March 22nd, 1864
Lodge1 PDF, p. 18
Blake Esq. (likely U.S. consul W.H. Blake, see later letters)
I am in receipt of your labor of the 29th ________ and note its contents. Since the blockade of Manzanillo by the French, we are all sadly deficient of news from that quarter. Irelan and his party have up to this time have behaved quite as bad if not worse than Smiley. For Smiley has only plundered all he recovered whereas Ireland has not only kept all he recovered but has not accounted for any part of $10,000 that was paid him to help him in his expedition.
Irelan tells us that he brought about $11,000 with him to San Francisco, and that he left the balance of the $60,000 recovered by his party with his son Sam. He also says that he has sent L. Lane & directed him to send the treasure to San Francisco. But Lane has not done so and I have some doubts as to whether he intended to do so or not. Consequently we are as much in the dark with regard to Irelanís proceedings as we are with Smileyís.
I have a civil action against Smiley Q&A him to give some account of the treasure his party recovered. There is also a criminal action against him & his accomplices for stealing and on this charge the Grand Jury here have found true billís against Smiley, Bloomfield, MacNeil & Redman & against the rest of Smileyís crews. This criminal action will be tried early in May and the chances are that the jury will not agree.
I know that Smiley & his party recovered a large amount of treasure but we donít know what has become of it. We believe that he paid away about one half this assisterís, _____ outfitters of his vessels, crews of his vessels, diverís _______ to officials & others too numerous to mention.
We know nothing about what has become of the actual thing(s) recovered and this is the important part. In fact we want to find out (if possible) what became of the treasure actually recovered. We are led to believe that some of it was sold to Wm. Frock & that other part was shipped to New York, England and the remainder to this port.
Any information you can furnish will be properly appreciated. And as the French interest is very great I make no doubt but that the French authorities will assist you as much as lays in their power. And I know by experience that France assists all people beached upon their coast more than any other nation in the world. I make no doubt but that they will assist as far as is reasonable any personís whose property is in jepoardy (sic) on the coast of Mexico.
I am sir with great respect,
Francis W. Lodge