A Conversation with Vermont writer August Longpre
The Sordid and Racist History of Austin Corbin and the largest, most exclusive, "millionaire hunting reserve" east of the Mississippi River.
Nestled in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire, and cutting across five different towns; nearly hidden from the average person, is a parcel of land larger than 60% of NH towns. The price of entry is a good ol' boy connection and a very fat wallet - filled with millions, or even billions, of dollars. Officially it’s now called the Blue Mountain Forest Association, but nearly everyone who knows about it calls it Corbin Park.
Surrounded by 26 miles of impervious fence, walling off 26,000 acres and two mountain peaks, Corbin Park seems mysterious, though harmless enough. But it is built upon a foundation of grift, pain, suffering that includes state-sponsored and institutional slavery, and, quite probably, a role in the near-extermination of the American Bison as a tool of genocide against the Cheyenne, the Sioux, the Crow and other plains Indian nations.
The main architect of this place was a man named Austin Corbin, who amassed a vast fortune through political connections, insider trading, usury, and fraud and then, ironically, curried favor with the public as the "Savior of the American Bison" and New Hampshire boy yearning to return to his beloved home state.
You may have heard the stories of this "self-made" millionaire, further embellished with notions of saving the American Bison and his purchase of more than 200 parcels of land in Croydon, Cornish, Grantham, Plainfield and Newport.
In fairness, it appears that much of the land purchased to create Corbin Park was based on sales between willing sellers and Corbin and his employees, unlike the millions of dollars of Long Island real estate that he and his cronies cheated the people of the Montauk tribe out of during the same time period.
In his well-researched study of Austin Corbin and Corbin Park, local author August Longpre lays out the sordid history of Austin Corbin's founding of a national anti-semitic association, his use of prison labor, his collusion with his cousin, then Secretary of the US Treasury, Salmon P. Chase to secure the very first national bank franchise, and his fleecing of the Montauk tribe to build a seaport.
Corbin was tight with many of the Railroad Moguls of his time, many of whom colluded with elements of the US government to exterminate the buffalo as a way of bringing the Plains Indians, especially the Sioux and the Cheyenne, to their knees. Just how deep his own investments in the system that brought buffalo hunters to the American West to wipe out more than 100 million American Bison we may never know, but it is exceedingly likely that he at least knew of the plan.
How ironic it would be if evidence were to be found placing him among those who planned this act of genocide-inspired extinction more than 100 years before the National Buffalo Foundation would name him to its Hall of Fame in 1990.
If anyone can dig up the still-hidden facts about Austin Corbin, I suspect it is August Longpre. I only hope he doesn't stop until he has filled in all the questionable spaces.
Here's my conversation with August Longpre.
CORBIN PARK HISTORY - Private Hunting Reserve Bigger Than Most NH Towns (Free Article)
August Longpre <email@example.com>
August ("Long pree")
Local author August Longpre provides a comprehensive history of Corbin
Park, the secretive private hunting reserve that is larger than most New
Hampshire towns, stocked with "exotic" animals, and reserved for
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