Legends

Arizona…Lost Shipment Of Dragoon Pistols:


59299085_1426688107474422_7914077331415629824_nIt was in 1871 that a shipment of 24 Colt Dragoon Pistols was making its way from back East to its final destination at Fort McDowell. The pistols were under military escort, consisting of eight men. A sergeant, four soldiers a Lieutenant as well as a civilian packer.

The escort left Camp Pinal (Picket Post Mountain in Superior) beginning their arduous journey to Fort McDowell. After traveling on the only real road at the time (which was a stage road) the soldiers were attacked by between 15-25 Apaches at a spot where the road narrows tightly between two hills, making an ambush a flawless success.

As the first explosion of Apache’s gun fire erupted and in less than 15 seconds the four soldiers and the civilian packer were killed in a failed attempt to return fire. The Lieutenant and Sergeant grabbed the reigns of the pack mule that was carrying the pistols and made a frantic attempt to get away from the ambush and make their way back to the garrison Camp Pinal.

They rode like hell over several ridges and down into washes while being pursued by the Apaches, but were soon cut off by more warriors riding down on them from their chosen escape route. So the Lieutenant and Sergeant cut north and either rounded a sharp bend and took shelter inside of a small cave and prepared for their defense. The first warrior to round the bend charged the cave and was shot in the face by the Lieutenant and the pursuing Apache dispersed (at least appeared to disperse).

After about three hours of waiting and not seeing any signs of movement around them from the Apache, they decided to lighten their load to make a fast get away to Fort McDowell through the Superstition Mountains. So they took off the 24 Pistols that were packed on the mule and buried them in the floor of that small cave and then made good their escape.

As they made their way through the Superstition Mountains they could see in from a distance the Apache in return watching them from rocks high above but they didn’t make any movement to attack. As the Lieutenant and Sergeant were near the Salt River and clear of the Superstition Mountains, the Apache attacked yet again. The warriors knew exactly where to lay the ambush and exactly where they had to exit the mountains and cross the Salt River. The Sergeant was shot out of his saddle and the Lieutenant just spurred his mount and made a desperate attempt to escape and rode straight through the ambush. He was now the only survivor and eventually made his way to Fort McDowell and reported what had occurred.

General Crook dispatched two or three companies of troopers to go with the Lieutenant to the place where he had buried the Pistols and to investigate the attack. The troopers gathered up the bodies (what was left of them) but the Lieutenant could not recall where the cave was located where he had buried the pistols. He was new to Arizona and didn’t know the terrain, the only ones in his escort party who did know the Mountains and trails and passes were killed during the attack. The soldiers continued searching while in frustration but with no results.

The exact cave was never located and the pistols were never recovered and still waiting to be found to this very day. If these pistols could be found they could fetch a nice price but more importantly, they would be a priceless link to our states beautiful and bloody history.

(While on your search please carry water with you and watch for rattle snakes as the temperatures grown higher and higher. Try to stay cool and always tell someone where you will be going and when to expect you home).

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PATRICK SINCLAIR; BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC – BY WILLIAM L. JENKS in 1915


By far the most conspicuous object in the Island of Mackinac is the old fort which overhangs so protectingly the village below.

The thick stone and earth walls, the three old block houses, built, according to the cards upon the doors, in 1780, the old buildings within the enclosure, all force the attention of the visitor, resident or tourist, to the age of the structure, but to few is known even the name, much less anything of the career of its creator.

In the extreme northeast of Scotland lies the shire or county of Caithness; a large part of it low and boggy, it rises toward the south and west, and contains but three streams of any size, the Wickwater and the Forss and Thurso Rivers.

Most of the coast line is rocky and forbidding and good harbors are few.

Near the northeast corner is John O’Groat’s house, and south of that along the East Coast is a large bay called Sinclair’s Bay.

For several centuries the name Sinclair or St. Clair-they are in reality the same, the latter being nearer to the original Norman form-has been the leading one in Caithness; the first earl of Caithness, created in 1455, being Sir William Sinclair.

From this shire, forbidding in its natural aspects, but like so many other places in Scotland, furnishing an abundant supply of young, energetic, capable and courageous men, came Patrick Sinclair, the subject of this sketch, of interest to Michigan, not alone because of his connection with Mackinac, but because he was the first man to establish a permanent foothold in the way of occupation, erecting buildings and cultivating land along St. Clair River.

Patrick_Sinclair

This noble river should today bear the name of Sinclair as it did for many years a century ago.

The present name is derived from Arthur St. Clair, first governor of the Northwest Territory, the original name passing gradually through forgetfulness of the one and growing importance of the other to its present form.

It is a curious fact that both Arthur St. Clair and Patrick Sinclair were born in the same year in the county of Caithness, within twenty-five miles of each other, and they were undoubtedly distantly related.

Whatever the cause, temperament, roving disposition, hard and forbidding material conditions at home, certain it is that Scotchmen have proved through centuries the mainstay of British enterprise and glory in foreign lands, and Scotch soldiers and explorers have done much to extend England’s domains.

Patrick Sinclair mas born in 1736 at Lybster, a small hamlet on the east coast of Caithness about 11 miles southeast of Wick, the chief town of the County, and was the half son and oldest of four children of Alexander who had married a connection in the person of Amelia Sinclair, the daughter of another Alexander Sinclair.

His father was the fourth Sinclair of Lybster and the name Patrick was common in the family, his grandfather bearing it, and his great grandmother was the daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster.

We have no knowledge of his youthful education but it must have been considerable as his papers and correspondence evince facility in expression, clear ideas and a good command of language,

In July, 1758, Patrick Sinclair purchased a commission as ensign – practically equivalent to 2nd Lieutenant, a grade not then existing in the famous 42nd Highlanders, or Black Watch Regiment, but he may have had some previous service in some capacity as in a letter to Gen. Haldimand in August, 1779, he refers to his 25 years’ service in the army, which if not a rhetorical exaggeration would imply that he had entered the service in 1761.

At any rate he soon saw active service, as his regiment was sent to the West

Indies in 1759, and he participated in January of that year in the attack and capture of Guadeloupe.

Not long after with his regiment he went to New York and then to Oswego where they spent several months.

In July, 1760 he was promoted to lieutenant and in August his regiment joined the army which under the leadership of General Amherst invaded Canada and captured Montreal.

Later it went to Staten Island, and in October, 1761, shortly before his regiment left for the West Indies he exchanged into the 15th Regiment of Foot.

The reason for this exchange is not evident as the 15th Foot went to the West Indies the same Fall and in August, 1763 came back to New York and then to Canada.

One Company however of the 15th Regiment remained in America and it is possible that this was Sinclair’s Company, as there is some evidence that he was at Quebec for a year from October, 1761, then for a time at New York, and again at Quebec.

For a part of the time at least he was in Capt. Robert Stobo’s Company.

In the Fall 1763 or the Spring of 1764 Sinclair must have been transferred to or connected with the Naval Department of the Lakes, as in a petition to the Earl of Hillsborough in 1769, he states that he “hath servedhis Majesty near six years last past on the Great Lakes in North America where he had the honor to command his Majesty’s vessels on the Lakes Erie, Sinclair, Huron and Michigan,” and the inscription on a silver bowl presented to him by the merchants of Detroit in 1767 refers to him as Captain Sinclair of the Naval Department.

The 15th Regiment of Foot was stationed at various posts in Canada, but no part of it as far west as Detroit, which was garrisoned mainly from the 60th Regiment during the entire period Sinclair mas in charge (as he says), of the navigation on the lakes,’ his’ headquarters, however, being Detroit.

Sinclair’s duties were general but important; to maintain and provision the boats, see to their arming and protection against the Indians, who were numerous, and, for some time after 1763, largely hostile to the English, and so dispose the shipping as to serve best the interest not only of the various garrisons, but also of the Indian traders and the merchants, who of necessity depended upon these boats for the bringing in of their goods and the carrying out of their furs.

The boats then in use consisted of canoes, batteaux, snows, sloops and schooners.

The canoe was the famed birch bark canoe noted for its carrying capacity in proportion to its weight and admirably adapted to the carriage of persons but not freight.

The batteau was a light boat worked with oars, long in proportion to its breadth and wider in the middle than at the ends.

It was well adapted for carrying freight, and for some years after the English obtained possession of the lakes it was extensively used between the posts in transporting both freight and passengers.

Of necessity the shore was closely followed both with batteau and canoe.

The snow was a type of vessel long since gone out of existence, with two ordinary masts and rigged much like a brig, but having in addition a small mast near the main mast to which the trysail was attached.

All the sailing vessels were of small burden.

The schooner “Gladwin,” famous for her successful attempt in bringing aid to the besieged Detroit garrison was of 80 tons burden.

Up to 1780 the largest boat on the lakes was the brig Gage of 154 tons, built in 1774.

In the same petition referred to above Sinclair states that he is the only person on the lakes who has ever explored the navigation of the lakes for vessels of burden “by taking exact soundings of them and the rivers and Straits which join them with the bearings of the headlands, islands, bays, etc., etc.”

The beginning of the siege of Detroit by Pontiac was signalized by the murder by the Indians on May 7th, 1763, of Captain Robertson, Sir Robert Davers, six soldiers and a boat’s crew of two sailors while engaged in taking soundings near the mouth of the “River Huron” as the account states it, now called St. Clair River, to seeif the lakes and rivers were navigable for a schooner then lying at Detroit on her way to Mackinac.

As a means of facilitating his duties, especially in regard to the communications between Detroit and the upper lakes, Sinclair erected, in 1764, a small fort just south of the mouth of Pine River in St. Clair County, the buildings comprising two barracks, one for sailors and one for soldiers, two block houses for cannon and small arms, and a wharf for drawing out and careening vessels, all enclosed within a stockade.

This post, about midway between lakes Huron and St. Clair, enabled him to control the river as regards the Indians, and also furnished a place for trade with them.

This establishment was ordered and approved by Colonel Bradstreet who was in Detroit in August, 1764.

During the season of 1764 Sinclair had under his command the schooner “Gladwin” which had brought relief to the beleaguered garrison at Detroit in the siege of Pontiac, and at the close of that season’s navigation he put her in winter quarters at Pine River.

In connection with his duties while stationed on the Lakes he made a trip of exploration down in the Indiana Country along the Wabash River, thus acquiring considerable knowledge of the French settlements in that vicinity.

Sinclair seems on the whole to have got along with the Indians very satisfactorily, and to have obtained their respect and liking and to have established a widespread reputation to that effect.

He was not entirely free from troubles however, as in 1767 the Chippewas, or Mississaguas, murdered a servant of his near the foot of Lake Huron.

The murderers were apprehended and sent to Albany for trial but were finally released to his indignation.

In 1767 the system of operating boats on the Lakes was changed and delivered over to private contractors, and Sinclair’s duties and official position terminated but it required some time to close out his matters, and when in the early summer of 1768 his regiment returned to England he remained upon the Lakes, and did not return to England until the spring of the following year.

That his conduct of affairs while in charge was acceptable to the class with whom he came most in contact outside of his government relations is proved by the presentation to him in 1767 of a silver bowl-still preserved in the family-with the following inscription engraved upon it:

“In remembrance of the encouragement experienced upon all occasions by the merchants in the Indian countries from Capt. Patrick Sinclair of the Naval Department, not as a reward for his services, but a public testimony of their gratitude this is presented instead of a more adequate acknowledgment which his disinterested disposition renders impracticable.

Dated the 23rd September, 1767.”

The merchants of Mackinac also gave him a testimonial.

Sinclair had erected the buildings and made the improvements at his fort mainly at his own expense, and in March, 1769, he applied to Gen. Gage, then commanding the British forces in America., to be reimbursed for his outlay £200, but Gage replied that the Government had not directed the construction and therefore Sinclair could do with the improvements what he saw fit.

Proposed_outline_of_Fort_Mackinac

 

Perhaps in anticipation of such result and as a measure of self-protection

Sinclair had obtained from the Indians a deed to a tract of land upon the St. Clair River, 2 ½ miles along the river by the same in depth to include his improvements. This deed was dated July 27th, 1768, and was signed by Massigiash and Ottawa, chiefs of the Chippewa Nation, in the presence of 15 Indians of that Nation and of George Turnbull, Captain of the Second Battalion of the 60th Regiment, George Archbold, Lieutenant, and ensigns Robert Johnson and John Amiel of the same Regiment, also of John Lewis Gage,Ensign of the 31st Regiment, and Lieut. John Hay of the 60th Regiment, Commissary of Indian affairs.

 

In the deed the land is described as being “on the Northwest side of the River Huron, between Lake Huron and Lake Sinclair, being one mile above the mouth of a small river commonly called Pine River and ending one mile and a half below the mouth of said Pine River.”

The consideration stated is “the love and regard we bear for our friend Lieut. Patrick Sinclair and for the love and esteem the whole of our said nation has for him for the many charitable acts he has done us, our wives and children.”

The King of England in his proclamation of October 3rd. 1763, establishing the province of Quebec, had expressly prohibited the obtaining of deeds from the Indians except under special license, and through certain officials.Site_of_Fort_MichiliMackinac_on_Mainland

This deed, therefore, although executed with considerable formality, and in the presence of the highest British Officials in the vicinity, did not operate to convey any legal title and this was recognized by Sinclair himself in 1774, in a petition to the government to be reimbursed for his expenditures on the property.

The property thug obtained was of sufficient size and quality to entitle him to consideration among the land owners of his native home, and he improved it by clearing, by setting out an orchard on the north side of Pine River, and by additional buildings.

It included a considerable body of pine and it is a curious fact that this marked on the East side of Michigan the Southern line of the great pine section of the Lower Peninsula.

During the period of his station at Detroit, Sinclair used the fort, buildings and pinery, but it is not known who looked after it during his absence from this locality after leaving in 1769 until 1759 when he arrived at Mackinac, but in 1780 Francis Bellecour, the British Indian Agent at Detroit, mas in charge.

He evidently was not giving satisfaction to the Indians in the vicinity, as in July of that year Maskeash, one of the Chiefs who signed the deed, with his wife and ten other Indians from along St. Clair River, went up on one of the government vessels, commanded by Alex Harrow, to Fort Mackinac to ask that Baptiste Point de (or du) Sable, be appointed to take cliai.ge of the property in place of Bellecour. DeSable mas a free mulatto who had traded with the Indians at the lower end of Lake Michigan, and, as he was friendly to the Americans, had been captured in 1779 by a British force from Fort Mackinac on the ground of his being a sympathizer with the American Rebels, and taken to Mackinac and detained.

By his conduct after his capture he commended himself to his captors and to Sinclair, then Lieutenant Governor, and as a result he was released and sent down to look after this property and trade with the Indians.

He appears to have remained there more or less continuously until 1784 when his effects were taken to Detroit and he returned to Illinois and continued at Peoria and Chicago until his death in 1811.

Although not in chronological order the subsequent history of this tract may be here narrated.

Sketch_of_Fort_Mackinac

In 1783 Lieutenant Governor Sinclair was living on the Isle of Orleans awaiting a decision upon the allowance of his accounts.

A young man by the name of Nicholas Boilvin who was a native of the Parish of St. Nicholas near Quebec. decided to try his fortunes in the far west, and April 5th., 1783, Sinclair gave to him a power of attorney to take charge of 1iis.farm on Pine River, his “stock, houses, barns, orchards, gardens, timber and every other article thereto appertaining.”

The same instrument recommended Boilvin to the protection of the officers at Detroit, so that all other persons might be prevented from cutting timber or trading near the post to Boilvin’s detriment.

Boilvin, on reaching Detroit, decided to go still farther west and September 20th, 1783, he assigned his power of attorney to David Ross and shortly after went to St. Louis.

He there became an Indian agent of the United States, but later removed to Prairie du Chien, where he mas for many years a person of some consequence.

In 1788, Sinclair’s rights were sold at auction and bought by Meldrum & Park, a firm of merchants and Indian traders of Detroit who went into possession of the property, made improvements and erected two saw mills and a grist mill.

In 1795, as the Indian deed to Sinclair had never been registered, but taken by him to England. finally finding its way to the Public Record office in London, Meldrum & Park obtained another deed from twenty-six Chippewa Chiefs, purporting to be in confirmation of the former deed to Sinclair; but the new deed conveyed a tract ten miles along St. Clair River by four miles in depth or about six times as much land.

This seems to have been in accordance with the usual way of honesty and fairness with which the white men treated the Indian.

This deed was not recognized by the United States as a conveyance of title, but the possessions taken under it enabled Meldrum & Park and their grantees to obtain patents from the United States, in 1810, to nearly five thousand acres.

In 1768 or 1769 Sinclair petitioned the Earl of Hillsborough, then Secretary for the Colonies, for the appointment of Superintendent of Navigation upon the Lakes, pointing out his experience, his successful services and the great need of such an official to protect the interests of the government, but the petition was refused, much to Sinclair’s disappointment.

It is not known exactly when he returned to England and his regiment, but it was sometime in the spring of 1769 and he was engaged in recruiting for upwards of a year.

In May 1771 he applied to the Earl of Hillsborough for the grant of a house at Detroit belonging to the Crown in lieu of his buildings at Pine River.

The matter as referred to General Gage, then at New York, who promised to look into the matter and see if that could be done without injury but apparently the inquiry was never made and nothing came of the petition.

He was promoted to Captain April 13, 1772, and the next year retired with the provision that he would not lose his rank if he rejoined the army.

Upon his retirement Sinclair returned to his ancestral home at Lybster, but time moved slowly there to a man accustomed for years to the wilderness and freedom of the Great Lakes in America and to the power and influence which Sinclair had been wont to exercise and directly upon his retirement he began exerting influence to get back to this country.

On June 1st, 1773, Sir Charles Thompson who had been for seven years the Colonel of the 15th Regiment, and who was an intimate personal friend of the King, wrote Lord Dartmouth in his behalf, recommending him as a proper person for appointment in Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, New York and the New England Provinces, but nothing came of it.

