Hidden & Lost Gold / Silver Treasure in MAINE
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Maine ranks highly as a treasure hunting state with a variety of sites. Almost all of its beaches
have stories of pirate treasure, and there are numerous tales of pioneer, Indian, and early bandit
caches within the state.

There is an unusual treasure that is probably still where it was stored, about ten miles southwest of Portland, Maine,
waiting to be found.

To some people the idea of searching for Egyptian mummies might seem sacrilegious, but remember that the mummies
have already been taken from their original graves, transported to the United States, and are worth, on todays collectors
market, in excess of $12,000 each. Here is the story.

In 1857, and thereafter for several years, newspaper publishers in this country faced a severe shortage of rags, which
were necessary to add strength and body to wood fibers used in paper sheets. As the shortage of rags increased, large
numbers of small newspapers went out of business.

Augustus Stanwood, a printer in Portland, Maine, was greatly affected by this rag shortage. Realizing that he would go
broke, Stanwood looked around for a much-needed source of this ever-increasing shortage of fiber. One night, while
drinking with a sea captain, Stanwood told him of his troubles. The sailing captain suggested using the cloth wrappings
of mummies. (At this time the Egyptian grave sites were being exploited, and artifacts, coffins, and mummies were being
sold by the thousands throughout the world.)

Augustus made a deal with the ships captain to obtain several dozen of these cloth-wrapped bodies. When the shipment
arrived, Stanwood stored them on his property, in pits to preserve them, about ten miles southwest of Portland. During
the next three to seven years, he used about half of the mummies, putting their linen and cotton wrappings into his
paper grinders. The pulp made a very good grade of paper stock.

About this time the rag shortage let up because of the Civil War and the capture of huge stores of cotton by Union
forces throughout the South. Thus, Stanwood did not need to use the rest of his mummies. After he tried to sell them
and couldnt, Stanwood left the mummies in the pits he had dug on his property.

After Stanwood died, few people even remembered the mummies, and they are, as far as can be determined, still buried
on the old Stanwood property, about ten miles southwest of Portland, Maine. If you arent afraid of ghosts, this unusual
treasure could be worth thousands of dollars today.

The stories of a treasure that was supposedly buried by Captain William Kidd are so numerous that it would be a waste
of time to try to investigate them all. I will give the sites, near the state of Maine, where Kidd is rumored to have left part
of his ill-gotten gains. I make no attempt to estimate the value of each treasure, but I will give the names of various
islands Kidd is supposed to have visited. You will have to do the local research on these different locations.

The islands are: Orrs, Outer Heron, Squirrel, Monhegan, Hollowell, Pittston, Isle of Haute, Twobush, Oak Island, Deer,
and Bailey.

These two instances of treasure being found in Maine lend credence to the fact that more is probably there.

Jewell Island, in Casco Bay, is supposed to be one of the places where Captain Kidd buried his treasure. Whether Kidd
ever visited the island is unknown, but there is a story, backed up by considerable evidence, that a Captain Jonathan
Chase found a large treasure on the island, killing his helper and burying him during the recovery. No record of what
happened to Chase or the money can be found.

On Bailey Island, also in Casco Bay, there is a well-authenticated story of pirate treasure actually having been found in
the 1850s. A farmer named John Wilson was duck hunting on the island when, in an attempt to retrieve a fallen bird, he
slipped into a crevice between two ledges. In his scramble to climb out, he uncovered an iron pot filled with pieces of
Spanish gold. He exchanged these for $12,000 in coin of the realm, a comfortable fortune at that time.

A story of possible treasure on the Allagash River, which could be worthwhile to check out, is that of Anse Hanley.
During the early days of timber-cutting, the lumber companies were constantly in trouble with squatters. These people
would carve out a small homestead on company land, then hint to the owners that if they were forced to move, a forest
fire might start that would destroy millions of dollars worth of timber. In most cases, the squatters stayed on the property.

One such land parasite was Anse Hanley. Around 1900, Hanley came to Fort Kent, accompanied by his wife and two
children. After obtaining supplies, he moved up the Allagash River in Arrostook County, where he squatted. During the
next few years, Hanley engaged in making whiskey for sale to the loggers.

