3. Jonathan Moulton
Jonathan Moulton was the early colonial settler in the New World who would earn the nickname “Yankee Faust”. As a young man, he was a poor apprentice to a cabinet maker but ended up completely switching careers, which was uncommon at the time. He became a professional silversmith and making a lot of money trading to England from the colonies. He also served as the Bridigire General for New Hampshire, and lead a battle to victory in King George’s War.
One legend says that Jonathan Moulton was able to afford his silversmith business by making a deal with the Devil. Moulton sat down and drank shots of rum with the Devil, and tried to get him drunk. Moulton said he would sell his soul in exchange for filling up the boots with gold coins on the first day of each month. They shook hands, and went their separate ways. Moulton found the biggest pair of boots in the entire state, where the leather went all the way up to the thighs. On the first of the month, the Devil took notice of how huge these boots were, and he laughed it off. A deal is a deal, after all, and he never specified the size of the boots. He filled them with gold coins.
The next month, Moulton was thrilled that the boots were filled all the way to the brim, but he was greedy. He got the brilliant idea to cut the soles out of the bottom of the shoes, and cut holes under the boots that would go down to his basement. The next month, the boots did not fill until the entire basement was flooded with gold coins. When the Devil realized he had been tricked, he got so angry, he set Moulton’s house on fire. This story was passed down for generations, and eventually written down roughly 100 years later.
In reality, Jonathan Moulton would have earned a veteran’s pension after serving in King George’s War. He would have also made a lot of money selling silverware to rich English families. He became rich so quickly, his neighbors felt as though it happened overnight, and they wondered how Moulton could have possibly made so much money, unless he did a deal with the Devil. He would have also been the kind of person who would have been loyal to the crown even during the Revolutionary War. It’s no surprise that he was unpopular, and that someone set his house on fire, blaming the entire ordeal on the Devil.