The government had never recognized his title to his land in America, nor had it ever repaid his outlays upon it, and in December, 1774, he applied for payment not only of these charges, but also for £56 which he paid to the Indians in redemption of white captives.

In the same account he includes £27 for his expenses caused by his being detained in the west when his regiment was sent to Europe and £70 for two servants killed by the Indians.

In February, 1775, his same kind and influential friend wrote again to Lord Dartmouth recommending Captain Sinclair for employment in Canada.

This time the fates were propitious and prompt, as on April 7th, 1775, he was commissioned by King George III, as Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent of the Post of Missillimakinac.

By the Proclamation of 1763 the Province of Quebec was established with such boundaries that practically all the Great Lake region lay outside, and therefore without any established form of government, which remained essentially military, without courts or ordinary civil officers.

The Quebec Act, passed by Parliament and effective in October, 1774, greatly extended the limits of the Province so as to reach the Ohio on the South and the Mississippi on the west.

By this Act a form of government by Governor and Council was provided and the old French laws recognized.

Although the Act itself made no reference to or provision for the western posts, the King in April, 1775, recognized four western districts or posts, and appointed as many Lieutenant Governors or Superintendents, one each to the posts of Detroit, Missillimakinac, St. Vincennes, and the Illinois.

These appointees were respectively Henry Hamilton, Patrick Sinclair, Edward Abbott and Matthew Johnson.

There was no attempt made to define the limits of each district, but ordinarily no question could arise over conflict of jurisdiction.

There was in each case a fortified place, which formed the center of operations.

There was, however, a clear distinction between the Post or District, and the fortified place; thus in the case of Sinclair, his seat of operations was Fort Mackinac, while his post was Missillimakinac and extended to cover the territory of all the Indians who were wont to come to that point to trade.

In the commission appointing Sinclair Lieutenant Governor there was no definition of his powers but he was to hold the position with all its “rights, privileges, profits, perquisites and advantages during the King’s pleasure.”

The incumbent, however was required to obey such orders and directions as he might receive from time to time from the Captain General and Commander in Chief of Quebec.

As there was no statute or general regulation upon the subject, the relation of the Lieutenant Governor, a civil officer, to the military force stationed at his post was indefinite and at Detroit was productive of considerable trouble.

Anxious to arrive at his post of duty promptly, there being no direct shipping from Glasgow to Quebec, Sinclair sailed for Baltimore, where he arrived July 26th, 1775, and at New York August 1st.

His purpose then was to go up the Hudson to Albany, thence to Oswego, and from there by boat to Quebec, and he made all preparation to leave New York August 4th, but on that day the Provincial Congress of New York then in session, having learned the previous day of his presence in the city, and of his great influence with the Indians, thought it unwise to permit him to go to his post where he might prejudice his Indian friends against the Colonies, and took him in custody and sent him on parole to Nassau Island in Suffolk County, Long Island, where he remained

until the following March, when upon his application to be permitted to retire to Europe, the Continental Congress granted his petition and he returned to England that summer.

He remained in England about a year and, apparently, found it rather difficult to get passage back to America, as in May, 1777, we find Lord George Germaine, then Secretary of the Colonies, granting Sinclair permission in response to request to come over in the packet Bristol rather than as “an unwelcome guest in a man-of-war.”

He did not reach America until the fall of 1777, this time at Philadelphia where he went with letters to Sir William Howe who advised him that his best plan to reach his post of duty via Quebec was to go by way of the St. Lawrence River the following spring.

Accordingly he spent the winter with Lord Howe and when the English fleet and forces left for England in May, 1778.

Captain Sinclair went as far as Halifax, where he was again compelled to wait until he could obtain transportation to Quebec.

Communications between Halifax and Quebec were infrequent and slow and it was a year later, in June, 1779, that Captain Sinclair arrived at Quebec and was ready to present himself and his commission to the Governor and receive his instructions and proceed to his post, although he had sent a communication to the Governor from Halifax in October of the year before.

At this time Sir Frederick Haldimand was Governor General.

He was of Swiss birth and, after some years’ service in the Prussian army joined the British forces in 1754 and was rapidly promoted.

He was an efficient officer and a good soldier, but his character and training both emphasized the military over the civil power.

On more than one occasion he received severe reprimands from the English government because of actions due to this feeling.

The officer then in command at Fort Mackinac was Maj. Arent Schuyler DePeyster who had been there for five years.

He was a capable officer, quite influential with the Indians and tactful in his intercourse with others.

He was gifted in a literary way, and although of American birth had strong English sympathies, sewing in the English army during the Revolutionary War.

Upon his retirement from the army he went to Dunfries, Scotland, his wife’s native place, where he became a close friend of the Poet Burns.

For some time DePeyster had been desirous of leaving Mackinac, giving as his reasons that his health was poor and that his private affairs at New York where his family had long been established sadly needed his presence but his real reason was the distance of his post from civilization, as no further complaints were heard from him after he was transferred to Detroit.

It is probable that Haldimand and Sinclair had met before.

In 1760 Haldimand, as lieutenant Colonel, accompanied the British force from Oswego to Montreal and Sinclair’s regiment, the 15th Foot, was a part of the force. Although Sinclair arrived in Quebec early in June, 1779, and undoubtedly presented himself promptly with his commission and a letter from Lord Germaine, which stated that, as Lieutenant Governor, he would have command over the military force stationed there, as well as civil authority, the Governor General, who did not relish the idea of Sinclair’s exercising military as well as civil powers at his post, put him off on various pretenses for over a month-in the meantime writing to DePeyster that he intended to delay Sinclair until the ship’s arrival from England in mid-summer, hoping perhaps to receive by then some authority to reduce or negative the instructions in Lord Germaine’s letter.

The ships arrived, but nothing to favor his wishes: he thereupon wrote to England, commenting upon the union of the civil and military authority in one person; but the reply received the following year made plain that the action of the government in this respect was fully considered and not to be altered.

In the meantime Haldimand issued a set of instructions for Sinclair, in which, disobeying the express terms of Lord Germaine’s letter, he authorized Sinclair to act as Commandant only until a senior officer of the garrison stationed there should arrive, and impressed upon him that only such senior officer had power over the troops to be sent beyond garrison limits, and in addition the perquisites attached to the commander of the post were to go to the officer.

Naturally such instructions proved very distasteful to Sinclair who at once addressed a spirited remonstrance to the Governor.

After some vigorous correspondence, in which Sinclair proposed to return to England rather than occupy a position which might be humiliating, the matter was compromised;the instructions were somewhat modified, and it was represented to him that there was in fact no senior officer at the post and an early opportunity would be given to purchase a commission as officer which would entitle him to outrank anyone who would be sent to the garrison.

With these assurances he left Quebec the last of August, 1779, for his post, and arrived at Fort Mackinac October 4th, 1779, probably by way of the Ottawa River, four and one-half years after the date of his commission.

He had crossed the ocean three times and while, until this date, he had not been able to exercise any authority under his commission, he had not neglected one important part of his duty, to draw his annual salary of £200.

Three days after his arrival, Major DePeyster left for Detroit, and Sinclair was free to examine his empire.

The fort was on the mainland on the south side of the strait, and practically in the same condition as it existed in 1763 at the time of its capture by the Indians.

It enclosed about two acres and the ramparts consisted solely of pickets driven into the ground.

It was on the sand and so near the shore that the waves in time of storm dashed over the pickets.

The practiced eye of Captain Sinclair at once noted its insecure condition, its inability to resist any attack but that of small arms, and that it could not afford protection to vessels.

In a letter to Captain Brehm, aide to Governor Haldimand, written four days after his arrival, he suggested the removal of the fort to the Island of Michilimackinac, and pointed out at some length the many advantages which the island possessed in the way of easy construction of a defensible fort, the protection of vessels, and good building material “but for God’s sake be careful in the choice of an engineer and don’t send up one of your paper engineers fond of fine regular polygons.”

In another letter to Brehm a week later, he returned to the subject and urged prompt action.

“It is the most respectable situation I ever saw, besides convenient for the subsistence of a Garrison, the safety of troops, traders and commerce.”

Without waiting for authority from the Governor, which could not be expected to be received until the following spring, Sinclair proceeded to set men at work on the island clearing, making shingles, pickets, etc.

By February he had so much done that he set about moving the French Church over to the Island and persuaded the traders and Canadians (as the French were generally called) that the removal was not only desirable but certain.

In May, 1780, came the consent of the Governor to the change with the information that lie had so much confidence in the Lieutenant Governor’s engineering abilities that no other engineer would be sent.

Sinclair soon found, however that, with the limited means at his command in masons and artificers, it would not be possible to complete the new fort sufficiently to move into it during that season, and he accordingly took all steps to put the mainland fort into the best possible condition to repel attack which he feared might come from the “rebels” – friends and adherents of the United States and their Indian friends.

In the meantime Sinclair had obtained the desired reinstatement, in military rank, so he was properly styled the Commandant (as well as Lieutenant Governor), thus uniting the military and civil powers of the post.

It so happened that Capt. George McDougall of the 84th Regiment, had been for some time anxious to sell out and retire on account of his health, but as he was an active and efficient officer, well-liked by the Indians, the Governor was loath to permit him to go.

However, in the spring of 1780, on the representation of failing health, permission was granted him to sell out and Lieut. Patrick Sinclair became the purchaser and a Captain again in the British Army, his commission being dated from April 1, 1780.

Sinclair received notice of his appointment July 8, and it evidently was a source of much satisfaction to him as he signed his letters for a time “Patrick Sinclair, Capt. 84th Regiment &Lieut. Gov.”

It was not long before an affair justified his insistence with Governor Haldimand upon the propriety and necessity of the provisions in Lord Germaine’s letter. Captain Mompesson of the 8th Reg., then at Detroit, was ordered by Maj. DePeyster to take a part of his company to Mackinac to relieve a company of Grenadiers.

Upon his arrival, Ang. 21st, 1780, he immediately refused to take orders from Sinclair and the next day issued a Regimental order that he expected obedience to his commands from the troops in the garrison.

Both officers wrote at once to the Governor who immediately decided that Captain Sinclair was in the right, that his former rank as Captain in the 15th Regiment had been ‘preserved upon his leaving that regiment, and he therefore clearly outranked Captain Mompesson.

The Governor in his letter to Sinclair about the matter added that he had at length obtained his Majesty’s decision upon the disputed rank of Lieutenant Governors of the post; this decision was, in fact, merely a confirmation of Lord George

Germaine’s letter.

Another episode happened at this time not calculated to soothe a somewhat peppery disposition and one regardful of the dignity and authority of its owner. Capt. Alex Harrow, of the Schooner Welcome, arrived July 29th, 1780, and assumed, as superior in naval command, to give an order to Captain McKay, of the Felicity, which had been plying chiefly between the post and the Island.

(Captain Harrow was a Scotchman who came to the Great Lakes in 1779 as an officer in the naval department and, in 1794, settled in St. Clair County on a large tract of land lying a short distance above Algonac and upon a part of which descendants of his are now living.)

The Lieutenant Governor resented this interference with his own authority and as both men were tenacious of their dignity, it resulted in Harrow being taken from his vessel and imprisoned in the fort.

After confinement of a month or two the authority of Sinclair was confirmed by the Governor, and Harrow, through the good nature of Sinclair, who, though quick to anger, was equally quick to relent, was released and reinstated in command of his vessel.

The command of a post so distant and isolated as that of Mackinac was a severe test of the qualities of promptness, decision, judgment and tact, and an early opportunity displayed Sinclair’s possession of the first two qualities in ample quantity.

After France embraced the cause of the United States she endeavored to get Spain to do the same; but the latter, though aiding the Americans in many ways, including the sale of a large quantity of gunpowder at New Orleans, made no formal declaration of war until May 8, 1779.

Lord Germaine either devised or adopted a plan to drive the Spanish out of Louisiana and on June 17, 1779, wrote General Haldimand, directing him in co-operation with Brigadier General Campbell to attack New Orleans and the other

Spanish posts on the Mississippi River.

Haldimand issued a circular letter to the Governors of all the Western posts giving general instructions.

This letter after passing from Colonel Bolton, at Niagara, to Major DePeyster, at Detroit, was forwarded by the latter Jan. 2, 1780, to Sinclair at Mackinac.

The day after its receipt Sinclair sent a war party to engage the Sioux Indians to proceed down the Mississippi River.

He also ordered Mr. Hesse, a trader, but formerly in the army, to collect a force of Indians and supplies in Wisconsin for the same purpose.

A few days later he dispatched a sergeant with Machiquawish, a noted Indian Chief, and his band.

The combined force made an attack on St. Louis which was only partially successful, and the project, as a whole, was a failure, the result being to leave the district South of Lake Michigan and as far West as the Mississippi River in American control.

Sinclair shows up, however, very favorably in the affair and, if the King had been as well served elsewhere, the result might have been very different.

The removal to the Island fort was made in the summer of 1781, although the fort was not entire1 completed.

When finally completed for occupation it contained four block houses, three of which are still standing; the fourth, which stood near the southeast corner was later removed.

The walls have since been widened and raised, and the roadway from the lower town brought nearer to the face of the hill and parallel to it, and lengthened so as to reduce the grade.

The officers’ quarters within the enclosure stand where they were originally constructed and the guard house, built in 1835, is on the site of the one built by Sinclair.

However, the general plan of the fort remains substantially the same today as when it was originally constructed 134 years ago, except that the North wall toward the West is brought in. thus contracting the enclosure by about one-fourth.

Sinclair proposed to call the new fort “Haldimand” after the Governor, but the latter decided that the fort should be called Fort “Makinac,” and the post should be continued to be called Michilimackinac, thus indicating that the post, meaning the civil jurisdiction, was more extensive than the fort, which included only the garrison limits.

The Governor’s spelling of the name of the fort was never carried out but the name of the post continued as long as the British retained control.

When they left and the Americans took possession, the post, as such, ceased, and both island and fort took the same name, Mackinac.

Sinclair, as a means of propitiating the Indians and securing their approval of removal to the Island, had negotiated with some of the Chiefs for a deed which he finally obtained in May, 1781.

By this deed five Chiefs of the Chippewa nation relinquished to Lieutenant Governor Sinclair, for the behalf and use of the English King, the Island of Michilimackinac, and agreed to preserve in their village a belt of wampum seven feet in length to perpetuate and be a lasting memorial of the transaction.

The consideration was £5,000 New York currency (equal to $12,500 in 1915).

The deed was signed with the totems of the Chiefs, also by Patrick Sinclair, Lt. Governor & Commandant, Captain Mompesson, Lieutenant Brooke and Ensign McDonall, and witnessed by six of the resident traders.

The work of completing the fort went on slowly as the Commandant could not get the necessary workmen.

Major Depeyster at Detroit was not feeling very friendly to Sinclair and when requested to send artificers reported that he could not spare any.

In August, Brigadier General Powell was compelled to peremptorily order him to send up two carpenters.

During the years of the construction of the fort an unusually large number of Indians came to Mackinac from all quarters to receive their annual presents from the British Government.

Sioux, Menominies, Sacs, Foxes, Ottawas and Chippewas, Winebagoes and all other tribes between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, and even beyond, had become accustomed to make an annual pilgrimage to & Michilimackinac to meet the representative of their Great Father across the water and receive in return an outfit which would please their sense of display and enable them to support life until another season.

The coming of the white man and the introduction of strong drink and firearms had completely revolutionized the status of the Indians.

From an independent self-supporting people procuring their spare and difficult livelihood by the exercise of natural talents heightened by ever present necessity, they had become dependent for clothing and the means of obtaining food.

So longer were their own developed weapons sufficient.

They needed guns, powder and shot to kill the animals whose flesh gave them food and whose skins gave the furs the white man coveted and was willing to pay for.

The French had found it advantageous to give the Indians some presents to stimulate and maintain their friendship, but the English found it necessary to give far more.

The French, by their willingness to live the life of the Indians, to intermarry with them, and by their understanding and appreciation of Indian nature, were naturally regarded as their friends, and in the long French and English war the sympathies of the Western Indians were with the former and Pontiac found it easy to obtain the adherence of the most of the tribes.

When the English obtained possession of the western posts they thought it wise to conciliate the Indians by presents, and as time went on the number of Indians who applied for gifts and the extent of their demands increased until it became appalling to the British authorities.

An additional reason why during the period of Governor Sinclair’s station at Mackinac a larger amount of presents was needed than in ordinary times was that, owing to the Revolutionary War, the English feared-and with good reason-that the French were, in the main, friendly to the Americans, and would use their influence with the Indians to turn the latter against the English.

If this should happen all the Western posts would inevitably fall into the hands of the Americans.

The three posts on the lakes to which the Indians resorted in large numbers for supplies were Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac.

One of the articles most in demand was rum and, as an illustration, it appears that there was consumed during the year from June, 1780, to June, 1781, at the three posts, 19,386 gallons of this article euphemistically called “milk” at the Indian pow-wows.

This does not include the large amount used and furnished by the traders.

The nature of other articles sent by the Government as presents can be seen from the return showing that in 1781 there was sent to Lieutenant Governor Sinclair for Indian presents, 991 pairs of blankets, mostly 2% and 3 point, 102 dozen calico shirts, and 50 dozen linen ones, laced hats, feathers, looking glasses, knives, tomahawks, medals, needles and thread, axes, razors, brass and copper kettles, tobacco, powder, shot and guns, and a host of other minor articles.

It happened not infrequently that the supply of goods furnished by the government became low, or was very late in arriving at the post and, as the presents must be made when the Indians were there, the officers at the posts had been in the habit of buying from the traders such articles as they thought to be absolutely necessary.

In consequence they often were compelled to pay high prices.

These purchases as well as all other outlays were met by drafts drawn by the Lieutenant Governor upon the Governor General.

