In 1822, Gregor MacGregor committed what The Economist newspaper has called the ‘biggest fraud in history’ and ‘the greatest confidence trick of all time’.
Investors, many of them Scottish, put forward vast sums towards creating a colony in central America. They were told it was a sure bet, a land of milk and honey - another paradise on the isthmus.
Sounds familiar? If you listened last week, you might think that once bitten, Scots would be twice shy.
Instead, bonds for Gregor MacGregor’s Principality of Poyais were oversubscribed and colonists easy to find. They would all profit from this rich and fertile land that was larger than Wales and ripe for settlement.
The only problem was that Poyais didn’t exist.
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The theme music is Newsroom by Riot.
The other music featured in this episode was High School Snaps by Broke For Free (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Broke_For_Free/Slam_Funk/Broke_For_Free_-_Slam_Funk_-_06_High_School_Snaps) and Behind Your Window by Kai Engel (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/Idea/Kai_Engel_-_Idea_-_04_Behind_Your_Window). Both are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)