It was said of his homemade product, If a man can drink it and come back for more, he will live forever. Hanley also sold
farm products and engaged in smuggling whiskey, guns, and cigarettes from Canada, which he sold to American
sportsmen and hunters. When Hanley died, he left a rumored $60,000, some of which he had hidden before his death,
and it could never be found. Local research could help on this.

This information can be helpful to the Maine rock hound interested in searching for rocks and gems. In Maine are found
ores of most metals, as well as useful non-metallic minerals such as quartz, feldspar, mica, graphite, and the gemstones
such as tourmalines, beryl, amethyst, garnet, and topaz. At least one mineral, beryllonite, has been found nowhere
outside Maine, and this state has yielded the finest emerald beryl ever found in the United States. In mineral production,
Maine stands about midway among the states, with the annual yield being valued at about $6,000,000. One-third of the
state is still unexplored in respect to mineral resources, and only limited areas have received adequate investigation.

Of other metals, platinum and iridium are reported, although the possibility of obtaining them for commercial use is not
yet clear. Gold is present in small quantities in a number of places. Silver is found in most of the lead and zinc localities,
and the copper ores at Bluehill. That there are considerable bodies of lead and zinc of definite value has been known
since they were first mined in 1860. Some pure silver has been mined at Sullivan and elsewhere.

The locations of different mineral sites can probably be obtained from the State Geology Department at Augusta, Maine.

Maine rates highly as a treasure-hunting state with a large number and variety of treasure sites. There is hardly a beach
along its coastline that has not at some time been connected with tales of buried treasure. The following locations and
stories could be worthwhile to investigate.

Cliff Island was once the home of a tough, old salvager called Captain Keiff. He lived alone in a log hut on the island. His
favorite way to wreck ships was to tie a lantern to his horses neck, then ride up and down the shoreline. Ships at sea
would be misguided by this light and be wrecked on the reefs and ledges that surrounded the island. Keiff would kill any
survivors of the wrecks, and then salvage the cargo. In those days, while it wasnt encouraged, illegal salvaging was
condoned, and no questions were asked when someone sold salvaged goods.

Keiff is supposed to have made a fortune in his nefarious occupation. There is a place on the island still known as Keiffs
Gardens. Local stories say that somewhere on the island a large part of Keiffs money is still buried. This is quite
possible, since he had no family and lived alone with very few ways to spend money, as the wrecked ships supplied him
with most of his needs.

Great Chebeague Island, reached by ferry from Falmouth to Portland, is the second-largest island in Casco Bay.

In the 1860s, an old sailor said that in his pirate days he had been one of a pirate crew which many years before had
buried a great treasure here. He began digging in a secluded part of the island. One day, a young islander offered to
assist him. When the offer was curtly refused, the islander leaped over the rope with which the old man had enclosed
the spot were he was digging; whereupon the treasure seeker, in a voice quaking with anger, cried, I call on God and
you people to witness that within a year this young fool will be tied in knots, even as I could tie this rope.

No one remembers now whether any treasure was found, but a short time later, the young man was soaked while
fishing. He was confined to his bed with an agonizing malady which drew up his arms and legs as if tied in knots, and
when he died, soon afterward, it was necessary to break the bones of his limbs in order to get his body into the casket.

The story of the two pirates Samuel Bellamy and Paulsgrave Williams, circa 1716-1717, has been written before, but my
version comes from a book dating to before 1900 and contains information which I have not found in any other

It was not at the mouth of the Machias River where the two pirates had their stronghold, but further upriver. They did dig
a subterranean treasure house, but it was not inside the fort. There is little doubt but that the vault holds a large hoard
of what we call treasure today. The story of Bellamy and Williams started out as what could have been just another
instance of illegal salvaging in the West Indies. After several years of wrecking ships from the shore, the two men
decided to try it at sea by becoming pirates.