In order to prevent a further continuance of this practice and reduce, if possible. the great and Increasing expenses of the Western posts, on June 22nd, 1781, Governor Haldimand issued orders that the officers at Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac should, on no account whatever, after receipt of the order, purchase liquors or any other articles whatever for the use of the Indians from the trader, and that no circumstances whatever would he admitted a reason for not complying with the order.

Lieutenant Governor Sinclair did not observe this order very closely, evidently believing that this order was only intended for ordinary occasions, and that, as he was on the ground, he was entitled to use his judgment, even if it resulted in violating orders made at a great distance.

During the years 1780, 1781, 1782 the new fort was under construction, and in 1781 Sinclair drew on the Governor General drafts to the amount of £43,000 New York currency, for the engineering works and £65,000 for the Indian Department. This was an increase over the preceding year of £18,000 in the latter and nearly £35,000 in the former, which, however, was probably not unexpected as much more work was done on the new fort in 1781 than in 1780.

In 1782 the Lieutenant Governor drew for immense sums in both departments; in January one draft went forward for over £43,000 to be charged against the fort building, and to this no objection seems to have been made.

On the same day, however, he drew £11,450 on account of Indian expenditures, and when this draft was presented to Haldimand he refused to accept it, and referred the accounts to Mr. Goddard, general storekeeper and inspector of Indian presents, with instructions to charge out all articles he might consider presents to the Indians.

He later requested advice from his Attorney General upon the question whether he could legally pay part of the account, without acknowledging the whole.

Apparently he was advised that he might safely pay part as he did pay over £9,000.

In April Sinclair drew drafts to the amount of £14,500 of which £9,500 was on account of the fort and was paid, and £5,000 for Indian expenditures which was paid in part.

In July he drew for over £60,000 of which £40,000 was for the Indian department and the remainder for the Fort construction, about one-half of these drafts were accepted and the others refused and protested.

Although the Commandant at Detroit was at the same time also drawing heavily-in 1781, £162,000 and in 1782, £66,000 nearly all of which was on Indian account, none of his bills were refused.

In August, 1782, Haldimand alarmed at these enormous expenditures, which were affecting his own standing with the authorities in London, appointed Lieut. Col. Henry Hope, Sir John Johnson.

Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and James S. Goddard, to go to Mackinac and examine into the situation.

They arrived September 15th and found a number of irregularities.

There evidently had been looseness and carelessness in the keeping and checking of accounts, and the instructions of Governor Haldimand had not been followed with regard to the purchase of articles from the traders.

One of the perquisites which had been enjoyed and which though profitable to the Lieut. Governor, was detrimental to the public interests, was the reception by that official of presents from the Indians, generally in the nature of furs which naturally called for increased presents to the Indians, paid for by the Government.

It is apparent, however, that Sinclair’s actions had some justification.

Supplies ordered by him had not been sent, or were damaged in transit, or were so greatly delayed as not to arrive in time for distribution to the Indians, and the Commandant was obliged to choose between disappointing and alienating the Indians, a consequence of much importance until the Revolutionary War was ended – or purchasing goods from the traders.

Most of these drafts which were objected to were drawn in favor of George McBeath to be used by him in the payment of the various traders who had furnished articles.

McBeath had been sent up by Haldimand for the very purpose of taking charge of these expenditures and evidently thought them proper and necessary.

A few days after the arrival of the investigating board, Sinclair turned over the command of the post to Captain Robertson, the next ranking officer of the garrison, and left for Quebec arriving in October.

The fort was not yet entirely completed.

A careful survey made at the time by an engineer indicated the extent of the work done, and estimated that with 100 laborers and the necessary artificers, the fort could be put into a safe condition in about two months.

As nearly $300,000 had then been spent upon its construction without serious objection by the English authorities it may be easily conceived that they regarded the post as of high importance.

November 1st, Sinclair applied to Governor Haldimand for permission to go to Great Britain, which was refused on the ground that he was needed for the examination of his accounts.

He then took up his residence on the Isle of Orleans, awaiting action on this matter, and there he remained until the fall of 1784, when he finally obtained the desired permission and left for England.

In the meantime Haldimand wrote in October, 1782, to the English Treasury stating what he had done and that he would investigate and report.

In November, he followed this by an explanation of his reasons, which were in the main, that Sinclair had acted contrary to the order of June, 1781, in buying Indian presents from the traders.

He also promised to have the matter carefully looked into.

A year went by without any action whatever and in October, 1783, Haldimand wrote the Treasury that he was waiting with great impatience for instructions.

To this the Lords of the Treasury replied that he had failed to give them the information which he had promised, and which they needed before giving full instructions.

In January, 1784, the Treasury received remonstrances from the merchants whose bills were unpaid, and they wrote Haldimand that such parts of the bills as represented articles furnished and labor performed should be paid for at the usual rates.

In July, 1784, Haldimand wrote that he had offered £22,000 upon bills drawn for £57,000, and that his offer had been refused and he had been threatened with prosecution by the claimants.

In the meantime Sinclair was eating out his heart on the Isle of Orleans.

Prevented from going to England and meeting his family and friends, feeling the hostility of the Governor General, receiving the frequent importunities of the unfortunate traders who had parted with their goods, but had not received their money.

It is not to be wondered at that he fell into a state of deep and settled melancholy, and that even to his best friends his faculties began to seem impaired.

Representations were made to the Governor General and in August, 1784, he was allowed to return to England in company with Captain Erskine Hope and his wife, who was a connection of Sinclair.

The trip and his surroundings and his friends and relatives in Scotland, where he at once repaired upon his arrival in England, restored his health.

In November Haldimand himself left Canada for England, arriving at London in January, 1785.

As soon as Sinclair heard of this he left at once for London determined to have his affairs settled, and arrived there February 28, 1785.

He was delayed in meeting Haldimand, however, by being arrested at the suit of some of the holders of the protested Mackinac bills and thrown into Newgate prison, from which he was released on March 17th by his paying the bills.

He immediately demanded of Haldimand that the latter repay the amount at once, or he would apply for a Court Martial.

Apparently neither action was taken but early in April, Haldimand was sued for £50,000, he at once called upon the Government to defend him.

In the following year the action was dismissed, and the claimants appealed to Government for their pay.

The result of this application is unknown but the standing of Sinclair with the English authorities does not seem to have been impaired by all these proceedings. While at Mackinac he had advanced in military rank, having become a Major in 1782.

The next year his regiment, the 84th, was disbanded.

His absence from his post as Lieut. Governor did not affect his title or his salary except the allowance which he drew as commanding officer.

In August 1784, the Governor General was careful to impress upon Captain Robertson, then commanding at Mackinac, that his authority was merely in the absence of the Lieut. Governor.

In October, 1793, Sinclair was made a Colonel.

The post of Michilimackinac was transferred in June, 1796, to the Americans, and although Sinclair had not set foot in it since he left in August, 1782, he had continued to draw his yearly salary of £200 with great regularity.

According to modern ideas this would have been an unjustifiable sinecure, but that was an age of sinecures and it was acknowledged that an office was a vested right of which no possessor should be deprived without the payment of compensation.

Accordingly, it is not surprising to find that in April, 1797, Colonel Sinclair, then in London, petitioned the Duke of Portland, Secretary of State, that as he had been at great pains in fortifying and defending the post of Michilimackinac, and his Majesty had found it expedient to give it up to the United States, he flattered himself that this action would not be prejudicial to him and that his salary might be transferred to the general establishment.

This petition apparently seemed reasonable and his salary continued during the remainder of his life.

Not long after he was retired on half pay and withdrew to Lybster where he spent the remainder of his days.

Being still in line for promotion he was made a Major General on September 25th, 1803; he was made Lieut. General, July 25th, 1810, and at his death, which occurred January 31st, 1820 at the age of 84, he was the oldest officer of his rank in the British army.

From a consideration of all the evidence now available in the matter of the protested bills Sinclair was unfairly treated.

Haldimand, although a good soldier, was a stubborn opinionated man whose training as a soldier inclined him to be overbearing and impatient of anything except the most exact obedience to his orders.

In the face of the King’s commission to Sinclair with the accompanying letter of Lord George Germaine, which made the Lieut. Governor the Commandant entitling him to outrank any officer under a Brigadier General, he refused to recognize any military authority in the position.

Although admitting the great importance of placating the Western Indians, and having himself no personal knowledge of the difficulties of the situation, he thought his orders issued from a thousand miles away should be implicitly obeyed.

It is clear that Sinclair did not understand until the Board put in its appearance at Mackinac that he was doing anything more than the necessities of the situation required, in view of the fact that the government agencies were often so dilatory and neglectful as to leave the far distant post short or entirely lacking.

From his reply to Haldimand’s letter of June, 1781, it is apparent that he understood that his position as Lieut. Governor gave him discretion and this position was never contradicted by Haldimand.

His good faith is manifest all through, and even if Haldimand were justified in claiming that Sinclair had acted in contravention of his orders, that furnished no excuse for not paying the traders who had, in good faith, furnished articles actually used by the government and ordered by a representative they had no reason to suspect.

It seems probable that in the end the government paid the bills, as in 1786 the Treasury at London called on Haldimand to furnish information why the bills had been protested, and to explain why he had continued McBeath at Mackinac in connection with Indian disbursements after he had repudiated his actions in connection with Sinclair.

Sinclair married Catherine Stuart, of Invernesshire, and had four sons and one daughter.

Three sons died unmarried, and one married but left two daughters, who never married.

His only lineal descendants are through the children of his daughter, Susan, who married David Laing, surgeon, of Thurso.

A full length silhouette of General Sinclair taken after he had retired from the army shows a large handsome man of imposing presence.

Family tradition depicts him as an impulsive, warm hearted, as well as warm tempered individual, quick to resent and to punish, and equally quick to forgive; kindly and generous to dependents; philanthropic and helpful to the needy and improvident.

He lived to the good old age of eighty-four and his thoughts must frequently have gone back to this Inland Empire in which nearly a decade of his life was spent, and in which he had wielded a wide influence, and had erected a monument still enduring.

His name which was so closely connected with the early history of Michigan should be perpetuated and both Mackinac and St. Clair County should mark, by proper memorials, the name of Sinclair, as a most important one in their rolls of historic characters.

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ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF DETROIT, MICHIGAN


griffon-drawing-1

INDIAN AGENTS.

EARLY VISITORS.

ORIGINAL INHABITANTS.

The origin of the first occupants of this region is shrouded in mystery.

Several writers have adopted the theory that they were descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, and they fortify their position with a variety of interesting facts.

The founder of our fair domain was a believer in this theory, and the archives of France contain a lengthy memorial written by Cadillac in which he distinctly asserts his belief that the Indians are descendants of the Hebrew race, strengthening his argument with statements of many remarkable coincidences and customs confirmatory of the idea.

The researches of Schoolcraft, Prescott, Pickering, and others, indicate that the first comers were from Asia, that they were driven by winds and waves over to the Pacific coast, or made their way by the Aleutian Islands or Behring’s Strait to Alaska, and from thence southward to Mexico and South America, afterwards spreading northward and eastward over the American continent.

Elaborate and plausible arguments have been made to prove the converse theory, that the Chinese are descended from the Aztec race.

In support of this supposition, it is urged that the trade winds from the Peruvian coast pass directly to China, and that even frail vessels could easily be wafted thither.

Unique and ancient bronze implements are found alike in both countries; the picture-writings of the two countries are in many cases similar, and in others are exactly the same; and the Feast of Souls, as celebrated in Central America, is remarkably like certain of the Chinese ceremonies.

The order of the ancient occupancy of the country seems to have been, first the Olmec’s, then the Toltecs, then the Aztecs, or Aztecas.

Various reasons give rise to the theory that the Aztec race were the first occupants of this particular region.

Humboldt was of the opinion that the country of the Aztecas was in this latitude.

The meaning of their tribal name is “People of the Lakes;” and there is no place in the United States in which small lakes are so numerous as in Michigan, while the State is nearly surrounded by lakes, which are almost seas in extent.

The name Michigan is derived from two Chippewa words, Mitchaw, great, and Sagiegan, lake. Great Lake.

The so-called Indian mounds in various Western States, in their size, form, and contents, add force to the Aztecan theory.

In the township of Springwells, just below Detroit, were four of these mounds; one of them still remains inside the grounds of Fort Wayne; the second was on property now occupied by the Copper Smelting Works, and the third lay between the other two.

They were circular in form, from thirty to seventy feet in diameter, and varying from three to ten feet in height.

Two parallel embankments, about four feet high, led to them from the east.

One of these mounds was opened in 1837, and the one inside the fort, by permission of the War Department, on May 22, 1876.

Both were found to contain numerous skeletons, arrow-heads, and vases or pots of earthenware.

The one last opened contained also an iron vessel capable of holding two or three gallons, and several pounds of what appeared to be a sort of paint.

The Great Mound of the River Rouge, about half a mile below Fort Wayne, was at first, probably, fully three hundred feet long and two hundred feet wide.

In 1876 it was twenty feet high.

It has never been fully explored, but a partial investigation by Henry Gillman resulted in the discovery of stone axes, arrow-heads, fragments of pottery, and human bones much decayed.

An old Indian told a member of the Cicotte family that these mounds were erected as forts, at the time the tribes were fighting each other.

Indian tradition also ascribes these mounds to the Tuetle Indians, who preceded the Wyandotts.

The name Tuetle is believed to be a corruption of Tuteloes, a tribe once supposed to have emigrated from Virginia only as far north as the Susquehanna; but it now seems probable that some came as far as the Detroit.

Of the more modern Indian tribes who roamed over this region, the Algonquin race was the earliest.

They counted among their numbers in the northwest the tribes of the Ottawas, Menominees, Sacs, Foxes, and Chippewas.

There were also in this vicinity the tribes of the Miamis, Potowatamies, Winnebagoes, and the Ouendats, or Wyandotts.

The latter who came to this vicinity about 1680, excelled the other tribes in energy and progressiveness.

From time to time the Iroquois also appeared.

This nation was composed originally of the Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, Oneidas, and Mohawks.

In 1714, the Tuscaroras of North Carolina united with them, and they were afterward known as the Six Nations.

They claimed all of Michigan, and between them and the Algonquins warfare was frequent.

Indeed, the Iroquois were the enemies of all the Indians at or near Detroit, and in 1649 they drove the Algonquins from this region.

They were unfriendly to the French, and during the French and English war did good service for the English.

They were the cannibals of America, and French residents of Detroit, in 1756, stated that the Iroquois actually ate the flesh of persons slain in battle.

It was the settled policy of the French commandants to induce as many friendly Indians as possible to settle near their forts.

We find Cadillac, in 1703, urging the Ottawas to move to Detroit.

The French records of the same year show that several Miamis were already settled there, and that on June 28 thirty Hurons arrived from Mackinaw and erected wigwams near the fort.

The Potowatamies had their village west of the fort, near the mouth of what was afterwards called Knagg’s Creek.

The Ottawa settlement was where Windsor now is, and the Hurons were gathered on the Canada side, opposite the Cass Farm.

In 1705 about two hundred Indians had been persuaded by Cadillac to settle in the vicinity.

In furtherance of his plans a great council of chiefs was held, continuing from August 6 to August 10, 1707.

The following translation from a French Colonial Memoir, written in 1707, and preserved at Paris, gives a vivid picture of Indian life at this period:

The village of the Pottowatamies adjoins the fort; they lodge partly under Apaquois, which are made of mat-grass.

The women do all this work.

The men belonging to that nation are well clothed, like our domiciliated Indians at Montreal; their entire occupation is hunting and dress ; they make use of a great deal of vermilion, and in winter wear buffalo robes richly painted, and in summer either blue or red cloth.

They play a good deal at la crosse in summer, twenty or more on each side.

Their bat is a sort of little racket, and the ball with which they play is made of very heavy wood, somewhat larger than the balls used at tennis; when playing they are entirely naked, except a breech cloth, and moccasins on their feet.

Their body is completely painted with all sorts of colors.

Some, with white clay, trace white lace on their bodies, as if on all the seams of a coat, and at a distance it would be apt to be taken for silver lace.

They play very deep {gros j’eu) and often.

The bets sometimes amount to more than eight hundred livres.

They set up two poles and commence the game from the center; one party propels the ball from one side and the other from the opposite, and which ever reaches the goal, wins.

This is fine recreation and worth seeing.

They often play village against village, the Poux against the Outaoues or the Hurons, and lay heavy stakes.

Sometimes Frenchmen join in the game with them.

The women cultivate Indian corn, beans, peas, squashes, and melons, which come up very fine.

The women and girls dance at night; adorn themselves considerably, grease their hair, put on a white shift, paint their cheeks with vermilion, and wear whatever wampum they possess, and are very tidy in their way.

They dance to the sound of the drum and sisiquoi, which is a sort of a gourd containing some grains of shot.

Four or five young girls sing, and beat time with the drum and sisiquoi, and the women keep time and do not lose a step ; it is very entertaining, and lasts almost the entire night.

The old men often dance the Medelinne (Medicine Dance); they resemble a set of demons, and all this takes place during the night.

The young men often dance in a circle {le tour) and strike posts; it is then they recount their achievements, and dance, at the same time, the war dance (des decouvertes), and whenever they act thus they are highly ornamented.

It is altogether very curious.

They often perform these things for tobacco. When they go hunting, which is every fall, they carry their Apaquois with them to hut under at night.

Everybody follows, men, women, and children, and winter in the forest and return in the spring.

The Hurons are also near, perhaps the eighth of a league from the French fort.

This is the most industrious nation that can be seen.

They scarcely ever dance, and are always at work; raise a very large amount of Indian corn, peas, beans; some grow wheat.

They construct their huts entirely of bark, very strong and solid; very lofty and very long, and arched like arbors.

Their fort is strongly encircled with pickets and bastions, well redoubted, and has strong gates.

