Lot 151: Scottish soldier, adventurer, land speculator, and charlatan (1786–1845) who fought in the South American struggle for independence but became best known for a real estate scam in which he sold land to hopeful colonists in a fictional Central American country called Poyais. Partly-printed DS in English and French, one page, 16 x 20, April 3, 1834. Two-language land grant by which MacGregor conveys two-hundred acres in Poyais to the purchaser for "one cent of a dollar per Acre annually, in the name of quit rent, on the twenty-fourth day of December in each year." Crisply signed at the conclusion in black ink by MacGregor and countersigned by four of his associates. In very good condition, with intersecting folds with partial tape-repaired separations, toning along folds, and light soiling. MacGregor began this fraudulent scheme upon his return to London from South America in 1820. Throughout Great Britain and France, MacGregor was able to keep up his charade in varying capacities until 1837. As one of MacGregor's phony land grants from the time he had expanded his operation into parts of Europe, this is a particularly intriguing piece.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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