Now, for piracy, they needed a ship, which they did not have. But the problem was shortly solved with the appearance of
the British merchant vessel Whidah near their headquarters. The Whidah, her holds bulging with precious metals, ivory,
and gems, took shelter in a small West Indian cove. Here the British proceeded to replenish their water supply before
starting the long voyage to England. A few hours later, the land-bound pirates were rowing toward the unsuspecting
ship. In a matter of minutes, every member of the crew was dead. Bellamy and Williams immediately commissioned the
Whidah as a pirate ship and headed north.

After looting a number of ships along the way, the pirates arrived at a destination selected by Captain Bellamy, the only
navigator on board. The spot was near the mouth of the Machias River, far from any civilized community at that time. It
was here that the two leaders put into action a plan they had had for some time. They reasoned that the cargo which
their ship carried should be hidden before they sailed again.

The two decided to build a permanent headquarters, which took the form of a large log fort with defensive fences and
earthworks. Close by, a large vault was excavated to serve as a treasure house. Here the spoils of their pirating were

When all of this was done, and the Whidah had been overhauled, Bellamy and Williams set sail again. For several
months their piratical deeds were the byword from New England to the Carolinas. After several forays, the treasure
house was filled. So extensive was the wealth that Bellamy and Williams decided they could afford to quit pirating.

However, the temptation to make one more trip was too much, and on the last trip out, near-disaster occurred in the
vicinity of Fortune Bay. The pirates spotted a wealthy-looking vessel, which, when they came within range, was a French
corvette with 36 guns. In the battle that followed, most of the crew of Bellamy and Williams were killed, although the
battered Whidah did manage to elude the French vessel and sailed back to their pirate headquarters. When the Whidah
was repaired, they again set sail on one last trip.

Near Nantucket Shoals, Massachusetts, the pirates captured the Mary Jane, an outbound whaler from New Bedford. It
carried nothing of value. Bellamy appointed the Mary Janes captain to lead the Whidah through the unfamiliar shoals
until the tip of Cape Cod was passed, and then Bellamy himself would navigate.

The captain of the Mary Jane, threading his way through the reefs, led the Whidah around, and both vessels were torn
apart. All the men onboard both ships were drowned except the captain of the Mary Jane, who finally made it to shore.
Seven pirates who were following the two vessels in a small sloop also reached the shore, but they were swiftly captured
and hanged by the angry townspeople of Eastham, Mass.

The headquarters of Bellamy and Williams, near the mouth of the Machias River, has just about disappeared. But
somewhere nearby is hidden one of the richest pirate caches in North America, one that has never been reported found.

This short story has a mystery concerning a treasure location that has never been reported solved. Outer Heron Island,
Maine, lies a few miles offshore from Boothbay Harbor.

Around 1900, two young men came to Outer Heron Island from New York. They had a map of the island showing where
a chest of pirate gold was supposedly buried. The two never revealed how this map came into their possession. With a
specially constructed auger that could be lengthened indefinitely by adding sections of iron rod, they started boring near
a lone, grotesquely-shaped spruce tree on the highest point of the island.

After a month of constant work, and at a depth of 30 feet, the auger brought up oaken chips. They penetrated this, and
the bit came up with particles of what seemed to be gold. The two then hired two Italian laborers and excavated a
30-foot shaft. At this depth, a 6-foot oak plank was found, and that was all. The gold had come from a copper spike
which the auger point had rapped.

The mystery is how did a copper spike and a six-foot plank get 30 feet underground, unless some kind of excavating
had been done years before? No report of any treasures being found in the area can be located.

One of the few instances of counterfeiting in Maine was done on Ragged Island in Cumberland County. This gang
operated for several years until they were finally routed by Federal agents. The island, because of its isolated position,
was also a rendezvous for different lawbreakers for several years. This little-known location could pay off, because it is
almost certain that something was hidden by some of these outlaws.

This little-known treasure was found by accident and then lost again and has never been rediscovered. Manana Island
is off the middle coast of Maine. Around 1900, several fishermen stopped their boat at this island to relax. They decided
to play a game of soccer. When a wild kick was made by one of the crew-members, the captain of the group ran to
retrieve the ball. As he picked up the ball, he noticed rusty metal sticking out of the sand. He dug the sand from around
the object, and saw that it was an old iron pot filled with coins. Since he was out of sight of his crew, he stuck the pot into
a nearby rock crevice, intending to come back for it later.

