The Daring Imposter Cassie Chadwick

Andrew Carnegie, most famous target of Cassie Chadwick’s forgery schemes, as painted by F. Louis Mora. Inset: Cassie Chadwick circa 1904. Public domain

Cassie Chadwick (born Elizabeth Bigley) committed fraud at a level that would be almost impossible to pull off in today’s world of instant communication. Her biggest con was convincing banks that she was the illegitimate daughter of Andrew Carnegie.

Holly's Research:

  • “Beckwith’s Amazing Story.” New York Times. Dec. 11, 1904.
  • March, James H. “Grand Trunk Railway.” Canadian Encyclopedia.
  • “Cassie Chadwick Worse.” New York Times. Oct. 10, 1907.
  • “Tracing Chadwick’s Satchel.” New York Times. Dec. 22, 1904.
  • “Cassie Chadwick Biography.” August 26, 2014.
  • “Identify Mrs. Chadwick as Mme. Devere, Forger.” New York Times. Dec. 16, 1904.
  • “Cassie Chadwick Dies in Prison.” New York Times. Oct. 11, 1907.
  • “Chadwick Paper Out Is Over $19,000,000.” New York Times. Dec. 11, 1904.
  • “The Strange Case of Mrs. Chadwick.” The Philadelphia North American. 1904. Accessed online:
  • Crosbie, John S. “The Incredible Mrs. Chadwick.” McGraw-Hill Ryerson. 1975.
  • “Dr. Leroy Chadwick is Now Bankrupt.” San Francisco Call. Volume 104, Number 89. August 28, 1908. Accessed online:
  • Abbott, Karen. “The High Priestess of Fradulent Finance.” Smithsonian. June 27, 2012.
  • “Cassie Chadwick Ill.” New York Times. Sept. 17, 1907.

Topics in this Podcast: U.S. history, biographies, women, 20th century, 19th century, Crime, fraud