They are the most faithful nation to the French, and the most expert hunters that we have.

Their cabins are divided into sleeping compartments, which contain their misirague, and are very clean.

They are the bravest of all the nations and possess considerable talent.

They are well clad; some of them wear close overcoats {juste au corps de capot).

The men are always hunting, summer and winter, and the women work.

When they go hunting in the fall, a goodly number of them remain to guard their fort.

The old women, and throughout the winter those women who remain, collect wood in very large quantity.

The soil is very fertile; Indian corn grows there to the height of ten to twelve feet.

Their fields are very clean, and very extensive; not the smallest weed is to be seen in them.

The Outaoues are on the opposite of the river, over against the French fort ; they, likewise, have a picket fort.

Their cabins resemble somewhat those of the Hurons.

They do not make use of Apaquois except when out hunting: their cabins in this fort are all of bark, but not so clean nor so well made as those of the Hurons.

They are as well dressed and very laborious, both in their agriculture and hunting.

Their dances, juggleries, and games of ball (la crosse) and of the bowl, are the same as those of the Poux.

Their game of the bowl consists of eight small pebbles (noyaux), which are red or black on one side, and yellow or white on the other; these are tossed up in a bowl, and when he who holds the vessel tosses them and finds seven of the whole eight of the same color he gains, and continues playing as long as he receives the same thing.

When the result is different, the adverse party takes the bowl and plays next, and they risk heavy stakes on all these games.

They have likewise the game of the straws, and all the nations gamble in like manner.

In 1736 there were five hundred Indian warriors at Detroit,—two hundred each from the Huron and Ottawa tribes and one hundred from the Potowatamies.

Bougainville, who was here in 1757,says:

The Indians who usually come to trade at Detroit are the Hurons of the same tribe of those of Lorette, near Quebec, a perfidious and deceitful nation in whom we must never put confidence.

There are also the Ottawas, the Sauteux, and the Potowatamies; these last named are of all the Indians the most faithful and the most attached to our interests.

They have never murdered any Frenchmen, and have often warned us of the plots of other tribes.

Cadillac says that the Ottawas wore, as an ornament, a little stone suspended from their nose, and that “Ottawa,” the name of the tribe, signified “the nation with a hole in their nose.”

The French gave nicknames to most of the tribes in this region.

The Wyandotts they designated as Hurons, because of their fierce aspect, comparing them to a wild boar; the Chippewas, as Sauteurs, from their residence near the Sault St. Marie; the Menominees were called Folles Avoines, from “wild rice,” one of their principal articles of food.

The name Potowatamie was abbreviated into Poux.

This nation was very uncleanly.

All of the tribes known to the Americans, north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, had their council-fire at the village of the Wyandotts, near the mouth of the Detroit River.

The Wyandotts alone had the power to convene the tribes, and when a council was to be held, application was made to them, and it was held at their village.

This fact gave the locality a peculiar importance and made it familiar to all the Indians.

At various times nearly all the noted Indian leaders visited this post.

Pontiac, Tecumseh, and his brother The Prophet, were frequent visitors. John Logan, the Cayuga chief, whose speech to Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, is familiar to every schoolboy, was here in 1774, and after the treaty of Chillicothe, he resided for many years in this vicinity.

He became a drunkard, and was killed, between Detroit and Miami, by an Indian.

The French trusted the Indians almost without fear.

No seals or locks were placed on the storehouses, and the Indians came and went as they pleased. Under English and American rule the Indians were welcomed inside the stockade during the day, but at night all were turned out except those who were entertained by private persons.

The Indians were always persistent beggars, and no Arab of the present day demands backsheesh more clamorously than did the red men of their French and English “brothers.”

Their requests were generally acceded to, and the presents given them in some measure made up for the exorbitant prices charged them for articles offered in exchange for furs.

Their likes and dislikes turned, like a pair of scales, according as they had free range or were restricted in their visitations to the houses.

On September 18, 1770, Captain Stephenson, of the Eighteenth Regiment, then in command, wrote to Sir William Johnson:

My children here are quiet at present.

They have all been to pay me a visit and suck my breast, to which they made so close an application that I told them I was afraid they would throw me in a consumption.

They are very happy at having free access to my house, which my predecessor’s delicacy would not admit.

Even after this region was surrendered, the English Government sought the favor of the Indians by annual gifts; and year by year up to 1836 thousands from various tribes gathered at Detroit, Sandwich, or Maiden to receive the presents of their Great Father, the King.

The American Government was compelled to follow this precedent.

On November 24, 1807, Governor Hull wrote to the Secretary of War that within the two or three days previous seven or eight hundred Indians had called at Detroit, on the way to their villages, and that he had been compelled to feed them.

In the autumn of 1812, while the city was in possession of the British, the Indians committed many outrages.

A party of them went in a body to rob Colonel Lambert Beaubien’s orchard, but the Colonel attacked them with his fists, and made so courageous a defense that he drove them from his premises.

After the city again passed under American control, Colonel Cass was obliged to feed great numbers of the Indians.

In one communication to the War Department he states that for several years he fed an average of four hundred Indians per day.

Between 1814 and 1817, he disbursed $200,000 for the benefit of the Indians.

To divide and distribute among them the goods and bounty of the Government was a task vexatious in the extreme, and almost unbearable, for it was impossible to satisfy the stupid and stolid savages.

All the year round they came and went, and the agent’s family was “driven from one extremity of the house to the other by them.”

In addition to the annuities the “government blacksmith” repaired, free of charge, their guns and traps.

There was always some excuse for their coming, and citizens were not surprised at any time to see a swarthy face at the window-pane; oftentimes the click of the latch was the only warning of the entrance of one of the nation’s wards.

Some of them were gayly dressed with blankets of scarlet broadcloth, and strings of silver half-moons graduated in size from one to several inches in length, hung from neck to ankles, both in front and down the back.

Their moccasins and leggins were gay with beads and the stained quills of the porcupine.

The heads of the war chiefs were frequently gayer still with the vermilion and bear’s grease which had been rubbed thereon.

The squaws were not left behind.

There was always some burden for them to carry, and the procession ceased on one day only to begin the next.

Indians and more Indians, and still they came! Indians lazy and Indians drunk, Indians sick and Indians hungry, all crying “Give! give!”

After receiving their payments, hundreds of them would lie about the city stupidly drunk; in August, 1825, they so disturbed the peace of the city, that the Council, through the mayor, sought aid from the governor to quiet and control them.

A few of these Indians came to buy goods, and were really trustworthy.

An old account book of that period contains charges made against Indians called “Saw Goose’s Wife,” “Big Wind’s Daughter,” “The Rat,” “The White Devil,” ” The Old Cow,” “The Cow’s Sister,” “The Old Eagle and Son,” “The Red Bird,” and “The Turtle.”

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Don Joaquin’s Lost Gold..


Don Joaquin’s Lost Gold:

In 1847 a Mexican Army Officer named Don Joaquin led a small mining expedition into the Sierra Estrella Mountains in the hopes of finding rich gold or silver deposits. Like anyone with geology, military training and experience he located a very promising location to mine. As well as a defensive area to set up a camp not far from the mine.

The mine was producing well and with no problems to speak of except low food stores. Until one day a Gila river Pima scout ran into camp and told the commander that the American Army was moving along the Gila and will be soon heading to Pimeria Alta.
Pimeria Alta was Spanish Arizona and at that time modern Mexican settlements, ranches, Presidial’s-Forts, Pimeria Alta is located from pretty much Arizpe in Sonora all the way north to the Gila river. Tucson, San Xavier, Tubac, and other places of importance are within Pimeria Alta.

Realizing his situation, not having the security of reinforcements and his path south to Mexican settlements about to be cut off. He ordered his men to abandon the mine for the time being, pack up everything and make for a small butte nearby.
This butte is modern Butterfly Peak, the path they took to get there is known as the Zig Zag trail.
Don Joaquin made a tactical decision to hide all the gold with the help of one Indian laborer. So if in the event he and his party were to be captured by the approaching Americans that their gold would not become plunder for the enemy.

With the help of the Indian laborer, they moved half way down the trail into a type of box canyon where they found a small cave. Then they removed the gold from the mule packs and piled it up inside of a small cave (probably an alcove). It is said they hid 3,000lbs from the packs of 15 mules.

When the job was completed, Joaquin killed the Indian laborer and placed him inside with the gold ore and then sealed/walled up the cave with the intention to return. He quickly sketched a quick map of the canyon he was in near the butte, so he could easily recall the location of the walled up cave.

He joined up with his men later on the evening of the following day right before sunset. His men nervous about the on coming American Army, the threat they posed to their families south of the Gila and their commander taking his sweet time in hiding their wealth caused the men to make a quick but drastic decision. Upon Joaquin’s return his men killed him, took his crude map and quickly under cover of darkness made there way south to the northern most Mexican outpost, being Presidio San Augustine de Tucson.

For thirty five years no word of the lost gold was known until in 1882 a man arrived claiming to hold a old Mexican map and asking for a guide to take him to the areas the map depicted. His expedition was a quick one as the local natives quickly chased him out of that area and upon his return to Phoenix he soon returned south back to Mexico without ever finding the hidden gold.
To this day there are many stories and claims as to what happened to the man and the crude map.

This treasure is still out there and within the Sierra Estrella Mountains south of Phoenix. If this could be found, it would be not only a great payday but also a priceless window into the past.

(Please follow state, federal, reservation laws and respect private property. If you have any doubts at all, simply ask permission)

gold

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Jesuits, saving souls with slave labor for gold….


The Jesuits priests, in addition to saving souls, set about enriching the church. Through their travels in the new world, they took advantage of mineral finds by getting locals to work the mines and send the gold and silver back to Spain.

Somewhere around 1635 the good fathers established the Plazuela Monastery in Bolivia. The Monastery was located at the junction of the Inquisivi and Ayopayo Rivers. This area was very rich in gold and silver and the monastery severed as a central holding place. Massive amounts of treasure were collected here and then sent back to Spain.

King Charles III was concerned about the growing wealth and power that the Jesuits controlled. There were rumors that the Priests were planning to establish an independent colony in South America. So he ordered all the Jesuits expelled from the new world in 1767.

The Spanish set up blockades in the mountain passes to prevent the Jesuits from exporting their gold. The priests in Plazuela knew it was only a matter of time before the Spanish came in after them. Over the next few years, they assembled all the mined ores and church artifacts at the monastery. They enlisted the help of 500 local Indians and set about hiding the treasure.

There are rumors of two mass graves in the area. One is said to hold the remains of 300 of these Indians that died of yellow fever, the other is said to hold the remains of the other 200 Indians without reference as to their cause of death. In any case, no Indians survived that were involved in the hiding of the Plazuela treasure.

In 1778 the Spanish came to Plazuela. They found the monastery deserted and without the expected wealth waiting for them. They rounded up some of the local Indians and through use of various means, including torture, attempted to extract the treasure location from them. The soldiers left the area with nothing.

In 1910, Corina San Roman approached Cecil H. Prodgers with a proposition. Mr. Prodgers was a well-known mining engineer. Ms. San Ramon’s grandfather was the Prefect of Callao in 1778 and his brother was one of the last Jesuits to leave Plazuela. Father Gregorio San Ramon left his brother the following description of the treasure location:

There is a hill on the left bank of the Rio Sacambaya opposite the Monastery of Plazuela. It is steep and covered with dense forest. The top flat and with long grass growing. In the middle of the long grass there is a large stone shaped like an egg, so big that it took five hundred Indians to place it there. If you dig underneath this stone for five cordas you will find the roof of a large cave which it took five hundred Indians two and a half years to hollow out.

The roof is twenty-four cordas long and there are two compartments and a long narrow passage leading from the room on the east side to the main entrance two hundred cordas away. On reaching the door you must exercise great care in the opening. The door is a large iron one and inside to the right, near the wall, you will find an image of the Madonna, made of pure gold, three feet high, the eyes of which are two large diamonds; this image was placed there for the good of mankind.

If you proceed further along the passage you will find in the first room 37 heaps of gold, and many gold and silver ornaments and precious stones. On entering the second room you will find in the right hand corner a large box clamped with iron bars; inside this box are 90,000 duros reales in silver money and 30 bags of gold. Distributed in the hollows on either side of the tunnel and in the two rooms are, altogether, 160 heaps of gold, of which the value has been estimated at 60 million duros reales.

Great care must be taken on entering these rooms, as enough poison to kill a regiment of the King has been laid about. The walls of the two rooms have been strengthened by large blocks of granite; from the roof downwards the distance is five cordas more. The top of the roof is portioned off in three distinct esplanades and the whole has been covered for a depth of five cordas with earth and stone.

When you come to a place twenty feet high, with a wall so wide that two men can easily ride abreast, cross the river and you will find the monastery, church and other buildings.

Ms. San Roman’s proposition was to share the treasure with Mr. Prodgers if he could find it. Prodgers accepted. She provided him with the information above and with the assistance of an old Indian named Jose Maria Ampuera. Senor Ampuera was the grandson of one of those who hid the treasure and was paid by the San Romans to watch over the site many years earlier.

Prodgers found Ampuera in 1905 living in the town of Cuti. The old man was over 100 years old. Ampuera told of how President Melgarejo had searched Negro Muerto for the treasure, but that was on the wrong side of the River Sacambaya. The actual location was on a hill called Caballo Cunco.

Prodgers found the egg shaped rock where Ampuera told him it would be. He dymamited the stone and began digging at that spot. He found a manmade roof of bricks and slate slabs. He wrote that while digging:

..at 12 feet, yellow alter slab with flowers nicely engraved on it, there was no longer any doubt in my mind…

The digging was difficult and the locals were afraid that what they were doing was an affront to God. On one occasion, after sinking some bamboo into the dig, noxious fumes were emitted. By the end of 1907, Prodgers was nowhere near the depth he needed. He returned to England to gather a work force a little more skeptical. He was never able to return.

It appears that Prodgers discussed his find with a Cornishish miner named Tredennick. Tredennick searched the area from 1921 to 1927. He dug numerous tunnels into the area. At one time he dymamited a tunnel that set of an internal upheaval that lasted for an hour and a half.

In 1920, Prodgers made a deal with Dr. Edgar Sanders. Prodgers gave Sanders all the details on the condition that his original deal with Corina San Ramon would be honored. Sanders set out with a small group in 1925. At 900 he found another stone. This was 618 feet by 128 feet and a perfect rectangle. The stone is now referred to as the Square Heap Stone. Sanders believed the treasure was under this stone, that the stone was the roof of the treasure room. Near there, he found a tunnel.

Sanders and his group relied mostly on the locals for the digging required. He started clearing the tunnel. As they progressed, they came across a silver crucifix attached to a board. Four feet later they encountered a wall made of stones. In the wall was a hole and in the hole was a wooden box. The digging stopped as all gathered around. Sanders removed the box and in crumbled in his hands. He was left holding a piece of parchment. With the locals and his group from England around him in the tunnel, finally at the wall to what they believed to be the treasure room, he read aloud from the parchment:

You who reach this place withdraw. This spot is dedicated to God Almighty and the one who dares to enter, a dolorous death awaits him in this world and eternal condemnation in the world he goes to. The riches that belong to God Our Master are not for humans. Withdraw and you will live in peace and the blessing of the Master will make your life sweet and you will die rich with the goods of this world. Obey the command of God Almighty our Master in life and in death. In the name of God the Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Indians refused to continue. All left the tunnel and Sanders was unable to continue on his own. The rainy season was now upon them and all hope of continuing was lost. Sanders returned to England and was able to enlist a investors. He put a new group together that not only included 22 others, but included compressors, generators, pumps and tractors. They left Liverpool on June 15, 1928. They cleared out the tunnels and removed the stones only to find the tunnel ended there.

They went back to the Heap Stone and started looking for other tunnel entrances that would lead them into the room below. The local Indians said that their ancestors told of three iron doors that into the room. All the digging and prodding done by the group led them to stone. Sanders worked the area until he was broke. He wrote that he was beyond heartbroken. He believed the treasure was right below him, but could not find a way to reach it.

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Leon Trabuco’s Gold….


Leon Trabuco’s Gold

In 1933, Leon Trabuco was a Mexican millionaire. He believed he could use the Great Depression of the United States to increase his fortune. Convinced the United States would soon devalue the dollar and that gold prices would skyrocket, Trabuco and four other men bought up much of Mexico’s gold reserves to resell in the United States when the price went up.

At a makeshift Mexican foundry, gold coins and jewelry were melted down and cast into ingots. In less than three months, he and partners had collected almost sixteen tons of solid gold. They smuggled the gold into the United States, where if caught, they faced long prison terms. Trabuco searched for a safe place to hide the illegal treasure, but eventually, he decided it would be smarter to bury the gold. In the heat of the summer, he hired a pilot named Red Moiser to make several covert flights into the New Mexico desert for Trabuco.

It is believed that Trabuco chose a sparsely populated region near the Ute and Navajo Indian Reservations in New Mexico. Moiser allegedly made sixteen flights, carrying one ton of gold each time, taking them to pick-up trucks that transported them to burial site. Trabuco never revealed the location and was careful not to create a map. When the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 passed, the price of gold soared, but instead they waited for prices to soar higher.

Unfortunately, the Gold Act of 1934 made private ownership of gold illegal, and Trabuco was unable to cash in on his scheme. Over the years, he and his partners all died untimely deaths. Trabuco took the location of the gold to the grave.

Treasure hunter Ed Foster has searched for Trabuco’s Treasure in the desert around Farmington, New Mexico for over thirty-five years. He is convinced that he found the 1933 landing strip used by Red Moiser at a plateau called Conger Mesa. He has spoken with an Native American lady and Navajo woman who was six years old in 1933 who both recalled a plane that would land and take-off from there. Ed said she remembered several Mexican men who lived on the Reservation.

