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Henry Yesler commits fraud in Washington's first lottery held on July 4, 1876.
HistoryLink.org Essay 223
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On July 4, 1876, the Grand Lottery of Washington winners are supposed to be drawn. Yesler Sawmill, the Seattle establishment that in the early 1850s was the first steam sawmill in Washington, is advertised as the Grand Prize. But then, Henry Yesler (1810-1892), the organizer, cancels the drawing.
Yesler kept about 90 percent of the estimated $30,000 ($1,122,000 in 1996 dollars) collected. For this fraud Yesler is assessed a $25 ($935 in 1996 dollars) fine.
John R. Finger, "Henry Yesler's 'Grand Lottery of Washington Territory'," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 3 (1969), 121, 126.
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