Rice Oil Company Signed by Con Artist George Graham Rice - Delaware, 1918

MSRP: $99.95
(You save $20.00 )
(No reviews yet) Write a Review
Gift wrapping:
Options available in Checkout
Adding to cart… The item has been added
Beautifully engraved certificate from the Rice Oil Company issued in 1918. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle perched upon a rock. This item is hand signed by the company's President, George Graham Rice and is over 94 years old.
Scripophily.com is a name you can TRUST!
Certificate Vignette
George Graham Rice wrote a book while in prison called MY ADVENTURES WITH YOUR MONEY which included 334 pages and 110 illustations. The book was his memoirs of get-rich-quick financing of central Nevada and Death Valley mines, with inter- esting anecdotal material. George Graham Rice, a famous stock promoter, capitalized the stocks of Goldfield, Greenwater and Rawhide mines, listed them on the national exchanges, and reaped the profits until convicted of mail fraud in 1911. In 1907 when investors nation-wide were delirious over the stupendous rise in the market value of securities of Goldfield mining companies, the public clamored for opportunities to buy into Nevada mining stocks. With childlike faith they invested in Death Valley's Greenwater and also the Rawhide district, where several companies capitalized stocks, listed them on the national exchanges and had them underwritten by prominent brokerage houses. In Rice's own words: "I make a conservative statement when I say that the American public sank $30 million in Greenwater in less than four months . . . yet the suckers, . . were crying for more." The author's romance with speculation and money handling began in New York in 1901 where at age 30 he established a successful horse race tipping --{touting}-- service which in two years earned more than $1.5 million. Broke three years later, he moved West, reaching Goldfield where with only $150 he started an advertising agency and eventually a news bureau, successful in both. But he gambled his profits away. Rice tells extensively about the mining booms in Goldfield, Bullfrog, Rawhide, Manhattan, and Ely. He organized a trust company to promote dozens of mines in the Nevada deserts, exploiting numerous mining companies by offering their stock on the market at 10 cents a share. By extensive publicity efforts he boomed the prices higher, reaping the rewards. He allegedly had a "sucker list" of 65,000 customers. Rice attracted the attention of legitimate mining people and the mineral-conscious press, but unfortunately also the postal authorities. In all he served four sentences in federal penitentiaries in New York and Georgia for defrauding through the mails. But that did not dampen his energetic personality. Despite failing, he just kept on going, promoting on and on, not knowing when to quit. By 1908 he formed a partnership with Nat Goodwin, a famous touring comedian, engaging in many mining stock ventures at Rawhide. Then in Reno he financed the Nevada Mining News which fought powerful state politicians as well. After that he marketed a financial newsletter from New York. His downfall came when he managed the promotional wing of a brokerage company which in 1910 was raided by postal authorities. Indicted the next year, Rice was sentenced to a year in prison. During 1911 while under indictment Rice wrote in "Adventure Magazine" his memoirs in the world of get-rich quick financing. Evidently Rice never rose above the level of a financial confidence man; his writings depict investors as a race of gamblers who would take a chance anytime to reap a large reward with a small investment. He dedicated his book, originally published in 1913, to the "American Damphool Speculator, surnamed the Sucker . . . Read as you run, and may you run as you read." He advises the public not to speculate on Wall Street because the cards are stacked by the "big fellows" and you can win only if they allow you to. This well written book is so readable that it is hard not to sympathize with the author. Certainly few had a more intimate knowledge of shady promotion and financial shenanigans than did Rice, whose real name was Jacob S. Herzig. Though many of his statements cannot be accepted at "par," Rice's enthusiasm for promotion is apparent on nearly every page. Rice and his partner L. L. Sullivan formed the Sullivan Trust in Goldfield, which invested in a lot of different properties. When the trust failed in 1907, it caused financial panic that hurt the legitimate mine owners. Rice invested in some good mines (for appearnce) but most of his paper was worthless. Investors in his mines never received a return since Rice ripped off much of their money which is why he ended up in jail. His brother was also involved in some of his schemes. Below is a story By Phillip I. Earl that originally appeared in the March / April 1999 Issue of Nevada Magazine taht talks about George Graham Rice. When novelist Elinor Glyn visited Rawhide in 1908, the Central Nevada mining camp's promoters arranged a bang-up reception. The British novelist Elinor Glyn may have seemed an unlikely guest of honor at the mining camp of Rawhide in 1908, but her visit had a certain logic. She was a smart, ambitious author who loved to promote her books. Her hosts were smart, ambitious men who liked to promote their mines. The result was an episode, complete with a Wild West gunfight, in which the "press-agenting" of the Rawhide boosters helped their young town gain considerable notoriety. Elinor Glyn was the toast of the popular literary world when she visited Rawhide. She had just published Three Weeks, about a woman's torrid 21-day affair with a younger man. The novel was so risque that it was banned in Boston and her native Canada. Glyn was the Danielle Steele and Barbara Cartland of her time. Her racy books--The Visits of Elizabeth, The Damsel and the Sage--were immensely popular at home in Britain