Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Regrets. I’ve had a few. It’s 2am. Let me list them all for you. Anxiety,
nightmare, guilt, despair. Cruelty. Grieving, Insomnia. Worry, Analysis paralysis.
William Chapman Ralston was a model of ultra capitalism and ruin. He founded Bank of California in 1864 with Darius Ogden Mills, built the San Francisco luxury hotel Palace Hotel and the California Theatre. He exemplified the “Nothing is impossible” attitude. He partneredwith William Sharon in the Comstock Lode. They consolidated ownership of Virginia City (NV) silver mines, mostly through foreclosures. Ralston started a stock-selling scheme, the Ophir mine, which collapsed and led to a run on his bank on 8/26/1875. The failure cascaded through San Francisco and compounded the Depression’s impacts. The day after the crash, he drowned while swimming in the Bay.