of New York (the “Standard Oil” bank), and its parents the leading “Standard Oil” lights, Henry H. Rogers, William Rockefeller, and James Stillman.

It has from its birth to present writing been responsible for more hell than any other trust or financial thing since the world began. Because of it the people have sustained incalculable losses and have suffered untold miseries.

But for the existence of the National City Bank of New York, the tremendous losses and necessarily corresponding profits could not have been made.

I laid out the plans upon which Amalgamated was constructed, and, had they been followed, there would have been reared a great financial edifice, immensely profitable, permanently prosperous, one of the world’s big institutions.

The conditions of which Amalgamated was the consequence had their birth in Bay State Gas. To explain them I must go back a few years.

In 1894 J. Edward Addicks, of Delaware, Everywhere, and Nowhere, the Boston Gas King, invaded the gas preserves of the “Standard Oil” in Brooklyn, N. Y., and the “Standard Oil,” to compel him to withdraw, moved on his pre-empted gas domains in Boston, Mass.

Late in 1894 a fierce battle was raging in Boston between Gas King Addicks and Gas King Rogers; the very air was filled with denunciation and defiance bribery and municipal corruption; and King Addicks was defeated all along the line and in full retreat, with his ammunition down to the last few rounds.

Early in 1895 I took command of the Addicks forces against “Standard Oil.”

By the middle of 1895 the Addicks troopers had the “Standard Oil” invaders “on the run.”

In August, 1895, Henry H. Rogers and myself came together for the first time, at his house in New York, and we practically settled the Boston gas war.

Early in 1896 we actually settled the gas war, and “Standard Oil” transferred all its Boston gas properties ($6,000,000) to the Addicks crowd.

In October, 1896, the whole Bay State Gas outfit passed from the control of Addicks and his cohorts into the hands of a receiver, and as a result of this receivership, with its accumulated complications, “Standard Oil,” in November, 1896, regained all its old Boston companies, and in addition all the Addicks companies, with the exception of the Bay State Gas Company of Delaware.

In 1896 I perfected and formulated the plans for “Coppers,” a broad and comprehensive project, having for its basis the buying and consolidating of all the best-producing copper properties in Europe and America, and the educating of the world up to their great merits as safe and profitable investments.

In 1897 I laid these plans before “Standard Oil.”

In 1898 “Standard Oil” was so far educated up to my plans on “Coppers” as to accept them.

In 1899 Amalgamated, intended to be the second or third section of “Coppers,” was suddenly shifted by “Standard Oil” into the first section, and with a full head of steam ran out of the “City Bank” station, carrying the largest and best train-load of passengers ever sent to destruction on any financial trunk-line.

In 1899, after the allotment of the Amalgamated public subscription, the public for the first time, in a dazed and benumbed way, realized it had been “taken in” on this subscription, and a shiver went down America’s financial spinal column.

In 1900, after the price of Amalgamated had slumped to 75 instead of advancing to 150, to 200, as had been promised, the “Standard Oil"-Amalgamated-City Bank fraternity called Wall Street’s king of manipulators, James R. Keene, to the rescue, and under his adroit handling of the stock in the market Amalgamated was sent soaring over its flotation price of 100.

In 1901 Boston & Montana and Butte & Boston, after long delay, drew out of the “Standard Oil” station as the second section of Amalgamated, carrying an immense load of investors and speculators to what was at that time confidently believed would be Dollar Utopia; and the price of the enlarged Amalgamated fairly flew to 130. These were the stocks which I had originally advertised would be part of the first section of the consolidated “Coppers,” and which, after Amalgamated had been run in ahead of them, I advertised would follow in due course.

In the latter part of 1901 President McKinley was assassinated, and the great panic which might have ensued was averted by the marvellous power of J. Pierpont Morgan.

Then the Amalgamated dividend, without warning and in open defiance of the absolute pledges of its creators, was cut, and the public, including even James R. Keene, found itself on that wild toboggan whirl which landed it battered and sore, at the foot of a financial precipice.

This, briefly, is the tortuous course of Amalgamated, and it is along this twisting, winding, up-alley-and-down-lane way I must ask my readers to travel if they would know the story as it is.