Whitaker Wright

Whitaker Wright immigrated to America from England as a young man, settled in Philadelphia, and entered the mining business.


Wright’s first mining promotion was the Denver City mine in Leadville, Colorado. The silver mine never paid a dividend, but the promoter’s profits made Wright rich.

Wright then created companies to mine some silver properties at Lake Valley, New Mexico, and sold shares in Philadelphia and New York. Despite some rich patches of ore, the companies never paid back the investment, and no one but Wright and his fellow promoters made any money.

Wright moved to London and became enormously wealthy promoting mines in Australia and Canada.

At right is an artificial lake at Lea Park, Wright’s fabulous estate near Godalming, Surrey. 


Lord Dufferin was Wright’s prize guinea pig director. Dufferin capped his distinguished career of public service with the disgrace of helping lure investors into Wright’s fraudulently-run mining companies.

Many of Wright’s mining companies, such as those at Rossland, British Columbia and Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, were genuinely rich, but misrun for stock manipulation purposes.

Wright at his trial for fraud in London.


Wright’s conviction in London led Americans to reflect that the methods of American financiers J.P. Morgan and Charles Schwab were much the same as Wright’s.

American cartoonists lamented that Wright’s American counterparts went unpunished.



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