He also found an old Navajo home unlike any other on the reservation about twenty miles west of the mesa. It was probably meant as a guard post to guard the gold. It is a Mexican-style structure with windows, a front door, a back door and a veranda. Not far away is Shrine Rock inscribed with a date and the words: “1933 16 Ton.” Ed believes the gold could be hidden away somewhere in the vicinity of these three points.
Treasure hunter Norman Scott believes Trabuco’s Treasure has an air of authenticity to it. He believes that with available technology, it is only a matter of time before it is discovered.

It is believed that the treasure consisted of Mexican gold bought by several millionaires.

Categories: gold, gold coins, gold ingots, hidden, Legends, Lost gold, Mexico, Old West, Treasure Hunters, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

139 Arizona treasure legends….


  1. In 1878 a wagon train was attacked in Chavez Pass 30 miles S.W. of Winslow and everyone except two of the party were massacred.  The two survivors said all of the valuables and cash of the wagon train were buried the night before the attack near the campsite and never recovered after the melee.  Even though the remains of the burnt wagons were found, the treasure wasn’t.
  2. A cache of gold dust and silver coins was secreted by Apache Indians after they attacked a wagon train a few miles N.E. of the stage station at Mountain Springs.  The dutch oven containing the treasure is hidden behind two rocks at the point of the Winchester Mountains N.E. of Wilcox.
  3. Two heavy bags of gold were buried by outlaws after a robbery.  Captured and sent to jail, they admitted the crime and gave these directions to the cache:  from Douglas, go north on a country road for 18 miles.  Where the road forks take it to the left leading in a westerly direction and continue for about 5 miles, then turn north again.  Straight ahead is a corral.  Go through two gates and follow this road 8-10 miles to a goat ranch.  From goat ranch:  about 200 yards up a canyon is a spring and old campsite.  Up this canyon, towards a dike, is the area where the loot was hidden. 
  4. Profits from the 250 acre Spade Ranch, established in 1883 by William Craig and Paul Vogel, are believed buried somewhere on the property located in a meadow on Webber Creek below the Mogollon Rim and near Pine. 
  5. In 1903, Jake Johnson and his brother were taken to a treasure cave, by a Paiute Indian, containing a vast quantity of Aztec gold and silver, from the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  They were blindfolded one day’s ride S of Pipe Spring and rode another 4 days.  At the base of the Grand Canyon they entered the cavern, where their blindfolds were removed.  The two men were allowed to take all the treasure they could carry, in return for their help in saving the life of the Indian’s wife.  They searched for years and could not find the cavern.
  6. The Nazi Germany war regime is said to have cached upwards of $300 million in the area of Chloride.
  7. 1870s—2 bandits robbed a stagecoach of an army payroll and stole $72,000.  The loot is believed buried in the vicinity of Canyon Station.
  8. Indians planned and made several attacks on emigrant trains in Secret Pass and buried a large store of weapons in a concealed cave.  The cave is located at the western or Colorado River side of Secret Pass where Thumb Butte is a prominent rock formation nearby.
  9. Spanish priests, in charge of a wagon train enroute from Mexico to California, were loaded with everything needed to establish a new mission including, chalices, candlesticks, crosses, vestments and other church articles.  Indians forced them to conceal the treasures in a cave in the area of Secret Pass and then the party was attacked and massacred.  Two nuns escaped the foray and returned to Mexico to tell of the tragedy.
  10. In the 1880’s, 5 bandits robbed a saloon in the booming mining camp of Mineral
    Park. While escaping, they robbed a stagecoach of a strongbox containing 400
    pounds of gold bars, dust and nuggets and the passengers of additional valuables.
    The strongbox was too heavy to take with them and in their haste, pushed it off to
    the side of the road and covered it with dirt. A posse caught up with the gang
    shortly afterwards and killed them all. The posse found the stagecoach and its
    passengers not far from Topock and all made a thorough search for the gold, but
    nothing was ever found. The location is along the Yucca-Needles stage road to the W of the Yucca Stage Station.
  11. The above coins may or may not have  come from a cache made by 4 outlaws who robbed the Sante Fe train in 1889, 34 miles E of Flagstaff.  The loot was taken up Canyon Diablo to  a cedar thicket where the spendable loot was divided and the diamond jewelry and separated rifles and watches buried on the rim. The outlaws then separated.
  12. “Long Tom” Watson found some old papers in 1910 in a cabin written by outlaws
     that told of a cache of gold nuggets hidden behind a waterfall that exists only in the  spring of the year in the vicinity of Havasupai Village in the Grand Canyon. The site is W of the old Tanner Trail in the Grand Canyon, about 4 miles N of Hwy. 64. He began his search in 1912, and after 2 years of futile searching was on his way out of  the canyon to the Arizona strip via the old Horse Thief Trail from Morgan Point  where he saw a falls. Behind it was a cave and, inside, a bushel of gold nuggets.  As he was about to leave, he fell and broke his leg, but managed to get to the  Buggelin Ranch, leaving the treasure behind. When he recovered, he made numerous attempts to relocate the cave and waterfall, but failed. In disgust, Watson later committed suicide and the story became legend.
  13. The owner of an Indian trading post N of the peaks from Flagstaff during the 1800’s
    buried the profits from his store in jars and cans around the fences on his property. The caches are believed to have numbered in the hundreds, many of which are still awaiting discovery to this day.
  14. An outlaw cave is located to the W of this trading post, possibly in the North Frisco
     Peak region, where it it believed a large cache of gold coins remains unrecovered.
  15. $100,000 in outlaw loot was buried by Curly Walker near his stone fort-like
    headquarters in the N end of the Painted Desert. The ruins are still visable and,  somewhere nearby, the unrecovered cash.
  16. In the 1880’s, 7 outlaws of the Valenzuelo gang were killed by lawmen at Mexican
    Pocket S of Flagstaff and another five bandits escaped, only to be killed later. The 12 bandits buried their shares of loot from series of rich hauls in separate caches
    and contained in saddlebags here and were never able to return to recover them.
    Shortly after the shooting spree, 2 separate caches were found; one contained
    $5,000 in gold and silver coins, a few years later, $8,000 was found in saddlebags in another cache in the same area. It was presumed that another 10 caches of outlaw loot with a face value of some $80,000 remains buried in separate places in
    Mexican Pocket.
  17. A cache of stagecoach loot was buried by a lone bandit at Viet Spring near
    Flagstaff. The outlaw was killed in a gunfight and the treasure was never recovered.
  18. On May 10, 1881, 5 outlaws robbed the Canyon Diablo-Flagstaff stage about 30
    miles E of Flagstaff. Two mail sacks were taken containing two 5-gallon oak kegs
    packed with a Wells Fargo shipment of gold ingots and coins cosigned to a San
    Francisco bank. The gold was worth $125,000. The bandits made good their escape and holed up in a log cabin at a place later called Viet Spring. A posse trailed the gang and trapped them at the cabin. In the shootout, all the bandits were killed and a search of the area made, but no gold was found. Many fruitless searches have been made for this cache over the years until a local man, Jim McGuire, suddenly started spending $50 gold coins at the saloon. McGuire was not a wealthy man and boasted that he “found” the coins. When he died suddenly, a search of his cabin turned up nothing and it is presumed that he had indeed found the stagecoach loot but only took a few coins from the cache at a time. The treasure still awaits recovery. 
  19. Roy Gardner was a train robber and gunrunner who started his crime career in 1906. He concealed $16,000 in gold coins in the cone of an extinct volcano near Flagstaff before he was captured during a train robbery in 1921 and sent to prison.  His cache was never recovered.
  20. In 1878, outlaws attacked a packed train loaded with silver bars enrouted from the Stonewall Jackson Mine at McMillenville. Each of the 25 mules carried 2 huge ingots which weighed 190 pounds each.  Taking over the mules, they turned NW from the Globe Trail and moved the train into the Mogollon Moutains in Navajo County . Seeing that they were being followed by Indians, the outlaws led the caravan to the area of Little Valley ( Clark Valley ) where the silver was cached in an old 40-foot-deep mine shaft on the side of the slope and covered over. The bandits were killed in an shootout and the treasure was never recovered. The search are for this hoard is believed to be within 1 mile of the lower end of Lake Mary on the rim of Little Valley in the San Francisco Mountains.
  21. During the winter of 1881, outlaws Henry Corey and Ralph Gaines stole 8 gold bars, each 3 feet long by 4 inches, from the old Tip Top Mine near (GT) Gillette. They holed up in an abandoned cabin on Rogers Lake and buried the bars near the cabin. They went to Flagstaff, held up a stagecoach of $25,000 in gold and silver coins and returned to the cabin. They dug up the gold bars and, together with the stage loot which was placed in wooden kegs, they chopped a hole in the ice and lowered the treasure into the lake. When the sheriff learned that the pair was at Rogers Lake, a posse set out to capture them. At their approach, Corey and Gaines managed to make a hasty escape, leaving the treasure behind. Gaines was killed in a brawl and Corey was arrested during a holdup near Globe and sent to prison. When Corey was released 24 years later, he and a friend made repeated searches for the loot but it was never found. Corey died in 1936. During certain times of the year, a search can be made on the dry lakebed.
  22. In 1879, four outlaws robbed a stage near Gila Bend and made off with $125,000 in gold coins and 22 gold bars stamped “AJO”. The next day, the same gang robbed another stage near Stanwix Station obtaining 2 chests containing $140,000 in gold coins and $60,000 in currency. Fleeing northeastward when the posse trailed them into the Tonto Basin country, than northwestward when the posse finally overtook them. In the shootout, 2 of the gang were shot and killedand the other 2 escaped, making their way to Holbrook where they waited for things to quiet down. Here, one of the bandits was killed in a poker game and the other, Henry Tice, in a fit of anger, shot and killed the gambler. An irate made a quick job of justice and killed him.
    The search area for this huge store of treasure has centered around the cliffs between Mormon Lake and Flagstaff. All efforts to locate this hoard have failed.
  23. William Ashurst owned a ranch near a good spring, now known as Ashurst Run, 25 miles SE of Flagstaff. He is known to have buried a number of 5 and 10 pound lard cans full of gold coins somewhere on the property that were never recovered after his death.
  24. Outlaws headed by Henry Seymour robbed a stagecoach in 1879 of $225,000 in newly-minted coins contained in 3 boxes at the Pine Spring Station located between Beaverhead Station and Brigham City. They took the gold into the station where they holed up just as a 20-man posse arrived. After a day long standoff, the posse set fire to the rear wall of the structure and routed the outlaws who were gunned down within a few yards of the station. The posse then put the fire out and searched for the gold, but it was never found. The hoard of gold coins remain buried somewhere in or near the old Pine Springs Station. 
  25. Herman Wolf operated a trading post for 30 years on the Little Colorado River between 1869-1899. The highly profitable business brought him tens of thousands of dollars in gold and silver coins. During all of this time, he is known never to of banked a single penny, but in 1899, Wolf decided to bring $100,000 in gold to the Flagstaff bank for deposit, but died before he did so. His 30-year accumulation was estimated to total some $250,000 and remains buried somewhere near his old store on the Little Colorado River just off the California-Sante Fe Trail near Canyon Diablo.  Only small portions of his hoard has ever been found, and that nearer to the store than the location which he confided to a close friend not long before he died. A bucket of Mexican silver and 20 U.S. gold coins were found in 1966 and 1901 respectively and is but a mere part of his treasure. The main cache still eludes seekers.
  26. East of the Canyon Diablo trading post on the other side of Hwy. 40 near the Meteor Crater is Diablo Canyon which stretches about 50 miles N and S and ends in the San Franciso Wash. In the northeastern area of Diablo Canyon, about 7 miles S of Two Guns in the late 1920’s, an old Apache Indian told the story of an old Indian ambush on a group of white miners near Meteor Crater and killed them all. After the attack, no gold nuggets were found and the Indians presumed the hoard cached before or during the battle. The aged Indian told of a stone corral and a stone structure, some sort of cabin.
    In the 1930’s another Indian reported seeing the stone corral and cabin but was unaware of the treasure and did not search for it.
  27. In 1878, a wagon train was attacked in Chavez Pass, 30 miles SW of Winslow and everyone except 2 of the party were massacred. The two survivors said that all the valuables and cash of the train were buried the night before the attack near the campsite and never recovered after the melee. Even though the remains of the burnt wagons were found, the treasure wasn’t.
  28. A treasure known  as the Lost Ledge of the Lone Ace Desert Rat is located near Skull Valley NW of Prescott.
  29. An early resident of Chino Valley, about 20 miles N of Prescott, is believed to have buried a large quantity of gold coins and nuggets somewhere in or near his cabin before he died. His treasure has never been recovered.
  30. Mose Casner operated a ranch in Beaver Creek Canyon near Rimrock and accumulated a fortune of $100,000 which he buried on his ranch in 5 dutch ovens, each containing $20,000 and each buried in separate locations. Casner died without revealing the location of his money and it was never recovered.
    Another source claims that Casner bored holes in several pine trees and cached hoards in his “tree banks,” then plugged the holes. This source claims that one such tree near his house yielded $1.000 in gold coins and another, in Beaver Creek Canyon, contained rolls of currency.
  31. For 50 years during the 1800’s, Sycamore Canyon was used as a hideout by outlaws and cattle rustlers. It is believed that a large number of treasure caches from these sources remain buried and hidden in this vicinity.
  32. Numerous bottles filled with gold were hidden in an orchard in Cottonwood during the peak of the Jerome mining days by two miners by the name of Marvin and Dreher. 3 of these bottles were found by a young boy in 1961, but it was a small sampling of what remains.
  33. 38 bars of gold, stolen in Mexico by a man named Hashknife Charley, were buried somewhere between a  spring and the boundary line between Arizona and Sonora near Sonoyta on the Arizona side of the border. The valuable cache was never recovered as Charley died in jail while serving a prison term for stealing horses.
  34. The Treasure of Zonia, a hoard consisting of bars and bullion from a Mexican pack train and sacks of Mexican gold and silver coins and some church treasure, is buried in the vicinity of Yava between Kirkland and Hillside on Hwy. 96. It has never been recovered.
  35. In 1876, 2 bandits robbed the stagecoach from the Vulture Mine of $40,000 in gold bars which they sawed into chunks in order to carry it. Government men were immediately on their trail and the outlaws were shot and killed in Thompson Valley. Part of the loot was recovered several days later and indications are that the remainder was hidden in the mountains somewhere between the Vulture Mine and where the town of Hillside is located today. It has yet to be found.
  36. The Golden Cup Treasure is located on Rich Hill.
  37. While being pursued by lawmen, 2 Mexican outlaws dumped $30,000 in raw gold on a pinnacle between Japanese Wash and Weaver Creek near Stanton. The hoard was never recovered.
  38. Precillano Ruiz had a rich placer mine somewhere near Wickenburg in the Black Rock Mining District. Over a period of time he extracted $50,000 in gold and silver which he kept hidden in or near his mine. He was killed around 1890 and his claim taken over by others. His cache of treasure was never found and remains somewhere near his mine, now known as the Monte Christo, a short distance from the Constellation Mine in the area near the Bradshaw Mountains and adjacent to Rich Hill, Stanton, Weaver and Octave.
  39. In 1870, bandits attacked a pack train carrying silver bullion from border smelters at Coalmine Springs near Alto. The bullion has never been recovered and, beacause of the weight of the treasure, it is believed to be cached somewhere in the area of the holdup.
  40. The stongboxes of at least 2 stagecoach robberies are believed buried somewhere on the slopes of Granite Mountain NW of Prescott.
  41. In the 1800’s, a party of successful prospectors were returning from the Big Sandy River to Prescott with a considerable amount of gold dust and nuggets contained in canvas bags. Stopping at Granite Dells for water in a spring that was located down in a ravine, they were attacked by Indians. The gold was hastily buried near the spring as the battle went on. All of the men were killed except one who made good his escape. The lone survivor returned to the site on several occasions with a search party later, but they never found any signs of the gold cache. It is surmised that the Indians dug up the tresure and reburied it somewhere else in the same area.
  42. The treasure known as Yaeger’s Lost Gold is located near Yaeger Canyon in Javapai County.
  43. “Red” Jack Almer buried $8,000 in gold coins in the vicinity of Prescott.
  44. A chest containing some $100,000 in gold was buried by a miner being folowed by hostile Indians under a boulder shaped like kneeling man. The site was near a spring at the foot of a mountain past which a stream flowed into a small valley near Prescott. In a tree a few feet away he marked a cross above a half circle. The cache of gold has never been recovered.
  45. $75,000 in gold bars is buried in the area of Prescott.
  46. Oscar Johnson was a recluse-miner living in McCabe. He hoarded his wealth and buried it somewhere in or near his cabin. Johnson mysteriously disappeared and neither he, nor his money, was ever found. Most all agree that his treasure remains buried somewhere near the cabin and yet to be found.
  47. In 1864, miners struck a rich placer of gold desposit on Lynx Creek E of Prescott, washing out about $30,000 in nuggets packed in 5 buckskin pouches. Between Lynx Creek and Prescott, the party was attacked and killed by 2 Indians who took the gold and headed for the mountains. Within 3 hours, a posse set out after them, and about 10 miles from the scene of the attack, overtook and killed them. The posse did not find any gold and they believed that it had been buried or hidden somewhere enroute by the robbers. It has yet to be found.
  48. Some legends say that Montezuma’s Aztec treasure hoard, removed from Mexico during the Cortez conquest in the 1500’s, is buried in a great sink hole known locally as Montezuma’s Well, near the ancient cliff dwelling’s known today as Montezuma’s Castle.
  49. A treasure known as the Silver of the Dead Apache is located in the Bradshaw Mountains E of Prescott.
  50. 200 pounds of raw gold lies at the bottom of a creek near the junction of Slate and Sqaw Creeks close to (GT) Bumble Bee.
  51. An Apache Indian living in Bronco Canyon often traded gold nuggets at the store at Fort McDowell. Two prospectors went to the canyon and set up camp in Bronco Canyon  and prospected the area. One day they found a rich vein of gold quartz showing signs of having been worked. The men worked the vein, taking out between $70,000 and $80,000 in gold which they stored under a huge rock near their camp. Preparing to leave the site because winter was upon them, a party of Apaches swooped down and attacked killing one of the men while the other managed to escape. The survivor waited until the Indians were subdued but by that time he was in his 80’s. Before he could return to the site, he fell ill and on his deathbed told of the story of gold and rich mine. Several years later, a Mexican sheepherder told of finding the campsite in Bronco Canyon but didn’t know of the mine or treasure cache. Others, too, have reported seeing a crude arrastre in the same region, but the mine and cache, located about 4 miles E of (GT) Bumble Bee, has yet to be found.
  52. Black Canyon Hill is located 38 miles S of Prescott on Hwy. 49. The place was a dangerous spot on the old stage road and many holdups took place here. It is believed that some of the stolen loot from these robberies may still remain buried in the area.
  53. Henry Seymour was a blacksmith in (GT) Gillett. In 1882, he held up 3 different stagecoaches on the outskirts of town, obtaining a total of $69,000. He was caught trying to hold up a fourth stage and was sent to prison, all the time refusing to reveal where he had hidden the loot. After he was released from prison he dropped from sight and never returned to Gillett to recover his treasure.
  54. Miners Samuel Walcott and James McNally had a gold ledge somewhere in or around Blue Canyon in Black Mountain. When they were killed in the 1880’s, the location became lost. Before they were killed by attacking Indians, the miners buried 200 pounds of gold near the mouth of Tsegi Canyon in Marsh Pass off Black Mountain. The cache is located up the canyon and buried somewhere betwen the creek running through it and the cliff-like wall not far from the present-day trading post on Hwy. 163.
  55. Returning from the California gold fields in 1855 with $300,000 in gold , a prospector named Darlington and his family were heading for their home in Illinois. When they reached the Sunset Crossing of the Little Colorado River, his wife took ill and died. She was buried in a box built by the post trader at Sunset Crossing and was so heavy that it took six men to lower it and leveled it off to resemble the terrain. Years later it was learned that Darlington had placed half of his gold, $150,000, in the coffin as his wife’s share. It’s still there.
  56. An oxcart heavily loaded with gold plates, bowls and other items was placed in a cave in the cliffs and covered over after Indians attacked a group of early-day Spaniards. The cave is located W of the Rock Point trading post and past the formation called Rock Point. The search area is just around the hill from the top of the mesa.
  57. A small party of prospectors recovered $75,000 from a rich gold deposit in the late 1800’s on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Pursued by irate Indians, the miners finally escaped, taking a hard, round-about journey from the area. One by one they died from exhausution until only one was left and, he too, was dying. He said that the gold was buried under a boulder shaped like a kneeling man at the foot of a mountain in a small vally that contained a small stream near Prescott. Subsequent searches failed to find the gold even though the landmarks were located.
  58. One suggested location of Alec Toppington’s Bear Cave Treasure is in the Carrizo Mountains.
  59. 3 Navajo Indians knew the location of a cave whose floor was littered with gold nuggets and ingots in the 1860’s. The Indians took Henry Adams, operator of the trading post at Fort Defiance, to the cave blindfolded. The cave was to the SW and up a steep hill from the base of a towering cliff. Adams saw 3 peaks nearly identical in size and shape looking out from the cave entrance, then he was blindfolded again and led from the cave, one night’s travel from Fort Defiance. Adams sold his store and searched for years for the treasure cave without success. After running out of money and grubstake friends, he killed himself. Some researchers believ the treasure cave is located in the cliffs N of Indian Wells.
  60. Profits from the 250-acre Spade Ranch, established in 1883 by William Craig and Paul Vogel, are believed buried somewhere on the property located in a meadow on Webber Creek below the Mogollon Rim and near Pine.
  61. Local residents fleeing the area because of Indian uprisings buried a large Mexican-Spanish treasure in the vicinity of Globe in the middle 1800’s. The cache was never recovered.
  62. The Sunlit Cave Treasure, consisting of several tons of Spanish gold bullion, is located on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, 15-20 miles S of Ehrenberg.
  63. Zuni Indians hid a cache of gold and silver and some church vessels in a cave under the mesa during the Indian Rebellion of 1680 somewhere in the area starting S of Lupton to the N Mexican border. Legends say that this treasure was never recovered. The Yuma Indians are said to have brought out gold nuggets from Cibola Cave, 50 miles N of Yuma in the Trigo Mountains.
  64. William B. Rood owned a ranch on the E side of the Colorado River, about halfway between Yuma and La Paz as the crow flies and between the area of Walker and Draper Lakes, except on the E side of the river. Rood drowned while crossing the river in 1870 and it was widely known that he had various amounts of gold coins hidden on the ranch, called Rancho de los Yumas. He was a very wealthy man, but only a few hundred dollars was found after his death. Various relatives, and others, searched for his caches at different times, but there were no reports of any recoveries. In 1897, Alfredo Pina dug up a baking powder tin containing $960 in gold coins.  Another small cache is believed to have been found by Leonardo Romo. The recovered caches are but a small portion of what is still awaiting recovery. The remains of the old ranch buildings can still be located. 
  65. A blacksmith working a small shop at Middle Well, located just N of a sand road that runs midway between the Castle Dome and Kofa Mountains, skimmed high grade gold ore from passing wagons and buried the gold in a cellar dug beneath the floor of his blacksmith shop. He died of a heart attack and the highgraded treasure went unrecovered. In the 1960’s, treasure hunters searched the area and found many relics and bottles, but no gold.
  66. Wealthy Mexican Don Jose Maria Redonda came to Arizona and built a vast estate about 15 miles N of Yuma in the Gila Valley, naming it the Hacienda de San Ysidro. He added to his fortune over the years from his ranch and winery and also owned a number of stores in Yuma. When his vast estate was divided by the government in 1874, Redondo abandoned the Hacienda and moved to Yuma. Rumors had it that a huge fortune remained buried on the estate and seekers flocked to the site, literally tearing it apart but no known treasure was found. Rumors persist today that a large treasure remains buried somewhere on the property.
  67. The Lost Treasure consists of some 50 pounds of gold nuggets and is located near the present Laguna Dam. Indians reportedly ambushed and killed a group of miners and threw their bodies and the gold into a gorge in the hills.
  68. Indians attacked the mission and the gold and other tresures were gathered by the Padres and taken across the Colorado River to the Arizona side and buried close to a peak known today as Sugar Loaf, or Sqaw Peak. A second version says the treasure was buried in a cave on the face of the peak.