After playing for a while longer, the crew went back to their fishing boat. The captain made an excuse to stay behind for
a short time. Returning to what he thought was the crevice where he had put the pot of coins, he was amazed that he
could not find the right one. Deciding that part of the coins would be better than none, the captain called his crew and
told them what he had done.

The entire company spent several hours in search of the coins, but were never able to find them. As far as is known,
somewhere on Manana Island, stuck in a rock crevice, there is a cache of coins waiting for a lucky treasure hunter.

Crawford, in Washington County, once the center of extensive lumbering operations, was the scene of many stagecoach
robberies. Favorite yarns of early stagecoach travel tell of how, when deep snow impeded the progress of the coach,
packs of wolves would follow the wheel tracks and were warded off only by the alertness of the drivers and the quick
cocking and firing of hand-loaded and primed guns.

Other exciting tales abound in this region. One concerns three brothers, living near Bangor, who became highwaymen
and terrorized this district, stopping coaches several times a week and extracting all valuables from the passengers and
their luggage. It is said that a passenger who had been robbed while traveling through the area, several months later in
Boston recognized a man lounging in a tavern as one of the three bandits. Accused, the man shouted his innocence,
but a gold nugget, hanging from his watch chain, was found to bear the initials of the coach passenger. It could pay to
do local research on this gang.

Here is a treasure lead in Maine that, to my knowledge, has not been publicized too much. It is based on legend, but
dont let that bother you. Legends do come true!

The legend states that Indians under a Captain Sunday mined silver near the town of Cornish, Cumberland County. The
place was marked by three small hills flanking the Saco River near its junction with the Ossipee River. The mined silver
was stored and never used. After working the mine for several years, the Indians sold the land on which it was located to
William Phillips, who spent the remainder of his life searching for the mine, but never found it.

I have no way of knowing whether there is any truth to the story of treasure on Johns Island, in Casco Bay. Many stories
cling to this little island, which is famed as being the summer home of the Lauder family and Gene Tunney. Tradition has
it that there was a large frame tavern on the north end of the island, a hangout for seamen. One of these was a
Portuguese who never did any work, but always had plenty of gold and silver to spend when he appeared from parts
unknown. This went on for years. Finally, he died in a foreign land, but before he breathed his last, he gave a friend a
map of Johns Island, showing the location of a hidden well near the tavern. At the bottom of the well, he said, gold and
silver would be found because I helped put it there from the pirate craft Dare Devil, commanded by Dixie Bull. Searches
have been made for this well, but without success.

Jean Vincent de lAbadie, Baron de St. Castine, was a French nobleman who inherited land on Penobscot Bay in what is
now the state of Maine. He took possession in 1665 and ran a successful trading post at the village of Pentagoet for
nearly 25 years, amassing a fortune.

During this time the French Canadians and New Englanders were engaged in fierce border skirmishes. Although de
Castine fortified the village, it was plundered by the British several times. Sir Edmund Andros, Governor General of
Massachusetts, led one such attack in June 1688. However, the baron had fled with his treasure.

In 1840, Captain Stephen Grindle and his son Samuel were hauling logs to the Narrows, about six miles from the village,
when they found a coin, a French crown. The pair dug until dark, recovering 20 more coins. It was in late November, and
during the night a severe blizzard struck, so digging was suspended until the spring of 1841.

Returning in the spring, the Grindles dug up nearly 500 coins from France, Spain, South America, Portugal, Holland,
England, and Massachusetts. Was this the de Castine hoard, missing for 137 years?

Everyone believed that it was, and that there was much more to be found. The old rumors that the baron had been
forced to bury his treasure as he fled were revived. Dying shortly after felling, in France, de Castine had never been
able to return to America to retrieve his fortune. Now the Grindles had found at least some of it. In April 1841, Dr. Joseph
L. Stevens, of Castine, Maine, named after the baron, visited the site and was present when more coins were
unearthed. He purchased one of each type of coins dated between 1642 and 1682.