and in the United States. A contemporary doggerel began, "Would you sin with Elinor Glyn?" Glyn was visiting San Francisco in the spring of 1908 when word reached Rawhide that she might visit one of the Western mining camps to gather local color for her next book. Instantly grasping the promotional possibilities in her presence were Rawhide residents George Graham Rice, Tex Rickard, and Nat Goodwin, mining promoters par excellence. Learning that Glyn was the guest of Utah mining millionaire Sam Newhouse, Rice contacted Renoite Raymond T. Baker, a friend of Newhouse's, about making an introduction. "Please suggest to Mr. Newhouse and Glyn the advisability of visiting Rawhide," Rice's telegram read. "The Lady can get much local color for a new book. If you bag the game, you will be a hero." Baker did so, and Glyn and Newhouse took the train to Goldfield via Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Their party arrived in Goldfield on the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad on May 24. Glyn toured Goldfield--which was Nevada's largest city at the time--and explored the underground workings of the Mohawk Mine. In an interview with a Goldfield Tribune reporter she effused over the country and the people, "particularly the fact that you hear nothing about the Mayflower. Everything back east is about the Mayflower and about one's antecedents. I care nothing for that. This is my first time in any mining camp, and believe me, I am agreeably surprised. It is most interesting. It is like nature itself." Meanwhile, Rice, Goodwin, Baker, and Rickard had prepared a proper welcome at Rawhide, which had been established only the year before in the desert 90 miles northeast of Hawthorne. On her first evening in Rawhide, May 27, Glyn and Newhouse visited Rickard's Northern Saloon on the edge of Stingaree Gulch, the red-light district. The promoters had arranged for a mock poker game featuring six characters playing with $1,000 chips. Later, during a staged shootout, two of them bit the dust. Glyn, not realizing that she was being joshed, believed the "murders" to be an everyday part of life in Rawhide. She took a turn at the faro table, winning $1,000 through the connivance of Rickard and the dealer, and toured the dance halls and cribs. Rice also arranged a fire that spread to several deserted shacks to allow her to observe the heroics of Rawhide's volunteer firemen. At a banquet in her honor, she granted an interview to the editor of the Rawhide Press-Times. She spoke of "the sturdy manhood and dominant spirit of conquest" of the men she had met. She was presented with a gun and a deputy constable's badge. "We give you this gun because we like yer darned pluck," she later quoted the presenter. "You ain't afraid, and we ain't neither." Glyn, Newhouse, and party left by auto the next day, and Glyn soon traveled to New York. In a June 10 article in the New York American, she wrote of Rawhide and "those brave fellows fighting nature to obtain from her legitimate wealth, fighting hardships, cold and great heat, difficulties in obtaining food and water, and each day the chance of death." She described the courteous manner of the men--"not one soul in the streets or gambling saloons stared or committed a single action in bad taste." Indeed, she applauded "that fine quality of good taste which in England we associate with the highest breeding." She described the dance halls she visited and how respectful the men were toward their dancing partners--"nothing rude or suggestive in any of it, only perfect motion." This was just the sort of publicity that Rice and his compatriots had envisioned, but newspaper editors soon were shaking a finger at Glyn for her visit to Rawhide's tenderloin. The editor of the New York Mail decried her brazenness, observing that American women usually visited such places only in Europe. Glyn asserted that any woman could have the same experience in any large city. "And the wagers we laid were nothing," she added. "Women do that sort of thing at Monte Carlo." Tex Rickard was concerned with the belated bad publicity, but not Rice. "Every knock's a boost," Rice told his partner. "Just the fact that we could get anyone as prominent as Elinor Glyn to visit us will impress people with Rawhide's growing importance." Less than a year old in 1908, Rawhide boasted a population of 7,000 fortune seekers. However, Rawhide went from boom town to ghost town over the next three decades. A fire ravaged the camp four months after Glyn's visit, and although Rawhide rebuilt, the excitement faded. Most of the characters in this episode went on to further success. In 1913, Rice published My Adventures With Your Money, a classic confessional that he dedicated to "The American Damphool Speculator." Goodwin, a well known actor, returned to the stage. Rickard later moved to New York and built the first Madison Square Garden. The politically connected Baker became director of the U.S. Mint. Glyn continued to cut a dashing figure in Europe and America. Before her death in 1943 at age 78, she wrote 25 novels and 14 nonfiction books. She spent part of the 1920s in Hollywood writing and producing movies. Her 1926 story It ("it" referring to sex appeal) had a Nevada connection. After It was made into a movie, Clara Bow, the star and a future Southern Nevada resident, became known as the "It Girl." Even though the Rawhide crowd laughed at how Glyn fell for their charade, the author seemed to have enjoyed the experience. In Romantic Adventure, a 1936 autobiography, Glyn recalled how the Rawhiders had deputized her and told her she could "arrest anybody in the state." "So, of course, I answered that I would 'arrest' the lot, they were all so delightful," she wrote. "These two things, the 'gun,' a small pistol mounted in mother of pearl, and the badge, are my most cherished possessions, as they represent the whole-hearted tribute of a splendid community of gentlemen."