  69. Near a prominent army camp used for desert training during WWII in a mountainous area at a flat base fronting a vertically-faced wall of volcanic rock are two stacks of 220 gold bars that were discovered in the 1940’s by 5 trainees assigned to the camp. The site is near Yuma and was lost by those who originally found it.
  70. John Glanton was a scalphunter who was forced out of Mexico when he was caught selling Mexican scalps as being Apache to the government. At Yuma crossing, Glanton met Able Lincoln and joined him in a profitable ferry business that grossed $20,000 per month. Not happy with that, Glanton robbed California gold seekers and killed them if they resisted. Indians attacked the crossing one night and killed both Glandon and Lincoln while a third ferryman escaped. He later stated that Lincoln had $50,000 in silver coins and between $20,000 and $30,000 in gold coins which he kept buried someplace near his camp. Glanton is believed to have had a similar fortune which he believed to have been buried in the thickets on the W bank of the river, placing it in California. After the massacre, the governor sent an expedition to the Crossing to protect the travelers, punish the Indians and recover the treasure. The venture cost the state over $110,000 and they did not find a cent of the Glanton-Lincoln hoard.
  71. According to an ancient map, a cache of gold treasure is supposedly buried somewhere in Spook Canyon in the Gila Mountains, about 5 miles SE of the once-rich Fortuna Gold Mine.
  72. The English pirate Thomas Cavendish stripped several Spanish galleons of their treasure in the late 1500’s. One of his vessels, the Content,loaded with tons of gold and silver, mysteriously disappeared and is believed to lie under the desert sands while the mutinous crew tried sailing the vessel up the Colorado River with the hiijacked treasure and became caught in a tidal wave and swept far inland.
  73. A large cache of gold and silver coins is hidden on the Colorado River near the Pima Indian villages near Yuma.
  74. A gold miner returning to the East from the California gold fields with $40,000 in nuggets was robbed along the El Camino del Diablo in the 1850’s. The outlaws are believed to have fled into the Tinajas Atlas Mountains to a hideout and it is a good possibility that some of this, and probably additional caches of loot, was buried there. Numerous outlaws and highwaymen used the basins in the Tinajas Atlas Mountains as a hideaway any many caches of loot and treasure are believed secreted in the region.
  75. Around 1933, a Mexican couple was traveling illegally towards Wellton from Mexico and crossing the Gila Mountains along one of the old Indian trails, about 1/2 day’s hike from Tinajas Atlas. As they came through a small pass and started down the E side of the Gilas, they saw what looked like a piece of burlap flapping in the wind from behind a sand dune. Upon investigating, they found a cave nearly hidden by the dune and, inside, about a dozen wooden crates full of Winchester .30-.30 carbines dated 1903. Leaving the cache they continued on their journey, were caught by government officers and forced to return to Mexico. The rifles have never been recovered.
  76. The Nazi Germany war regime is said to have cached millions of dollars in war treasure in an area between Yuma and Lukeville. A similar Nazi war cache was recently recovered near Lima, Peru and lends credence to its existence.
  77. A treasure from a wagon train massacre is buried W of O’Neil Pass near Papago Well.
  78. $140,000 in gold coins, stolen from a stagecoach in which 6 people were massacred in 1871 about 9 miles W of Wickenburg, is believed buried very near the hold-up scene. The robbery was supposed to be an “inside job” with only the $140,000 and a shovel missing from the stage even though other treasure and valuables were on board. Law men found  the shovel lodged between some rocks, about 300 yards from the exact massacre site which is today marked by a monument. One source places this treasure N of Hwy. 60-60 on a dry mesa near an arroyo between 2 hills in a wash. It has never been recovered.
  79. GT: Vulture City, near the Vulture Gold Mine, 12 miles from Wickenburg on the road to Buckeye and Aguila. Robberies, Murder and rape were a frequent occurance in Vulture City. The gold mine was robbed of bars on numerous times and much treasure is believed to remain hidden in and around the region. Wells Fargo chests, carrying the gol from the mines on stages were robbed so often that the carrier’s lives were always on the line.  Highgrading was rampant in the area of the Vulture Mine during its heyday and at least 8 men are known to have been hanged for their stealing and this, too, added to numerous caches that were hidden in the region. Old timers say that as much as $8 million was highgraded from the area mines and never reported. The main gold ore body has never been found at Vulture City. $17 million in gold has already been recovered from the mines, but the mother lode source of this ore, speculated to be worth many times that amount, still awaits discovery.
  80. The Valenzuela outlaw gang buried $25,000 in gold bars in the area of Wittman. It has never been recovered.
  81. Grocery heiress Marjorie Jackson was murdered at Indianapolis, Indiana. in the late 1970’s. F.B.I. agents recovered $1.4 million in cash in the desert, 20 miles N of Phoenix and believe that an additional $1 million to $6 million in cash, stolen from her home, is still buried in the same general area.
  82. The treasure known as the Royal Treasure is located in the general area NW of Phoenix.
  83. A cave of treasure lies in the vicinity of Hidden Valley in the Salt River Mountains, or South Mountains, on the outskirts of Phoenix. The hoard was seen in the early 1900’s and one $50 gold slug was removed. The opening is now believed covered over by fallen rocks and natural washing.
  84. The Lost Epileptic Gold Mine and a hidden cache of gold bars worth $50,000 nearby in the Estrella Mountains.
  85. In 1878, two Mexican prospectors found a rich gold ledge in the Estrella Mountains and worked out an estimated $50,000 in gold which they buried nearby. Pima Indians discovered them and attacked, killing one of the men and wounding the other. The injured man reached Tucson but died before he could lead another party to the site. The mine and $50,000 in mined gold was never found and still awaits seekers high in the canyons of the Estrella Mountains SW of Phoenix.
  86. A Mexican bandit murdered the station keeper at Burke’s Station in an effort to learn the location of the hidden strongbox in the 1870’s. The money chest was never found and is believed to remain somewhere in the immediate vicinity of the old stage stop, just off the Agua Caliente road, a short distance E of the road on the S bank of the Gila River. The location on topographic maps is Township 5, Range 10, Section 28.
  87. The Aztecs took millions of dollars from the streams, rivers and mountains of Mexico in ancient times. There is an abundance of evidence that during the conquest by Cortez, a huge store of treasure was carried from today’s Mexico City to the north and buried in a cave, possibly in Arizona. Some sources speculate and legends say that the tons of Aztec gold is buried somewhere near the mountain known as Montezuma’s Head.
  88. Don Joaquin Campoy worked a rich vein of gold in 1847 inthe Sierra Estrella Mountains W of Phoenix. When he heard rumors of approaching American soldiers and a possible war with Mexico in the brewing, he loaded 50 bars of gold and 30 rawhide sacks of gold dust on mules and headed them up a trail toward Butterfly Peak, then down another trail that followed a high ridge from Montezuma’s Head. Somewhere along this trail it is presumed that Campoy turned off into a small box canyon and found a shallow cave where he buried the gold. He died before he could recover his hoard and it remains buried to this day.
  89. The Lost Treasure of Telegraph Pass, a cache of $50,000 in coins and jewelry contained in an iron pot, was buried in 1870 at the S end of the Estrella Mountains below Montezoma’s Head in a level campsite with a small butte on the E side, not far from Telegraph Pass.
  90. A hoard of gold bars, said to total between $1 million and $2 million, remains buried in a cave near Montezuma’s Head.
  91. The Lost Ortega Mine is located somewhere in the Sierra Estrella Mountains. A group of Mexicans worked the mine using hired Pima Indians as laborers during the Mexican-American War. The mine was located in a short, deep box canyon on the E side of the range and about halfway between 2 high peaks and high up the mountainside. When word was received that a force of U.S. soliders were in the area, Ortega covered over the mine entrance and concealed the mined gold in a small cave nearby. Ortega died within days of the treasure burial and the mine, nor the cache, was ever located in later years. The search area is just W of the Santa Cruz River in a line between St. John’s Mission and Montezuma Peak W of Phoenix.
  92. A wagon train consisting of 14 well-to-do families made its way towards the California gold fields in 1849. One of the wagons carried their accumalated fortunes to start a new life, some $50,000 in a chest. Each night, the chest was buried for safekeeping along the route within the circle formed by the wagons. Ever since leaving San Antonio, Texas, the party was plagued by Indian troubles and when the party camped for the night near the natural formation known as Montezuma’s Head in Arizona, a band of Apaches attacked, killing every member of the group. The treasure, buried the night before, was never found, even though subsequent searches were made by wagon trains who came upon the scene of the massacre and modern-day searches as well.
  93. An Apache chief named White Horse related that a wagon train of Spaniards came to the Superstition Mountains and chose Weaver’s needle as the place to bury a store of gold bars , jewels, statues and other artifacts. He stated that they climed the Needle and deposited the huge cache inside a cave near the top, then sealed the entrance. The Indians then attacked the Spaniards and killed them all. The sealed cave has never been found.
  94. The Lost Jesuit Treasure, worth an estimated $6 million, is located in the Superstitions. The hoard, possibly in 3 tunnels leading to 3 mines, was secreted when the priests were expelled in 1767.
  95. In 1976, famous western artist Ted DeGrazia of Tucson announced that he had concealed more than 100 original artworks inside a tunnel somewhere in the Superstition Mountains, 40 miles E of Phoenix. he said he hid the paintings, valued from $3,000 to well over $30,000 each, in order to keep his heirs from having to pay well over $1 million in taxes upon his death.
  96. In the late 1880’s, the stage on the Florence-Pinal Wells route was robbed of an $85,000 payroll bound for the old Pinal Silver Mine. The holdup took place along the stage road at a bend in Queen Creek about 3 miles E of Hewitt’s Station, located in a canyon now named after it and E of Comet Creek, about 12 miles NW of Old Pinal Town. The bandits rode off  to the W following Queen Creek and were caught by a posse about 10 miles down the creek and off to the hills around Comet Peak. One of the outlaws was shot and killed, another escaped and the third was badly wounded. The dying man confessed that the loot was, “…buried along the trail under a palo verde tree.” A search was made, but nothing was found.
  97. In the early 1860’s, Andrew Pauly found a cave in some red cliffs N of Maricopa Wells near a large needle rock that contained skeletons, copper shields, spear points, axes and other artifacts as well as gold relics. Inside the cavern was a metal door that he could not open and what layed beyond is not known. Speculation ranges from a hoard of Aztec treasure to a vast Spanish treasure stockpile of gold and silver. No further reports were forthcoming.
  98. In 1871, the Blue Water Massacre took place at the Blue Water Station on the Yuma-Tucson road between the stations of Picacho and Sacaton. The operators of the station were killed by 3 Mexican outlaws for the money hidden somewhere in or near the station, but it was never found. The accumulated life savings of John W Baker, the operator, also remains secreted somewhere in the vicinity of the old stage stop.
  99. $26,000 in gold was stolen by outlaws during the robbery of an army paymaster, J.W. Whamat, at Cedar Springs in 1889 on the old military road, 16 miles NE of Camp Grant. The money was never recovered and may be buried in the immediate vicinity of the robbery.
  100. Frontiersman and scout William “Arizona Bill” Gardner told of a cache of gold coins cached near or on the grounds of old Camp Grant and hinted that the treasure burial occurred in 1877 and involved 5 cavalrymen on leave from the fort who made off with a $20,000 payroll. 4 of them were killed while out fighting Indians and the fifth deserted the army. It was from the deserter that Gardner learned of the treasure. Arizona Bill died at San Antonio in 1937 at the age of 96.
  101. Paddy Lynch was a prosperous rancher in the 1870’s and 1880’s and a miser who lived near the head of Aravaipa Valley, 10 miles N of Mammoth on the road from Wilcox to Globe. Most of his accumulated hoard of cash was buried somewhere near his house, 20 miles from Fort Grant. He was found shot to death in 1902 and the house ransacked. His cache was never found.
  102. An old Papago silver deposit was shown to John D. Walker in 1880 and a rich mine and boomtown sprang up. Before it was all over. 300 ingots of silver, each weighing 25 pounds, was buried by Walker within 1/2 hours wagon ride from his house at Vekol to the north along the county road to Casa Grande. The hoard was made around 1890,”almost in plain sight” near the old Walker home. The 1050 pounds of pure silver has never been recovered.
  103. A cache of Indian guns, pistols and rifles, numbering upwards of 1,000, is hidden on the Papago Indian Reservation in the mountains to the W of the Santa Rosa Wash between Casa Grande and Santa Rosa in the 1880’s.
  104. In the early 1700’s, the Spaniards mined and accumulated a large store of gold and silver in a cave in the area of the Red Rock Butte NW of Tucson. The treasure was stored in the cave somewhere in the Silver Bell Mountains. Marauding Apache Indians from the north wiped out both the Papagos and Spaniards and the treasure was never recovered. If not on the butte itself, the hoard is located somewhere along the road between Red Rock and Silverbell.
  105. El Tejano was an outlaw in the 1870’s who frequently robbed stagecoaches in Arizona. He was found dead one day along the Santa Cruz River S of Tucson from gunshot wounds sustained in a robbery attempt. His buried caches of stolen loot are believed to remain buried at either Picacho Pass or Cerro del Gato, both near Tucson.
  106. In the late 1890’s, outlaws crossed into Arizona with loot amounting to $48,000 from a Belen, New Mexico, train robbery and hid the cache at the Camp of the Double Circle on Eagle Creek. It was  at this spot that the bandits were shot and killed by lawmen and the treasure never recovered.
  107. In 1905, a gang of outlaws robbed a train at Fort Thomas. An iron-bound chest containing $440,000 and another containing $65,000 was taken. The gang is believed to have buried the treasure, possibly an army payroll intended for Fort Thomas, about 10 feet deep near the holdup scene on private property. This treasure has been connected with the secretive Knights of the Golden Circle, an organization of Confederate and Southern sympathizers who attempted to raise enough money to restart the Civil War.
  108. $14,000, part of a payroll robbery at Cedar Springs in 1889, is buried a few miles SW of Fort Thomas.
  109. Padres transporting church treasure along a trail through the rough Graham Mountains were warned by a scout that Apaches were heading their way. The priests hastily buried a large store of gold coins, jeweled church vessels and other valuables in a cave and in the ensuing battle, all but a few of the party were killed. The survivors escaped and the treasure was never relocated.
  110. There are signs of a caravan of early Spaniards burying a cache of gold bullion on Mount Graham. The party wa traced as far as their stopping place in Shannon Canyon where the gold is believed buried.
  111. Money taken in a stage robbery is believed hidden on the old Camp Grant land on the San Pedro River.
  112. An old Mexican women said that a cache of treasure was buried in the grave of a wealthy Chinese in the abandoned town cemetery at (GT) Metcalf.
  113. A large bean pot buried on Bush Creek, a tributary of Rousensock Canyon, is said to contain a fortune in gold nuggets, buried by a German prospector who was a man named Rose. While on e of the men was away getting supplies, the other was murdered. When the partner returned, he buried their nuggets and left. He never returned for the cache and it is believed that he, too, was killed.
  114. Apache Indians raided a Mexican mine and killed all but a few of the miners. The miners had buried their accumulated gold prior to the attack in many iron bean pots just below the crest of a hill above the creek about 3 miles due W of Ajo. Searchers for decades have failed to locate the buried treasures or the rich gold placer mine.
  115. Papago Indians tell the story that the fabled treasure hoard of Montezuma was buried in a cave near the top of a high peak in the Ajo Mountains, SE of the old mining camp of Gunsight. The legend says that after burying the treasure, Montezuma climbed to the top of the peak and turned to stone. The peak shaped like the head of an Indian is the place to search. Many sources say that there is considerable substance to the Papago legend.
  116. The early Spaniards found gold and silver ore so rich that arrastres and smelters were built to crush the ore and smelt it into ingots. The ingots were stored under the floors of the San Marcelo Mission. In 1750, the Indians rebelled and completely obliterated all signs of the mines, mission and smelter and dumped the bodies of the Spaniards on top of the gold and silver ingots before they covered it over. A large flat rock with an iron ring in the middle covers the entrance to the underground treasure vault. Time, rain and drifting sands have obliterated all traces of this location.
  117. Captain Jesus Arroa buried a large quanity of gold from the wrecked Spanish galleon Isabella Catolica. He moved about 300 miles inland SE of San Diego near the Mexican border and N of the state of Sonara, Mexico. and cached the hoard on the slopes of the Cocopah Range in 1682. Searchers have been made for this cache as far back as 1874 without success.
  118. The treasure of the San Jose del Tucson Mission is said to be buried somewhere on or near the old mission grounds.
  119. There are rumors of treasure  being buried in White House Canyon S of Tucson where the canyon comes out of the flats.
  120. It is said that the old owner of the house located at 1322 Fifth Street in Tucson buried a cache of treasure on his place before he died. It is claimed that his ghost appears at night and sits on the fence guarding his hoard.
  121. In the 1700’s, Spanish Jesuits cached a huge store of gold nuggets in sacks and stacks of gold bars in an old mine tunnel on the E slope of Baboquivari Peak. When they were expelled in 1767, they were forced to leave the treasure behind. In the early 1870’s, a Papago Indian accidently found this Jesuit treasure and removed one sack of nuggets from the location which he frugally lived on for the rest of his life. One day, under extreme pressure from his peers, he said that the site was located in a “Bat Cave” on a ridge extending NE from Baboquivari Peak toward Tucson on the Eside. He said that he closed the entrance to the mine so that flights of bats could never again reveal its location. The site is near Arivaca.
  122. In 1861, “Bandito Juanito,” the Mexican foreman of the Cerro Colorado Mine, highgraded $70,000 in silver bullion and buried it somewhere near the mine. The hot tempered mine owner shot and killed Juan and his stolen silver was never found. Most sources agree that the hoard of bars are still buried on th slope of Cerra Colorado facing the mine on Cerra Chiquito.
  123. DeEstine Sheppard, wealthy Arizona gold miner, cached $5 million worth of gold ore and bullion from his famous diggings near Tucson, accumulated after 30 years of mining, before his death in an Illinois hospital in 1907. The rich mine and huge store of gold is believed located in the vicinity of Arivaca Wash. A map Sheppard drew on his deathbed was extremely vague, but indicated the mine and bullion was located about 55 miles S of Tucson somewhere near the present Nogales-Tucson highway and perhaps the Pajarita Mountains. His route to the mine was along the old Smuggler’s Trail that led past the San Xavier Mission down through the Cerritas and through a pass NE of Cumaro Wash to another pass in the mountains to the S and in the area of Arivaca Wash near the Mexican border.
  124. Pancho Villa’s bandits robbed and looted towns in the Old Mexico and were chased across the line into Arizona where they hid in the mountains 5 or 6 miles from Arivaca. All but one of the gang were killed in a gun battle in 1913. The lone survivor admitted that the loot was cached where he stood as a lookout and could see Sasabe from the S slope. Old Mexico to the W and Main Street of Arivaca to the N. The 2 packloads of treasure were never recovered.
  125. In 1751, word was received at the Tumacacori Mission that the Indians were in revolt. The area mines were covered over and concealed and the gold and silver bars and other church fixtures and ornaments were loaded on a carreta. The hoard of valuables also included a wooden box containing the mission records and a map pinpointing the 8 satelitte mines. While making their way along the trail to the NW, 2 day’s out from the mission and along the trail in the Tascosa Mountain foothills about 6 miles S and 4 miles E of Arivaca, the group ran into Jesuits from the Altar Sonora Mission who were also fleeing the revolt. The Sonora party had with them 8 pack mules of church treasure and ingots. A scout appeared with word that an Apache war party was in the area and the Spanish turned of the road and concealed the entire hoard in an abandoned mine tunnel nearby. The padres  never returned.
  126. The Cienega Stage Station was located near (GT) Pantano. In 1872, it was operated by a small band of outlaws known locally as the “Benders.” Murders, holdups and robberies took place here regularly and with no interference from the law. The Benders, disguised as Apaches, accounted for nearly all of the crimes. Their largest haul was an army payroll of $75,000 stolen in a ambush near their station. This hoard, and a large number of other valuable treasure caches, are  known to have been buried or hidden around the site of the old stage stop and never recovered. A band of real Apaches attacked the station and killed every man.
  127. The Santa Lucia Lost Mine and a store of rich gold ore and bars worth $5 million is located in the Table Mountains.
  128. Around 1909, F.A. Edwards owned 200 acres adjoining the Tumacacori Mission and claimed that his property held a treasure estimated to be worth as much as $80 million-80 mule loads of gold. Records in Madrid and Mexico City supposedly confirm its existence and directions to the cache, but searchers have so far been futile.
  129. Spanish padres built a rock shelter for a large treasure and buried it under tons of rock from a cliff on an ancient trail leading from the old San Xavier del Bac Mission. The search area is 8 miles N of Patagonia and near the old trail.
  130. An old Chinaman named Kang operated a store in the old mining camp of Washington and secreted his gold coins and bars and a small box of jewerly in a secret hole cut into solid rock a few hundred feet from his store. The Chinaman died of a heart attack and the  gold cache was never recovered.
  131. A Southern Pacific express train was robbed of $60,000 in gold coins and bullion by 2 outlaws named Alvord and Stiles in 1899 near Cochise. The gold was buried within 1/2 mile of an old cabin a few miles outside Cochise to the north and along the old trail between Wilcox and Cochise, probably within a few miles of Cochise. The money was buried with an agreement that it would  be recovered once the heat died down, but the gang was arrested or killed and the cache never recovered. Wells Fargo agents made a long search for the loot, but they were unsuccessful.
  132. In 1895, bandits robbed the safe in the express car  of the Southern Pacific RR, 5 miles W of Wilcox. In an effort to dynamite the safe, 8 sacks of Mexican silver dollars were used to weight the sticks down on the top of the safe. The explosion blew 8,000 silver coins through the roof of the RR car and spread them all over the right-of-way. It is said that RR agents recovered about 7,000 coins after the incident leaving some 1,000 behind. There have been reports by treasure hunters that these coins are still being recovered here.
  133. A cache of gold dust and silver coins was secreted by Apache Indians after they attacked a wagon train a few miles NE of the stage station at Mountain Springs. The dutch oven containing the treasure is hidden behind two rocks at the point of the Winchester Mountains NE of Wilcox.
  134. A Mexican wagon train, loaded with a large amount of treasure including a life-sized gold statue of the Virgin, a huge store of gold dust and nuggets and a large gold cross, was bound for Sante Fe and camped in the dry bed of a creek between 2 hills at the springs at Dos Cabezas. The huge store of treasure was buried before the men retired for the night. Apache Indians attacked and killed the party and only one small boy escaped and returned to Mexico. 45 years later he returned in search of the treasure, but he was never able to locate te exact burial site.
  135. The outlaw Zwing Hunt, who took in part in the Skeleton Canyon fracas, is said to have buried part of the treasure in gold and diamonds in a canyon on Harris Mountain. He also added to this cache with loot from other robberies and holdups. A dying outlaw is to have revealed that the value of this treasure hoard was $300,000.
  136. After a bank robbery in Nogales in 1884, the notorious Black Jack Ketcham hid the loot in “Room Forty Four,” a cave located in Wild Cat Canyon at the S end of the Chiricahua Mountains and about 8 miles SW of Portal. The cave is located near the old William Lutley Ranch.
  137. Outlaw “Pop” Clanton of the Clanton gang buried $50,000 in gold coins on or near  the site of the old Clanton Ranch of Horsethief Springs near Tombstone. The coins were stolen from a baggage car during  train robbery. He died in the 1930’s at the age of 90, refusing to tell his Ruffian sons where the treasure was located. It has never been found.
  138. In 1882, the Apache chief Cochise raided emigrant trains, ranches and robbed stagecoaches. Although he had no use for gold, he took every opportunity to take it from the whites. On one occasion he seized 2 heavy iron-bound chests filled with gold coins from the Butterfield stage and somehow managed to drag or haul the chests to his Apache hideout, later known as Cochise Stronghold Canyon in the Dragoon Mountains, about 10 miles SE of Dragoon. Even after peace was made, the Apaches vowed that no white man would ever find the hidden chests, located in a place where even a horse cannot travel. They’re still there.
  139. A post hole bank containing $16,000 is believed buried on the old Jones ranch near Naco, on the Arizona side, about 1/4 mile S of the old ranch house.
Categories: Ancient Treasure, Arizona, artifacts, gold, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, gold jewelry, Gold Mine, hidden, Legends, Lost gold, Lost Mines, Lost Treasure, silver, silver coins, Spanish gold, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Treasure is still out there….


