Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Treasure Hunt

We are all interested in treasure hunting, especially watching the divers on television as they bring up gold and jewels from the bottom of the ocean. The mystery of the hunt grabs our interest. Well, here is a little tidbit that I found from the book The Complete Guide to Treasure Hunting.

Many treasure hunters believe that $2 million in silver bars still lies at the bottom of Hendricks Lake near Galveston, Texas. The story began when a Spanish brig named the Santa Rosa left Vera Cruz Mexico, loaded down with $2 million in Mexican silver ingots and sailed out along the lower Texas coast. The ship was soon attacked by Lafitte and his band of pirates, the silver transferred to the Pride, and the Santa Rosa sunk.

In the summer of 1816, Lafitte gave the order to remove the silver from his home on Campeachy and carry it inland. A wagon train was organized and was soon heading up Trammel's Trace, through what is now Carthage, Marshall, and Texarkana. While camped one night near the Sabine River, by a body of water called Hendricks Lake, Lafitte's men were surprised by 200 Spanish soldiers who had been sent to reclaim the silver. The Frenchmen hurriedly cut the mules loose and let the six wagon loads of silver roll down the bank into Hendricks Lake.

In 1920, a group of fishermen brought up three silver bars from the bottom of the lake. Although many attempts have been made to recover the rest of the ingots, even some far out attempts to pump all the water out of the lake, no more of the treasure has ever been found.

What happened to Jean Lafitte himself? Many historians now believe that the pirate Lafitte and Jean Lafitte who lived in St. Louis and died in Alton, Illinois in 1854, were one and the same. Was the Hendricks Lake treasure salvaged by Lafitte himself to finance his St. Louis business ventures? While historians are digging deeper for clues, treasure hunters continue to dig at several sites for the buried booty of Jean Lafitte.

The Complete Guide To Treasure Hunting, written by Norman V. Carlisle and David Michelson (1973), pgs 42-43.


Helen Ginger said...

Amazingly enough, Gwyn, I've actually heard of the Santa Rosa! Not from a history book, though. I read about it in Sylvia Dickey Smith's upcoming mystery, Dead Wreckoning. Woo-woo, goes to prove that editing can make you smarter!

Helen Ginger

Janet Grace Riehl said...


Congrats on the new book!

It's so cool the way your blog roll is set up with our current feeds on it. Never saw that before!

And, I'm honored to be there. Later when we tweak up my redesigned site, I'll get up to speed with my links.

Janet Riehl

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

As they say in southeast Texas, L I B!

(Translation, "Well, I'll be") That Helen Ginger is EVERYWHERE!!

Congrats on the book Gwen. I'll check it out!!

Bluestocking said...

What an intersting story.