Date: May 2006
Creator: Pitts, Stanley Thomas
Description: In a time of laissez-faire government, monopolistic businesses and political debauchery, William Andrews Clark played a significant role in the developing West, achieving financial success rivaling Jay Gould, George Hearst, Andrew Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan. Clark built railroads, ranches, factories, utilities, and developed timber and water resources, and was internationally known as a capitalist, philanthropist and art collector. Nonetheless, Clark is unjustly remembered for his bitter twelve-year political battle with copper baron Marcus Daly that culminated in a scandalous senatorial election in January 1899. The subsequent investigation was a judicial travesty based on personal hatred and illicit tactics. Clark's political career had national implications and lasting consequences. His enemies shaped his legacy, and for one hundred years historians have unquestioningly accepted it.
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