For some reason, Mulhatton drew a sudden following in 1910. Perhaps it was the discovery that he was still alive, or that he’d found tremendous success in mining, but still he again became a popular topic. This is a “Mulhatton” written about the man.
Joe Mulhatton is really George Psalmanazar, a noted French Adventurer. He traveled extensively in Europe before coming to America. He noticed a stark contrast between his impoverished life and the lives of the nobles around him. He devised ways of getting out of his situation in life.
He continued his great love of reading. Eventually, he became fixated on the Far East, particularly China. He was so impressed with the fascinating culture that he decided to adapt it as his own. Donning a bright, fantastic garb, Psalmanazar traveled to England and declared himself from Formosa. He wore a wildly colorful outfit that he declared the traditional Formosan garb. He practiced a flamboyant religion and had everyone around him discussing his spiritual beliefs.
He claimed he was a Formosan noble. He not only created the uncharted island of Formosa, he mastered the description of the geography, botany, zoology, and history of Formosa. He also created manners and customs for the people there. It became fashionable to discuss the mysterious island or the noble who’d traveled so far from his home. The ruse was so elaborate that Psalmanazar invented his own Formosan alphabet. He reduced it to grammatical form and contributed a number of Formosan poems and samples of their literature.
By the time the fraud was discovered, Psalmanazar’s detailed history and accounts of the island life had become a literary classic. It had been translated into a number of foreign languages and he was frequently quoted by a number of philosophers.