"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
"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
From the Inside Flap
an 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.