Con man finds shelter in Canada; disaster follows
In 1870, a mysterious man who called himself Lord Gordon-Gordon entered New York society, and was introduced to a robber baron named Jay Gould. Now Gould wasn’t a nice man, in fact he was cruel and greedy, and he singlehandedly tried to corner the gold market and caused the market panic, known as “Black Friday” in the US. He had so many enemies, and was in danger of losing his share of the Eerie Railroad to the Vanderbilts. Cue Gordon-Gordon.
He approached Gould and told him that he was of Scottish aristocracy and he had friends who had control of $30 Million of Eerie stock, and for a price he could get them to support Gould in his attempt to take over the railroad. Gould gave him a million dollars, and Gordon-Gordon fled to Canada.
Turns out Gordon-Gordon wasn’t an aristocrat, he wasn’t even Scottish. He was a conman. Embarrassed, Gould wanted revenge and as there was no extradition treaty with Canada, and with Gordon promising the Manitoba government the money if they sheltered him, he had no options. In 1873, he sent bounty hunters, comprised of two future governors of Minnesota, three future congressmen and the current mayor of Minneapolis, across the border and they found and kidnapped Gordon and attempted to bring him back to the US. They got stopped at the border by the Mounties.
The current governor of Minnesota demanded that the men be released and returned, but Canada said no. Invasion was threatened, President Grant got involved and the Canadian government wondered if war was going to break out over men who had illegally entered the country and forcefully kidnapped a new Canadian investor.
Canada ultimately backed down and released the kidnappers, and Gordon-Gordon, upon realizing that Gould would never leave him alone, spent the million on a party in Canada with gifts for his guests, then dramatically shot himself in the head. That’ll do it.