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The Dalton Gang Loot

The famous Dalton Gang made history in 1892 when they attempted to rob two banks at the same time in Coffeyville, Kansas. The result was the death of four of the outlaws and four citizens, and a prison term for the only survivor, Emmett Dalton.

Less well known is the fortune in gold and silver coins allegedly buried by the outlaws on the evening before the Coffeyville attempt. The cache was estimated to be worth between $9,000 and $20,000 in 1892 values.

Before their Coffeyville robbery, the Dalton Gang held up a Missouri-Kansas-Texas train near Wagoner, Oklahoma, and another near Adair. From these robberies, they netted $10,000. A few weeks later, they walked into an El Reno, Oklahoma, bank and took $17,000.

Following these robberies, the gang members purchased new saddles and clothes. The remaining loot was carried in their saddlebags as they made their way toward Coffeyville.

On the evening of October 5, the gang arrived at Onion Creek where it joins with the Verdigris River near the Kansas-Oklahoma border. There, they set up camp. Desiring to travel as unencumbered as possible, they unloaded all of the goods from their horses. The gold and silver coins were placed in a shallow hole they dug adjacent to their campfire.

At dawn the following morning, the outlaws breakfasted, checked their firearms and ammunition, and saddled their mounts. Before leaving, Emmett told the gang members that if they became separated, they were to rendezvous at this site, where they would retrieve the coins and escape deeper into Oklahoma.

The robbery attempt was a disaster and spelled the end of the gang. All were killed, save for Emmett. He served only 15 years in prison when he was pardoned in 1907. Lawmen believed that when freed, Emmett would lead them to the buried cache. They followed him for weeks, but he stayed away from Onion Creek. He once told an interviewer that he believed the coin cache was tainted and he wanted no more to do with it.

The precise location of the Onion Creek campsite has been debated for years, but recently discovered information has narrowed the area of search. On the morning the Dalton Gang departed for Coffeyville, Mary Brown, the young daughter of a nearby rancher, was riding her horse when she heard voices near Onion Creek. Reining up her mount, she listened and heard the sounds of men eating and saddling horses. Moments later, Brown saw five horsemen riding out from under a small wooden bridge that spanned the creek and making their way toward Coffeyville.

Years later, when Brown was an adult, she heard the story of the gold and silver coins buried at the Onion Creek campsite and was determined to find them. During the time that passed since the Coffeyville Raid, however, the old bridge had been torn down, portions of the creek had changed course and the road had been relocated. Though she searched for a full day, Brown was unable to find the location where the Daltons had camped so many years earlier.

As far as anyone knows, the treasure is still there.

Belle Starr’s Lost Iron Door Cache

Belle Starr was arguably the American West’s most famous female outlaw. She was known to deal in stolen horses, and she provided sanctuary in her eastern Oklahoma home to Frank and Jesse James, the Younger Gang and other notorious banditti. Some believed that she helped plan crimes and aided her accomplices in hiding and spending money taken in bank and train robberies.

A tale that has surfaced over the years involves gang members Starr allegedly knew. They stopped a freight train bound for the Denver Mint during the mid-1880s. The train was transporting a cargo of gold ingots destined to be turned into coin.

Though the robbery went as planned, the gang feared immediate pursuit from federal agents. They decided to hide the gold in a cave in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains. Before riding away with the loot, gang members removed one of the iron doors from a railroad car and, using ropes, dragged the door along behind them as they made their escape on horseback.

When they arrived at the cave, the bandits stacked the gold against one wall. The iron door was placed over the entrance, wedged into position, and covered over with rock and brush. Before leaving the area, one of the outlaws hammered a railroad spike into an oak tree located 100 yards from the cave.

A short time after the robbery, railroad detectives learned of the possibility that the gold had been hidden in the Wichita Mountains. Though they hunted for weeks, they were never able to find it.

During a subsequent train robbery attempt a few months later, all of the members of the gang were killed. In 1889, Starr was murdered, a crime that has never been solved. With her death, no one remained alive who knew the exact location of what has come to be called the “Lost Iron Door Cache.”

During the first decade of the 1900s, a rancher and his young son rode into a canyon in the Wichita Mountains near Elk Mountain. Their attention was captured by the reflection of the sun from an object located on the eastern slope. On investigating, they encountered a large, rusted iron door set into a recessed portion of the canyon wall.  The son wanted to see what was on the other side of the door, but the father reminded him they had to reach their destination before nightfall. Later, the father learned the story of the Iron Door Cache. The two returned to the region, but were unsuccessful in relocating the site.