The collection also contained 150 Pine Tree shillings and sixpence dated 1652. This was the first coinage struck in the
colonies. The Pine Tree shillings are valued up to $2000 each.

It was reported in 1855 that a man named Conolley, another Narrows resident, found an old chest with the remains of
clothing and other goods.

Records show Baron de St. Castine fled with six money chests. Thus far, only one has reportedly been found. Records
further indicate that a year before the Barons flight, a French visitor had estimated the treasure to be worth $200,000.

Over three hundred years have passed. What is the value of those five missing chests today?

Somewhere in the middle of southwestern Maine, in Oxford County, there exists a mother lode of gold beyond the
wildest dreams of any treasure hunter. Pure conjecture? Not at all; that statement is based on solid fact and research.

For 50 years, concentrated efforts have been made by professional geologists to find the source of gold in Oxford
Countys brooks, lakes, and ponds. The precious metal is found everywhere, and platinum is found occasionally. At the
present time, research is continuing in the Wilson Mills area, very close to the New Hampshire border. There is very
definitely gold in them thar hills, particularly in the region of Eustis.

Near Byron, the Swift River and its many feeders have produced more gold than all of the other Maine regions
combined. Anyone who can handle a pan will find small traces of the color if he is willing to spend the time. As many as a
dozen persons can be seen panning the stream on any given day. A few do their prospecting by searching behind the
stream on any given day. A few do their prospecting by searching behind the upturned stones and boulders where small
nuggets sometimes collect. Fly fishermen will often set aside the rod and search for gold, perhaps attracted by a
flashing glint.

Trappers have been finding a small amount of gold in the Swift River almost since the area was first opened to
settlement. Within recent memory, over $7000 of the yellow stuff was taken from among a jumbled pile of rocks at a
bend in the river. Perley Whitney took several thousand dollars worth over a period of years from one of the branches.
Two Boston vacationers panned almost $500 in two weeks time from one of the small brooks that flow into the Swift

Northwest of Byron is the Rangeley lake chain, a popular vacation area in the northeast. In Nile Brook, not far from the
village of Rangeley, both platinum and gold have been found. All of the streams flowing into the chain of lakes contain
the precious metal, and in a few a numbers of freshwater pearls have been found.

But it is the area extending from the village of Eustis southward to Lake Parmachenne that causes the excitement
among those who search for gold. It is generally believed that the mother lode is somewhere in this general area. Kibbey
Brook, which flows past the village, has produced some outstanding crystals, as has the Magalloway River, southwest of
the town. Trappers often find traces of gold while running their lines.

Remember that youre in a region that even prominent scientists believe harbors a fabulous mother lode. There is
nothing mythological about the gold of Maine.

For those interested in sunken treasure, somewhere in Penobscot Bay, Maine, not far from Vinalhaven, are the charred
remains of the side-wheeler Royal Tar, and her treasure chest of $35,000 in gold and silver.

The 164-foot side-wheeler steamer was a new ship, having been built the previous spring of 1836 in St. John, New
Brunswick. Truly a show palace on the water, she was often considered the sturdiest and safest craft on the run
between Maine and New Brunswick.

It was small wonder, therefore, that a circus returning to the States after a highly successful summer tour of New
Brunswick should charter the Royal Tar for the voyage home.

The circus was so big, however, that the steamer was almost too small to hold it. This necessitated the removal of
several of the Royal Tars lifeboats in order to fit the troupe aboard. The removal of the lifeboats was to have fatal
consequences later in the voyage.

When the wide-wheeler sailed for Portland, Maine, on October 21, 1836, she rode low in the water with her decks
crowded with huge cages filled with horses, camels, and other circus animals, including the shows headliner, Mogul the
gigantic Indian elephant. When the circus wagons and other gear were added to this, it should have been plain to all
that the vessel was overloaded. But in spite of her tremendous cargo, the sturdy Royal Tar encountered no major
problems on her journey down the coast, until the unexpected happened!

