The Sinking

The Ship

The Survivors

The Deceased

Source Documents

Survivors accounts

Capt. Hudson's report

Capt. Pearson's report

U.S. Consul's letter

  - Lodge Letters

April 14th, 1864

San Francisco

Lodge1 PDF, p. 20


T.A.W. Harper Esq.

Dear Sir

The situation of affairs has not altered much since I last wrote you. The civil suit stands thus: Smiley continues nominally in charge of the marshall of the United States district court, but in reality is as free to go where he pleases as any other citizen. He has made several objections to the libel I filed against him but these have been all overruled by the Court. He is ordered to answer to the libel on Monday next. The criminal action will not be tried till the second Tuesday in June next. In the meantime I cannot find any of the stolen treasure, in fact Smiley took every possible precaution to prevent such a result as this. The boxes were

Lodge2 PDF, p. 1

April 14, 1864
Harper letter (continued)

sent up by the divers in bag’s that the working men might not see the marks on them. The treasure was immediately removed from there & the boxes burned. The divers & labourers were paid in gold coin but all the bars that reached here were immediately melted so that nothing can be identified. Nevertheless some of the bars were sold in Mexico & others shipped to New York & England (probably) unmutilated and it is possible some of these may turn up but I have little hope of such fortune for I have no confidence whatever in the New York underwriters exerting themselves in the least and I fear my communication to you would reach by land too late to be serviceable.

Smiley yet believes he can upset the jurisdiction of the courts & failing that my not being able to identify the treasure will be made a strong point in his favor. He is trying all he knows to get my witnesses out of the way & has already offered indirectly $5,000 to get rid of one of them.

I have a well armed guard in charge of this particular one but I may be told at any moment one of Smiley’s party that left Manzanillo with about $80,000 worth of treasure went south. It was believe he went to Callao but I am inclined to think he crossed the Isthmus & went to Europe This worthy’s name is Sidney Cook, alias J. Hercules. I enclose for you his photography.

Had the New York underwriters and other owners of treasure joined heartily in prosecuting the gang of robbers I make no doubt but then we would have recovered considerable of the treasure but as it is I have a hard and almost hopeless job. It is in fact one “blasted Brittisher” against a whole community.

I am sir your obedt. sert.

Francis W. Lodge





Revision: 10/31/2010