When Joseph Whiteside Boyle arrived in the Klondike in 1897, he was leading a hand-to-mouth existence as manager, promoter and sparring partner of a declining prize-fighter named Frank Slavin, one of the last of the bare-knuckled breed. When he left the Yukon in 1916, he was "King of the Klondike", reigning over a business empire founded on his enormous gold-dredging operations, and one of the most powerful and colourful figures in the North.
With the discovery of gold in the Klondike, thousands of sourdoughs poured north to stake their claims. Joe Boyle soon realized that the future lay not in the efforts of individual miners but in large, mechanized operations. While the sourdoughs fanned out in search of the soon-exhausted placer deposits, Boyle set about obtaining large concessions of land along gold-bearing creeks and rivers for the purpose of hydraulic mining. Upon these concessions he built his empire of timber, gold, water and electric power, becoming in the process one of the Yukon's best-known and most controversial citizens.
In 1917, Joe Boyle, too old for active service in the army, went to Russia as an Allied agent to help reorganize the Russian railroad system and thus bolster Russia's resistance to the Germans. His work took him to Roumania where he became a confidante of the Royal Family and, some said, the lover of Queen Marie. Swept up in the turbulent events of the Russian Revolution and the conquest of Roumania by the German armies, Boyle was involved in an amazing series of adventures – rescuing prisoners from the Bolsheviks, saving members of the Russian Royal Family, feeding refugees and organizing postwar relief operations.
After the war, Boyle became involved in international oil politics and a lengthy attempt to obtain oil concessions in Russia from the Bolsheviks. He died in London in 1923.
Typical in many ways of the thrusting, visionary entrepreneurs who developed the frontier areas of North America, Joe Boyle was also a romantic – hes devotion to Queen Marie became the focal point of his life in his later years. A man of action but of few words, he has never received the recognition his achievements deserve. This is the first full-scale biography of this remarkable man.
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CDN$ 95.00 (US$ 92.45)
|Publisher:||Mcgraw-hill Ryerson Ltd|
|Condition:||Fine/Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall, jacket has slight wear on corners and small tear at top of spine, 368pp.|
|First Edition:||First Edition|