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Columbia professor James Renwick travels from New York to study Count Rivafinoli's operation of Charlotte's St. Catherine gold mine. Workers are using a method of extracting the pure gold from rocks that allows some of the precious metal to be washed away and lost. Renwick reports that St. Catherine will fail. A few years later he will be proved right. The mine will close during economic hard times, called a depression, in 1836-37.