During the ensuing years, a number of ranchers, hunters and hikers have reported spotting the iron door against one wall of a remote canyon in the Wichita Mountains. On learning the story of the gold, they attempted to return to the location, but could never find it.

While traveling through a remote canyon in the Wichitas in the 1950s, a rancher decided to pause and take shade under a large oak tree. He hung his hat on a railroad spike hammered into the trunk. Familiar with the story of the gold cache and the spike, he made plans to return to the canyon and search for the treasure, but was never able to relocate the site. Later, someone cut down the oak tree for firewood.

The latest sighting of the door was in 1996. A middle-aged man making his way on foot from the small town of Cooperton to Lawton, in search of work, took a shortcut through the Wichita Mountains and spotted the iron door. Three weeks after arriving in Lawton, he learned the story of Starr’s Iron Door Cache. He purchased a few tools and set out to recover the gold. On the way, he suffered a heart attack and died.

Bill Doolin’s Gold

In spite of lore that claims Bill Doolin netted over $175,000 in robberies in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas over the two-year period preceding his death, the outlaw lived frugally in a wood frame shack near Burden, Kansas.

In between robberies, Doolin purchased a small plot of land and a shack near Burden, 40 miles southeast of Wichita. To this place he retreated with his loot, and it was here that he buried most of it. He never told anyone about his new residence, preferring to keep it secret.

In December 1895, Doolin traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. An arthritis sufferer, he often bathed in the hot springs to soothe his aches. One afternoon he was arrested by Deputy Marshal Bill Tilghman while soaking in a hot mineral bath. He was placed in the jail in Guthrie, Oklahoma, to await trial for bank robbery. Certain that he would be convicted, Doolin escaped and fled to Burden. He began making plans to move his wife and child to this location.

For days following Doolin’s escape, the Oklahoma countryside was searched for some trace of him, to no avail. One lawman, Heck Thomas, got a tip that Doolin was planning on visiting his wife and son. He learned that Doolin’s family was living in Lawton. Thomas rode to Lawton and, from hiding, watched the house where Mrs. Doolin was living.

Thomas and a posse were hiding out near the house when Doolin came walking up, leading the horse and buggy.  The outlaw spotted the lawman and reached for a rifle under the wagon seat, firing twice. Thomas shot him dead.

Doolin’s friends were aware that he buried his share of the robbery loot, but never knew where. Not until 20 years after the outlaw’s death did anyone discover his secret residence in Burden. By that time, the old shack had tumbled down, and the land was covered in weeds and brush.

Though many have searched the area for Doolin’s cache of gold and silver coins, it remains undiscovered.

Sam Bass Treasure

Following a train robbery outside of Big Springs, Nebraska, Sam Bass and other outlaws got away with 3,000 twenty-dollar gold pieces, along with jewelry and money taken from the passengers. After dividing the loot, the outlaws split up. Bass went to his hideout at Cove Hollow near Denton, Texas. Some believe he buried his booty at Cove Hollow, although others believe he just as easily could have spent the money. He soon formed a gang, robbed more stages and added to his caches.

Bass made plans to rob the Williamson County Bank in Round Rock, Texas. When the outlaws stopped at the store first to buy some tobacco, a couple of local lawmen noticed they were armed and started to talk to them. They didn’t recognize Bass. The outlaws opened fire on them, and a gunfight ensued. Badly wounded, Bass escaped.

Texas Rangers caught up with him in a nearby pasture. The outlaw died more than a day later, and with his death went the knowledge of the location of his treasure caches at Cove Hollow.

Henry Plummer’s Lost Gold

In a short span of time, the Henry Plummer gang amassed an impressive fortune in gold coins, ingots and nuggets from robbing stagecoaches, freight wagons, miners and travelers throughout Washington and Montana…at least, according to legend, since no evidence supports the claim. Some historians have made the argument that Plummer was not an outlaw, nor did he lead an organized gang. But for those who believe that Plummer was a gang leader and who also believe in the legend of his treasure, Plummer’s share has been estimated to exceed $200,000.

For a time, Plummer (and maybe his gang) lived near Sun River, 20 miles from Great Falls, Montana. Plummer apparently buried his portion of the gold near a small creek located 200 yards from the house. He never revealed the location.

On January 10, 1864, vigilantes caught up with Plummer and hanged him. In 1875, a young boy was digging in the soft ground near a stream at Sun River and found one of Plummer’s bags of coins. He returned to the area with his father, but was unable to relocate the spot. Plummer’s buried treasure, at its estimated value, would be worth several million dollars today.

Cy Skinner’s Lost Loot

Cy Skinner was among those named as a member of Henry Plummer’s gang. After Plummer was killed, Skinner loaded up the gold ingots and coins he had accumulated in the same robberies—$200,000 worth—and fled to Hell’s Gate (now Missoula), Montana. After reaching his destination, Skinner carried the gold to one of several small islands in the middle of the Clark Fork. Weeks later, a mob of men stormed Skinner’s cabin, hauled him outside and hanged him.

During the 1930s, a man named Taichert found a portion of Skinner’s gold on one of the islands. When he returned the next day to search for the rest of it, heavy rains had caused the river to rise, barring access to the island. By the time the flow receded, the islands had been altered in size and shape. Taichert was never able to find the precise spot where he had found the gold.  Skinner’s gold still rests beneath a foot or two of river deposit on one of the small islands.

Outlaw Treasure

Mexican Payroll Loot Austin, Texas

A $3 million treasure, allegedly from a Mexican payroll in 1836 stolen by the paymaster and accomplices, the loot could be buried near Shoal Creek in Texas. After burying the loot and, in turn, killing members of the party, the remaining outlaw returned to Mexico. His map to the treasure shows it was buried five feet underground, close to an oak tree with two eagle wings carved on it.

Eight men dug 40 feet of tunnel for eight months along Shoal Creek, saying they were constructing a new bridge or a large house. On April 13, 1927, according to The Rising Star Record, the workers took off with the loot:

“A box was lifted from the square cut chamber between the rocks, for the next day the workmen were gone and the blasting has ceased. Curious throngs soon found the dark tunnel and with lights discovered traces of the large wooden box that had laid beneath the dirt for more than 60 years.”

Butch Cassidy’s Loot Moffat County, Colorado
Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch hid out in Brown’s Hole, Colorado, to escape from lawmen. Many believe the gang’s stolen loot was tucked away here, in an outlaw paradise, for safekeeping, but then abandoned and forgotten.Along what is known as “Outlaw Trail,” Brown’s Hole was also the perfect place to hide rustled cattle and horses.

Josie Bassett, an alleged girlfriend of Cassidy’s, lived on the Bassett Ranch at Brown’s Park. Cassidy had worked there as a ranch hand. Graves along the river, Josie’s cabin and remnants of Doc Parson’s cabin, where Cassidy lived for a while, still stand today.

Lost Treasure

Lost Opata Mine South of Tucson, Arizona

About 45 miles south of Tucson, Arizona, rises what remains of Tumacacori Mission, now a national park. The 18th-century church was built by Spaniards hoping to convert the pagan Opata and Papago Indians. The missionaries hired the Indians to work in their nearby silver mines and store the yield in a giant room.

The Opata kidnapped a woman they believed was the Virgin Mary and wanted her to marry their chief. She refused, so the people sacrificed her to their gods by tying her to the silver, rubbing poison into cuts in her hands, and dancing and singing around her.

The missionaries, so dismayed by the pagan violation of their Christian teachings, had the entrance closed off, presumably sealing in the woman’s skeletal remains—and all of the silver—still waiting to be found.

Lost Dutchman Mine Apache Junction, Arizona

Rich in gold, but—some believe—cursed, the fabled Lost Dutchman gold mine generates endless stories. The treasure hunters who mysteriously go missing while looking for the gold fuel the 120-plus-year legend. Today, some wonder if the Superstition Mountains really harbor the gold or if the stories have piled upon stories to bury the truth.

Sometime after 1868, a German (not Dutch) miner named Jacob Waltz found the Peralta family mine and worked it with an associate, Jacob Weiser. Legend has it that they hid some of the gold near Weaver’s Needle, a local landmark. Details after that are unclear, according to Lost Dutchman State Park information. Either Waltz killed Weiser or Apaches killed him, leaving Waltz as the only person who knew the whereabouts of the mine.

His neighbor in Phoenix, Arizona, who took care of him before his death in 1891, and countless others have searched unsuccessfully for the gold.

Hidden Treasure

Ruggles Brothers Gold Redding, California

In 1892, the charming, young Ruggles brothers held up the stagecoach to Weaverville, California, just west of Redding, making off with the strongbox loaded with gold. Buck Montgomery, of the Hayfork Montgomery clan, was the armed escort on the stage. He shot at Charles Ruggles, who had ordered the driver to halt.

John Ruggles fired back, killing Montgomery. Thinking his brother was dead, he cached the loot somewhere nearby. Charles was alive, but some of the loot was never found. Eventually, local vigilantes lynched the Ruggles.

Jesse James’s Hidden Treasure Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma

Legend says the James Gang, in 1876, buried stolen treasure in a deep ravine east of Cache Creek in Oklahoma. Jesse James made two signs pointing to the gold: He emptied two six-shooters into a cottonwood tree, and he nailed a horseshoe into the trunk of another cottonwood tree. Then he scratched out a contract on the side of a brass bucket to bound everyone to keep the secret. Although this doesn’t seem in his character to do so, since the written oath could have been used as evidence against him, some folks believe the treasure exists.

The words on the bucket read: “This the 5th day of March, 1876, in the year of our Lord, 1876, we the undersigned do this day organize a bounty bank. We will go to the west side of the Keechi Hills which is about fifty yards from [symbol of crossed sabers]. Follow the trail line coming through the mountains just east of the lone hill where we buried the jack [burro]. His grave is east of a rock. This contract made and entered into this V day of March 1876. This gold shall belong to who signs below. Jesse James, Frank Miller, George Overton, Rub Busse, Charlie Jones, Cole Younger, Will Overton, Uncle George Payne, Frank James, Roy Baxter, Bud Dalton, and Zack Smith.”

The gold hasn’t been found, but the engraved brass bucket and simple map have been, as have the markers pointing to the treasure’s hiding spot.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, artifacts, Civil War, gold, gold coins, gold ingots, Legends, Lost gold, Lost Treasure, Old West, Outlaws, silver, silver coins, Texas, treasure, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Old Man Who Claimed to Be Billy the Kid…..A small Texas town has embraced ‘Brushy Bill’ and his tall tales. By Eric Moreno MARCH 30, 2017….


One of two confirmed photographs of Billy the Kid (left), playing croquet in New Mexico, 1878.
One of two confirmed photographs of Billy the Kid (left), playing croquet in New Mexico, 1878. PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN/PUBLIC DOMAIN

History tells us that the outlaw known as Billy the Kid (aka Henry McCarty, aka William Bonney) was gunned down—at the ripe old age of 21—by Sheriff Pat Garrett on July 14, 1881, in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. He was buried, it is said, in Fort Sumner Cemetery, with his “associates” Tom O’Folliard and Charlie Bowdre, and the epitaph “Pals”—though none of them are likely directly under the tombstone there today. He’s since been romanticized in print, and on stage, television, and film as an emblem of the lawless West.

“As a society back then, people were tough, strong, and fearless, and yet this little guy is known as the most deadly outlaw of them all,” says Daniel A. Edwards, author of Billy the Kid: An Autobiography. “He is either a folk hero that single-handedly stood up against a corrupt government system, or he is a ruthless outlaw and cop killer that left a wake of terror in his path.”

Whether his story actually ended in 1881, however, is another matter. People in Hico, Texas—population 1,379 and home to the Billy the Kid Museum, tell a slightly different version.

Sign for the Billy the Kid Museum in Hico, Texas.
Sign for the Billy the Kid Museum in Hico, Texas. BILLY HATHORN/CC BY-SA 3.0

In 1948, a paralegal named William V. Morrison was investigating a man named Joe Hines, a survivor of the Lincoln County War, the feud that helped make Billy the Kid’s name. Hines told him a whopper of a tale: Billy the Kid had not been killed in New Mexico, but was alive and well and living in a town called Hico in Hamilton County, Texas, as one Ollie “Brushy Bill” Roberts. Morrison approached Roberts who, perhaps sensing the end of his life was near (if he had been Billy, he’d have been 90 at the time), made a confession. He hoped that Morrison could help him claim the pardon that New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace supposedly promised Billy the Kid back in 1879.

“Brushy Bill was very well known around these parts,” says Jane Klein, historian at the Billy the Kid Museum. “He would tell people around here, ‘You know, I have a secret and one of these days you’re going to find out what it is.’ He didn’t want to tell his story at first. After he thought about it, though, he told [Morrison] that he was Billy the Kid. All he wanted to do was to get that pardon that he’d been promised, and I believe he felt this was his last chance to get it.”

In November 1950, Morrison filed a petition on behalf of Brushy Bill. But it wasn’t to be. Roberts died a month later, and neither Billy the Kid nor Brushy Bill Roberts ever received a pardon. Since that time, debates have raged over Roberts’s claims, and whether he was truly one of the West’s most notorious gunmen or just an old man looking for attention.

In researching his book, Edwards analyzed photographs of Billy the Kid and Roberts, and dug into the details of Roberts’s account of his life and comparing them with known facts about Billy the Kid. “Before I made the discoveries I made in my book, I did not have an opinion on Brushy Bill,” says Edwards. “I now believe without a doubt that Billy the Kid was not killed by Pat Garrett in Ft. Sumner. I believe he lived, had many more adventures … before he finally died in Hico in 1950.

“When you listen to his real story, he talks about how he wasn’t an outlaw, how he never robbed banks or stagecoaches, how he resented the fact that Governor Lew Wallace reneged on his promise of a pardon in 1879 and left him to die,” Edwards says. “Now these are strange things for someone that is a fraud to focus on. They are personal things, and things that make complete sense for him to be upset about if his story was true.”

The Billy the Kid Museum opened in Hico nearly 40 years after Roberts’s death, and the city actively celebrates the connection. In Hico Billy is everywhere, from a statue downtown, to the standee in the Chamber of Commerce, to the monumental arch over Roberts’s grave. There is no doubt there that Billy the Kid is one of their own, and they’re happy to tell the world.

'Billy the Kid' statue in Hico, Texas.
‘Billy the Kid’ statue in Hico, Texas. CAROL M. HIGHSMITH/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/LC-DIG-HIGHSM-29831

“From what I’ve heard, [Brushy Bill] told a pretty credible tale,” says Hamilton Historical Commission Chairman Jim Eidson. “I believe all communities are built on legends, and in Hamilton County Brushy Bill’s stories connect us to those wild days of the frontier.”

Eidson’s “official” position on the story echoes that of the rest of the Historical Commission—we keep an open mind. We’re not trying to deceive anyone. It’s all just part of the area’s mythology.

“Brushy Bill and Billy the Kid, the whole story, that’s part of who we are now,” Eidson says. “I think people really like being associated with it now. Outlaws have a romantic air about them and I think the people in Hamilton County really enjoy having this as part of the history.”

Categories: Billy the Kid, Legends, movies, Myths, New Mexico, Old West, Strange News, Texas, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Crusader Shipwreck Discovered off Israel’s Coast, gold coins and more…


Archaeologists have found the wreck of a ship belonging to the Crusaders, dating back to their expulsion from Acre in the thirteenth century CE, off the coast of northern Israel.

The Crusader stronghold was destroyed in 1291 CE when the Mamluk Sultanate captured it, driving the Christian armies from the region. Golden coins dating to the era were found alongside the wreck, making it easy to pinpoint when the ship sank in the waters outside Acre, according to an article appearing in Haaretz.

Taking Acre was a major victory for the Mamluks, as Christian European forces had long used the site as a landing point for countless knights and soldiers. When Jerusalem fell out of Crusader hands after being recaptured by Saladin in 1187, Acre became the new Crusader capital in the Holy Land.

Marine archaeologists from Haifa University Prof. Michal Artzy and Dr. Ehud Galili spearheaded the investigation of the Crusader shipwreck. The ship itself suffered damage while the modern harbor of Acre was being dredged during its construction; the surviving wreckage includes some ballast-covered wooden planks, the ship’s keep, and a few sections of its hull.

Carbon dating has revealed the wood used to construct the hull dates to between 1062 CE and 1250 CE, firmly within the window for Crusader activity in the region. In addition to the associated golden coins found near the wreckage, marine archaeologists also discovered imported ceramic bowls and jugs from southern Italy, Syria, and Cyprus; corroded pieces of iron, mostly nails and anchors, were additional finds.

The biggest find, however, is certainly thought to be the gold coins found with the wreck. A total of 30 florins were found, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s coin expert Robert Kool; minted in the Italian republic of Florence – where the coins get their name – the florins were minted from 1252.

Speculation as to how the ship – and the florins – ended up on the bottom of Acre’s harbor is closely tied to the Siege of Acre, as historical eyewitness accounts from the event reported nobles and merchants fleeing from the besieged fortress by boat, often after bribing the owners of these boats with valuables. Many never made it out of the harbor, thought to have drowned there with their riches as the Christian defenders sought futilely to buy them some time to escape.

The Crusader fortress fell on May 18th, 1291, after more than 100 years of Frankish rule. The final defenders, a contingent of Knights Templar, refused to abandon their holdfast. As a result, when Mamluk sappers undermined the walls of the Templar fortress, the entire edifice collapsed, killing the remaining defenders – and around a hundred of the Sultan’s own soldiers as well.

The fall of Acre was the last gasp of the Christian crusades during the medieval era. Once the stronghold was taken by the Mamluks and summarily destroyed, the Catholic Church and the European nobles that supported it abandoned their quest to “liberate” the Holy Land.

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Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, gold, gold coins, Legends, Lost Treasure, Middle East, Muslims, sunken ships, treasure, treasure diver, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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