|Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun
Them City Chapss Slick,
But Ole Calhoun Kyounty Aint Far Behind.
Shes No Great Shakes on Monty And Gold Bricks.
But Shes Way Up When It Comes To Ginseng.
Clever Swindle Worked by the Guileless Natives of the West
Special Dispatch to the Enquirer
PARKERSBURG, W. Va., June 0. 226 Calhoun county, about 40 miles above
on the Little Kanawha has been looked upon by West Virginians as
is by Europeans 226 antipodes of civilization, and the home and
of hayseeds, yet untouched by process of evolution 226 but Calhoun has
redeemed herself and made a sudden spring into notoriety as the
place of a very slick set of swindlers.
The ordinary confidence games, gold-brick swindlers and sawdust men
will have to take a back seat when their talents are compared with the
gang of seng diggers whose operations just came to light through the
merest accident today.
A merchant of this city, Mr. Daniel Gardway, who deals in hides,
wool and genseng, is the victim. Yesterday Mr. Gardway received
consignment of ginseng (dry) which is worth in the market, say $2.75 a
pound. In one lot there was sixty nine pounds of what had every
of thoroughly dry No. 1 genseng. The seng was EXCELLENT IN
But somehow it looked as if it was awfully heavy for its bulk.
suspicion of fraud of any kind was felt, however, as fraud in seng
something never heard of heretofore, and the stuff was prepared for
By accident one of the finest looking roots was broken into across
center, but, instead of separating with a snap, the root merely bent
a piece of rubber. Curiosity induced the man to examine it, when
he found that the root had been loaded with lead. This discovery
caused the holder of the root to make an examination, which he did by
the root open from end to end. When he found to his astonishment
that it had been filled with lead from half an inch of one end to half
an inch of the other. Gardway concluded to examine another
which he did, and found that also leaded. In fact, almost every
contained more or less lead 226 so much that out of the seventy pounds
the alleged seng there proved to be half as much or more of lead.
In that lot alone the buyer had been swindled out of more than
How long this unique operation HAS BEEN CARRIED ON heretofore
(for this is the first time such a thing was ever heard of) is
known, but it is believed that it has been carried on a long
The failure to discover it is easily explained. The
root, when green, is soft and porous, but when dry is of close
While in its green state the swindler, or seng loader inserted a
into the root, making an opening below the end in one of the may folds
of the root.
The wire, a good sized one, if the root was large, could be pushed
the root until its point reached near the end. The cavity thus
was filled with hot lead, poured into the hole, and the lips of the
were drawn over. In the process of drying , the lips of the
closed so tightly that it would take an expert to find it among the
natural folds of the root. This is the most unique swindle that
ever perpetrated on root buyers, and, as this especial root is worth
from $2.50 to $3 per pound it can readily be seen that it wouldnt
a sharp scamp long to make a fortune in a way which would not be apt
be discovered. This exposition will probably cause a hasty
of a big lot of dry ginseng all over the country.
As to the truth or falsity of the above we are not prepared to say
in the absence of any proof that the article actually came from
county, we are inclined to the belief that it is the same old
These fakers (for in many instances that is what they should be
are giving the sensational features of their article far more
than they do the truth, and charging it up to some inland county,
The author of the above would have the outside world believe that
the people in the county are parties to this transaction. While
truth is if it originated in Calhoun county at all, some slick rogue
worked this trick on some honest and unsuspecting merchant, who bought
it, believing it was a genuine article.