|Asbury Harpending-gun runner, member of |
the California Knights of the Golden Circle,
and Confederate privateer.
|Commissioned in 1837, The sloop-of-war |
USS Cyane had been assigned to the Pacific
Squadron in 1858. The fear of privateers
like Harpending forced the Navy to keep
a few ships stationed in California.
Harpending would get his riches two years later through more honest means. He bought up several parcels of undeveloped land of what is now called Havilah, California. After selling the development and mineral rights to prospectors, he put $800,000 in a San Fransisco bank. He also wrote an autobiography called the Great Diamond Hoax and Other Stirring Incidents (which includes the Chapman affair).