As the steamer lay at anchor about two miles off the Fox Island thoroughfare in Penobscot Bay, disaster hit without
warning. One of the boilers became dry and quickly overheated, causing the wooden timbers to burst into flames.
Whipped by winds of near-gale force, the fire grew with lightning intensity until it was beyond control. The flames raced
at will through the overcrowded decks of the anchored steamer. Realizing the futility of the situation, Captain Reed
immediately ordered the few lifeboats filled and lowered.

Seven hours after the fire had begun, the Royal Tar sank beneath the waves. It is estimated that, in the meantime, she
had drifted some 20 miles, as the captain had pulled the anchor.

What is interesting to the treasure hunter, however, is the fact that $35,000 in the pursers safe was untouched by
anyone during the fire. It is understandable that all concerned had to abandon the ship too hastily to think about saving
the money. At least, this was the report of all those questioned following the disaster.

So the treasure was still on board the Royal Tar when she sank, and the facts seem to indicate that it is still there, on
the bottom of Penobscot Bay.

One of Maines little-known treasures concerns Jim Dolliver, a wealthy sawmill owner who secreted over $10,000 in gold
for safekeeping between The Forks, now Manchester, and Murphys. He had previously made an overland journey to
Montral, where had converted his notes, checks, shares, and bonds into gold sovereigns. He liked the feel of gold rather
than paper. This occurred during the 1890s.

During his journey home on the old French trail, Dolliver saw some half-breed Canadians following him. Were they going
to rob him? Would they kill him? As Jim tore through the dense woods to evade the real, or imagined, robbers, he went
completely insane from fear after hiding his money in an old stump.

Relatives later stated that Dolliver died battling imaginary thieves. These same relatives offered three-quarters of the
money to whomever should find it, and they spent $3000 in efforts to discover its whereabouts, to no avail. As far as is
known, this cache has never been found.

The little town of Liberty, Waldo County, also boasts of a lost treasure of $70,000 in gold coins. This trove belonged to
Timothy Barrett, who lived there in the early 1700s. Folks noticed that Barrett always seemed to have an inexhaustible
supply of money, although he never worked. Was he a retired pirate?

That explanation seemed to satisfy his neighbors. In time, the old fellow became vexed with people always asking him
about the source of his wealth, so he moved across nearby Georges Stream and dug a cave for a home. He cultivated a
small garden for his simple needs.

When old Barrett finally died, villagers began a great search for his fortune. A couple of fellows dug up an iron kettle
near the cave. It was filled with ancient French coins. However, this was believed to have been only a small part of the
main cache, which is still safe in the ground near Georges Stream.

The rockbound coast of Maine, its sweeping beaches, offshore islands, ragged peninsulas, still conceal treasures
buried or lost years ago by swashbuckling pirates and hardy settlers. Tales of these obscure troves are still told by
rugged characters mending lobster gear on the decaying wharves. Folks up there continue to search for buried pirate
gold in lonely coves and on shadowy islands, often lacing their stories with a half faith in spooks, ghosts, and spirits.

If you are ever in the areas of the coastal town of Machias, you will hear tales of loot hidden by the notorious pirate,
Captain Rhodes. He roamed this shore in 1675, using the sheltered inlet of the Machias River as a hideout and a place
for careening his ship.

Another Machias area treasure is also stashed along Starbirds Creek. Years ago, Captain Harry Thompson and another
buccaneer named Starbird frequently used the entrance to the Machias River as a rendezvous between voyages. As a
consequence, they used a nearby creek, named for Starbird, to cache their plunder. Thompson was said to have
marked some trees and to have drawn a crude map to aid his children in locating this trove, but they apparently
misinterpreted the clues, for they dug without success.

In the same general area, Brothers Island, named for two brothers called Flynn, is reputedly a hiding place for their
trove. However, information concerning this cache is not easy to establish.

In the summer of 1956, the Bangor newspaper commented upon the finding of an alleged Revolutionary cannon on the
bottom of the Penobscot River near that city. Authorities at the time described the cannon as being probably a part of
the ill-fated expedition of 1779.

The Penobscot campaign, one of the costliest of the entire War of Independence, and one of the worst defeats suffered
by American armies in the long conflict, is also one of its least known. Few Revolutionary histories give more than a few
paragraphs to the combined land and sea attack.

