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A man named Alexander Stanhope, who has returned to Galena (Illinois) after an absenoe of thirty-one years spent ia travel, tells the following story of how he found a fortune :—" I "oaim^ to Galena la 1847, having* emigrated, in tl^year f ;O m Tror^, England, after the death of both of my parents and all my near relative* I became a miner and- began theje.xpfor*-' tlon of a natural drift at the ? fi«>t of ifo' preolpltous bluff now known as New California. After working induatrlously for two weeks, I suddenly broke Ineo a large cave, the vaulted roof o£ which was deoorated with stalactite and spar, the latter > glistening m the light of my limp lifci i mUUon diamonds. While standing v •pollbound, at the mouth of the cave, I noticed, a short distance, to ib,e right. Inside the.pavern, a •helving of rook' jufc-^ ting out probably three feet from. the wall and about breait high from the n^or.appa the top of whloh rested what proved to be on examination, a large Ironbonnd cheat of oak, the lid of wbioh waaaaoaredby a curiously shaped padlock of brass. - With the aid of my pick and gad I broke open the chest, and to my amazement I found it to be filled to the tip' with Spanish doubloodo, bearing the dato of 1526. Oveijojed at the discovery, I fell to speculating upon how to remove the gold* and gave but little thought as to thephenomenal oirdumstanoea of Us belncr ' tbere. leaving GalenUQr New Callforma I had purobaaed a good / sized* strongly hulll skiff, i* which to transport, my tools, provisions, and other mining outfit to that place,, which is accessible all the way by water. I decided to transferthe treasure to my boat, and, as soon asthat was accomplished, to set outffor New>' Orleans, where I: ©ould advantageonsly dispose of it. I began, accordingly, with great e X pedmon B ne 88 , leat I abould ha dUtarbed by inqntsitivo nevi pomers, to" c»rry the plan into e^eoution, aud succeeded that night In .ooaveylng the gold to my skiff, wfceie 1 deposited 1« safely ia two strong locken which formed the seata S «V» fwjard and.stern ends of the boat. On the following morning, after effectually banking up the month of tha -drift* I sefc out upon my voyage, whlchlaooompliihed In exactly three w^eks. At Ne^Orie f ati« I sold my doubloon ■, receiving In exchauce an equivalent m Amerlqin gold, amount-' !ng m the agregate to 390,000 dola. Parchasing English, Frenoh, and German exchange with my money, I took passage for & vorpool oa the Brat Bacopean^bound vessel, and, after adjourning awhile In my native town of Truro, I determined- oa spending.the teafc of my days m wand<rfngabout the world, thus gratifying an ambition which had been my f ondest dreamfromimy: early boyhood." TJ»e drift la : whloh btaohope found, . the. Spanish, treasure was not discovered (the "Sfe Louis Globe .l>em.bcrat" T tells us) until, 1876, when two Irish prospectors broke, into the cave, after several "years of fralUtess search for an "opening," and took out of It a large fortune m mineral. The ohest whioh oonuiued the dobloonaseoured by Standhope was foand» and? occasioned unbounded surprise^ and no little speculation as to how it got there. The mystery has of course never been solved ; but it Ib believed by Stanhopa that the chest of treasure was. stolen bysome of De Soto's soldlera at the -time h* discovered and explored the Mlssisolppk and wai secreted m the cave, t^e entrance to whloh had been blocked up. by, taoi alluvial depoalt« and ohangei of opwardt of 300 years. ....■■•.

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Bibliographic details

HOW A MINER DISGOYE A CHEST OF GOLD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1988, 6 November 1888

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HOW A MINER DISGOYE A CHEST OF GOLD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1988, 6 November 1888