Friday, March 11, 2011

3/13/11 Report - More on the Fort Capron Treasure & Jeremiah Dashiell

Fort Capron Payroll Gold Coins Found.

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I've been talking about the coins that were lost in 1857 when a boat sank and lost the payroll for Fort Capron near the old Fort Pierce inlet.

Coming from a academic research background, I'm very particular about how things are recorded and reported, knowing that even under the most rigorous scientific conditions mistakes are made and observations are reported in such a way that you have to know a lot before you can precisely figure out the real situation. There are just so many variables. And language is not really very precise unless you take great pains to avoid the possibility of misinterpretation. I don't make a huge effort to be as precise as possible in this blog because first, I don't have the time, and secondly, I assume that people who are interested in treasure hunting know the nature of the literature and that you always have to check and double check to fill in the blanks. I write this blog much differently than I would write a scientific article.

Fort Capron Payroll Silver Coins Found.

Anyhow, Tom Guidus had the article from the Historical Quarterly and sent me these tables listing the gold and silver coins found. As you can see there were more gold coins than silver, and a lot of both.

I have a hard time believing that there aren't at least a few that haven't been found yet.

Whenever I get into a topic like this, one thing leads to another. I usually don't remember all the details and then go and look some things up and discover some other things of interest.

One thing about the Fort Capron payroll treasure is that it points to a geographical area where a treasure was found but which doesn't receive very much attention from treasure hunters. Maybe they believe that all of it was found and there is no reason to hunt there anymore. Even if all of that treasure was found, when there is treasure in an area, it means that there was activity in that area and there is the distinct possibility of more treasure or other treasures in the area. Indeed, books like Frank Hudson's, though not the most trustworthy in every detail, do indicate that there are other treasures in the same area.

I also discovered another related article. It is about the life of Jeremaih Dashiell, the man that was in charge of the lost Fort Capron payroll. Guess what! That is not the only payroll he lost. He lost another up by Jacksonville. Very interesting!

Here is the link if you want to read more.

Here we go again. I love archaeology, but some of the archaeologists absolutely drive me crazy.

Now they are criticizing the Smithsonian because the Smithsonian plans to exhibit artifacts recovered from a 9th century wreck by a "commercial" company. Heaven knows that archaeology is for archaeologists and nobody else. Tax payers should fund any and all archaeology projects but any findings should be published only in expensive professional journals and any finds should be kept in museum basements where only the special few will ever see them. That makes sense, doesn't it?

Forgive me for the rant, but this type of thing does it to me.

At least the public will be able to see the artifacts - unless the archaeologists have their way.

Here is one paragraph from the article that I'll quote directly. Underwater archaeologists have been fighting for decades to protect shipwreck sites from treasure-hunting operations that mine sunken ships for artifacts to sell. In 2009, the archaeological community scored a major victory when the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage came into effect. It stated that "underwater cultural heritage shall not be traded, sold, bought or bartered as commercial goods."

I might be wrong, but it sounds to me as if the authors might not approve of the way that the State of Florida handles shipwreck salvage.

And what is this "fighting for decades" business. It was not many decades ago (you can certainy count them on one hand) that underwater archaeology became a recognized academic discipline. And that came about because of the work of treasure hunters such as those we know so well here in Florida.

I won't rant much more about this, but isn't it ironic that those archaeologists who complain about commerciaization of salvage operations make a business and living out of archaeology. If they don't want archaeology to be commercialized they should donate all of their time and work.

I could rant on about this all day, but I'll leave it at that.

Here is the link if you want to read more.

Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is from the East/Southeast and the seas are running about 3.5 feet and will remain at about the level for at least a few days. That means no significant changes on the beach for then.

You might explore some new areas.

Happy hunting,