Not one of the 24 transports remained afloat following the end of the fighting. All were burned and their skeletons were
visible at low tide for decades to follow. The vast armada was scuttled, not in the open sea, but in the Penobscot River.
None of the ordnance or armaments was salvaged. They remain in the mud and silt of the river to this day.

The fleet consisted of 19 ships carrying 344 guns plus 24 armed transports. The frigate Warren, which mounted 32
eighteen- and twelve-pounders headed the imposing convoy, the largest ever assembled during the war. It took but a
month to assemble the troops and man the ships. The imposing fleet appeared off Castine at the mouth of Penobscot
River on July 28th. Few within the fort, which was still uncompleted, reasoned that they had a chance against such an
imposing display of force. The first attack was, however, repulsed, though the only damage was to ships rigging.

For the first week, most of the action consisted of minor action between the fleets. Commodore Saltonstall seemed
unwilling to risk an all-out attack, despite his preponderance in numbers and armament. Colonel Brewer, an American
officer who had been in the fort, told General Lovell that the fort was undermanned. Indignantly, he later related, I told
Commodore Saltonstall that he could silence the fort and small battery and have everything his own way within half an

Saltonstall answered in heated tones: You seem to be damned knowing about this matter; however, I am not going to
risk my shipping in that damned hole.

When Lovell decided to carry the fort by storm, Saltonstall declined any assistance. Unknowingly, General MacLean was
ready to strike his colors, and had a concerted attack been made, the British would have surrendered. On August 11,
Lovell made a final impassioned appeal to the fleet commander: I am once more compelled to request the most speedy
service in your Department, and that a moment be no longer delayed to put into execution a combined attack by both
land and sea forces, I mean not to determine your mode of attack, but it appears that any further delay must be
infamous. The delay means to destroy the ships or raise the siege.

Saltonstall refused and on the 13th, as Lovell made ready for a final all-out land effort, seven enemy ships appeared on
the horizon. Despite the fact that he might easily have handled this fleet, Commodore Saltonstall gave the order that all
must shift for themselves. With the transports in advance, the entire fleet crowded up the Penobscot River, to the utter
astonishment of the British garrison. Sir George Collier, commander of the enemy fleet, then merely applied the cork to
the bottle, by closing the mouth of the river.

No effort was spared to rally the troops ashore, but the soldiers were now in a frenzy of disorder. Guns were hurled
aside, as men melted into the forest. To the horror of the gallant few who remained, one of the ships ran aground and
another was captured without firing a shot. One transport after another burst into flames, set afire by the men aboard.
Wadsworth led off five companies in good order, as the river became a sea of fire. A few of the ships made it to the
mouth of the Kenduskeag, where they were beached. At low tide they served as a reminder for years. All the others
were burned, and not one ship remained. Nothing was salvaged.

It was a frightful defeat. American forces had suffered 500 casualties. The loss in guns and supplies would never be
accurately known.

No major salvage effort has ever been made, and outside of Maine and Massachusetts, few Americans have ever read
of the worst defeat suffered by American armies during the Revolution.

Not even contemporaries of Benedict Arnold knew how much was in the lost chest of gold. Supposedly lost beneath one
of the falls of the Chaudire River, on the abortive march against the walls of Qubec, the loot has never been found.
During Arnolds famous court martial in Philadelphia, he was asked to account for the money, and while the one-day
traitor did produce sketchy records accounting for $5000, the remainder was lost in the forest wilderness of Maine, he

It all began in the summer of 1775, when the swarthy Colonel Benedict Arnold appeared before George Washington in
Cambridge and laid before the new commander a plan for the capture of Qubec. Arnold went on to explain that he knew
every rock of the famous bastion, as well as both routes, having frequently gone to the French city on horse-trading
junkets. One wing of the expedition would go by way of Lake George, Champlain, and the Richelieu River. The other
would proceed through the Maine wilderness. The pincer would snip off the walled city like a ripe plum. Besides, Arnold
pointed out, the French had no love for their new masters.

