Arthur Ferguson

Arthur Ferguson is another type of gambler. One might actually call him a swindler rather than a gambler, but then again he was gambling with his freedom which is perhaps the biggest gamble anyone can make. He was not a traditional poker or gaming table player. It might have been safer if he had tried being a hustler at the craps table or something other than selling landmarks.

Arthur Ferguson certainly had style in his gambles. Being a great villain of the 1920s he certainly had some old fashioned good natured abilities to make certain he was successful with his gambles. The Scotsman was an actor with limited skill on stage. He was not thought to be worthy of great roles, and yet he managed to almost pull off the greatest role he ever played.

He started off selling Big Ben for 1000 pounds. Over the next six weeks he would sell Buckingham Palace twice, making 4000 pounds. He also sold Nelson’s Column for roughly 6,000 pounds. Of course the sales were to some very gullible people including an American tourist.

You have to be really great at acting or picking out marks in order to be successful. After all, how else can you actually sell landmarks that would never be on the register for sale? Even in those days it is pretty hard to believe that those landmarks would come up for sale. Arthur Ferguson had such a great amount of success that he decided his time in the UK was over.

He wanted to move on with his gambles in selling landmarks. So he packed up and spent a nice trip crossing the Atlantic to the US. There he tried to rent out the White House for $100,000 per year. He tried this rental option on a Texas cattle man. Is it any surprise that his schemes were actually caught? Perhaps it is, when you consider the way he was caught.

Upon arriving in the US he met an Australian lady. He sold the Statue of Liberty to her. Unfortunately he was photographed appearing near the statue. Ferguson was caught and jailed for five years. He didn’t see it as a lesson though. Instead he continued his gambles in selling things that were not his. Resting in prison he got out and made his way to California. At this time he was a rich man and at his death in 1938 he was still rich.

Arthur Ferguson was not a man who liked the gaming tables. He was also a man who managed to make money selling property that was not his. It is something that has not happened since. Perhaps we have managed to understand that landmarks such as the White House cannot be for sale. Perhaps it is that we are more cynical though we have seen houses being sold when the true owners have not actually sold them. Arthur Ferguson did gamble on being able to sell items that weren’t his, and though his luck ran out once he still made money.

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