Richard Henderson, judge of a back-country court in Colonial North Carolina, possessed, to borrow his own words, "A rapturous idea of property." He was not alone. Many Americans of his time, among them Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, and George Washington, were similarly inspired. During the energetic decades preceding the American Revolution (and for many years thereafter), speculation in wilderness land was considered an honorable way of growing wealthy. The dealer's main problem, aside from finding suitable areas of money-making size, lay in outwitting his government.
- From The American Heritage History of The Great West by David Lavender