Washington approved of the expedition, and Philip Schuyler was given command of the western wing, and Arnold was
given command of the force that would proceed through the Maine wilderness. To allay the cost of the raising the
necessary troops, purchasing supplies, hiring Canuck guides, and a dozen other things, the Virginian turned over an
iron war chest to the volatile Arnold, ordering that he keep a record of how the money was spent.

The expedition left Cambridge on September 13, 1775, and headed for Newburyport, where the troops boarded ships,
and they finally landed at the mouth of the Kennebec River. Arnold was shocked when he found that the two hundred
bateaux awaiting his arrival were in such bad condition as to be practically unusable. Arnold grudgingly paid the
carpenters who had constructed the unwieldy rafts out of the great chest, one of the few times his subordinates were to
see the money.

In one of the most incredible marches ever made in military history, the little band moved through forests that even
today would be difficult for an army to penetrate.

With men dropping like flies from dysentery and starvation, Arnold encountered a new foe in the form of an early winter.
Reduced to 600 men by desertion, the turning back of one regiment, and death, Arnold was to see his cup filled to
overflowing with troubles, when the bateau carrying his personal baggage was crushed in the rapids, depositing the box
in ten or twelve feet of icy water.

While no one is certain, the chest and the gold are supposed to be somewhere north of the modern village of Stratton
on the Dead River, although many claim it was the Chaudire River.

On December 31, the two rag-tag armies launched an attack on Qubec. Montgomery was killed in the first volley, and
the Americans were defeated. In the retreat that followed to the shores of Lake Champlain, the defeated Americans
again suffered terribly.

Arnold was never able to pinpoint where he had lost the chest, and it has never been reported found.

Dixie Bull, an English sea captain descended from an aristocratic family, was the first pirate known to prey upon shipping
off the northeastern colonies, especially along the rocky coast of Maine. Some of his hidden hoards have contributed to
the traditions of pirates and buried treasure along the New England coast.

One of his treasures was reputed to be worth $400,000 at the time of its burial on Damariscove Island. If found today, its
value could be 10 times that amount. Another of his hoards is supposed to have been buried on Cushing Island, also off
the Maine coast. Neither trove is known to have been recovered.

Bull was a native of London who came to Boston in 1631. He was associated with Sir Ferdinando Gorges in
development of a large land grant east of Agamonticus at York, Maine. He rapidly adapted to the rugged life of the New
Worlds wilderness, becoming a trader in beaver pelts with the Indians.

In June 1631, while trading in the Penobscot Bay area, Bull was attacked by a roving band of Frenchmen in a pinnace,
or small sailing ship. They seized his sloop and stock of coats, rugs, blankets, biscuits, etc. This same band captured
the Plymouth Companys Castine trading post which was filled with other valuable loot.

Trader Bull, fired by a desire for revenge, assembled 20 men to prey upon French shipping in an effort to recoup his
loss. Their attempts were unsuccessful, for the French had temporarily ceased their raids. Bulls food and supplies were
running low, so he attacked and plundered three small English vessels in order to keep operating. These attacks put
him in serious trouble with the Crown, and he became desperate. His next escapade was later in 1632, when he sailed
into the harbor of Pemaquid, sacked the trading post and nearby dwellings, and escaped with $2500 in both.

There was little resistance to the attack, but while loading goods aboard his sloop, someone on shore fired a musket
and Bulls second in command was struck in the chest, killing him. Until then, many of the crew had considered piracy a
lark. Now it suddenly became deadly serious business.

Having been created freebooters by circumstance, Dixie Bull and his men raided isolated settlements and attacked small
vessels until November. At that time, the Boston government dispatched five sloops and pinnaces under Samuel
Maverick to capture Bull. The small fleet cruised off the Maine coast for several weeks, but eventually returned to
Boston, unsuccessful.

Early in February 1633, three of Bulls crew secretly returned to their Maine homes. They said Bull had sailed eastward
and joined the French, his former enemies. Another statement by a Captain Roger Clap indicated that Bull eventually
returned to England. His destiny is lost in the maze of history. One version says that he was finally captured and hung at
Tyburn, England.

Bulls fate will probably never be known. The fate of his buried treasure on Cushing and Damariscove Islands may be
determined by a skillful treasure hunter.