In my latest about.com article, I explore the phenomenon of Debtor's Revenge — when debtors decide to get even by paying fines with pennies. Though it's not always pennies. Might be $1 bills, or some other form of deviousness intended to spite the debt collector. There were so many examples of this that I could easily have made the article 10x as long as it was. Also might have mentioned that, if I remember correctly, Chuck once declared this phenomenon "no longer weird."
Although he seems generally forgotten today, counterfeiter and pilot Robert Baudin was quite notorious while alive, and seems to have had quite a remarkable career, as detailed in the review of his autobiography Fake (see sidebar) quoted below.
The gist of the article is summed up in the first paragraph:
The poor do not have to worry about what they are going to wear or where they will spend the summer or winter. They have good appetites and enjoy their food when they get it. They lead hard lives and so grow strong and healthy and do not have dyspepsia. They do not have to buy a burial cloth or order a mausoleum. As they have no money to leave, no one is anxious to see them die.
As far as I can tell, the Duke of Manchester (William Montagu), wrote this without a hint of irony or sarcasm. He seemed to genuinely believe that being born rich was a great burden. So it's interesting that he did his best to relieve himself of his riches and become poor. From wikipedia:
Manchester was a notorious spendthrift, and as a result of the excessive spending of both him and the prior two Dukes, the family's fortune (already low) was completely exhausted, culminating in the sale of the family's lands during the tenure of the tenth Duke. He spent much of his life abroad, evading creditors, seeking out wealthy consorts, and attempting to extract money from wealthy acquaintances. He is perhaps most well known in America from the leading case of Hamilton v. Drogo, 150 N.E. 496 (N.Y. 1926), which concerned the establishment of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the young Duke.