The Nitrate King: A Biography of "Colonel" John Thomas North - Studies of the Americas (Hardback)

by William Edmundson

Format: Hardback 218 pages

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The first book-length biography of John Thomas North (1842-1896), known as 'Colonel North' in Britain and throughout the world as 'The Nitrate King,' this book utilizes sources in Britain and Chile and traces North's spectacular life from a mechanic in Leeds through his thirteen years in Peru and Chile culminating in his status as one of the richest and best-known men of his generation. North is today almost completely forgotten in Britain and remembered in Chile only to be vilified as the archetypal predatory capitalist. This book calls for a revaluation of North and examines several controversies-principally the enduring allegations that North manipulated the War of the Pacific and the Chilean Civil War of 1891. The book describes North's business activities; his re-invention as country gentleman at Avery Hill mansion; and his generosity, including the gift of Kirkstall Abbey to the city of Leeds.

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Palgrave Macmillan


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